In November 2001, Alan Kahn, author of the Speed Bag Bible, was invited to visit the New York recording studies of Blue Man Group. Being percussion masters themselves and innovative inventors and creators or original rhythm instruments, they were interested in the unique rhythmic patterns of the speed bag and how the "bag beat" could be used with music. They recorded many "takes"  of Alan punching the bag to several of the new songs being developed for their second album at that time, "The Complex".  The songs, "Time to Start" and "What Is Rock" were of particular interest. Pre-release dubs were furnished for speed bag exploration and various rhythmic combinations were developed before the visit.
Several of these takes were done using a freestanding floor unit and a standard 24 inch rebound board.
Several of these takes were done using a freestanding floor unit and a standard 24 inch rebound board. The equipment is shown at right
The pitch of the wooden rebound board could not be adjusted and offered little control of the tonality of the sound.
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And many takes were done with a uniquely altered freestanding frame, modified to suspend real drums to be the rebounding surface.
Each drum head was tuned to a slightly different pitch, creating an alternating rebound beat that was very unusual and allowed different punches to be emphasized on the higher pitched or lower pitched drum.
Unfortunately the super sensitivity of professional microphones (seen attached to the drum rims) also picked up, and magnified, the metallic chinking sound of the swivel.
All standard types of swivels were used, but the swivel sound was still evident in the final recording.

For this, and several other reasons, the recorded bag rhythms could not be included on the album, and the idea of using speed bag rhythms in their present arsenal of unique rhythm instruments was put on hold. But this experience solidifies the speed bag and its rhythmic beat as a legitimate percussive activity: Punch Drumming
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This trip took place less than two months after the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center. Their recording studio was very close to the twin towers location. During that time, thousands of volunteer firefighters from all over the United States came to NYC to work in the firehouses and provide coverage while the New York firefighters attended the many funerals for their fallen comerades killed on 9/11.�
At the Blue Man Group show in NY, the performers�always recognized these visiting fire fighters, and made every attempt to make them feel special for coming to the aid of the city. The blue mark on the face is their badge of honor, signifying you had been brought to the stage and been one of them for a moment.�� It is also a display of their respect and admiration.
SpeedBagCentral is extremely thankful to the Blue Man organization and the opportunity they offered to the speed bag. This was the most unique 8-hour speed bag workout imaginable!  We are also grateful for the hospitality and courtesy they extended to Alan Kahn before and after his visit. All the Blue Man Staff, including clerical, technical and professional musicians are the very best at what they do. They have become an international entertainment dynasty, with shows in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Berlin and Toronto. Check here for Ticket and show information.
If at all possible - See their Show and get their music. You won't be disappointed!
There original Blue Man Group performers and originators:
Chris Wink, Matt Goldman & Phil Stanton.
 Blue Man Group History
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