Yamaha DTX6 Series Electronic Drum Kits – Shout Out To My 6K-X!

Introducing the Yamaha DTX6 Series! The next evolution of Yamaha Electronic Drum Kits is here with its three kits: DTX6K-X, DTX6K2-X & DTX6K3-X. Let’s go!!

The DTX6 Series of electronic drums is the new mid-range gladiator for the Yamaha electronic kit range and serves as a replacement to the popular DTX500 series. “Replacement” is definitely the wrong word. Put it like this: If the 500 series was the Chrysalis, the DTX6 is a fully evolved Butterfly. Although it can’t fly, what it CAN do is pretty extraordinary. It all starts with the module…

The beating heart of the DTX6 is the all-new DTX-PRO Trigger Module. It offers a completely unique audio experience and features samples recorded in the finest studios in Europe, utilising Yamaha’s extensive and expansive catalogue of drums. Incredible sounding samples are one thing, but the host of studio effects that can be sprinkled on top is another universe entirely, and the PRO Module makes it super easy so you can tailor sounds to your EXACT needs.

The three Kit Modifier dials on the front make for a nice subtle nod to the EAD10, meaning you don’t have to deep-dive through several menus to adjust and tweak the sounds to your liking. Yes, it features training functions, internal click track and all the rest of it, but where I think it REALLY shines is from a recording perspective…

Many drummers these days prefer using their Electronic Kits as MIDI controllers for more freedom with their own samples and use of studio effects, but with the DTX6 you really don’t need to! The DTX-PRO Module contains ultra-powerful processing power. It allows for individual EQ and use of studio effects such as Transient on EVERY channel. You can adjust and tailor each sound individually to create some truly unique sounding kits without the need of a computer and allows for over 90 minutes of on-board recording.

It does have the capacity for being connected to your computer if you so desire and has compatibility with the Rec’n’Share app so you can record straight to your phone or tablet. You can also add up to 1,000 of your own samples, and up to four sounds can be layered on each pad zone. Essentially you could have four sounds being triggered from ONE pad. BONKERS! The DTX-PRO module can do a lot, but how does it feel to play? Well, that’s really up to you…

The DTX6 Series offers three uniquely configured kits, all of which come with the DTX-Pro Module. The DTX6K-X is the lightest weight of the new DTX range, it features familiar pads from the 500 series such as the XP80 Snare-Pad, KP65 Kick-Pad, PCY135 Cymbal Pad and the TP70 Tom-Pads. The Hi-Hat is controlled via the HH65 HiHat Controller with accompanying PCY90 mounted from the DTX6 Rack System. A Key feature of DTX6K-X that resonates through the whole range is the Positional Sensing Ride Cymbal. The sound of the ride cymbal will naturally transition depending on where you stick it, making it feel even and react just like a real cymbal would!

The DTX6K-X would be the ideal choice for an aspiring beginner, music producer, teaching in-person and online or as a low footprint practice kit for a bedroom or small flat situation. Looks sturdy, feels familiar to play and has all the incredible benefits of the DTX-PRO Module, too! However, The DTX6K2-X & DTX6K3-X in my opinion are where this kit REALLY shines…

The key differences for the DTX6K2-X & 3-X are first, the all-new the INCREDIBLE KP90 Kick Pad, which comes as standard with both of these kits. The KP90 has a lower natural pitch than most regular electronic kick-pads, making it extremely quiet and ideal for home practise without disturbing others. FEAR NOT METAL PLAYERS, the KP90 is big enough for a double pedal too!

The Hi-Hat has been upgraded to the RHH135 Hi-Hat Pad, complete with its own Yamaha Hi-Hat Stand for realistic feel and optimum positioning. The DTX6K2-X & 3-X feature the all-new RS6 Rack. This rack places the model to the right-hand side thanks to the three-leg design. This gives the player almost complete freedom for positioning of their hi-hat and bass drum for maximum comfort to play their best!

The DTX6K2-X features the same TP70 tom pads found on the DTX6K-X model, but the DTX6K3-X features all textured silicone pads in the form of XP70 Tom-Pads for maximum durability and unrivalled realistic feel. The DTX6K3-X gives the player the full extent of what the new DTX6 range is capable of and it really is remarkable.

The phrase “It really does feel like playing an acoustic kit” is thrown around a lot when it comes to Electronic Drum Kits, but I really mean it when I say that the DTX6 is like playing a REAL kit. The processing power of the DTX-Pro module is quite incredible, it responds to the smallest taps and the loudest whacks on every pad with pin-point accuracy in terms of tone and dynamics. The low-end is like thunder, and if you closed your eyes you’d think you were playing a real drum kit.

The use of the 500 series makes this kit already familiar, with new life breathed in thanks to the PRO module, and the new KP90 Kick-Pad is a very welcome addition! The DTX6 Series really does offer something for everyone no matter what skill level you’re at, heck it’s worth for the module ALONE. Well done Yamaha, another INCREDIBLE kit available to spoil us!

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The BEST Beginner Electronic Drum Kits!

Here’s our pick of the BEST Electronic Drum Kits to get your prodigy started on their quest for musical DOMINATION!!

Kicking us off is the Carlsbro CSD130 Electronic Drum Kit. The drum pads on this kit feature “Real Feel” technology, allowing it to feel like an acoustic kit but fully “neighbour friendly”, with an option for headphones as well as an amplifier. The pads on the CSD130 are sensitive making practice a breeze and fully realistic to how acoustic drums react. The CSD130 features 20 preset drum kit sounds, each with their own demo songs ranging from Pop, Rock to Jazz, EDM and beyond. The module comes with over 250 high-quality percussion voices built-in. With 10 user-defined kits available and adjustable sensitivity/crosstalk features, the player can really customise their own kit sound for optimum, encouraging practice.

The kit features 8 electronic drum pads centred around one super compact and portable 3-legged drum rack, meaning this kit can be set up and tucked away in SECONDS. The Toms, Cymbals & Bass Drum Pads are single-zone trigger pads meaning when struck, they’ll make one sound. The Snare pad on the other hand is a dual-zone, allowing for two sounds to be made from the same pad. The Hi-Hat is triggered via a control pedal and cymbals are fully choke-able. What I really like about the CSD130 is that it has features usually only present in electronic kits that are at least £100 more expensive.

