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 Ultimate Guide to Syncopation (New Book) wi...
Bruce Becker has written a brand book that takes the iconic "Syncopation" by Ted Reed to the next level and gives Bruce's signature teaching approach to one of the top selling drum books of all time. Bruce's new book is called "The Ultimate Guide to Syncopation: Concepts for the Development of Motion, Melody, and Independence. Bruce starts the conversation by reminiscing about his former teacher Freddie Gruber, and then we dig into the Why, What and How of creating his book and accompanying videos.
61 min
The History of Drumeo with Jared Falk
Jared Falk is the founder of Drumeo which has grown to be one of the top platforms for online education in the world. Drumeo is not only a great source of online education on drumeo.com, but the brand is also a giant across social media and YouTube as with millions of subscribers and followers. Drumeo has changed the way online lessons are presented and is responsible for creating countless new drummers which helps our entire industry grow. Jared and I discuss his early beginnings with filming lessons on his families farm, utilizing the internet to sell lessons on eBay, and then taking full advantage of YouTube to explode onto the scene and become the Drumeo we know today.
53 min
Rhythmic Therapy: Using Drums to Help Kids Thro...
Rob Leytham uses Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy to help children regulate their emotions with the power of drumming. He uses brain science and his 35 years of drum teaching skills to help kids avoid the normal punishments and suspensions that they would normally face. Not only is his classroom full of Djembes and percussion instruments, but Rob's passion has spread to the entire faculty at Ridgeview where many teachers use percussion to help calm troubled students and the impact has been enormous. Rob has now expanded to traveling around the country to speak about the power of drumming to help regulate kids who need help.
58 min
The History of ASBA Drums with Damien Rabillon ...
ASBA Drums is an iconic French drum brand that dates back to 1927 with a very interesting history. Damo and Sa├║l share the full story of this brand which began as just an accessory company, and grew to be a fully formed drum brand that made literally everything in house. They created drum heads, they had a foundry and made all the hardware and metal drum shells and the wood shells and everything else along the way. The company had a great long run but unfortunately went out of business in the 1980's. Fortunately though, the brand is back alive as of 2017 with a whole new lease on life and is making the same great quality drums that they are known for, including the iconic Caroline bass drum pedal.
59 min
Drum Shells: From Forest to Factory with Sahir ...
Sahir aka Sai teaches us the process of building drum shells from foraging for the perfect tree in the forest all the way to processing the ply's to create beautiful drum shells. We talk about the modern technology that is used to create sturdy and dependable shells that our drum building ancestors only dreamed about and much much more. Not only does Sai create beautiful drums for some of the biggest names in drumming, he is has a successful career as a tour director and production manager for major world wide productions.
60 min
The Art of Improvising on the Drums with JP Bou...
JP Bouvet takes us on a deep dive into the concept of improvising on the drum kit. We discuss things like how to practice improvisation, the misconceptions that come with it, how you can break out of your "go-to beats" and much more! JP is a monster player very well respected teacher who has built his brand around the importance of improvising on the drum kit and entering the flow mode.
60 min
The History of Black Swamp Percussion with Eric...
Eric Sooy founded Black Swamp Percussion nearly 30 years ago and has built the brand from the ground up by creating extremely high quality orchestral and band percussion instruments. Eric teaches me the nuance that goes into creating tambourines for orchestras and the differences between that and a traditional drum set tambourine, plus we also discuss what makes an orchestral snare special for that type of music and much more! I really enjoyed hearing Eric discuss the ups and downs and risks that go into starting a business and how he has put together a team that creates some of the finest instruments in the world out of his shop in Holland, Michigan.
60 min
The Next Chapter of Modern Drummer with David F...
David Frangioni, CEO of Modern Drummer, makes a huge announcement about the future of Modern Drummer as an exclusive on Drum History! Not only do we learn about the exciting news, we also get an update on what has been happening with the magazine since the Frangioni family took things over in February 2020, just weeks before the pandemic changed the world forever, and how this has shaped the exciting new plans for the magazine. David then takes us through his life which began with eye cancer as a child and his persistent rise to the top in the fields of music, technology, and collecting. This is a really good one that is full of great information!
57 min
The History of Drum Magazines in America with E...
Earl Bennett has been a collector and enthusiast of US drum magazines for the last 40+ years and he shares his vast knowledge of known magazines like Modern Drummer, Drum!, and Rhythm plus other lesser known ones like Traps, Classic Drummer, and Talking Drum. We discuss the many different styles and variations of magazines through the years and how they had to pivot in the digital age to stay alive as long as they could. As of 2023, physical drum magazines have become few and far between but will always be an important part of drum history.
