5 Things Drummers Can Do At Home…

Here’s just 5 examples of things you can do if you’ve suddenly got a bunch of free time on your hands…

  1. PRACTICE!!!!!

This one probably goes without saying, hence why it’s number one on our list, but this is the PERFECT time to get some practice in. Sweep the dust off that copy of Stick Control or delve deeper into Syncopation For The Modern Drummer. The best part is that it doesn’t matter if it’s on your personal kit, on a practice pad with sticks or even on the table with your hands and feet, you can still learn new patterns and work on mobility exercises so that you can FLY round the kit at your next gig! You could even teach some of your family how to play drums. Speaking of teaching…

2. TEACH ONLINE
In an age where so many drummers have made a career teaching online, there’s no reason why you can’t either! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy at first, just a camera, a practice pad and a laptop with a decent internet connection is all you really need to get started. You could even do small drum lessons uploaded to Instagram or Facebook to get you started! Who knows, you might even enjoy this more than your face-to-face lessons! It’s all very well being able to say you could do that, but sometimes it takes a bit of motivation, and there’s plenty of ways to get it…

  1. WATCH ROCKUMENTARIES

Whenever I was struggling for motivation to get anything productive done I knew I could always rely on one person to ignite that creative fire. Dave Grohl. Specifically the 2011 Back And Forth documentary. If you’ve never seen it, Back And Forth documents the story of the Foo Fighters from the ashes of Nirvana while also giving the audience a behind the scenes of the Foo’s recording their latest record of the time. I highly recommend this for ANYONE struggling with motivation, as not only is it an interesting insight into the trials and tribulations of these rock giants, but also a phenomenal insight into how they create music. Other highly recommended doc’s include Sound City, Anvil: The Story of Anvil & Hired Gun. If you’d rather hear more personal, in depth stories from some incredible drummers and musicians then perhaps you could listen to some audio-only alternatives…

  1. LISTEN TO A PODCAST – NUDGE NUDGE, WINK WINK!

DID YOU KNOW WE HAVE A PODCAST?? I DON’T KNOW IF WE’VE MENTIONED IT BUT WE HAVE A PODCAST!! We have over 15 HOURS worth of conversations with some of our and YOUR most favourite drummers such as Craig Reynolds, Craig Kneale, Benny Greb, Jonny Scott, Alyn Cosker as well as some topical conversations amongst ourselves for your entertainment. These chats are a great way to get inside the minds of phenomenal drummers who share life experiences, practice tips and more within an hour, sometimes longer. You can listen to in on Spotify, or Apple Podcasts! Listening to these podcasts is another great aspect of the final activity you can do while you’re inside…

5. CHILL OUT
It doesn’t matter if you listen to music, a podcast, watch your new favourite rockumentary or teach some new students, take this as an opportunity to catch up on REST. We as musicians spend a long time working, usually from the second we get out of bed and while we’re in bed, we’re typically not there for very long. Think of this as mandatory chill time for all of us and give us all the perfect excuse to do NOTHING for a while. Chilling out is also great for getting the mind working creatively again, especially if you’ve been in a rut. It lets you shift focus, and allows those ideas to happen subconsciously. Most of the time right when you least expect it!

So there you go, a few options of things to get the creative juices flowing. Personally, I can’t wait to hear all the righteous music that’s going to be released from all this free time. However if you find yourself in short supply of the essentials…you’re old pals here are ready and waiting with all the drumming supplies you could possibly need, delivered straight to your door!

A Brief History of Marco Minnemann & Eddy Thrower…

We have these two phenomenal players coming to Drummers Only Glasgow in March, but if you’re on the fence about getting tickets or aren’t quite sure who these two monster players are, here’s the inside scoop…

Marco Minnemann hailing from Hannover, Germany and currently living in San Diego, California is not only an incredible drummer but also a multi-instrumentalist and composer. I first heard of Marco while watching that infamous Dream Theater auditions documentary and was completely FLOORED. His presence, finesse and skill just blew me away, not to mention an unwavering joy protruding from his playing. I actually caught myself smiling at just how much Marco was enjoying himself, making me want to do nothing more than play the damn drums! Of course, that was 2011 and since then Marco has done an incredible amount of studio and live performances with artists such as Steven Wilson and Joe Satriani. Marco is also a full time member of rock supergroup “The Aristocrats” with Guthrie Govan and Bryan Beller.

Marco is no stranger to the studio himself, having recorded over 14 solo albums. I guess that’s the benefits of being a multi-instrumentalist. I can only imagine that his talent behind so many instruments only informs the incredible independence, or “interdependence” Marco has behind the drums that made him famous! Marco has published several instructional books discussing his concept of interdependence, which allows him complete freedom to play various patterns with each of his feet or hands independently. I have no doubt in my mind Marco will discuss and demonstrate some of these during his clinic set so be prepared to have your mind ripped apart and put together in a slightly different order. As you may of guessed with this being an Evans/Promark clinic, Marco plays Evans Heads, Promark Sticks, DW Drums and Zildjian Cymbals!

Eddy Thrower is no stranger to Drummers Only. He’s done various in-store performances over the years from the Glasgow Drum Show in 2016, a sold out clinic in 2017 and performing at our Leeds opening party in 2019 and so on. Eddy is one of those drummers that just gets better and better every time you see him play. Since his last clinic in Glasgow quite a bit has changed for Eddy. Firstly he became a father (congrats, Ed!) and has since moved on from originals band Lower Than Atlantis. Eddy is currently the drummer for Busted, catapulting him from big stages to sold out ARENAS. He has also become a prominent figure on Instagram following in footsteps of Mike Johnston with an online lessons site that comes with not only drum lessons, but a handful of life lessons too!

Eddy has also done a fair bit of session work, from playing on One Direction songs to most recently doing a tour of China with Pop princess Dua Lipa. He can turn his hand to pretty much any style required, so it’s no surprise why he’s never short of work. Clinics like this are great for fans of Eddy but also if you’re looking to become that “hired gun” and learn what it takes to do that effectively and also what pitfalls to watch out for. Eddy is an Evans/Promark artist but he also plays Tama Drums & Zildjian Cymbals!

We’re super excited to welcome these two amazing players to Drummers Only Glasgow on March 9th. It’ll be an incredible night with two amazing performances! Don’t worry, you’ll also get a chance to ask those burning questions while you’re there so don’t be shy! Tickets are still available but if I were you, I’d act FAST before it’s too late! Grab yourself tickets HERE!

Why Using Electronics Will Make You A Better Drummer…

The line between a drummer and a sound engineer has become blurred over recent years thanks to the introduction of a new style known as “Hybrid” drumming, but what exactly IS it? Well, see that little black box you see Michael Schack or every drummer use on Radio 1 Live Lounge or Glastonbury Main Stage? That’s called a Roland SPD-SX, and it’s just one example in a list of HUNDREDS that can make all bands, even two-piece ones, sound MASSIVE with the use of digital samples or effects, particularly the drummer. You don’t have to be Belgian or headlining stadiums to use electronics either, so here’s some products to help your pub/wedding/covers band recreate some iconic sounds at literally the touch of a button…

My crystal ball has already shown me a bunch of comments with remakes along the lines of “pfft, that’s great if you’re touring regularly but how can hybrid drumming help me play 9 to 5 better?” Well, actually it can…a LOT! Hybrid drumming can open up the doors to make your “decent cover” of 9 to 5 sound like the real deal, and Roland help a lot in this department giving several options from small sound modules if you’re just dipping your toe in the water all the way up to the SPD-SX, with some options in between. I’ll try and break this down as simply as I can using only products that we keep in stock, as there’s something for everyone.

