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Art House Productions and X8Drums.com give you a chance to beat your own drum with the Jersey City community at the JC Fridays Drum Circle on Friday, September 11th.

X8 Drum Circle
There is nothing quite like a drum circle to make you feel as though you are part of the world around you. If you've never experienced the power of drumming with others, now is your chance to join the X8 Drum community. Art House Productions and X8 Drums proudly invite you to the "JC Fridays Drum Circle."

Spend some time feeling the rhythm and invest yourself in the interactive experience of the drum circle. Coordinated by Jersey City Drummer and African Dance Instructor, Dion Rivers, the drum circle is a family friendly, community event. Any type of instrument is welcome, so be sure to bring anything from your didgeridoo to your conga. There is no age limit, so bring your children down for an interactive, fun experience that they will be sure to love.

X8 Drums is an independent online drum store that is the ultimate source for the hand drumming community. Specializing in Djembe drums that are created only from legally certified timber, X8Drums.com provides online support for hand drumming enthusiasts. You will find online Djembe lessons, tuning support, and off line special events.

Art House Productions presents JC Fridays, the Jersey City kick off to the season. Venues throughout the city participate in a series of events that showcase the arts. Immerse yourself in culture and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.

If you don't have an instrument to bring, X8 Drums will have plenty of drums, shakers and other percussion instruments on hand for you to play at the event.

Date: Friday, September 11, 2009
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Art House Productions
Street: 1 McWilliams Pl, 6th Fl (SE corner of Hamilton Park)
City/Town: Jersey City, NJ

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The Origins of the Djembe

Posted by X8 DRUMS Wednesday, August 26, 2009 0 Comments
The djembe is one of West Africa's best known instruments. Traditionally carved from a single piece of wood with an animal skin drumhead, this hand drum belongs to the membranophane class of instruments, and stand generally between twelve and twenty-four inches tall.

The name of the djembe came from the Bamana in Mali, who said "Anke dje, anke be" to call their people together, as the saying translates as "everyone gather together." "Dje" means gather and "be" means everyone, which gave the drum used in these calls to order its name. The Bamanakans' mythology tells of the original djembe, which was made of the hide of a giraffe-zebra hybrid called the gebraffe.

In actuality, the djembe drum is about 700 years old, and was created in Mali by the Malinke people. The territory of Mali almost a millennia ago was made of parts of current Mali, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, and Burkina Faso, among other African countries.

Blacksmiths made the first djembes, making each drum custom-fitted to the drummer who would play it. The making of the drum was spiritual, and the blacksmith was obliged to make offerings to the spirits of the trees he cut down. Once the blacksmith finished the djembe, it was delivered to the drummer who commissioned it, a member of the djeli caste. The djeli were musicians, who were responsible for the oral history of their people.

The djeli caste still exists today, and is responsible for the traditional music. The djeli sing and perform during rituals, baptisms, weddings and funerals, and are trusted with the music of their ancestors.

During a performance, the djembe begins the ritual, followed by the singer and the other instruments. The djembe player can change the beat of the drums in order to change the song, and the singer and instrument players use the rhythm to recognize what they should be playing. Meanwhile, the guests at the ceremony dance to the rhythm in a circle. Solo dancers will leave the circle to dance for the djembe players.

Hundreds of years later, the djembe gained a new following after West African countries gained independence. Highlighting the old culture of these newly sovereign states, djembe was used in national ballets, and drew emphasis to the djembe as a musical instrument in and of itself, rather than as an accompaniment. Most modern djembe troupes have done away with their dancers altogether, focusing completely on the music being made.

Even as recently as the 1950s, the djembe was not known beyond African music aficionados and those who grew up with the instrument. However, during the midcentury, Fodeba Keita, of Guinea, brought a tour of Les Ballets Africains around the world. The instrument became well known, and more Americans began using the drum in their music.

In today's musical world, the djembe is making its way into the global consciousness. More people than ever listen to world music, popularized greatly by the rapid spread of West African ballets and orchestras especially during the 1980s. Though the instruments are not being made traditionally, they're more accessible than ever, helping a new generation of drummers discover the djembe.

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Spiritual Significance of the Djembe

Posted by X8 DRUMS Tuesday, August 25, 2009 0 Comments
When built according to traditional standards, every element of the djembe is rife with spiritual significance. Each piece of the drum holds the spirit of its maker; the wood of the body, the skin of the drum head and the workmanship of the artist who made the drum. By using all three spirits in harmony, the spirits join together to make beautiful, powerful music. The drummer is able to connect with him or herself, to those around, and to nature.

