10 Most Important Developments in the History of the Modern Drum Kit

Vistalite Black

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The title says it all. What follows are the 10 most important developments leading to the drum sets we play and hear today.

This ranking is loosely based on a recent article in Drum Magazine, but with some updates for accuracy and to reflect key developments in the past 40-plus years.

1. 1896 – Leedy patents a practical, fold-up snare drum stand.

2. 1909 – Ludwig & Ludwig invent the bass drum foot pedal.

3. 1926 – Walberg and Auge invents the raised hi-hat

4. 1930s – Slingerland Banjo & Drum Company’s Fully Tunable Toms

5. 1939 – Louie Bellson Double Bass Drum Kit

6. 1920s – Gretsch Manufacturing Co.’s Straight Sided Plywood Shells

7. 1957 – Rogers Drums’ Dedicated Hardware System

8. 1971-72 – Tie North Drums and Ludwig Vistalites

9. 1980-85 – Tie Roland TR 808 drum machine and Buddy Rich's Synsonics

10. 1998 – Travis Barker invents the beer-can-style drum set and joins Blink-182

 

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Nacci

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For me the greatest innovation is the plastic ball and socket Tom Mount. I think this was innovated by Rogers with the Swivomatic but perfected by Yamaha.

Next is the Roc n Soc throne, hydraulic preferably.
 

Tmcfour

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Yep, blue shadow's additions are spot on. Travis didn't invent the beer can bass drum there were plenty of guys in the eighties hairmetal scene that had those, but it gave me a chuckle to read it! Lol

I forget what the guy's name is but there's a Stewart Copeland documentary out there that talks about the guy who first started putting a pedal on his bass drum, it was a New Orleans guy if I remember right.
 

RogersLudwig

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Yep, blue shadow's additions are spot on. Travis didn't invent the beer can bass drum there were plenty of guys in the eighties hairmetal scene that had those, but it gave me a chuckle to read it! Lol

I forget what the guy's name is but there's a Stewart Copeland documentary out there that talks about the guy who first started putting a pedal on his bass drum, it was a New Orleans guy if I remember right.
Bellson had beer can bass drums long before Travis was born.
 

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K.O.

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I would quibble with a couple of those. Ludwig didn't invent the bass drum pedal but they did make the first relatively decent working one. Zickos should probably get the credit for acrylic drums, vistalites were Ludwig's version of that idea. Louie was not the first drummer to use a double bass set, but he did the most to popularize the concept. Synsonic drums were made by Mattel, Buddy did a commercial, no doubt for a bucket full of cash, but beyond that had nothing to do with them. Still not a bad list overall.
 

REF

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If not Louie for double bass, who? Sam Woodyard?

8 and 10? Why?
 

cworrick

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I would quibble with a couple of those. Ludwig didn't invent the bass drum pedal but they did make the first relatively decent working one. Zickos should probably get the credit for acrylic drums, vistalites were Ludwig's version of that idea. Louie was not the first drummer to use a double bass set, but he did the most to popularize the concept. Synsonic drums were made by Mattel, Buddy did a commercial, no doubt for a bucket full of cash, but beyond that had nothing to do with them. Still not a bad list overall.
Just curious...
I always thought Louie was the first with the double bass. Who did you find that preceded him?
 

Murat

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I would add 1965 as an important point in time, when Hoshino Gakki started building Star drums. But of course I am a Tama fanboy, so... :cool:
 

K.O.

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If not Louie for double bass, who? Sam Woodyard?

8 and 10? Why?
I can't remember the name just now but there was a "name" big band drummer who tried using twin bass drums prior to Louie. Louie definitely deserves the credit for pushing the concept, and he may well have been unaware that anyone else had done it, but it had been done before. If I remember right it was strictly a gimmick for the earlier drummer and not something he pursued long term. I'll try to find it.
 

JDA

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Nylon-tipped Drumstick
(eh, for some..
prob throw wire-brush retractable handle in there
Rivets-in cymbals minor mention
Snare Strainer
cripes there's about 7000 minor ones
 

Houndog

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I can't remember the name just now but there was a "name" big band drummer who tried using twin bass drums prior to Louie. Louie definitely deserves the credit for pushing the concept, and he may well have been unaware that anyone else had done it, but it had been done before. If I remember right it was strictly a gimmick for the earlier drummer and not something he pursued long term. I'll try to find it.
Ray McKinley ???
 

trommel

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I can't remember the name just now but there was a "name" big band drummer who tried using twin bass drums prior to Louie. Louie definitely deserves the credit for pushing the concept, and he may well have been unaware that anyone else had done it, but it had been done before. If I remember right it was strictly a gimmick for the earlier drummer and not something he pursued long term. I'll try to find it.

Rufus Jones
 

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