Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Beyond the Kit: Wind Chimes

Seriously, you need wind chimes. You may not think you do, but you do.

Wind chimes - often called bar chimes - are a lesser-used effect, but common enough that you ought to own a set. They aren't terribly expensive, and usually come with a good bag for traveling (and keeping them quiet!).

These chimes are generally played by sweeping a metal scraper (or a triangle beater) across the bars, or using your fingers, to cause the bars to contact each other and create sound.

There's a great sound sample on the Sabian website.

Some of my favorite drummers in the business have wind chimes as part of their kit. At very least, they are one of the accessories good percussionists have available on studio sessions and gigs.

Bar chimes can be made from a variety of different metals, in different weights and lengths, and come in many different configurations. Most of the cymbal companies make them, and there are three or four other outfits that have excellent models, too.

My favorite (I'm not endorsed or anything, so I hope my opinion is fairly objective) is Treeworks. They have some unique ideas that I really love, such as the EchoTree. Check it out at the link above.

If nothing else, become acquainted with wind chimes and learn how to get a good sound. Your music-making will thank you for it.

Happy chiming!


  1. I have just got a friend a lovely glass wind chime for her garden i really hope she loves it. It got dolphins on and other fish. It look so cool.

  2. There's a sort of magic about wind chimes, especially the garden variety (sorry for the pun!). Dolphins and fish sounds great! Thanks for the word.


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