Implements of Choice

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Drumline, Hardware, Pit, Shop | 0 comments

If you’re auditioning or have been given a position in one of Mr. Blakley’s percussion sections then this is a list of items you’ll need to have. If you’re not in one of his groups then this is just a list of choice items that are highly recommended through years of experience with them. Since 2003 the sticks and mallets chosen to be used have been the same, as well as the manner in which they are used by the performers. In the next section you’ll see an itemized list by instrumentation that the groups all use. If you’re in one of these groups you’ll see which items you’ll be responsible for buying and which items will be given to you to use for the season. Click the links on each item to find the lowest price available. Check the equipment out here…

 

Snareline:

 

The above items are to be purchased by you, please have them as soon as possible. The IP FS-BK snare sticks are great because of their flattened bead. This flat bead allows the most surface area to contact the drum head when played. These will be your primary sticks and, though the minimum is one pair, you should consider buying at least two pairs. Tape these sticks in white stick-tape to cover the entire stick (minus the bead). Taping the whole stick allows for protection against backsticking rimshots as well as overall implement protection. The IP-1 General snare sticks are basically a smaller version of the main FS-BK stick (well, actually, the FS-BK’s are a bigger version of the IP-1 sticks). The bead is also flattened and will contact the drum head with the most surface area. Do not tape this stick at all, the stick is only used for lighter passages and will not be used for rimshots.

In addition to the above items, you will need to buy a binder with page protectors, a dot book, and a pencil. It is also recommended that you have a drum pad with you to use (but not required). High tension drum keys are also optional as you may or may not be tuning your own drum (section leaders will decide this). A decent towel is always a good idea for when it rains and the equipment gets wet (and it will definitely rain), might want to get a light rain jacket too, and maybe even a dry bag for your sensitive gear! Everyone should also consider downloading a good phone metronome app.

Some items that you may find useful, but are not required would be an Information Packet book for a full understanding of how rehearsals are run, a standalone metronome so you don’t have to rely on a phone app or worry about damaging it,  a pair of cheaper headphones to practice with your metronome, a phillips head screw driver for tuning your snare strainer, a quick and easy water bottle, a bright backpack that’s easy to find, a 14″ drum mute to put on your drum and use it as a practice pad, and if you’re feeling adventurous you can buy a GoPro with a drum mount! (Check out the GoPro and drum mount article to learn even more.)

 

The below items will be provided for you and will NOT need to be purchased by you:

 

 

Tenorline:

 

The above items are to be purchased by you, please have them as soon as possible. The TS-2 nylon tipped tenor sticks allow for a much thinner sound compared to the main mallet you will be given. These are also easier sticks to move because they are lighter and more versatile (though you should be able to play everything with any implement). Use the white stick-tape to cover below the tip to about 1/3 of the way down the neck.  You will not be playing rimshots with the butts of these sticks so they do not have to be taped the whole way down. These sticks should last an entire season so you may get by with only ordering one pair, but you are responsible for replacing them if/when they break.

In addition to the above items, you will need to buy a binder with page protectors, a dot book, and a pencil. It is also recommended that you have a drum pad with you to use (but not required). High tension drum keys are also optional as you may or may not be tuning your own drum (section leaders will decide this). A decent towel is always a good idea for when it rains and the equipment gets wet (and it will definitely rain), might want to get a light rain jacket too, and maybe even a dry bag for your sensitive gear! Everyone should also consider downloading a good phone metronome app.

Some items that you may find useful, but are not required would be an Information Packet book for a full understanding of how rehearsals are run, the Quadratics book for a better understanding of the tenor drums, a standalone metronome so you don’t have to rely on a phone app or worry about damaging it, a crescent wrench for adjusting and fixing your tenors or carrier, a pair of cheaper headphones to practice with your metronome, a quick and easy water bottle, a bright backpack that’s easy to find, a full tenor drum pad to be able to practice at home without bringing the drums, a 12″ drum mute to put on drum 2 and use it as a practice pad, and if you’re feeling adventurous you can buy a GoPro with a drum mount! (Check out the GoPro and drum mount article to learn even more.)