65 min
The Drummers of Late Night with Eric Leiderman
Eric Leiderman is the producer of NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers and is the man behind the rotating drummer program which has given drummers of all styles the chance to perform with the 8G band on national American television. The 8G Band is the house band for Late Night with Seth Meyers and the band is led by Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live, Portlandia, Wednesday..etc). Due to Fred Armisens extremely busy schedule, the 8G band has a roster of all star drummers who take turns performing with the group. Some of the drummers who have played with the 8G Band include Brad Wilk, Chad Smith, Questlove, Josh Freese, Matt Cameron and many many more monster players. Together, these drummers bring a wide range of experience and expertise to the band, and their contributions have helped bring drummers to the national stage on a weekly basis.
67 min
(The Vault) Drumming for Charlie Brown with Jer...
This weeks episode is a classic episode featuring Jerry Granelli, who was the drummer for the iconic "A Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack. Jerry passed away in July, 2021 so I am very grateful to have spent this time with him. 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. Happy holidays and enjoy this episode!
52 min
Working for Buddy Rich with Howie Stulberg
Howie Stulberg worked for Buddy Rich as his roadie/assistant when he was 21 years old in 1978 and had the time of his life for 2 years. He shares great stories of how some days he and Buddy would be drinking malts and going to baseball games, but and other days if you caught Buddy in the wrong mood - he would give you a piece of his mind and fire you on the spot. Howie discusses a day in the life with Buddy, Performing on Johnny Carson, and the famous Buddy Rich Rant tapes (which Howie was present for the recording). Howie was Buddy Rich's right hand man and would carry everything for him so all Buddy had to worry about was being the worlds best drummer.
44 min
Biomechanical Drumming with Brandon Green
Brandon teaches us the importance of using ergonomics to set up your drum set and perform in a correct way that allows you to drum for the rest of your life without any pain. He uses many great scientific examples of ways to improve upon the common mistakes that drummers make which leads to pain in our necks, backs, shoulders, and wrists. We also discuss how some of the greats like Phil Collins and Neil Peart were so negatively affected by back pain that they were forced to stop performing and how players like Lars Ulrich and Travis Barker have seemed to slip by without harm on ergonomically harmful drum setups. Enjoy this episode!
64 min
The History of Q Drum Co with Jeremy Berman and...
Jeremy and Max discuss cutting their teeth with OCDP, the origins and rise of Q Drum Co., and also Jeremy's recent heroic battle with stomach cancer that has brought his career as a successful drum tech to a halt, but has brought the drum community together to rally around him like never before. Jeremy Berman and Max Cuzor have built drum kits for some of the biggest drummers in the world, and Jeremy has been a tech with bands such as Slipknot, Muse, Norah Jones, Nine Inch Nails, Katy Perry and many more.
99 min
The History of Power Toms with Kyle Schneider
Was there anything cooler than a brand new gigantic Power Tom Drum Set in the 1980's? The answer is a no! Kyle Schneider is a power tom enthusiast who has put together a great history of this iconic type of drum set that has got a large and passionate following. Kyle is a listener of the podcast who took it upon himself to do the research and put together an episode that would explain the origin story of Power Toms! We talk about the genesis of power toms, famous brands and models, the current status of power tom drum sets and players, and we talk about Kyles dream set that he had built after years of saving. Enjoy this episode!
54 min
A Look at John Bonham's Gear with George Fludas...
This episode is an in-depth look at John Bonham's drum kits, cymbals, heads, and sticks through his prolific career with Led Zeppelin. Terry Keating (Bonzoleum) and George Fludas (Bonhamology) are experts on all things Bonzo and made this episode a ton of fun and very informative. We start with his rusty old Premier kit, then go through his Trixon and Slingerland sets, then go into extreme detail about his iconic Ludwig drum sets and Paiste cymbals. John Bonham lived a very short 32 year life but has a HUGE impact on musicians still to this day.
90 min
Counting Stick Control with Barry James
Barry James has just released a book that he co-wrote with Joe Morello all about how to count the famous "Stick Control" book from 1935. This book is the top selling drum lesson book of all time, and majority of the teachers throughout history haven't known how to properly count this book of R's and L's. Joe Morello and Barry were both students of George Lawrence Stone and they were working hard to keep Stone's lessons alive until Joe passed away in 2011. Barry carried on and took all the knowledge he gained from Stone and his time writing with Morello, and created "Counting Stick Control - The Key to Understanding Counting, and Playing the Exercises in 'Stick Control', The Classic Drum Method Book by George Lawrence Stone".
