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Percussion

  • Drumfire Drum Practice Pad

    Mike Lawson | June 11, 2015

    Drumfire Drum Practice Pad

    The pad’s surface replicates a real drumhead. The pad also comes equipped with an adjustable stand, solid braced legs, non-slip rubber feet, and friction locking clutch. The versatile stand and removable head gives drummers the option to comfortably practice in the studio, before a show, or even on the road.

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  • Remo Powerstroke 77 Snare Drumhead

    Mike Lawson | June 11, 2015

    Powerstroke 77 Snare Drumhead

    The Powerstroke 77 snare drumhead consists of two free-floating plies of 7-mil film with a 7-mil inlay ring and a 5-mil top clear dot. The inlay ring reduces overtones, and the 5-mil top clear dot adds durability.

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  • Impression Splash and China Cymbals

    Mike Lawson | May 18, 2015

    Impression Splash and China CymbalsZimMusicInc., the exclusive North American distributor of Impression Cymbals, has announced the addition of new splash and China cymbals to the Illuminati Cymbal series.

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  • Technology: Percussion Practice Software

    Mike Lawson | November 23, 2014

    ​​Did you know that there are over one million apps each on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Google Play store? And it’s not just that there’s a boat-load of apps to chose from, it’s that there seems to always be something being released that does the “it” better (or differently) than the others. Take drumming, for example. There are many apps that you can use to learn how to play rudiments, drum set, world percussion, and even mallet keyboards. Their goals may be similar, but different app developers harness unique features of the device and provide creative interaction that can make it seem engaging and useful for specific needs and learning styles. This month we’ll look at some apps that are geared toward learning rudimental and drum set performance.

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  • Performance: Percussion Accessories

    Mike Lawson | September 17, 2014

    Musical instruments or weapons of mass destruction?

    A common mistake made by non-percussionist music educators is the relegation of weaker percussion students to the bass drum and cymbal chairs. While it may seem reasonable to assign the “harder” parts to stronger percussion students, in actuality it is the accessory instruments that are often more challenging to play and which provide the important rhythmic backbone of a musical composition. John Phillip Sousa knew this all too well. It was reported that his bass drummer, Gus Helmecke, was the highest paid member of the band! In Sousa’s own words:

    “The average layman does not realize the importance of the bass drummer to a band… I sometimes think that no band can be greater than its bass drummer because it is given to him, more than to any person except the director, to reflect the rhythm and spirit of the composition.”

    The “March King” knew that nothing could sink a performance quicker and more completely than a bass drummer whose sense of rhythm is poor and to whom time is only a spice.

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  • Zildjian Launches “My Pit’s the Pits” HS Marching Band Video Contest

    Mike Lawson | September 10, 2014

    Four High Schools Can Win Over $25K in Prizes

    In an effort to help out a few deserving high school marching band programs, Zildjian has teamed up with Calderwood Percussion, Remo, Vic Firth, Steve Weiss Music, Lone Star Percussion, Music & Arts Centers and Woodwind & Brasswind to launch the "My Pit's the Pits!" video contest. Music programs across the United States are being given a chance to win over $25,000 in amazing prizes from some of the top names in percussion equipment.

    Students in high school band programs and percussion ensembles from across the country are being asked to rally their percussion pals to create a brief, entertaining video detailing who they are, why they need new percussion equipment, and what they’re going to do with it, should they win.

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  • 2014 WGI World Championships

    Mike Lawson | April 24, 2014

    Hundreds of groups flocked to Dayton, Ohio for color guard and percussion competitions

    After two weeks of intense competition featuring 325 color guards, 217 percussion ensembles, and 982 performances, the 2014 WGI World Championships wrapped up on Saturday, April 12. Fourteen groups have now solidified their names in WGI history as “Champion.” Congratulations to all participants!

     

    Dartmouth (Mass.) High School came away with the highest score in the finals of the Scholastic percussion competition, edging out groups from Chino Hills High School and Ayala High School. See the Dartmouth drumline in action here:

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  • Percussion Performance: Sight-Reading

    Mike Lawson | November 19, 2013

    Sight-Reading Contest Success and the Percussion Section

    One of the most daunting aspects of getting your band ready for contest is preparing them for the sight-reading room. With so much to consider, from the actual music to your preferred procedure for how your band should approach the experience, the percussion section can get lost in the mix. On a good day, the percussion may hardly even be noticed. On a bad day, the percussion section can be a real liability and can potentially create pitfalls that the rest of the band will fall into.

    Fortunately, this can be prevented when successful band programs actively apply the saying “plan your work and work your plan.”

    Being from Texas, I wrote this from my experiences at UIL Sight-Reading Contest as a band director and as a percussion specialist. It can be expected, however, that many of these strategies will work in other sight-reading Contest formats. Here are eight strategies that will make sure everyone knows their role, has a job to do, and can reasonably understand what to expect when they set foot in the sight-reading room.

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  • Videoconferencing, The ALIVE Project and You

    Mike Lawson | March 6, 2011

    For the past 15 years, I have been intrigued with the capabilities of video conferencing and its instructional benefits with guest lecturers – without the complications of travel, housing, meals and timelines.

    By John Kuzmich, Jr.

    While giving a presentation in Stockholm for the Swedish chapter of the Percussive Arts Society's Day of Percussion in 2004, Allan Molnar stated, "Back in the 1980s, musicians began taking computers to gigs so they could replace live musicians with MIDI instruments. Now musicians can take computers to gigs and replace MIDI instruments with live musicians!"

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  • February 2011

    Mike Lawson | February 16, 2011

    St. Louis Music's Regent Series from Alvarez

    Alvarez's new Regent Series of guitars is made up of 23 models in a range of price points, colors, and body shapes. Each guitar features an electrostatic finish, spruce top, and a choice of mahogany or rosewood back and sides. Other appointments include a rosewood bi-level bridge, rosewood fingerboard, and premium tuners. The Regent Series comes in dreadnought, folk, and classical body shapes, with electric/acoustic versions of each body style also available.

    www.stlouismusic.com

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  • February 2011

    Mike Lawson | February 16, 2011

    St. Louis Music's Regent Series from Alvarez

    Alvarez's new Regent Series of guitars is made up of 23 models in a range of price points, colors, and body shapes. Each guitar features an electrostatic finish, spruce top, and a choice of mahogany or rosewood back and sides. Other appointments include a rosewood bi-level bridge, rosewood fingerboard, and premium tuners. The Regent Series comes in dreadnought, folk, and classical body shapes, with electric/acoustic versions of each body style also available.

    www.stlouismusic.com

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  • 2004 Essay Contest Winners

    Mike Lawson | February 9, 2011

    SUBJECT: My Favorite Composer Is...

    Winners receive a $1,000 scholarship to help further their music education. The winning students' schools will receive matching awards in the form of musical merchandise from Alfred Publishing Co., C.G. Conn, Yamaha Corporation of America and Avedis Zildjian Co.

    Kurt Rever Grade 12, Age 17 Pinkerton Academy Derry, N.H. Instrument: Percussion Director: Leighanne Cullen Favorite Composer: John Williams

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