How to Make a Glissando on the Drums

Composers who want to make a glissando on the drums should learn how drummers perform the technique. Most instruments are capable of glissando. This technique involves the slurring of pitches between a high and lower pitched note or a low and higher pitched note. Since drums do not have a specific pitch, the technique for creating a glissando is slightly different from most other instruments. The percussionist must experiment to get the desired sound. Ascending and descending glissandos are possible.

Descending Glissando 

Step 1 Place one hand on the head of the drum. Depress the drum to the degree that you want to create the glissando. To create a wide glissando, press down firmly; to create a narrow glissando, use less pressure.

Step 2 Strike the drum forcefully with a mallet.

Step 3 Release the pressure from the drum by removing your hand immediately after striking the drum. This will create a descending glissando.

Ascending Glissando 

Step 1 Strike the drum forcefully, with your free hand ready to apply pressure to the drum.

Step 2 Press down on the drum immediately after striking the drum.

Step 3 Stop the sound of the drum by using the palm of your mallet hand to stop the vibrations. You also might like: How to Make a Snare Sound Greater


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