something , you ’ re looking for a sound in your head and in your heart . You ’ re trying to birth that into the world and that ’ s a hard thing , especially when you ’ re starting out . So , it ’ s about that personal aspect , a certain feeling , and empowering us to find our voice through the tools that we use .
CMT : Are you seeing any trends on the product front that stand out to you ?
Lesso : The challenge is always the noise and the size , and that ’ s where electronic drums and lower-volume heads and cymbals can give us the opportunity to keep playing and not have the police come . I had the police come to my door when I was 11 ! Literally , squad cars sent by anti-drum neighbours [ laughs ]. I had a student of mine go , “ Chris , I ’ ve just discovered the bylaw process in Toronto . First , they give a warning , then a ticket , and then a $ 1,000 fine !” The bylaw police are really expensive , unfortunately .
So , the trend for electronic drums as technology improves has went up , as we all know , over the last 10 years . But without knowing for sure , I would imagine it ’ s probably plateauing and it ’ ll never fully replace acoustic kits .
CMT : What ’ s your guiding principles when people ask you what product or brand they should go with ?
Lesso : So , you have the mind and the heart . You could have all these facts and trends and reasons why , and say “ the maple kit should be this and this is the brand for you ”… but if your heart is telling you to get a certain drum set because of the colour or just the design of the lugs or something like that , get that kit ! It ’ s a feeling . This is an expression and your voice . Don ’ t question that , go with that . It ’ s got to ignite that feeling . Like , when you sit behind your instrument , you shouldn ’ t even have to play it . Even when I pick up my sticks , I ’ m fired up to do something with these sticks because of the sticks I ’ ve chosen — because of the tool .
CMT : What are you looking for in an online shopping experience from a drum shop ?
Lesso : I think if you have to go online and you had no choice in that area , you want as close of an experience as you can get . I ’ ve seen good attempts at this and not so good attempts . Take the care to really take me through what it might feel like to play these drums or what they sound like and in as much detail as you can show me , versus just a picture and a price tag .
Owner , Golden Hawk Imports
Golden Hawk Imports is the Canadian distributor for Grover Pro Percussion , Big Fat Snare Drum , Bosphorus Cymbals , Amedia Cymbals , Snareweight , and other drum product brands .
CMT : As live music and school music programs ramp back up , have you noticed any shifts in what is selling well ?
Gabriel Ferreira : Yes , orchestral percussion ( triangles , tambourines , mallets , etc .), drumsticks , and cymbals are selling again . Schools just stopped ordering once the pandemic started and they are now placing orders again . In fact , some of the orders coming through are the largest I have seen in my 12 years in the MI industry . It seemed that during the pandemic , all sales around the drum / percussion market revolved around electronic drums .
CMT : From your observation of how drum / percussion-focused retailers should operate , are there any lessons learned during the pandemic ?
Ferreira : What I heard from my drum-focused dealers is that people were not in the mood for waiting for their purchases to arrive . Yes , customers don ’ t usually like waiting , but the fact that people had more time on their hands than usual meant they were quicker to grow impatient . A lesson learned from this is to be aware of how the distributors you deal with conduct their business . Do they hold inventory in Canada to fulfil purchase orders quickly ? Or do they place orders themselves as orders come in from dealers ? So , ensure a good relationship with distributors that hold inventory because they will be a key component in what can be a customer ’ s positive experience at your shop .
CMT : Among the very best drum retailers you deal with , what sets them apart from the rest ?
Ferreira : Their investment in time to see what is new in the market , and constantly listening to their customers about what they , too , have found online that seems interesting . When I send out information regarding a new brand , I find the very best within our industry get back to me and discuss it . That ’ s not to say they place an order right away , but they ask questions about the brand — the benefits and what it is about the products that will get their customers excited . They want to be ahead of the curve and have fresh new products that are effective before anyone else .
CMT : In terms of product trends in drum / percussion , is anything currently standing out to you ? Put another way , what types of items do you think will grow or diminish in sales over the next year or two ?
Ferreira : Add-ons to acoustic drum kits — these are small products that you place on a drum or cymbal to alter the original sound of the instrument ( jingles , rattlers , different types of cymbal siizzlers or rivets , Big Fat Snare heads , etc .) These are usually inexpensive but bring fresh energy to drummers and inspire new ideas at the kit .
CMT : Any advice on how drum / percussion product retailers and distributors best work together for mutual benefit ?
Ferreira : Having a symbiotic relationship revolves around communication and trust . The quality of their relationship really comes down to those two things . With global supply chain issues today , “ communication ” is more important than ever . Being aware of manufacturers ’ timelines on completion of orders and updating dealers on possible delays and ETAs is crucial .
Dealers have to approach the presentation of new products by their distributors with an open mind , there are lots of new products out there , and making room for new products is a way to keep your shop fresh . Distributors in turn need to trust that if a product isn ’ t moving at a dealer , it ’ s not for lack of effort from the dealer and maybe that product just isn ’ t suited for that location . That is why we always have a hassle-free return policy on the products we distribute and recommend other distributors do the same .
Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Music Trade .
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