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My School of Percussion

I am very excited to announce the launch of my School of Percussion - Total Percussion Technique.

Very soon, you will be able to sign up for more information on the course, but for the time being, suffice it to say that it will include:

essential techniques for all instruments and accessories

harmony and theoretical studies

Sound effects

An under-rated section of percussion?

I comment below on the effectiveness of sound effects, and when you think about these, I think that the performance of effects has some extra dimension to be considered other than playing a normal percussion part.

Accessories - Effects

  My Seven 'starter' suggestions

Recommended Read for the Percussionist

From my Bookshelf Review Series:

I would like to recommend a particularly interesting book for drummers and percussionists. It’s called ‘Back Beats and Rim Shots’ and it’s the Johnny Blowers Story written by Warren Vaché. It’s one of the studies in jazz, No. 25 in fact, published by The Scarecrow Press of London and the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University of New Jersey. It’s particularly interesting to read Johnny Blowers life story as he started out in the Swing Era, playing with big and small bands and travelling constantly throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s. Later on in his career he became a very respected session musician in New York. Also, became very adept at playing the mallet instruments, vibraphone, xylophone and timpani and so, over a period of time, became a very ‘in demand’ studio player.

Whistles for the Percussionist

From Police Whistles to Nightingales

The use of a wide variety of effect whistles by percussionists and drummers, in all probability dates back to the earliest days of Commedia del’Arte, Burlesque and Vaudeville, although the golden era for these instruments was certainly during the days of the silent cinema, when companies such as Yerkses, Hinks Martin and Acme Whistles, amongst others, produced large catalogues full of realistic sound effects and comedic noises to assist in reinforcing the drama or humour being played out on the silver screen.

Buying Equipment

Nigel’s Seven Secrets on Buying Equipment

  1. When purchasing any item of equipment, quality will out. Factors such as durability, sound quality and sustain tend to be part of the cost equation.
  2. It is often true to say (though not always) that the heavier an instrument is, in general the better quality it tends to be in comparative terms.
  3. When purchasing it is always wise to work with a choice of sizes and a selection of different makes. It is never good to have only one example from which to choose.
  4. The expressive qualities are what you are seeing first and foremost in any instrument; and in an ideal world, price should never be the deciding factor.
  5. If you buy new equipment make sure that you have appropriate sticks/mallets for the instrument. It is often true that people use mallets which are too heavy for the job and the instruments sound quality suffers as a result.
  6. Good equipment costs a lot of money. Don’t endanger it with inferior quality stands or mallets.
  7. Always look after your equipment and with any luck it will look after you!

Nigel's Ringtones

Nigel's Ringtones: I have created a series of unique and exciting Ringtones for you, the percussionist. Never again will you wonder if it's your phone ringing - you will know that it is!  

I have called them:

Blade Ringer, Bolero Ring, Bossa Nova Ring, Bossa Ring, Braziliance, Capriccionlymoreso, Didley Ring, E. Spaniel, Give Us A Ring, Jagger Ring, Samba Ring, Tatty Too, V-Ring and Will Ring

If you go to our on-line shop you can listen to them and see if you can identify the quote.  Some of the names might be a bit of a give-away!

If you would like to receive one free from now until Christmas, send me an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , tell me which one you would like, and I will send it off to you.  As all makes of mobile have slightly different loading instructions I suggest you look on the internet for yours. 

Yours, Nigel




Acme Whistles to Drumroll Productions

Acme Whistles, with World famous, biggest and finest selection of professional whistles and sound effects are coming to the Drumroll Productions online shop!  Nigel Shipway and Anne Collis went to Birmingham, where the whistles are still made, to meet Simon Topman, Managing Director of J Hudson & Co. Ltd. and discuss showcasing the entire range on the Drumroll Productions site. Why? You may ask. Well, many of the whistles and bird calls are staples of the well-stocked Percussion box of tricks and nobody makes them like Acme!

Percussion Zone Products:


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