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Showing posts from December, 2017

What's The Best Gong To Buy?

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I field questions nearly everyday from people asking about drums, percussion, and especially Gongs. Whether it's via e-mail, message, or even a phone call. the most popular question is: 
“What kind of Gong (or singing bowl, or bell, or ride cymbal, or hi-hats, or drum head, or various other things) should I buy?”And I wish that I could just give everyone a nice, tidy, easy answer. But there are none.

Part of my initial reaction to the question is, “How should I know?” This is not like buying toothpaste , where I can suggest a whitening one if your teeth look dull, or a freshening one if you have bad breath.
Sound is completely subjective and personalI'm sure you wouldn't like some of the instruments I own and use, because they create the most unmusical sounds. But they work for me and the music I'm involved in. But let's look some typical questions and the criteria for recommendations:

What Gong should I buy? - Is this your 1st Gong? 2nd? 27th? That makes a lot of diff…

It's Time To Meet Your Maker

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Gongs. They've been around for thousands of years and are essentially unchanged. The Chinese Chau and Feng/Wind Gongs are sort of the archetypal shapes and sounds that many other Gongs are fashioned after. The modern day Paiste & Meinl Gongs are basically Chau style gongs made from flat discs of nickel-silver, rather than cast bell bronze. Even most large companies selling Gongs, like Zildjian and Sabian, are selling rebranded Chinese Gongs. UFIP, in Italy, is one of the few larger companies making different types/shapes of Gongs. Their TargoGongs are fundamentally solid bells cast into a lens shape. Their Art Gongs are sheet bronze/brass hammered into a flat Gong with a U-shaped collar, with or without a center boss.
But what if you want something different or unique. Where do you go to find sounds that move beyond the ordinary? This is where the many single man gong makers come into play. They are creative individuals looking to create unique sounding instruments.
The Birth of…