RIP Roy Burns, Aquarian Drumheads Founder

Very sad news over the weekend as we learn that Roy Burns has passed away. Roy was the founder of Aquarian drumheads, and a world-renowned drummer and educator.

Before Aquarian, Roy worked as a performing drummer and clinician around the world. He founded Aquarian Accessories in the early 1980’s, and began producing Aquarian drumheads in 1987. Aquarian has since grown to become one of the best drumhead brands in the world, known for quality and innovation.

As well as creating drumheads and accessories, Roy wrote a number of great drumming books, ranging from basic skills to advanced techniques.

Photo: Drummerworld.com

Roy will be greatly missed in the drumming community.

For more on his life and drumming story, take a look at this great video with drum legend Dom Famularo interviewing Roy Burns a few years ago:

Drum Legend Jabo Starks Dies Age 79

Jabo Starks, one of the funkiest drummers to ever sit behind a kit, has passed away today age 79. A pioneer in the funk drumming world and a huge influence to countless drummers, Starks died in his home in Mobile, Alabama after fighting leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. The new has been confirmed by Starks’ manager Kathie Williams. 

John Henry “Jabo” Starks was a key drummer for James Brown, playing on many of Brown’s biggest hits and bestselling albums. Jabo Starks was often joined on stage and in the studio by the equally funky Clyde Stubblefield, in a two-drummer groove team that formed the foundation of James Brown’s music.

Alongside bandmate Clyde Stubblefield, Jabo Starks can be heard playing on many of James Brown’s classics including Sex Machine, The Payback, Super Bad, I Got the Feelin’, Cold Sweat, and Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.

Check out this great interview with Jabo Starks to see him in action:

Drum Beats Like Human Speech

Royal Society Open Science has a super interesting new publication showing how the Amazonian Bora people use drums to communicate across long distances.

This is more than just a morse code style of communication: The drum patterns closely match their language. Small variations in the beat placement match how their words are vocalized, to create sentences that travel much farther than the human voice. Compared to shouting, the sound of their drums can travel up to 10 times the distance.

Check out the video below to see it in action. Read the RSOS paper here, or check out a more digestible article from Science Mag here.

BYOS Clinician Tour @ Selected Guitar Centers Across The USA

Evans have announced that in-demand marching drumming duo BYOS (Bring Your Own Style) are heading to Guitar Centers in the US for a short clinician tour.

These guys are hard-working, super entertaining, and they have insane technical ability. They’ve got some really great youtube videos which have been hits across the internet (check them out here).

Both members of BYOS have been honing their skills on drumlines in the USA since they were young. They’re multiple-award winners, and they’ve both toured the world performing, teaching, and composing exciting drum pieces.

If you’re near any of the Guitar Center stores listed below, get along and check them out:

  • Sunday May 14: Northeast Expy ATLANTA, GA 30329  2PM
  • Monday May 15: Eastern Blvd. MONTGOMERY, AL 36117  6PM
  • Thursday May 18: N. Kendall Drive MIAMI, FL 33156  6PM
  • Friday May 19: Nordhoff Street NORTHRIDGE, CA 91234  6PM
  • Saturday May 20: 7425 Sunset Blvd. HOLLYWOOD, CA 90046  2PM

More dates will be added soon.

Huge New Article: The Best Music Gifts for Musicians

Want the best music gifts for musicians in 2018? This is the ultimate guide! We’ve got the best music gifts for music lovers, regardless of your budget.

Best Music Gifts for Musicians and Music Lovers

Following on from our best drum gifts article, a few people have reached out to ask about gifts for other musicians. So, we thought we’d put together a huge guide covering all of the best gear.

This is the ultimate list of music gifts for music lovers in 2018. Importantly, this is a list made by musicians, for musicians, with a strict *no junk* policy. There’s ideas for musicians birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, anniversaries, graduation, gifts for music teachers & more. We’ve included ideas for every age & budget, all categorized by price. If you feel like there’s something missing, let us know!

Check out the huge gift guide here, to find the best music gifts for musicians and music lovers of all ages.

