Drum News Roundup – September 5 2018

If you’re interested in drumming news from around the web, here are some of the stand-out articles from past week! Featuring Dave Grohl, Andrew Tkaczyk, Joey Jordison, Terry Bozzio, Ringo Starr, and more,

Terry Bozzio - Drum Kit

Loudwire reports that Dave Grohl is playing drums on Tenacious D’s new album Post-Apocalypto, due to be released November this year. Along with the new album, a 6-part animated series (hand-drawn by Jack Black) will be released on Tenacious D’s YouTube channel.

Some inspiring stuff from The Ghost Inside drummer Andrew Tkaczyk in a recent interview with Digital Music News: After losing his left leg in a bus crash, he’s back playing double-bass drumming almost as well as before the accident. His father has crafted a device that allows him to play without his prosthesis, pushing down on the kick pedal with what is known as “The Hammer” (pictured below from a few months ago):

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This is something I’ve been excited to share for a very long time. My Dad is quite the handy-man, and came up with this great idea. Playing drums with a prosthetic leg just wasn’t working out. The timing was way too off. There was a latency. It was awkward and clunky. My Dad had a vision of designing me a device where I didn’t need to attach my prosthesis at all. This way there is no weight my limb has to lift which eliminates fatigue, and gives me a FAR better action when striking the pedal. With that said, I still have a long way to go before I get it 100% down, but it’s absolutely the right direction to go in terms of playing as close to my full potential as possible! My Mom coined the name for this device so we’ve been calling it “The Hammer” 🔨 Going to stream live here on Instagram within the next hour so come hang out!

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If you’re into vintage snare drums, Reverb has a great article by vintage drum expert Ned Ingberman. Ned covers his top 10 vintage snare drums, with some stunning photographs and in-depth explanations along the way. There are some jaw-dropping snare drums here, most of which are criminally expensive.

In an interview with Revolver Magazine, Joey Jordison covers the “6 albums that made me”, citing the influences that inspired him musically and help craft his drumming style. On the list are some classic heavy albums including Slayer’s Reign in Blood, Alive! by Kiss, Led Zeppelin’s self-titled album, Kill ‘Em All by Metallica, Houdini by the Melvins, and Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality.

Drum legend Terry Bozzio is interviewed in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he covers his current and past projects, how he got into drumming, and some of his favourite performances and musical collaborations.

Ringo Starr goes into detail on how he was introduced to drumming – while spending months in hospital as a sick teenager. Starr features on The Big Interview with Dan Rather (airing October 2nd). In a pre-release of the full interview, Starr talks of his problems with peritonitis and tuberculosis, which left him hospitalized for months. It was here that he discovered his passion for drumming, from a woman who would bring instruments into the hospital.

Today (September 5th) marks the birthday of Paiste Cymbals founder Michail Toomas Paiste, born on this day in 1877.

Here’s a nice little fact: 60 years ago (on September 7th 1968) Led Zeppelin performed their first show at Gladsaxe Teen Clubs in Gladsaxe, Denmark, with John Bonham on drums.

If you’ve got any other great news-worthy drum stories, feel free to let us know.

Drummers In California – Got Skills?

Roderick Chambers is a singer in Orange County CA, and he’s looking to recruit a drummer for his new band. If you’ve got the skills to match the Instagram video below, then get in touch with him to audition for upcoming dates.

Roderick’s resume includes working with Timbaland, performing at NBA games, and being the artist in residence at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel. His signature is technical control and genre versatility.

Check out this awesome video for a taste of what he’s looking for. Even if you don’t apply, there’s some inspirational stuff right here:

Make Your Voice Heard in DRUM! Magazine’s Drummies! Awards

Drummies 2018

DRUM! Magazine have just opened the voting for their annual Drummies! Awards. This is the biggest public poll in the drumming world, where you can have your say on everything drum-related.

