Magazine article USA TODAY

We Got the Beat

Magazine article USA TODAY

We Got the Beat

Article excerpt

Kids simply love to bang and blow on things. Anything to make noise--or in the case of Woodstock Percussion, Inc., Shokan, N.Y., beautiful music. For the bangers are a pair of fun thumpers, Rock Beat Rhythm Sticks ($19.95) and Chimalong Jr. ($20). For the blowers is the Harmonica Horn ($5).

The 13 1/2"-long electronic rhythm sticks have all the bells and whistles your budding Buddy Rich will need, as different buttons change the sound from a snare drum to a tom-tom to a crash cymbal. They also play a snappy rock melody to drum along to--and the ends of the sticks light up with each beat. Four AA batteries are included.

Chimalong Jr. is an eight-note metallophone with two mallets and alternate B-flat tube. The songbook can be understood by children of any age: younger kids can play songs by simply matching colors; older offspring can use the number system, and, eventually, learn traditional notation. Moreover, each tube is precision--tuned and securely suspended in a safe, rubber holder, ensuring that the soft, resonant sound of the instrument comes through.

The Harmonica Horn sounds like a harmonica, but is much easier to play. …

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