The variety in presets allows the player to fully amerce themselves in a variety of different genres at the touch of a button, which I think for a beginner is incredibly important. It’s like a cheat-code to expand their awareness of how drums sound in different styles of music. The small footprint on the floor and lightweight frame is an added bonus, and options for silent practise with headphones are great for beginners!

Next up is the Roland TD-1k V-Drums Electronic Drum Kit. Roland is probably one of the most widely recognisable electronics company for musical instruments, and for good reason. They do it SO WELL! The TD-1k is ideal for anyone looking to enjoy drums at home, and the perfect entry-level point for Roland. It features 15 built-in expressive drum kits, for playing any style of music and supports essential techniques required for playing an acoustic drum kit, including cymbal choke, advanced hi-hat playing and much more! You can practice along with its onboard songs or connect your smartphone or music play to jam along to your current jam! With built-in onboard Coach function, metronome and recorder, the TD-1k will help train you to become a better drummer as soon as you take it out the box!

The TD-1k features 7 strike-able drum/cymbal pads, with two low-noise pedals. One for Hi-hat control, the other is a Beater-less kick pedal, making it the ideal low noise solution. What’s great about the TD-1k is the space it takes up. Hardly ANY. It takes up very little floor space and folds away in seconds!

What I really like about the TD-1k is just how user-friendly it is. The addition of the Coach function is appealing not just for the player, but for the distant listener, as you can both see and hear improvement every time they sit down at it. The TD-1k also offers many upgrade options, for example, an additional crash and upgraded kick pedal such as the KT-10. The TD-1k is perfect for that beginner looking for their first electric kit, or an advanced player looking for that reliable at-home practice experience!

This is the Yamaha DTX 452, the top of their DTX400 range with some quite frankly INCREDIBLE features. All models in this range come with the same DTX402 module, featuring 287 high-quality, expressive drum and percussion sounds, using samples from Yamaha extensive acoustic drum library. 128 Keyboard sounds, 10 customisable drum kits and nine reverb types. The kit comes with 10 built-in drum kits, each with their own play-along song and training function – helping improve the groove and expression of any budding drummer. What sets the DTX 452 apart from any other electronic kit under £500 is the smartphone compatibility.

The dedicated iOS/Android app, DTX402 Touch unlocks more ways to play in a simple, easy to use app. The app also allows you to customize drum kit sounds to build your ideal sounding kit. The DTX402 also works with Yamahas Rec’n’Share iOS app, allowing practice and perform your favourite music, with the ability to quickly share with friends/family.

The DTX452 features a sturdy, quiet design with very natural-feeling drum and cymbal pads. The rack mounting system is lightweight but solid, providing a great foundation for reliable practice, but can also be tucked away easily. The key difference for the DTX452 is the addition of the KP65 kick drum tower, which comes with a bass drum pedal. It also comes with a three-zone snare pad for head, rim-shot and cross-stick sounds.

I really enjoy the sleek look of the DTX452, and it feels GREAT to play. The additional functionality with the 402 Touch app really expands the options available for an already feature-heavy kit. The drum samples sound incredible, and low-noise pads make you want to pick up the sticks and play this kit all night long!

The first and only mesh-head kit on our list, the Carlsbro CSD600 Commander features their NEW Commander 600 sound module. The module features 408 high-quality percussion voices, with 30 preset drum kits to choose from. It features 20 demo songs to play along to and has 20 user-defined drum kit slots allowing you to customize your ideal drum kit sound. If that’s not enough, the CSD600 comes with multiple coaching functions and adjustable EQ/tuning settings to really personalise your sound exactly how you want it. You can hook this kit up to existing recording software and record straight into your digital audio workstation note for note, making the CSD600 the perfect practice and recording tool!

The CSD600 Commander comes with 9 strike-able drum/cymbal pads. The drum pads are all dual-zone, mesh-head pads and are sized between 8in & 10in wide. This bigger strike surface makes these pads close to the size of acoustic drums, preferred by many professional players. The cymbal pads are sized between 12in & 14in, with the 14in being the three-zone ride cymbal pad for bow, bell and crash sounds. The CSD600 comes on a heavy-duty 4-legged rack, making it the ideal at-home recording and practice experience!

The response from the drum pads make this kit so much fun to play, with some of the percussion sounds being just the right side of ridiculous to encourage you to keep playing and exploring options. This kit is best suited to a drummer with a bit more experience due to how much you can personalise it, but the addition of the training functions allow the CSD600 to welcome the drummer starting their journey with open arms!

Finally, we have the Yamaha DTX582k Electronic Drum Kit. Okay, okay, this one does take us over the £1000 mark but hear me out. There’s a reason this kit is our best selling electronic drum kit – It’s SOOO good! The DTX582 is the flagship of the Yamaha 502 series, it features DTX-PADS for snare and toms, a real hi-hat trigger, large three-zone cymbals and the KP100 kick pad. The 502 Module has a vast library of drum sounds, with the capability to add your OWN samples and songs to expand this even further. The DTX502 series module utilises proprietary laser technology analyzing each stroke you play, resulting in an extremely natural feeling sound with laser accuracy.

The practice functions have evolved even further from the previous DTX402 series. I guarantee even advanced players will learn a thing or two from some of the functions this kit has to offer, as the module even generates scores to track your progress. Like the DTX402, the DTX502 also has an accompanying iOS/Android app, DTX502 Touch, allowing your options to be expanded even FURTHER! The DTX502 module can also sync up to your digital audio workstation to provide recording capabilities at a professional standard.

The DTX582k  includes a hi-hat stand and incredibly study drum/cymbal pads. The silicone rubber used for all the drum pads is solid and reliable, allowing them to feel and react extremely close to an acoustic drum. The cymbals are all three-zone pads, allowing for dynamic, articulate performance. The rack is lightweight and also doesn’t take up a lot of floor space, making it perfect for bedroom practice or even live performance where space isn’t a luxury. This kit can also be expanded upon with additional pads or triggers, with the only additional requirement being a bass drum pedal and throne.

I really enjoy this kit a lot, it feels phenomenal to play. The response is second to none, the silicone pads make the transition from acoustic to electric kit SEEMLESS. I wish something like this was available when I was learning how to play, it’s so fun to build your own unique kit setups and test yourself with the training functions. Its minimal floor space is also a winner in our eyes!

