RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

  • Playing with Four Mallets: Interval Changes by Emily Tannert Patterson and Josh Gottry

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Sep 20, 2021

    As a reminder, the terminology utilized in installments of this series on 4-mallet keyboard technique were codified in Leigh Howard Stevens’ book Method of Movement. If you haven’t read the first five articles, check for archived articles in Rhythm! Scene. In this particular article, we’ll be addressing movement within the hands to change intervals between mallets, applicable to all four stroke types discussed thus far. 

    A DELIBERATE APPROACH
    As mentioned in the previous articles in this series, as you are just starting out, perform your stroke motions and interval changes away from the keyboard first: slowly, out of time, on a floor, couch, or pillow. Once you can do the motion correctly without any breakdowns in the grip, try playing whole, half, quarter, and then eighth notes to a music track (whatever sort of music you enjoy listening too), still away from the keyboard. None of these individual strokes are particularly difficult to master and neither are interval changes, but it is important that you are able to execute each with consistency and with a proper grip and hand position. Allowing yourself to build muscle tone, comfort, and skill without worrying about note accuracy is an essential part of maintaining motivation and confidence with this new technique. You may apply the interval change instructions in this article to any of the exercises included with the articles on each of the four stroke types.

    Once you are ready to move onto a keyboard, focus on being able to maintain the comfortable and consistent motion you solidified on a flat surface. As with any percussion stroke technique, practice in front of a mirror to watch your motion and hand position, whether you are practicing on a pillow, the floor, or on a keyboard instrument.

    CHANGING INTERVALS
    Once you are able to maintain grip and use the proper stroke motion on static pitches or intervals or on a flat surface, it’s time to learn how to change the distance between the two mallet heads when they strike the keyboard, also known as the interval between pitches. Begin by applying these shifts to double vertical and single alternating strokes, then extend to single independent and double lateral exercises. Keep in mind that the interval changes should happen during the recovery portion of the previous stroke, always allowing your mallets to hover over the new targets at the high set position. Attempting to aim while the mallet is descending is a recipe for missed notes! Remember that you must be proficient with the initial stroke type before adding this extra layer of challenge.

    Stevens Technique: To expand or contract the interval between mallets in the same hand, simply extend or retract the index finger. This will move the inside mallet in relation to the outside mallet and increase or decrease the space between the mallets. (The outside mallet is fixed in position and should never move!) Be sure that the inside mallet sits in the crease of the knuckle nearest the fingertip throughout the movement. The mallet should not be rolled or otherwise moved; it is the finger that moves, and the mallet that goes along for the ride. This motion should give you a range of a second or third to at least a sixth; while there are other maneuvers that allow for greater intervals, this motion is sufficient to allow you to play beginning- and intermediate-level four-mallet literature.

    Burton Grip: Start with a comfortable third or fourth interval, with a fulcrum on the inside mallet formed between the thumb and index finger and the ring finger anchoring the outside mallet shaft. To decrease the interval between the mallets, move the index finger up and out of the space between the mallets, press the inside mallet closer to the outside one with the thumb, and use the back fingers to squeeze the mallet shafts closer together. For a larger interval (fifth, sixth, or larger), move the thumb between the mallet shafts, forming a fist. Allow the index finger to wrap around and secure the inside mallet shaft, while the ring finger will again anchor the outside mallet shaft inside the hand.

    Traditional Grip: Start with an interval of a third, with the side of the thumb resting on the top of the inside mallet and the index finger touching the inside of the outside mallet just between the first and second knuckles. To decrease the interval between mallets, allow the thumb to nestle under a slightly extended index finger and curl the middle finger around the back shafts of the mallets, pulling the mallet heads closer together. For a lager interval, extend the thumb and index finger along the insides of each mallet and allow the ring finger to release the back shaft of the inside mallet, leaving the pinky finger to support the contrary pressure at the mallet crossing point.

