Drum History

A podcast all about the rich history of the drums - and how they became what they are today! Join Bart van der Zee as he speaks with experts about the curious journey of the ever-evolving drum set.

Music History
The Story of Peavey Drums with Rob Cook
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.
62 min
The History of Noble & Cooley with Jay and Nick...
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, and he then partnered with James Cooley to make drums for the Civil War.
60 min
A Look at The Curotto Collection with Mike Curotto
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. He 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.
58 min
The History of SJC Drums with Mike Ciprari
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.
67 min
Legendary Teachers: Max Abrams with Neal Wilkinson
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.
76 min
The History of Mapex with Jeff Mulvihill
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.
58 min
Dealing and Collecting Celebrity Drums with Don...
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...
68 min
Recording Vintage Drums with Dan Bailey
Dan Bailey shares his tips and tricks for recording with vintage drums in his studio including favorite drum brands, head choices, mics and recording gear. Dan and I go off the deep end in this episode and completely nerd out about recording and engineering..and it's great! Learn his entire mic and pre-amp choices he uses in his studio.
73 min
The History of Meinl with Norbert Saemann
Norbert takes us through every decade in the history of Meinl and gives a detailed look at the 70 year history of this iconic company. We begin in 1951 when Roland Meinl started out making wind instruments and creating his own cymbals by hand in his home with his wife. He then went head first into distributing Hoshino (Tama) drums in Germany and carried on in that fashion until the company grew into what we know today in a slow and steady rise to the top.
61 min
The Role of Percussion Around the World with Co...
We discuss how percussion is used in Ireland, Turkey, Iran, Africa, and other various countries in comparison to the downbeat focused western music that dominates pop culture. It is a big eye opener to learn that drummers are often used to support the melody of the music more commonly than providing a head-bobbing back beat that we are used to in American music.
64 min
The History of Vic Firth with Mark Wessels
Vic Firth was a prolific timpanist, drum set performer, and educator all before he started his iconic drum stick company that we all know today. This episode starts as a biography of Vic, but then goes through the origins and rise of his company with great stories like how Vic used to have his employees matching sticks by tapping them on a tombstone he got from a friend in his basement,
68 min
The History of Cymbal Making with Nick Margarit...
Nick takes us through an in-depth look at the full history of cymbals, bronze, the iconic brands such as UFIP and Paiste, and all of the processes that are used around the world to create cymbals through time. The episode starts 7000 years ago and works up to the modern revolution of independent cymbal makers like NickyMoon.
70 min
A Look at Broadway Drummers with Warren Odze
Learn the history of broadway drummers dating back to the days of Vaudeville, up to the modern times where shows are technical marvels that run Ableton, have screens on all the music stands, and the drummer is often playing remotely in a complete different part of the building!
66 min
The History of Pearl Drums with Raymond Massey
We go back to post World War 2 Japan and learn about the origins of Pearl as a music stand manufacturer in 1946. They then entered the world of drums in the 50's and began to rise to the drum company that we know today by creating "stencil drums" for over 30 other brand names, including CB-700 and Apollo, before creating the iconic Pearl "Presidents Series" in 1966.
58 min
Legendary Teachers: Moeller and Chapin with Cla...
Claus teaches us all about the Moeller Technique and its origins with Sanford Moeller, and how he passed the technique along to the legendary Jim Chapin who taught Claus and many famous drummers. This episode is full of great history and stories about how this method of playing was passed down through the generations, and also hear all about Claus's passion for rope tension drums, collapsed rudiments, and a number of other topics!
58 min
Living A Ludwig Life with Jim Catalano
Jim was the director of marketing at Ludwig for 36 years and was the right hand man to Bill Ludwig II, aka "The Chief". He shares amazing stories about his time he had with the chief, and his four decade career in the drum industry with Ludwig, and also Premier and Slingerland.
75 min
The History of North Drums with Roger North
North drums are some of the most unique looking drums ever made. They are horn shaped fiberglass drums that were made between the late 60's through the early 90's and were created by my guest, Roger North.
52 min
The Biography of Joe Morello with Steve Fidyk
Joe Morello was one of the most innovative and masterful drummers of the last century, but did you know he was playing Violin with the Boston Symphony at age 9? Learn about how the iconic "Take 5" Drummer made the switch to drums and became the legend we know today.
