A serious drum question here for some of the older drummers.

Osahead2

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Q: Why is it, that someone would paint a drum shell interior black?

Was this just for looks (a fad) or did black paint really add to the sound???

For the life of me, I can't figure out what would motivate a person to do such a thing???

Over the years, I have found a ton of amateur painted interiors in all vintage American shells to include painting over factory painted shell interiors ... so why repaint them???

Whenever, I remove a drum head and see this it's very frustrating!!!

So please tell why did they do it?
 

dan1434

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Cant speak to the interiors but i rescued a 1944 Leedy Dreadnaught kit that some kid (no doubt) didn't appreciate in the 60's and painted all the beautiful wood lugs and hoops with black lacquer paint! When i opened up the shells there was cut up newspaper print (to muffle the sound?) from 1966. Thankfully i was able to bring it back to life.

Maybe it stems from the era when guys would remove the front bass drum head and the bottom hoops and heads from the toms?
 

jaymandude

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mfryed2112 said:
For looks when playing with the reso's off in the long haired days
for sure. if you step away from your own frustration with it it's pretty clear.

so many guys took the bottom heads off. if you didn't play jazz, you probably took the heads off, and then lost the hoops and t-rods. and you schepped those single headed drums to frat keg parties with no cases, usually nestled inside each other. And you kept your cigarette on the bass drum.

nowadays everyone is uptight over a tiny scratch. Kinda funny to me actually.
 

TDM

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Osahead2,

There could be many reasons, but as I understand it, the primary ones are aesthetics and sealing / protecting the interior. Some people like dark interiors. For sample, the inside of Yamaha's original Recording Custom drums is black. I suspect this was done to match the exterior Piano Black Lacquer Yamaha featured at the time. Modern Recording Custom drums have a dark-stained interior, though I don't think it is solid black anymore. Drum manufacturers who use shell materials that are somewhat translucent before finishing may put a solid-color coat of something on the interior, as this helps the exterior finish look more solid and lustrous.
 

drumphils

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It made the use of spotlights, black lights and strobe light more effective?
Cool for the days.

Still have an early '70s Granitone set that I sprayed the bass drum.

Phil
 

K.O.

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Yeah, it was just a popular thing to do once you ditched the reso heads. I never did that myself but have bought drums that someone else blessed with this treatment. Unsure who the initial instigator may have been ( no doubt someone famous ) but the notion that it was a cool thing to do seems to have gone viral.
 

Chayro

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Things are different now. Back then, I painted the interior of my 14 x 24 wmp Ludwig with purple paint. Just because. I don't even know why.
But also, back in the day some of the better drumshops ordered all virgin kits and they would come out with a drill and ask what tom holder you wanted and what spurs you wanted and just start drilling. Now it's sacrilege, but that was just the way it was done and nobody thought about it.
 

DWHOARD

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I did it to hide a crack inside the shell
 

jptrickster

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A lot of stock early-mid 50's rogers shells were painted black as well as some same era W&A. Its been going on for decades!
Not a good look and I have no idea why.
 
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RickP

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I had a WMP 1971 Gretsch kit that someone had painted the interiors black. Sonically it did not make much of a difference but it just looked hideous ( that being said I think the Gretsch silver aluminum fence paint looks hideous too). I did not keep these long. The former owner liked to play the drums without the bottom heads on and the front bass drum head off. I assume this is why he painted them.
 

rhythmace

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I thought that a pillow in the bass drum, with no resonant head, was the worst looking thing. I did take the front head off of my bass drum, but left it open and later put it back. Ace
 


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