Courtesy of Metro Creative

Drummers have long turned to local retailers for new gear.

Editor’s note: This is a weekly series focusing on the importance of buying local.

Renee Teck, owner of From the Top Music Shop, Monongahela, admits stores like hers that still sell drums and other instruments are “a dying breed.”

But she said she presses on by offering “a couple cool things and because of our store size, which is small, we are selling a variety of items that you just can’t find anywhere.”

“We carry a little bit of everything,” Teck added. “Sometimes people come in, and not looking for anything in particular, but become interested in something or somethings and they just try it.”

As for drums, Teck said From the Top has a good variety of selections.

Drums are particularly interesting this time of year as National Drumming Day is celebrated yearly Nov. 15.

Brian Berry, a Washington native and resident, is a longtime drummer and is quite accomplished.

He was part of a drum corps that was a four-time state champion and were one of the best in the World Championship in 1975.

Purchasing drums now is quite different from the 1970s, Berry said.

“Drum shops as we know them are a thing of the past,” Berry said. “Many popular stores are all shut down. They can’t compete with Amazon and online stores.

“I just bought my bucket list electronic drum set from American Musical Supply.”

P.J. Caruso is a Belle Vernon native who lives in the Greensburg area and is a drummer for the band Punchline. He too has been acquiring drums in new ways.

“I am drum hoarder and I have a seven drum sets currently,” he said. “I have acquired them in a few different ways. Buying them from someone selling them locally, buying them at a store like Guitar Center (Park Manor Boulevard, Pittsburgh). At one time, I had an endorsement who made me drums, and I also have pod of people to make me drum sets.

“I think most people buy everything online,” he added, “but may go try them out first at Guitar Center or something like that.”

Caruso said his personal satisfaction being in the band as a drummer is “always having the best seat for every concert, right between the bass and guitar.”

“Playing drums, you get to be the pulse of the show and you are focused and lost in the music,” he added. “Also, there is a feeling of togetherness from being locked in with your fellow musicians. And when you are really in the groove with everyone you feel completely free from anything that could be bothering you or any trouble that you have in life.

“I started seriously playing the drums around 16 to play in bands with my friends, I never imagined that it would have taken me to all the places it has.”

Punchline is performing November 20th at the Roxian, McKees Rocks, with Pittsburgh punk rock legends Anti Flag.

Those interested in joining the Be Local Network can contact Chris Slota at 724-225-1326 or by email at chris@belocal.net. Discount cards are available at the Observer-Reporter and Almanac office, 122 S. Main St., Washington.

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