So there we have it, five kits for five different budgets! We understand that is a LOT of information to take in, but please don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or drop us an email us. We’ll happily answer any questions you have and ensure you make the right choice for you!

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Competition: WIN Over £1500 Worth Of Drum Gear!

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ONE lucky person will WIN over £1500 worth of drum gear, with prizes from some of the biggest brands in the industry – including Natal, Evans Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals, Protection Racket Cases, DW & much more!

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Yamaha Stage Custom Hip! – It’s HIP To Be Square!

Ever looked at the Yamaha Stage Custom and thought: “You know what this kit needs? More VIBE!”. Well, your prayers have been answered in the form of the brand-new Yamaha Stage Custom Hip! It sounds amazing, but don’t just take my word for it. Ladies, Gentlemen and others, Mr Richard Spaven…

Mind-blowing stuff, AMIRITE?! These drums coupled with the rhythmic machine that is Richard Spaven is something I’d happily watch time and time again. It can’t all be down to the performance though, so let’s do the deep-dive on what makes the Stage Custom Hip pretty unique…

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The Stage Custom Hip takes the concept of “cocktail kit” and flips it upside down, back to front. For starters, and perhaps most obviously, the bass drum. It’s essentially the same bass drum from the Stage Custom if it got flattened by a poorly positioned TON weight from a great height in an attempt to catch Road Runner, making it 20x8in.

Thankfully, it still feels like you’re playing a full-size bass drum, with the 8in depth allowing minimal air-flow, MAXIMUM punch. As you can hear from Spavens performance, it sounds HUGE!

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Allow me to pose you a simple riddle; What has two snares but only one snare drum? I’ll answer for you, the Stage Custom Hip. The first snare is a 13x5in “does what it says on the tin” snare. The second “snare” is masquerading as the 13x8in Floor Tom, otherwise known as THE SNOM! The Floor Tom is fitted with 20-strand snare wires, transforming this boring floor tom into a ballad snare BOSS.

Completing the kit is the 10x5in Rack Tom mounted from the bass drum, which is nice and compact but can still pack a punch. Combine these all together and you have a tidy little kit that sounds and looks great, speaking of looks…

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The Stage Custom Hip comes in three different finishes; Natural, Raven Black & Matte Surf Green. The Matte Surf Green is by far my favourite finish, plus it looks exactly like a baby Recording Custom kit in Surf Green – surely that’s intentional. The final result is a kit that’s lightweight, compact and as you can hear from Spaven, sounds absolutely amazing.

The SNOM is a fantastic yet subtle nod to the Yamaha HipGig kit of yester-year proving you can still fit one drum inside another, you just need the right approach. The bass drum unashamedly stands out from the other competitive small kits making it a full-size fun-sized joy to play.

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It’s only logical to combine the Stage Custom Hip with CrossTown hardware and an EAD10 to give yourself a pretty impressive little gigging kit, or with mesh heads for a neat practice kit that doesn’t take up much room. Even if you already have a small kit, do yourself a favour: Bin it & get the Stage Custom Hip!

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When Man Meets Machine – Mapex Black Panther “The Machine” – Craig Blundell Signature Snare

WOAH! What a mouthful that is! Fortunately, there’s a mouthful of AMAZING things to say about the latest signature offering from the Design Lab at Mapex. Let’s do the deep dive into what makes Craig Blundell’s long-overdue signature snare drum a MUST HAVE for any drummer…

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Craig Blundell is a LEGEND. He falls under the same category as Steve White, Neil Wilkinson & Ash Soan as a pioneer of the British drumming scene and has built a solid reputation as a drummer, clinician, programmer and educator.

Craig contributes a lot to the drumming scene through his sensational Masterclasses as well as dedicating much of his time researching and developing ideas and features for huge companies such as Roland, Mapex & Paiste.

Developing sampling technology with one of the biggest electronics companies in the world is no easy task. It takes getting your hands dirty and firmly inside the belly of the beast, or “machine” in this case. Speaking of…

The Black Panther Machine Snare Drum is the result of extensive development between Craig and the team at Mapex. It’s a 14×5.5in 6ply Walnut/Maple hybrid shell. The Walnut gives a rich, almost mechanical sound to the drum while the Maple adds warmth and humanity to the otherwise dry wood. These two woods combined make a fitting choice for the signature snare of a hybrid player like Craig. The depth makes this drum incredibly versatile, sounding great tuned low and cranked up high. Perhaps “The Chameleon” would have been a more appropriate name as the versatility of this drum makes it suitable for any genre of music!

The Machine Snare Drum has the upper hand on the rest of the Black Panther line thanks to it’s specially commissioned components. Firstly, it comes fitted as standard with Craig’s choice of Aquarian drumheads – An Aquarian Hi-Energy on top and a Classic Clear Snare Side on the bottom. Although the Hi-Energy is a fairly thick head, it’s great for those who do their best “Thor Swinging Hammer” impression while playing the drums. The Hi-Energy will take a BEATING. The addition of the thicker batter head allows the drum to reach a lower fundamental pitch, making it a great all-rounder for a tight crack or a low slap!

Secondly, The Machine features the ever so sexy Trick throw-off.  The snare throw-off can often be where a lot of money is saved, but that’s not the case with The Machine. The dial on the Trick works similarly to the DW three-position butt plate where it has multiple settings: “Off”, “Half-On” & “Fully Engaged”.

The dial is engaged by turning it left to right instead of the traditional up and down like most throw-offs. This thing is SILENT, and smooth as silk to use making this drum even more incredible. The addition of the Trick throw-off to The Machine was a stroke of genius from both Mapex & Craig. I guess you could say they didn’t miss a TRICK…

Last up is the addition of PureSound Equalizer snare wires. No, the wires aren’t “missing a bit”, it’s absolutely intentional. The Equalizer wires by design work together with the natural acoustics of the shell to create an “equal” balance of snare sizzle and shell tone. The result is a snare drum that is affected less by sympathetic vibrations from other drums and leaves a crisper sounding snare. All these efforts combined create a Captain Planet level of power that only this snare can create!

We put it through its paces here at Drummers Only towers, and between us arrived at this conclusion. The Machine snare drum is BumbleBee from the first Transformers movie. I should explain…

The exterior makes this drum seem like “any other snare drum“, but what lurks beneath the “hood” is a souped-up engine ready to take on your musical journey and TRANSFORM your drum sound. Despite being a wood shell, it could easily be mistaken for metal due to its sharp mechanical tone, making it a great fit not only for live performance but studio recording too.

