New COVID-19 Filter

Friday, June 26th, 2020

Greetings from our little corner of the world! 

As cliché as it is to say, “We hope you’re doing well in these unprecedented/uncertain/crazy times in which we live,” we really honestly do. We here at Tapspace HQ have fared well, all things considered, and are grateful for the opportunity to continue working and doing what we do best – releasing great music for all of you in percussion education.

We are thinking of all of you in the teaching community, about your concerns and struggles amidst the pandemic. You are to be applauded for the myriad ways in which you continue to rise to the challenge of keeping students engaged in music and percussion.

Likewise, for students. Has it ever been harder to be a student than it is right now? Your dedication to continue to strive for yourselves and become better players and future teachers is to be commended.  

In that spirit, we wanted to inform you that we have created a special COVID-19 filter on our website that we hope will serve you as you think about your upcoming challenges in the fall.

We have combed through our entire catalog and highlighted the pieces that satisfy the following COVID-era requirements:

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Online versions of Five/Nine Minute Drill (social distancing versions)

Monday, April 6th, 2020

While the world shelters in place during the COVID-19 crisis, we are making the popular daily drill methods Five Minute Drill and Nine Minute Drill available online to users who already own the book(s). One of the main benefits from these methods is that students hit them a little bit EVERY DAY. So during these uncertain times of sheltering in place, we want students to continue benefiting from them.

If you are a current user of one of these books, please contact us with your proof of purchase (a receipt, or casual photo of your book will suffice) and request access. We’ll then provide you with information on how you can access these online versions.

New purchases of either of these books from tapspace.com will automatically include online access instructions.

We are still in business during this challenging time. For more information on how we’re operating, click here.

Stay safe, and keep practicing!

COVID-19 Updates

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

During these uncertain times, we are taking measures to scale back our operation and take precautions toward the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Following state-mandated social distance guidelines, we are still fulfilling shipments from our office in Portland, Oregon. We will continue to operate in this manner as long as the US Postal Service and UPS remain functional and so long as it is safe for our staff to continue to do so.

Contacting Us:
We will continue to provide the service you’ve come to expect from us, albeit more remotely. Please contact us online rather than via our office phone. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

International Shipments:
For the time-being, we will not be making international, non-US shipments from Tapspace.com. The majority of our catalog is available in downloadable PDF format, so we recommend purchasing your music that way if possible. We also encourage you to check with one of our dealers who may be able to more quickly provide your shipment.

Students using the Tap-Off and Rat-Pad in a classroom setting

Using the Tap-Off in the Classroom: a three-tiered achievement system

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

by Ralph Hicks

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in an email newsletter. We are reposting it here, as several folks have asked about it.

Using the different surfaces available with the combination of Tap-Off and Rat-Pad drumming practice tools, I’ve incorporated a three-tiered achievement system to reduce the anxieties beginners have while learning in the classroom. The available sound and feel combinations allow for an environment well suited for all types of learners to feel comfortable engaging. The practice pad exercises from Five Minute Drill and Nine Minute Drill are a great way to get started with these ideas.

  • Level 1:  Tap-Off + Rat-Pad overlay (quietest, least amount of rebound)
  • Level 2:  Orange gum rubber (medium volume, most rebound)
  • Level 3:  Darkmatter oval (loudest attack, slightly less rebound)
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Current Texas UIL Prescribed Music Titles

Saturday, February 8th, 2020

We’re headed to the San Antonio for the Texas Music Educator’s Association (TMEA) convention next week! It’s one of our favorite places to witness the power of music education, eat some great Tex-Mex, and visit with some great people in the Lone Star state.

Through the University Interscholastic League (UIL), Texas has an influential list of prescribed music titles for solo and ensemble events. We’re honored to have a large portion of our catalog sanctioned on this list! Download a complete listing of all Tapspace titles on the UIL list, organized by event, grade, and UIL code.

VDL user spotlight: CHRIS THOMPSON

Sunday, August 25th, 2019

As Virtual Drumline has been a mainstay in the creative arsenal of composers and arrangers for over 15 years now, we’d like to shine a spotlight on some of the people who have done exceptional things with it. Today, we’re excited to feature Chris Thompson.

photo by Shervin Lainez

Originally from the San Francisco bay area, Chris Thompson is a New York City-based music composer, arranger, and percussionist. His music blends the high-energy sound world of modern drum & bugle corps with the experimentalism of contemporary classical and electronic music.

Chris’ work as a percussionist and arranger greatly influences his composition: for over a decade he has been a member of Alarm Will Sound and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), he recently toured internationally as a performer with Tyondai Braxton’s HIVE, and at age 15 he was one of the youngest-ever members of the Santa Clara Vanguard drumline.

Having performed, recorded, or arranged for artists and ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound, ACME, Björk, Dirty Projectors, Medeski Martin & Wood, the Metropolitan Opera, Nico Muhly, Brian Reitzell, They Might Be Giants, and Valgeir Siggurðsson, Chris has participated in the world premieres of over a hundred new works and can be heard on 30 studio albums. For ten years he has performed in the pits of various Broadway shows, including Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera.

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All Virtual Drumline Demystified lessons available for free

Sunday, January 20th, 2019
The original VDL Demystified DVD. People used to watch stuff on these.

Over the years, our onscreen tutorial Virtual Drumline Demystified has helped countless VDL users on the road to mastering it within Finale and Sibelius. Another thing that has occurred over the years is that software has continued to evolve, making the onscreen examples in VDL Demystified appear a bit dated. VDL expert, and founder of Visaudio Designs, Bryan Harmsen, did a fantastic job in presenting these lessons in a friendly, progressive manner. Bryan is a good friend of ours and subjecting him to ongoing rounds of endless video shooting and editing to stay current with frequent OS and applications updates isn’t feasible.

As such, we’ve decided to take this product off the market and make it available for free. While the older versions of Sibelius, Finale, and Kontakt won’t look entirely current, the main theories will still apply. We’ve removed a couple lessons in which outdated methods of installing template files was no longer relevant and would create more confusion than assistance.

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Tapspace Newsletter – June 2018

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

IN THIS ISSUE: New Ensembles: Schnabel (Robert Sanderl), Three Scenes from the Desert (Alex Stopa), New Solos: Danny Boy (Traditional; arr. Brian Mueller), Impromptu No. 3 (Schubert; arr. August Pappas), Tristesse (Chopin; arr. Benjamin Holmes), New Books: The Golden Age of Ragtime (Ralph Hicks & Eric Rath), Sequential Studies-Level 1 (Julia Gaines), Nine Minute Drill (Hicks/Rath), VDL Tips: Impose Sketch onto Template, Zero-G (Roger Carter).

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