Categories span different drums and kits, cymbals, hardware, pedals, beaters, drumheads, sticks, and educational sites. Speaking of educational sites, we’d be blown away if you voted for us! We’re proud to be a 100% free educational resource for the drumming world. It’s a very small operation here at DrumheadAuthority, and it’s a little hard to compete against the big players, but we hope you still find us just as useful (especially the drumhead selector). And if you don’t vote for us, that’s okay too…. Just make sure your opinion is heard (but seriously, vote for us :)).

Click here to vote!
The Educational Website section is 3rd from the bottom, and you don’t need to vote for every single category… Keep it to the stuff that matters to you.

This is the perfect way to help shape the drumming world – make sure your voice is heard, so there’ll be a little bit more of what you like out there.

The poll is open until September 1st, 2018 so don’t wait – vote now!

New Budget Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Kit

After the announcement in June, Alesis have now released their updated all-mesh-head electronic drum kit, perfect for beginners or those wanting a great e-kit on a budget. For the price, this is an excellent way to get into electronic drums without sacrificing on feel (or looks).

Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Kit Closeup

The Alesis Nitro Mesh’s big drawcard are the all-mesh snare and tom heads – this is something usually only found on higher-end electronic drums (on cheaper kits you’ll sometimes just get a mesh snare drum). Alesis have stepped things up by providing an 8″ dual-zone mesh snare, and three 8″ mesh toms. The dual-zone snare means you can trigger two different sounds on the one pad (for example a regular snare hit and a rimshot or rim click). The Alesis Nitro Mesh kit also features three 10″ cymbals (hi hats, a chokable crash, and ride), a hi hat pedal, kick drum pedal, and kick drum tower.

Alesis Nitro Module - Mesh Electronic Drum KitThe brain driving the Nitro Mesh kit is the Nitro drum module, which comes with 385 drum, cymbal, and percussion sounds, plus 60 play-along songs, a sequencer, and a metronome. You can record your performances directly onto the module, which is helpful for analyzing your playing and finding areas to improve. There are 40 built-in drum kits, spanning a nice range of music genres and drumming styles, and drummers can program their own customized kits. The Nitro module allows drummers to assign any sound to any drum or cymbal, to build full custom drum kits.

Importantly, the Nitro module also has USB/MIDI and MIDI in/out functionality, allowing drummers to plug into a computer (PC or Mac) to record and use virtual instruments. Connecting to drumming software (like EZDrummer) will give you an unlimited range of kits and sounds, and the ability to record anywhere with just a computer. MIDI in and out also allows connection to MIDI-enabled drum machines, other drum modules, or any other MIDI music gear.

Other must-have features include the CD/MP3 input, allowing you to play along with your own music, stereo outputs (for connecting to a PA/drum amp), and headphone output for silent practice. Everything is supported by a 4-post aluminium rack, and you’ll get everything you need to start playing in the box (drum sticks, drum key, cables, guides).

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to get into electronic drumming, the Alesis Nitro Mesh is an excellent choice. Mesh pads are quieter than standard rubber pads on other kits in this price range, and this kit both looks and sounds great. It’s perfect for apartment-drumming (and if you need to be extra-quiet, see these tips for reducing your drum volume). Yamaha have also recently announced an upgrade to their budget-friendly electronic drums with the DTX402 – it’s also worth checking out if you’re shopping for a quality electronic drum kit that won’t break the bank. It’s worth mentioning, however, that the Yamaha kit come with rubber and not mesh pads (although the rubber does feel nice and is fairly quiet). Click here to check the latest price of the Alesis Mesh Nitro kit (and to read more).

Sabian’s Custom Cymbal Shop: Create Your Own Custom Cymbals!

If you’ve built your own dream drum kit with Sonor’s brilliant SQ2 Drum Configurator, you’ll know how much fun it is to create your own fully custom drum gear!

Now Sabian have come to the party, with the brand new Sabian Custom Cymbal Shop. The Cymbal Shop website lets you build your own fully custom cymbals completely from scratch, and they’ve got a huge range of features to choose from. At the end you’ll get a price, and your custom cymbal will be delivered to your local drum store (if you pull the trigger and actually order it!).

