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Ben Scholz
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A few months ago, in the article "School Band Percussion 101" we discussed ideas for newbie drummers looking to purchase their first instrument.  As we approach the holiday season, the opportunity to augment your drummer’s arsenal of percussion tools is a great way to encourage them to practice during those cold winter months.  There are a lot of great options out there, and narrowing down the list can be daunting.  Take a look at this guide for some suggestions on what to get to spread the holiday vibes.

 

Stick Bag

If your beginning drummer has a habit of leaving sticks all over the practice room floor, what better gift than a drum stick bag?  This handy case is a percussion implement essential and most models easily hold a dozen pairs of sticks, mallets, brushes etc.  We recommend the Zildjian T3255 Nylon Drumstick as an entry level option.  For drummers looking for a larger “toolbox” check out the Ludwig Lx31 Atlas Pro, complete with shoulder strap and side pocket.

Tune Bot

Help your percussionist learn the art of drum tuning with this helpful digital device.  Developed by Overtone labs, the tune-bot was modeled after digital guitar headstock tuning devices.  Features such as pitch measurement, overtone filters, and save slots allow drummers to find optimal pitch ranges and save preferred tunings.

Moongel

When all those overtones are slowing your drummer’s roll, give them the most popular dampening device available. Moongel is a self-adhesive, washable non-toxic gel that sticks to the surface of drum heads, cymbals and most percussion instruments.  Cheap and effective, a tub of Moongel is an essential tool in any drummer's stick bag.

Drum Key

Easily the most crucial component in any drummer’s rig, a quality drum key can save both time and fingertips when it comes to tuning and setting up.  For drummers looking for a multi-tool we recommend the Evans DATK Torque Drum Key.  Complete with an ergonomic grip for maximum comfort, a knurled knob for quick spinning, and a slip-resistant magnetic head, the torque drum key makes the job easy.  The torque drum key’s handle can also be set to a desired tension to help attain more accurate tuning.

Metronome

Though we discussed the topic of metronomes in our last article, it bears mentioning a second time, that a quality time keeper is perhaps the most important tool for any musician.  A simple device such as the Korg MA-30 will help keep the beat, while the Boss DB-60 offers a full range of rhythm patterns, looping functions and tuning options.  For a more classic feel, the Wittner 803M Wood-Case Metronome is a great addition to any practice room or recital hall.

Article by Ben Scholz  Originally published 11/14/14 in Reverb.com

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