Machines constantly undergo upgrades and have their parts inter-changed all the time, and this drum feels like a well-oiled machine. It’s got all the latest hardware like the trick throw-off and bespoke heads and wires to make it shine above the rest, and it’s extensive tuning-range means this drum will sit beautifully in a mix tuned low/medium or cut right through when cranked up high. We honestly can’t fault it!

I imagine the inception of The Machine from Craig & Mapex similarly to how world-changing inventions such as the light bulb, combustion engine, and the Warburtons loaf of bread came to be; the inventors got in a room, rolled up their sleeves and made it happen. The result is a truly fantastic bit of gear that looks, sounds and feels like a high-end instrument. Do yourself a favour next time you’re looking to upgrade your snare sound, add the Black Panther Machine Snare to your bucket list!

WHY’D YOU HAVE TO GO AND MAKE THINGS SO COM(PLEX)CATED? – Sabian HHX Complex Cymbals

I’ve always been a fan of Sabian cymbals. My first ever set of cymbals was a set of Sabian B8, and I’d place a pretty hefty bet that most of you were the same. They weren’t high-end, nor did they have a particularly “complex” sound…but I loved them. They were as versatile as I needed them to be. Jazz, Rock, Bebop (does anyone actually PLAY Bebop anymore?), Funk…you name it! From there I moved up to a set of AAX and my love for Sabian started all over again, pretending to be one of those pop-punk drummers who swing their octopus arms in the air like they just don’t care touting about their prior lover being deemed obtainable or “wanted” by all the “bad guys”.

Quite a bit has changed since those days; I’ve grown a little taller, my bum-fluff facial hair has evolved into a passable but not close to impressive “beard” and I switched cymbal brand to explore different sounds as my playing matured. Honestly though? I wish I’d held out for a little longer, because the new Sabian HHX Complex would have been the PERFECT upgrade. So, without further a do, here’s why you should consider the new Sabian HHX Complex range of cymbals!

Sabian HHX Complex cymbals utilise “trickle-down” technology, a process Sabian have developed from years of manufacturing top of the line cymbals with their Evolution, Legacy, and Artisan range. The idea being that features exclusive to their high-end cymbals 10 years ago is now standard throughout their entire range, like the new AAX for example.

HHX Complex sit bang in the middle of HH & HHX. They’re dark cymbals that combine the hammering techniques used for both ranges and new, as Sabian say, “proprietary technology“. The end result is a set of cymbals unlike ANY on the market today. They’re dark & rich like Dark Chocolate, yet silky sweet like Caramel. I’m on a diet and not eating sweet things is influencing my descriptions of non confectionary goods. Sorry not sorry!

Sabian aren’t ones for producing “small” lines of cymbals. They’re very much in the “go hard or go home” business and HHX Complex is no exception to that. The range consists of 14in and 15in Medium Hi Hats, 16in, 17in, 18in, 19in, 20in and 22in Thin Crashes, 20in, 21in, 22in and 23in Medium Rides, 21in and 22in Thin Rides and some effect cymbals such as a 10in Complex Splash and 17in Complex O-Zone Crash. Pretty expansive! Fortunately Sabian take a lot of guess work out with two cymbal sets available that you can further expand upon; Promotional Set & Performance Set

The Performance Set includes 15in Complex Medium Hi-Hats, a 19in Complex Thin Crash and a 22in Complex Medium Ride while the Promotional Set consists of 14in Medium Hi-Hats, 16in Complex Thin Crash, 18in Complex Thin Crash and a 20in Complex Medium Ride

What I personally love about the HHX Complex range is just how buttery they are (sorry, diet talk again). The ride cymbals have such a luxurious tone and definition that you barely have to work to get a desirable sound. They’re defined but not dry which allows them to open up in the heat of battle but can just as quickly drop down to a whisper making them extremely versatile. The crash cymbals are some of the nicest cymbals I’ve ever hit in my life with incredible amounts of body and projection.

The 18in crash in particular gives such a satisfying burst of energy that it’s really hard not to grab the nearest Drummers Only employee and scream SHUP UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! The Hi-Hats have such familiar complexity “so it’s not just a clever name” making them a great match for studio and live situations but the variations of size make them the ideal candidate for someone wanting to try something different.

Overall, HHX Complex is a welcome addition to the Sabian family and the cymbal wall here at Drummers Only. They offer extremely unique sounds while at the same time maintaining the same great sound that makes Sabian the go-to for a lot of drummers new and weathered. They’re the logical upgrade if you’re AAX are a little tired or you’re in the market for high-end cymbals with a difference. You can shop HHX Complex right here, or drop us a line if you’re interested. I honestly can’t say I blame you!

Wakanda Forever! – Mapex Black Panther 2020 Snare Drums

GET IT? IT’S A MARVEL JOKE! Sorry, I’ll try and keep those to a minimum. I don’t get out much and as my fellow colleagues will tell you, there’s a lot of classic movies I haven’t seen thanks to Stan Lee’s costumed escapades…much to their disappointment and my shame. Something none of us saw coming however was Mapex dropping some fresh Black Panther snare drums for 2020. Not just one. FOURTEEN. The coffee must have been strong AF in the design lab to churn out this many incredible drums.

The Black Panther range had some fan favourites within the range such as; The Velvatone, The Heartbreaker, The Cherry Bomb and Peter Gabriel’s favourite: The Sledgehammer. Thing is, those drums are soooo last decade so without further ado, lets take a brief look into the NEW Black Panther range for 2020 (and beyond!)…

  1. The Wasp

THE WASP IS ANOTHER MARVE…damn, I promised I wouldn’t go on another Marvel tangent. First up is the smallest of the bunch, The Wasp. The Wasp as the name might suggest produces a tight “sting” of a sound due to it being a 1.0mm Seamed Steel Shell with 45-degree SONIClear Bearing Edges. It’s decked out in classy Chrome Hardware and comes with Sonic Saver Hoops, Cylinder-Drive Strainer topped off with a mirrored Chrome finish.