    A SECOND SET OF EYES
    As you continue the exploration and development of your four-mallet technique, it is recommended that you seek out assistance from a percussion specialist in your area. While we strive to be careful and detailed in our descriptions, having a second set of eyes review your hands in these grips with these various interval positions is advantageous in ensuring the right foundational habits are established, from which point you can continue to explore advancing techniques and literature.

    Emily Tannert PattersonEmily Tannert Patterson is a percussionist and online educator in Cambridge, U.K. Previously she was a percussion educator, arranger, clinician, and consultant in the Austin, Texas, area, serving as the percussion director at Rouse High School and Wiley Middle School in Leander from 2015 till 2018 and at East View High School, Georgetown from 2011 until 2015. Her ensembles garnered numerous accolades, including winning the 2016 PAS IPEC. Patterson holds a master's degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied with Thomas Burritt and Tony Edwards. Patterson earned her bachelor’s degree in Instrumental Music Studies, along with an undergraduate Performance Certificate in Percussion and her Texas teaching certificate, from UT in 2008, and received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from Northwestern University in 2004. Patterson marched with the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2003 and was a member of the 2004 Winter Guard International world champion indoor drumline Music City Mystique. Prior to her move to the U.K., she was active in judging around the country. Patterson holds professional memberships in the Texas Music Educators Association and the Percussive Arts Society and serves on the PAS Education Committee. 

    Josh GottryJosh Gottry is a respected educator, accomplished percussionist, and internationally recognized composer who has been working with, and creating music for, the next generation of percussionists for over twenty years. He has served on the music faculty at college and university campuses around the Phoenix metropolitan area, works regularly with ensembles and students at all grade levels as a clinician and within his private lesson studio, and his performance record includes professional orchestras, musical theater, worship teams, jazz combos, community and chamber ensembles, as well as solo performances and recitals. Gottry is an ASCAP award-winning composer whose works have been performed at colleges and universities, junior high and high schools, and multiple national conferences, and he serves as editor for Rhythm! Scene.

  • You Are Your Own Teacher: Building Successful Practice and Time Management Skills by Justin M. Bunting

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Sep 17, 2021

    Every musician needs to practice. That’s a fact whether you are a beginner or a world-renowned virtuoso. Too often, however, we do not talk enough about HOW to practice. In a fast-paced world, efficient and productive practice also requires the ability to manage your time wisely. It is incredibly important to state that practice and time management are learned skills not unlike playing an instrument. I believe that they are two of the most important skills that any musician can learn. 

    In this article, I will take you through my Top Ten Tips for Effective Practice as well as some information on improving your ability to manage your time. These tips are presented as if the reader is a student taking weekly lessons with an instructor. They are applicable, however, to all musicians and can be tailored based on your situation.

    1. TEACH YOURSELF
    Practice is a class, and YOU are the teacher. Many university-level private studios require at least one hour of practice per day per credit hour of the lesson. So, if you are taking a two-credit lesson, that is at least 14 hours of practice per week. In many studios, more than that is required, but let us use 14 hours as an example. 

    In this scenario, you are practicing 14 times the amount of time each week that you spend in a lesson. Therefore, if you are waiting for the lesson to be taught, you are missing out on 14 more hours of instruction every week. So how do you teach yourself? Imagine you are your own student. Record yourself (audio and video) and listen back critically. Take notes and correct any errors or issues you find. This is not just about playing wrong notes. Critique your own musicality, phrasing, dynamic range, technique, and so on. Finally, ask yourself: “Why am I missing that note every time?” Diagnose what is happening physically to lead to the wrong note. Mindless repetition need not apply.

    2. PRACTICE SLOWLY
    Slow and deliberate practice is essential to achieve an accurate and musical performance. I do not like to say words like “always” and “never” in music, so instead I will say “almost always” practice with a metronome. It not only helps keep your rhythmic integrity intact, but it keeps you honest in regard to tempo in general. We tend to naturally play a phrase or section too fast too quickly after it is comfortable to play. Therefore, it’s easy to play faster and faster with each repetition without noticing if you are not using a metronome. 

