Video of DrumConnection Drummers at the BAA Boston Marathon 2011. This is our 20th year!
This is the 14th year we've been drumming at the start of Heartbreak Hill, organized by DrumConnection's John Tracy and drummers from DrumConnection. 20 years in total; We've been there - supporting! There are usually about fifty - seventy drummers.
Runners say it's the highlight of their trip. Some even like us so much they stop a moment to try the drums! True! Onlookers smile, police and military wave, TV cameras pass by, children dance. Really special! Don't miss it!
It helps if you RSVP. You can do that HERE.
No drums? We will have a few extra, and people will share.
PLEASE CHECK THESE DETAILS BELOW VERY CAREFULLY. PLEASE READ THIS IF YOU PLAN ON ATTENDING! THIS IS CRITICAL!
What you need so you can get there without stress or parking problems, and be there right at the drumming spot, with an easy route out for when you leave.
IMPORTANT SECURITY REQUIREMENTS
This is an important year for us to be there to show community support and support the runners. If you have been here before you KNOW how much it matters to have us with them!
We have spent much time with security officials, the BAA and local police about how to manage this year. We need to minimize stress to security people and remain welcome for future years. At anytime, the Police may ask us to leave and they reserve that right. They have been clear through the BAA Director's issue.
NO BAG POLICY!
Yes, that's what is being asked of you. If you show up with a drum bag, we will have to ask you to bring the bag back to your car, if you have a car.
1 - Liter of Liquid allowed.
2 - Fanny pack (small) allowed.
3 - Armbands and Cell Phones allowed
PROHIBITED LIST BELOW - YES, PROHIBITED ITEMS - DO NOT BRING BELOW!
• NO Backpacks, any similar item carried over the shoulder, or handbags of any size.
• NO Glass containers.
• NO container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid.
• NO Strollers, including baby strollers.
• NO Suitcases & rolling bags.
• NO Personal hydration system products (such as CamelBak®, Thor®, etc).
• NO Weight vests or any sort of vest with pockets (Note: lightweight running vests are allowable).
• NO Costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body.
• NO Props (including sporting equipment and military and fire/gear and signs or flags larger than 11 inches x 17 inches).
• NO items larger than 5 inches x 15 inches x 5 inches.
Please note: security at each location will have the authority to disallow other products or materials that it deems inappropriate. If you do NOT follow the rules, we will ask you to COMPLY with the rules as stated above and below. We suggest that you share this with anyone's who may be coming so that they are aware and can plan accordingly:
• PLEASE do NOT bring drum bags, backpacks, coolers or any bags that could appear as a threat. Latest bulletins also say NO blankets or quilts. Please use common sense and avoid any objects that would cause concern.
• CAREFULLY review maps of the area. This year Chestnut St. will be blocked at 7:00 AM. At the rte 9 side, at Beacon, about 1/4 mile from the intersection. On the other side of Commonwealth Ave. Chestnut St. will be blocked about one block from Commonwealth. Police say you can park up to 60 ft. of Commonwealth Ave (rte 30). Our advice is to get on the local streets off Beacon and navigate to a side road close to our spot. On the other side, there are local roads off Chestnut at point it is closed, or shortly before.
• We respect the community: This means we play for awhile, then take breaks, where everyone is quiet. Nonstop loud drumming (drums are loud) can be annoying and stressful. Taking breaks makes it better, and we remain welcome for future years, and make it easier for officials.
WHERE: We set aside a private area near the corner of Chestnut St. and Commonwelth Ave. (rte 30) in Newton. One good approach is to enter local roads near Chestnut St. at Beacon St.
WHEN: Get there early and avoid traffic and get through to park. Worth the effort. Yes. I know. The first group, wheelchairs, arrive at our spot at about 10:17 Plan to be there around 9:00!! Actually, anytime is fine but if you beat the traffic life is better and you get a closer parking spot. I get there really early, find a nice close parking spot, relax, read, then set up our area.
MBTA: You can avoid parking, and take the GREEN LINE to the WABAN stop. This is the last one before end at Riverside terminal. It is a walk of about 15 minutes to the drumming spot.
What to Bring: A drum. No drum? This is a long event, and people are confortable stopping awhile and letting others borrow their drums.. Yeah - bring non-drumming friends. ...it's always a fun celebration.
• A folding chair. The cheap metal ones are best, and bring a cushion. The canvas chairs are too low and at wrong angle for comfortable drumming.
• Or drum strap.
• Water 1 Liter
• Snacks hand carried or in a clear plastic bag • Maybe suntan lotion (I hope! .. This day often surprises. Can be cold and gray, can be very hot and sunny)
Facilities: Yes, there are porta potties!
