How To Play Handheld Pipe Chimes
Playing handheld pipe chimes is a great activity for everyone. Kids as little as 3 years old up to grandparents can join in the fun. There is no musical talent required and knowing how to read sheet music is not needed. They are great for small or large groups up to 23 people and can be used in almost any setting including holiday gatherings, church events, children activities, senior centers, family reunions, parties, group dates, scouts and even daycares. After you’ve played them once, you’ll want to keep playing and enjoy making simple music with those around you.
Handheld pipe chimes are a simple musical instrument that only requires you to hit your chime when it’s your turn in the song.
See below for a quick overview on how to play or watch pipe chimes being played:
- Get at least 4-5 people rounded up.
- Turn to the index in one of our songbooks and select a song you would like to play (the number of chimes is conveniently shown next to each song). You’ll need the same number of people as there are chimes in each song if you only want to play one chime each. You can hand out more than one chime to each person allowing a smaller group to play a larger song.
- Turn to the page for the song you have selected.
- At the top of each song, all the chimes needed for that song are listed. The chime numbers with the “*” next to them are used less than 5 times and are great for the younger kids to play since they don’t have a major roll in the song.
- Hand out all the chimes needed in the song to each person (each chime has a number on it).
- Everyone playing a chime will need a striker to hit the chime with.
- Everyone will hold their chime by the black loop handle so it hangs freely without touching anything.
- The song begins by the first person, or first number in the song, hitting their chime with their striker once. A conductor, or someone not playing a chime, that can point to each number as you play the song can be helpful so you don’t loose your spot. Each person hits their chime once when it’s their turn or when their chime number appears next in the song.
Xylophone playing instructions:
If you purchase our cradle holders, you can turn your handheld pipe chimes into a xylophone where one person can then play the song by themselves.
- Select the song you would like to play and lay out all the chimes needed for that song on the cradle holders. This will simplify the song so only the notes/chimes needed will be in front of you.
- With one or two of our wooden mallets, strike each chime in the order that the songbook is written and you’ll be off and playing your song.