The first of the spirits is from the body's wood. The artist must make an offering to the spirit of the tree before cutting it down to hollow it out. Legend states that the spirit of the tree is a djinn, which is the male, malevolent version of a Genie. Djembes were traditionally carved from hollowed out Dimba trees, the name of which means "Devil Wood." The djinn gave the djembe as a gift to the Malinke people, and many believe that the wood is imbued with the power to make the African people dance.

Djembe Spirit
The second spirit of the djembe is found in the drum head. Goatskin is the preferred animal hide used for djembe drum heads, but artists also use skin from antelopes, deer, camels, zebras and calves. Drum heads are made from the female's hide. Malinke mythology describes the first djembe's drum head as coming from the hybrid of a zebra and a giraffe – a "gebraffe." The drum head allowed the Malike people to communicate over long distances. Therefore, the djembe was an integral element in tribal language, connecting members in other areas.

The instrument maker also lends his or her spirit to the drum. The creation of the djembe was difficult, and was undertaken only by members of the blacksmith caste. In particular, attaching the hide to the wood is difficult, because that attachment is one of the crucial elements in the creation of sound. The artist must take care in the tanning of the hide, because of the reflection of the spirit as well as the resonance of the drum, and in the choosing of the wood, as the wood had to be able to burn all night in a fire. The time and effort used during the artistry of the djembe contributed the spirit of the artist to the djembe.

In Mali, djembes have been used in sacred rituals for more than a millennium. Djembefolas, or djembe players, lead the music for marriages, births and funerals, as well as for a number of seasonal ceremonies. Furthermore, medicine men used the djembe to calm their patients, believing that the djembe could heal the spirit.

In female led groups, frame drums were used for worship of goddesses. Rituals were held at night, connecting the power of the moon and the lunar cycle with menstrual cycles. As a consequence of the relationship between these cycles, women felt closer to the spirit of the feminine divine. The drum is used in depictions of the moon goddess.

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Hand drumming is an ancient art form, and the conga is no exception. The term 'conga' is an American translation for the Cuban drum term 'tumbadora'. Popularized when Latin and salsa music made its way into America, the conga drum is an easy to enjoy instrument. Anyone who picks up a conga drum will want to spend hours tapping away and experimenting with sounds. Although it may look like a simple instrument to pick up, playing the congas requires a certain technique that you can learn through practice.

Choose your conga drum by experimenting with several different types. You can buy wood or fiberglass congas. There are also different sizes of congas, and each size will produce a different sound. A Conguero will play up to 3 congas at a time, and each drum will have a different chord.

As you play your conga drum, you will find that you can create several different sounds and pitches. Begin learning to play by experimenting on your own. Slap down on the drum in the center with your palm, or tap the outside edges with your fingertips. You'll develop an ear for pitch and different sounds as you progress.

There are 5 simple strokes for playing congas. Using 4 fingers near the rim of the drum, you can create a clear, melodic sound. If you strike the same 4 fingers against the drum and hold them, you create a slightly muffled sound. These tones are otherwise known as open and muffled strokes. To achieve these tones, you can also hit the drum in a similar fashion with your knuckles, recoiling upward as you rhythmically beat the drum.

Bass tones are slightly different in that you use your full palm while beating the drum. Striking in this way can produce a low register, quiet sound. Alter your beats with finger taps to produce rhythm.

Slapping the drum creates a loud, snapping sound. Slapping is one of the hardest strokes to master, as you must cup your hand a specific way in order to create the right sound. Slapping can involve your fingers as well as the heel of your hand, and you can alternate fingers and heel to create a fast beat.

Touching is the last stroke, and involves simply touching the drumhead. As with slapping, you can alternate the fingers and the heel of the hand to achieve different sounds.

When playing the conga, you can get your entire body into the mix. Bend forward with your elbows to allow more pressure on your hands and you can create new sounds.

As you progress as a conga player, you can learn to use several congas together. Conga players have been known to beat on three drums and a bongo, creating a symphony of sound.

By tuning your conga, you can create different pitches of sound. Congas of the past were tuned by heating the skin on the drumhead. Fiberglass congas now have a screw and lug system, and you can adjust the tightness by adjusting the screws. Tune your conga in a clockwise rotation, adjusting for tone and pitch.