RAIN?? ... Drums don't like rain. If it rains steadily we will not be there. But remember, if there is a chance of rain, have a plastic trash bag in pocket to protect your drum.
WHAT WE DO - SIMPLE RULES:
1) For the best experience, so we sound good and are welcomed by the onlookers, we should mostly play simple rhythms so everyone can connect. We need to be CLEAR and simple. Fine to add an occasional solo if it is clear and fits with the rhythm.
2) Those who can lead know who they are - and all are welcome to take responsibility.
3) Essential to STOP for periods of quiet. No drumming. We have found it is important for the crowds. Non-stop drumming is an irritant, people complain, we risk losing the privilege. SO - when we stop - everyone stops. Yes - if a key runner or group comes by and waves, when we are quiet, we could do a quick roll, but then return to being quiet.
ANY questions - call me anytime 617-967-2962 - John Tracy
We'd like to share this with all the drummers who will be there this year and those who were with us last year. A photo essay of last year 2013 BAA Marathon.
Survivors and responders return to the finish line, and stand strong.
DrumConnection 177 Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02474 ph: (001) 781-316-8068
I will update this soon.
5.0 star rating
5.0 star rating 2/9/2017
I was thrilled to find that this store doesn't just have hand drums, but is also well-stocked with hardware and parts for rock drum kits. And if they don't stock something you need, they'll order it for you or point you in the right direction.
Alan, the owner, is extremely knowledgeable and helpful if I have questions or need advice. When I came in last year wanting to restore my vintage kit, I had no idea where to start, and Alan helped me through the entire process, from cleaning, de-rusting, to finding missing parts. Whenever I have a problem with my kit or something breaks, I always go to Alan first (it's a good idea to call the store to see when he's working!) Often he'll find a way to fix it without having to purchase new parts.
Definitely recommend this gem over bigger places like Guitar Center.
5.0 star rating
Jan 22, 2017
"Hi Alan, Eddie & I LOVED Nancy's classes. We stopped going because it was dark & cold & late & it was the only time we could both make it ( I work nites ) but we plan to resume classes probably in the spring. I miss it. Rochelle"
5.0 star rating
Purchased beautiful instruments...
I recommend the workshops to all my college student studying world music in the classroom. We've also purchased beautiful instruments I use in my teaching. People marvel at their sound and touch.
5.0 star rating
So much fun...
Participating in a beginners drumming series was so much fun, and I was surprised at what they were able to teach us! We plan to go back as soon as our schedule allow a steady attendance.
5.0 star rating
Just bought my 3rd instrument from this store. Always a pleasure to do business with DrumConnection, and home to a great community of drummers.
5.0 star rating
Honest, original voice...
Way back in 2011, I wrote and published a feature story about Alan Tauber and DrumConnection. Read it at YourArlington
Nothing that has occurred since would cause me to change my mind about Alan and his business: He's an honest, original voice in a fast-changing town, offering a rhythm that is hard to beat.
5.0 star rating
Always a great experience...
Alan is always a pleasure to do business with. He is knowledgeable and very kind. The classes they have are fun and very informative. Always a great experience.
Redington Beach, FL
Alan's knowledge is vast...
I needed to replace the head on a djembe. I live on the south shore of MA, and was having a hard time finding a place to do the job. I discovered the DrumConnection through a list serve and found the best resource I could hope for. Alan's knowledge is vast, and the service was done professionally, on time, and at a reasonable price. I do not need to look any further for my hand drumming needs.
It is a privilege to know you...
You play such an important part in drumming education in this country. It is a privilege to know you...
Name withheld upon request.
(but a famous dude in percussion).
Great Local Place, Great Stuff, Nice People
Bought a present for a friend and they had just what I wanted. They helped me pick the right one. Weren't pushy. Really nice vibe. Will definitely go back when I need a drum or a present for someone.
5/16/2016 5.0 stars! Yelp!
DrumConnection is great! Excellent teachers, extremely high quality guest drummers from Africa, and female teachers and leaders.
5/15/2016 5.0 stars!
Thank you Alan, Thierno, Audrey, Issa and Moussa!
At DrumConnection, I began my beginners' class feeling lost and insecure. However, while the drum is quite challenging, I have felt more and more connected to the group thanks to the wonderful teachers, and the kindness and acceptance of other drummers.
In other words I am deeply indebted and grateful for the opportunity to expand my skills, horizons, and sense of belonging thanks to the drum. The ongoing learning experience is challenging, exhilarating and humbling. Thank you Alan, Thierno, Audrey, Issa and Moussa, and thank you to all my fellow students!
