March 31, 2013

New mallets promise “new dawn for tenor drumming”

With patent-pending features that “herald a new dawn for pipe band tenor drumming,” TyFry Ultimate tenor drum mallets were launched worldwide following “years of research and development,” according to Tyler Fry, the innovator behind the new products.

Fry field-tested the Ultimate mallets top bands and players around the world, leading to what he says are the “the lightest, most aerodynamic tenor drum mallet ever developed,” which include his permaTONE  head technology, “designed to produce improved response on the drum and control in the air with less effort.”

Fry’s patent application for the new design was filed at 4 pm on March 14th. If approved, the patent will be the latest in a series of proprietary products that he has brought out in the last 15 years.

Features of the new mallets include lighter weight, an integrated 8.25-inch injection-molded shaft, and permaTONE  head technology that reduces weight in the head making it “the most aerodynamically balanced mallet on the market.”

Fry is making the mallets available in a rainbow of colours, including aqua, lime green, hot pink, silver and yellow, with matching flourish cords with a removable core that can be used rounded or flattened, depending on a player’s preference.

“I’ve never been more excited about the future of pipe band tenor drumming than I am now,” Fry said.

The mallets have a suggested list price of $89.99 per pair and are available directly from Fry or from dealers around the world.


  1. Ah, tenor drummers. Gotta love ’em. In years gone by they were all failed side drummers, but now they are the centre of the universe and saving pipe bands from being yesterday’s news, if we are to believe some of the hype. A good tenor corps and bass is an asset if they are ‘on message’, however too often I see the cattiness and posing – certainly the new dawn”. Nothing said on this thread will affect sales. The hype and spin has already spellbound many – marketing 101. Mission accomplished. Tyler is already laughing all the way to the bank because of the following he’s gained via self-funded leg work. Good for him. One thing is for sure

  2. I am blown away by the sour grapes. Why slam drummers and sticks/mallets so harshly!? I am a piper, and I am keenly aware at how much of a drummers’ time has been wasted overhearing the pontification of the merits of countless piping-related technologies” and “innovations” that turned out to be complete crap. Can anyone say “kitty litter” for f-sakes!? It is clear there is a poorly disguised veil of discrimination and ignorance motivating some of these negative statements likely in reaction to how people choose to live their lives (pink

  3. Comments now getting way off topic” what was a launch of a drum stick has now taken a sinister turn. some very misguided people out there. Such is the bizarre stereo typing and generalization without applying weight and substance to the subject means there is no chance of sensible discussion. was the sales pitch a little OTT? perhaps so

  4. So its the self promotion and lacking PR skills you find offensive although thats a rather different subject. Thats what i mean about going off topic” people have to separate the two you cant hate the product because you hate the advert or the sales pitch. However i happen to agree with you.I too get fed up on social media which shameful

  5. Bagpipermann – You’ve missed my point regarding my question on where these mallets are made. We could all probably understand someone going offshore to be able to get something manufactured at a lower price in order to be able to maintain a reasonable price on the retail market. However, if someone was to go offshore in order to get it manufactured at a much lower price, and then charges a retail price that is significantly higher than with the previous (made in Canada) model, well that could be described as ‘gouging’ and taking advantage of a naive public and would be, quite frankly, somewhat immoral. There is nothing wrong with having something made overseas (e.g. China) in a bid to get them manufactured at a much lower price and thus maximising the profit. That is fair enough. But if the retail price also increases significantly, it would say a lot about any person who would choose to do this. Maybe the market is pretty much saturated with previous products and this is a bid to come up with a new strategy to get the adoring fans to want newer and better”….? I’ll happily stand corrected if the manufacturing location is unchanged. I’m just asking a valid question. One that is suspect will go unanswered

  6. JamesLaughlin – it always amazes me how you will blindly rush to the defence of people you have associations with that relate to seminars and products. Perhaps you should declare your interests before shooting down people’s opinions and talking-up this product….?

  7. Bagpipermann ¨C you have not seen the point I was making. I am asking where these mallets are made, not because I think TF wants to mass produce for millions of tenor drummers who don¡¯t exist, but because the margin would be considerably higher if they were made in China, for example. That margin would be made even greater by the significantly increased retail price against the previous model. Who knows, maybe the Chinese are the only ones who can produce this ¡°new dawn¡± technology at the requisite quality. It couldn¡¯t possibly be about nothing but the profit margin, surely? This can all be put to bed by someone who¡¯s purchased a pair of these mallets ¨C obviously the packaging would clearly state where they are made, surely¡­¡­?