84 min
A Look at The Cymbal Book with Hugo Pinksterboer
Learn the origins of this iconic book that is the most thorough and extensive resource for all things cymbals! Hugo tells us how he gathered all the information for the book and we learn tons of valuable tips and tricks along the way.
59 min
For the Love of Slingerland with John Sparrow
John Sparrow is the drummer for the Violent Femmes and a die hard Slingerland enthusiast! This is a fun episode where we talk about Slingerland high points in the history of this great American brand, and also some low points through the decades as the company evolved and tried to keep up with the constantly changing world of music.
66 min
The History of GMS Drums with Tony Gallino and ...
Rob and Tony are the founders of the iconic American drum brand, GMS Drum Co. They were one of four custom-shop companies that started in the 1980's, well before the boom of boutique brands in the mid 2000's. It is a great story of an underdog brand exploding in popularity and how they kept up with demand!
47 min
The Great British Drum Brands Episode with Geof...
We talk about Ajax, Carlton, Hayman, Beverly, and Premier - just to name a few! We discuss pre and post war drums made in England, and the many similarities and differences between British drums and the classic American brands.
61 min
The History of Rudiments with Mark Beecher
Rudimental drumming first appeared in in the Swiss Army in the 1300's to set the tempo and communicate commands during battle, and then spread around Europe where it evolved and was eventually documented in 1588 as the first form of drum notation. It then continued across Europe, and eventually made it to America and evolved into the 26 Rudiments that we have today. This is just scratching the surface of what we learn from Mark Beecher in this episode!
71 min
Drum Tuning History with Jeff Davenport
Jeff takes us back to the ice age where drums were made of turtle shells that were flipped over, had skin stretched over them, and then dried in the sun for tension, Learn about this and much more from master drum tuner Jeff Davenport.
66 min
Legendary Teachers: George L. Stone with Barry ...
Barry James is the last living student of George Lawrence Stone who still teaches the Stone technique. Barry is 81 years old and took lessons with Stone in 1957 in Boston College. He has had an amazing career and still teaches via Skype to people around the world.
51 min
Sympathy for the Drummer: The Charlie Watts Epi...
Charlie Watts is one of the most important drummers in Rock and Roll History. Mike Edison is the author of "Sympathy for the Drummer: Why Charlie Watts Matters" and he gives us a great in depth look at the importance of Charlie and the Rolling Stones on popular culture..
57 min
The History of Premier Drums with Mike Ellis
Did Premier secretly produce Ludwig Supraphonic shells in the 70's? Listen to find out! Founded in 1922, Premier is the most famous brand in British drum history and has a fascinating story. Mike Ellis is an expert on Premier and an avid restorer who shares the complete history with us plus tons of great stories along the way.
79 min
The History of U.S. Military Drumming with Patr...
Beginning with the Revolutionary War, we learn the role of drummers in the Military and the purpose they served as a form of communication and a way to keep the troops unified. Then we take a deep dive into the Civil War and learn all about the importance of the Fife and Drum Corp on both sides in the war that divided the country.
62 min
Rob Cook talks about the Chicago Drum Show Plus...
Rob tells us the story of the postponed 2020 Chicago Drum Show and what we can expect in 2021. He also tells us about the 30 year history of the show going back to year one with some great stories along the way. We also chat about drum legend George Way and fill in some gaps in his history that has been covered in previous episodes on Way.
59 min
The History of Working Drummers pt 2: 1960 - To...
(You do not need to have listened to part 1 to enjoy this episode) Part 2 covers the role of working drummers starting in the 1960's with session drummers, then Rock and Roll superstar's, through the 80's monster drumsets and up to modern times.
67 min
The History of Sabian Cymbals with Andy Zildjian
Andy Zildjian is the president of Sabian Cymbals and takes us on a very fun journey through the history of the company that dates back to its founding in 1981 by his father, Robert Zildjian.
59 min
A Look at Famous Funny Drummers with Steven Har...
We talk about celebrities who are also drummers such as Chevy Chase, Bob Crane, Johnny Carson, Andy Kaufman and many more.
34 min
The History of the Ludwig Black Beauty with Uli...
