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Gearcheck: March 2020

Jazzed Magazine • GearcheckMarch 2020 • March 18, 2020

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Seamoon Funk Machine

The Seamoon Funk Machine is a pedal that’s equally at home with guitar, bass, and horns. The pedal provides a chromatic wonderland of envelope filter fun – with a few added surprises. Features include Blend Control, Frequency Control, Depth Control, and Volume. MAP: $199


HingeStix are a learning tool that lets drummers learn proper technique while preventing bad habits from the very start. These practice drumsticks, by Sam Ruttenberg, are great for drummers to simulate and reinforce a loose grip, allowing the stick to pivot freely around the fulcrum, while engaging the hands and the back fingers to control and master bounce and rebound. Drummers place their thumbs and index fingers on the patented swivel pads, which pivot freely around the fulcrum, enabling students to build the muscle memory required to feel a perfectly executed free rebound stroke. When used daily during warm-up and practice, students can easily transfer this grip to their regular drumsticks to execute perfect rebound strokes.

D’Addario’s Reserve Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

D’Addario Woodwinds’ Reserve Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece was designed for the most demanding, modern classical saxophonist. The Reserve Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece is made in the USA from foreign materials by a team of top musicians and engineers. It is milled from solid rod rubber, using D’Addario’s precise computer-controlled mouthpiece-making technology. The mouthpiece is not hand-finished and has a medium chamber. The mouthpiece provides exceptional intonation across all registers of the saxophone and exceptional response and range of dynamic flexibility.

ReedGeek’s Universal ‘Special ZR’ Tool

The ReedGeek Universal “Special ZR” is the latest addition to ReedGeek’s line of reed adjustment and maintenance tools. The Universal “Special ZR” is great for all single and double reed players and excels in the adjustment of both natural cane and synthetic polymer reeds. The “Special ZR” offers the player an option to employ two removable handles for added leverage, control, and chatter-free reed balancing. The tool includes a hand-sewn proprietary neoprene bag with a built-in microfiber cleaning cloth and ReedGeek clear classic multi-use storage case. Street retail: $95-$100.

Black Swamp Percussion’s ArchThrow Strainer

Black Swamp Percussion’s new ArchThrow strainer is designed to be smooth, quiet, and highly durable. The ArchThrow has a sleek design, matching Black Swamp’s exclusive arch-style lugs. The strainer is chrome plated, fits drums 5” deep or larger, and features an indexing knob for smooth, consistent tensioning. The ArchThrow can be purchased as a pair with a matching butt-plate. MSRP: $99.

Vic Firth RE·MIX Brushes

Vic Firth RE·MIX Brushes pair together easily so you can create unique sounds not otherwise possible, and allow you to customize the amount of volume and attack you get depending on how you mix and match the brushes. From the drum set to Latin percussion to the Cajon and so much more, these brushes are incredibly versatile, especially once you start combining pairs together. Natural materials provide an organic feel and sound, while the specially designed handles pair comfortably in your hand.

Premium Guitar Tech Truss Rod Wrench Set from Music Nomad

Music Nomad’s Premium Guitar Tech Truss Rod Wrench Set offers versatility and organization in one compact, rugged case the size of an iPhone. Designed to work on most electric, acoustic, and bass guitars this 11-piece set comes with six Allen Key sizes (5/32”, 9/64”, 1/8”, 3/16”, 4mm, 5mm), three socket wrench sizes (1/4”, 5/16” 7mm), a specially designed spoke wheel tool, and a 3/8” blade bit. Bonus features include laser-etched sizes on each wrench, three magnetized screwdrivers for small truss rod cover screws, and the socket wrenches and spoke wheel tool slide into Music Nomad’s Octopus handle (sold separately) for additional leverage and comfort. $54.99

New Guitar Strap Lines from On-Stage

On-Stage has released two highly secure lines of guitar straps, the GSA20 line of seatbelt-style guitar straps, and the GSA30 line, which features copper buckles. The new two-inch GSA20 line of guitar straps are designed out of a seatbelt material and feature a reflective cotton banding. Boasting two-ply, black leather ends with reinforced stitching and heavy-duty metal buckles, the new GSA20 straps provide guitarists with the security they need. Adjustable in length from 36 inches to 64 inches, the straps are available in black, grey, brown, light blue, red, green, purple, and pink.

Boasting rock-solid copper buckles, the two-inch GSA30 guitar straps are constructed of cotton banding and feature two-ply, double-stitched brown leather ends. Adjustable in length from 38 inches to 67 inches, the GSA30 straps are available in black, grey, brown, navy blue, and burgundy.

