This is an in-depth look at Electronic Drums dating back to the 1960's with Justin Greenawalt of 65 Drums on YouTube. Justin has an incredible passion and knowledge for e-drums and he has done tons of research to understand the full history of the instrument and shares it with us to cover each decade of the history and we end with discussing what we can look forward to in the future of electronic drum kits.
Here are the links to Justin's extremely detailed and great videos on the history of e-drums that sparked this episode:
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7QOOckjHE0
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCJX0b-v1Kw
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5PrMTCvk_0
Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTsCqxkYzMM
Part 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDqlWiJJVtY&t=701s
Part 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nqLgyGFQ7o
Enjoy this episode!
Tony Williams began playing professionally at the young age of 13, but he gained international attention when he joined the Miles Davis Quintet at age 17. My guest, Dave Goodman, wrote his 100,000 word doctoral thesis on Tony and we have condensed all that great information into an hour long episode that covers Tony's early life, lessons with Alan Dawson, rise to fame, evolution of his equipment, and everything you would want to know about the great Tony Williams.
Dave Goodman is located in Sydney Australia and is a professional drummer, educator and clinician. You can find Dave at his home on the web - www.davegoodman.com.au
You can download Daves full doctoral thesis here: https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/7797
Enjoy this episode!
Tama's parent company, Hoshino Gakki, dates back 113 years to 1908 in Japan where it started a book and sheet music seller. Hoshino then entered the world of distribution and later instrument production with the Spanish guitar brand - Ibanez. Hoshino didn't enter the drum world until the early 60's as Star Drums, and the world was never the same. Star was a leader in the "Made in Japan" revolution of drums, until the 1970's when star transitioned to Tama Drums and they became a major player in the world of professional drums.
John Palmer, Sales Strategist at Hoshno USA, tells us all about the way that Tama came roaring onto the drum scene and gave the American brands a scare and changed things forever. Tama is one of the most innovative brands in the history of drums and brought things to market such as booming cymbal stands, gong bass drums, octobons, and tons of other great innovations. This episode is full of really great information from every era of Tama. It has been a long time in the works and I am very glad to have it out in the world!
Check out everything Tama has to offer at: www.tama.com
The book I mentioned in this episode is not available for purchase but I will update everyone if Tama makes it more widely available.
Freddie Gruber is known as the teacher of iconic drummers such as Neil Peart, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Smith, Dave Weckl, and my guest Bruce Becker. Freddie has somewhat of a mysterious background that wasn't well documented, but Bruce fills us in on what is known about his life and career, plus many great stories of what it what it was like to be on the inner circle of his friends. Freddie was a real character of a person and you really get a feel for that with this episode.
Bruce Becker is legendary teacher in his own right and really had one of the closest relationships with Freddie possible. If you would like to learn more about Bruce and take lessons with him, check out his website: www.brucebecker.com
Mike takes us back to the advent of the drum set and how people would learn to play in the early 1900's and how things have and haven't changed over the years. We go through each advancement in education including face to face lessons, lessons on records (LP's), drum books with CD's, drum tapes and DVD's, online lessons, and what the future holds for the world of drum lessons.
Mike Johnston is a leader in the world of online drum lessons and has a contagious passion for education. Check out everything Mike is doing at his website: Mikeslessons.com
Also, Mike hung around and recorded a bonus episode with me with tips and tricks on how to create better online lessons and drum videos. Sign up for patreon at www.patreon.com/drumhistorypodcast and get all the bonus episodes!
Brooks has recently released his long awaited book -"The Tools That Built The Gene Krupa Legend". After a decade of work, this is the be-all and end-all source for everything you would ever want to know about the most minute details of Genes life and equipment through his entire career. Brooks gives us a quick refresher biography of Gene and then he jumps into the details of how he put such a great resource together. We pick some key points of interest to spotlight as we talk about his gear and then dive deep into things like Genes Dynasonic, the rareness of REAL Gene Krupa equipment, how he spots fakes, and tons of other great info.
Check out the book here and Support Brooks via Hudson Digital: https://hudsonmusic.com/product/gk-the-tools-that-built-the-gene-krupa-legend/
Brooks was nice enough to share some more time with me to record a Patreon bonus episode all about Gene's career as a movie star in Hollywood and his celebrity status. You can hear all the bonus episodes by becoming a member of the Drum History Patreon here: www.patreon.com/drumhistorypodcast
This is a a unique episode that takes a deep dive into the history of acoustics as we know it today dating back to 6000 b.c. Thomas is a French drum builder who makes extremely scientifically progressive and modern drums, but he is also a noise vibration and harshness engineering expert in the automotive industry. All of that combines together for a passion for how acoustics have changed over thousands of years and how it effects drums in 2021.
