Video Posts

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.

Your First Drumset

my-first-drumset

We share this blog post at this time each year.  Christmas is a popular time for kids to get their first kit, so it seemed appropriate to share this again.  myfirstdrumset.com is a great resource for those just getting started in the world of drumming.

Are you taking up drumming for the first time? Are you buying a drum set for the drummer in your life this holiday season? If so, you may want to start at myfirstdrumset.com. This website was created by the people at Pearl Drums with the idea of educating not only the drummer, but the parent or loved one who is buying the set. Here are the highlights:

  • A “Welcome to Drumming” video with appearances by some of the top names in the drumming world.
  • A step-by-step video that shows you how to correctly unpack and set up your drum set.
  • Video tips on tuning, warming up, and playing your first beats on your new drum set.
  • A drum set buying guide.
  • A very informative FAQ section.
  • Statistics that show what a great thing drumming can be for the mind, body, and spirit!

If you or someone you love has decided that this is the year to take up drumming, there really is no better place to start than myfirstdrumset.com! And when you’re ready to make the purchase, Chops Percussion has many great instrument options for you to choose from, including the Roadshow kit. We also have a rent-to-own program that features the Pearl Export: The best selling drum set of all-time! Be sure to check out all of our rental offerings at chopspercussion.com. Welcome to the world of drumming!

My First Drumset

my-first-drumset

We shared this blog post at about this time last year.  Christmas is a popular time for kids to get their first kit, so it seemed appropriate to share this again.  myfirstdrumset.com is a great resource for those just getting started in the world of drumming.

Are you taking up drumming for the first time? Are you buying a drum set for the drummer in your life this holiday season? If so, you may want to start at myfirstdrumset.com. This website was created by the people at Pearl Drums with the idea of educating not only the drummer, but the parent or loved one who is buying the set. Here are the highlights:

  • A “Welcome to Drumming” video with appearances by some of the top names in the drumming world.
  • A step-by-step video that shows you how to correctly unpack and set up your drum set.
  • Video tips on tuning, warming up, and playing your first beats on your new drum set.
  • A drum set buying guide.
  • A very informative FAQ section.
  • Statistics that show what a great thing drumming can be for the mind, body, and spirit!

If you or someone you love has decided that this is the year to take up drumming, there really is no better place to start than myfirstdrumset.com! And when you’re ready to make the purchase, Chops Percussion has many great instrument options for you to choose from, including the Roadshow kit. We also have a rent-to-own program that features the Pearl Export: The best selling drum set of all-time! Be sure to check out all of our rental offerings at chopspercussion.com. Welcome to the world of drumming!

Mallet FAQs – Marimba VS Vibraphone

Welcome back to the Chops blog! Today we’re going to continue our series on mallet-related frequently asked questions (FAQ) by explaining the difference between marimba and vibraphone mallets. While they are very similar in appearance, and can sometimes be used for the same purpose, there are significant differences in marimba and vibraphone mallets.

The differences between marimba and vibraphone mallets begin with the materials used in their construction. The head of both style mallets contain a rubber core, but the material wrapped around that core varies. Marimba mallets use a softer yarn than vibraphone mallets, which use cord. The harder cord and rounder shape of the mallet head allows the mallets to produce a clear sound from the metal bars of the vibraphone.

Note the differences in appearance between the Vic Firth marimba and vibraphone mallets below. The M1 on the left is a popular marimba mallet. The M25 vibraphone mallet on the right was designed by Gary Burton, the world’s foremost vibraphonist.

marimba-vibe-mallets

Another important difference between marimba and vibraphone mallets is the material used for their shafts. Both are commonly available in birch or rattan, but marimbists and vibraphonists have different preferences. Marimbists typically prefer the rigidity of birch shafts, while vibraphonists favor rattan. Its flexibility is better suited to vibraphone techniques like mallet dampening.

In addition to their respective instruments, both mallets can also be used to play suspended cymbals. In fact, they are preferred over timpani mallets, whose wood cores can be damaged and destroyed by the vibration of cymbals.

If marimba and vibraphone mallets are very similar, can they be used for the same purpose? Yes, but only in certain circumstances. The soft yarn heads of marimba mallets limit their volume, and therefore effectiveness, on the vibraphone. However, vibraphone mallets can be used on the marimba for a clear, cutting tone. Jazz musicians who play both instruments simultaneously often choose vibraphone mallets for this purpose. In this video, Dave Samuels, with the Caribbean Jazz Project, uses vibraphone mallets while soloing on the marimba and then comping on the vibraphone.

Advanced percussionists, such as high school or collegiate students should own both marimba and vibraphone mallets. Serious soloists will have several sets in varying styles and hardness (see our previous mallet FAQ on marimba mallet hardness) available in their mallet bag.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the difference between marimba and vibraphone mallets. Please contact us for assistance choosing mallets or for recommendations. See you next time!

Vic Firth – Musician, Businessman, Legend

The music world lost a legend this week with the passing of Vic Firth.  If you don’t know a lot about him, an interview that he did with CBS Sunday Morning in 2010 does a great job of telling how he got started and why he’s been so successful.

“The key word for me is persistence. Whatever you set out to do…you have to have a magnum passion to do it…and you’ve got to work beyond what you ever dreamed you’re going to work…to succeed at the level that you want to succeed at. Persistence…persistence…persistence.” – Vic Firth