Practice is the key to becoming a successful conga player. Hand drumming has the reputation of looking simple, but to achieve a rhythm and accompany other musicians you will need to learn how to play properly. Remember, master conguero Armando Peraza, in an effort to fill a spot in a New York band, picked up the conga in one afternoon. Let yourself experience the music, and you will pick it up in no time.

Photo credit to Flickr member matravnos

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Famous Conguero

Posted by X8 DRUMS Thursday, August 20, 2009 0 Comments
Not unlike the pioneers of rock and roll, famous conguero are responsible for much of the beat in percussion we enjoy today. In this article, we recognize a handful of many famous conga players for their popular beats in both modern music as well as great music from the past.


Ray Barretto solo on congas
Ray Barretto is one of the most recognized conga players. He's been called the Godfather of Latin Jazz or the King of Hard Hands. During his career in New York and beyond, he not only provided conga accompanying to bands like the Rolling Stones, he also scored his own hits such as "El Watusi." Barretto was an accomplished recording artist, and eventually went on to win a Grammy for one of his albums. His career spanned both the creation of a fusion band as well as multiple solo efforts. The unique style that Barretto displayed when playing the congas translated into his future influence over both Latin jazz and salsa.

If you enjoy the soothing beats of two or three congos at one time, you have Candido Camero to thank. Camero hailed from Cuba and moved to New York to work with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie. Originally congueros played one drum at a time, but Candido choose to play two or three congas, along with a side bongo. Candido is still wowing the crowds at the age of 88, as he tours New York.


Armando Peraza
Armando Peraza is a Cuban percussionist with long time ties to modern music through Carlos Santana and jazz pianist George Shearing. Peraza was a young man with no experience when, looking to fulfill a spot in a band that needed a conga player, he taught himself the conga in one afternoon. Peraza is a long-standing member of the group Santana, and has also played with Peggy Lee and Eric Clapton.

Carlos 'Patato' Valdes was not so much a recording artist as he was an instrumental part in creating the modern conga drum. Valdes pioneered the metal ring that is affixed to the body of the conga, which allowed the user to tighten the skin in order to provide proper tuning of the instrument. His invention was patented under the name "Patato" model, and is used by modern bands to this day. Created from fiberglass, the Patato design is for a tall drum with a wide belly and small bottom. Valdes is also known for pioneering a melodic drum sound.

All of these players have mastered the art of creating conga rhythms that entrance the listener. For more information:

LP Patato Model Congas
LP Accents Armando Peraza Series Congas
LP Candido Camero Conga

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Music Therapy and the Mozart Effect

Posted by X8 DRUMS Tuesday, August 18, 2009 0 Comments
One of the most popular therapeutic programs in practice today is the usage of music. This treatment, dramatized in the Oscar-nominated film Awakenings starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, is used successfully on patients with any number of conditions, from those in comas to those with autism. Music therapy has been used in classrooms for ages to keep kids concentrated and minds at attention. Yet researchers are applying the same concepts to dozens of conditions today, in pursuit of a low-priced, high-benefit mode of treatment.


The Mozart Effect refers to the theory that classical music affects mental development.
Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis outlined the Mozart effect in 1991. In his book, Pourquoi Mozart? Tomatis claimed that listening to music is an effective form of therapy for neurological conditions, because music "retrains" the listener's ear, and that variations of musical frequency encourages development of the brain while promoting regeneration of cells.

Continuing on the theme of Mozart, the Mozart effect also refers to studies on brain activity after listening to Mozart’s music. Researchers have found that after listening to Mozart’s compositions, spatial-temporal reasoning momentarily improves. Another branch of this belief is used with children, as some researchers believe that exposure to classical music in a child’s infancy can assist in development. A study in Nature actually supports that listening to Mozart can increase IQ by almost 10 points for short periods of time.

Classrooms use music as motivation and reward. Why not use the same ideas in therapy? Researchers are finding that by using music that patients engage in, music therapy is an efficient stimulator, regardless of the mental condition of the patient. In fact, therapists use music therapy to reduce negative actions in disabled patients by providing socially acceptable impulse outlets.

For example, music therapy is becoming increasingly popular in the treatment of stroke victims. People who have suffered stroke often lose their speech, making communication almost impossible. Listening to music helps to stimulate blood flow to the brain, and stimulates a cross over effect between regions. This cross over effect causes brain cell regeneration, helping to restore normal brain function. Music therapy can be hugely instrumental in regaining speech as a result.