    Slow practice takes patience, but it is necessary. Be sure to include dynamics, preliminary phrasing, and inflection at a slow tempo. Do not wait to add those things later. Also, you need to move and breathe like you will have to at tempo. Slow practice can encourage unnecessary, extraneous motion if you are not careful. Test a particularly difficult line at tempo just to see if the way you are moving works.

    3. DIVIDE PRACTICE SESSIONS
    Many practice sessions take on the format of what is called “blocked” practice. Blocked practice is when a soccer player tries to make 100 penalty kicks in a row. In music, it may be where someone tries to run through a section 10 times without playing a wrong note. This method can work, and we often feel great at the end of the session. However, at the start of the next session, you may feel like you have gone backwards overnight. Our brain is excited by new things and, in effect, bored by repetition. 

    Therefore, I suggest trying interleaved practice. This is breaking down the practice session into smaller segments and alternating between those segments throughout the session. For example, if you are practicing major scales on marimba, give yourself two minutes per scale. Set a timer on your phone or other device for two minutes, practice C major, and then move on to G major when the timer goes off. Repeat this for as many scales as you want to practice in that session. Just be sure you keep coming back to the first scales throughout the session until you’ve met your goal for the day.

    4. PRACTICE SMARTER, NOT NECESSARILY LONGER
    Efficiency is paramount in a busy world. Though it’s often necessary to practice long hours due to the sheer volume of material percussionists are asked to study, we can make our practice more efficient, productive, and positive. Take a break every 20–30 minutes at least. Even a two-minute break is extremely valuable to maintaining focus. Leave the practice room, get a drink or a snack, or take a quick walk outside if the weather is nice. This is refreshing and breaks the monotony of being in the same room for an hour or more.

    I do not suggest, however, looking at your phone or other device. It is far too easy to go down a social media spiral and waste time that is supposed to be productive. 

    5. KEEP A PRACTICE LOG
    If practice is a class, and you are your own teacher, a practice log is both your reflection on the current class and a lesson plan for the next class. As a teacher, would you not make notes about how today’s class went and make a lesson plan for the next one? Of course, you would! You are teaching this class called “Practice” and your student (you) deserves that attention to detail. You do not deserve a teacher (you) who is simply winging it and hoping for the best every day. (There is some information about what to put in your practice log later on in this article.)

    6. PRACTICE AWAY FROM THE INSTRUMENT
    Do not underestimate the value of practicing away from your instrument. Mental practice is a great way to test focus and mental stamina, as well as save your chops. Play the piece in your head. Imagine yourself moving, breathing, and playing. This can be done standing at the instrument or completely away from it. 

    Singing is another great option. This is especially great for working on phrasing. Every human can sing. Too often, percussion technique gets in the way of innate musical expression. Hit record on your device, sing the phrase, then play it. Does it sound the same? Are you playing it the way you want it to sound? If not, diagnose the issue and correct it.

    Finally, you can play on another instrument. Playing marimba solos on piano is a fun challenge. Do you really know the notes or are you relying on muscle memory?

    7. WRITE ON YOUR MUSIC
    No musicians are “too good” to write on their music, nor can they remember everything without the visual cue of writing on the page. Circle dynamic, key, and time changes. Write in cues, places where you line up with a colleague rhythmically, and so on. Many percussionists like to use different colored highlighters for each of these different musical elements. Nothing is too small. It gives you less to remember in the moment. Get a pack of pencils, and make sure you always have one with you!

    8. ADD VARIABLES
    We can get very comfortable practicing by ourselves on the same instrument, in the same room, with the same lighting. To simulate performance anxiety, run down the hall before playing your piece. This will get your heartrate up, increase the rate of your breathing, and may make your hands feel a little shaky. 

    Speaking of shaky hands, know what effect caffeine has on your body. If you are taking a symphony audition with all those soft snare drum excerpts, and caffeine makes your hands shake, you will probably want to cut it out a few weeks before the audition.

    Practice dealing with mental distraction by having a friend talk to you while you play or make random noises. If no one else is around, you can set a timer on your device to go off at a random interval. Say your piece is five minutes long. Set a timer for three minutes. It will go off in a random spot in the piece and you will need to keep playing through it. 

