Adrian Bending
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Bending Bach’s Basslines photos and quotes

Tom Greenleaves – Principal Timpani, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

“Bending Bach’s Basslines is a book I’d very much like to recommend to all timpanists. It fills – quite fabulously – a gap in our literature that I’d never consciously realised even existed. Of all the many tutors and collections of studies I know (both in English and in German), I honestly don’t feel any comes close to guiding and helping timpanists to develop their ears and so many facets of their technique in such a mercilessly musical way. Very methodical and well-paced, Adrian’s approach encompasses aspects of making music with other instruments – most fundamentally with the human voice – that go far beyond the scope of any other tutor I know. It’s benefitting me, no question!”

The photos above are of the Thomaskirche and Nikolaikirche in Leipzig.


Håkon Kartveit – Principal Timpani, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

“I was happy to hear about the release of Adrian Bending’s new book, and even happier when I got to play through it.  Bending Bach’s Basslines fills a much-needed gap – as Richard Dawkins once put it – in the timpani literature.  The book is extremely well-crafted and offers professionals and students alike an unprecedented tool to further develop their tuning.  The different levels of difficulty give everyone, from the beginner student to the seasoned professional, a chance to play along.  It’s fantastic to witness Adrian provide a new angle to timpani tuning practice – a musical and challenging angle.  A gap we did not know existed has thus been filled, and with it comes the promise of a better and more structured approach to timpani tuning.  With compliments to Adrian, I warmly recommend this volume to every aspiring and established professional out there.”


Tom Pritchard – Conservatorium van Amsterdam, formerly National Youth Orchestra.

“An easily accessible book that offers young players such as myself great advice on key areas of Timpani playing, whilst also getting the chance to play along to the beautiful music of Bach.”  NYO Easter Course, 2016.


Matthew Dickinson – Percussion Teacher, Junior Royal Academy of Music

“In Bending Bach’s Basslines, Adrian has managed to hit upon a formula for successfully developing a student’s technique and musicianship while also introducing them to a wealth of music not before associated with the timpani. What’s more, this book works equally well for the young school pupil and the experienced music college student. No budding timpanist should be without it!”


Donna-Maria Landowski

“This is a great book to get students to understand the role timpani play in the orchestra. The exercises provide a musical framework to pedal, sing bass-lines and harmony, as well as really listen to how a particular note sits within the chord. I have enjoyed just playing through it myself, and there is great playing and singing on the cd that accompanies the book.”


David Corkhill – Principal Timpani, English Chamber Orchestra; former Principal Percussion, Philhamornia; Timpani teacher, Guildhall School of Music and Drama

“Any sensible addition to timpani technique material is most welcome, but what’s really interesting to me is that through this book students will be alerted to the magnificent musical creation of Bach’s cantatas. Through his wide experience of the style Adrian Bending has given us a valuable learning resource for musician timpanists.”


Matt Hardy – Principal Timpani, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Percussion Teacher, Wells Cathedral School

What a superb book! Bending Bach’s Basslines is a very exciting and rare addition to the percussion literature.  What Adrian has produced is a first for me: a collection of fabulously musical exercises that not only test your ears but force you to think simultaneously about every other facet of timpani technique.  On top of this, you get to play along to the beautiful music of Bach (and a few surprises!)  The book is filled to the brim with anecdotes, advice and tips, and it has already uncovered many holes in my own playing!

At Wells we have used Bending Bach’s Basslines with junior school pupils to experienced students playing in the National Youth Orchestra, National Children’s Orchestra and music college entrants.  Most importantly, they love it!!  Adrian has managed to produce a single book that covers every possible area of timpani study, introducing students to some wonderful music, presented in a straightforward and manageable way.  A must-have for any timpanist, at any level.

Antoine Siguré – Principal Timpani, Philharmonia Orchestra

“I have been looking for a fun and constructive way to practice intonation on the timpani for ages! And there it is: Adrian Bending came up with an incredibly resourceful method, based on Bach’s choral works (but not only… there are a few other surprises inside!), combined with little anecdotes, tips and tricks. Some of them are priceless! A must have, both for students and professional musicians!”

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