Drum Kit Evolution

1800’s – Common to have several Drummers in one band. Each drummer played a particular instrument: Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Cymbals.

1880’s – With the creation of the Snare Drum Stand, Rudimentary Bass Drum Pedals start to appear, the most primitive of which was a leather strap with a stirrup attached to which would pull the bass drum beater into the drum head. The upside was that this allowed a single drummer to play multiple percussive instruments at the same time. Also after the pedal had been through some refining it was thought that adding a a striker to the shaft of the bass drum beater you could also play a cymbal at the same time.

1883 – Gretsch Drums Founded.
– Emile Boulanger patneted a snare drum for Duplex Drums that had a couble tension single post tube lug snare. Which would eventually be the defacto industry standard.

1885 – Leedy Drums Founded.

1898 – Leedy introduces the first adjustable snare drum stand.

1909 – William F Ludwig Patents the first spring loaded Bass Drum and Cymbal Playing Apparatus. Ludwig Drums founded.

1917 – Tony Sparbaro records first ever Jazz songs. Livery Stable Blues & Dixie Jass Band One Step.

1918 – Ludwig release’s one of the first drum sets. The Jazz-Er-Up Outfit which consists of a 24 x 8″ Bass Drum, 12 x 3″ Snare Drum, Bass Drum Pedal with Cymbal striker, 12″ Striker Cymbal, 13″ Chinese Crash Cymbal and a hoop mounted Wood Block.

1919 – Ludwig offers the Altenator which choked the Snare and the Striker Cymbal simaltaneously. Ludwig also release the Professional Outfit at this time which consisted of 28 x 14 Bass Drum, 14 x 4″ Metal Snare Drum, Chinese Tom, Triangle, Castanet, Tambourine, Rattle & Holder.

1920’s – Trap tables are introduced to mount everything from Chinese toms, Cowbells, Temple Blocks, Triangles, Tambourines and hold a variety of percusive instruments from Train Whistles, Bird Whistles etc. Eventually they developed wheels in which to roll out the entire Trap Kit out onto and off of the stage.
– Barney Walberg creates one of the first hi-hats

1922 – Premier Drum Company founded.

1924 – Leedy introduces both low-boys and hi-hat stands in its catalog.

1926 – The Slingerland Banjo Company begins Drum production.

1928 – Ludwig offers painted bass drum heads in a variety of scenes. With blinker lights available as an option for the inside of the Bass Drum.

1935 – Ludwig stops offering the Striker and Striker Cymbal on all kits.

1936 – Driven by Gene Krupa, Slingerland offers tunable tom toms (including floor toms), Also Introduces The Radio King Line. Slingerland also starts to offer the vertical sock cymbal with the Monarch kit and the horizontal sock cymbal with the Patrician kit and the Premier Outfit. The sock cymbal is the forerunner of the modern day hi-hat.

1937 – WFL (Ludwig) releases the Speed King Pedal.
– Louis Prima’s Sing Sing Sing is recorded on July 6, 1937 by Gene Krupa with Benny Goodman’s Band in Hollywood. The kit a Slingerland 5 pc with Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Tunable (Rack) Tom and 2 Floor Toms becomes a drumming staple. The song becomes an anchor and a staple amongst drummers and drum enthusiasts alike. The “modern” drum kit has arrived! Go Gene Go!!!

1938 – Ludwig begins to offer full size “modern” hi-hat stands with the Deluxe Drum Outfit & the Dixie Swing Drum Set.

1941 – Slingerland is now offering full size “modern” hi-hat stands with 4 drum kit lines: Gene Krupa “Super Radio King Deluxe(With Floor Tom)”, “Super Swing Krupa Radio King”, Radio King, Marble Finish Ballroom Radio King Outfit.
– Ludwig also releases a kit with the a Floor Tom; the Soloist Special Outfit.

1948 – Carleton King Combination Cocktail Kit released.

1949 – Slingerland releases Combo Be-Bop Kit (Cocktail Kit).

1954 – Camco Drums founded.



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  4. […] of the Drum SetDrum Kit Evolution « Krash Boom Bam!!!The Beatin’ Path: The evolution of rock Drum Kits and the Drummers …Drums – The […]

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