Why I Love Being a Percussionist

Posted on 05-Nov-2014

Written by Private Ong Chun Heng of 1st Kuala Lumpur Company

Published November 5th, 2014

If you are a percussionist, you will understand what I am talking about—sometimes you might find it boring, but you will find out that playing as a percussionist in the band is actually fun! Here, I would like to tell you a story about me being a percussionist in my band.

To begin, I am going to introduce myself officially - I am a percussionist from 1st Kuala Lumpur Company Boy's Brigade. What does 1st KL do during its usual meetings on Saturdays? First, we have parade, then the band practice, and the worship session comes next...well, that is not my point. My main point is about the band practice. Percussionists are the “fast guys”—we are ever ready. We are always waiting for the blowing instruments to settle down and get their instruments tuned. After they are done with their preparation, we, together as a band, will then have warm-ups, and this is where percussionists join in. It is quite easy because all you have to do is to follow the conductor's tempo.

This is the part I like about being a percussionist. After warming up, we will sit at the back row and get our personal business done. For instance, many of us play with our phones, do homework, and even sleep. We do this because the band, aside from the percussionists, is fixing its members’ blowing skills. This is nice and boring at the same time. Another reason I like about being a percussionist is that the conductor would grant us the permission to go outdoor and practice on our own. In the end, we get to “practice” in order to kill time. We are able to play as loud as we want because no one is going to bother us. We always end up practicing our drum solo or any piece from the marching band which is different with the indoor band’s pieces.

The marching band is also a reason I love being a percussionist. During marching sessions, the percussionists will be playing drum solos while other band members are trying to figure out their moves for the competition. Although it seems to be tiring, you will realised that it feels nice playing the drum solo during an event and everybody is watching you while you are playing your drum.

Let us switch our focus a little here. Percussionists can also play drum sets. Drum sets are usually seen in a concert where one drummer is playing on different sounding drums and cymbals. What is the difference between a percussionist in a band and a concert? In a band, percussionists play their own drums – one guy on one drum. As for the concert, only one percussionist is required to play the drum sets. Percussionist playing drum sets is like a brain controlling every part of its movement. Therefore, during a concert, you are to play the right tempo and add on to the feeling of the song. By the way, if you do not know what tempo is, it is like our heartbeats – if you do not have it, you will not be living. Just like the band; if the band do not have percussion, the song will sound weird. If a concert does not have a drummer, the audience might not be able to feel the song.

These are the reasons l love being a percussionist. If you are not a percussionist yet, I would like to encourage you to become one! I believe you will love to be in the percussion section.

Page Created: 5th November 2014
Last Updated: 5th November 2014