Sabian Custom Cymbal Shop Lathing

You’ll start building your dream cymbals by choosing your custom cymbal type (there’s options for hi hats, rides, crashes, splashes, or china cymbals). From here, you can customize your cymbal’s size, profile, weight, hammering, bell size, bell treatment, and top and bottom lathing. You can also add enhancements to your cymbal (like holes, rivets, and sound control). Across each step you’ll see your custom cymbal take shape as you change the different features.

Sabian should really be commended for putting in a lot of effort to educate drummers throughout the cymbal customization process… Through each section you’ll see high-quality videos and written information on exactly how your choices will change your cymbal’s sound. Even if you’re not looking to build a custom cymbal, it’s well worth going through each step to learn about how a cymbal’s features can really affect the end result. I guarantee even professional drummers will learn something here. Here’s one of their videos on how crash hammering affects the cymbal’s tone, projection, and its ability to open up:

There are dozens of similar videos available. Each one shows different cymbal types, and how different techniques across the cymbal making process will change a cymbal’s sound. You can also find some of these videos on YouTube, however for the moment (at the time of writing), Sabian hasn’t built intuitive playlists for all of them. Go here to run through all of their hi hat videos in one YouTube playlist (we’ll add links to more playlists if they appear).

Sabian Custom Cymbal Shop Custom Artisan Crash

If you go ahead and buy one of these cymbals, we’d love to see photos of it when you pick up the finished product. If your custom cymbal creation is a little out of your price range, you can save your design via email… You know, for when you’ve got a little bit of extra cash in your wallet. Or maybe just to go back and dream.

Go to SabianCustomShop.com now to check it out, and build your own set of fully custom Sabian cymbals. If you can’t afford an elaborate custom Sabian creation, then see our huge guide on buying used cymbals: You can find some great bargains as long as you know how to avoid the duds!

Happy 100th Birthday To… The Modern Drum Kit!

Did you know that 2018 marks the 100th birthday of the drum kit as we know it today?

Back in 1918, Ludwig released the Jazz Er Up. This was an “all-in-one” drum set featuring a single-tension 3″ x 12″ snare drum, and a single-tension 8″ x 24″ bass drum. In the photo below, you’ll notice the snare and bass drum heads are tensioned on the resonant side, which also pulls on the batter side at the same time! Also included were two cymbals, one 13″ Chinese crash (hanging from the bass drum) and one 12″ crash (mounted to the bass drum’s hoop). The lower hoop-mounted cymbal was hit with the bass drum pedal’s cymbal striker. The Jazz Er Up also featured a wood block mounted to the top of the bass drum’s hoop.

Ludwig Jazz Er Up 1918 Drum Kit

This kit provided a huge range of sounds to drummers at the time, and sparked the beginning of the drum kit as we know it today. While drums have been played for thousands of years, there has been a huge ongoing evolution in the relatively short time since the Jazz Er Up was released in 1918.

If you’ve got a spare five minutes, NPR has a great little audio special covering the last 100 years of drums and drum kits. Drummer and historian Daniel Glass is interviewed, along with Fugazi’s Brendan Canty – it’s a great little piece well worth listening to. Listeners are taken on a journey starting at Ludwig’s Jazz Er Up, later innovations, the invention of electronic drums, right up to today’s drum sets. Check it out below, or head to NPR’s website to listen or read the transcript.

Chad Smith Drums With Foo Fighters Live On Stage: Video

Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith joined Foo Fighters on stage Saturday night, taking over the drums during a cover of Stay With Me by The Faces (sidenote: the original song features a young Rod Stewart on vocals).

Foo Fighters were playing at Jones Beach, New York when Smith was invited onto the stage to take over on the drums.

Chad Smith Drumming With Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins handled the lead vocal role for the song, with Dave Grohl on guitar and backing vocals.

The action was captured by a fan in the crowd, check out the video footage below:

Foo Fighters are currently touring North America on their Concrete And Gold 2018 Tour.

The New Yamaha DTX402 Beginner’s Electronic Drum Kit

Yamaha have just announced a big update to their range of beginner’s electronic drum kits. The brand new Yamaha DTX402 series is designed to help new drummers improve their skills and technique, with some great features.

