Drum Stores That Deserve Our Support

Vistalite Black

Ludwigs in the Basement
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There's a thread obsessing about what might happen to Guitar Center. While I hope GC continues, the only point of agreement in our discussions seems to be Guitar Center in its current form is pretty inadequate in terms of meeting drummers' needs and desires.

But, what about other current music and drum stores? Let's talk about what they're doing right!

Where I live, nearly all the big independent music instrument stores have closed. However, I feel lucky to have a pretty vibrant Music Go Round that typically has 20 or more drum sets on the floor on a typical day. They're not playable and there's a mish-mash of brands, but there's some good stuff. At any one time, you can also find 30-plus cymbals and there's a good selection of stands and even a few shelves of clamps and other accessories.

Further from home, Raleigh's 2112 Percussion is a Valhalla of new and used equipment... It's been there for 30 years, and I've thoroughly enjoyed every visit there, but I'm not able to get there often since it's more than 90 miles away. Since it's a convenient stop on trips to and from North Carolina's beautiful coast, I do get there more often than I visit my town's GC.

While I can attest to 2112's financial health (which I hope is good), I think it's helped by the fact it's in an old (windowless) building that's closer to an industrial area than high-traffic retail districts, and the parking lot is often cramped... So, I'm assuming lower-than-average overhead. It also sells a mix a new and used gear... which I'm sure some retail experts can bring mixed results in terms of customers choosing used stuff over higher-profit still-in-the-box stuff.

Maybe 2112's unique strategy and its excellent excellent staff could inspire similar drum-specialty stores in surrounding states.
https://www.2112percussion.com/
 
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RogersLudwig

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Pro Drum shop in Hollywood. I order my Aquarian heads directly from Aquarian and they are always shipped by Pro Drum. I'd rather pay them a bit more and make sure they stay in business. I can't tell you how helpful Stan and Jerry Keyawa are. If I ever order another new drum set, it will be from them.
 

Ox Han

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There's a thread obsessing about what might happen to Guitar Center. While I hope GC continues, the only point of agreement in our discussions seems to be Guitar Center in its current form is pretty inadequate in terms of meeting drummers' needs and desires.

But, what about other current music and drum stores? Let's talk about what they're doing right!

Where I live, nearly all the big independent music instrument stores have closed. However, I feel lucky to have a pretty vibrant Music Go Round that typically has 20 or more drum sets on the floor on a typical day. They're not playable and there's a mish-mash of brands, but there's some good stuff. At any one time, you can also find 30-plus cymbals and there's a good selection of stands and even a few shelves of clamps and other accessories.

Further from home, Raleigh's 2112 Percussion is a Valhalla of new and used equipment... It's been there for 30 years, and I've thoroughly enjoyed every visit there, but I'm not able to get there often since it's more than 90 miles away. Since it's a convenient stop on trips to and from North Carolina's beautiful coast, I do get there more often than I visit my town's GC.

While I can attest to 2112's financial health (which I hope is good), I think it's helped by the fact it's in an old (windowless) building that's closer to an industrial area than high-traffic retail districts, and the parking lot is often cramped... So, I'm assuming lower-than-average overhead. It also sells a mix a new and used gear... which I'm sure some retail experts can bring mixed results in terms of customers choosing used stuff over higher-profit still-in-the-box stuff.

Maybe 2112's unique strategy and its excellent excellent staff could inspire similar drum-specialty stores in surrounding states.
https://www.2112percussion.com/
I live in a rural area and must shop online for anything related to making and recording music.

If you want to support a good drum shop dedicated to drums then check out the reverb sites and websites for the following. They all offer competitive pricing on new and used items.

Dales drum shop, Hawthorne, wood and weather, Philadelphia drum and percussion, Steve Maxwell's and Forks.

That said, sometimes the best deal is king. People can slam GC and bad person but they will offer some good deals at times. Don't be afraid to call the actual store where used gear is located and haggle.
 

komodobob

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Even though they are 1 1/2 hours from me, Cadence Music in Rochester NY is a great shop. They always have a ton of new gear on the floor and their prices are usually as good or better than online pricing. I'm actually headed up that way this weekend and plan on stopping in there as well as paying a visit to Ben Dodge at Rochester Drum Trade.
 

Redbeard77

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They're both several hours from me, but when in town I stop in to Lone Star Percussion in Dallas and Cymbal Fusion in Houston. I also go to Fork's anytime I'm in Nashville.
Also keep in mind that most drum shops have to show "MAP" pricing on their website but will generally beat that on the phone or email if you can't make it in to the store.
 

blueshadow

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I try to avoid GC and their other companies such as Musician's Friend. Only time I buy from bad person is if the stupid deal of the day is something I need.

As far as online Sweetwater I feel offers same price if not better in some cases and much better service. I have ordered from Chicago Drum Exchange, Drum Factory Direct, Drums for Sale and probably a few others I'm forgetting.

Locally we only have Tommy's Drum Shop in Austin and Jeff Ryder's in San Antonio. Now that I'm just north of Austin I haven't been to Jeff's in a long time, he does Reverb though so I could go that route.
 

singleflammedmill

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Timpano Percussion: great high end gear selection and friendly staff.

Steve's Music: An institution in Montréal with a great drum department.

Musique Gagné: It's the place to go if your near Quebec city.

Dave Drum Shop: Great drum shop with a good used section. Dave is vintage connoisseur.

Drummer's Hangout: Murat is a true gentleman and a forum member.
 

Squirrel Man

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Sweetwater, DCP, DFD mostly and Drumming Deals and Amazon for the deals of the day also.