TM-1/TM-2

The Roland TM-1 & TM-2 are the perfect Hybrid drumming “Starter Packs” for dipping your toe in the water when using electronics. In order to use these modules, you’ll need some external triggers (sold separately) which are small little boxes that attach to the drums via the hoop and connect into the “Trigger In’s” located on the back of both modules, more on that later. The modules themselves take up a very small footprint around your kit, meaning you can chuck them in a rucksack or gig bag and take them with you to every gig/rehearsal/bar mitzvah and be set up in seconds really to blow your bass players MIND! What’s the difference between them though?

The Roland TM-1 looks remarkably like a footswitch used by a guitarist, with the idea being that you use it with your feet while playing, allowing you to switch effects on/off at your leisure. The TM-1 has two built-in footswitches for triggering sounds, changing kits and muting the module completely. It features 15 built-in kits ready to experiment with straight out the box, making it literally plug in and play. Nice! The TM-1 also comes with a free TM-1 Editor app for iOS/Android, Mac/Windows, which provides over 150 additional sounds along with an option to import your own samples to it. The TM-1 allows you to connect up to two pads or triggers for use on the drum kit. You can use either two single-trigger devices or one dual-trigger device, which basically means you can have two drums make one unique sound each, or one drum make two unique sounds.

The TM-1 is compatible with any of the Roland RT-series acoustic drum triggers and an extensive range of Roland trigger pads such as the PD-8, BT-1 and more! If you’re a little more experienced with electronics, the TM-1 has a trigger-to-MIDI convertor when hooked up to your computer, meaning you can assign any sound you want via whichever recording software you’re using it with. The TM-1 is a pretty nifty piece of kit, now lets talk about it’s older sibling the TM-2

The Roland TM-2 expands on the capabilities from the TM-1 and opens up a few additional options for you. The module has 162 ready to use out the box professional sounds, ranging from acoustic drums and percussion to modern electronic instruments, such as an 808 Snare or a dimension-shattering sub drop. The module then allows for each of these samples to be used as one-shot samples, loop phrases and can also be used to incorporate complete backing tracks. The TM-2 also includes “element” sounds intended for layering with acoustic drums, providing enhanced, high-impact sounds for playing live drums through a PA system. You could add the low-end of a snare drum if you’re using a smaller snare with little natural depth, or the attack of a bass drum beater striking a head and all the in between.

The TM-2 has an SD Slot which allows you to add your own samples, and add effect within the module such as reverb, flanger, delay and more! The TM-2 doubles your “Trigger In” capacity of the TM-1, where you can have either two dual-zone triggers hooked up to two drums, meaning each drum will make two unique sounds OR you can have 4 drums make one unique sound each. This is really where you can get creative, as you can have effectively 4 different drum samples happening all at once. From a practice perspective, you could essentially have a 4-piece practice kit fitted with mesh heads for an acoustic/electronic practice OR even low-noise gigging kit! You can also use the TM-2 as a trigger-to-MIDI device opening up the world of sampling whatever you want. You can have the TM-2 beside you at all times as it comes with a mounting plate meaning you can clamp it to your hi-hat stand or anywhere you want. NICE! So if you’re looking for something a little more bombastic, but not quite as crazy as the SPD-SX, perhaps the SPD:ONE pads are the way to go…

SPD:ONE

The SPD:ONE pads are a fantastic solution if you’re looking to grow your electronic/acoustic set up or are in need of a simple solution to incorporating one sound. The range consists of four individual digital percussion pads which includes Electronic, Kick, Percussion and WAV pads. The Percussion, Electro and Kick pads come loaded with unique sounds from 808 drum sounds to hand claps and beyond! They also have one empty bank to add your own sample of up to 5 seconds long, making it great for one-shot sounds like a snare, bass drum, clap etc. The SPD:ONE Wav allows you to add up to 10 of your own samples with 4G of memory, meaning you can add longer stereo samples, backing tracks and also a click to really move your band into the new age. Now, if you want to have all the abilities of all the SPD:ONE pads, with the personalized triggering aspects of the TM-1 & TM-2, then perhaps you should look at the TM-6:Pro!

The TM-6 Pro is essentially all your triggering dreams in a box. It’s pre-loaded with 500 one-shot samples and includes tones recorded in world-class studios. It also includes 268 V-Drums sounds to amplify your sonic capabilities along with 80 ready to use drum kits. You can only hook up to 4 drums with samples with the TM-2…with the TM-6 Pro you can have up to 12!! If you get creative with it, you could have a full 5pc kit, cymbal set and have space for two more trigger pads. Not only that, but you can layer all of these sounds to really make it personal to you. It has three sound modifying knobs allowing you complete control over the volume, pitch, decay etc of each sample. You can literally have complete control over the attack and release of each drum using the inbuilt Transient feature as well as independent EQ of each sound meaning you can dial in the drum sound literally before it even goes to your sound engineer. Have I lost you yet?

Like the TM-1, TM-2 modules you can also hook the TM-6 Pro to a computer to literally take over the world with sound capabilities. You can also add an SD Card filled with drum samples, backing tracks or whatever you like and have them come from the TM-6 Pro at the touch of a button. The TM-6 Pro is an almighty strong piece of kit that can have you going out as a one-person drumming machine with the rest of the band replaced by backing tracks if you so desire. Finally, we’ll talk about the ultimate piece of Roland Sampling technology that will have your mind BLOWN…

SPD-SX

The Roland SPD-SX visually looks like it was originally part of the Death Star, but instead of destroying planets, you’ll destroy peoples minds as you become a force to be reckoned with. The SPD-SX is the ultimate percussive sampling instrument. It features nine velocity-sensitive rubber pads, each can have two samples per pad that can be routed via the main & sub outs located on the back of the pad. You have the option of adding up to four external triggers to this meaning you can have up to 13 pads running at once. Each of these pads can be struck together or separately with zero latency meaning you can have more than one sound happening at one time. You can also choose if you’d like each sound to be as a Phrase or a Loop and also control the Dynamic Output of each sound. There is also an option to Pad Link two pads together on a Patch, which is helpful if you’re running a click track and backing track and want them to start in sync.

The module has 4GB of internal memory, allowing for around 720 minutes of sampling. The SPD-SX has three separate units of multi-effects onboard, one master unit and two unites assignable per kit. The master effect lets you perform augmentations to the sound. Filters, Delays & Short-Looper are all at your finger tips and can be used in real time with two dedicated control knobs. The SPD-SX also contains essential features for the modern drummer such as individual click output routing, dedicated volume controls, Pad Check functions & much more. The module also allows for live sampling directly onto the SPD-SX, which is fantastic if you want to create some form of intro to your set, for example. You can record into it via the guitarist or even your phone and have it as a sample for THAT night at the touch of a button.

