The Basement

Vol. 1 Issue 1, Dec. 1998-Jan. 1999

     What exactly is "The Basement?" It's where I spend a lot of my time messing around with timpani and percussion stuff. It's not a finished basement, either, and the heating ducts rattle when I play an "E" or higher on the timps, but it's all I've got at the moment.

     This page is here as a shop talk kind of thing. If you're not a timpanist or percussionist, it'll probably be pretty dull. So with that disclaimer, let's jump right in, as the water's not deep. What am I working on now? Mostly trying to improve my timpani, which are pictured below.


The two Dresdens are Ringers, circa late 70's and the 32" chain was made by Rick Holmes of the St. Louis Symphony. It's very similar to a Goodman drum. The 24" chain is a Goodman and needs a lot of work. It's currently a bowl and a stack of parts.
Saul never put a proper support ring in it, so it has to go back to where it was born (Picking & Sons) and get a new support ring and lip. As it is, it sounds pretty funky, as you might imagine, with the lugs caving in! That will have to wait for more funds! It's really not too expensive, but it will take a month (if I'm lucky) and will cost about 500 bucks, so it's not cheap, either.

     The other day I got some touch-up paint from Ludwig and it's really helping. I got the drums last summer from a local university that I've been affiliated with, and they have been knocked around a bit. Happily the problems are cosmetic and fairly easy to fix with time (rather than money) so they'll be looking lovely soon. The next thing is to get some new counterhoops made so that I can get a bit more extension on them. The pricey way is to have them made at the American Drum Co. in Denver (Walter Light) and plan B is to have them made locally. If I can, I'll do the former, but I'm working with a machinist and he has a plant at his disposal that can cut parts out of steel with a computer, so we'll see how that works. I've got him making a hoop for one of my rental/gig drums as we speak. The results and a photo will be on display here so check back.

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