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'Stick with the best,' check out Buffalo Drum Outlet in Depew

BY: Jennifer Lysiak, Lancaster Editor | February 13, 2013

LANCASTER- In 1980, Paul Musilli, owner of Buffalo Drum Outlet, sold a coin collection worth $2,000 to come up with the money to open his store, which first started out in Cheektowaga.

Once known as Ed Bentley’s Music Store, Musilli was teaching lessons at the time and was given the opportunity to rent the store from a friend, after Bentley sold the store.

During the years, Musilli moved the store four times, now making the Depew location a six-year stay. It was also through the years that his store would become a drummer paradise for the Buffalo area, offering hundreds of drum sets, cymbals, ethnic and/or hand percussion, snare drums, spare parts and just about every drum accessory that you could imagine.

Buffalo Drum Outlet accommodates the beginner, semi-pro, and pro drummer with its array of drums from bongos to vintage drums and jazz to metal. Some of the popular name brands they carry are Ludwig, Drum Workshop, Mapex, and DDrum.

“We carry all the brand names of drums,” said Musilli. “We carry instruments for all the styles such as Africa drumming and Brazilian drumming.”

The store accepts trade-ins, sells used and new drums, and sells vintage drums on eBay and some items on Craigslist. The store also does repair work and for those “hard to get parts” that most stores don’t carry, Buffalo Drum Outlet will most likely be the place to find them.

Musilli first learned how to play the drums at the age of 14 and by the age of 16 he was already playing in bands. He decided in 2000 to retire from playing out, but he still continues to play in his spare time.

“The reason people come to us is first of all because of the experience we have,” remarked Musilli.”Most music stores you go into usually don’t have a drummer selling to you. So, they really don’t have a clue. Not only do we have the experience to help a customer out to fit the needs of the price they’re looking at, but we carry all the parts and accessories that go along with it.”

One of the advantages of buying from the outlet is when a drum set is purchased; it will be assembled and tuned by one of the experts at the store. Musilli said most places don’t assemble them and what ends up happening is the parents’ take on the task and a lot of times they set them up backward and they are not tuned right.

Furthermore, Buffalo Drum Outlet also offers drum lessons with expert teachers, who each specialize in a particular drumming style. Call or stop by the store for more details.

And just like any instrument it is all about practice, but Musilli said the hardest part of learning to play the drums is getting what they call the “four-way coordination” down.

It is a fact that it takes more coordination to play the drums than any other instrument. Drumming requires you to play a cymbal "ride" with one hand, while playing a different pattern on the snare with the other hand, while playing another pattern with your foot on the bass drum, while playing yet another pattern with your other foot on the hi-hats or another bass drum. Plus, you have to be able to think about what's going on with between four parts - often while simultaneously reading music.

It may sound difficult, but it can be taught.

Musilli added the best part and fun part about owning his store is the people that come in such as customer, Danny Hull, a Grand Island resident, who is a long time customer of his.

“We all want to support Paul,” remarked Hull, who is a jazz drummer, performing at the Iris Restaurant every Tuesday evening, “He takes a personal interest and he’s fairs and honest.”

“A lot of my customers are bringing their kids in now to buy stuff,” Musilli added. “They’re very loyal. They have a lot of choices on where to buy stuff but they chose to come back here. It’s kind of like Cheers where I know their names. It is more of a family atmosphere.”

The Buffalo Drum Outlet, located 5872 Transit Road, in Depew, is opened noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; noon to 6 p.m. Friday; and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. To contact the store call 684-0082 or visit www.buffalodrumoutlet.com to check out what’s in store.

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