5/13/2016 5.0 stars!
Thanks so much. Tuned up my kids drum, very knowledgeable and friendly!
4/28/2016 5.0 stars!
Love DrumConnection in Arlington!
Great teachers including the Masters from West Africa; great drums (all kinds) and accessories. Director and owner, Alan, is an excellent drummer himself, friends to all and always willing to share his knowledge. Classes & Workshops at all levels challenging and tons of fun. Serious drumming going on here!
4/27/2016 5.0 stars!
Knowledgeable, and very helpful.
I watched Alan help a gentleman trying to rent an accordion. Yes, this sounds like a Seinfeld script, but it was touching seeing Alan help someone out. Additionally, the store is well supplied, and the prices are quote reasonable for being able to get your hands on what you need right now. Truly, an asset to the community!
Brian C. J.
April 9, 2016, 1:47 p.m.
Friends cannot believe how light it is and how good it sounds. Easy for me to carry. It is also very nice looking, not ornate, just beautiful wooden swirls. Thanks for all your help on this..... kdl
4/10/16 ; 5 Stars
I have spent several wonderful weekends at DrumConnection studying drumming rhythms with various master drummers (djembefolas) and I just want to thank Alan and the wonderful community of people I met at there for a wonderful, fun, inspiring and informative time. If I didn't live on Long Island, NY I would be there every week. 5 star rating from me!
Long Island, NY
2/24/2016 : 5 Stars!
DrumConnection is a wonderful place. Alan is so helpful, thoughtful and kind. The store has a great selection of drums that will help you connect to music from all over the world. Highly recommended!
Jan. 16, 2016 : 5 Stars!
Great experience, no pressure to buy or spend more than I wanted to, just the perfect assistance to help me find the right drum for me - a clear joy for drumming and very welcoming - made me feel right at home.
12/22/2015 : 5 Stars!
A great little store
I was looking for some nifty percussion accessories for my son-in-law and I really didn't want to go the the Guitar Center. What a great place! I got great advice & was able to find exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for! A perfect shopping trip & well worth the weekly trip down from Cape Ann!
Cape Ann, MA
5.0 star rating 12/6/2015 Yelp!
I took a beginner drum class here this fall. I was impressed by the business's connection to West African drumming. Thierno, a drummer from Guinea, was our teacher. If you want to learn drumming, have a weekly class with lots of laughing and meet people from around the world this place is for you.
5.0 Star Rating 12/4/15 Google+
Alan the owner is always friendly and helpful. When I was looking for a drum, he chose 4 drums he thought I might like, each unique. He helped me sort out the differences to find the combination of pluses that added up to the perfect drum for me.
Alan the teacher is a non-judgmental, supportive, and clear instructor whose decades of experience and amazing skill as a drummer combine to provide a safe and inspiring learning environment. I've studied with four other DrumConnection instructors and each is excellent in his or her own ways, and all certified by examination.
A great store and a wonderful school. I recommend it without reservations.
11/15/2015 5.0 Yelp!
The beginner drum class was extra special. Taught by Thierno Keita-what a wonderful escape each week from the work-a-day world into a world of rhythm and movement. Great for the brain and the soul. Alan Tauber, who runs the Drum Connection could not be kinder or more devoted to his art. This has been a postive turn for me and I will continue on this road with pleasure.
5.0 star rating 11/11/2015
DrumConnection is an nook of musical magic on Mass Ave in Arlington. The drumming teachers are from Africa, they sponsor workshops and trips to Africa to learn drumming. Alan the owner is very flexible and understanding with scheduling lessons. The drum selection is fantastic!! I recommend it to everyone I know. What a gem!
5.0 star rating 11/9/2015 Yelp!
Broad selection of percussion instruments from all over the world. Alan, the owner, really knows a lot about the instruments and the music they make.
5.0 star rating 11/7/2015 Yelp!
We have purchased many instruments from Alan. He knows so much about percussion instruments that we trust him with ordering sight unseen and have been pleased with our purchases. Prices are very reasonable. We drive 2 hours each way to shop at the Drum Connection and it is worth it.
5.0 star rating 11/6/2015 Yelp!
You will not find a more beautiful person than Alan to assit you with your journey of learning the drums. I have traveled with Alan to Guinea, purchased various drums, and attended numerous classes. Have not been able to find the joy I felt when I was involved with the Drum Connection. Please open a southern location!
5.0 star rating 10/5/2015 Yelp!
The drum I purchased from Alan several years ago is both beautiful and is a joy to use. The classes are fantastic -- designed for all skills levels and taught by master teachers that are knowledgeable and exciting.
