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Wayne Salzmann II’s #LivetoPlay Story

We can all remember that moment when everything clicked for us. That moment when we picked up the sticks for the first time and realized that it was the start of something. The moment when messing around on the drum set turned into practicing for countless hours to get that set just right. These moments are some of the strongest memories that we create in our lives. It’s these memories that Vic Firth Artist, Wayne Salzmann II, took the time to share with us. One of the things that Wayne remembers most about his time growing up in his hometown of Neenah, Wisconsin, is the time he spent messing around on his father’s Slingerland Radioking drumset. The moment when Wayne discovered his love for playing the drums, came when he was just about ten-years-old. What was your life like before discovering your passion for music and playing? There wasn’t much in my life that I was particularly drawn to before the drums. I played some sports and video games like all kids, but I didn’t really have a passion for anything until I started playing drums. What were the first few years of learning how to play like? I remember getting serious about playing and practicing in 6th/7th grade. I started practicing every night from 9-10pm, then from 8-10, and 7-10, and pretty soon I was playing the drums from after school until bedtime, rehearsing with bands, learning new music, and playing along with records. Before I got serious about playing music, I was basically a bored kid with no ambition, so I was getting in trouble at school, failing classes, getting in trouble with the police, etc. Playing the drums was the only productive thing I had going on, and it definitely turned my life around. What did it feel like to have this new outlet in your life? Music was a way to express myself when I was an angst-filled teenager. I used to play along to punk records and had a few bands with friends in the neighborhood. Playing music was actually the thing that kept me out of trouble for the most part. From performing his first gig at the 5th-grade talent show to playing at Carnegie Hall, Wayne has had quite an impressive performance career.   What has been your most memorable learning experience? Why? “One that comes to mind is when I was younger, I had the opportunity to play with a veteran musician who I respected a lot. I came in with guns blazing because I wanted to show him that I could play. On the break, he said, “You’re not listening to me.” I was crushed because I realized he was right. I was trying so hard to play all this hip drum stuff, but I wasn’t listening to the band and playing what the music needed. That was a very important lesson for me.” You’ve had the opportunity to play within a wide variety of musical genres. Are there any that you feel are your strong suit/your favorite? Playing different styles with different artists is something that keeps my career really fresh. As a result, I’ve cultivated relationships with artists in totally different musical worlds. I play with jazz artists who have no idea that I play in rock bands, and vice versa. I love it all!     As an educator, Wayne is able to play an integral role in how music shapes the lives of his students. “Teaching is very important to me, and I take it very seriously. As the great Johnny Vidacovich told me “Teaching is your spiritual obligation. Somebody taught you how to play, you gotta teach somebody how to play.” What do you like most about being an educator? Why? Helping somebody make progress in this great endeavor of playing music is incredibly rewarding. I love when students experience the “ah ha” moments in lessons or clinics. Some of my most inspiring moments were spent with great teachers, and I just want to pass on those experiences on to my students. Being a percussionist is not a hobby, it’s a way of life. Stories such as Wayne’s help to exemplify what it means to #LivetoPlay. Follow the movement online and share what being a drummer means to you!   ©2018 Vic Firth Company

VF Artist, Mark Guiliana featured in The Drummer’s Journal

A humble performer, Mark Guiliana would never be the one to acknowledge his own outstanding musical feats that he’s accomplished during his career. Instead, Tom Hoare of the Drummer’s Journal does it for him. As a classically trained jazz musician, Guiliana shares his experience applying and auditioning for music schools as well as offering his opinion on what the merits of a formal music education are.   Another core focus of Tom Hoare’s interview with Mark was he began to shape himself as an Artist. The two discuss why Mark felt the pressure for him to be “unique” and how that lead him to create his own patterns and experiment more with improvisation, a skill  in which he is very well-known for. Early on in his career when trying to wrap his head around certain skills or concepts. Mark was told by others in his field that all he needed was “experience”. At the time, Mark didn’t understand what counted as experience. But now as a seasoned performer, Mark shares what it means to gain experience.   Free HD4 American Classic®Vic’s original SD4 design, but in hickory. For a light touch and great feel around the drums. Diameter: .530" [1.35cm]Length: 157/8" [40.32cm]Taper: MediumLearn More <!-- / product-details --> Free 85A American Classic®Combines the dimensions of an 8D and 5A. Diameter: .550" [1.4cm]Length: 16" [40.64cm]Taper: MediumLearn More <!-- / product-details --> Free 7A American Classic®A scaled down American Classic® stick with great balance. Perfect when speed and touch are top priority. Diameter: .540" [1.37cm]Length: 151/2" [39.37cm]Taper: MediumLearn More <!-- / product-details --> American Classic® Vic’s original SD4 design, but in hickory. For a light touch and great feel around the drums. American Classic® Combines the dimensions of an 8D and 5A. American Classic® A scaled down American Classic® stick with great balance. Perfect when speed and touch are top priority. ©2018 Vic Firth Company

