Simply Four: 4-Mallet Technique as Easy as 1-2-3...4

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Gifford Howarth

General Info

Year: 2002
Edition: 1st Edition
Publisher: Tapsoace
Cost: Book Cost - $25.00   |   Supplemental Books - $0.00


Howarth, Gifford. Simply Four: 4-Mallet Technique as Easy as 1-2-3…4. Portland, Oregon: Tapspace Publications, 2002.

This book is for high school students that need a solid foundation of mallet techniques and performing advanced repertoire. Howarth has come up with his own way to approach introducing both the Stevens and Burton techniques to younger students. There is three main sections: Technique, Exercises, and Etudes. There are several pictures on multiple pages showing how to hold the mallets (right and wrong way) and to further explain something. The DVD is very helpful because it’s Howarth showing how and why to do certain things whether it be, double-stops, how to do an exercise, how to hold the mallets, and how to strike the marimba.


Table of Contents
Different Categories of Grips

Chapter 1- The Stevens Grip

The Inside Mallet
The Outside Mallet
Stevens Grip Checklist
Common Grip Bad Habits
Making Sure The Mallets Are Level
Double-Stop Stroke
Changing Intervals
Larger Intervals
Upper Keyboard/Lower Keyboard
Independent Mallet Rotation
Fine Tuning the Mallet Rotation
Common Bad Rotation Habits
Combining the Stevens Strokes
Rotation Combinations and Tempo Control
Double Rotations- Slow Tempo
Fluid Rotations- Medium Tempo
Double Lateral- Fast Tempo
Sticking Combinations
Advanced Sticking Combinations
Ripple Rolls
One-Hand Independent Roll

Chapter 2- The Burton Grip

Holding the Burton Grip
The Inside Mallet
The Outside Mallet
Burton Grip Checklist
The Basic Stokes
Double Stops
Changing Intervals (smaller)
Changing Intervals (larger)
Upper/Lower Keyboard

Chapter 3- Technique Exercises

Double-stop Exercises
Wristin’ It
Basic Double-Stop Motion
Double-Stop Exercise No. 1
Double-Stop Smalls
Double-Stop Large
Inside Mallet Motion
Double-Stop Interval Expansion
Double-Stop Inch Worm
Double-Stop Exercise No. 2
Double-Stop Diddy
Double-Stop Leap Frog
Rotation Exercises
12/8 Three’s Exercise No. 1
12/8 Three’s Exercise No. 2
Three Groupings
Double-Time Three Groupings
In’s and Out’s
Other Scale Rotation Combinations
Outer Limits
Double Rotations No. 1
Double Rotations No. 2
Fluid Rotations No. 1
Fluid Rotations No. 2
Double Laterals No. 1
Double Laterals No. 2
Sticking Combination Exercises
Sticking Combination Variations
Ripple Combinations
Another Advanced Sticking Combo
Independent Roll Stokes Exercise

Chapter Four- Etudes

Call and Answer
All Rolls
Etude d’Linear
Caprice No. 1- Carcassi
Little Etude- Schumann
Appendix I- Suggested Repertoire
Appendix II- Mallet Selection


Student Reviews

I think this DVD is very helpful because it’s like a teacher that you can replay whenever you want. This could really help someone learning how to play marimba. I like that the book goes over both the Burton and Stevens grip because most books or teachers only talk about one way to play. This book is for the beginning student and it breaks down everything to very simple terms (terms that older students may learn very easily and quickly). Most of this book is just explanations and working on techniques, so if the student is looking for something fun to play I would recommend a different book.
Rating: II (I wouldn’t teach it this way)
Review by Ashley Feist


Additional Study Materials

Works for Percussion by this Author

Howarth, Gifford. Simply Four: 4-Mallet Technique as Easy as 1-2-3...4. Portland, OR.: Tapspace Publications, 2002.

Additional Resources