    Finally, get out of that same practice room as often as possible. Practice in other rooms — preferably the room you are going to ultimately perform in. 

    9. SET REALISTIC GOALS
    Most likely, you will not learn an entire solo or etude in one practice session, so do not expect yourself to. Make sure you are getting clear expectations from your teacher. I give my students specific sections and tempos for next week’s lesson or rehearsal that I expect them to master. In your practice log, break down where you are and where you need to be. 

    My example is always this: I need to have this snare drum etude at 120 bpm in seven days for my next lesson. It is currently at 60 bpm. So, if I increase the tempo by 10 clicks each day, that will put me at tempo the day before my lesson. Setting realistic daily goals will allow you to succeed on the weekly level. 

    10. REWARD YOURSELF
    Finally, be able to recognize when you have worked hard, hit your goals, and are able to reward yourself. It could be as simple as doing that Music Theory homework on Sunday instead of Saturday and giving yourself time to watch a movie. Another example is to imagine you were going to practice for two hours, but you reached all your goals in less time. You can stop early and make that your reward for hitting your goals. Obviously, there is danger there of convincing yourself you practiced enough. You need to hold yourself accountable. Rewards do not have to cost money, but if you like a certain food, feel free to treat yourself after a week or few weeks of hard work.

    TIME MANAGEMENT
    Now that you have seen an overview of my practice tips, I want to discuss time management as an equally important, and complementary, skill to effective practice. The most basic thing you can do is schedule your practice time each week. If your school has a weekly sign-out sheet, plan your week ahead of time, then sign it out and put it in your calendar. Then, hold yourself to it. It is a class after all! If you do not show up to class, how can you succeed?

    The practice log is just as much a time-management tool as it is a practice tool. Be sure to take detailed notes about tempos, specific sections of pieces, and map out your practice session like a workout (warm-up, session goals, cool-down). Below is a basic example of a marimba session:

    March 10 (1 hour): Warm-up: major scales with sequential sticking @ 100 bpm; Rotation 2: beginning to 21 @ 72 bpm (quarter note), 21–61 @ 120 bpm (eighth note), 61–end @ 66 bpm (quarter note); Cool-down: single alternating strokes @ 100 bpm.

    PRIORITIZE
    Finally, prioritize based on the importance of a piece or performance and respective deadlines — importance meaning importance to your success, not necessarily your perception of importance or what you “want” to work on. What deadline is closest? What are you most behind on? Using a scheduling or to-do list app (like Microsoft To-Do or Evernote) can help map out each day. 

    CONCLUSION
    I want to restate something from the beginning of this article. Practice and time management are learned skills. No one inherently knows how to do them. As strange as it may sound, practice takes practice. Time management takes practice. I’m willing to bet the source of a lot of stress in your life, or your students’ lives, is feeling behind or unprepared for a lesson, rehearsal, or performance, even though you practiced. If your routine is not working for you, take a chance by revamping your approach to your practice and your schedule and see what a difference it can make. 

    SOURCES 

    Justin Bunting August 2021Dr. Justin Bunting has an active career as an international percussion educator, solo performer, chamber player, orchestral musician, clinician, and composer. He serves as Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He has performed with orchestras across the United States and appeared at multiple national and international conferences, conventions, and workshops both as a solo artist and member of Blue Line Duo. An advocate for new music, he has commissioned or premiered over 15 new works for percussion and has music published with C. Alan Publications and Bachovich Music Publications. Active in PAS, Dr. Bunting currently serves as President of the Arkansas chapter, a member of the World Percussion Committee, and a reviewer for the New Literature and Recordings section of Percussive Notes.

  • Product Showcase — September 2021

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Sep 15, 2021

    Gretsch Black Nickel Steel SnareGRETSCH DRUMS
    Full Range Black Nickel Over Steel Snare Drum
    Gretsch Drums has extended their Full Range snare drum collection with the addition of the 5x14-inch Black Nickel over Steel (BNS) snare drum.