 

The below items will be provided for you and will NOT need to be purchased by you:

 

 

Bassline:

 

The above items are to be purchased by you, please have them as soon as possible. When you are given your mallets (shown below) you should tape them using black stick-tape (note that we use black tape in the bassline, as oppose to the snare and tenor sections who use white). Tape from below the bead/mallet-head to about 1/3 the way down. We don’t ever use the butts of these mallets so protection below that point is not necessary. The bassline uses black tape so that the mallet can easily be seen from far away, this makes it easier to correct if it is not in the center (allowing for earlier muscle memory).

In addition to the above items, you will need to buy a binder with page protectors, a dot book, and a pencil. It is also recommended that you have a drum pad with you to use (but not required). High tension drum keys are also optional as you may or may not be tuning your own drum (section leaders will decide this). A decent towel is always a good idea for when it rains and the equipment gets wet (and it will definitely rain), might want to get a light rain jacket too, and maybe even a dry bag for your sensitive gear! Everyone should also consider downloading a good phone metronome app.

Some items that you may find useful, but are not required would be an Information Packet book for a full understanding of how rehearsals are run, a standalone metronome so you don’t have to rely on a phone app or worry about damaging it, a crescent wrench for adjusting and fixing your drum or carrier, a pair of cheaper headphones to practice with your metronome, a drum pad for practicing and auditioning for the snare or tenor line, drumsticks for practicing and auditioning for the snare or tenor line, a quick and easy water bottle, a bright backpack that’s easy to find, and if you’re feeling adventurous you can buy a GoPro with a drum mount! (Check out the GoPro and drum mount article to learn even more.)

 

The below items will be provided for you and will NOT need to be purchased by you:

 

 

Pit:

 

 

There are no stick or mallet items needing to be purchased by you. However, you will need to buy a binder with page protectors, and a pencil. Timpanists may want to purchase their own tuner, but is not a requirement. Drum keys are optional as you may or may not be tuning the accessory drums (section leaders will decide this). A decent towel is always a good idea for when it rains and the equipment gets wet (and it will definitely rain), might want to get a light rain jacket too, and maybe even a dry bag for your sensitive gear! Everyone should also consider downloading a good phone metronome app.

Some items that you may find useful, but are not required would be an Information Packet book for a full understanding of how rehearsals are run, a standalone metronome so you don’t have to rely on a phone app or worry about damaging it, a pair of cheaper headphones to practice with your metronome, a drum pad for practicing and auditioning for the drumline, drumsticks for practicing and auditioning for the drumline, a quick and easy water bottle, a bright backpack that’s easy to find, and if you’re feeling adventurous you can buy a GoPro with a drum mount! (Check out the GoPro and drum mount article to learn even more.)

 

The below items will be provided for you and will NOT need to be purchased by you:

 

 

Instructors:

 

If you’re an instructor with any ensemble here is a list of items you might find useful. If you work best with paper sheet music and drill charts then you’ll definitely want a binder with page protectors, and a pencil. If you’re doing the electronic thing you’ll need a iPad or iPad Mini with PDF files to use. A decent towel is always a good idea for when it rains and the equipment gets wet (and it will definitely rain), might want to get a light rain jacket too, and maybe even a dry bag for your sensitive gear! Your group should already have a metronome PA system like a MegaVox Pro but if not you’ll definitely want to have it, you’ll also want a very reliable BOSS Dr. Beat metronome, and you’ll need a long instrument cable to connect them. You should consider getting a Bluetooth receiver to connect you iPad or phone wirelessly to the speaker (learn about this in another article), and one of the easiest ways to communicate from up top is through a big megaphone. Help your students find the right spots or learn drill quicker with some bright dot marking spray paint. Judges tapes sometimes use SD cards so you might want an easy SD card phone adapter to listen with and also some headphones. Finally, if you really want to get into the digital age you can step up to a wireless mixing board to adjust sound levels from up top with your iPad.

 

 

Please make sure you have all the items you need (listed in the green boxes above) for rehearsals. Practicing with different implements, or without certain implements, will negatively affect the ensemble because your sound will change. You should also make sure to have spare sticks or mallets because they may break or become damaged due to the nature of the activity. If you’re reading this because you enjoy the articles, thank you for looking into these great products. If you’re reading this because you auditioned for, and made, one of the sections listed above, congratulations!

 

If you have any questions feel free to contact me!

 

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