  8. i cant help but be cycnical sometimes with articles like this. the patent pending reference reeks of making the product appear more grandiose than it probably is. what is permatone technology, or is it really just an excuse for a new range of colours? as it has been made out to be such a big deal i am sure we will be kept up to date whether the patent is granted or not? i’m not even a tenor drummer, it just seems to me like a market that is open to manipulation by the people at the ‘forefront’ of it.

  9. They look grand……..but, it still doesn’t change the fact, if the drum ain’t right, it won’t matter what you hit it with! They won’t solve every problem…

  10. They look grand……..but, it still doesn’t change the fact, if the drum ain’t right, it won’t matter what you hit it with! They won’t solve every problem…

  11. I am left wondering exactly what is meant to be ‘played’ with these mass produced plastic sticks that are to be sold for $90: A tenor drum or a tenor drummer? A very good quality practice chanter, both infinitely more complex in design and manufacture and likely to last a lifetime can be had for less. Am I to infer from all the spin that the ‘new dawn in tenor drumming’,’aerodynamic’ sticks were developed in the wind tunnel at NASA? Manufactured in a process developed at the Large Hadron Super Collider near Geneva? Odd to me as injection molded plastic and drumsticks seem about as ubiquitous as it gets. It all sounds a bit like the Ron Popeil of tenor drumming.

  12. I agree with all comments – they are absolutely spot on. What is the big deal? $90 for a pair of mallets?? Wow. No doubting the never-ending cycle of marketing and the effort it takes to sustain it, however Mr Fry must think we all came down in the last shower. Unfortunately, in this caper it appears that many have, especially those who need to have the ‘must-have’ latest gadgets. I might go out and buy a pink practice chanter and then change to the latest seasonal colour each year thereafter. Not. What’s next, tartan leotards and floor routines like rhythmic gymnasts?

  13. You know what guys don’t let it keep you up at night.The guys done something positive. The stick if any of you have actually tried it, is very good.As the bass section provide a visual aspect to the performance they happen to come in various colours.As do other brands.Is the guy making money YES he’s not a charity.Hes no different from any other stick seller or pipe maker they like what they do and they develop a product to fill the gap in the market they feel is missing. Of course its business. What he has done is think about the balance of the stick ,which in my option no other has been able to capture this is probably why the stick has a patent pending. you have a choice buy it or don’t simple as that. Your entitle to your opinions but your not entitle to talk down a product you haven’t tried and comment when you have stated you don’t even play the instrument so hardly qualified to make constructive criticism. I feel this is all perhaps a bit personal rather than is the stick actually any good. It is buy the way very good if anyones interested.

  14. It would seem that some of you don’t get out much, watch television, or read magazines enough to understand the basics of marketing…call it advertising, if you will. If you’re not in the market for tenor sticks, or whatever…why even read the article? Sheesh! Get a life. These are excellent mallets by the way, and yes, I have played and tested them….not in the Glasgow Green wind tunnel though. Tyler’s tenor sticks have been around long enough for people who ‘actually play’ a tenor drum, or take any interest in the tone they produce off of a well-tuned drum, to have an opinion of them. They are either going to continue to purchase them or buy something else. Simple. Designing, creating, manufacturing, marketing, and distributing a product is not easy by any means…at least not as easy as creating and anonymously posting cheap comments.

  15. Simple ‘nuf to sort through. One of Pipes/Drums usual reviews. You know, unbiased and balanced. The price seems to be sorting itself out, the sticks can be had on a number of drumming kit sties for about 40% off already. Would like to be kept in the loop as to how efforts to patent the drumstick are going. ; )