    The new snare is a shallower version of the 6.5x14-inch BNS. Like its larger sibling, it provides an ideal balance of power, sensitivity, beauty, and value. The 1.2mm, 10-lug steel shell has a wide tuning range, from a loose, slow, dry sound to a very sharp, bold, and bright attack. It features 2.5mm triple-flanged hoops, an adjustable throw-off, 20-strand snare wire, Remo Control sound drumheads, 45-degree bearing edges, and a mirror-like black nickel plating.

    Gretsch Brand Manager Andrew Shreve comments, “This is such a versatile drum, perfect for live or studio playing with a crisp, bright tone that will complement a range of drumming styles and genres.”

    For more information about the 5x14-inch Black Nickel over Steel Snare drum  or other Gretsch drums and artists, visit gretschdrums.com.

    Gretsc Gergo BorlaiGergo Borlai Signature Snare Drum 
    Drum phenom Gergo Borlai and Gretsch Drums have teamed up to develop a unique addition to the USA metal snare drum range. Together, they created what he describes as a “sensitive, multifunctional, loud, and limitless” snare drum: the Gergo Borlai Signature Snare.

    This instrument features a 4.25x14-inch 1.2mm brass shell, 45-degree bearing edges, 20-strand snare wires, and 4mm diecast hoops. The sand-blasted texture of the surface of the shell gives it a striking look as well as a tighter overall sound.

    A Lightning Throw-Off, eight mini-lugs, Gretsch Permatone head by Remo USA, and an inside identification label that specifies the year of production, signed by Gergo Borlai, round out this snare drum.

    Borlai is known for the captivating solos he performs at clinics, drum festivals, and masterclasses around the world. In his home country of Hungary, he has appeared on more than 300 albums, and received two lifetime achievement awards and two "gold record awards." Today, Borlai works with a wide range of highly respected musicians including Al Di Meola, Scott Kinsey, and Scott Henderson. His latest solo album, The Missing Song, features a different, legendary bass player, on each track, including Stu Hamm, Gary Willis, and Jimmy Haslip.

    For more information about the Gergo Borlai signature snare or other Gretsch drums and artists, visit gretschdrums.com.

    KAT300KAT
    Entry Level KT-100 Drum Kit and New KT-300
    Continuing the revamp of its legacy electronic drum line, KAT Percussion has introduced two new models: a new entry level model, the KT-100, and a follow-up to its KT-200 electronic drum kit, the new KT-300.

    While sporting a highly competitive price, the KT-100 doesn’t sacrifice on features. In particular, it comes with a kick tower and a rack, while being portable yet adjustable, that stands up with the best of them. The KT-100 comes standard with one two-zone snare and three single-zone toms that feature high-quality pads and support fundamental acoustic playing technique with a perfect response. The snare’s 8-inch surface won’t make you feel like you’re playing on a cocktail kit. The cymbals include a single zone hi-hat, a crash, and a ride, which are dual zone, all of which come standard with choke. The drum module offers drum sampling that covers most music styles such as rock, blues, jazz, metal, electronic, and more, and features 20 factory kits with 160 unique sounds in total. Moreover, its user-friendly coach and recording function helps players keep track of their progress and helps improve their skills step by step. 

    The KT-300 keeps the look of the KT-200 model but adds a significant number of new features. The sensitivity of the pads combined with Remo mesh heads create a very large velocity curve for the hardest player or the softest touch. Enhanced by the latest Dual-Triggering technology, with zones at the head and at the rim, the KT-300’s 10-inch KT-30010S snare and the 8-inch KT-3008T toms provide accurate triggering and a large strike area. The tone changes depending on where and how hard players strike, ensuring the most realistic playing feel. This technology combines with the mesh heads to give the player an authentic acoustic feel. The KT-300 ships with 30 sets of preset kits, as well as 18 sets of user kits, with 270 unique sounds in total for maximum creativity. One of the more impressive features of the KT-300 is the Coach Function, which allows you to select from four different practice methods, perfect for players eager to improve their craft.

