How to Play the Timpani
Basic playing methods
Sustaining the sound for a long time with tremolo
Tremolo (also called "roll") is a method of playing the timpani by striking the drum in rapid succession to create a long sustaining sound. When playing a tremolo, it is important to consider how this relates to the head tension. When the head is struck while the head tension is loose, or in other words when the pitch is low, the sound may stop even though the drum was played. This is because the head sinks when it is struck, even though it is already in a sunken state. It is important to continuously strike the head more slowly when the tension is loose, and strike the head quickly when the tension is high (giving a shorter sustain).
Changing the sound while pressing the pedal for a glissando
The timpani is not struck in the center of the head, but rather close to the rim and towards the player. The wave node runs across the entire head from the center in a straight line, and the vibration's antinode is located at the rim.