Uli is the Ludwig Marketing and Artist Relations Manager and shares the complete history of the iconic Black Beauty snare drum. We discuss how it originated as the 1919 "Inspiration Model" and then evolved into Black beauty we know today over the next 100 years.
77 min
Moeller, Gladstone & Stone - The Legends of Tec...
Dom Famularo teaches us about Billy Gladstone, Sanford A, Moeller, and George L. Stone - the godfathers of drumming technique.
61 min
The History of C&C Drum Co. with Bill Cardwell
Bill shares the full story of C&C Drums that began with the first kit he made for Carl Palmer, and then later grew to be one of the most popular boutique drum brands in the world.
45 min
A Modern Talk with David Frangioni
CEO of Modern Drummer Magazine, David Frangioni is this weeks guest. We discuss the history of Modern Drummer and talk about how drummers can make the best of the current "Stay Home" situation, plus we learn about his long and exciting career in the music world.
58 min
The Ringo Episode with Gary Astridge
Gary is a historian and expert on all things Ringo Starr. He has curated Ringo's collection of original Beatles drum kits and is full of great stories about Ringo that you won't hear from anyone else!
62 min
Exploring The Funky Drummer Breakbeat with Dyla...
This James Brown song from 1969 made a very small splash at first, until it's beat was re-discovered in the 80's and changed the world of music forever. We take a deep dive learning everything about Clyde Stubblefield's Funky Drummer beat including how and where it was recorded with James Brown, the gear he used, the impact on music, and Clyde's legacy.
61 min
New Orleans Jazz History with Stanton Moore, Wa...
This very special episode takes a deep dive into the history of New Orleans Jazz and features multiple interviews that I did in New Orleans while I was there to see the Rolling Stones and meet Charlie Watts in July, 2019. I was lucky enough to sit down with Stanton Moore and get the full history of Nola Jazz, and also backstage with Walter Harris and Joe Lastie at Preservation Hall Jazz Club, plus even more information from Greg Lambousy of the Nola Jazz Museum.
73 min
The History of Istanbul Agop Cymbals with Sezar...
Sezar teaches us the full History of Istanbul Agop, dating back to its origins in the Zildjian K Factory where Agop Tomurcuk learned how to make cymbals. We discuss how hand hammered cymbals are made and why Turkey is so special for cymbal making.
41 min
The History of Working Drummers with Dr. Matt B...
Matt takes us on a deep dive into the mistreatment of drummers in the musicians labour unions dating back to the early 20th century, through the rise of the Radio Stars of the 1940's all the way up to the great session drummers like Hal Blaine and Earl Palmer.
70 min
The History of Drum Engraving with John Aldridge
Drum Engraving goes back to the 1920's when drums such as the Slingerland and Ludwig Black Beauty's would become legendary thanks to the intricate engraving on the metal shells. Fast forward to today, John is the man behind the hand engraving for companies such as Ludwig, A&F, DW, Pearl, C&C and Joyful Noise. He is also the founder of Not So Modern Drummer!
52 min
The Legacy of George Way Drums with Ronn Dunnett
George Way is one of the most innovative people in drum history, and is known as the godfather of the modern drum set. George passed away in 1969, but Ronn Dunnett has been carrying on the legacy of George Way Drums since 2006.
54 min
The History of Learning the Drum Set with Steph...
We learn the evolution of how early drummers learned their craft by watching other drummers who passed through town and by apprenticing with drummers such as Chick Webb and Art Blakey. Then came the advent of drum notation books which allowed young drummers to learn at home, followed by drum tapes and DVD's, and now social media which has drastically changed the learning process.
70 min
Bringing the Slingerland Drum Shell Machines Ba...
Bernie purchased the original Slingerland radio frequency drum shell making machinery on an Ebay auction in 2001, and that began his decade long quest to figure out how they work.
50 min
The Art of Restoring Vintage Drums with Steele ...
A Pearl tom mount on an ultra-rare Ludwig Top hat and Cain kit? It happened... Steele teaches us his process of preserving and restoring classic drums in an effort to keep them as original as possible with tons of great stories along the way.
