I really hope that title, although true, doesn’t get taken out of context later in my life. I’m a huge fraud, but given some context I think we can all get a good laugh out of it.
Last year in the middle of the summer I started my YouTube channel Xylo-A-Day to ensure that I would essentially practice everyday.
Every day I upload content to that channel.
Every day I lie to the public.
There are 287 videos posted at the time of writing this blog that are all complete and utter lies.
It’s not a xylophone, it’s a marimba (specifically, a Musser M31).
I know, I know. I apologize.
But here’s the thing, I didn’t realize that it was a marimba. And I know that sounds a little far-fetched, considering that I have been playing mallet instruments since middle school but let me explain myself.
The high school where I learned to play used Yamaha instruments not Musser.
Here is a Yamaha Marimba:
Here is a Musser M31 Marimba (The instrument I have):
And here is a Yamaha xylophone:
At this point you are either in two fields:
- Maxwell, the difference is so obvious! Look at the resonators!
- Those are different instruments?
And as a person who has had 6 years of mallet instrument experience by the time I got out of high school, I’m ashamed to say that somehow after a year of playing on a marimba I’m just now realizing that it is a marimba.
All throughout my time playing mallet instruments I was always a little upset when people would call every mallet instrument a xylophone. I’ve become my own worst nightmare. For a year, I’ve been running a channel on the premise that it is in fact a xylophone.
Hindsight is 20/20. Now that I look at it I can’t believe I ever thought it was a xylophone. But I understand what led me to that assumption.
Here is list of all of the blunders that led me to believe for a whole year that I’ve been playing a xylophone:
- When I was told about it in the first place, I was told it was a xylophone.
- Bar Width, I didn’t know marimbas could have fixed width bars.
- A Yamaha Marimba increases bar width and length the lower the pitch gets.
- A Yamaha Xylophone has a fixed width and the bar itself gets longer.
- A Musser M31 marimba has a fixed width bar and the bar itself gets longer.
- When I got it I completely spaced on the fact that resonators are not supposed to be that long for a xylophone. That one is fully on me.
- It isn’t in great condition. It’s not necessarily in bad condition, but the lower frequencies cause the resonators to rattle a lot, so I prefer not to play them. This meant I mainly played and heard the higher end of the marimba, which is more xylophone-ey than marimba-ey.
- In the euphoria of receiving a mallet instrument I played it without question, which means that up until last Sunday I never looked actually looked up the model of the instrument. That one is fully on me as well.
So does this mean that I am going to name change Xylo-A-Day? Am I going to change it to Marimba-a-Day?
My plans with the channel is to one day have a variety of mallet instruments, so Xylo-A-Day is here to stay. I still really want to play a vibraphone on the channel and whenever I get one and upload those videos I wouldn’t change my name to Vibra-A-Day.
At the very least, I plan to reflect from here on out that it is in fact a marimba and not a xylophone. You can still expect me to put xylophone tags everywhere since most people don’t know what a marimba is anyways.
And last but not least thanks to Cris the Experience for making me question everything that I hold dear.