70 min
(The Vault) Bringing the Slingerland Drum Shell...
This is a great classic episode from Dec 2019 - 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. He went through hundreds of attempts to figure out how these incredibly complex machines created drum shells before he got help from from Jack Moritz, a former Slingerland employee who ran the machines for 22 years. Once that happened, Bernie was off and running and making drum shells in under 5 minutes under his new company, Stone Custom Drum.
51 min
OCDP Builders Roundtable with Corey Manske, Nic...
Orange County was one of the most popular drum brands in the world in the early 2000's, and I am joined today by Corey Manske and Nick Turner who were some of the original builders during the heyday. Jarrod Fallon is a restorer and buff on all things OCDP and he co-hosts the episode with me. This is a follow up to the first Orange County episode with Jarrod and Michael Kelley and we answer tons of great questions that were submitted by fans of the brand. This is a fun one with a bunch of great behind the scenes stories that makes you feel like you are a part of the original crew building one of a kind drums for greats like Travis Barker, John Otto, Adrien Young, Chad Sexton and many more.
73 min
The Evolution of the New Orleans Beat with Robe...
Robert Cataliotti is a music historian, critic, and educator and co-curator of the Drumsville! Evolution of the New Orleans Beat exhibit at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Bob also wrote the companion book to the exhibit that is a great historical look at the birthplace of Jazz. Bob does a great job in this episode describing the history and importance of the African culture that was at the core of the birth of Jazz and the New Orleans sound at Congo Square, and the famous players from originators like Baby Dodds up to Herlin Riley and Stanton Moore, and much more!
57 min
The Biography of Keith Moon with Tony Fletcher
Keith Moon is one of the most explosive drummers in the history of Rock and Roll. This episode is an in-depth look at the short life of this incredible musician who packed more of the good, bad, and ugly bits of life into 32 years than anyone else. Tony Fletcher is the author of the definitive Moon biography and takes us from Keith's post-war upbringing in bombed out England, through his rise as a gigging drummer around the pubs, to his rise to extreme fame and untimely death in 1978. We cover the fun and cheeky "Moon the Loon" stories about his hotel room antics and automotive shenanigans, but also the very dark and sad side of his life which included depression, addiction, domestic violence, and his overdose.
78 min
The History of KAT Percussion/Alternate Mode wi...
Mario DeCiutiis is not only the co-creator of KAT Percussion who made the iconic MalletKAT, but he also played vibes at Radio City Music Hall for almost 40 years! We learn all about the process of developing an innovative E-Percussion instrument WAY early in the advent of electronic instruments and how that morphed over time to become a staple in the industry. Mario is full of stories and experiences from starting a business and being licensed and sold around to a number of larger companies and remaining the constant that keeps people buying his great product.
58 min
The History of Dixon Drums with Jim Uding
Jim Uding describes Dixon as "the best kept secret in drums" and I completely agree after hearing the history of this unique company! Dixon is the house-brand of a very well established manufacturer in Taiwan that has created drums or hardware for most all of the major players in the drum industry since the late 1970's. We discuss the launch of the relatively new Dixon brand, the partnership with drum legend, Gregg Bissonette, and a few of the partnerships that the factory has had with the largest names in drums. Not much is known about Dixon as you search around the internet so this is a great opportunity to learn more about this brand that is absolutely on the rise.
69 min
A Look at Why Drum Brands Sell with Mike Dawson
Mike and I start by discussing the DW/Roland acquisition that has been on everyones mind since it was recently announced. He uses his industry experience and knowledge to shine some light on what might be happening with this shocking announcement that took the drum world by storm. We then go through some historical examples of what happened to the big four drum brands (Gretsch, Ludwig, Slingerland, and Ludwig) and hear about the ups and many downs of those acquisitions. Mike was the managing editor of Modern Drummer for many years and is now the Chief Creative Officer at Drum Factory Direct.
79 min
(The Vault) Moeller, Gladstone & Stone - The Le...
Dom Famularo teaches us about Billy Gladstone, Sanford A, Moeller, and George L. Stone - the godfathers of drumming technique. He also shares many great stories from his journey through learning from the students of these great teachers including Shelly Manne, Jim Chapin, and Joe Morello. The lineage of educators that run from these three men runs so much deeper than I ever imagined.
63 min