It’s only 10×5.5in making ideal for side-snare action, but don’t let it’s size fool you. This Snare can easily hold it’s own if you want a smaller drum to use for a bop kit or even for intimate pubs or garden parties. The addition of a tom-mounting bracket is a great touch so you don’t need a dedicated snare stand either. Neat!

2. The Hydro

 Next up is The Hydro, the first of our wood snares. It’s a 13x7in 6-ply Maple Shell with 4-ply Walnut Reinforcement Rings. It’s #THICK. Probably should have been named The Hulk, ammirite?! If you’re keeping score, that’s three now. The Hydro (Hulk) features SONIClear Bearing Edges on the Outer Cut and 45-degree Rounded in the Center Cut. This blend of two different edging techniques results in a drum that embodies dark, low tones. Essentially this is your meat & potatoes “My Heart Will Go On” big ballad snare drum.

Naturally it’s finished off with Brushed Black Hardware to match the tonal aesthetic and a gorgeous Black Satin finish on the shell. If you’re looking for a back-beat machine, you’ve found it.

3. The Razor

The Razor is a straight up workhorse snare drum. It’s a 14x5in 6-ply Maple Shell featuring SONIClear Bearing Edges to produce an articulate warm snap! Unlike all the drums we’ve spoke about so far, this snare features Triple-Flanged Hoops which open up the shell a little bit more due to less weight on the batter head, which aids in the sharpness of the snare tone!

It’s also the first of the new snares to feature the Staggered Offset Lugs that really give The Razor an edgy look while maintaining a family friendly sound! Finished off in Dark Grey Lacquer means The Razor is a force to be reckoned with. Be careful you don’t cut yourself on it!

4. The Nucleus

The dictionary definition of The Nucleus is “the central and most important part of an object, movement, or group, forming the basis for its activity and growth”. The Mapex definition of The Nucleus is a 14×5.5in 8-ply Maple/Walnut/Maple shell with 45-degree SONIClear Bearing Edges. Personally I see this drum more like a Peanut Butter Sandwich.

The Maple Inner & Outer provide the familiar warmth and texture while the centre Walnut ply adds rich, organic flavours that let the drum produce a central sound most drummers desire. Couple that with Sonic Saver Hoops, Staggered Offset Lugs and a classy Piano Black finish and you’ve got one exceptionally well dressed Peanut Butter Sandwich!

5. The Pegasus

The Pegasus originated from Greek mythology traditionally and is the brave companion of VALKYRIE IN THE FINAL BATTLE OF AVENGERS ENDGAME…that’s now five. The snare drum iteration of The Pegasus has a slightly different origin. The Pegasus is a 7ply Maple/Walnut hybrid shell that’s 6.15mm thick, making it thinner than most hybrid snares.

This thinner shell construction allows surprisingly darker tones flow through making it a force to be reckoned with. Having said that, this snare can take flight at a moment’s notice with a crisp tight crack! The Pegasus is finished in a Natural Gloss Lacquer with a Natural Maple Burl offset with Black hardware. STUNNING!

6. The Venom

 The Venom, aside from being one of Spider-Man’s greatest adversaries (Six. SINISTER SIX. Seven), is a 14×5.5in 8ply Maple Shell. It’s infectious just how amazing this drum sounds. The Triple-Flanged hoops allow the shells to open up a little more giving a lovely warm tone that’s versatile and serve as the perfect antidote. The Arctic White lacquer finish and Chrome hardware give this drum a clean, almost clinical appearance to cure your backbeats of all that may ail it!

7. The Metallion

OH HELL YEAH. Brass Snares are a personal favourite of mine and The Metallion is no exception. 1.2mm Seamed Brass shell. It’s HEAVY but most Brass drums worth having are, plus it means you’ll get a workout carrying it around! It’s warm and rich tone will make you instantly fall in love.

Like most of these snares it’s the standard 14×5.5in in depth and it’s finished beautifully with the Staggered Offset lugs, which I have to admit really give these drums a certain flavour that I’m 100% on board with. The Metallion is #blessed with Sonic Saver Hoops which give this snare so much character that it would easily land the starring role in a Martin Scorsese movie. The Metallion is one Goodfella…

8. The Cyrus

Cyrus The Great has arrived…in Snare Drum Form. Great is the perfect adjective to describe The Cyrus because it’s simply just that. GREAT. The Cyrus is a 14x6in Chrome over Steel 1mm Seamed Shell. Just like the knights of the round table, it’s chrome armour is shiny and proud and therefore should not reside in Camelot for too long (it’s a silly place), but on the musical battle field.

The Cyrus comes armed with Sonic Saver Hoops and an extra wide snare bed for increased sensitivity. Don’t be mistaken, it may be a sensitive soul but can unleash a mighty roar at a moments notice with a powerful crack and deep groove capability. Don’t count out The Cyrus the next time you’re at the market…

9. The Predator

 “You’re one ugly motherfu***r”… is NOT what I’d say about The Predator. At least, not this iteration of it. The Predator is a 14x6in Copper shell that’s 1.2mm thick and ain’t got time to bleed. It features 45-degree SONIClear bearing edges which encourages you to stick around and hear The Predator’s inspiring dark and powerful tone.

Unlike the CIA, The Predator won’t have you pushing too many pencils but instead encourage you to search and discover what’s waiting for you musically with it’s profound weighty roar, turning you from drummer to a god damned sexual Tyrannosaurus! Trust me, you’ll want to get to the choppa to pick up The Predator.

10. The Heritage

 Some drummers prefer to focus on what sounds new and hip, but others enjoy delving into a sound a little more classic. That’s where The Heritage Snare fits in. The Heritage is a 14x6in 5ply Maple Shell with 4ply Walnut Reinforcement Rings to give the player a taste of tradition. The thin maple brings a sense of familiarity in tone while the walnut adds a dusting of darkness, creating a vintage tone.

Think of The Heritage like a beautifully aged whisky in that sense. The gorgeous White Strata finish further adds to the vintage sound of this drum that appeals to drummers seasoned and new! This is a vintage drum with modern features, the perfect fusion of new and old is here with The Heritage.

11. The Atomizer

 Marvel, or DC reference? I can’t decide which one to make. You’re probably thinking “neither, just talk about the drum!” Understood. Feast your eyes on The Atomizer! It’s a 14×6.5in Aluminium Shell that’s 2mm thick. Aluminium drums inherently are much dryer drums, but this shell is surprisingly lively! The Atomizer really brings a whole brightness to the overall groove while at the same time invoking a deep presence and focus to the tone.

