*Not* Looking for M55


I'm a total newbie/beginner. I've always loved the sound of the vibes and I'm looking to get a used M55 at a good price (none around right now here in Florida). If I don't find anything I'll probably eventually break down and get a new M46 w/motor or a gold M55. Is there a significant difference in quality between the two?

I'll likely subscribe here once I find a set of vibes, especially if there is lots of good beginner material. If anyone has a good used M55 available, I'm interested.

Thanks for talking to us! Too fiew newbies do it. It's a very good means to let us know you and help you join us the best way possible!

I cannot answer you about the choice of your vibes, but others will I know.

Still I can reply on the beginner point of you! And I can tell you that being a subscriber and a beginner is no problem. We started last August a great program: the TOTM (Tune Of The Month).

Every month -or every two months- we pick up a standard and studdy it. And what is amazing is how interesting it can be for beginners as for confirmed players. Tony and a few others post lessons progressively approaching the different aspects of the tune: melody, chords, basses, lines, voicings, etc… And you just follow regarding your capacities/level/time/will.

Of course I do lesson one on melody and only try and understand a little the harmony. I stop very quickly and can't follow most of the other lessons, but I have far enough work for the whole time of the studdy! Meanwhile the confirmed vibists can work on the endless different awesome levels a single tune can reveal.

One particularity of this site is that you are welcome –and adviced- to post your work. Should it be a simple practice tape, with some mistakes, and where you have questions: after working, once you've reached something you just post it and you get feed backs! And it can come from pros, but also from others like you! If you like, you can read Tarik's recent reflexion about this here: http://www.vibesworkshop.com/node/5299/

Appart from this program a few lessons for beginners have been posted and we are thinking about adding some more. So if you join, you might influence this!

It's a very special and great way to work together, whoever you are. You only need to agree on the process… and enjoy it! And of course, the guys can direct you with other exercices/books, advice, etc if needed...

Ok, I think this post was long enough for this time! ;-) Once more, welcome on vibesworkshop and we all hope you will soon get an instrument, discover it, and have fun with us!


PS: can we have a name under those capital letters of your username?

Hi Marie-Noëlle,

Thank you for the warm welcome. Much appreciated. I've spent a few days poking around the site and there is a tremendous amount of information here. Great job! Hopefully I'll pick up an instrument soon. By the way, my name is Karl.

So... welcome on board Karl!

Yes there are tons and tons of info already here and some more arriving every day! Hope you can get the best of it!

And first that you can choose and find the instrument... (btw, M-55 would be a great model if you can find one). Guys? We need your help here!! :o)

- M

google has a news clipping service. i forget what it's called, i use it, next email that comes along i'll get the name, but it's like a keyword search and it comes right to your email.

so pick the keywords like m55 for sale or vibes for sale and you'll get email with links. i usually get an email whenever a set is on craig's list via google.

Hi Karl,

Have you seen the posting on "How do I buy a Set of Vibes?"? At http://www.vibesworkshop.com/faq/how-do-i-buy-set-vibes/tonymiceli/111709. That should answer some of your questions about quality of various options.

Tom P.

Thanks for the advice everyone. It looks like a long process to find the right used instrument and price via the ebay/craigslist route, so since I'm anxious to get started I'm just going to order a new set of vibes this week.

In the meantime I'm practicing scales on an iPad Vibraphone app. :(

As a neophyte, is there any kind of basic grounding in music I should have before I subscribe here? Some of the books say you need to have note reading, scales and arpeggios down cold as a prerequisite.

I have the Jon Metzger book on the way. I'm pretty sure I'm going be a two-mallet player.


Good News: Ordered a Musser M55 Pro-Vibe. :)

Bad News: Although the vendor's website stated and continues to state "Availability: In Stock. Order now to reserve yours!" they called me after receiving the order and informed me that it's on backorder and can't be shipped for two-to-three weeks. :(

Good News: Ordered both versions of the Albright mallets. :)

Bad News: Not currently available, but "hopefully" in stock soon. :(

Good News: While waiting for the Albrights, I've already received my Balter 32R mallets and should have the Vic Firth Stefon Harris mallets in hand shortly. :)

Anyway, looks like I may be good to go eventually. I'm thinking about blogging about the trials and tribulations of a 54-year-old with no musical background trying to learn the vibes on his own. :\

I love your story Karl!

Sorry that you'll have to wait!!... Oh man... I remember last summer waiting to see if this used Premier 751 would still be available and there for me... that was terrible!!! I'm with you!! :o)

Well as for othere examples, there's Philippe who started around 45, but he had a solide drummer career... and there's me who just started at 40 with very few musical knowledge. And maybe some I don't know here... Had you played any instument before?

