Warming up before a day of drum lessons

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Pearl Picollo Snare is Awesome!

I recently bought a steel Pearl Pic. with brushed black paint. The dimensions are 13″ X 3.5″ and the thing is amazing. I’m a big fan of Pearl products anyhow (I have owned many Pearl products in the past) so I’m not too surprised. However, when you only pay $120 or so you don’t expect such a sweet sound.

The drum provides plenty of high-end punch and it is willing to be tuned down a bit (but not too much or it loses its character). I totally recommend this drum to all levels of drummers. I have been playing for over 27 years and it suits my needs, no doubt. If you’re a beginner you might consider this too, it’ll only set you back $110-120 so if you decide that drumming is not for you you aren’t too put-out. No harm-no foul.

Pearl rocks, try this drum and see for yourself.

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Petar Poucki Drum Clinic

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The Minnesota Chapter of Drummers for Jesus hosted a drum clinic by Petar Poucki yesterday, 18 August 07.  The event was a complete success with fellowship, refreshments, door prizes and an awesome session that was chock full of technical information and inspiration. 

Petar is a long-time member of the drumming community and it showed in his playing.  He approached the kit with a combined contemporary and classic style that was a bit unorthadox, being that he is a ‘leftie’ who plays on a ‘rightie’ kit.  His influences range from Bonham to Weckl and it was quite evident in his playing.  He incorporated all sorts of Bonhamesque licks with more technical tom-tom runs that were reminiscent of Weck’s playing.  This, in addition to other obvious influences (Peart, Collins, Porcaro) made for a tasty and refreshing vibe!!    

A great time was had by all and we can’t wait for our next opportunity to hang-out with Petar and pick his brain for more inspiration.       

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Twin Cities Drummers for Jesus Clinic August 18th

1 Year Anniversary Event Featuring Petar Poucki

Drummers for Jesus – Minnesota would like to invite all drummers, percussionists or people who enjoy drums and percussion to our 1 Year Anniversary Celebration Event featuring guest performer/clinician Petar Poucki.  Petar has played/toured professionally for many years.  All are invited for food, fun, fellowship and door prizes.

Date: Saturday, August 18th, 2006
Time: 10:00am – 12:00 (noon)
Location: Friendship Church
               12800 Marystown Rd.
               Shakopee, MN

Please send a message if you have any questions.  Hope to see you there!

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In The Day

I am so honored to be the new drummer for the band In The Day.  This is a Christian band that plays rock and contemporary music about God, relationships and life in general.  Actually, both Tom Hipps and I have joined forces with the group, which is comprised of Jeremy Metz, Michael Korus, Tom Baumgartner, Tia Toso and Matt “Ace” Ventura.  I might be biased but I have to say that this band will be doing amazing things.  Actually, In The Day has been rockin for a while now and they have been well received in many venues around the midwest.  And even though it’ll be tough to improve on a song writing and performance formula that is obviously working just fine Tom and I hope to add our own element.

Please keep a look out for this band.  Also, we are developing a dedicated blog for calendar updates and information related to the band.  I will post more information as things develop. In the meantime check out our ShoutLife site at www.shoutlife.com/inthedayband

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Tom Hipps Band at Sonshine Music Festival

Well, this past Friday I had the privilege of playing with some amazing musicians at the Sonshine Music Festival. For those who don’t know what Sonshine is, it’s the biggest Christian music festival in the country, or at least I think it is (hard to imagine anything being much bigger). Anyhow, the musicians, Tom Hipps (vocals, rhythm guitar), Todd Bergman (lead guitar) Jack Mansk (bass) and myself had a blast at this place and I hope it was a blessing to those in attendance.

Although The Tom Hipps Band has been in a constant state of renewal as new members and temporary musicians step up for various performances I have to say that we played as if we’ve been a band for years; this is not only due to Tom’s amazing vocal abilities but also to the professionalism and musiciality of Todd and Jack. These guys are ‘all pro’ and I hope to work with them in the future.

I first saw Todd Bergman playing on a television broadcast for his church, Living Word Church, as I hung out in my wife’s hospital room after giving birth to our third child, Olivia. Although I had my mind on other things I couldn’t help to think, “Wow, Tom and I have to get this dude to jam with us.” Long story short, after a series of phone calls and false starts we had an amazing performance at Sonshine. An amazing part of it all is Todd introduced us to his friend Jack, who is a fine guitarist in his own right, but through his pioneering spirit (or maybe sheer pity for our sad ‘bassless’ situation) agreed to play bass; and a fine job he did!!

Thanks guys for a great day and an amazing performance. I hate to think that this was a ‘one nighter’ but even if it was, at least we caught it on tape.

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Is Minneapolis/St. Paul in the United States?

All US cities have a unique culture, that’s what makes this country so cool. But let me tell you, when you move to the Twin Cities you feel like you’ve moved to a different country. From the frigid cold to the mysterious way folks are aware of your presence without looking at you, this place takes some getting use to. This is a good thing though because once you get past the culture shock and awkwardness of being the new kid on the block you realize this place has something special.

This is what people tell you when you are about to move up here… “It gets stinkin’ cold here in the winter but besides that everything is good to go, you bet.” Ah-ha, quite subjective.
We’ve all heard the term “Minnesota Nice,” right? To an outsider this equates to everyone running around up here with smiles on their faces and acts of kindness on the roadways. Nope. I find that folks up here don’t smile unless they know you. Heck, it’s hard to get anyone to look at you, let alone smile. Oh, and drivers up here can easily teach the best Chicago motorist a thing or two about tailgating. Again, this is a good thing (well kind of).

The reality is there’s a story behind every behavior. Yeah I know, that sounds a bit ‘Saturday morning’ but it’s true. Why don’t they smile here? Well, I quickly learned that you have other things on your mind when you’re walking from the parking lot to the building or light rail in minus 15 degree temps, smiling isn’t one of them. Oh and the tailgating, well I haven’t figured that one out yet but I think it has to do with the subconscious effort to stay close to others for body heat. Probably not but…

The neat thing about this place is that once you figure things out a bit you realize people are approachable. When I first got to town I called a well known jazz pianist here, Mary Louise Knutson, just to chat and let her know that I enjoyed listening to her music online (I had to leave a message). Guess what, she called back to fill me in on the music scene here. Should have been the first sign!

This place is growing on me. Yeah, what with its 18 or so Fortune 500 firms and its well educated populace its somewhat “recession proof.” And there is no shortage of “hot dish” and “bars.” But the great thing about the Twin Cities is the artistic culture. This place has more theaters per capita than any other place in the country…O.K. New York City probably has more but we are a close second. Nonetheless, musicians are benefactors of this because there are tons of places to perform and many musicians to meet. Once you get past the surface you are “good to go.”

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