Sub Out is fantastic for routing things like a click track to the rest of the band, ensuring you all play in time while rocking out. Much like the rest of the products spoken about, you can hook the SPD-SX up as a MIDI controller for use with software such as Ableton Live or Logic to really expand on the capabilities. It’s so advanced that ColdPlay use an SPD-SX to control their lighting rig….SERIOUSLY. One of the biggest appeals of the SPD-SX is just how simple it is to use and edit with. The module comes with software known as Wave Manager which allows you to easily import, assign and organise all your samples in one place. The SPD-SX is a frightening piece of kit and if used effectively, can really take your performance not just as a drummer but as a BAND to a whole new level.

So if you’ve been on the fence about going “Hybrid”, hopefully this blog has helped guide you in the right direction and taken some of the mystery out of what being a “Hybrid Drummer” really is. There’s a product in this blog for every step on the ladder but of course if you’d like any more information on any of these products, don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

9 Benefits Of Playing The Drums

We drummers often get mocked as the “gorillas” of the music industry. We’re expected to turn up, hit things in time and go home and get ZERO credit for it! Being a drummer, aside from being AWESOME, has some incredible benefits for the mind and body that no one really talks about, so here’s 9 of them…

  1. Managing Stress

We’ve probably all been there at one point, that one co-worker or friend who knows exactly the right way to push your buttons and rile you up to the point of near explosion! You get so riled in fact that you walk right over to them, grab them by the scruff of their neck, look deep into their soul with a scowl that would melt the sun and scream “SEE YOU?! GET TO F…”. That’s what your mind’s eye envisions, at least. As much as we’d like to, it’s not always professional to smash another person’s head off the table multiple times. Drums are about the only head you can strike more than once and not cause harm, which is why they’re a fantastic stress reliever! They’re the perfect outlet device for letting out the days frustrations or inconveniences, meaning you can go about your day in a calm, collected manor. You might have a few broken drum sticks, though…

  1. You’re The Most Intelligent Member Of The Band, Probably…

It’s been scientifically proven that a drummer’s brain is programmed slightly differently to other musicians in the band. When you think about it, that makes total sense. We have to focus on moving four limbs simultaneously in either syncopated or alternating repetitive motions for long periods of time, setting and staying at the tempo of the song, set up the most equipment and all of this while your bass player is trying to figure out why your band mates guitars have six strings and his has four. We have to spin several plates at once, knowing that if we drop one it could potentially be game-breaking. Only beings of a higher intelligence could do all that effectively. You’re welcome, singers!

  1. ALL ABOUT THE GAIN-TRAIN!

Okay, so you might not end up with 24-inch pythons like Hulk Hogan playing the drums (except for our Dave) but drumming can be a fantastic workout for you! On average you could burn up to 600 calories in an hour of intensive drumming. To put that in perspective, that’s the equivalent of the average Sunday Roast…or two Krispy Kreme donuts. Times that by four for a wedding gig and that’s almost a full days worth of calories you burn! Of course there’s plenty of variables, I mean sometimes wedding buffets are TOO DAMN GOOD but you get the idea. Shed some pounds by smacking some drums, BROTHER!!

  1. YOU GET ALL THE DUDES/CHICKS…

…yeah, that’s not true at all.

  1. Hand-Eye Coordination

As mentioned in the intelligence section, we have to be able to coordinate a lot of different limbs with contrasting rhythms at one time. In order to do that our hand-eye coordination needs to be pretty high to do this effectively and make it look/feel effortless. I guess you could argue that drumming makes you a better driver! Think about it, you’re still moving four limbs in order to make the car move, right? I don’t know, there’s got to be some relation somewhere on the Internet. Either way, your coordination from playing drums will be ON-POINT!

  1. Mental Health

“Depression” & “Musician” go together as frequently as milk with cereal, but the drums provide an excellent outlet to shift focus and work towards a goal while subconsciously allowing your mind to recalibrate. It doesn’t matter if you’re working out the most complex polyrhythm or even nailing your double stroke roll, it all makes a difference. The best part is the feeling of accomplishment when you finally nail that polyrhythm or showcase your sweet doubles round the kit, which in turn makes you feel GREAT! Speaking of feeling great…

  1. Confident AF

The reality of being a drummer is that unless you’re Michael Schack, you’re probably going to have to perform with other musicians, which in turn will result in you playing in front of HUNDREDS of people. It can be hard to get that confidence at first, but drums are a great outlet for you to showcase everything you’ve been learning to your friends, family and everyone else which you’ll only grow from! Playing live really brings out your inner confidence and only gets

  1. Social Life, Yo!

Being a drummer might not seem like the most social instrument on paper, but every band needs one of us. Drumming provides a great chance to link up with new people and reunite with old friends! It also opens up other opportunities of performing with lots of different bands. You can really make friends for life with other bands and especially other drummers! Your local drum shop (NUDGE NUDGE, WINK WINK) will hold events regularly for you to meet with other drummers and bear witness to the professionals live!

  1. It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Learning drums isn’t the same as learning to ride a bike. It isn’t an overnight achievement, nor will you ever stop learning how to master it. It’s an unwinnable game in some respect, you’ll spend months of your life learning one phrasing which notoriously opens up another MILLION ideas from it. It’s really quite incredible the focus, dedication and discipline you learn from playing the drums. That’s what is pretty beautiful about this instrument, it teaches you so many other skills that you can apply to everything else.

So there you have it, drums are pretty amazing. You already knew that though, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. If I could sneak in another benefit of playing drums to even out this list, it would be this; It allows you to own some pretty special and rare drums! From custom drums made from exotic woods, to limited runs of artist cymbals and gold plated bass drum pedals. Having amazing gear only makes the process of becoming a drummer just that little bit more exciting! Check out our stock and feel the lasting benefits NOW!!

NAMM 2020 Round Up!

When the subject of NAMM rolls around, you can usually categorize three types of people. Firstly there are drummers who pack their bags, cameras and earplugs in preparation for a weekend filled with impromptu jam sessions, expensive $20 lunches and hanging around booths in anticipation of catching one of their heroes for a quick chat and a picture. Second there are the retailers ready to breathe in their yearly dose of NAMMTHRAX with sore ears, exhausted voices and have the same conversation over and over with different people. The last type of person is you, myself and everyone else who WASN’T at NAMM and has sore thumbs from scrolling through Instagram & Facebook seeing all the new gear (and a few drummers playing it with no idea). Yes it’s The NAMM Show 2020 round up blog, lets SEE what new offerings we have to unpack…get it? 2020, seeing clearly? It’s a vision joke! No? Okay, tough crowd…

Much like last years NAMM round up, we’ll be focusing on brands that we stock in alphabetical order and a few key highlights from each one. For all the details of everything released make sure you head across to the relevant brands website for more information. Now that we’ve dealt with the disclaimer, lets start with some British offerings…

British Drum Company
BDC announced late 2019 that Nicko McBrain had signed with the company, so it was only a matter of time before his signature KIT & Snare Drums followed. They announced the Nicko McBrain Signature “Icarus” Special Edition Legend Series kit at NAMM 2020. It’s 8ply Birch & 2ply Oak with a standard oak finish on the inside and Black Fishtail Oak finish ply on the outer. This goes beautifully with his Icarus Signature Snare Drum, the drum in which his kit is based off. Also announced was his signature Talisman snare drum, a 14×6.5in Seamless spun Steel shell with round over bearing edges and 42 strand snare wire and their first venture into hardware with their Casino hardware, which includes hi hat stands, straight & boom cymbal stands, a snare stand and both a single & double pedal.