The versatility of The Atomizer being a 14×6.5in shell makes it really useful in a handful of situations. It tunes remarkably easily as well, letting all your stress be reduced to ATOMS! The brushed aluminium exterior brings a gorgeous finish to a beautiful, articulate snare drum.

12. The Persuader

Can you be PERSUADED? We think so! The Persuader features a 14×6.5in Hammered Brass shell. Think of this like The Sledgehammer on STEROIDS, only simplified to focus less on aesthetics and more on sound.  The hammering of the Brass mellows the shell down, so it’s not as abrasive as your standard brass shell and allows it to be a bit more flexible.

Like all of the models we’ve spoke about it features SONIClear 45-degree bearing edges and Sonic Saver hoops. This hoop pairs beautifully with the hammered shell giving it a dry defined tone and a powerful rim shot. The Antique Nickel plating and chrome hardware means The Persuader will fit well on stage, in the studio or on the mantle piece!

13. The Shadow

 If horror movies have taught us anything, generally what lurks in the shadows is never good news. Mapex did an M Night Shyamalan twist on the genre and turned the concept of shadows into a KICK-ASS Snare Drum for the Black Panther range. What lurks beneath The Shadow’s gorgeous dark maple burl finish is a 7ply Birch/Walnut Hybrid shell. The blending of these two woods give The Shadow extreme focus and dark tones, much like it’s namesake.

The Shadow isn’t shy, though. If you tune it right this snare can break the chains of any groove that needs an overhaul and let out a pleasing growl tuned low and fat. Next time you find yourself in the dark alley of the snare wall, you might be pleasantly surprised when you encounter The Shadow…

14. The Solidus

SOLIDUS AS A ROCK. Had to be done, because i don’t know if you’ve noticed…The Solidus is a BEAST. It’s a 14x7in 11ply, 11mm thick Maple shell. If you thought The Hydro was #THICK, The Solidus is #THICKER! It’s a drum full of warm, wood tone that sits BEAUTIFULLY in a medium to low tuning. Hitting this drum is the equivalent of when Thor uses his new hammer in the big battle of Infinity War (EIGHT), everything around it will just crumble…in a good way of course.

The Solidus features a rounded 45-degree center cut bearing edge and a SONIClear 3/8” outer cut allowing for unique wood tones to shine through no matter what head you put on it. You’d expect a thick drum head to pair well with a drum so thick and deep but surprisingly, single-ply works WONDERS on this drum. It’s finished with a subtle call back to The Blaster series with a beautiful Red-Black Lacquer finish. This drum is not shy, nor is it for the faint of heart.

And…BREATHE. We did it! Only eight Marvel references too, which for me is a new record. The new Mapex Black Panther range has some solid contenders for your next snare drum, the range is so diverse and varied that there’s guaranteed to be a snare for you. Especially when you consider that all these drums individually are under £400, so it’s a saving on your bank account too!

Getting the right snare for you can be a tough call, but Mapex make that choice super easy with these fourteen delicious new flavours to choose from. Check out what tasty treats we have in stock, you could just find the snare drum of your dreams!

6 Reasons To Visit Drummers Only!

We’re back! I mean…we never left, but it’s amazing to welcome everyone back into our stores. Things might be a little different as we slowly drift back into normality, but don’t let our masks deceive you. We’re smiling underneath!

Since we’ve opened back up it’s been awesome to hear about everyone’s creative ventures and finally get some of you behind the gear you’ve been lusting after. If you’ve not had the chance to come and see us, here are 6 reasons you MUST visit Drummers Only…

  1. A Phenomenal Selection Of Drums…

Why else would you want to visit a drum store? Not to brag, but we’ve got some of the best selection of drums & cymbals in the UK. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing, how niche your taste is or what time signature you can count in, we can pretty much guarantee there’s something special waiting for you at Drummers Only. We always strive to not just bring you the favourites from the biggest brands you know and love, but also offer the chance to take home playable pieces of art custom built and handmade by the finest drum builders in the world.

We don’t just stop at drums, we’ve a gorgeous array of cymbals too! From the most sought after models to some unique, hand-selected beauties, we have an unparalleled selection waiting just for you! From pedals, hand percussion to the latest developments in electronic kits and hybrid accessories, we’re ready to make your dream a reality!

  1. Expert Advice From Our Incredible Staff!

We’re a drum shop run by drummers, FOR drummers. We’ve been doing this for 14 years, some of us even longer than that, so we absolutely know a thing or two about drums. We’re also all working musicians, we totally understand how important buying your next set of drums is or investing in new cymbals is.

Coming into a drum shop can be a little daunting at times but we’re more than happy to take the time answering any questions you have and give the advice you need, when you need it. Whether you’re looking for a new drum sound, fancy trying out a fresh pair of sticks or simply looking for gift ideas, we’ll help point you in the right direction!

  1. Try Before You Buy!

The worst thing about candy stores is you can’t try the candy before you buy it but at Drummers Only, you can! We stock so many drums, cymbals, pedals and electronics in a variety of flavours that it can be challenging to narrow down what’s right for you. Let’s be honest, there’s not a video review or sound clip in the world that will ever compare to getting hands-on and experimenting with the gear yourself. We encourage you to try out the gear to your hearts content before you decide so be sure to visit us, we’ll help you find the perfect gear for you!

  1. Trade In Your Old Gear For Shiny New Gear!

Out with the old, in with the new! If you’ve fallen out of love with your current gear and lust for something more up to date, why not trade it in to us? Our staff will give you an offer in store or via our online trade in form for cash or hook you up with something brand new from our stores. It’s a great way to let fellow drummers get the use out of your gear and allow you to have your drumming dreams turned into reality! That’s a win-win if you ask us!

  1. Finance Your Next Piece Of Gear

Fancy treating yourself but your dream gear is just out of reach? Don’t forget that we offer finance options to make it a little easier for you! Stop by either of our stores and we’ll talk you through the options, we can even apply for you so you can take your fresh gear home that very same day. Don’t worry if you’re unsure about anything, our staff can talk you through it every step of the way making it as simple as possible!