In regards to the traditional understanding of the Mozart effect, as a way of improving IQ and aiding in mental development, aspects of health can still apply. Music is processed in both left and right hemispheres of the brain, meaning that the artistic side, responsible for speech and language is not the only side to benefit.

The rhythm of Mozart, classical music or any other genre can be used in the development of cognitive functioning. Particularly in patients with autism, music therapy helps to organize the sensory system of the patient by providing an association with the rhythm. This helps in the processing of sound, and the development of motor skills. Music therapy also eases patients into other forms of therapy, as it provides a feeling of familiarity in the therapeutic setting. This can encourage more traditional forms of therapy, as it comes with a sense of comfort.

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Posted by X8 DRUMS Sunday, August 16, 2009 0 Comments
Actions Speak Louder Than Words is true to its name. In Actions Speak Louder Than Words, an interactive percussive show, the leaders, who mime their way through this Rhythm Interactive showcase, speak not a word. Those in the audience follow along during the event, with an African hand drum at every seat, to perform with the leaders.

Drumming
The show is the largest interactive stage production in all of New Zealand, providing a memorable experience for both visitors and locals alike. Though there isn't any language during the entire program, Actions Speak Louder Than Words is guaranteed to make you laugh, smile and play along.

Rhythm Interactive provides interactive entertainment both onstage and off. The group does shows for audiences, schools and corporations. Rhythm Interactive emphasizes the concept of unspoken communication, which they manage by miming directions and playing djembe. The show is completely devoid of language until the very end of the performance.

Rhythm Interactive travels anywhere needed in New Zealand and can provide the equipment for your needs, no matter the size of the group. Schools can take advantage of the three music education programs: the Icebreaker show, the drum and dance workshop and the teacher drum workshop.

The Icebreaker show is geared towards large groups of students. It lasts for about 45 minutes, during which the leaders and the students never speak. Each student plays one of the Rhythm Interactive African drums, learning about the benefits of teamwork and understanding. A spoken fifteen minutes of question and answer, and a presentation about the group and their music follow the performance.

The drum and dance workshop is designed for smaller groups of students. It begins with an Icebreaker show, and then continues into workshops that last for about an hour and a half. The group of students will be divided into three, and each smaller group will work with one of the leaders. At the end, the groups come back together and perform.

The teacher drum workshop is taught along the same lines as the corporate shows. It begins with the Icebreaker show and adds teaching material that teachers can use with their students. Corporate groups can choose from a number of different options for their employees.

While Rhythm Interactive is based in New Zealand, the program is one to benchmark for those looking for similar team building and music education workshops around the world.

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Introduction to the Meinl Headliner Cajon

Posted by X8 DRUMS Wednesday, August 12, 2009 0 Comments

Meinl Cajon Headliner Series is constructed with a wooden (Siam Oak) body and various premium wooden frontplates. In this video, the frontplate is made from hand-selected Mahogany wood.

On the bottom of the drum, there are four rubber foot stoppers for dependable stability during performances.

Inside the drum there are adjustable wires to manage your buzz or "sizzle effect". You'll also find an Allen wrench tucked in the beam of the drum that runs along the middle of the backside of the playing surface. You can pop the Allen wrench out to Adjust your drum, then put it back for safe keeping during play and transit. The placement for the Allen wrench is such that it will not disrupt the sound of your Meinl cajon.

Once you have the Allen wrench out, play the drum a little to sample the sound. You'll then have a sense of the adjustments that need to be made to achieve optimal tones.

Tune your cajon at the bottom of the drum. Flip it over and use the Allen wrench to tighten or loosen the screws between the two front rubber stoppers. Just a quarter turn is all you need to make a noticeable difference, so take it slow and test the sound between each adjustment.

Once you are done, place the drum back on the floor and play some patterns. You might find that the tuning is good, but the slaps are not quite where you want them.

To get more or less slap our of the drum, you will use a screwdriver to tighten or loosen the top edge of the frontplate. The more space you create between the frontplate and the resonating body, the more response you'll get.

When working with the frontplate adjustments, always loosen the outside screws first. Do not adjust the middle screw.

Once your drum is in tune and the slap is optimal, you are ready to play.

And that is the introduction to the Meinl Headliner Series Cajon.

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Profile of Babatunde Olatunji

Posted by X8 DRUMS Monday, August 10, 2009 0 Comments
"Rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm. Everything and every human action revolves in rhythm." - Babatunde Olatunji

Babatunde Olatunji was a Nigerian man who moved to the United States in the 1950s. Though he attended Morehouse College and New York University to work in medicine, he fell in love with drums instead. Many claim that the musician introduced the world to world music.


