The TRX Cymbal Company’s NDK series (or New DRK series) cymbals have a sandblasted finish to provide a dryer option to the natural finish on the DRK cymbals. Both DRK and NDK now include holes for TRX removable rivets. The cymbals feature a traditional lathed finish underneath and are available in a variety of weights and sizes.
You could hear the thunder throughout the building and see the wall-to-wall smiles on students and faculty attending the three-part Percussion Residency educational program at Cleveland’s Rainey Institute. This was the third consecutive year that Local 4 (Cleveland, OH) collaborated with the Percussion Marketing Council (PMC) to provide an educational percussion program to Rainey students and teachers.
This year’s first session featured the exciting Caribbean sounds and music of pan drums, performed by Local 4 member Jeff Cavallo, aka “Island Jeff.” The program started with an introduction to the origins and sound production of steel drums and pan drums from Trinidad. Local 4 Board Member Cindy Wulff complimented the instructional team, assisting students in performance, grasping the rhythms, skills, and enjoyment of the percussion program.
PMC Co-Executive Director, percussionist, and Local 4 member Karl Dustman provided a huge assortment of instruments for each student to experience. “With a student audience ranging from second grade through high school, the challenge was connecting with and getting participation in an educational experience from everyone in attendance. By educating the students in the music making basics—essentials of melody, harmony, and rhythm—all ages and abilities could hear, see, and appreciate the percussion connection that these instruments provide,” says Dustman. “Many students would never have this educational experience without the collaboration of Local 4, Rainey Institute, and the PMC’s Percussion in the Schools program.”
Every student received a complimentary drumstick keychain as a thank you from the PMC, along with a take-home “Why Learn Music” brochure, provided by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). Older students also received a How to Play Drums instruction booklet with DVD.
Yamaha’s DTX920K electronic drum kit provides the feel and playability of acoustic drums, combined with add-ons that only electronic drums can provide. It features exceptionally authentic acoustic sounds, plus the DTX900 Drum Trigger Module to provide a collection of sounds to cover just about any music style. The three-zone DTX-PADs used for snares and toms, as well as three-zone cymbal pads, produce different sounds depending on where they are hit.
by Dr. Marc Brodsky, Dr. John (Jack) Dowdle, Michele Lenes, and Joseph Corsello
Diagnoses should always be made by medical professionals. A team approach, especially consultation with specialists in musician injuries, can often provide the best treatment options. As pain can often have more than one cause, you should consider the possibility of following more than one treatment option.
A 69-year-old professional jazz drummer had pain, accompanied by numbness and tingling, in both hands and could not bend his fingers. He experienced moderate aching pain and difficulty holding his sticks both while practicing (two to three hours a day) and during two or three gigs a week. The pain was relieved by rest and breaks from drumming, though he sometimes woke up at night with a burning pain in both hands.
A rheumatologist originally diagnosed the problems as psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease of the joints and skin. Powerful medications did not improve his condition and the pain proved debilitating. An MRI then revealed osteoarthritis resulting from overuse and general wear-and-tear of the joints.
An exam by an orthopedic hand specialist included observation of the musician playing the drums, which showed bone deformity and swelling around the middle joints of the fingers. Because the musician also had stiffness, numbness, and tingling the physician used Tinel’s test—tapping his wrists near the palm of his hands—and detected possible nerve compression in the carpal tunnel.
In the end, a hand specialist, occupational hand therapist, and integrative medicine pain management specialist were all enlisted as part of the drummer’s comprehensive treatment program.
The orthopedic hand specialist fitted the musician with hand splints for use at night, while the occupational therapist began hand therapy twice a week. Sessions included a paraffin wax dip and moist heat packs, hand massage to decrease swelling and improve mobility of the fingers, and gentle manipulation of the wrist, hands, and fingers. In addition, the therapist applied joint distractions (gentle pulling of the affected fingers). The drummer was taught hand-strengthening exercises to prevent pain recurrence.
The integrative medicine pain management specialist performed acupuncture once a week for four weeks, gradually reducing the treatment as the musician felt relief. Treatment focused on strategic points in the neck, arms, and hands. Acupuncture is not for everyone, however studies have shown it may restore resiliency by improving circulation and reducing muscle tension and inflammation around the placement of the needles. (Always consult with your primary care physician, and find a licensed practitioner with appropriate training and credentials.)
The integrative medicine physician recommended natural anti-inflammatories, namely ginger and curcumin (found in the Indian spice turmeric). In addition, topical capsaicin, a highly purified, heat-producing component in chili peppers, was applied to the top of the hands once a day. According to the clinical studies, capsaicin depletes the amount of substance P neurotransmitter that sends pain messages to the brain.
