My son plays several instruments well including piano, and has been dabbling over the last few years with practice pad (for snare technique) and drumset. Now he wants to learn to play mallet percussion. What should I be looking for (as a rental, purchase, or rent-to-own)? I would like to find something in the student-quality range, but that would have a reasonably nice sound. Also, if I purchase, I would like the instrument to have a reasonable resale potential. Apparently glockenspiel is the most readily available mallet percussion instrument in the student range, but I've heard bad things about the sound.


I hear this all the time, just use a bunch of paper. Draw keys on them and tape them all together. Snare technique is the same as mallet technique. If not this, then you're going to waste your money on a high-quality bell set that sounds TERRIBLE. It costs near a thousand dollars. I would get your son involved in a percussion program where they have Marimbas, xylophones, Glocks, etc. They can check him up for any bad habits and problems that need fixing rather than him judging himself.

P.S: your son must have some real work ethic.

  • Work ethic? Not particularly. He has a strong natural aptitude for music and he has ADHD. Also a parent who makes sure he practices something every day. // I don't go for your answer because he needs to hear what's coming out. I mean, because he plays piano, he already knows where the notes are. – aparente001 Oct 26 '17 at 19:12
  • I just called my local music shop and found out they have a rental glockenspiel which they said definitely does not have a nice sound, and a rental wooden xylophone kit which runs a bit more expensive but apparently has a softer sound (attractive for apartment life). What do you think about that option? // Rhetorical question: Why hasn't the musical instrument rental business come up with a reasonable sounding alternative?! – aparente001 Oct 26 '17 at 19:23
  • Joshua, what about purchase? Is there a certain price threshold to be able to find something that doesn't sound annoying? – aparente001 Oct 26 '17 at 20:17
  • A glockenspiel is made for hard mallets, but if you use wool mallets, it gives a faint and satisfying thud. It would be more attractive for apartment life than anything else. You could also use soft rubber mallets instead of plastic. It cuts out the "d" in "ding" – Joshua Favorite Oct 29 '17 at 5:05
  • edit: Just soft rubber mallets. It's more like a wave than a wall – Joshua Favorite Oct 29 '17 at 5:34

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