They are patient and know how to break rhythms down to bite size. I have enrolled my 4 year old in the children's drum class and it is dynamic -- teaching movement and African songs. She loves it and loves her teachers."
5.0 star rating 10/19/2015 Yelp!
The Best! Thanks!
Purchased my djembe here a few years ago, just bought new skin, Alan and staff always knowledgeable and helpful.
5.0 star rating 8/29/2015 Yelp!
I am new to drumming and am having a ball. I went to a Sunday night lecture and lesson on one type of drums and followed that with 2 Sunday night drumming circles with an excellent teacher-but not at the rank beginner level. Still, I loved it and just tried to follow and keep up.
Now I am in a beginner class and I am still enjoying every minute. Alan is a kind and welcoming person. He coordinates to bring in a variety of excellent teachers and classes take place most every day of the week. He gives great advice about what to purchase and has rentals available. Come join the fun!
5.0 star rating 8/24/2015 Yelp!
This is a great little shop. Alan was able to rent me some drums for my autism caregivers retreat and was very accommodating. The drums were gorgeous, beautiful sound. Our group had a great time thanks to Drum Connection coming through at the last minute for me. Thank you!
June 25, 2015
5.0 star rating Excellent Teaching!
This is the first time I took drum lessons. I have taken piano lessons off and on for years. I really enjoy playing the drums. I had two teachers. They both had their individual style of teaching. I found that Alan is an excellent teacher. I would recommend anyone with a desire to learn drumming to check out DrumConnection. I haven't gone to their drum circle yet, but that's the next step for me. I am finishing up my first six weeks of classes, two more classes to go.
August 4, 2015
5.0 star rating 8/4/2015 Yelp!
I'm new to the djembe and drum circles in general. The drum circle I attended last week was a blast. Very relaxed and friendly, the drumming was amazing. Alan and Fanta were both very warm and welcoming. As others have noted, great energy. I'm definitely going back.
July 6, 2015
5.0 star rating Incredible Drums!
I returned to the store today to purchase my first djembe. Alan was more than helpful. He gave a mini-lesson on the spot so I would know how to evaluate the variety of drums, their tonal differences, etc. He also played several of them for me to have a better impression of what it sounds like once technique is mastered. The drum I finally settled on is incredible, love it. My wife was looking for a bodhran, and he gave demonstrations of those as well!
July 8, 2015
Way better than 5 stars!
Alan clearly loves what he is doing and it shows in the friendly, professional and deeply knowledgeable service. Way better than 5 stars.
June 10, 2015
Alan was so helpful. He came highly recommended, and lived up to it. I got a wonderful drum for my nephew - have not yet given it to him, but he is going to love it.
April 8, 2015
Five stars all the way!
Honestly, I can't say enough good things about DrumConnection. Alan and John helped me pick out the perfect drum, and when I came in tonight, Alan talked with me for at least an hour about technique, the history of the djembe coming to America, and more. The place is warm and inviting, and the people who work there are the same. I am confident I chose the best place to start my drumming journey, and I will be back for their classes! Five stars all the way!
March 7, 2015
My son is now starting drum lessons. We stopped in to purchase a drum pad and drum sticks. This is an amazing store. There is much to learn about choosing an instrument that suits you...and we were encouraged not to rush in and spend a lot of money at this stage. The store is packed with drums (mostly hand drums) and each visitor is encouraged to try out items that spark their interest. While visiting, my son tried several thumb pianos as well.
March 6, 2015
Fanta lead our group of 21 drummers thru two hours of song, dance, and drumming. Everybody was smiling at the end of the evening. What a deal for 10 bucks!
February 24, 2015
Drum Connection is a fantastic place to take African drumming lessons, meet some wonderful people and really expand your horizons by attending workshops with master drummers from West Africa. It's been a life changing experience for me. I am so blessed to part of Alan and Fanta's community.
February 13, 20115
As always Alan was right there to make sure I got exactly what I was looking for. He even sent me a photo/text to confirm that he had the correct size, shape and sound of rattle I needed. This was that perfect combination of personal service and immediate results.
February 5, 2015
Hey just wanted to write you a note to tell you how much I absolutely love the drum! It was the perfect choice for me. The slaps are just incredible and yet it gives good bass response. I brought it to work to play with the children and it was just such the perfect instrument. It’s just the right one for me and I'm really thrilled with it. Thanks so much.
January 24, 2015
Thanks Alan for your undivided attention today as I purchased the replacement head for the djembe I had previously bought at DrumConnection. Could not be more satisfied!