Percussionists use a wide variety of different mallets. Softer mallets are used on the marimba than on the xylophone, partly because marimba bars are more sensitive.
Marimba mallets are generally divided into three degrees of hardness: soft, medium and hard.
The heads are made of rubber, wood or plastic and are usually wrapped in yarn.
Shaft length: approx. 28 – 40 cm.
Head diameter: approx. 2.5 – 3.5 cm.
These soft mallets are often used in the lower register, for example to begin a roll from silence. They are also good for creating a soft bass ”bedding”. They are less well suited to the higher register because mallets that are too soft cannot bring the bars to full vibration, and the fundamental cannot be heard either. This makes the timbre empty and dull.
Filled marimba mallets
Mallets can be filled with seeds or gravel. The attack is accompanied by a rattling sound.