The Moeller Technique
The drummer modified his hand technique using the Moeller method. This technique uses gravity to do most of the work, emphasizing hand speed, power, and stick control, as well as the complete relaxation of the hand and arm muscles. Enlisting a strong downward whipping motion, the musician transitioned from pressing or gripping the drumstick predominately with the forefinger and thumb of the left hand down to the little finger. With this approach, the fulcrum is the back of the hand, allowing the other fingers to curl gently around the drumstick. This technique took pressure off the middle joints of the drummer’s hands, decreasing the risk of injury.
By employing the above treatments and techniques, the musician had dramatic relief of his hand pain, numbness, and tingling within four weeks. In addition, he had less swelling and was able to move his fingers with greater ease. Not only that, he experienced a higher degree of function, improved sound, and an overall sense of wellness.
Marc Brodsky, MD; John (Jack) Dowdle, MD; and Michele Lenes, OTR/L, are part of the Musicians’ Wellness Clinic in the Stamford Health System and are 2017 members in good standing of the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA).
Yamaha’s Recording Custom Series was reintroduced this year, making its debut at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (NOJHF). Yamaha collaborated with Local 802 (New York City) member Steve Gadd on creating the redesign. Together they set out to retain the greatest features of the previous Recording Custom Kit while incorporating the latest innovations. For the first time, the snare drums will be available in a variety of metal shells, including brass, stainless steel, and aluminum, and in sizes to meet the needs of all performance styles. The Recording Custom Series drum sets include 100% birch shells and 30-degree bearing edges. Yamaha has been an official drum sponsor of NOJHF since 1985.
Roland EC-10 EL Cajon adds Roland’s famous electronic percussion technology to this traditional percussion instrument. The self-contained instrument is battery powered and includes its own onboard amplification extending its capabilities to cover a wide range of percussion sounds in one portable instrument. The sound module includes 30 kits with sounds specially developed to complement EL Cajon—tambourine, djembe, shaker, acoustic snare, electronic drums, sound effects, and more. Top-mounted sound controls give quick access while performing. Rear panel controls include volume and a trigger balance knob. A mix in jack allows music to be played from a smartphone or other device.
Sabian’s Sound Kit is designed as a simple solution to superior drum sounds. No more piecing together microphone and mixer combinations and tweaking them to get the right sound. Sound Kit takes out the guesswork for practice sessions, rehearsals, and in live environments. It’s especially ideal for performances in small clubs, bars, and houses of worship. Fast setup and balanced XLR outputs simplify drum amplification. The kit is equipped with a kick-tuned channel, two optimized overhead channels, a high output headphone amp with both 3.5 mm and quarter-inch jacks, and a lineout for live audio applications. Preset audio filters on each channel maximize sound quality. The Sound Kit optimizes the proven Recorderman mic placement technique for natural drum sound. The kit’s mic set includes a dynamic kick drum mic and two overhead mics optimized for cymbals.
Roland’s TD-25 V-Drums deliver a superior drumming experience—dynamic, interactive feel, with sounds that respond organically to the touch. TD-25’s streamlined interface features quick and easy customization with a large dial for quick kit selection, sounds that can be edited by striking a pad or using knobs to change instruments and adjust tuning, muffling, and levels. Audio and MIDI data can be recorded directly via USB. TD-25 V-Drums are available in two configurations. TD-25KV includes: two eight-inch pads for rack toms, a 10-inch pad for floor tom, two 12-inch crash cymbals, a 13-inch ride cymbal, a kick pad, and V-Hi-Hat. TD-K includes: two 6.5-inch pads for rack toms, an eight-inch pad for floor tom, a 12-inch crash cymbal, a 13-inch ride cymbal, a kick pad, and V-Hi-Hat.
Remo’s Dorado cajons are designed and handcrafted in California using birch wood and two sets of three high-quality compression springs. Traditional fixed faceplate construction seals the drum completely to enable bass tones to resonate naturally. Remo’s new design forces the coil springs against the back of the faceplate for optimum spring tension. There is no need to adjust wires and replacing a set of coil springs is quick and easy with the “Quick Wedge” design. Simply slide the set off the precisely angled ledges, and transform the Flamenco style Dorado cajon into a traditional Peruvian cajon with pure bass tones. Dorado is available in all natural or amber body with a natural face.
Sabian’s Vintage Brown line of cymbal bags offer the unique look of high-end vintage bags in a durable and scratch resistant faux leather vinyl. The line includes Sabian’s Fast 22 and Pro 24 with a Fast Hat Pocket for quick set-up and tear down, plus classic cymbal bags with thick protective padding and stick bags with multiple pockets for numerous types of sticks and mallets.