Chris Belin Drums - Traveling Drum School & Freelance Drumming
My Blog

November 2012

Product Review: Getting Started on Cajon with Michael Wimberly

Product Review:

Getting Started on Cajon with Michael Wimberly  (Book / DVD combo package) 

   Recently a few of my current <Traveling> Drum School students purchased cajons as their first piece of hand percussion. Not long after, I had a new student contact me and she exclusively wanted to learn the cajon. All of them started asking questions about this cool little box drum and wanted to learn as much as possible about it. So I began my normal percussionist curriculum as I’ve done many times before, adjusting it a bit to accommodate the cajon and it’s tonal possibilities. I already knew quite a bit about the cajon but last week while picking up drum supplies I came across this instructional combo package. Looked like pretty basic stuff based on the front cover description. I also didn’t totally recognize the percussion instructor at first, but his name did sound familiar. Upon reading the back cover, I came to the conclusion this could be a great purchase to get more acquainted with the instrument.      
     I was right on the money with this purchase! Not only does this package give an excellent background on the cajon, but it introduces the main tones and how to achieve them properly. The content is definitely intermediate to advanced. The book contains a great variety of traditional rhythms and how to apply them using all the tones. You definitely have to have a minimum intermediate level of reading notation to fully grasp the book concepts. In the video, Michael performs all of the rhythms, as well as playing along to music and providing ideas for how to use the drum in all types of music.      
   Michael’s teaching approach is concise and his playing is top notch. Upon reading his bio, I realized I did recognize him from some of the artists he’s worked with.      
   I really enjoyed this entire package and would recommend it to any percussion instructor or aspiring drummer.


"The Positive Spin on Drums" weekly blog will resume on Monday December 3rd. I'll be away on 11/26 visiting the always musically inspiring city of Chicago, IL for the holiday weekend. Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! -Chris.   

"Wild Child" music video

   This week’s blog features the new music video for “Wild Child” by The Satin Hearts. This is the official first single from our album “Living On Overdrive”. I’ve mentioned before in previous blogs about this song receiving lots of radio airplay throughout the United States and parts of Canada. The worldly buzz is still going strong, plus some college stations have started to play other songs from the album. There are multiple album reviews posted online. said "Wild Child is a standout tune with a ska-tinged beat, jangly guitars, mesmerizing feel and satin smooth vocals”.      
   This video was shot this past Friday at Peter B’s in Sarver, PA, which is a really cool music venue for those who are unfamiliar (link below). Andrew Obenreder from I4eye Media did an awesome job yet again of capturing us. I really all dig all the work he’s done for us. Andrew did the artwork for the album as well as group and individual band shots. His site link is also below.    
    “Wild Child” is a special song for me as I got to play conga in addition to drum set on the track. The song was in our set list for quite awhile prior to the recording. When we went into the studio to track the parts, it was a smooth process to lay down what we down live. Marci played shakers just like she does live. Felt really good and sounded great, but the proposal came up to add some more percussion. Immediately I wanted to add conga, to flow with the vibe of the song. It’s purposely in the background but if you listen real close it’s there, just adding a little flavor!  
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The Satin Hearts - Wild Child (LIVE)
Live music video for The Satin Heart's single "Wild Child" The single "Wild Child" is now available on i-Tunes: Buy the new album "Living on Overdrive" at http://tinyurl...

The Satin Hearts

14eye Media

Peter B's

Using House Gear: common scenarios, your drum breakables, and proper etiquette

   For this week’s blog I decided to focus on a scenario most performing drummers have to often deal with in their career; Not being able to use your own gear. Sharing equipment, or using back line gear, can occur often for drummers who play multiple band bills, or who play at venues (and sometimes recording studios) with stationary house kits. Limited touring budgets and traveling by airplane can also play a factor in whether you can bring all your equipment. There could definitely be other scenarios but the above I’ve experienced on numerous occasions.
1950's Ludwig @ Broadcast Lane Studios
    Recently, I've had multiple situations where I needed to use house equipment. In the past i’ve had a mixed bag of using well maintained and not so well maintained gear. Thankfully, all of these recent experiences have been good! No matter what I always have my “breakables” on hand. Drum breakables is a term drummers use to describe the following equipment that is usually brought to a gig where you can’t use your whole set. It’s a list of gear most drummers don’t feel comfortable letting other drummers use. Most importantly, it’s the gear that defines the biggest portion of a drummers sound and touch.

The top 4 drum breakables; 


You may not need all of these, or you may like the gear you’re allowed to use better. Regardless, you know you can count on at least capturing some of your sound and feel with the above items. Some drummers include stands, especially hi hat & snare, in their breakable list.

Tama Starclassic maple house kit @ Mountaineer Casino.
    I always contact the owner of the equipment I’m using to discuss specifics beforehand. This is especially crucial if you’re normally used to using a unique set up, or if you’re left handed. Any pre-planning will make the pre-show set up much smoother.     
   Lastly, it’s not always the best idea to ask a drummer if you can re-tune a piece of their set in a live situation. Usually just best to deal with whatever it sounds like and focus on getting your snare to sound as you like it, or adjust your snare to blend with the toms and bass. I’ve asked to adjust the overall tuning a few times if the sound of the drums greatly contrast what I feel is appropriate for the band / artist i'm performing with.      
   No matter what, I always put everything back the way I found it. That is the biggest lesson of this week’s blog! I’ve gotten so many compliments and respect from drummers, soundmen, club owners, etc. And after the great feedback I usually hear horror stories of the drummers that don’t do that!!  


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