Cover art for the album Drums of Passion
Olatunji's music stood out to many of the jazz players of the area. Together, John Coltrane and Olatunji founded the Olatunji Center for African Culture in Harlem, the venue that hosted Coltrane's final show. Olatunji joined the Columbia label in the late 1950s. Olatunji made six albums with Columbia, debuting with Drums of Passion in 1959, which introduced many people on world music. The name of Olatunji's band was taken from this record. Olatunji often played with over twenty drummers on his albums, which is more than most musicians.

Olatunji continued to release music borne from a Nigerian flavor, with his recordings, The Drums of Passion: The Invocation and Drums of Passion: The Beat, although he released these under the Rykodisc label. The later album actually featured Carlos Santana, who scored a major hit in his debut release with "Jingo," a cover of a song off of the 1959 record, Drums of Passion. Though Olatunji released only a few records over the course of his more than forty years of active musicianship, with at least one album released after his death, he was a great influence for all types of drummers over time traditional players on bongo drums and djembe to modern players on electronic drum kits.

Olatunji has collaborated with dozens of musicians, popular in both past and present. Olatunji also worked with artists like Quincy Jones, Cannonball Adderly, Mickey Hart and Stevie Wonder. Mickey Hart and Olatunji's recording under the name Planet Drum won the 1991 Grammy Award for World Music. The musician was even referenced in Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Free," off The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.

Babatunde Olatunji was responsible for the scores for several movies as well. In addition to recording music with Columbia, Babatunde Olatunji wrote the score for the production of A Raisin in the Sun. He also did the score for the movie. In a move to save his career later on, Olatunji returned to cinema and is responsible for the music in Spike Lee's 1986 hit, She's Gotta Have it.

Throughout his career, beginning with his years with Columbia, Olatunji taught drum classes at a number of venues. He taught classes in African culture and music at the Olatunji Center for African Culture in New York, which he founded with the money from his performance at the New York World's Fair in 1964. He also taught at the Esalen Institute in California and the Omega Institute in New York.

Sadly, Olatunji died a few weeks after finishing Healing Sessions, his last record. Babatunde Olatunji died in April 2003, as a result of complications from diabetes. He was 75 years old. His friend, Dr. Edward "e.B." Williams remembered him fondly and shared a story that humanized this extremely influential musician: "With Tunji being the musician that he was, he was certainly able to appear in situations where there could have been some division of the races. He was always someone who was sought after because of his musical skills so that he was a quiet activist, I don't think that there's any doubt about that."

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Introduction to the Meinl Trejon

Posted by X8 DRUMS Tuesday, August 4, 2009 0 Comments
Welcome! Today we are introducing the Trejon.

The reason they call it the Trejon is because the drum has three surfaces that you can play. It's a significant advancement in the development of cajons by Meinl Percussion.



Let's discuss the various parts of this cajon drum:
  • The large frontplate in the middle of the drum will deliver your deepest tone.
  • On your left-hand side, the small frontplate produces a brighter tone.
  • On your right-hand side, you will find the snare drum.
On the side of the drum is a knob to adjust the snare. Turn it up for full snare effects or turn it all the way off for to create an additional tom.

Further adjustments for controlled sounds can be made by loosening or tightening the screws on the three frontplates. Each one can be adjusted separately, offering endless range for the player.

This is really an amazing cajon drum that is out on the market now and you gotta love it.

Watch the video above for a demonstration of three basic notes that you can play on the Trejon.

And of course, like all high-end Meinl Cajons, you have your own padded drummer's throne on top of the drum.

The Meinl Trejon is an amazing asset for any serious drummer. Use it for more range at acoustic gigs or mic it for electric shows to spice up the backline.

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Xavier Rudd is an Australian singer-song writer, voted the world's sexiest vegetarian celebrity in 2007 by PETA. The didgeridoo-playing musician is known for working with voice and several exotic instruments. His following is best in Australia and Canada, where he often plays live festivals.
Xavier Rudd
Xavier Rudd performing live at Rockin' Park, Nijmegen, June 28, 2008.


Rudd frequently features a social message in his music, like Aboriginal rights and green living. In keeping with this theme, Rudd also uses Australian and Canadian indigenous people as back-up vocalists and musicians.