New Article: Buying Used Cymbals: The Ultimate Guide

Following on from the guide to buying used drums, we now have everything you need to know about buying used cymbals.

Buying Used Cymbals - The Ultimate Guide

You can find some amazing bargains with used cymbals, as long as you know what to look for. Make sure you see the red flags to avoid getting ripped off!

Check out the huge guide to buying used cymbals, covering all of the important stuff, the not-so-important stuff, and some extra tips for getting the most out of your cymbals.

2018 New Tool Album: Danny Carey is Recording Drums Now

It’s been more than a decade since their last release, but it looks like a new album from Tool is slowly getting closer in 2018.

Pictured is Danny Carey’s drum kit, set up in the studio for recording the new 2018 Tool album. In the background is drum tech Joe Paul:

Danny Carey’s official website posted the above photo showing his kit set up, with the caption:

READY TO BEGIN TRACKING FOR TOOL. It appears that long time tech JOE PAUL has the drums and electronics arranged in the studio for Danny to start tracking.”

Joe Barresi (who worked on Tool’s 10,000 Days) is handling engineering. Danny is tracking drums first, followed by the other instruments, and finally vocals.

The photo shows Danny’s huge drum kit, with his signature Sonor 14×8″ bronze snare drum in the center. Some of the stand-out features are the purple Paiste Monad 22″ Dry Heavy Ride, the Roland Octapad and Handsonic, and the huge amount of electronic pads spread around the kit.  He’s also using a Roc-N-Soc drum throne.

Danny Carey has been using Evans drumheads since 1998. He also plays Paiste cymbals, Hammerax Percussion, and Roland and Korg electronics.

Specifically, Danny Carey uses an Evans Power Center snare drumhead, Evans G1 Clear tom batter heads, and Evans EQ3 Clear bass drum batter heads.

New Article: Buying Used Drums: The Ultimate Guide

Looking for a used drum kit, but want to avoid getting a dud!?

Check out our used drums buying guide, with everything you need to know!

Buying Used Drums - The Ultimate Guide

There is so much great used drum gear out there, you just need to know what to avoid… We go into detail on the important stuff, the not-so-important stuff, and how to breathe new life into a used drum kit.

Learn exactly what to look for when buying used drums, and get the most value for your money. The right used drum sets can sound great, so use these essential tips to make sure you get a top set of used drums.

Check out the in-depth guide to buying used drum sets now!

Hit Like A Girl Competition 2018

The 7th annual Hit Like A Girl global drumming competition is coming up.

Hit Like A Girl Logo

Hit Like A Girl is a worldwide contest for female percussionists, aiming to put the spotlight on girls drumming, and to encourage musicianship among females of all age levels. Some great companies are sponsoring this event, and there will be some great prizes available.

The competition is open to female drummers of all skill levels, so don’t hold back if you’re wondering whether you’re good enough!

To enter, you must:
  • Be female (this one is hopefully obvious!).
  • Be an amateur drummer (if you make more that $50k/year and have an endorsement, you’re not eligible).
  • Send in a 3-minute drumming video. This can include solos, covers, or live gigs. Showcase your skills somehow!
  • Include a short bio, outlining your drumming story, and a recent photo of you behind the drum kit.

There is an under 18, and an 18+ age category.

Drummers are evaluated on their performance (their groove, sound, technique, musicality, and interpretation), as well as their presentation and their personal story.

For some inspiration, check out Hit Like A Girl’s Hall of Fame, which includes some great videos from past winners and runners up.

There are three ways to make it to the finals:
  • Between March 1st and April 11, 2018, there will be weekly contests where judges will choose a weekly winner. Each weekly winner will become a finalist.
  • Between April 12 and April 25, 2018, the public can vote on their favourite drummer. The two drummers in the under 18 and 18+ categories with the most votes will become finalists.
  • Wildcards will be chosen as finalists based on their drumming skills and presentation.

You only need to send in one application, and you’ll have a chance to become a finalist across every week of the competition.

Judging will take place between May 3 and May 16, 2018, with a winner to be announced on May 24th.

For more information and to enter, go to Hit Like A Girl’s website. Good luck!