History of the Drum Set

This will be a two-part blog series—Part one begins in the mid-19th and travels throughout the early part of the 20th century with some overlap of world history and events related. Part two picks up around 1940 and journeys’ through the world of Be-Bop, Rhythm & Blues, Rockabilly, early Rock’n Roll, and Rock music into the 60’s and beyond. Although the drum set components existed by this time, sizes changed along with drum heads, cymbals and more. But let’s save that for Part two!

I do want to acknowledge (and highly recommend) Daniel Glass’ work with Vic Firth on the history of the drum set. The YOUTUBE videos are accessible online as well as his DVD projects including;

Also, Steve Smith—former drummer of Journey—and his DVD project The History of the US Beat (available @ amazon or your local music dealer), was very helpful with historical information as well as a tremendous presentation of the evolving music styles and drum set. 

Finally, as you read each page, be sure to view the YOUTUBE links for more insight.

Please enjoy a brief overview of the amazing instrument we call “the drumset”!

Article written by Lonnie Burma

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