How to Play a Glockenspiel

The glockenspiel is a small steel percussion instrument that resembles a xylophone and piano. The glockenspiel has a high pitched chime and sits horizontally on a stationary stand or on a harness for marching. Use a mallet to play the piano style keyboard. Use the following instructions to play a glockenspiel.

Look at the glockenspiel. Imagine the keys look like a piano, with black keys on top and white keys on the bottom section. A glockenspiel generally has two and a half octaves or groupings of 12 keys; each octave contains two groups of "black keys," one with two keys and the other with three.

Find the C key just to the left of the group of two black keys. Hit the C key with a hard rubber mallet. Pull the mallet up slightly after striking the key to resonate and project the sound.

Play the "white keys" in left to right progression or a scale. The white keys progress from C as follows: CDEFGAB.

Affix tiny stickers or matte-finish tape to the base of the glockenspiel, beneath each white key. Write CDEFGAB on the stickers to remind you.

For a simple tune, play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" as follows: CC GG AA G, FF EE DD C, GG FF EE D, GG FF EE D, CC GG AA G, FF EE DD C.

Use a specialty piano or glockenspiel book to learn advanced techniques and music theory. Learn how to read music to improve your glockenspiel skills.


Inquire about private lessons. Many instruments are in the same key as the glockenspiel and piano so the sheet music is transferable.

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