DW Drums
Released before NAMM, DW gave us a closer look at the TrueCast Bell Bronze Snare Drum, designed with Dave Elitch in sizes 14×6.5in & 14x8in. It’s a completely machine-made drum, a first for DW. It features “TrueCast” hoops that feature Aluminium to reinforce it for the Hulk Hogan drummers out there. Also announced was their new “Pie” Snare Drums, which are 14x3in Snare Drums available in two materials; Wood (any wood & finish from their custom shop) & Space Carbon, which is crafted from high-grade up cycled Carbon from the space program. Neat! Some new finish options available in Design & Collectors series respectively as well as re-engineered 3000 series hardware!

Gretsch
Grestch announce the new Heritage Series configuration that’s available on both USA & Broadcaster Series drums. It’s a throwback to the “Playboy” where each drum would have 6, 8 or 10 double-sided lugs in the centre of all the drums and long tension rods, as opposed to two sets of 6, 8 or 10 one-sided lugs a each end of the drum. That was much easier to explain in my head than it was to write down. The mounting bracket for the tom is also drilled directly onto the shell instead of the RIMS mount. They announced the new Brookyln GranPrix Series, which is their foray into Aluminium Snare Drums, available in 14×5.5in & 14×6.5in. A USA Black Copper Snare Drum with a nifty laser engraved Gretsch logo is also on it’s way available in 14×5.5in & 14×6.5in. Also announced was the new Blue Burst Pearl finish in Brooklyn Series, the G5 Cymbal Boom Arm to fill that void in that Tom Holder for the “Look mum! No Stands” vibe and a special edition Catalina in Walnut Burst, Walnut/Maple hybrid shells with wood hoops. SEXY!!

Ludwig
Classic Maple is SO last decade…Classic Oak is where it’s at! The Ludwig Classic Oak Series makes its debut at NAMM 2020. Oak/Maple hybrid shells, which offer a rich tone that is balanced, focused and LOUD!! For a sound reference, imagine if Ringo Starr played drums for Pantera. This kit will be available in all the standard configurations like MOD, FAB, Downbeat & Pro Beat in a variety of stunning Lacquer & Wrap finishes. They delve into the Matrix with the announcement of the Limited Edition Neusonic Digital Black Oyster available in the FAB configuration (13/16/22) and add an 8-lug Black Beauty to the fold available in 14x5in & 14×6.5in. Also announced was the gorgeous Sahara Swirl finish for the BreakBeats, Legacy Mahogany Jazz Fest Snare Drums to kick start their throwback, a new Copperphonic finish AND…the return of the (Speed)King with updated and more robust components!

Mapex
Mapex revamped the Saturn line. You could even say it’s undergone an EVOLUTION…so Saturn Evolution isn’t just a clever name. The Saturn Evolution comes in two different shell types; Birch/Walnut & Maple/Walnut. The beauty of this means that it allows you to mix and match shell types. You can have Birch/Walnut Toms with a Maple/Walnut Bass Drum and vice versa! They also come with the new SoniClear Two Halo Mount, which is a 180 degree rail mount fitted with an Attenuating Adjustment Knob to allow control over the resonance of the drums. Saturn Evolution comes in 9 finishes with standard flat colour finishes and exotic veneers coming. They also revamped their Black Panther Snare Drums with 14 new models coming. Details on each individual drum are scarce but we do know they all feature the SoniClear bearing edge & Sonic Saver hoops. One drum we DO have the scoop on is the Craig Blundell Signature Snare Drum aptly named “The Machine.” It’s a 14×5.5in 6ply Walnut/Maple Hybrid with a specially commissioned Aquarian Hi-Energy Batter & Classic Clear Reso. Offset Black Nickel Lugs, 45 degree bearing edges & pure sound Equaliser 16 strand wires & special multi-step trick throw off. We personally cannot WAIT to get our hands on this drum.

Meinl
When we visited the Meinl factory in 2019 they did give a very VERY small inkling that changes were coming to their Byzance line, and that change is here. Meinl have removed their “Dual” cymbals from the Extra Dry line and announced Byzance Dual, the new 7th degree of dark. Byzance Dual expands upon the foundations of their Dual cymbals by adding 16in, 18in & 20in Trash Crashes, 16in, 18in & 20in Trash Chinas, a 19in Dual Crash, 14in Dual Hi Hats and a 14in Multi-Trash which can be a crash, splash, hi hat top or part of a stack. The options really are endless! Also announced was Pure Alloy Custom, which are all medium/thin cymbals with the same hammering & lathing as Pure Alloy. Within the line are 16in, 18in & 20in crashes, 18in Trash Crash, 15in Hi Hats & a 22in Ride. Meinl even gave their entry HCS line a makeover with HCS Bronze. They expanded the line to include a Trash Crash, Trash China, Trash Splash & some Bells. New additions to their Stick & Brush line include a Standard Long 7A, Rebound Multirod, Vintage Wire Brush, Conga Sticks and a Switch-Stick 5a, which is a Hybrid 5a Stick with a Mallet on the butt-end!

Roland
Lets not leave electronics out of this equation, cause Roland really brought it this year with the announcement of VAD; VDrums Acoustic Design. Electronic drums with real drum shells! Intended to look and sound like a real drum kit with Roland VDrum technology. Two variations are available with different configurations within, one powered by the TD-17 Module, the other by their NEW TD-27 Module. The TD-27KV kit along with the module brings a whole different crowd to the party. They’ve upgraded the snare pad even further to really blend the electronic/acoustic drumming experience!

Paiste

There’s a theme of throwback present throughout NAMM 2020 and Paiste are no different. OUT with the new, IN with the old as Paiste relaunch their Formula 602 Series bringing some of the very best from that line with new additions such as the 20in Paper-Thin Crash, 17in & 19in Thin Crashes, 15in SoundEdge Hi Hats and a whole host of medium & heavy weight cymbals designed with versatility in mind!

Pearl

Pearl have some of the nicest finish options available for drums and if you’ve been in the shop over the years, I’m sure you’ll agree that they really take centre stage in that area. So much so that at NAMM 2020 they announced new finish options for a whole host of kits from Export right through to the Reference line. They also launch a new Single & Double pedal within their Eliminator range called the Eliminator Solo Pedals. The Red variation features the Radical Progression Cam, which gives off a similar feel to a Direct Drive pedal. The Black variation features the standard Round Cam for natural feel. Both these pedals are designed with Eliminator feel without Eliminator price. Also announced were re-engineered Roadster thrones with lightweight, hydraulic lifts and alternate throne top options available and new 930 lightweight single-braced hardware.

Sabian

Sabians on-going pursuit of “Not Giving A F**k” continues in 2020 with the announcement of Graphic Cymbals. Sabian launch these cymbals to not only support creativity within drummers musically, but visually as well. Sabian partnered with some of the best artists in the world to make your vision a reality and bring your own flavour to your cymbals. These graphics do not hinder the sound of the cymbal, allowing you to not only sound but LOOK your best! Also announced was expansion to the HHX Complex line such as 21in and 22in Complex Thin Rides, more additions to their overhauled AAX line including 15in Thin Hats, an FRX China cymbal & 10in Splash Cymbal! They also had some flat ride prototypes on show, which i’m sure the crazy cats at Sabian will have more on later in the year. Eyes peeled for those!

