How to Play the Timpani
Unique methods of playing
Striking the head using maracas, or placing a cymbal on the head
The timpani is a much sought-after instrument, not only in classical music but in many other musical genres as well, including popular music. Many interesting methods of playing the timpani have been devised.
For example, a sound can be created by using maracas instead of mallets, that will make you want to dance... or by placing a cymbal on the timpani head and beating it with a mallet while moving the pedal up and down, you can get a sound like the whispering wind.
You can even hit the edge of the hoop while pressing down the pedal to get a sound like a bullet grazing past your head! (Take care not to imitate this trick without knowing what you are doing-it requires a refined technique so as not to dent the hoop.)