Relatively new on the music scene, the bell tree has become increasingly popular in bell choirs and other orchestral groups thanks to its distinct sound and appearance. You may be asking yourself - what is a bell tree and what can it bring to my music? The bell tree is crafted with a series of metal discs in various widths which are arranged vertically on a stand or single stick. Each of the bells is assigned a different pitch. They can be played individually or together for a chorus effect that is shimmering and bright. Often used as an accent sound, the bell tree has popped up in the works of Chick Corea (with his group Return To Forever) and it can also be heard on Santana's hit album "Moonflower".
There are two main types of bell trees: handheld and stand alone. Handheld, as its name suggests, fits into the palm of your hand and is played with a thin, metal-tipped rod. The Meinl Hand Held Bell Tree features a cascade of 14 solid brass bells that are securely mounted on a solid wooden handle. As you sweep the rod up and down the bells, this tree produces a beautiful glissando of sound that lends itself perfectly to melodic and rhythmical pieces.
Now, for those who want a wider range of sound, a standalone bell tree is the best option. Standalone trees boast more tonal variety than handheld models because they are larger and can accommodate more bells. The LP LP450 26-Bell Bell Tree with Stand is equipped with 26 bells and comes with two metal-tipped strikers and a black steel stand. Ideal for percussionists of any genre, the LP450 Bell Tree will bring a one-of-a-kind sound to your next stage or studio session.
Whether you choose a handheld version or a standalone model, bell trees let you experiment, explore and have fun with sound in a way you've never thought possible. Simply put, they're a fantastic addition to any percussion setup, and if you've never tried them before, there's no better time than now to see what you're missing.
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