SJC
Our latest brand brings some wicked new additions with a new “suit” available for the Paramount Tuxedo kit. This Silver alternative will bring even more style to your performance and image. SJC introduce a Brass Snare to their Alpha Snare line, which is sure to turn a few heads along with a new Josh Dun Signature Acrylic Crowd Snare to expand his range. Finally their Pathfinder gets a new Cyber Yellow finish that looks amazing! We’re super excited to get our hands on more incredible products from SJC as we definitely can’t get them quick enough!

Sonor
Sonor really brought the THUNDER at NAMM 2020 with the announcement of not one, but TWO brand new Benny Greb Signature Snare Drums, both made from different shell materials and with new features! We have a 13×5.75in Beech Shell, which is essentially an upgraded version of the original Benny Greb Snare with a Bubinga inlay instead of the black beading round the centre of the shell. Then we have the 13×5.75in 1.2mm Vintage Brass Shell, which is it’s own animal entirely. Both of these drums come with Teardrop offset lugs much like the Vintage Series kit that Benny plays, a dual-glide strainer and have TWO forms of internal dampening, “The Felt” and “The Sheep” respectively. They’re held on via Velcro allowing you to really mix and match your dampening method to get the exact sound you desire. The Grebster and Sonor have done it again!

Tama
We go the heads up of the Club-Jam Flyer from Tama right before NAMM but it’s totally awesome! It adds a new dynamic yet to be explored with a small kit by having a 14in Bass Drum making it even more compact while still sounding incredible! The new SLP Snare drums also made their public debut, which seriously turned some heads, especially the 14×6.5in Spotted Gum. Starclassic Walnut/Birch got some new finishes including Neon Yellow Oyster and Neon Orange Oyster so you can really stand out from the rest with incredible sounding drums! A limited run of Star Mahogany drums was announced adding to the GLORIOUS Star line along with Superstar Classic Exotix, making some gorgeous alternative finish options available for it!

Yamaha

Yamaha once again prove they are HIP with the release of the Stage Custom Hip, all the benefits of a small kit with all the power of a big kit! Yamaha always focus on how a drum sounds first and the Stage Custom Hip is no exception, utilizing the same Birch shells from the regular Stage Custom with a 20x8in (yes…TWENTY BY EIGHT INCH BASS DRUM), 10x5in Tom, 13x5in Snare Drum and a 13x8in Snare/Floor Tom. The SNOM is back, and just like that you have your balled snare drum at the flick of a switch! Also announced was a limited edition Recording Custom Limited Edition Steve Gadd Snare Drum. It’s a 14×5.5in Snare with a gorgeous Dark Chrome finish. If you want to get even closer to Gadd, you can do so with this very snare drum.

Zildjian

Zildjian round out NAMM news 2020. They’ve redesigned their Planet Z line making them much richer and crisp in tone and the perfect starting point for any beginner. They also announced their new I Family Cymbal Line as a replacement to their long-standing ZBT line. A great upgrade point from the cymbals that perhaps came from your first kit, crafted from a B8 alloy. They have a bunch of new additions to the line such as a few effect cymbals, which includes a trash crash. This lets young players emulate their favourite drummer without breaking the bank!

AND….BREATH!!! I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted and I wasn’t even AT NAMM. That’s all of the low down, down low, low down, down low of the new gear heading our way in 2020! I dare say they’ll have some cool surprises planned for later in the year but keep your eyes peeled and when the new gear lands, come have a play!

Drummers Only: 2019 Edition!

2019 gave us the The Fyre Fest documentary which introduced the world to Andy King, a man who brings a whole new meaning to “taking one for the team”, Game of Thrones met it’s conclusion (spoiler alert: DISAPPOINTING), The Avengers as we know them came to an end (spoiler alert: HEARTBREAKING), Greta Thunberg’s “How Dare You” speech made her Time’s Person Of The Year 2019 and the film adaptation of the musical Cats proved that the only decent movie about Cats is The Lion King.

Outside of pop culture, 2019 proved to be a big one for us here a Drummers Only for a number of reasons, but this is the introductory paragraph that no-one reads. Seriously! You can say anything here, your deepest darkest secrets or home truths and it won’t get noticed…The Rise Of Skywalker was actually really good! Anyway, now for the good part…

Don’t you just love it when your favourite TV show does a “clip show” episode right after an important cliffhanger episode? Well this blog is effective the written version of that so STRAP IN PEOPLE! 2019 was a HUGE year for us. I’d honestly argue 2019 was the busiest year yet for us. Having two shops definitely helps that. Oh yeah, we have two shops now. DIDN’T WE TELL YOU ENOUGH?! Phone calls and emails would suggest not. Anyway, 2019 is indeed the year we leveled up from single store to a CHAIN. Opening a second store in Scotland would be predictable…and cold, so we decided it was time to venture south of The Wall and open a brand new store in Leeds!

The wonderful Jake Brooksbank, a total legend who really knows his stuff, manages the store. He’s assembled his own army of expert staff but you’ll see a Glasgow face down there from time to time and vice versa. It’s pretty righteous that there are now TWO Drummers Only stores in the UK. Plus, what other drum store would have a DELOREAN turn up to their new shop opening party?! Having two stores also opens us up to having more locations for clinics. Speaking of…

2019 was a HUGE year for clinics, kicked off with the legendary Steve Smith who blew away a capacity audience with some real fan girl moments! Steve was closely followed by the internets favourite teacher Mike Johnston. Matt Halpern & Federico Paulvich followed in Mikes footsteps, which also ended up being the first official clinic at the Leeds shop. Simon Edgoose destroyed all of our brains with the capabilities of the Yamaha EAD10 while Craig Reynolds ventured to Glasgow to blow the ROOF off in tremendous fashion.

Matt Garstka journeyed up north to blow our minds with an incredible performance and Luke Holland tore the building in half in Leeds with an insightful social media and drumming Masterclass. Our year, and DECADE rounded out with the guru himself Benny Greb in both Glasgow & Leeds stores. We last had Benny in 2013 so it was amazing to see a noticeable growth in his playing only six years later. Phenomenal! You’ll have noticed that many of our artists this year were Meinl affiliated, so it seemed only appropriate to pay a visit to the factory, right?

We got to venture out the shop a few times in 2019 and see some cool places/people. I guess for the Glasgow troops, and myself the journey to Leeds was pretty exciting (we don’t get out much) but I’m talking GLOBALLY…or at least to Europe. Conveniently both trips involved cymbal factories! Paul & Gordon took a trip to Turkey to visit the Istanbul Agop factory while Adam & Jake got to jet-set to Germany for a jolly boys outing to Meinl HQ.

A bit closer to home, Drummers Only were representing Sonor Drums at the 2019 UK Drum Show, which involved 72 hours of being in a giant room with what felt like the whole of the UK’s drumming community smacking drums right next to your face. LOUD…but lots of fun! We get so many customers online and further afield than Glasgow or Leeds that it’s nice to actually meet them face to face…you know, even if we can’t hear what they’re saying by lunchtime.