  1. Can’t Make It In? Shop Online!

If you can order a car online, there’s no reason why you can’t order a new set of drums from Drummers Only the same way! Enjoy the in-store experience from the comfort of your couch by visiting our online store. Get all the latest stock info from both stores and arrange to have your shiny new gear sent from our store to your front door! Everything you see in-store is available from the latest big brand offerings, to sale items and pre-owned gear too good to miss!

With the current situation, we’ve worked hard to make sure our stores make you feel comfortable and safe. We’ve taken every measure to give you complete peace of mind while you rock out!

Trying out new drums, cymbals or any new piece of gear is a pretty special experience and we want you to focus on that. Click here to check out the changes we’ve made in more detail. We can’t wait to see you again, and if it’s your first time in store we’re excited to great you!

Competition: Win A Yamaha EAD10 Electronic Acoustic Drum System!

Competition: Win A Yamaha EAD10 Electronic Acoustic Drum System!

Please Note: This competition is now closed.

The Electronic Acoustic Drum System that is taking the drum community by STORM! This is the Yamaha EAD10.

Incase you’ve been living under a rock for the past three years, the EAD10 Drum Module instantly transforms your acoustic drum kit into a powerful digital/electronic hybrid kit with sampled sounds and studio quality effects. It’s become the all in one solution for drummers who want studio quality sound without having to carry round Abbey Road quantities of microphones to gigs or practice spaces.

So, in celebration of our Drummers Only Leeds store being open for it’s first year, we figured we’d give you a chance to WIN this incredible system!

We’re running a huge competition until the 30th May to win a Yamaha EAD10 Electronic Acoustic Drum System! There’s really nothing else like it on the market.

It converts your acoustic kit into a powerful digital/electronic hybrid kit, suitable for home recording, live performance, online teaching and drum cover videos at the flick of a switch.

We guarantee you’ll not be disappointed by this!

This contest has now closed and the winner is…

David Brodlie!

Thanks to everyone that entered!

Only those who sign up between 16/05/20 and 30/05/20 will be entered into the draw. The winner will be selected at random and will be informed via email.  We will announce the winner on 1/6/20.

7 Habits For Consistent Practice!

Sometimes maintaining a consistent practice routine can be a challenge. The thought of practice is tedious to some, but absolutely essential in order to improve. So while we’ve been given some government-sanctioned time at home, here’s 7 tips to build a consistent practice routine

1. Find A Room/Area AWAY From Everyone Else
We’re in the position where we need to stay at home. That cuts off many of us from going to dedicated, and often times bespoke practice facilities. In my opinion, you shouldn’t always have to leave the house to get at least some basic practice in. With that said, drums aren’t the quietist so unless you’re fortunate enough to have a garage, large garden shed or Batcave that no one but you and Alfred know about, the spare room will have to do!

Those of you who think you can just sit in the living room with a practice pad watching the TV with the family and think no one will mind…have you ever actually TRIED it? Let me tell you from experience, not ideal at all. Best to just be in a separate room completely void of any and all distractions…

2. Remove Distractions
“I’ll just stick the TV on while I practice”, “I’ll just set the metronome up on my phone”, “Is that Janice with her top off out the back again?”…sound familiar? Poor Janice, and your poor eyes. Distractions are all around us. You’re probably reading this blog as a distraction from doing something else right now, perhaps even practicing! #irony. If you are, GET BACK TO PRACTICING, if not, read on…

Once you’ve found an area to turn into a practice space, it’s probably best to remove any and all potential distractions from the room while you’re in there. In my opinion, the second the TV goes on, unless it’s for a video lesson…it’s game over for efficient practice. Next thing you know you’re 5 episodes deep into Killing Eve and not once have your sticks met your hands, and despite the show being excellent, it’s not good for your practice routine. If you’re using a metronome, try to use one separate from you phone. It’s a test of discipline to remove yourself from the world for 20-30 minutes. Yes, only 20-30 minutes of practice. Which leads us too…

3. Don’t Over-Practice
There’s numerous tales from drumming legends about practicing “for 8 hours a day”. I’m sorry, but that’s always seemed highly unrealistic. That unrealistic expectation is probably what puts most drummers off practicing in the first place. The concentration level would need to be god-tier for anyone to get any form of productive practice for 8 hours a day.

Let’s put this in perspective: If you work a standard 9am-5pm day job, that’s an 8 hour shift. After you go home you’re then supposed to spend 8 hours practicing? That’s now 16 hours of a 24 hour day, add in the sleep for exactly 8 hours and that’s our day done. Rinse and repeat. Oh and by the way, that’s all before you’ve factored in small things like eating, bathroom breaks, social events and actually gigging. Or does gigging count as practice time? See, CONFUSING AND MISLEADING.

I guarantee you’d get more efficient and consistent practice limiting it to just 20-30 minutes per practice session. The theory being that you’ll be more focused and likely achieve consistent results during this short burst of practice. This structure is quicker, easier to maintain and allows you to actually have a life! Speaking of structure…

4. Have A Goal In Mind (And Stick To It!)
Just because you’re limiting your practice to 20-30 minutes doesn’t necessarily mean you spend the opening 15 minutes playing a drum solo, despite how ground-breaking and artsy you think it might be. Have a clear idea of what you want to practice before you even enter the practice room. This helps keep your mind focused on one task instead of aimlessly hitting drums for half an hour.

In those situations, you’ll notoriously find something you really want to practice with only 5 minutes left before dinner is ready or a family member crashes the party. I’d suggest sitting for 5 minutes before entering the room and write down one or two ideas or get some inspiration by watching your favourite players. Stick to those! By doing this you’ll not only learn something new much quicker, but you’ll also improve your practice discipline. It even helps if you practice at the same time of day each time. Actually, I’m making that it’s own point…

5. When You Practice, Practice At The Same Time
Choose a time of day that works for EVERYONE, particularly if you’re going to be loud but especially if you want to be consistent. Pick a window of time and use that same window every time you go to practice, this helps get you into that routine so that eventually, you’ll automatically go to practice based on muscle memory alone! It could be 4pm, 8am or exactly 3:05pm, whichever time you know you can sit without distractions in your practice space and get 20-30 minutes of solid practice. Now, say you’ve found a perfect place and time, but now the material is putting you off practice…

6. Change It Up!
Simple as that. If you constantly sit down for 20-30 minutes and just play paradiddles all the time, you’re going to get bored pretty quick! Change it up regularly. Wrap your head around an interesting polyrhythms or a fancy ostinato pattern. Figure out that outrageous fill that will absolutely get you fired from a gig, why not? It doesn’t matter as long as it’s something to keep practice interesting for you.

