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Gearcheck: November 2012

Jazzed Magazine • GearcheckNovember 2012 • November 27, 2012

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Jazz Standards for Students, Books 1–3 from Alfred Music Publishing

Jazz Standards for Students, Books 1–3, is a collection of much loved jazz pieces and standards, arranged for the late-elementary-to intermediate-level pianist. Arranged by pianist, composer, arranger, editor, and teacher Sharon Aaronson, the series includes jazz favorites that have become classics over the years. This carefully graded series is sure to bring out the jazz lover in any student, and lets them perform accessible arrangements of titles by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, Charlie Parker, Billy Strayhorn, and others.

Book 1 contains eight arrangements at the late-elementary level with the pieces placed in approximate order of difficulty. Eighth notes are used sparingly and only 4/4 and 3/4 meters are included. Key signatures contain no more than one sharp. Titles include “Blues in the Night,” “Dill Pickles Rag,” “Duke’s Place,” and more. Book 2 contains seven arrangements at the early-intermediate level with the pieces placed in approximate order of difficulty. Sixteenth notes and triplets have been avoided; however, passages containing chromatic scales are explored. In addition to simple 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures, 6/8 meter is introduced. Book 3 contains ten arrangements at the intermediate level with the pieces placed in approximate order of difficulty. Sixteenth notes, triplets, and compound meters are used. Some pieces contain two voices in one hand, as well as finger substitutions. Titles include “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” “Blues in the Night,” “My Funny Valentine,” and more.

Yamaha ACP Acoustic Conditioning Panels

Yamaha’s ACP Acoustic Conditioning Panels offer an ultra-thin, low-cost solution to transform any small space into a dedicated music room. The panels can transform spaces big or small into  dedicated music rooms with high-quality, ear-pleasing sound. Measuring only three centimeters deep, the Acoustic Conditioning Panels are easy to install virtually anywhere, greatly enhancing sound clarity and balance from low to high frequencies, 80-4k Hz, in a process enabled by the panel’s unique acoustic absorption and acoustic scattering properties.

Because the panels also work to scatter sound waves, they enable the creation of a space with clear, pleasant sound and minimal acoustic interference. This remarkably slim design also means that creating a dedicated music room no longer requires major installation work. Simply attach the Acoustic Conditioning Panels to the walls with the fittings provided.

Roland VT-12 Vocal Trainer

The pocket-sized VT-12 is a convenient traveling vocal coach. With a variety of built-in exercises and warm-ups for improving vocal skills, the VT-12 provides real-time analysis of a singer’s pitch. The illuminated pitch meter displays a vocalist’s pitch, and can even detect two singers simultaneously for two-part harmony training in equal temperament and just intonation. The VT-12 also has onboard vocal guides and backing tracks based on the bundled book from Berklee Press (the publishing division of Berklee College of Music), plus 50 etudes from the world-standard Concone classical vocal lessons.

Other features include the World-standard Concone Op. 9 Fifty Lessons classical voice exercises with piano accompaniment and melody guide tracks (the VT-12 displays the pitch of the guide melody and pitch simultaneously) and a review function for instant playback. An input enables recording songs and other lesson content, while an attachable template is included for teaching and practicing in the Solfége format with moveable “Do.” The VT-12 includes a metronome with tap tempo, a built-in tilt stand for desktop use, and is powered by two AA-size batteries (alkaline or Ni-MH rechargeable). It is available in three colors: black, metallic orange, and aqua blue.

Sonor Safari and Bop Drum Kits in Red Galaxy Sparkle Finish

The Safari kit is a more affordable version of the Sonor Jungle Kit, offering compact size with uncompromised sound. This shell pack includes a 16” X 16” bass drum with riser, a 10” X 8” tom with mounting hardware, a 14” X 12” floor tom, and a full-size 14” X 5” snare.

The Bop kit is easy to transport and a smaller, more affordable alternative to typical larger kit configurations. This shell pack includes an 18” X 16” bass drum, a 12” X 8” tom with mounting hardware, a 14” X 14” floor tom and a full-size 14” X 5” snare.

Limited Edition Candy Apple Red KickPort 2 SE 

The KickPort2 SE model updates KickPort International’s sonic enhancement accessories, which offer a unique design to help maximize the tone, feel, and sub-frequency response for essentially every brand of bass drum and drumhead.

Like all KickPort models, the KickPort2 SE features the Firm-Flex™ collar and reinforcement ring for fast and easy installation. The KickPort2 SE provides the ability to improve frequency response, depth, and dynamics for any style of music. The limited edition Candy Apple Red finish SE style joins the current KickPort 2 lineup available in the following finishes: Black, White, Chrome, Gold.

Dixon Inventor Series Drop Clutch

Dixon Drums & Hardware recently announced the debut of the Dixon Inventor Series, starting with the Magnetic Drop Clutch and the Ultimate Clutch Combo.

This two-piece clutch is joined by magnets and attaches to the top hi-hat cymbal and pull rod like any conventional clutch. With little effort, the player gently strikes the disk causing the clutch to pivot causing the top hi-hat to drop closed without missing a beat. This frees up the player’s left foot for double bass or auxiliary percussion. To return to normal play, simply step on the hi-hat pedal to re-engage. In addition, each clutch includes an optional “wash control” device to control the spacing between the cymbals in the closed position for greater versatility.

The Inventor Ultimate Clutch Combo includes all of the above plus a trip arm to trigger the release of the clutch without committing a single stroke.

Levy’s Freak Show Guitar Straps

This new series of guitar straps from Levy’s Leathers are 2” polyester with sublimation-printed “cirque du freak” designs, complementary leather ends, and tri-glide adjustment. Pictured is model MPFS2, available in six original designs.

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