Percussion Axiom TV #30 – “Don’t Be a Blockhead”

In the continuing online learning exercise to learn Gordon Stout’s Etude #3 from Book 1 for marimba, Thomas Burritt has posted Percussion Axiom TV episode 30. That video is also inline below.

The episode goes over the final measures of the etude and talk about a concept called blocking. Thinking that I was somehow better than the teacher, instead of listening to how the chord progression works and how important it is to put that under your hands first, I decided to be a “blockhead”. I was going to do this my own way and just do the notes and the rhythms at the same time. Well that was significantly harder and caused extreme frustration on my part. Weeks passed, and after hitting a dead end, it was time to re-watch the episode and understand what Dr. Burritt was saying. So, I started fresh and now have completed the last part of the etude.

There are still a couple wrong notes but I can say that I can successfully play the entire etude now. Stay tuned for future posts where I put all of the sections together and try and increase the tempo to something closer to what the composer intended. Remember, don’t be a blockhead. 🙂 Here is Take 7 of the etude.

1 Response to “Percussion Axiom TV #30 – “Don’t Be a Blockhead””


  • Jeff:
    Way to follow through! And… a block head would NEVER admit a mistake! (So, I guess you are not a blockhead…!)

    You’ve got it and I can tell you blocked it because you paused right before the second time (where the rh starts inside instead of outside). Glad it helped. Looking forward to your final posts. Thank you so much for doing this with us!

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