    “The release of these two new models really rounds out the KAT Percussion line,” said Dave Cywinski, Sales Manager for Drums and Percussion at Hal Leonard. “We now have kits available for all types and levels of drummers at all types of price points, with even more features and sounds for growing drummers, but also keeping the costs to a point where they’re the best kits in their price range!”

    For more information, visit katpercussion.com.

    ProMark McLean NillesPROMARK 
    Carter McLean and Anika Nilles Signature Sticks
    ProMark Drumsticks is thrilled to announce the launch of the Carter McLean Signature Stick and Anika Nilles Signature Stick.

    The Carter McLean Signature Stick is made from hickory with a custom designed wood tip. It measures .571 inches (14.5mm) in diameter and 16 1/8 inches (409.6mm) in length with a lacquered finish. The custom tip shape provides a range of sonic possibilities on any playing surface, depending on the angle of attack. With a diameter between 5A and 5B and its slightly increased length, this is one of the most unique yet versatile sticks in the ProMark portfolio.

    Carter Mclean is a highly regarded educator, top Broadway drummer, and live/studio drummer with the likes of Charlie Hunter, Melvin Sparks, and Anthony Hamilton. He is particularly respected for his musical and nuanced approach to sound, touch, and groove.

    To learn more about Carter McLean’s stick, visit ddar.io/CarterMcLean.PR.

    The Anika Nilles Signature Stick is made from hickory with an acorn wood tip. It measures .545 inches (13.8mm) in diameter and 16 inches (406.4mm) in length with a lacquered finish. Inspired by the ProMark Rebound 7A, Anika's stick features a slightly thicker diameter, a more drastic taper, and a smaller tip for increased response and articulation.

    Anika Nilles made her debut in 2013 by releasing YouTube videos with her unique compositions and playing style. In the years since, she has built up a large, devoted following, with nearly 23 million video views, and has toured as an in-demand clinician all over the world. Anika's playing style is distinguished by her strong groove, finesse in technique, unique sound, and her ability to make odd rhythms sound easy and musical.

    To learn more about Anika Nilles’s Signature Stick, visit ddar.io/AnikaNilles.PR.

    ProMark Tim JacksonTim Jackson Signature Marching Tenor Stick 
    ProMark announced the launch of the new signature Tim Jackson Marching Tenor Stick. The Tim Jackson Marching Tenor Stick features both FireGrain technology and an innovative over-molded nylon tip and shoulder for enhanced durability. The flared diameter of the handle and long, 3 1/2-inch taper creates a comfortable grip and excellent rebound.

    The Tim Jackson Signature Marching Tenor Stick is the first tenor implement to take full advantage of the durability of nylon by over-molding a tip that extends down the taper. This creates a unique feel and unprecedented durability along the shoulder of the stick where rimshots are played. Along the profile of the stick, nearer the rear end, a fulcrum notch allows the player’s fingers to relax comfortably and assures the stick doesn’t move in the hand while in use. Additionally, the Tim Jackson model is the first tenor stick to feature FireGrain technology, adding durability and creating a unique look for the marching percussion market.

    Jackson has marched with the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (2000), the Crossmen (2002), and The Concord Blue Devils (2003–06). Jackson won honors as the PASIC Multi-Tenor champion in 2005, and the DCI Individual and Ensemble Multi-Tenor champion four consecutive years from 2003–06.

    Tim has performed with Rhythm X Indoor Percussion Ensemble since its inaugural season in 2002, winning one gold, two silver, and one bronze medal within the last six seasons of WGI competition. He played his last notes as a performer aging out in the 2007 season. Tim has spent time instructing with The Concord Blue Devils, The Bluecoats, as well as the Blue Stars drum and bugle corps. He has been a part of the Rhythm X design team since 2008. Tim currently provides private instruction to students in the central Ohio area. He has also instructed, consulted, and provided clinics and master classes across the nation, as well as in Western Europe, Korea and Japan.

    To learn more, visit ddar.io/BuiltToCompete.PR.