Despite our numbers in staff growing here, it would be a crime to not give an honorable shout out to our Liam who hung up his Drummers Only t-shirt to be a professional computer wizard. Total LEGEND!!

Finally, with the opening of Leeds and with the theme of growth this past year, we decided it was time for Glasgow to have a bit of renovation. By “renovation” I actually mean packing up all our drums from Commerce St into several van loads and moving it half way across Glasgow to the east end into a BRAND NEW SPACE. We moved from Commerce St for a number of reasons COUGH parking COUGH rats & the smell of damp COUGH deliveries COUGH.

We essentially had a blank canvas that allowed us to build a shop to suit us and cater for everything we need it to, which we simply couldn’t do affectively in our old place. I think you’ll all agree, it’s MUCH better…and getting parked right outside the front door is a bonus!

So there you have it! Your yearly round up of all the goings on in Drummers Only life. Myself (Adam) & Chris also started a podcast, which you can subscribe to HERE, or if you use Spotify…HERE where we went into everything above in a touch more detail…though we did get distracted by drum gear talk. We work in a drum shop, what do you expect?!

Make sure you keep an eye on all the socials this year for even more exciting goings on in the life of the UK’s largest independent drum store chain. I guess you could say that we’re taking drum stores BACK TO THE FUTURE!

The Complete Guide To Buying A Drum Kit For Christmas!

This time of year is usually when complete PANIC sets in for parents. Remember in the 90’s when the Ninja Turtles were the most sought after prize; trying to get a complete set of four was STRESSMAGEDDON for any parent involved. I imagine it’s a similar feeling for parents when their child says “I want a drum kit” when asked what they want from Santa, so we’ve made this helpful guide to make the process a bit easier so you at least know what you’re looking for…

Before we get started…yes, we’ve seen the advert and YES we LOVE IT! Whatever gets kids into playing drums is what matters to us so we’re all for it. We’re the place to go for the next step up! We see it all the time, parents walk through the door and their whole demeanour changes to the same of a deer in headlights. Drums EVERYWHERE!!! Not only that that but there’s a bunch of cymbals on the wall, some drum kits that are towered, some on raised platforms, a whole wall of individual drums of varying colours/material, some drums look like a bunch of rubber pads with wires poking out of them…all in all it’s a bit of a situation. I’m not into cycling or mountain biking of any sort but I imagine the feeling would be similar if I were to walk into a bike shop as I’d be completely out my comfort zone. Fortunately there’s some key words or phrases that’ll help guide you in the right direction before you even walk in the door.

Firstly, consider what it is you actually NEED. We have hundreds of different options available for each step to help you make the choice but here’s some basic things to figure out before you come in. If you’re just a beginner then chances are you’ll need EVERYTHING, which includes the Drums (obviously) along with Hardware or “Stands”, Cymbals, Pedal, Sticks etc. The other alternative to getting everything from the digital perspective would be an electronic kit, which is great even if they currently have one and are looking for a serious upgrade. Alternatively if you have a set of drums currently and are looking to upgrade to either your first mid-end or high end kit then a shell pack is where to go! A Shell Pack is what we refer to a drum kit that doesn’t come with any additional cymbals or hardware (the stands, pedal & throne), it’s literally just the drums. Typically these are more expensive and can be up in the thousands of pounds as they are made from high-end materials and are a bit more special in terms of finish/uniqueness.

Next up would be your Budget, or how much you’re looking to spend. We’ll start with Acoustic drums. For an acoustic set of drums that comes with everything you need to get started which includes the drums, stands, cymbals, pedal, throne and sticks the first price kit is the Natal EVO set. A fantastic starting point just under £300 that includes everything required in the box. Crafted from basswood shells that provides just the right amount of sound detail needed to learn efficiently! Mapex Tornado. Available in three different colour options and three different bass drum sizes (18in, 20in & 22in) to suit any size of room from bedroom to garage. The Tornado makes it the perfect entry level kit for anyone looking to learn for under the £350 mark. The next and most popular kit that comes with almost everything is the Pearl Export. The biggest selling drum kit in the world, so popular that when Pearl discontinued it they were forced to bring it back into production due to how much demand came for it, which is why we’ve sold them year after year. They’re extremely consistent, well made drums that come with a high-end hardware and cymbals manufactured by Sabian, a huge cymbal brand. The only component this kit doesn’t come with is a seat, or “drum throne” but for £699 it’s a total bargain!

If the Natal Evo or Pearl Export was last years present and you’re really looking to step it up going into 2020 then a Shell Pack is the best way to go, particularly if you already have the high-end stands & pedal that came with last years Export! If you’re experienced enough to know what you want and have researched enough to have brand preference then you’ll already have an idea of where you want to go for a shell pack. If you’re still unsure then one of the best buys in the shop right now hands down is the Mapex Armory. With a list of high-end features including hybrid shells which essentially allows two different materials to work in tandem with each other allowing for a combination of different sounds, SONIClear Bearing Edges to allow the drum heads to sit nice and flush on the drum for super easy tuning, Stunning Veneer lacquer finishes and the inclusion of a Mapex Tomahawk Steel Snare Drum (steel being the most versatile of all the metal varieties of drum) it’s a total no brainer for something like this at it’s £849 price point.

Over in Electronics world, the world is quite literally your oyster. For beginner Electronic Kits a fantastic starting point for us is the Yamaha DTX 400 series. They’re an amazing starting point with quiet rubber pads ideal for practicing and a module filled with high quality drum samples. Yamaha put a focus on sound first before image. As such, they recorded all the drums in their library to put within the module resulting in high-end drums squeezed within a wallet friendly kit. The most popular model within the DTX 400 range for us is the DTX452 as it has some physical improvements such as the bass drum being simulated by a tower that you strike with a real bass drum pedal and an improved snare drum sensitivity pad, all of this for £479. On the higher-end of the spectrum is the Roland TD-17KVX which is a phenomenal electronic drums EXPERIENCE. It’s fitted with Dynamic Prismatic Sound Modeling technology meaning that the drums are designed to feel like REAL drums and the translation from striking the head to hearing it SOUNDS like real drums. This kit is not just fit for the bedroom, but the stage too! It’s probably one of the closest electronic kits you’ll get that resemble the feel of an acoustic kit with features taken from Rolands flagship TD-50 kit. Complete with a tunable 12in snare pad, Bluetooth connectivity, newly designed KD-10 kick pad, Warm-Up menu that provides daily practice exercise routine and the rest! It’s a LOT of kit for £1671, and a MIGHTY upgrade!

Those are just SOME examples of knowing where your budget can take you, but something to keep in mind as well is longevity. Spending just a little more can be the difference between something lasting 6 months or 6 years, so if you decide a drum kit is what Santa is bringing this year then come and see us. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can help point you in the right direction of what they think would be the best for your situation to secure a very Merry Christmas for everyone!

