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Showing posts from October, 2012

PASIC 2012

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PASIC 2012 is next week in Austin, Texas. I'm looking forward to being there, both because I'm presenting a clinic session on "The Healing Sounds of Gongs & Singing Bowls," but also because of the John Cage 100th Birthday Celebration. There are a lot of great performances of Cage's percussion music, as well as music inspired by him, and music from his contemporaries. I'm also looking forward to checking out & playing the latest gear at the exhibits, and am looking to spend a few dollars at Steve Weiss Music and a few other places.

I was fortunate to have presented a session on "Contemporary Gong Use" at the 2005 PASIC in Columbus, Ohio. It remains one of my best experiences ever. I love to talk about and play Gongs for people, especially fellow percussionists. And there is nothing like having people you admire and listen to at your session. Quite amazing.

So I hope to see some of you there. Please stop by, say "Hello" afterwards. I&#…

This VS That

Over the years I've been a musician, run drum shops, worked for manufacturers, written about drums, and various other aspects of the wide ranging music business. Through all this I've come into contact with a lot of different people, and I've observed a lot. I also tend to frequent various online drum forums, and one of the things that I keep seeing is the argument of "This VS That." What I particularly mean is people who proclaim one brand of drums/cymbals/heads/etc. are the only one worthy of being used. 

I'm all for brand loyalty. In fact, I make no secrets about my endorsements of Paiste and Balter Mallets, but I never tell anyone that Paiste or Balter are the only choices you should make when buying gear. And I also don't look down upon others who use something else. In my career, I've owned and played cymbals from Zildjian, Sabian, Meinl, UFIP, Pearl, and a few other companies. They were all great cymbals, or I wouldn't have played them. In f…

Hazard Profile

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If you are a drummer/percussionist, then you take great care of your hands, because they are your career. But sometimes little things happen—there are always hazards. Like last week when I was packing up from my gig. I had taken apart my Gong rack and was putting a tube in the carry bag when I felt a sharp pain—I knew what it was. Pulling my hand out, I could see blood dripping down my fingers. I quickly grabbed my finger, squeezing it to stop the bleeding, and ran out of the back room in search of some help. Fortunately, I found a band-aid, and even better, a friend to help apply it while I still squeezed my finger (thanks Mark!).

What happend was the tip if my right index finger was sliced open, much like a giant paper cut, by a large flake of chrome coming off one of the rack tubes. I've had this happen enough times before to know what had happened even before I looked at my finger.

1 inch chrome flake
Now I'm not writing about all this to be dramatic, but to remind everyone t…

There is No Perfect World…

There is no perfect world. I'm sorry, but someone has to tell you sooner than later. I might as well be that someone.

"Yeah, my drumming will be better when I find the perfect ride cymbal."

Bull shit. There is no perfect ride cymbal (or snare drum, or hi-hats, or Chinas, or pedal, or anything). The perfect ride cymbal is the one you have right in front of you right now. Don't play it thinking, "If only I had one with more sparkle/wobble/mojo." If you do, you are wasting everyone's time, especially your own. You are not bothering to make music, you are just waiting to make music at some future mythological date when you have the Holy Grail ride cymbal. Then you can commence to make music.

Well, the future never arrives, because when it does, it becomes the present. And the present is where you need to live. So make music with what's in front of you today, in front of you right now. Don't worry about the future, because it doesn't exist. Take car…