Rudd had great interest in the didgeridoo from a young age, practicing on vacuum cleaner hoses before playing in his first band, Xavier and the Hum. Rudd has been recording music since 2002, with his debut studio album, To Let, which he produced himself. Chris Thompson recorded and mixed the CD.

Xavier Rudd later released Solace in 2004, which hit the charts in Australia, premiering in the top twenty. ARIA classifies Solace as a platinum album, and was released the next year in America under Universal Records. Rudd created an American following by touring the United States, promoting the album.

In 2007, Rudd released Food in the Belly in America, the gold album that earned the player his second ARIA Music Award nomination. In the same year, Xavier Rudd opened for Dave Matthews Band on their North American summer tour and toured with Canadian artist Jeremy Fisher, and released White Moth on the ANTI- label.

His last album release occurred in August 2008, with his fifth studio album, Darker Shades of Blue. While the album is his darkest, Rudd believes that the CD embodied all that he had worked for over the last six years. Tarun Tikoo's Surfer Dude's score was written and composed by Rudd.

Xavier Rudd stands out most for his live performances, rather than his studio performances. In 2007, he performed at Bonnaroo, High Serra, West Coast Blues and the Sydney's MySpace Rock for Darfur show. 2008 found Xavier Rudd on a North American tour ending in Vancouver, Canada, where the majority of Rudd's North American fans live. The same year, Rudd played at both the West Coast Blues & Roots Festival and the East Coast Blues & Roots Festival in Australia. He ended 2008 with a brief European tour. Rudd toured the world after the 2008 release of Dark Shades of Blue. Beginning in Australia, the tour covered Europe, Japan and the United States at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Because he was born and raised in Australia, the Aboriginals taught him to play the didgeridoo. Rudd's prowess with the didgeridoo actually earned him adoption into an Arnhem Land family, which is an incredible honor. Rudd boasts a group of incredibly talented back-up musicians during his live performances, where he plays a great number of instruments himself - the djembe, the Weissenborn guitar, a few acoustic guitars, his own feet, and of course, the didgeridoo. The singer-songwriter distances himself from other musicians in the genre by playing an incredible number of exotic instruments.


Photo Credit: Robert Brink, Creative Commons License

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School Jam USA is one of the best opportunities for school funding. The event is a unique battle of the bands, providing prizes not only for the band that wins, but for the school's music education program as well.

School Jam USA
High school musicians have a great opportunity to get international exposure and raise funds for their school music program.
Run by a German company called MusikMedia Germany, School Jam has been popular for years in Germany, with a well-established history for creating school spirit while engaging teenagers in a competition that benefits both student and school. MusikMedia has been essential for the adoption of popular and rock music in school bands' repertoires. MusikMedia runs the publication of SchoolJam the magazine, which is published every two months.

The contest is open to teenagers under the age of eighteen who are not attached to a music label. The contestants must be enrolled in an American high school, but need to have passports allowing travel to Germany for the final competition.

Artists are able to play any kind of music they want, from power pop and rap to percussion ensembles featuring the djembe drum or horns, so long as the music is under public domain and School Jam officials approve the lyrics. School Jam encourages students to try out new arrangements of older music, in order to makes sure that their act sounds fresh and new. The School Jam competition is a unique experience for middle and high school students, as it allows them to showcase their own talents while supporting and rallying their school band.

Open entries for the contest begins on August 24, 2009 and continue until the middle of October. In order to enter the competition, visit schooljamusa.com to upload your application. The only limitation for bands is that no more than ten people can be playing on stage, and the song for the competition must be five minutes or shorter. After that, students can be as creative as they want.

Fifty semi-finalists will be chosen from the open entries, with ten from each of five regions. These contestants will then be posted on the School Jam website, where visitors can vote for their favorite band once a day between November 1, 2009 and December 5, 2009. Visitors also have a chance to win some fabulous prizes for themselves, just for voting through the voters' sweepstakes.

The top ten finalists from the online semi finals will then go on to the live finals in Anaheim, California on January 16, 2010. These finalists are made of the top two finalists in each region. All ten of the finalists will receive gift cards to spend on new instruments and gear for their band, as well as money for their school's music program to fund new instrument purchases.

Finally, the winning band will compete at the School Jam performance in Germany in March 2010 at the School Jam Germany finals in Frankfurt. For more information about the competition, visit www.schooljam.de. The site also hosts information about the SchoolJam magazine, rules and terms, interviews with previous School Jam winners, and contests for great prizes, like guitars signed by members of the Black Eyed Peas.

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