  16. i’m envious of anyone in any walk of life who can make money from their passion. and mike, i appreciate that as a friend of tyler you would stick up for him, as you might well do if you were simply a satisfied user of the product. like you said, for all i know it may be a fantastic ‘mallet’. however, i will not insult your intelligence by suggesting that you cannot see, if you take off the rose-tinted glasses, how grandiloquent and bombastic [it] is, which is really the point i’m making. reading it i would have thought it was selling a device you can fly to the moon in. yes that is advertising for you, but also wildly OTT. oversell anyone? i wouldn’t expect anyone with a product of their own to come out and say ‘its alright its not bad i suppose’, but such splendorous bravado is surely anti-marketing? it would put me off buying it certainly, but then i’m not the target market…. the tenor drumming fraternity who place him on a pedestal and hang on his every word. drummer1, i’ve nothing personal against tyler fry, he has undoubtedly done some really good stuff, but he just happens to also embody all the things that generally really get my back up about tenor drumming/drummers too. l’m not alone in thinking that modern tenor drumming is presented as something its not – revolutionary, ahead of its time, which pipe bands couldn’t function without – and this type of sales pitch only adds fuel to that fire. thats just my opinion, no doubt tenor drummers all over the place will be throwing down their glasgow-green coloured mallets in rage :p not being a tenor drummer shouldn’t make any difference as i’m responding to an article on a piping and drumming website about an instrument thats part of a pipe band. as it is such a significant ‘new dawn’ i imagine it will affect everyone in the pipe band. time will tell, maybe i will be wandering around the games going ‘wow what a sound, must be tyfry ultimate mallets theyre using’.? of course i jest, but i find [it] comical, i feel sorry for anyone who buys into rubbish like this, and undoubtedly many impressionable tyler wannabes will.

  17. This is a response to che2: I would argue that the point you are really trying to make is that you don’t like Tyler Fry because he embodies a changing style of pipe band drumming and marketing, not that his advertising is “grandiloquent and bombastic”. What started off as a critique of a product and its price quickly became a critique of the seller and of his market as a whole. I found what you said to be extremely brash and disrespectful. You forget that for most people this is a hobby, just like playing a sport, or collecting classic cars or other such things. Do people need to spend 90 bucks on a pair of sticks? No. But if they take their hobby seriously and want the latest and greatest gear, then they will be prepared to drop that amount of money on a product such as this. Don’t use this event or this forum to publicly trash someone’s hobby, or how someone makes their living for that matter.

  18. kyle you don’t have to tell me the point that i’m making, i have set my thoughts out quite clearly. i haven’t said anywhere i dislike tylerfry, and wouldn’t say it because its simply not the case. the way he and others promote tenor drumming though gets on my nerve. i don’t see many pipers or drummers acting like they are mini rockstars or celebrities, however it is hard to escape from in tenor drumming especially in the circles he moves. there is a lot of posturing and posing going on. i certainly am not looking to offend anyone or get in an arguement, but i can see why this would be inflammatory to anyone who recognises themselves in what i am saying.

  19. I doubt there’s much in the way of former art on this design, so good on you Tyler for seeking intellectual property. There’s a lesson to learn, from the Biggies” stealing your designs and having them mass produced off shore…trust me! It’s come a long way from whittling out cane and cork sticks in the front seat of my van! “

  20. Fact: I’ve just received a pair of these sticks and they’re great. The balance is (as has always been) really good. The styling is great. They sound good, look good, feel really good and appear to be a vast improvement on the quality issues I noticed with the Platinums (loose threads, cords that broke within 10mins) and I look forward to seeing how they play this season. I’ve had an issue in the past based on the price point of these mallets, but right now, they’re some of the best you can get, readily available via most vendors and do the job very very well. So you get what you pay for – and now in more colours that allow midsections to mix it up (no different to colours of pipebags and cords, snare sticks, etc etc) Tyler is a great guy, and he’s done a super job with this next evolution of his product. If you’re going to gripe and moan about someone doing ‘something’ useful to the art, and add to the constant pile of steaming **** that drags the pipeband world down – then bog off and practice! Channel that hot air into something useful 🙂 Nobody is forcing you to buy these sticks…so stop panicking. And personally, if I can get one student amped up and excited to practice/play because they can get good quality tenor sticks in silver or pink, then I’ll take it every single time. This is a very different world, and a different pipeband scene. Things change (god forbid!) and like pitches, instruments and stimulus change, either go with it and benefit from it, or get left behind yearning for the ‘good old days’ and crying into your beer.

