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The Tycoon Percussion Difference

Posted by X8 DRUMS Wednesday, February 28, 2007 0 Comments
Tycoon Percussion
Virtually all percussion instruments that are manufactured today are made in Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok's close proximity to the raw material and skilled labor needed to manufacture percussion instruments make it an ideal location. Brands such as Tycoon, Latin Percussion, Toca, Meinl, and Fat Congas to name a few are all manufactured in Thailand. In fact Latin Percussion and Toca are subsidiaries of Kaman Music. However, only Tycoon owns its own factory in Bangkok. Most other brands rent factory space in Bangkok to manufacture their line of percussion instruments. The factories rented are in many cases generically set-up to produce all sorts of products - not just percussion instruments. That's not to say that these brands aren't quality, it's just the reality.

Because of Tycoon's specialized factory for making percussion instruments, there are some cases where companies commission Tycoon to manufacture their percussion instruments where they are eventually shipped to the states and sold to you under a different brand name.
Tycoon CongaDrum circle forms at the Tycoon Percussion booth at NAMM 2007. Pictured are the Master Antique Series Conga and Bongo Drums. Photo credit

Tycoon Percussion has been manufacturing high-end percussion instruments in their own factory for 20 plus years and has just recently decided to market the Tycoon Percussion brand in the U.S. market. We decided to carry the Tycoon percussion line because of their excellent reputation and experience in making top quality instruments. The Tycoon Percussion brand name is very well known and respected in Europe and Asia and is now on its way to becoming a top competitor in the U.S market. We're excited to offer these high quality instruments directly to you at the lowest guaranteed prices. Enjoy!!

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History of the Tambourine

Posted by X8 DRUMS Monday, February 19, 2007 0 Comments
Tambourines have a long, rich history that has roots in a wide variety of music. From classical to folk to rock, tambourines are simplistic yet versatile instruments that can really bring a song to life. Check out any Beatles record to see what I mean.
Glen VelezThree-time Grammy award winner Glen Velez is considered one of the most influential percussionists of our time, as well as being responsible for a world-wide resurgence in the popularity of the frame drum.

His teaching and performances inspired the Remo Drum Co. in 1983 to develop a line of frame drums called the Glen Velez Tambourine.

Tambourines are generally handheld instruments with a round, wooden frame and parchment or skinheads; metal disks or bells (called jingles) are inserted into the wooden rim. By striking the head of the tambourine or by shaking it, you set the jingles in motion. Rubbing your hand briskly across the drumhead will produce a whisking noise.

Though an ancient instrument, its structure has remained virtually unchanged. Tambourines were played in ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, especially in religious contexts, and they have long been prominent in Middle Eastern folk and religious use. Crusaders took them to Europe in the 13th century. The ancient Romans used it, and in the Middle Ages traveling musicians and entertainers used it. In the 19th century the tambourine became a military-band instrument, appearing later and very occasionally in the orchestra. The timbrel or tabret of the Bible was probably similar to the tambourine.

In Europe, tambourines are associated with both folk and art music repertoire; Mozart was among the earliest western composers to include the tambourine in his compositions. Since the later eighteenth century it has become a more permanent element of the western orchestral percussion section, often used to suggest an exotic or eastern flavor to western audiences, as in Tchaikovsky's Arabian Dance from The Nutcracker Suite. The tambourine is mentioned often in the Old Testament as an instrument of celebration, as here: "Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing."

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History of the Cajon

Posted by X8 DRUMS Friday, February 16, 2007 0 Comments
The cajon is believed to have originated in Peru when the African slaves, brought to Peru from Angola, began using fruit crates as percussion instruments. Displaced from their homeland, the African slaves substituted cod shipping crates for their native drums.
River GuerguerianRiver Guerguerian, master drummer, plays the cajon at Hallow Reed Studios for Kimberly Summer's album "Listen".

In Cuba, small dresser drawers were used for the same purpose. The instrument was refined and became an important part of Cuban and Peruvian music. Early usage of the Peruvian cajon was to accompany Tondero and Zamacueca (old version of Marinera) dances. Tapping knuckles on wooden tables may be considered a predecessor to the cajon.

Three quarter inch pine or other white wood was generally used for five sides of the box. A thin sheet of plywood was nailed on as the sixth side and acted as the head or striking surface. The top edges were often left unattached and could be slapped against the box. A sound hole was cut in the side opposing the head. The player sat on the box striking the head between his legs. The modern cajon drum has several screws at the top for adjusting percussive timbre and may sport rubber feet. Some versions may also have several vertically stretched cords pressed against the tapa for a buzz like effect or tone.

