• Buyers Guides, Drums, For Parents, Purchasing an Instrument, Ryan Casperson 31.01.2011 Comments Off on Drum Buyer’s Guide

    So you are looking to buy a set a drums but you don’t know what to get? If you’ve done an online search for drums, you’ve probably seen that there are thousands of parts and accessories! What’s the most important things to have first? We are here to help guide you through the basics.

    If you aren’t sure whether you want to invest in a full set, you can at least buy a practice pad.
    These are small pads that don’t make much noise, but let you get used to the feel of hitting a drum. Great for practicing drum rudiments and working on stick skills. Even if you have a full set already, this is a great, portable way to practice. The Vic Firth Single-Sided/Divided Practice Pad is a quality product. http://www.guitarcenter.com/Vic-Firth-Single-Sided-Divided-Practice-Pad-447607-i1139989.gc

    For younger drummers (age 4-8), a junior drum set is just what Dr. Rhythm ordered!
    Let’s face it, if your feet can’t reach the pedal you are going to have a hard time keeping a solid beat. While the junior sets are smaller and cheaper than the full sets, you can still expect to spend between $100 and $300 for a well made kit. Sound percussion has a great, low priced kit, and Ludwig offers a higher quality and more expensive set. http://www.guitarcenter.com/Sound-Percussion-Deluxe-Jr–3-Piece-Drum-Set-108081902-i2556147.gc#customer-reviews

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ludwig-Junior-Outfit-Drum-Set-103999561-i1140093.gc

    For full sized kits, you’ll find that most are priced without the cymbals
    (and the cymbals are pretty important), so don’t be fooled by low prices on one given kit. One of the most economical sets is the Sound Percussion Pro 5-Piece (http://www.guitarcenter.com/Sound-Percussion-Pro-5-Piece-Drum-Set-with-Chrome-Hardware-581099-i1455915.gc). While it may say Pro in the title, this isn’t really professional quality, but it has what you need to get drumming! For higher quality sets, turn to the names you can trust in percussion. Pearl, Yamaha, Ludwig, Gretsch and DDrum. Expect a basic shell set (minus the cymbals) to cost between $300 and $700. Top quality sets will probably start at around $1000. It’s worth noting that putting new drum heads on a basic kit can dramatically improve its sound and only cost between $40 and $100.

    Cymbals (that usually aren’t included in the drum kits) are necessary!
    But you don’t need them all at once. A hi-hat is absolutely essential. What you’ll need is a hi-hat stand (http://www.guitarcenter.com/Yamaha-650-Hi-Hat-Cymbal-Stand-483425-i1421818.gc) and a hi-hat cymbal set (http://www.guitarcenter.com/Sabian-sbr-Hi-Hats-424112-i1527815.gc). After that, you can start adding various types of crash and ride cymbals to complete your set. Sabian and Zildjian are both high quality cymbal makers.

    If you are concerned about noise in the house, electronic drums can save your sanity!
    Don’t get me wrong, if you need volume, you can plug into an electronic drum amp and bam! you are making serious noise. But for when you don’t need to be loud, you can put headphones on and lose yourself in a little drumming world. We prefer Roland electronic drums. Their quality seems to far surpass their competitors in this field. http://www.guitarcenter.com/Roland-TD-11K-S-V-Compact-Series-Electronic-V-Drum-Kit-H82854-i2468066.gc

    Hopefully this has answered some questions for you. Good luck on your drum buying journey. Remember, your drum teacher is a great resource for ideas as well! Happy Drumming from 4/4 School of Music!

  • Drums 26.01.2011 Comments Off on Amazing Young Drummers!

    Wow!  These two young drummers are hot!  All of you drum students that think you need a full band to rock should definitely check out this video of two awesome drummers playing together as a duo.

  • Bass, Drums, Guitar, Jennifer Iovanne, performing, Singers, Violin, Voice, Woodwinds 15.02.2010 Comments Off on Stage Fright: Conquer your fear!

    With our biannual student concert just around the corner, some tips to help combat stage fright are in order!  Ah, stage fright – that dreaded onslaught of fear so many of us experience before (and sometimes while) we perform.  The pulse quickens.  Breathing becomes short, shallow and unsupported.  Hands become sweaty and shaky.  Sound familiar?

    Stage fright is completely normal — and yes, there are several things you can do to help ease stage fright immediately.  The best solution over time?  Perform often!  Sounds counterintuitive, but the more often you get up there and perform, the easier it becomes over time. Here are some pointers to help make your struggle with stage fright a little easier:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3218/3037925304_0b061ff3ca.jpg

     

    1. Know your material.  Practice, practice, practice.  A lot of the fear of performing is centered around making a mistake — hitting a wrong note, forgetting a line.  The more you know your song, the more confidence you’ll feel!
    2. Breathe!  (And keep breathing!)  Challenge yourself to breathe slowly and deeply — 10 seconds in, 10 seconds out; repeat.  Also, try yawning and stretching.  Relaxing your body and your breath will ease the uncomfortable feelings associated with stage fright.
    3. Fake it.  If you’re scared, that’s ok.  Smile anyway.  Walk with confidence.  Give it all you’ve got.  Chances are, the audience won’t know you were nervous, and will be wowed by your stellar performance!
    4. Think of the performance as a reward.  You’re here because you’ve worked hard, had a blast, learned a lot — and now you want to share that joy with others!  Performing is an awesome way to stay motivated, meet other musicians, and celebrate what you have accomplished!
    5. Use a mantra.  Sounds a little cheesy, but some folks find a phrase ("I can do it/I am strong/Share your joy"….) and repeat it in their heads while prepping for a performance.  For many folks, using a mantra provides a sense of comfort, and helps focus the mind.
    6. Think ahead: for most of us, the hardest part of stage fright hits us BEFORE we perform, and usually eases up within the minute or so of our performance.  After performing, lots of us feel a rush of excitement and relief — no matter how scared we were beforehand, lots of us finish the performance with a huge smile on their face and a rush of excitement — performing feels great, and we want to relive the experience!
    7. Come prepared: be a few minutes early.  Have a light snack.  Avoid caffeine and lots of sugar.  If you’re a singer, warm up your voice. Bring a water bottle.
    8. Think positive thoughts:  you’re here because you’ve worked hard and had a lot of fun, and you want to share that with others!  Always remember, the audience is on your side.  We WANT you to have fun and rock your performance!  🙂

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