Anyway, keep us posted!!! And hang in there!! :o)

- M

I actually got started in my 40's also. But I am now 75 so you are quite young. Don't even worry about age, if you want to play, then play. Unless you are some kind of genius, do take lessons getting started.


I got OUT of the vibe business and became a firefighter/paramedic at the age of 53. I plan to retire from the fire department at the age of 73 and take up a new career (tba) at that time. Enjoy your new challenge and remember "slow is faster".

It's good to know that there are plenty of successful late starters. I played a little guitar about 30 years ago (emphasis on "little"). I'm definitely no genius, but I think I might have some talent for improvisation if humming is any indication. We'll see. By the way Bruce, I think your YouTube videos are great. I'm a big Milt Jackson fan and love those slow blues numbers.

You're not on your own, you will get lots of support from the folks on this website so just ask for any help!

I bought my wife a cheap saxophone for Christmas and she is really enjoying learning despite not having a musical background, so one is never too old to learn.

Best of luck!

Actually one of your "bad news" statements is in actuality a good news statement. Most vendors that say "in stock" do have it "in stock" but they may be assigned for shipment. The other thing is that most vendors prefer to wait until your check, money order, or credit card clears before they actually ship the vibes to you. So you are right on schedule with a 2-3 weeks wait. Believe me, that ain't bad at all. The statement "reserve yours" tells all.

Your Albrights order may be up in the air. It remains to be seen if Susan is actually making new Albrights any more. The last I heard she was very ill and I haven't heard anything since other than she was not taking "new" customers. It might be a good idea to follow up on that one.


Thanks for the heads up on the Albright situation. I didn't realize it was a one-person company.

I'm sure I'll have lots of questions.

we'd love to hear about what you're up against.

where do you live? i'm out of school in may, i'll donate one free online skype lesson to the cause. we can go over beginners stuff.

you got skype?

I live in Vero Beach, Florida. Don't have Skype, but I can get it. Appreciate the help!

Got my Albright order from Drummers World so they've got 'em at the moment if anyone's interested.

Also since my M55 order was taking so long I did a little more research in the threads here and on thevibe.net (which apparently isn't accepting new members) and got buyer's remorse. For one, it was tuned at 442. Also I got the general feeling that another brand would be better for the kind of sound I want. So I cancelled the Musser order and bought the Deagan Aurora 1000 that was on the market.

Do you have it yet?!! Tell us more!! :o)

It's currently being shipped from Colorado to Florida. I'll post pics when it comes in if people are interested.

Getting an instrument is always a special moment. Not to say when it's the very first! We'd be happy to share it with you! And man, an Aurora is something! :o)

We have a section on the site where people can show their instrument: http://www.vibesworkshop.com/category/image-galleries/show-your-instrume...

Looking forward to seeing your pictures added with your impressions!!

- M


Couldn't figure out how to add the photo to the page mentioned above. Anyway the wait is over and now I can finally get started.

The Deagan is in great condition and sounds terrific, even though I don't know what I'm doing yet. The first order of business was to absorb the first 20 or so pages of general information from "The Art and Language of Jazz Vibes" by Jon Metzger. Now I will shift to "Sight Reading Skills for the Mallet Percussionist" by Eric Martin with a goal of getting completely through that book before coming back to Metzger/Aebersold/Real Books, etc.

I also have Band in a Box and volume one of the Jerry Tachoir videos and, of course, there are a lot of great videos on YouTube to observe the techniques of good players close up. So that's my D.I.Y. study plan as of now.

looks cool.i never forget the moment when i got my first vibe at home.it´s a magic moment.have fun with it!

Another treasure!! Your vibes looks awesome! Don't remember seeing any like this one. Is it old? Like Tarik, I know that having your first set at home is a very special moment! Congratulations!!

Well you seem to have very good plans to get started! Great! And it seems you never thought about having a local teacher too. It's another method.

You can also consider joining us as "subscriber" if you feel like. Did you see that we are working on having some specific lessons for subscribers? You would also get advice from the lessons themselves and you could post your work to share with us on them. You could even join the TOTM team and follow with us step by step the study of a tune.

But, I see your point: on your own (well with some very good books to guide you!). So go that way for now! We are not far anyway!

Have fun and keep us posted!!

- Marie

Yeah, I'll subscribe here eventually. I just need to get the the basics down before I can get much out of the more advanced stuff here.