The Drummer's Page




National Association of Rudimental Drummers


Remember! November 15th is National Drum (Drummer's) Day!, and November is National Drummer's Month!


The Original 26 Rudiments of Drumming plus 14 additional Rudiments added by PAS (the Percussive Arts Society) -- Now called the International Rudiments of Drumming

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History of the Drum Set part 1 - Double Drumming

History of the Drum Set part 2 - 1890 - Rag Time

History of the Drum Set part 3 - 1990's The Bass Drum Pedal

History of the Drum Set part 4 - 1913 - Jazz Brushes

History of the Drum Set part 5 - 1917 - New Orleans Style

History of the Drum Set part 6 - 1919 - Chicago Style

History of the Drum Set part 7 - 1927 - Silent Movies/Trap Drummer

History of the Drum Set part 8 - 1929 - Classic Big Band

History of the Drum Set part 9 - 1935 - Gene Krupa

History of the Drum Set part 10 - 1941 - Be-Bob

History of the Drum Set part 11 - 1948 - Rhythm and Blues

History of the Drum Set part 12 - 1952 - Double Bass

History of the Drum Set part 13 - 1954 - Rockabilly

History of the Drum Set part 14 - 1954 - Early Rock and Roll

History of the Drum Set part 15 - 1964 - The Beatles

History of the Drum Set part 16 - Conclusion

This page will be in continual developement and will be devoted to Rudimental Drumming, Drummers and my favorite Jazz drummers. I begin with Sanford Moeller and Billy Gladstone.

Some Important Explanation: The Moeller Method and the Gladstone Technique

Sanford Moeller (1886-1960)


Sanford Augustus "Gus" Moeller was an American rudimental drummer, a national champion rudimental drummer, educator, and author. Moeller was born in Albany, New York, and began his music education by studying the piano. While still a young man, Moeller also learned the snare drum and studied with August Helmicke.

He served in the Spanish-American war. Later, Moeller moved to New York, playing vaudeville shows with George M. Cohen. He also played for the Metropolitan opera house and the Seventh Regimental Army Band.

He is also known for what is called the Moeller Method, which essentially documents the way of playing snare drum used in the army, particularly in the Civil War. Among Moeller' s pupils included Gene Krupa and the late Jim Chapin.

"The belief that anyone can beat a drum is discouragingly popular!" - Sanford Augustus &ls1uo;Gus’ Moeller Gus' Moeller is usually associated with the "Moeller Method" or 'Moeller Technique' (considered by some to be a misnomer), which advocates the use of 'ancient' snare drumming techniques that can be used by drummers when playing a drum set (drum kit). In 1925, Moeller compiled and wrote "The Moeller Book: The Art of Snare Drumming". It was reprinted ( Wikipedia article )

Billy Gladstone (1893-1961)


Billy Gladstone, born William Goldstein, was a Romanian-born New York City drummer, percussionist, drum builder, inventor, and drum teacher who performed in New York theaters, including the Capitol Theatre and most famously Radio City Music Hall in the 1930s and 1940s.

He was perhaps most famous in his day for his snare-drum technique, which is often referred to in the drumming community as "The Gladstone Technique”. This technique involves the use of the fingers to control the rebound of the drum stick, as opposed to the "Moeller Method” which utilizes a fluid whipping motion to control stick rebound. Both Gladstone and Moeller are now popularly noted for their individually named techniques, but it is unlikely that either drummer single-handedly invented either technique from scratch. More likely they both observed other experienced drummers and instructors of their time and later expanded and popularized each technique via modern publications and private drum instruction. As a teacher, Gladstone taught, formally or informally, a number of noted jazz drummers, including Joe Morello, Shelly Manne, and Buddy Rich. As an inventor and drum builder he devised his own special drum kits bearing his name. These rare snare drums are considered highly collectible today.

Among his inventions is a rare jazz instrument similar to the Bock-a-da-bock, a hand-held cymbal apparatus called the “Ludwig Gladstone Cymbal” when it was introduced by the Ludwig Drum Company in 1927. In 1929 the Leedy Drum Company listed it in their catalogue as the “Hand Sock Cymbals.” Gladstone was granted a patent September 27, 1927, for his “ Operating Device for Cymbals," his first commercially accepted patent (his previous patents were not mass-produced). This launched an illustrious career as an inventor of percussion and non-percussion items. On April 21, 1931 Gladstone was awarded a patent for a percussion musical instrument. The patent number is 1,801,422.