Rolling Stone’s ‘100 Greatest Drummers of All Time’

The importance of drummers is undeniable. A drummer is the heartbeat of any musical ensemble. Without their pulse to get the metaphorical blood flowing, a band would essentially be a lifeless body unable to function correctly. Rolling Stone magazine gives drummers the recognition that they so rightly deserve with their recently released list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time. Rolling Stone valued “nuance and musicality over chops and flash.” when compiling their list. They also focused on drummers whose work greatly impacted the areas (that they define as) rock and pop. We are proud to highlight the Vic Firth Artists who were recognized by Rolling Stone as some of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time. Free Keith Moon Signature SticksUnique in its design with the combination of a medium shaft, fast sloping medium taper and a length just short of 16". Crafted with an oval wood tip. Diameter: .560" [1.42cm]Length: 1513/16" [40.17cm]Taper: MediumLearn More <!-- / product-details --> Free Terry Bozzio Signature SticksLong and thin for speed and response. Helmet shaped tip provides boldness on toms, brilliance on cymbals. Diameter: .550" [1.4cm]Length: 161/4" [41.28cm]Taper: ShortLearn More <!-- / product-details --> Free Danny Carey Signature SticksA truly unique stick! Features a cut-in design at the gripping area for comfort and a tapered butt end for improved balance. In wood or nylon tip. Diameter: .630" [1.6cm]Length: 161/2" [41.91cm]Taper: ShortLearn More <!-- / product-details --> Free Steve Gadd Signature SticksBarrel tip for a great recording sound. In wood or nylon tip. Diameter: .550" [1.4cm]Length: 153/4" [40.01cm]Taper: LongLearn More <!-- / product-details --> Signature Sticks Unique in its design with the combination of a medium shaft, fast sloping medium taper and a length just short of 16". Crafted with an oval wood tip. Signature Sticks Long and thin for speed and response. Helmet shaped tip provides boldness on toms, brilliance on cymbals. Signature Sticks A truly unique stick! Features a cut-in design at the gripping area for comfort and a tapered butt end for improved balance. In wood or nylon tip. Signature Sticks Barrel tip for a great recording sound. In wood or nylon tip. ©2018 Vic Firth Company

Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain Featured in The Drummer’s Journal

While at this year’s NAAM trade show, Tom Hoare of the Drummer’s Journal,  had the opportunity to interview  VF artist, Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden). Tom’s interview starts by focusing on Nicko’s his early life growing up in Hackney, East London. Even at a very young age, Nicko knew that he wanted to be a drummer. However, to ease his parents worries about such an unpredictable career path, Nicko continued on in school to earn a qualification in mechanical engineering.   Nicko: “I still need to play the Royal Albert Hall. I’m not sure they’d let Maiden in there. It’d bring the roof down.” Tom: “As a qualified engineer, could you not sort that out for them?” Tom’s entertaining interview goes on to cover various other events in Nicko’s life including his early performance career with Pat Travers, his move to Iron Maiden, and the 2015 tongue cancer diagnosis of band-mate, Bruce Dickinson. Curious about what kind of Disneyland ride Nicko McBrain would want modeled after Iron Maiden? Or maybe you’re interested in learning how Nicko managed to break his nose twice? Be sure to check out the full interview to learn all of this and more!     ©2018 Vic Firth Company

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