How do you spell Custom? S..J..C.. – SJC Drums

For fans of Slipknot, Twenty-One Pilots, New Found Glory, Imagine Dragons, Bowling For Soup or basically any band on the Vans Warped Tour (RIP) this drum brand will be no stranger to you. Even if you’re not super into Pop/Punk music, some of the previous creations by this company blew away audiences at drum shows and social media alike not only by how great the drums sound but also how insanely awesome they looked! As you’ve guessed by the title of this blog, I’m talking about SJC Drums…

19 years ago in a small basement in Boston Massachusetts was where the SJC Drums was born. The Ciprari brothers (Scott & Mike) took their shared passion for music and love of drums in a different direction than most would expect from two brothers. Instead of starting a family band, they instead start making drums in their Grandmothers basement. Scott took on most of the manufacturing, while Mike was the sales and marketing guy and followed a simple structure; Scott would make the drums, while Mike would reach out to their favourite bands to offer their drums.

Their perseverance paid off resulting in one of their first SJC signed artists: The Aquabats! One by one they gained further traction and their artist pool begun to expand. Taking things more seriously (and due to the phenomenal amount of work they were getting) they eventually moved out of their Grandmothers basement and into a much bigger facility! However, the company really catapulted into the stratosphere when Panic! At The Disco performed on MTV in 2006 using an SJC Drum Kit. BOOM!

From there the company moved from strength to strength. The DIY nature of the company continued to hold true and the word custom took on a whole new meaning with artists (now in their 100’s) almost in a bid to out-do each other on how crazy their custom kit could be. They even did a Back To The Future kit which resulted in a monumental dropping of JAWS…no seriously, they created a Jaws themed kit as well…

They moved from strength to strength over the years and after moving to a much bigger facility and simplifying the ranges they now have a line of drums that sound and look incredible available to drummers all over the world. We’re super excited and thrilled to be apart of the SJC family as one of their UK dealers. We’ll be bringing an extensive range of kits and snares into both our Leeds AND Glasgow stores! No stone will be left un turned as we’ll have a range to suit everyone including Pathfinder, Navigator, Providence, Tour Series and some of their incredible Artist snares & Foundation hardware. Alternatively if you’re feeling adventurous, you can design your DREAM drums using SJC’s Virtual Kit Designer (VKD) which can be special ordered via us!

So come on down, check them out and live out your pop/punk fantasy with SJC Drums! See what products we have right HERE

CrossTown, CrossCountry, CrossWORLD! – Yamaha Crosstown Hardware

I guess it’s time to admit, the folks at Yamaha drums are pretty damn smart. I’ve always felt them to be a company that creates instruments or technology with “Average Joe” working drummers always at the forefront of their minds. Their recent inventions like the EAD10 has completely eliminated the worry for us to look into different microphones or trigger modules and combined it into one simple to use small (and cheaper) package. It was then that Yamaha turned their attention towards making our lives easier before we’ve even set up the kit.

What’s the heaviest element of any drummers rig? The HARDWARE. The trunk that holds it goes by many names; Coffin, Body-bag, Death Bag due to the sheer weight and hassle that’s involved getting the thing from A to B and all things inbetween (yes, I’m talking stairs). So with the announcement of Yamahas Crosstown Hardware, those of us with heavy hardware and broken backs were both delighted and dubious, could hardware that collectively weighs 7kg really be THAT impressive? The short answer is yes and that you should just buy it like RIGHT NOW, but I get paid to write a blog so…

The Yamaha Crosstown Hardware is their Advanced Lightweight Hardware, which is the result of some deep research and development from communicating with drummers all over the world and a team of lead designers in order to manufacture the lightest hardware possible that still maintains enough strength and durability to withstand not only regular use, but by drummers performing ANY style of music. From Jazz to Metal this hardware could withstand the heaviest hitters and equipment and still out-perform many of the competition. So, how is it so light?!

It’s made from Aluminium which allows the stands to be 25-34% lighter compared to standard hardware. This allows it to be portable while remaining study enough to handle cymbals of any size and weight. It’s also finished with a fingerprint and scuff-resistant stain that never oxidizes allowing it to always look and work amazingly well no matter what. The tubing from the hardware is also cross compatible with other Yamaha hardware allowing you to expand your options. Within the set is a Hi-Hat stand, a Snare stand and TWO Straight Cymbal Stands, which are all also available as individuals out with the set. Now here’s the crazy part. The whole set weighs in at 7kg. Whaaaaaaaat?! To put that in perspective, a standard hi-hat stand and snare stand in a bag weigh roughly 9kg combined…

The set comes with a handy carry bag that also has enough wiggle room to fit your throne and pedal meaning you can take all your hardware LITERALLY in one hand. Who’d have thought we would live in a world like that one day?! Add in a couple of extra stands and you’ve got yourself a fully compact lightweight rig that Neil Peart would be jealous of! It’s seriously wonderful and extremely reliable so do yourself (and your back) a favour and pick some up NOW!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! – Ludwig 110th Anniversary Black Beauty Snares

I think this might have been the first drum in a LONG time that’s truly taken my breath away. From the moment of taking it out the box it already felt like I was holding a truly special piece in my hands (giggity). Once these drums arrived in stores they took social media by storm. Instagram broke, Twitter went into meltdown, Facebook…was still over run by cute dogs and Boris Johnston but I SAW AT LEAST ONE POST ABOUT IT. I’m talking of course about the Ludwig 110th Anniversary Black Beauty.

It’s fair to say that the Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum is probably the most famous snare drum in the world. It’s featured on countless recordings and used by numerous artists live all around the world (even by artists endorsed by other companies but SHH!!) due to how well these drums are manufactured. They have “THAT” snare sound, but it had to start somewhere. First manufactured in the 1920’s by brothers William F and Theo Ludwig. After multiple variations with logos and lugs, the raw material and manufacturing as stayed true. A black nickel-plated spun brass shell. So,to celebrate their 110th Anniversary, Ludwig decided to re-release the original Black Beauty to it’s original spec making it a true collectors item. It’s STUNNING…

That deserves a two syllable DAYUM! Just look at how smart that is. If Robert De Niro was a snare drum, THIS is what he’d be. Everything about this drum screams CLASS, a vintage vibe with modern overtones. This particular version includes the original single-flanged hoops giving the drum a unique aesthetic and wide open resonance. It’s an 8-lug snare with tube lugs as well for some serious retro vibes. Speaking of hardware, it’s GOLD! The taste of it, the smell of it, the teexture..I LOVE GOLD! It features an updated Brass P88 Throw-Off for maximum reliability and durability. The snare also comes with a pretty snazzy Anniversary Model Snare Bag to carry it around and make sure it’s safe from gig to gig AND a certificate of authenticity!

Currently as of writing this we have the 14x5in AND the 14×6.5in variations in stock awaiting two lucky souls to take the plunge on so grab yourself one of these legendary drums HERE

Wait…they also make STICKS?! – Meinl Stick & Brush

Turns out Meinl got wood. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. Don’t let that crude indulgent joke give you any illusion on my thoughts on Meinl stepping into the Stick market because they are NOTHING like the slang term for the male genitals. Today we’ll delve into the small but detailed world of Meinl Stick & Brush!