Billy Gladstone was one of the finest percussionist of his time and was also a creative inventor and instrument builder. He played the major theaters in New York, finally reaching the pinnacle of his performing career at Radio City Music Hall where he played from 1932 through the 1940s.

Gladstone was much admired as a technical and musical perfectionist as well as a fine teacher. Upon leaving the Radio City job, he continued to play, but he devoted much of his time to the manufacture of his legendary snare drums, sticks, and practice pads. His snare drums, much coveted today, were carefully crafted, with attention paid to specialized details. Few players in history had the talent, ability, and drive to perfect their art and the tools of their trade to the degree that Billy Gladstone was able to achieve. By Frederick D. Fairchild

William F. Ludwig, Sr. (1879 - 1973)


William F. Ludwig, Sr. was an American percussionist, drum maker, and founder of Ludwig Drums. He helped to create the National Association of Rudimental Drummers and is a member of the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame.

William Frederick Ludwig was the son of German immigrants to America, arriving when he was just 8 years old in 1887. His father was a professional trombonist and he started taking music lessons upon arriving to Chicago that same year, initially on piano and violin. Ludwig soon switched to drums and became increasingly unhappy with the technology available for drum pedals. Ludwig's first musical gig was at the Wood Brother's Circus in 1895, followed by several other miscellaneous posts. In 1903 he joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. From 1904-1906 he performed with the English Grand Opera Co. and in 1909 he became the timpanist for the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony.

George Lawrence Stone 1886 -1967


George Lawrence Stonewas born in 1886. He was the son of drum teacher and manufacturer George Burt Stone. George Lawrence learned drums and xylophone from his father and also helped out in his shop, where the elder Stone tucked drumheads, turned drumsticks, made wooden foot pedals and sold violins. "If I have had my share of success in teaching others," George Lawrence wrote in the November 1, 1946 bulletin of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers, "its origin was in the way my father taught me, and in his counsel, so often repeated: 'If you accept a pupil you accept a responsibility. In one way or another you've got to go through with him. There's no alibi if you don't.

George Lawrence also studied with Harry A. Bower and Frank E. Dodge, learned timpani from Oscar Schwar of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and studied music theory at the New England Conservatory of Music. Stone joined the musicians union at age 16, becoming its youngest member. In 1910 he was a xylophonist on the Keith Vaudeville Circuit, and he played timpani and bells with the Boston Festival Orchestra. Stone played in the pit of Boston's Colonial Theater under the baton of Victor Herbert, and was a member of the Boston Opera Orchestra for five years.

He was the auther of four percussion studies books: 1. Stick Control for the Snare Drummer (published 1935), 2. Accents and Rebounds for the Snare Drummer (dedicated to his student Joe Morello), 3. Mallet Control for the Xylophone, and 4. Military Drum Beats for the School and Drum Corps (published 1931). Amoung his students were Among his students were Joe Morello, Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton, and Vic Firth.

Morris Goldenberg (1911 - 1969)


Morris Goldenbergwas an American percussionist, music teacher, and method book author. He wrote several books on orchestral snare drumming, mallet percussion, and timpani. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame.

Morris Goldenberg was born July 28, 1911 in Holyoke, MA. He studied music at the Juilliard School in New York, then called the Institute of Musical Arts, graduating in 1932.

His career as a percussionist began with the Chautauqua Symphony from 1934-1937. He also played with the Russian Opera Company in 1936 and the Russian Ballet in 1937.[citation needed] Goldenberg became a member of the Metropolitan Opera's WOR Orchestra in 1938 and played in that ensemble until 1952.

Goldenberg was a faculty member at the Juilliard School from 1941 to 1969. He also taught at the Manhattan School of Music from 1959-1969. During his time as a teacher he wrote and published several instructional books. The first, in 1950, was Modern School for Xylophone, Marimba, Vibraphone, which is often just referred to as "The Goldenberg Book." In 1955, he produced a companion volume Modern School for Snare Drum with a Guide Book for the Artist Percussionist. He later wrote several books for timpani including: Standard Concertos for Timpani: From the Piano and Violin Solo Repertory, Classic Symphonies for Timpani, Classic Overtures for Timpani, and Romantic Symphonies for Timpani.[8] He also wrote several solo works for snare drum between 1964 and 1966 that would later be compiled into the book 12 Progressive Solos for Snare Drum.[9] in 1967 he published his Concerto in A Minor for Marimba and Xylophone. He also wrote other works for solo snare drum and multiple percussion setups.