  21. AmberBart – good to get things off your chest, isn’t it. As I see it, you are boasting about paying just short of $100 for something that cost about $2 to make and relies solely on how your drum (worth only about 2.5 – 3 sets of mallets) is set-up. When you are standing on the line, worrying about the what lies ahead, those sticks will give you great comfort, I’m sure. No doubt you will be able to perform your aerial/non-musical baton-twirling routines with greater speed due to the reduced ‘drag’ from the amazing aerodynamic improvements that have been designed into this high-tech piece of plastic and nylon. Lessening the need for post-match warm-downs, recovery, massage and ice baths. And the judges will mark you up for this more efficient flourishing and……..oh, hang on……no, that’s right – they won’t because flourishing (good or bad) doesn’t go towards any totals. You must also be confident that the <30 times you hit your drum in a 5-6 minute MSR will sound discernibly better than last season in amongst all the other sounds a pipe band produces. I bet they look good too and will identify you as being ‘hip to the beat’. So, most importantly, when rival mid sections pass by, you won’t feel left out and so ‘last year’.

  22. Having a conversation and debate with yourself there Lawrie you appear to be battling the demons in that post. accept that not everyone is negative and bitter chill out man and try not to let it keep you up at night. Some people have way too much time on their hands. It may be funny if it werent so pathetic.

  23. Why do we alway have to find a way to criticize what someone else is trying to do. You don’t like the sticks, why is there a need to complain about them.

  24. drummer1 – on the contrary. It’s tongue-in-cheek. The only inner demons I have relate to my football team’s loss after leading at half time by a long way in the finals back in 1993. 😉 Buy the mallets and rave about them all you want to shut me up, by all means. I’d be telling everyone too if they cost me that much. Surely at that price they must be great, right…..?

  25. Where are these mallets made, btw..? At that price, one would hope locally and with quality materials. It would be sad to think all the claims of extensive research and development are really to justify the cost of something made for about 50 cents in a place like China, for example……

  26. It really is quite amusing to see how some people get so worked up over the release of the new TyFry Ultimate mallet. Perhaps they could sign with their real names so that their comments hold some validity and integrity. Well done Tyler. Raised the Bar, again. Well done.

  27. Hossman, I respect your views and your gripes about the ‘big fish’ taking your designs, especially when you actually design and build your own product, as opposed to mass producing them in china, charging a king’s ransom for a product that is less technical than a toothbrush and gouging a naive market….

  28. Laurie: Mass produced in China? Really? How many tenor drummers do you think are out there? Is it worth opening a Chinese factory to supply all the Pipe Bands with new mallets? My guesstimation is that you could outfit the entire Worlds PBC tenor drummer roster with approx 800 pairs of mallets. Now, if you could turn this into some kind of fad like the hula hoop or the yo-yo and get some real mass appeal, that would be another.story……. Oh, and thanks for the chuckles……

  29. off on a tangent here, but i find it interesting that people still harp on about using your own name on posts. is it not preferable to judge posts on their content and substance rather than whose they are? to me a nameless opinion carries as much gravitas as any with a name. it appears as though high profile players like to use their own name, while joe-public is happier using a nickname. don’t know what this tell us, maybe it goes back to what we’ve ended up talking about on this thread, the sphere of influence in pipe bands, and people being force-fed what to think and do by those at the top? i could well imagine that high profile players might have delicate egos, and posting using their own name might provide more of a safety blanket,….who would want to be seen disagreeing with the champion piper/drummer? anonymous posting opens up debate which in the most part is sensible, relevant and most of all healthy. and credibility is only relevant if you are trying to promote something, and all i and many others want to do is discuss our hobby, the things we enjoy about it and the things that we don’t so much. i’m not looking for people to agree with me, or to promote or validate my own position within pipe bands. no doubt like myself the majority of forum posters have the conviction to say what they say face to face, which makes it ridiculous to call anyones integrity in to question.

  30. fad like the hula hoop or the yo-yo” or Hosbilt bass and tenor drums. Trust me everything is being copied there. Morals and ethics are seriously at question. Luckily so far it hasn’t happened to the great Highland Bagpipe makers! It’s takes art to make the instrument then you give it to an artist to make more art. That value that lives in the art to art hand-off should be cherished.”

  31. with anything thats made it takes a craftsman to make it and an artist to play it. I have to disagree with Hoss on that one. No really sure who the remark is aimed at regarding the bass and tenor wasnt that design given to an English company to produce.? correct me if im wrong .Im sure there was an article way back on this site regarding the company taking the design on.



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