84 min
The History of the Hi-Hat with Rob Cook
The origins of the Hi-Hat pedal have long been debated, and Rob Cook introduces us to a new theory that a gentleman named Skip Retherford was the inventor in the 1922. This pre-dates Papa Jo Jones, who is widely thought to be the earliest user of the Hi-Hat.
50 min
1920's Painted Bass Drum Heads with Jim Messina
In the roaring 20's, drummers would have beautiful hand painted artwork on their bass drum heads that would be illuminated by a lightbulb on the inside of the drum. This lightbulb looked great but also served a very necessary function, as well..keeping the calfskin heads from going out of tune when the temperature changes!
48 min
The History of Zildjian Cymbals with Paul Francis
Paul Francis, a 30 year employee of Zildjian, takes us back to 1618 when Avedis I discovered the alloy that changed music for ever. We go on a deep dive into every detail of Zildjians amazing history, including the struggles with trademarks, jealous cousins trying to steal the formula, and all of the amazing innovations that have been made along the way.
87 min
Trap Drummers and Sound Effect Instruments with...
Nick takes us back to a time when trap drummers were king and could be found in every theater around the country. He shares his vast collection of sound effect Instruments with us and plays examples of some of his favorite pieces. He also tells us the full history of trap drummers and describes what it would have been like to be a working drummer in the early 1900's.
68 min
The History of Remo Drumheads with Herbie May
Herbie is a 32 year veteran of the Remo Company and shares the full history of the company with us, including the controversial debate between Evans and Remo and who was first to invent the synthetic drumhead.
59 min
The History of Country Western Drummers with Ma...
Learn the full history of Country Western drumming from its early jazz origins, to the "behind the curtain" days at the Grand Ole Opry, all the way up to the arena drummers of today. Before drummers became an integral part of Country music, they had to fight for the right to be on stage...and it didn't happen overnight.
51 min
The History of Camco Drums with Joe Luoma
Founded by George Way, Camco is one of the most iconic brands in Drum History and it only existed for 17 years... Without Camco, we wouldn't have the iconic round lugs that were later made famous by DW and the classic 5000 pedal that we all know and love.
46 min
The Evolution of the Jazz Ride Pattern with Dr....
Dr. Clark wrote her dissertation on the origins of the jazz ride pattern and shares the full amazing history with us! She teaches us about the pioneers who brought the famous pattern to the forefront of jazz music and the variations that made it evolve over time.
53 min
The History of Rogers Drums with Po Shy and Jef...
Starting in 1849 as a maker of drumheads, Rogers Drums has had a long life that is full of innovations such as the Dyna-Sonic snare, Swiv-O-Matic hardware, and countless iconic drum sets. Jeff and Po take us through the various eras of Rogers history in great detail, and we also learn about the recent resurgence of the iconic brand.
73 min
The Biography of Buddy Rich with Shawn Martin
Drumming since he was 18 months old, Buddy Rich turned into one of the worlds most beloved drummers thanks to his incredible speed and tenacity on the kit. His story is full of tragedies and triumphs that shaped him into the one of a kind person that he became.
76 min
Early Rhythm and Blues Drumming with Daniel Glass
Daniel Glass explains the very beginnings of Rhythm and Blues drumming and the impact it had on all genres of music that we know today! Join us as we explore the tumultuous journey that African American musicians had to endure to be able to perform and innovate the music that they loved.
56 min
The History of Yamaha Drums with Jim Haler
Yamaha has been involved in musical instruments since 1887, but didn't began making drums until 1967. Since then, they have made a huge impact on evolution of drums and drumming technology.
74 min
The History of Drumsticks with Matt Dean
Did you know Mozart was the first person to use Hot Rods in his music? Matt takes us from the beginning of drum sticks in the 7th century up to when they got the sizes and shapes that we know today,
57 min
The Birth of the Drum Set with Dr. Jaz Sawyer
Did Papa Jo Jones invent the Hi-Hat with the help of a plumber? Listen to find out! Jaz takes us from the beginnings of drumming in Africa through the advent of the modern drum set as we know it today.
45 min
The History of Keller Shells with Justin Owen
Keller has quietly made shells for many of the worlds greatest drum brands - learn about how the company got its start in 1946!
47 min
The History of Drumheads with Ben O'Brien Smith
Evans or Remo - Who was first? Learn about the dramatic history of these two companies along with the origin of drumheads from the very beginning.