Despite creating some of the most beautiful array of Cymbals & Percussion on the market playing by some of the greatest musicians alive today, Meinl just weren’ t quite completely satisfied. They had an itch, a wooden itch so to speak which resulted in the inception of their new Stick & Brush line. Within contains a boutique selection of drum sticks, multi-rods, brushes and mallets crafted with precision german engineering coming straight out their headquarters. While the range of stick options may be limited, it allows Meinl to develop a clear and focused line carefully crafted to create a consistent product every single time. Now I know what you’re thinking, what could be so different about these drum sticks that sets them apart from all the rest? Quite a bit, actually…

While most stick companies match each pair of sticks by pitch, Meinl match theirs by both pitch AND weight. Meaning, now matter how many pairs you get they’ll ALL feel the same. Gone are the days of tapping a stick off your head to find the correct one for you, Meinl did the head-bashing for you! Figuratively speaking, of course. Within the sticks range they offer SIX variations; Standard, Standard Long, Hybrid, Heavy, Big Apple & Concept. Standard offers the sizes you’d expect; 7A, 5A & 5B – which are16in length with an Acorn tip, the perfect starting point, while Standard Long offers a 16.5in variation for the 5A & 5B for additional reach. Wish there was an inbetween for Standard & Standard Long? Then meet HYBRID. The Hybrid offers 7A, 5A & 5B with a 16.25in Length, longer taper and a special “Hybrid” tip which brings out the darker, smoother qualities of the drums & cymbals allowing the player to sound much more versatile in a wide range of genres. If you’re after a stick with a bit more weight behind it then Heavy may be for you. Offering 5A, 5B & 2B with the same 16.5in length as the Standard Long, The Heavy line is designed for the heavy hitter in you to draw big sound from your drums in ways never quite possible before! Now, lets get into the slightly more unique side of this range…

We’ll start with Big Apple. The Big Apple range consists of two different variations; Bop & Swing. The Bop consists of an oversized Acorn tip which creates full tonality on the drums and woody stick definition on the cymbals. It’s extra long taper generates a very quick rebound making it fantastic for fast music or soloing. The Swing stick on the other hand has an undersized Acorn tip and larger stick diameter than the Bop. This in turn allows it to create incredible articulation and clarity when striking cymbals and lets drummers who prefer a thicker stick really dig in without overpowering their bandmates. Finally we come to the Concept line in which all the sticks are made from Maple. Within consists of the SD1, SD2 & SD4. The SD1 sports a 16.375in Length, it’s the longest stick within the Concept line with a rounded tip making it very easy to control and the perfect “beginner” stick. SD2 sits perfectly in the middle at 16in length with a Barrel tip for less mid-range overtones and a longer taper for faster rebound. Finally the SD4 comes in the shortest of the entire Meinl stick collection at 15.865in length but is the perfect stick for when volume control is essential. It’s thicker shoulder gives the stick a solid feel in your hands allowing you to really control and dial in your strokes. So that’s the lowdown on the new sticks, but Meinl didn’t quite stop there…

They also made a collection of brushes, multi-rods and mallets to offset the collection. Meinl’s multi-rods can be used on all forms of percussion, not just on your drums because they feature both an easy to use grip handle and adjustability rings to achieve the desired amount of dowel spread. Some highlights within are the Birch Standard brushes, Bamboo Brush, Nylon Super-Flex and the Heavy multi-rod to cover all bases. On the opposite side of the spectrum, their wire brushes are a sight to behold. With snappy and crisp slaps combined with lush sweeping tones, they are a must-have in any drummers bag. You can’t go wrong with their standard wire brush, but why not try the Nylon brushes for a different texture. Fancy something inbetween brushes & rods? Husk Brush is what you want. Husk Brushes are made from lightweight straw material bundled together to create the perfect blend of brush slap and rod smack. They offer the standard Husk Brush and a lighter variation. They offer similar variations for Cajons, made specifically for the cajon player looking to draw a bigger sound.

Finally, the mallets are where this range really comes into it’s own. Sometimes there’s a clear different in the quality of Mallets & Sticks from the same brand. Not with Meinl! They developed their mallets for the kit player who needs to add some shimmer to allow switching from stick to mallet feel like a seamless transition. If you’re looking for a generic Mallet, the Medium Mallet is the way to go for the perfect blend of shimmer and softness. For something a touch lighter they offer the Super Soft Mallet which provides incredibly delicate attack, conversely the Hard Mallet offers incredible projection and attack. They offer specific percussion mallets with a felt tip, or Timbale sticks for when you really need to dig in.

So there you have it! Already play Meinl Cymbals? It probably makes sense to give the sticks a go as well. My personal favourite right now is the Hybrid 7A as it allows me to play hard without feeling like I’m swinging clubs around all night. These sticks LAST as well. I’m a fairly hard hitter and after 4 gigs they still look brand new. SERIOUSLY. Get on the hype train and grab some of these sticks from either Leeds or Glasgow. Or if you want them quicker, get them HERE

Power, Speed, Feel! – Tama Dyna-Sync Direct Drive Pedal

Power, Speed, Feel – Those are the three core elements that help make a great bass drum pedal. It’s a bit like baking a cake, each ingredient needs to come together in the right order for it to work. Well, the guys & gals certainly baked a delicious one with their new Dyna-Sync pedal. It may not taste very nice, but it looks and feels GREAT!

It’s been a while since Tama entered the direct-drive pedal game so it was a major surprise when this latest offering made it’s debut at the 2019 NAMM show. Looking at it simply to the untrained eye, it’s a direct-drive pedal. However on closer inspection it’s SO much more. In order to create the vision of their direct-drive pedal, Tama created the Dynamic Synchronization system which consists of three sub-elements: Optimized Transmission Design, Dual Linkage and Slidable Cam. This combination allows you to feel at one with the pedal, making every stroke seem effortless! Let’s delve into exactly what all these sub-elements actually do…

The Dyna-Sync’s Optimized Transmission Design works by precisely positioning and aligning the contact points between the cam, direct-link and footboard which in turn allows the pedal to be incredibly balanced but also open it up to produce tremendous power with very little effort. Tama developed a sturdy double-link cam connection system known as the “Dual Linkage”, which Tama say produces almost perfect energy transfer from the footboard-to-cam. A great feature of the Dyna-Sync is the Slidable Cam. The upper cam section slides back and forth in a “non-step” action to adjust the cam-turning radius. A larger turning radius provides for a more linear motion between footboard and beater, resulting in a more dynamic, non-linear motion. This allows the pedal to completely personalized to your foot and playing style and therefore making you play your BEST!

Other notable features about this pedal are the Footboard Angle Adjustment, which is exactly as it sounds. Prefer your footboard a little more elevated? Sure, easy done. Want it slightly lower? That’s cool too. Despite being a completely separate from the “cobra” family, the Dyna-Sync pedal comes fitted with a new “Sync-Coil”, which is essentially a 1.5 heavier gauge steel spring which assists in the return of the footboard to the original position giving the pedal a familiar quick response. It’s fitted with a Hinge Guard Block, which is a redesign that comes as a two-piece assembly for mimizing stress and maximizing smoothness. Spring is adjusted via the Swivel Spring Tight mechanism and Speedo-Ring making this pedal as smooth as the bonnet of a Porsche. The Para-Clamp II gives sturdier grip to the bass drum hoop for maximum stability. Finally it comes complete with a black felt Dyna Beater (two for the double-pedal) and it’s own pedal case, or “hoose” as we say in Glasgow.

So there you have it! If you’re in the market for a direct-drive pedal and want to be down with what’s cool and hip these days…Dyna-Sync is where it’s at! Grab yourself one right HERE