    ProMark Performer PackPerformer Pack
    ProMark Drumsticks has launched the Performer Scholastic Pack. Last year, ProMark Drumsticks released the first of two new scholastic packs to serve the needs of percussionists at the beginning of their journey and support them throughout the formative high school years.

    The Performer Scholastic Pack is a true step-up product for percussionists continuing their journey through middle school, into high school, and beyond. It is designed for the advanced needs of repertoire as percussionists continue through their journey.

    Each Performer Pack contains a pair of Concert One Orchestral Snare Drum Sticks, Concert Two Orchestral Snare Drum Sticks, SPYR Hard Marimba Mallets, SPYR Hard Rubber Xylophone Mallets, SPYR Medium-Hard Hytrel Xylophone Mallets, and Performer Series General Maple Timpani Mallets packed in a Transport Deluxe Stick Bag.

    To learn more, visit ddar.io/PerformerEdPack.

    Roland 4 Affordable V DrumsROLAND
    Four Affordable V-Drums Kits Based Around the TD-07 Sound Module
    Roland has introduced four new compact V-Drums kits based around the TD-07 sound module. The TD-07KV kit has been a top seller since its introduction in October 2020, offering famous V-Drums sound and playability at an affordable price. The new TD-07DMK, TD-07KX, and TD-07KVX kits expand the lineup to give developing electronic drummers more options with a variety of different pad and stand configurations. And for players who prefer an acoustic drum appearance, the streamlined VAD103 kit and its shallow-depth wood shells bring an affordable entry-level option to Roland’s acclaimed V-Drums Acoustic Design series.

    At the center of each new V-Drums kit is the powerful TD-07 sound module, which comes packed with ready-to-play acoustic drum kits that provide instant gratification for players, allowing them to dive into an authentic drumming experience right away. Every kit features sounds captured in pro studios, then brought to life with advanced V-Drums technologies that make them behave just like their acoustic counterparts. Easy-to-use editing tools allow players to personalize every sound in detail, just like they would with acoustic drums. EQs, ambience effects, and other processing options are also on hand to bring studio-quality polish to the sound.

    The TD-07 module features many useful tools that make drum practice more fun and productive, including onboard Bluetooth wireless technology for playing along with music from a mobile device or computer, and coach mode exercises that help players build skills with enjoyable drum timing and accuracy challenges. The module also integrates seamlessly with Melodics, a Mac/Windows software application that provides a growing selection of free drum lessons to develop rhythm, timing, and muscle memory.

    All the new kits come outfitted with Roland’s double-ply, tension-adjustable mesh drumheads for snare and toms, giving players the most accurate playing feel and sensing available. They offer quiet acoustic performance as well, a vital feature for home practice with headphones. The quiet performance also extends to the kick pads and stands, which are purpose-built to reduce noise and vibration transfer that might otherwise disturb family members and neighbors.

    The entry-level TD-07DMK is the most affordable kit in the TD-07 series. It features a compact pad layout and a slimline kick pad that attaches directly to the stand, making it ideal for tight setups and situations where the kit needs to be stored away when not in use.

    The original TD-07KV remains a great value within the TD-07 family, with an upgraded freestanding kick drum and larger crash cymbals.

    The TD-07KX is the perfect step-up from the TD-07KV, providing larger snare and tom pads for greater playing comfort and the most cymbals in the TD-07 lineup.

    The TD-07KVX is top of the TD-07 range, with a floating VH-10 hi-hat that mounts onto an acoustic hi-hat stand. It also comes with larger V-Cymbals, including a three-zone ride with bow, bell, and edge triggering for maximum expression.

    As the new entry point to the V-Drums Acoustic Design series, the VAD103 is the affordable, all-digital kit that captures the vibe and feel of a traditional acoustic set. It features shallow-depth wood drum shells throughout, including an 18-inch kick drum for a full-immersion acoustic experience.

    To learn more about TD-07DMK, TD-07KV, TD-07KX, and TD-07KVX kit configurations and features, visit the TD-07 series page. To learn more about the VAD103 V-Drums Acoustic Design kit, visit the VAD103 product page.

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