Today, the cajon is heard extensively in Andean, Cuban, and Flamenco music. It's steadily gaining popularity in all types of contemporary music and has become a favorite for "unplugged" sessions and is often used to accompany the acoustic guitar.

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Tycoon Percussion - A Brief Overview

Posted by X8 DRUMS Wednesday, February 14, 2007 0 Comments
For over 22 years Tycoon Percussion has been manufacturing high-end, top quality, percussion instruments for musicians worldwide. They have over 150 skilled craftsman creating all types of percussion instruments including bongos, congas, djembes, timbales, and cajons to name a few. Tycoon currently produces around 40,000 sets of percussion instruments each year and venture to all the main music exhibitions including NAMM.

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Tycoon instruments are known by professional percussionists (such as Virgilio Figueroa, David Stanford, Tamasito Cruz, Inocento Alvarez, and Arnaldo "Arnie" Silva) to deliver pure, crisp sound every time they are played. Additionally, Tycoon percussion is known for creating beautiful sought-after glossy finishes that catch the eye of even the most critical player. They continuously change and develop a unique array of colors and patterns to constantly bring excitement to their line of percussion based instruments.

Tycoon Percussion has consistently been growing since the mid-80's when they first began producing their line of top quality hand drums and percussion instruments. Their percussion products are sold in every major country worldwide and are now finally available in the United States. In 2006, Tycoon established a U.S. distribution center in Reno, NV and most recently opend a new U.S. office in Pasadena, CA.

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History of the Conga Drum

Posted by X8 DRUMS Tuesday, February 13, 2007 0 Comments
The exact history of the conga drum seems to be a bit misunderstood. I've read various articles that seem to point to either an African or Cuban descent. However one thing is sure: that the name 'Conga' is actually used incorrectly in the U.S. In Cuba, where these drums were developed, the word conga is usually only applied to a drum and rhythm played during Carnaval (or Mardi Gras in the U.S). A more accurate term, used in a traditional sense and by most Spanish-speakers, is tumbadora. This term is not traditionally applied to the drums played in Carnaval, but for those played in most traditional and commercial Cuban music.

According to Nolan Warden's brief history on the Conga drum, Cuban rhythms were picked up and popularized by the U.S. media in the early to mid-1900's when people were freely traveling to and from Cuba. This led to many U.S. pop-culture explosions of "Latin" styles, one of which was la conga. Even today, a watered-down version of the la conga rhythm isn't hard to find at public gatherings throughout the U.S. This and other pop-culture use mistakenly led to the word conga being used to refer to all Cuban drums of similar construction.

The word tumbadora, which is considered more accurate among Cubans and aficionados, comes from the folkloric style called rumba (not ballroom rhumba). Since rumba is considered to be responsible for the musical development of these drums, the word tumbadora is used out of respect for that setting as opposed to conga, which is a more commercial term. Today, it's not really necessary for English-speaking percussionists to call these drums tumbadoras. Congas or Conga Drums works just fine!

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Remo World Percussion - 50 Years in the Making

Posted by X8 DRUMS Friday, February 9, 2007 0 Comments
Remo has long been known for building quality drumheads for drumsets. For nearly 50 years, Remo has been consistently breaking new grounds in the drumhead industry leaving all competitors in the dust. Ask any professional drummer what drumheads they use and most will answer Remo. They have roughly 77 patents on drumhead technology and continually lead the industry. Back in the 60's drumhead sizes were of various sizes and there wasn't much consistency in construction and tone. Remo changed all that when they figured out how to standardize drumhead sizes and additionally began investing aggressively into R&D on all things drumming

They eventually segued into World Percussion with same idea. Build top quality drumheads for world percussion based instruments and "they will come." Remo essentially revolutionized hand drumming by bringing modern drumhead technologies and performance to traditional world percussion instruments. Due to the huge diversity of hand drums, Remo eventually developed 12 differently shaped world percussion drumheads using Fiberskyn 3, Sude, and Nuskyn to fit most of today's popular drums. Their drumhead technologies are rugged, have consistency, and are weather resistant. Remo's worldwide collection of hand drums includes: Djembe, Bongo (Bongo drum buying guide), and Conga from countries including Africa, Asia, Brazil, and Cuba.

Remo is the benchmark by which other competitors manufacture their products. Would you believe that Remo heads are found on over 90% of drumsets - it's true I looked it up. I'm talking dw, Pearl, Ludwig and Yamaha. Simply put - they're the best!

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