The Club Jam Flyer Kit from TAMA

TAMA’s smallest-ever complete kit is the CLUB-JAM Flyer. The 14”x 10” bass drum anchors the setup, resting atop a bass drum lifter for proper positioning. The kit also includes a snare drum, floor tom, and rack tom, which enables this kit to cover a wide array of music styles. The Club Jam Flyer allows the player to utilize full drum strokes without being overpowering, making this a great, full-featured solution for any coffee shop or busker set. The solid wood hoops provide a striking visual complement to the classic appearance of this innovative new kit.

Zildjian’s I Series Cymbals

Taking its name from “Ilham,” the Turkish word for inspiration, the I Family is a collection of expressive sounds designed for the drummer who is looking to graduate from the fundamental sizes and sounds and bring their playing to the next level. The series features modern weights and profiles, and fresh effects sounds. The I Family launches with a 10” splash, 14”, 16”, 17”, 18”, 19” crashes, 18” and 20” crash rides, 20” and 22” rides, 13” and 14” hi-hats, 14” mastersound hi-hats, a 14” trash crash / hi-hat top, a 17” trash crash, and 16” and 18” chinas. The I Family is also offered as a band pair, available in 14” and 16” sizes. A variety of configurations of cymbals are offered in six cymbal packs.

Ibanez’s PIA guitars and AZ2204B Model

Ibanez’s new Steve Vai signature model is the PIA, which features a new “Petal grip.” The Rosewood fretboard is inlayed with an original design called the “PIA Blossom,” envisioned and designed specifically for this guitar. The PIA also features new, custom-designed DiMarzio pickups that give the guitar a suitable dose of that characteristic Vai sound, while also incorporating a new, distinctive voice. Color options include Stallion White, as well as limited Envy Green, Panther Pink, and Sun Dew Gold finishes. The guitar is adorned with a special holographic headstock logo as a finishing touch.

Also new is the AZ2204B model, which features an Alder body paired with an AZ Oval C neck made of S-TECH Roasted Maple. The fretboard is also made of roasted S-Tech maple and features Luminlay side dots. The classic combination of tone woods delivers an ample supply of warm lows, present mid-range, and even high-end response. The electronics package consists of Seymour Duncan Hyperion pickups in an SSH configuration, a five-way selector switch, and the dyna-MIX9 switching system, offering nine unique pickup combinations and a multitude of voicing options.

Wedding Brass Will Ring Books from Excelcia Music

Excelcia Music Publishing’s Wedding Brass Will Ring provides brass quintet players with 18 newly-arranged favorite works for all musical phases of a wedding ceremony: Prelude, Postlude, Processional, Ceremony, and Recessional. New Prelude/Postlude arrangements in Wedding Brass Will Ring include Vivaldi’s Spring and Handel’s Air from Water Music. Newly arranged Processional/Recessional pieces include Mendelssohn’s Wedding March and Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, and for the Ceremony, new arrangements include Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Elgar’s Nimrod and more. Books in the Wedding Brass Will Ring collection are available for BH trumpet 1, BH trumpet 2, horn in F, trombone, and tuba. $12.99

Hal Leonard’s New Pierre Bensusan Guitar Collection

The new Pierre Bensusan Guitar Collection is a comprehensive book that combines extensive instructional topics for intermediate to advanced fingerstyle guitarists with tab transcriptions of some of Bensusan’s most popular performance pieces and each song on Azwan. Instructional topics Bensusan covers in the book include: DADGAD tunings and origins, position, fingerings, modes, scales and chords, harmonics, non-standard techniques, practicing, and more.

 “Distance” from Kendor Music

“Distance” by Doug Beach is a beautiful ballad at the medium easy level, making it the perfect showcase for your alto soloist. The pensive melody and rich harmony combine to create a wonderful change of pace chart. Starting as a ballad, it moves into an easy bossa nova and then returns to a ballad feel with a big ensemble. A perfect choice for festival or concert. Standard instrumentation, duration: 4:43. $52

Evans’ Jazz Baroque: Vivaldi/Bach in Print

Jazz Baroque: Vivaldi/Bach is now available in print. This book by Lee Evans consists of 13 jazz-tinged piano solo arrangements of music from the Baroque era. Inspired by Antonio Vivaldi and J.S. Bach, selections include music from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” J.S. Bach’s organ preludes, inventions and sinfonias, a work by him for solo cello, and his famous “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Intermediate and late intermediate level classical and jazz players will enjoy new musical insights into these venerable works.

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