The Drum Wallet – Review

The Drum Wallet
I heard about the The Drum Wallet while attending NAMM and was really interested in checking this product out!

The Drum Wallet is a simple muffling device for the snare drum that enables the user to apply the muffle or remove it on the fly. Having the capability of snare tone management on the fly appeals to me since I like to play songs that cover more than one style.

Installing The Drum Wallet on the snare drum was pretty easy. The product shipped with a short list of directions for application which I followed without any issues.

The Drum Wallet design is simple but clever. It’s simply modeled after a wallet (we’ve all used one to muffle a snare drum). The wallet is attached to velcro straps which get threaded around the snare drum’s tension rods. There is a wide sleeve attached to the wallet that enables a drummer to use a drum stick to manage the application on the fly. The fact that you can quickly lift The Drum Wallet on or off the snare drum is brilliant. When the wallet is placed on the snare drum it does a good job of muffling the drum’s tones without completely drowning the natural sound of the instrument. (Like the zero rings sometimes do.)

Snare drum tone management

I was curious to see just how quickly I could add and remove the wallet on the fly. I attached The Drum Wallet to the left side of my snare drum and then immediately started playing while the camera was rolling. I attempted adding and removing the muffling device using both traditional and matched grips–all while keeping time. My first try was a little rough (as seen below). I soon realized that placing the wallet onto the drum takes slightly more coordination than removing it. Once I got the feel for that it was smooth sailing for both grips!

I’ve since taken The Drum Wallet with me on a few gigs and really like the flexibility of having multiple sounds for the snare drum. I’m also looking forward to using it in the studio. You can purchase one on Amazon or on The Drum Wallet’s website. For more information you can check out

Tommy Igoe’s – Basic Lifetime Warmup with Samba Pattern (Video)

I like to warm up with Tommy Igoe’s Great Hands for a Lifetime.I also use them as a warm up for my students. One way to add some challenge to rudiments is to add a foot pattern underneath. In the video above I’m playing the basic lifetime warmup with a samba foot pattern where the kick drum is on one, the and of two, three, and the and of four. Adding a foot pattern to rudiments strengthens independence between your hands and feet. This was a little more difficult than I thought but a lot of fun to work with.

Beatbox – Roni Size Cover (Video)

I was persuaded by my friend and fellow drummer Tim De Ramos to make a drum and bass video. I’ve always liked beatbox by Roni Size–it’s a short and sweet beatbox that was released in the late 90s and reminds me of my days in New York City. I Wanted to add a live drum track to it to see how the acoustic drums would mix with the recorded beatbox.

Here is the raw version we did just using the Gopro camera:

Alexander Technique Drumming (Video)

If you play music professionally there are times where you are expected to play on your instrument for hours. Whether you are playing at a wedding gig, a casual, on a cruise ship, a full day rehearsal, they all take a toll on your body. The physical demands of the drums makes these gigs even more challenging for drummers.

One of the tools I like to use to combat that wear and tear is the Alexander Technique (AT). The Alexander Technique is a movement technique that teaches people how to efficiently use their bodies by inhibiting unnecessary muscular tension. Sounds pretty easy right? In fact, quite the opposite when you consider that excessive muscular tension in most people is the result of years of inefficient movement and posture habits. Breaking those habits and forming new habits can take a tremendous amount of mental discipline and time.

I started AT lessons in my late twenties mainly due to upper back and shoulder arthritis. My first teacher pointed out that I was holding tension in my face and especially my jaw. She went on to give me some techniques to inhibit the tension in those areas as well as to calm my entire nervous system. One of those techniques is called “active rest” or “constructive rest” which you can find out more at

Active rest is also beneficial before and/or after a strenuous activity (like a gig) and you only need around ten minutes or so to get the benefits. It’s a low maintenance tool for sure and doing it everyday will increase it’s benefit.

Delving deeper into the art of the Alexander Technique requires working with a certified teacher individually or within a group. Although many people notice diminished pain immediately after their first lesson, it usually takes around ten lessons for your average person to become aware of all their body movement habits and to start inhibiting some of them. If you are serious about getting started I recommend finding a certified teacher. I used this directory to find my teacher in Orange County – Doug Shenefield

One of the drum set playing challenges Doug immediately noticed is that since drummers are operating the foot pedals, we can’t properly ground our feet. Another challenge is being able to move to and from different parts of the drum set without stiffening up or delivering unnecessary stress to certain muscle groups. Doug noticed that I wasn’t pivoting when I moved my right arm from the ride cymbal across my body to the hi-hat, which resulted in unwarranted stress on my right shoulder. To help keep freedom in the body, pivoting towards the particular drum or cymbal you are playing is important–seems obvious but sometimes we forget what’s natural for our bodies when focused on our instrument.

Traditional grip was also seen as a unique drumming movement challenge. When I played with traditional grip, Doug noticed I was leaning my upper body slightly toward the left and putting more weight on my left sitz (sitting) bone. This is pretty common for drummers that play traditional grip. What I learned from Doug is that this leaning posture is not needed at all times to play traditionally.

Doug was really digging the Moeller technique movements! Although Doug knew nothing about drum technique, he was able to keen in on some of those movements. He described them as “sinuous” which I think is a great adjective to describe how the Moeller Technique should look and feel. Once Doug pointed that out I seemed to loosen up more and have a bit more fun! The video above captures that well!

If you’re suffering from body pain, or just run down from the wear and tear of playing music professionally, then the Alexander technique should be a good investment for you.