Check out Thomas' drum brand here: www.repurcussion.fr
If you would like to hear more, be sure to check out the Patreon bonus episode where we learn all about Thomas' career in the automative and aerospace industry and more of a deep dive into his drum brand by becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/drumhistorypodcast
Thanks for listening!
The iconic 5000 pedal dates back to the early 1940's where it was created by the Martin Fleetfoot company, and it has been a staple of the drum world ever since. The 80 year history has many twists and turns until it reaches the modern DW 5000 pedal that we all know and love. Vincent tells us all about each and every era of the pedal including Gretsch, George Way, Camco, Rogers, John Gray, Tama, and DW and many more. The impact that this one pedal design has had on the drum world is unbelievable - learn the full story in this episode!
Vincent is the owner and operator of Vitalizer Drums and is a master restorer of vintage pedals including Ludwig Speed King's, a variety of 5000 pedals, and other vintage hardware. Check out his website here: www.vitalizerdrums.com
***If you like this episode and want to hear a 45 minute bonus episode where Vincent and I talk even more about 5000 pedals and the many pedals that have been based on its design, DW history, and other great drum info - Join Patreon to get access to this special episode!*** Join here - https://www.patreon.com/drumhistorypodcast
Pete Magadini is a modern legend as a teacher and clinician who has taught drummers such as Michael Shrieve, Chad Wackerman, Mike Johnston and many more. He is also a very established performer who has worked with artists such as Diana Ross, George Duke, Al Jarreau, and many more. He shares his approachable theory on Polyrhythms and many other great lessons on life and drumming and the story of his career and rise as a top teacher.
Here are links for this episode:
George Duke album ft. Pete (kind of a drummers underground classic)
Polyrhythms The Musicians Guide
Polyrhythms For The Drumset
All In One Learn To Play The Drumset
Cocktail drum kits date back to post World War 2 in an orchestra pit in England where space is at a premium and the drums needed to grow taller, as opposed to wider. the "stand up drum set" evolved from there and became a staple of jazz lounges, street performers, comedy acts and many great drummers who wanted a unique look and feel to the drums they play.
John Mettam is the founder of cocktaildrum.com and a longtime performer and cocktail kit enthusiast. He shares the full story of these iconic drum sets with us year by year as we go through the catalogs of Slingerland, Gretsch, Leedy, Rogers, and Ludwig. This is a great history filled episode with tons of fun stories throughout.
follow along at www.cocktaildrum.com under the catalogs tab
Enjoy this episode!
Jerry was the drummer for the iconic "A Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack and he shares the story of the writing and recording of the album and great info on the creation of the TV special. He tells us about how he wanted nothing to do with Charlie Brown for 30 years, until he came to the realization that he has made millions of happy people and he should embrace it. We also hear the full story of his illustrious career and his background in drumming.
You can learn more about Jerry at his website: https://jerrygranelli.com/
Happy holidays and enjoy this episode!
We are lead to believe that the bass drum pedal was invented in the USA, and that the drum set as we know it today was first created in the states - but Fritz shares examples that show many revolutionary drum inventions that were first created in Europe. We also discuss brands like Sonor, Trixon, Paiste, plus drumming and drum building in communist countries and many other great facts and stories along the way.
Fritz is a veteran in the drum industry and has owned and operated DrumHouse Freiberg since 2001 in Germany. He brings a very unique knowledge base to the show and shares lots of information that I have never heard anywhere else. Check out the DrumHouse here: https://www.drumhouse.com/
Enjoy this episode!
Orion was a 14 year old drummer boy in the Civil War when he earned the Medal of Honor for an extremely courageous act in battle. Marlene Shares his amazing story that begins when he enters the war at 12 years old through the rest of his life, and the lives of his musical family. We learn all about drummer boys and the role they played in the war, including Johnny Clem - the youngest noncommisioned officer in army history who began as a drummer.
Marlene wrote "Diary of a Drummer Boy" which is Orion's amazing true story written in a diary format. She provides a great perspective on these heroic young drummers and paints a great picture of what life was like for these boys, including playing games on the battle field and putting their lives in danger on a daily basis.
