Tchaikovsky’s Symphony #6 includes one solo soft gong (tam-tam) note in the last movement. Ask any orchestral percussionist, playing this note at just the right dynamic level can be a tricky ordeal. Last week, while playing this part with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, I had plenty of time to think about the issues involved. While it went well and I felt very good after the performance, it didn’t hurt that a long standing colleague in the percussion section complimented me on the solo note!
Here are some tips to remember when playing gong/tam-tam:
Want to learn more? Watch this video lesson I did for Zildjian.