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Vic Firth Email Club Newsletter, Issue #21
The latest news & events from the
world's largest manufacturer of drumsticks and mallets


Contents Of This Issue's Newsletter

1. Product Showcase: Orchestral Keyboard Mallets, Corpsmaster® Timpani Mallets, Weight Sorting for a Perfect Pair® of Sticks

2. Artist Features: Hard + Heavy Artist CD

3. Education in Action: New DCI Video Clips, Learn the Basics of 4 Mallet Technique

1. Product Showcase

Orchestral Keyboard Mallets

For the discriminating orchestral and symphonic band performer, the Orchestral Series offers six mallets designed for xylophone and seven for bells. With an extraordinary amount of sound color possible, these mallets feature rattan handles.

The Orchestral Series are also an outstanding choice for marching band and drum & bugle corps! These mallets are THE choice for use by 12 Division I corps (including 6 finalists), and 33 corps overall. Most notably, the mallets were used by all 3 High Percussion winners - The Cadets (Division I), Magic (Division II), and Revolution (Division III).

Check out the Orchestral Series Keyboard Mallets: http://www.vicfirth.com/product/orchkey.html

Corpsmaster® Timpani Mallets

Do you ever wonder why the timpani do not project as well on the field as they do in your band hall? Are you having problems because your concert timpani mallets do not hold up outdoors? Corpsmaster® timpani mallets are specifically designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor performance applications. The mallets have straight, non-tapered hickory shafts which put more weight forward toward the mallet head. This produces greater sound with less effort for maximum sound projection on the field. Their enhanced weight also produces lower fundamentals from the drum head for a darker, fuller sound.

The CT1-CT3 mallets have synthetic felt heads for durability and weather resistance. The CT4 has a super-hard wool felt head for maximum sound projection.

Check out the Corpsmaster® Timpani Mallets here: http://www.vicfirth.com/product/corpstimp.html

Why Vic Firth is the Number One Stick in the World:

Reason number 499: Weight Sorting

"How can two of the same sticks not weigh the same?"

The weight of a given stick depends on the density of the wood from which it is made. Density is defined as the weight of a standard volume of a given material. Examples would be pounds per cubic foot, ounces per cubic inch or grams per cubic centimeter.

During the growth of a tree, there are a large number of variables that contribute to the density of the wood that the tree produces - such as the amount of rainfall, sun exposure, temperature and soil conditions. The result is that the density of a particular species of wood varies with geographic location, between trees and even within a particular log.

In any production run of 1,000 pairs of a model, there may be as much as 25 to 40 grams of difference between the lightest stick and the heaviest. To make sure that you get a "Perfect Pair®" each time, our sticks are matched by automated machinery. The sticks are placed one at a time onto a scale. A computer records the weight of the stick and then transfers it to a bin containing sticks of the same weight.

All of the variables that control the density of the stick also affect the sound that the stick produces when it is played. Because of this, the batches of weight sorted sticks then go through another process where they are sorted by the tone the sticks produce. The final result is a pair of sticks that is matched for both weight and tone.

You work hard to produce great sounds. We work hard to provide you with the best tools possible.

Just another reason to choose Vic Firth: The Perfect Pair®

You can watch videos of each step of the manufacturing process by visiting: http://www.vicfirth.com/product/manufacturing/manufacturingmain.html

2. Artist Features

Introducing Vic Firth's Limited Edition "Hard + Heavy" Artist CD!

While supplies last, buy 4 pairs of American Classic® 5A, 5B, 2B or Rock sticks and get the "Hard + Heavy" limited edition CD with songs from your favorite bands. It comes with and without drum tracks so you can listen or play along. You can even download the charts from vicfirth.com!

While you're there, don't forget to enter the artist stick giveaway. Each week for 50 weeks, Vic Firth will be giving away a bundle of 12 pair of the artists favorite sticks, imprinted with each drummer's band name and signature!

We'll supply the wood. You make the metal.


3. Education In Action

Vic Firth Salutes Drum Corps International!

- New Video Clips Recently Added

Join us online for Vic Firth's Salute to D.C.I. 2002, with pictures, interviews and "in the lot" video footage of your favorite Vic Firth drumlines!

Don't miss the new video clips from The Cadets, Crossmen, and Santa Clara Vanguard. Vic Firth also features "I&E" winners Scott Simon on tenors and Justin Truit on multi-percussion!


"Simply Four. The Basics of 4 Mallet Technique" by Gifford Howarth

With the rapid increase in popularity of 4-mallet percussion at the high school level, there comes the possibility of students moving too quickly through the learning process. Over the past 5 years, I have given somewhere in the ballpark of 200-250 beginning 4-mallet clinics throughout North America. The most common problem I come across is seeing students playing with bad technique. To be more specific, students playing with too much tension. It is very easy for a young percussionist to develop physical problems such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel or pulled muscles and tendons if they play with a lot of tension.

In this article, Giff provides a breakdown of how to correctly hold the mallets, describes the role of each finger, details the basic strokes and points out common problems beginners have and ways to fix them. Also included are links to sample pages from the book and mp3's of marimba solo literature from Giff's new CD, Rosewood Resonance.

Read the article: http://www.vicfirth.com/education/articles/howarth.html

All of us here at Vic Firth are excited to bring this email newsletter to you twice monthly to better keep you informed of the hottest new products, the best in the web's percussion entertainment and educational content, and to give you the opportunity to register for our monthly prize giveaways. If you have friends or students who could benefit from joining the VF Email Club, please forward this to them, or tell them to sign up at: http://www.vicfirth.com/emailclub.html

Copyright 2002 by Vic Firth Incorporated
The #1 Drumstick in the World

For more information, please contact Vic Firth Inc. at www.vicfirth.com or phone: 781-326-3455; fax: 781-326-1273

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