Glen Allman Posts

How To Make The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

It’s the middle of the IPA season and with all of the rehearsals and performances that keep you eating on the run, you may want to slow down and treat yourself to something hand-crafted.  Well, this week’s guest blogger, Glen Allman, has got your back.  Read on…

Opinion: Glen’s Favorite Rock & Roll Instrumentals, Part Two

Hello and welcome back to the Chops Percussion blog!

Two weeks ago I introduced this series of posts on rock and roll instrumentals with some of my favorite, radio-friendly tracks. We covered five classics, such as Rush’s “YYZ”. If you missed it, its available here. Today I’m going to continue by introducing some more obscure tracks.

#1 – “Peaches en Regalia”, Frank Zappa, from Hot Rats

In 1969 Frank Zappa released Hot Rats, a classic, largely instrumental album. At the time of its release, Hot Rats was innovative due to Zappa’s creative use of 16-track recording equipment. “Peaches en Regalia” quickly became one of Zappa’s better known works, and a jazz fusion standard.

Funny story, back in 2012 I was at game five of the National League Division Series between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. When the Reds lost, after previously holding a 2-0 series lead, the stadium DJ immediately played “Peaches en Regalia”. It was a surreal moment, hearing an obscure Zappa tune after a demoralizing, season ending loss. Such is the life of a Reds fan.

Opinion: Glen’s Favorite Rock & Roll Instrumentals, Part One

Hey folks, welcome back to the Chops Percussion blog! I know it’s been a while since I rapped at you, but I’ve been busy not working on Saturdays. I’ll tell you, it’s been tough.

Today I’d like to start a brief series on rock and roll instrumental songs. A couple months back a friend and I started compiling a list of our favorite rock and roll instrumental tracks. We came up with a couple dozen off the top of our heads, then continued research on the internet. Eventually we came up with the following criteria for a track to make the list:

Songs that crossed over to rock and roll radio from another genre, such as jazz, were eliminated. For instance, fusion classics such as “Birdland” by Weather Report, and “Red Baron” by Billy Cobham were not eligible.

Songs that were largely instrumental, but included several words were also not eligible. For instance, a personal favorite, “David Bowie” by Phish was eliminated.

In part one of this series I’ll start with some of the better known classics. You may be familiar with these, because they’ve been on the radio at one time. Take the time to listen to each track and study the drummer’s

#1 – “YYZ”, Rush, from Moving Pictures

For further listening, be sure to check out the live version that later appeared on Exit . . . Stage Left, which includes a brief drum solo.

What Mallets Does My Student Need – Advanced? – FAQs

Welcome back to the Chops blog series on mallet FAQs (frequently asked questions). Late last year we addressed the mallet needs of the beginning and intermediate band and orchestra student. Today we’re going to discuss the needs of the advanced student.

As an intermediate student reaches their senior year of high school, they should own mallets for marimba, vibraphone, timpani, and various accessory instruments. As they continue to progress, and eventually approach an advanced level, it is critical they have a wide variety of mallets available for those instruments.

As we’ve discussed many times before, mallet preference is dependent on the individual percussionist. As an intermediate student gains experience they will develop their own preference for brands and models. The following recommendations, therefore, are general.

For the glockenspiel (bells) and xylophone, the advanced student should at least have a hard and soft mallet choice. Plastic is the most common material for these mallets but other choices such as hard rubber or wood or hard rubber exist. For the glockenspiel, a metal mallet, either brass or aluminum is occasionally needed for the most bright and piercing situations.

For the marimba, vibraphone, and timpani the advanced student should own a set of mallets in varying hardness, from very soft to very hard. The brand and models do not need to be consistent across the set, but should represent a wide variety of choices. Advanced students literature will commonly hold different mallet styles while performing modern four mallet marimba literature.

Finally, for accessory instruments, the advanced student should consider owning mallets for bass drum and gong. A medium, general purpose mallet for each instrument will generally suffice. For concert bass drum, a pair of smaller, “rolling” mallets is useful. Other implements, such as brushes, rods or rutes, and a set of triangle beaters are also needed.

With a large variety of mallets available, the advanced student can perform well in any situation. If you, or your student are considering studying music, or performing after high school, it’s time to expand your mallet collection. Contact us for guidance, or to purchase mallets.

Until next time, go practice!

Danny Carey’s solo on ‘Forty Six & 2’

Welcome back to the Chops Blog! Here at Chops we love a good drum solo, and today we’re going to take a closer look at a classic.

In 1996 Tool released their classic album Aenima. The aggressive and conceptually innovative music was the perfect showcase for drummer Danny Carey. His powerful, but cerebral drumming helped him quickly become one of the most respected drummers to emerge in the 1990s.


One of the radio signals from the album was the brooding “Forty Six & 2”. In the bridge, which is primarily in seven, Carey plays a powerful solo. It is a perfect showcase of his and his bandmate’s rhythmic prowess. Check out the pdf HERE , and listen to the solo with the tempo reduced by one third HERE.

Take time to study the music, and listen to the reduced version many times. Then practice the solo by breaking it down into small pieces. After you are comfortable performing it slowly, gradually speed it up until you can perform it at the original tempo.

Get to work, it isn’t easy!