52 min
Discovering Gene Krupa's Lost Drum Collection w...
A large collection of Gene Krupa's equipment has been in a storage unit since 1973 and has recently been discovered! If that wasn't enough...It was all purchased by the legendary Charlie Watts! Our friend Brooks Tegler was the man who authenticated this collection and shares the story with us!
44 min
The History of Slingerland with Mark Cooper
Mark takes us on a journey through the amazing history of what was once known as The Slingerland Banjo Company. Slingerland grew into one of the most well known names in drumming history.
65 min
The Modern History of Online Drum Lessons with ...
Mike was one of the earliest pioneers of teaching drums online - He shares the history and evolution of this game-changing technology with great stories along the way!
68 min
The History of Gretsch Drums with John Sheridan
"That Great Gretsch Sound" has been around since 1883, join me as I talk with John Sheridan about the full history of this iconic company!
53 min
Wild Thing: The Study of Rhythm in Animals with...
It all started with a Cockatoo named Snowball on YouTube dancing to the Backstreet Boys... That is what got Dr. Ed Large interested in studying the rhythmic abilities of animals including birds, primates, and even a sea lion! This episode dives deep into the history of how Rhythm works in both humans and animals and what he has discovered over the course of his research.
36 min
The Epic History of Female Drummers with Angela...
Angela Sells takes us through the history of female percussionists dating from thousands of years ago up to modern times. She has a PhD, is a writer for Tom Tom Magazine, a professor of Womens Studies and also plays in a Seatle based rock band! Female drummers have had to work very hard throughout time to be able to do what they love. Give this a listen and then go check out some of the great female drummers we talk about!
45 min
The History of Ludwig Drums with William F. Lud...
Bill Ludwig runs us through the fascinating history of Ludwig Drums! Grandson of the Ludwig founder, William F. Ludwig, his family has had a long and winding history with the Ludwig drum company - founding it in 1909 with a subsequent sale of the company in the early 80's. They have gone through many ups and downs in that time, from losing the rights to the family name, to Ringo changing the world on The Ed Sullivan Show. Ludwig has always been an integral part of drumming since the drum set has existed. Bill, aka B3, is "starting over" with his new drum company, WFLIII Drums! They are a beautiful homage to a classic style of drums with all the modern touches we have today.
54 min
Gene Krupa: The Father of Modern Drumming with ...
We explore the entire life of the legendary Gene Krupa! I speak with Brooks Tegler about Genes beginnings in the early 1920's through his false conviction in 1943, all the way up to his death in 1973. In addition to being being such a revolutionary musician, Gene was a true gentleman and had a very rich and interesting life. Gene is responsible for many innovations in drumming that took the drum set from the "trap drums" of the early 1900's to what we now consider the modern drum set. Brooks Tegler is an expert on the subject of Krupa and his equipment and I'm honored that he took the time to share his knowledge with me!
72 min
The History of Leedy Drums with Rob Cook
Rob Cook, founder of the Chicago Drum Show and Author of "The Leedy Way", gives us the complete history of the Leedy Drum Company. The amazing story begins with U.G. Leedy producing snare stands in his apartment in Indianapolis and evolves into becoming the largest manufacturer of drums in the world.
53 min
Long Live the Speed King with Vincent Leef
Do you know what the Speed King Squeak is? Think …
36 min
Growing Up Slingerland with Jim Moritz
Did you know "The Ludwig Boys" used to go through the dumpsters at Slingerland to try and figure out what they were working on? Jim has a deep family history that revolves around Slingerland drums dating back to when Slingerland was a guitar company. His great uncles and father were long time employees of the company running the woodshop, and Jim worked there in his high school years during the night shifts.
30 min
Made in Japan - The History of Stencil Drums wi...
"Stencil drums" were Japanese copies of major drum manufacturers like Slingerland and Rogers that were created in the 50's to the 80's. They feature some of the most unique finishes that you can find and have become a unique category of affordable collectors drums.
26 min
No Metal? No problem... Exploring WW2 Metal-Rat...
For a moment in time, it was ILLEGAL to use more …
52 min
The Death of Trap Drummers with Kelli Rae Tubbs
What was it like to be a Trap Drummer in the sile…
40 min