Goldenberg performed for television (including NBC), film, radio, and in the recording studio in addition to his live orchestral performances. He died in 1969 and was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1974.

Mitchell Peters (1935 - 2017)


Mitchell PetersMitchell Peters, born Mitchell Thomas Peters on August 17, 1935 in Redwing, Minnesota, was an American percussionist, educator and composer, best known as the principal timpanist and percussionist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (1969-2006).

Peters attended the Eastman School of Music, earning a bachelor and master degree as well as a Performer’s Certificate. During his time at Eastman, Mitchell was a member of the original Marimba Masters and appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Arthur Godfrey shows. He also made numerous recordings with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Upon his graduation in 1958, Peters served as timpanist with the 7th U.S. Army Symphony Orchestra, stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, traveling and performing throughout Europe.

Mitchell Peters joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a percussionist in 1969, later becoming its co-principal percussionist (1973-1982), and retired as its principal timpanist and percussionist in 2006. He performed under such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Carlo-Maria Giulini, André Previn, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Sir Simon Rattle, John Williams, Michael Tilson Thomas and numerous others.

Peters became the applied percussion teacher at California State University Los Angeles shortly after joining the LA Philharmonic. During his tenure as timpanist, he took the position as professor of percussion at the University of California, Los Angeles. In May 2012, Peters retired from teaching.

Charles Wilcoxon (1984 - 1978)


Charles "Charley" Wilcoxon was an American drum teacher and drum method book author. He wrote several influential books on rudimental drumming that are still used by drum teachers today. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame.

Charles Wilcoxon was born November 26, 1894 in Coshocton, Ohio or possibly Newark, Ohio. He received his first drum in 1899 at the age of 5 and was taught basic music reading by his mother, a piano teacher. He began performing at the age of 8 in movie theaters around Coshocton. He started teaching at 12 and was touring at 14 with the vaudeville show "Spring Maid". Charles was a member of the touring orchestra for the D.W. Griffith movie “Intolerance.” From 1922 to 1933 he played at The Palace in Cleveland, as the house drummer. He then founded his own music store in the 1930s, where he lathed custom drum sticks. His books were originally written by hand as an aid for teaching private students at Wilcoxon’s Drum Shop and Studio at the Arcade in Cleveland, and many of the solos were dedicated to specific students. Wilcoxon reportedly wrote all 150 solos for All-American Drummer in just six weeks. In addition to his several snare drum and drum kit publications, he wrote mallet etudes and solos for vibraphone and marimba, though these were never published. He played, including with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, taught, and authored instructional books until his death in Cleveland in 1978. He is quoted as often saying, "don't copy, be original." Charley was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1981 in the categories of Author, Education, Radio/TV, Rudimental, and Industry. William J. Schinstine dedicated a solo to Wilcoxon in 1968 called Charlie's Horse. Also in 1968, Philly Joe Jones recorded the first 8 bars of the Wilcoxon solo “Rolling in Rhythm” as a break in the track “Trailways Express” on a solo album.

J. Burns Moore (1872 - 1951)


J. Burns Moore was an American drum teacher and drum method book author. Joseph Burns Moore was a champion rudimental snare drummer, member of the Connecticut National Guard, instructional author, and founding member of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers.

J. Burns Moore was born in 1872 in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. His family moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1888 when he was sixteen years old. He played in his first snare drumming competition while a sergeant in the New Haven Grays. Moore also played in the Morris Drum Corps during the 1890s. He would go on to win the Connecticut Championship in 1891, 1895, 1897, and 1900. He also placed 3rd in 1893, which outraged him. He took out an ad in the paper challenging the 1st and 2nd place finishers to a drum-off. In 1905 Moore joined the New Haven Symphony Orchestra as a percussionist, a post he held for over 45 years. He was also a drummer in the 2nd Company of the Governor's Foot Guards.

Haskell W. Harr (1894 - 1986)


Haskell Harr was elected to the Percussive Arts Society’s Hall of Fame in 1972 in the categories of author, education, radio/television, and rudimental. Haskell Harr is best known as the author of graded method books for rudimental snare drumming.

