Dream Theater’s latest album.

…..is completely awesome!!!

Im going with a few good friends to see them at Wembley Arena In October, I cant wait.

Their latest album Is titled “Systematic Chaos”. I must say that I feel this album is the best they have done since Metropolis 2000, scenes from a memory.

The main track is called “In the presence of Enemies” which was split into two parts, the first and last tracks of the album. This is a dark mystical tale which covers many themes that happened to be floating around DT’s head at the time.

Other highlights of the album for me include “Forsaken” which is a melodic piece about a Vampiress who seduces and kills a young man – lol Mr.Petrucci, lol.

“Constant Motion” is the single of the album, which  now has an uber-cool video to it. This song reflects the OCD of Mike Portnoy.

I reccomend this album to any Prog-Metal, of DT fan.

10 out of 10.


My kit has shrunk…..

My kits have always been back smashingly large.

Over the past few months I have been undergoing some drumming revelations, almost the way Neil Peart did.

I had learned Trad grip, and played around with all manner of setups.

One of the changes that most surprised me was that I realized that I wanted to play a big kit not because I wanted to – but I was trying to fulfill some kind of image.

It was painful, But Ive realized how much happier with a FOUR PIECE!!!!

My kit has essentially shrunk from a 7 piece monster to this, and I LOVE IT!!!

Pic time:

<a href=”http://photobucket.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w136/fijjibo/IMG_0241.jpg&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket”></a>

Another angle.

<a href=”http://photobucket.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w136/fijjibo/IMG_0243.jpg&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket”></a>Also – the benefits of an unfettered Bass drum….

<a href=”http://photobucket.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w136/fijjibo/IMG_0245.jpg&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket”></a>Thanks for looking – please ask questions,

Fijjibo’s special tuning technique!!!

Tuning for some reason seems to be a mysterious art among drummers, and the art of finding a “good” tuning is not actually that hard with a bit of patience.

Tom’s are often portrayed as the hardest to tune, as they often produce lots of overtones, which, coupled with a lack of knowledge of the difference between resonance and  ring, can cause bad tuning choices.

Heres how I tackle toms:

1, seat both batter and resonant heads as described in other tuning sources.

2, take the reso head up to the point where the wrinkles disperse when pressure is applied, then take each lug up a further 1/2 turn

3, take the batter up beyond wrinkle point and leave it.

The fact that the reso is higher in pitch than the batter causes a phase shift  resulting in lots of resonanse without excessive ringing overtones.

I am going to put some more tuning stuff up here soon, but untill then –


The gig-box.


Im a firm believer of the fact that a gigging drummer should always be prepared for anything that can happen in a session or gig. For instance, I always carry an extra snare head, and a bag full of sticks.

I think that it is vital for a drummer to have a gig-box. There are a few credits that I must mention who have inspired this article. On youtube there is a fantastic drummer called Bazy-Beats, who has a series of videos on being prepared for gigs and studio sessions. There is a fantastic website called “Tomas Howies Drumming Web”, which has an article on a drummers gig-box. Thanks to the both of you!!!

My gig box is basically a decently sized aluminium flightcase, with padding and internal dividers. I carry all the bits and bobs that I need to keep the show running. The case is designed to take care of me, and most importantly my kit. Youd be suprised at what can happen mid gig. Mapex tom arm wing nuts are prone to threading, so I always have some back-ups.

Lots of drummers carry their parts in a stick bag, and thats fine, but I like to have a separate case. My case sits by my kit when Im playing, so I can keep all the vital stuff to hand. I also have drinks, a towel and lots of sticks ready to grab around the kit.

I will now give you an idea of what I think is a good idea to fill your case with.

Drum spares:

Wingnuts and spare bolts


tension rods and washers

cymbal sleeves felts and washers

memory locks

anything to keep the kit in top nothch working order really.

Essential gig bits:

various clamps and holding devices

Gaffa tape

electrical tape in more than one colour

Tissues and wetwipes

also a jay-cloth or rag



WD-40 with the straw for fine work

vaseline lube

pliers and screwdrivers

spanners an hex keys

allen keys

jewellers screwdrivers for hardware problems


Pens and markers

bass drum patch

ear plugs

headphones and adaptors

swiss army knife

velcro straps

and most importantly – ANIMAL PUPPET!!!!

Heres a picture I took of my case, and all the stuff laid out so you can take a peek…..

Gig Box contents

A quick update..

Since the writing of the last post (originally on myspace) I have switched to Remo heads.

My current heads are:

Emporer X snare batter with Emporer hazy reso

UT tom batter and resos – will be changed later in the year for pinstripes

Powerstroke 3 on both sides of the bass drum.

I am also going to rmove the Danmar pad, due to a change in musical requirements.


A quick run down of the monster so far…

…tech details coming soon….

My kit is from the MAPEX M birch line, and is in the tranparent cherry red finish.
The bass drum is a mighty 22×18, which has a pillow inside and a DANMAR metal patch on the outside, which results in a really clicky attack with plenty of low end.
The toms run 10×8, 12×9, 13×10 and 16×16, with all mounted toms featuring the mapex iso-mounts.
The snare is a real corker. It is a matching birch 14×5, and tuned up really high with an EVANS ST batter gives a real crack to it. On the snare side, the wires are cranked just high enough so that you get fast responce, but not so high as to get that dreaded shallow tom sound with the ghost notes. Also on the snare side is a playing card, which prevents any buzz, and the snares untightening during playing.
Crucial to my setup is my MAPEX double kick pedal, which to be honest, is a tiny bit worn and could do with being replaced soon. I think im going to look into either a TAMA iron cobra or a GIBRALTAR intruder pedal.
No kit would be complete without cymbals, and mine are as follows.
14″ hihats
20″ ride
18″ china
12″ splash
12″ china
My sticks are VATER power 5A wood tips.
My cases are PROTECTION RACKET, and include the super size stick bag.
Also on the kit:
for funk and cuban i have various percussin including tambourine, cowbell, and various additional toys.
Crucial also is my stick holders, as i am prone to stick dropping during gigs.

(edited from myspace)

Welcome to my little cove of drumming goodness!!!

The fijjibo has gone and got a wordpress, and soon will be uploading some drum stuff, so keep tuned – lol, tuned….

Im going to write first about something that is a mythical subject for many drummers – tuning!!!

Im going to share my philosophies on bearing edge to shell contact, seating and some handy tips….

There will also be a tour of my drums – the ‘fijjibo monster’ as it stands today in its ever evolving form.

So, I will post something soon – see you then….