With that said, don’t expect to sit down and shred every idea or pattern like Eric Moore within the first 10 minutes. The things you practice shouldn’t sound perfect right away, that’s why it’s called practice. Learning complex rhythms or odd sticking patterns can be a challenge to even the pro players, which is why the last tip is arguably the most important.

7. TAKE A BREAK!
I like to compare playing drums with going to the gym, as I feel the two have a lot in common. You wouldn’t, and probably shouldn’t, go to the gym every single day. Your body needs time to recover from the physical strain you put it under. Overwork yourself and you become burnt out and end up not exercising at all, which isn’t great for your physical or mental state. The same thing happens with drums. Your brain needs time to absorb all this new information you’re throwing at it, sometimes that takes time. In short: TAKE A GOD DAMN BREAK!

Your subconsciousness is a powerful area of the mind, think of it like your brains “production crew”. It’s capable of rendering copious amounts of information without you even having to think about it. So, as counter-intuitive as it might seem, you’ll actually do the processing of those polyrhythms while you’re doing the gardening or in the shower or even on your days off from practice…you just don’t realise it. It’s why I personally only practice 4 days out of 7 for 30 minutes. That roughly works out as 120 minutes of practice a week, which is 480 minutes a month. Guess what? That’s the same amount of practice time as you’d get if you tried to do the unrealistic 8 hours a day. By spreading this across a month, you’ll actually make noticeable improvements. You also won’t feel like a failure!

Remember, we play the drums because we enjoy it. Practice shouldn’t feel like a chore, so do it in short sustainable bursts in your own space, away from distractions and structured on clear, achievable goals. If you’re in need of some quiet practice, we have plenty of tools to assist you! In the words of Spock, “it’s only logical”…

5 Amazing Products For The Drummer In Lockdown

As we enter another week of what’s expected to become a long quarantine, some of us may not have touched our drums in a while. With that in mind, it’s time to finally clear the garage or that corner of your room because that will be your practice space for the foreseeable. Here are some of the top products to help make that happen…

1. Practice Pad & Sticks

DUH!! If you don’t have a practice pad or a pair of sticks already laying around, are you even a drummer? I know it’s the obvious and not the most exciting first choice, but depending on your space or how well you get on with your neighbours, it may be your only choice. ProLogix Practice Pads are FANTASTIC for keeping the volume low and the intensity high due to their range of pads, which consist from light resistance all the way up to extreme resistance. There’s a pad for everyone! Just grab a snare stand, the pad, a throne and sticks and you’ve got HOURS of practice ahead.

2. Low Volume Cymbals

The concept first came to market in 2015 and BLEW EVERYONE AWAY. Finally, a low volume solution to authentic cymbals was here. Since then, may brands have created their own version, with various models available. This allows the house-bound drummer to practice without shattering windows or driving everyone in your house round the bend with ear-crushing frequencies. Result! The Low Volume cymbals by Zildjian are crafted from a state of the art pattern combined with a specialist alloy allowing them to be up to 80% quieter than standard cymbals. That’s HUGE!!! Especially if you live in a multi-story building with lots of neighbours, it could literally be the difference between being able to practice and not! Just like that with a few stands and a few practice pads, you’ve basically got a quiet practice kit. The Low Volume Cymbals look fantastic, but perhaps the practice pads aren’t quite doing it for you. If only there was a way you could use your gigging kit but without putting silencer pads on it…

3.Mesh Heads

BOOYAH!! Remo made the silent(stroke) solution for allowing your acoustic gigging kit to become a practice paradise INSTANTLY!! The heads are all single ply to allow for a soft, spring like feel and reduce noise drastically. Applied the same way you’d normally put a drum head on the drum, these silent stroke heads allow for practice no matter what the situation! Combine these with those Low Volume cymbals and YOU my friend, have a fully operational “beats laboratory”. Now, if only there was some way of making your quiet drums SOUND like real drums quick, easy and without lots of triggers on all the drums…

  1. Yamaha EAD10

GAME. CHANGED. We’ve made it no secret how much we love the EAD10, and anyone who actually plays one feels the same within the first few seconds. For those of you who don’t know, the Yamaha EAD10 instantly transforms your acoustic drum kit into a powerful digital/electronic hybrid with sampled sounds and studio quality digital effects. The system allows you to play and record your acoustic drums along with your favourite artists from your music library and share them online! Now I hear you, “that’s all well and good if you can play your acoustic kit, but my kit has low volume cymbals AND mesh heads!”. WELL, they recently updated the software on the EAD10 with a patch specifically for Low Volume/Mesh Head drum kits! So just like that you’ve got a realistic sounding silent kit. Stick on some headphones and go for it! Now, all that’s great if your drums happened to be at your house, but what if you’re a drummer and literally have NOTHING…

5. Electronic Drum Kit!

I literally heard the “acoustic drums” purest let out a sigh. Well, surely you’d much rather play an Electronic Drum Kit than not play a drum kit at all. Electronic Drum Kits have come a long way since the days of the Simmons Pads. Firstly they’re built much better allowing for longer durability. Secondly they sound fantastic with modern drum samples and are easy to  combine with existing software to incorporate your own sounds. Finally, they’re MUCH cheaper than they might have been 10 years ago. These days just under £400 gets you a fantastic electronic kit that sounds great, has lots of built in features and doesn’t take up much floor space. I’m talking of course of the Yamaha DTX402, with the model above, DTX432 being just a bit more expensive but is ALWAYS a winner at Christmas time or with pros who need a silent practice station that doesn’t take up a lot of room. Alternatively, if you want what some consider the “Rolls Royce”, the Roland TD-17KV would be a fantastic, mesh head alternative that also doesn’t take up a whole lot of space and sounds AMAZING

So there you have it, plenty of options for the drummers in lockdown. The great thing is that once all the dust has settled, you now have a permanent practice station right in the comfort of your own home that won’t irritate anyone. The entrepreneur in you might also see this as a valid online teaching opportunity as well! That’s a win win if you ask us. Head on over to the site and pick up some of these goodies now!