Frank Arsenault (1919 - 1974)


Frank Arsensult was an internationally known American percussionist, teacher, and clinician in the areas of marching percussion, rudimental drumming, drum and bugle corps, and marching band. He was a full-time Staff Clinician and Educational Field Representative for the Ludwig Drum Company. He is also well known in his field for his signature playing style, for his many championship titles, and for his recording of The 26 Standard American Drum Rudiments and Selected Solos.

Arsenault retired from competition in the 1950s. He then became a full-time Staff Clinician and Educational Field Representative for the Ludwig Drum Company, traveling extensively. He was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society's Hall of Fame in 1975.

Joe Morello (1928-2011)


Joe Morello was born on July 17, 1928, in Springfield, Mass. Having impaired vision since birth, he devoted himself to indoor activities. At the age of six, his family’s encouragement led him to study violin. Three years later, he was featured with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as soloist in the Mendelsohn Violin Concerto. At the age of twelve, he made a second solo appearance with the orchestra. But upon meeting and hearing his idol, the great Jascha Heifetz, Joe felt he could never achieve that sound. So, at the age of fifteen, Joe changed the course of his musical endeavors and began to study drums.

Morello was best known for his work with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. He was particularly noted for playing in the unusual time signatures employed by that group in such pieces as "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a-la Turk". Popular for its work on college campuses during the 1950s, Brubeck's group reached new heights with Morello. In June 1959, Morello participated in a recording session with the quartet completed by the alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and the bassist Eugene Wright that yielded "Kathy's Waltz" and "Three to Get Ready," both of which intermingled 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures. He is widely recognised as one of the greatest drummers of all time. He passed away on March 12, 2011. He was 82 and had been having heart trouble.

The Drum Solo - Joe Morello

Modern Drummer Festival - John Riley

Joe Morello on Conan O'Brian in 1995

James Forbes Chapin (1919 - 2009)


James Forbes Chapin (July 23, 1919 – July 4, 2009)was an American jazz drummer and the author of books about jazz drumming. He was the author of several albums (later converted to CDs) on jazz drumming, as well as 2 CDs entitled Jim Chapin: Songs, Solos, Stories (Vols. 1 and 2). He was posthumously inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2011.

Chapin was born in Manhattan, New York, the son of Abigail Forbes and painter James Ormsbee Chapin. He did not begin playing the drums until he was 18 years old, after being inspired by legendary drummer Gene Krupa. He left Bard College in early 1938 after skipping classes regularly in order to obey a massive compulsion to batter a set of drums that a classmate had left set up in the gymnasium. He was a student of Sanford A. Moeller, a rudimentalist who popularized the Moeller method. Within two years Chapin was playing opposite Krupa at the 1939 World's Fair in New York.

In the early 1940s, Chapin began working on a drum instruction book that was published in 1948 as Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer, Volume I, Coordinated Independence as Applied to Jazz and Be-Bop. This book has been known as "the definitive study on coordinated independence" for jazz drummers.[citation needed] After the release of the book, he carried a pair of drumsticks in his back pocket at all times in case he was called upon to demonstrate a difficult passage and prove that every pattern in the book could be played. The book became known among drummers as The Chapin Book.

In 1971, Chapin published Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer, Volume II, Independence: The Open End. In the preface, he acknowledged that he could not play every pattern in the book. Some of his techniques were captured on an instructional video released in 1992 called Speed, Power, Control, Endurance. In this video, he spent the entire time using a practice pad to demonstrate the methods of his instructor, Sanford Moeller.

Ray Bauduc(1906 to 1988)


Ray Bauduc (June 18, 1906 to January 8, 1988) was a jazz drummer best known for his work with the Bob Crosby Orchestra and their band-within-a-band, the Bobcats, between 1935 and 1942. He is also renowned for his partial composition of Big Noise from Winnetka, a jazz standard, and South Rampart Street Parade.

Bauduc's use of woodblocks, cowbells, China cymbals, and tom-toms distinguished him from most drummers of the swing era and made him one of the few white drummers (the others being George Wettling, Dave Tough and Gene Krupa, but they were not so obvious) to be influenced by Warren "Baby" Dodds.

Known as the primary exponent of Dixieland drums, Bauduc could also swing with the best of them and was a favorite of Krupa, