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Archive of posts tagged percussionese

The Snappy Slap Hand Canter

It’s hand jiving time―time to break out your 3-lined white gloves, just like the kind Mickey and Mario wear (the kind Hamburger Helper Helping Hand is). Roll over the three hands below from left to right. Try it slow. Try it fast. Try it backwards. To get a canter rolling, you’ll need to make counterclockwise […]

Distress Signal Melody

When you hear a high G, does it Stress Out your Shit? The international distress signal melody is a monotonal song in 7/8 time, written in the key of Morse Code, consisting of three quavers, followed by three crotchets, and another three quavers. Normally, the telegrapher is supposed to rest the equivalent note duration in […]

♪ Little Notes ♪

The ictus is the Moment of Music, the vertical dimension, the instant of the beat, the flick of a conductor’s hand. The flam is an ictus split into two. Drag over the noteheads to hear a flam of snare drum rimshots. In Percussionese, the flam is pronounced “Plah!”. Now try it at home: Exectue a […]


Little Richard speaks percussionese — the proto-language of drums. Check out his impression of a drum fill in Tutti Frutti for your MP3 player. Drag over the black stemmed noteheads… Drag over that final “boom” a few more times. Listen to how Little releases that note. He is very great. The people of Percussionesia speak […]