Bob Becker: Blog

Becker’s Best now available

Posted by

Xylomusic has recently published Becker’s Best, a collection of Bob’s most effective technique exercises for the xylophone and marimba. All of the studies in the book can be practiced to build speed and accuracy, and after they are learned at tempo they make a great daily warm-up routine. The book is available through Steve Weiss… Read more »

Andrew Feldman – An Appreciation

Posted by

I first met Andrew Feldman at PASIC in 1981. For several years beginning in the late 1970s he manned a small booth at the conventions, and advertised his sticks and mallets in the classifieds at the back of Percussive Notes. I bought a number of bass drum beaters and tam tam mallets from his display… Read more »

SEA TO SEA (La Mer and cymbals)

Posted by

When my touring schedule permits, I often play in the percussion section of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. Hamilton, Ontario is a thriving city about 70 km southwest of Toronto. The HPO is a fine orchestra with a long history. The original Canadian Brass was formed by members of the orchestra’s great brass section in 1970…. Read more »

Bob Becker and Yurika Kimura – PASIC concert tour

Posted by

Japanese marimbist Yurika Kimura and I will present a Showcase Concert on Saturday, November 16 at PASIC 2013 in Indianapolis, IN. Prior to and following the PASIC concert, we will make a short tour including appearances at the following venues (for more details check my Events page, which gives information about all of my upcoming non-NEXUS… Read more »

Xylophone vs. Marimba: more thoughts.

Posted by

In April, 2013 I received an email from Jesse Strauss, a student at Belmont University, asking for my thoughts about an article by Vida Chenoweth in which she reached some conclusions about the terms ‘xylophone’ and ‘marimba’. I have discussed the distinctions that differentiate these terms in clinics, as well as in the Xylorimba article… Read more »

Recent composing

Posted by

I had a very intense spring season, with NEXUS performances in California, Arkansas, Georgia, Ohio and New York, as well as extended solo tours of my own in Ohio, Indiana and Arizona. Usually I am unable to compose while traveling, and also I find it difficult to work creatively on writing projects without having at… Read more »

Answers to questions about the beginning of NEXUS

Posted by

In December, 2011 I received a request from Yale graduate student Victor Caccese to answer a few questions about how NEXUS began and developed. VC: Mr. Becker, I mainly wanted to ask you about the start of NEXUS with your first performances in 1971. Even though all of its members have accomplished a great deal… Read more »

The Drag/Ruff Dilemma

Posted by

In May, 2011, John Wooton sent an email to many of his drumming friends and colleagues. In it he posed some questions about how to name a basic and historic rudiment. One of the first to respond was Dennis Delucia. There has followed a very interesting and entertaining email debate and discussion about this topic,… Read more »

Answers to questions about New-thaan

Posted by

In March, 2010, I received a request from graduate student Bruce Salyers to answer some questions about my drum solo New-thaan, which is included in NEXUS Portfolio for Snare Drum, published by HoneyRock. Bill Cahn recently posted his answers to similar questions about some of the pieces in Portfolio, and so I thought it might… Read more »

September in Japan

Posted by

I spent nearly the entire month of September, 2010 in Japan. I arrived in Osaka on the 5th and immediately began rehearsals with NEXUS and the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra. Maestro Yutaka Sado conducted the program, which featured NEXUS performing Toru Takemitsu’s From me flows what you call Time, and Gustav Holst’s The Planets…. Read more »

Tenth Annual Ragtime Xylophone Institute, 2010

Posted by

The tenth anniversary session of the Bob Becker Ragtime Xylophone Institute was held from August 2 through 7, 2010 at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE. This year’s participants, left to right in the photo, were: Mike Correa, Paul Bernard, Dwayne Corbin, Chris Hogan, Ryan Lewis, Bob, Harvey Price, Julia Ross, Mike Franklin, Sam… Read more »

Super Percussion – Tokyo Music Joy, 1988

Posted by

Garry recently posted on YouTube three excerpts from a concert called Super Percussion, presented as part of the Tokyo Music Joy festival in 1988. It was the fourth annual Music Joy festival, produced by Toru Takemitsu and Koinuma Music, and sponsored by the Seibu-Saison Group in Tokyo. The four-day festival was organized around a jazz… Read more »

Spring Activities, 2010

Posted by

On April 1, 2010 I was able to spend a day at the Malletech Company facilities in Neptune, NJ. I had discussions with Leigh Stevens regarding the new Malletech rosewood snare drum stick line, and in particular the design for my signature model (these should be appearing soon). We also discussed some new publications, and… Read more »

NEXUS, Cage and Ewazen: answers to questions by Daniel Smithiger

Posted by

Last year (2009) percussionist Daniel Smithiger asked the members of NEXUS to answer a number of interesting questions for an interview now posted on the Percussive Notes magazine. Below are my answers to a few of Daniel’s questions. DS: Of what things are you most proud, in the accomplishments and history of NEXUS? BB: I… Read more »

×