Yamaha DTX452K Beginners Electronic Drum Kit

The DTX402 series is an update to the older DTX400 range, and includes some nice upgrades like quieter and more natural feeling drum and cymbal pads, and a redesigned rack for greater stability, pad placement, and customization.

The brain driving everything is the new Yamaha DTX402 module, which includes 10 fully customizable drum kits and 287 drum and percussion sounds. The sound library covers all of the standard samples you’d expect, with a focus on pop, rock, and jazz drumming. There are also 128 keyboard sounds, 9 different reverb effects, training and learning functions, drumming exercises, and a recording function so drummers can listen back to their playing.

There are a couple of different versions available for the new Yamaha DTX402 series, with the DTX402 module included with both options:

  • The base model is the DTX402K, which features silent hi-hat and kick drum pedals, three cymbal pads, and four drum pads.
  • The full-featured DTX452K comes with a three-zone snare pad (giving drummers a head, rim-shot, and cross-stick zone), a more expressive hi-hat pedal, and the KP65 kick drum tower with pedal.

Along with the new hardware, Yamaha have also released the DTX402 Touch app for iOS and Android. The app allows drummers to fully customize their kits, control the module’s training functions, and access video tutorials and skill testing challenges.

For drummers looking for a high-quality beginner’s electronic drum kit, these new Yamaha kits are great options. Along with Roland, Yamaha are one of the leaders in professional electronic drum gear. Click here to check the latest price of both models.

Looking to step up from the beginner’s range of electronic drum kits? Take a look at the new Roland TD-17 series, which is a great intermediate electronic kit.

Need low-volume drumming options? Check out our guide to quiet drumming and reducing your drum kit’s volume – perfect for playing without annoying the neighbours. 

Pantera Drummer Vinnie Paul Passes Away Age 54

Vinnie Paul, drummer for Pantera, Damageplan, and Hellyeah, has passed away aged 54 years. No other information is available on his death.

Vinnie Paul

Pantera released a statement on their Facebook page notifying the world of his passing:

“Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away.
Paul is best known for his work as the drummer in the bands Pantera and Hellyeah.
No further details are available at this time. The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time.”

Vinnie Paul was a co-founding member of Pantera (in 1981), and Damageplan (in 2003). His brother Dimebag Darrell was tragically shot and killed on stage while performing with Damageplan in 2004. After taking a break from performing, Vinnie Paul joined the metal supergroup Hellyeah in 2006.

Vinnie Paul used Evans drumheads, Sabian cymbals, and ddrum drums.

Iron Maiden 2018: Nicko McBrain’s New Drum Kit Video Tour

Nicko McBrain 2018 Iron Maiden Drum Kit Tour

Legendary Iron Maiden drummer Nick McBrain has just released a really cool video tour of his 2018 drum kit, to be used in Iron Maiden’s shows across 2018.

The video gets up close to Nicko’s beautiful custom-made Sonor SQ2 9-ply beechwood kit. The artwork around each drum features different iterations of Iron Maiden’s Eddie mascot.

The drum kit also features a full set of custom black painted Paiste cymbals. Nicko uses Remo Ambassador X drumheads for tom batter heads (these are slightly thicker than regular Ambassadors), and Ambassador Ebony for resonant heads. His snare drum features a heavy-duty Remo Emperor X: these are extremely thick drumheads capable of handling long-term hard hitting and abuse.

Check out Nicko McBrain’s video tour of his 2018 Iron Maiden drum kit below:

Iron Maiden have recently kicked off their Legacy Of The Beast 2018 tour, which runs across Europe from May to August.

Nicko McBrain celebrated his 66th birthday on stage in Copenhagen on June 5th… take a look at the crowd singing Happy Birthday to him below:

If you’re interested in making your own custom Sonor SQ2 drum kit, check out the Sonor SQ2 Drum Configurator, where you can build your own fully customized Sonor kit online (and then buy it if you wallet allows!).