Peavey Drums were short lived but the Radial Pro series has become a cult classic to many drummers. Rob shares his experience with the first generation of Peavey Drums that was full of problems from the beginning that never got off the ground and the second generation which is the ultra unique Radial Pro's that were short lived but are a part of drum history. This episode is a lesson in the harsh realities of the music business.
Rob is an industry veteran of 40 years including running multiple music stores, creating Rebeats, and operating the Chicago Drum Show. He is a wealth of knowledge on many topics and has become a great friend of the show.
Here is a webpage Rob has created covering Peavey Drums: https://www.rebeats.com/peavey%20drums.html
Enjoy this episode!
N&C is the oldest drum company in the US, founded 166 years ago in 1854. The company began at a kitchen table with Silas Noble making Toy Drums for Christmas presents. Once the Civil War broke out, he then partnered with James Cooley to make drums for the Civil War and the company grew massively from there.
Jay and Nick Jones are the the 6th and 7th generation to continue on the family business. They carry on the masterful drum building that has existed for almost two centuries, and they also still build toy drums to carry on the legacy. At one point, N&C was making 100,000+ toy drums a year and created most kids drums and drumsets in America through the 1900's. After a catastrophic logistics problem in 2001, they put the Toy Drums on the back burner and changed gears to become the powerhouse custom drum shop that we know today.
Enjoy this great episode!
Mike has 650 rare and valuable snare drums in his San Francisco home! He tells us all about the rarest snares that he owns and how he got into this level of collecting. Mike also shares tips and trick for how to begin your own collection and how to utilize eBay to find great deals on legendary snare drums.
Mike is a true legend in the drum community and his collection of snare drums has got to be one of the largest privately owned collections of snare drums in the world. Mike is not buying these drums to flip them, he buys them and restores them purely for the love of drums.
Learn more about Mike here: https://www.curottodrums.com/
Enjoy this episode!
Mike is the co-founder of SJC and shares the great journey he and the company have been on in its 20 year existence. They erupted on the scene right when boutique drum companies were popping up everywhere, and I think it is safe to say that they came out on top - but it was full of serious ups and downs in the relatively short existence of the company.
We hear about the rocky relationship that Mike had with his co-founder brother Scott, who is a true mastermind at drum building and a massive part of the DNA of the company, and also the behind the scenes story of being featured on the CNBC TV show, The Profit. This also features great information on the transition from a complete custom shop company, to partnering with Guitar Center to make affordable SJC drums available to everyone.
This is the most modern company that I have had on the podcast and I had a blast learning about SJC. Check out SJC at
https://www.sjcdrums.com/ and on social media at @sjcdrums
Enjoy this episode!
Max Abrams was THE drum teacher in England in the mid 1900's and taught Stewart Copeland, Simon Phillips and my guest, Neal Wilkinson. He operated like a drill sergeant and didn't give his students much praise, but it created countless professional drummers. Before he was a teacher, Max was a top drummer around the Jazz and Big Band scene in England in the 30's, 40's, and 50's.
Neal Wilkinson is one of the UK's top studio drummers and has worked with artists like Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Annie Lennox and has performed for multiple major films and TV shows.
We also learn all about Drum Hangs, an awesome new project that Neal and Russ Gleason have created to bring the worlds top modern drummers to all of us via Zoom hang outs where you spend an hour with drummers like Nate Smith, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dennis Chambers, Peter Erskine and pretty much every other famous drummer you can imagine. Russ tells us all about it at the end of the episode.
Learn more at www.drumhangs.com and find them on social media at @drumhangs
Mapex was founded in 1989, but its parent company, KHS, goes back 80 years in China and has a very interesting story beginning in after school music programs. Jeff is the brand manager for Mapex and is full of great stories about this relatively young drum brand and goes through the origins of all the iconic lines of drums that Mapex is famous for today.
Jeff is the brand manager of both Mapex and Sonor drums and is a working drummer in Nashville, Tennessee.
Learn everything about Mapex at www.mapexdrums.com
Donn Bennett is one of the worlds foremost dealers in celebrity drums that were owned by the top drummers in the world such as Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Hal Blaine, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones and MANY more...
Donn shares how he got into this unique profession and some stories of acquiring some ultra rare drums. He also tells us how he authenticates these ultra rare drums and what happened when he comes across a counterfeit drum that is being advertised as being owned by Ringo.
Check out Donn's collection here: http://donnbennett.com/