When this stupid zombie apocalypse is over I need to get out to the big cities and find a good local, smaller shop I can go to to play with the toys before I decide on buying something which I pretty much can't do now.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Long time friend with Dana Bentley. Love his store in Fresno. I go there pretty much every time I am in town or driving through, not just to chit chat, but also for supplies. There is also a GC w/in a few miles - I pop in there too almost every time. I've been doing GC for 30+ years so I do like them although they are corporate. I've been to probably every one between SF & LA many times. I usually just browse new and sometimes buy used.

Another shop I like is Starving Musician - 3 Bay area locations. I frequent the Santa Clara store when I am there, and have been to Berkeley when there and Santa Cruz (Stretch, I STILL need to come see the new locale!). I buy locally when I can and great used selections of snares/cymbals and sometimes kits.

I remember going to Pro Drum a few times in LA when I lived in O.C. I used to go to O.C.D. & P. before they made drums. I remember the old warehouse full of kits. Bought my first Zildjian IAK new and my first DW (used) maple snare - early 90's - still have both!

I also really like MGR but there are none near me. Closest is 2+ hours (Stockton) and I've been there a few times when they were open. Wish they had one nearer to me. I also try and support local inde shops when buying items online. I normally never buy from GC online or Musician's Friend or Sweetwater, but I do like Memphis drum shop, Forks, Rupps, Dales, Maxwells, etc.
 

CC Cirillo

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Shout out to A Drummer's Tradition in San Rafael, CA. Pretty amazing shop of new and old and alll of it high end or collectable. The owner Rob is a great guy and extremely helpful. My jaw drops every time I go in there.
adrummerstradition.com

Also Sam Adato's Drum shop in Eugene, OR. I really miss Sam in San Francisco, a few blocks from my work. Sad to see him leave town. Someone lost control and drove and SUV into--through-- his shop. He told me had he been on time that day, he'd have been killed. He survived that but not the stupid SF tech economy. When I was dead broke from a divorce he helped me trade up from one Sonor set to another.
samadato.com


Two different shops, ADT having high end stuff and SA often having more player's kits. Both one man shops run by drummers who love and know drums, both filling an important role in our community.
 

Lee

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Rhythm Traders in Portland, Oregon Is my main go—to for any percussion related times. A great shop with knowledgeable and friendly staff. Living in Olympia, Washington, I also have access to Donn Bennett’s
Drum Studio but Seattle/Bellevue is such a pain to get through, and paying tolls on bridges gets on my nerves... I have done business with Bentley’s and Dales Drums also, but now I am going off in the weeds...
 

scole

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Living in Olympia, Washington, I also have access to Donn Bennett’s
Drum Studio but Seattle/Bellevue is such a pain to get through, and paying tolls on bridges gets on my nerves... I have done business with Bentley’s and Dales Drums also, but now I am going off in the weeds...
Don Bennett pre-dates my interest in drumming but Don retired/sold the shop and now it's called Rudy's Drum Shop. They just had their "re-opening" 2 weeks ago. I visited on their re-opening weekend and it looked like a nice place. They're on Instagram as "rudysdrumshop" and also have a Facebook page.
 

TonyVazquez

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I reside in the NY Capital District region, so my in person go-to places are
Drome Sound in Schenectady; Music & Arts in Latham NY;
Captain Cash pawn shop in Troy NY (for used drum gear);
and sometimes (if my band mates invite me to tag along)
Parkway Music in Clifton Park NY. All family-owned/operated.
If I can't find what I need in my local region I shop online at Reverb,
and then as a last resort it's good ole Sweetwater.
 

Heartbeat

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This is a thread close to my heart. 2112 Percussion is my hometown shop. They basically get all my money (my husband can verify this, lol). But seriously, just about all my gear has come from them because they treat me like family, give me great deals and order me anything I need if they don't have it, and are just good people (and drummers). They're my friends, I've played shows with Tony and Jorg, and Tony always texts me happy birthday. Last year they had an extra ticket to see Styx and hang out with Todd Sucherman backstage and they gave it to me. That's the kind of people they are. I appreciate them very much. Every city needs a store like 2112 because they're more than a store, they're a community of drummers. As far as I know, they're doing okay through this pandemic and I hope it continues to be the case.

BTW, 2112 has a Reverb site, too.
 

Lee

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Don Bennett pre-dates my interest in drumming but Don retired/sold the shop and now it's called Rudy's Drum Shop. They just had their "re-opening" 2 weeks ago. I visited on their re-opening weekend and it looked like a nice place. They're on Instagram as "rudysdrumshop" and also have a Facebook page.
I knew Donn sold, but was unaware the full transition over to Rudy’s had occurred. That’s how long ago I was last in there! I hope they can hang on through this mess....
 

komodobob

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Let's not forget Alto Music in upstate (Middletown I think) NY. I usually stop when I'm on my way to or back from the Ct. drum show. They have lots of drums, cymbals and accessories to satisfy just about anyone.
 

lossforgain

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Dales Drum Shop and Drums Etc In PA have been good for me.
Did you know that Drums Etc. just shut down their existing showroom and moved to a much smaller space? They liquidated a bunch of inventory and are focusing more on online business. I got a few items from the auction of their retail space (shelves, chairs, one bass drum).
 

wayne

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Drum shops in Ont Canada are actually plentiful, but most would never be worthy of any accolades. Murat has a pro business and would be my choice, just from the feedback i hear. A couple have that pawn shop mentality, and a few more are just a holes to deal with. Long and McQuade are Canadas largest music store from coast to coast, but they do operate a handful of nicely stocked, clean, pro drum depts. It takes time to find them though.
 


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