Posted by Rei Murray on August 24, 2021
A GUIDE TO ORFF MALLETS – FIBERGLASS VS BIRCH SHAFTS
Peripole, Inc. Is pleased to offer quality wound Orff instrument mallets in two shaft materials: fiberglass-which comes with purchase of our diatonic and complete chromatic instruments, and birch hardwood. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages that can factor in when choosing one for your classroom.
Fiberglass is extremely durable and break resistant. It has heavier head balance, which creates a feeling of “bouncing a ball” when playing. Many teachers and clinicians prefer and recommend this kind of balance. If mallet shafts are struck too forcefully against a hard surface, the protective coating on the shaft can eventually chip and expose fiberglass which can splinter. Mallets can be repaired by covering or refinishing the damaged portion or replacement of the mallet.
Birch Hardwood is a thicker, lighter material and creates a larger or ergonomic grip and balanced feel. It is quite durable with normal use, however can be broken if stepped on or severely abused. If the shaft is struck too hard it will create visible imperfections in the wood. Luckily these are easy to repair by sanding and painting or covering.
Nylon is a splinter-free material and remains so even after extended use. It is more flexible than desired for longer mallets but is optimal for shorter ones. We now use nylon for all glockenspiel mallets
Peripole also offers an Orff Instrumentarium Exploration Mallet Kit, which includes seven pairs of assorted mallets, labeled on each hand grip as Soft, Medium Soft, Medium, Medium Hard, Hard, Alto, and Soprano Glockenspiel. This kit encourages tonal experimentation and exploration.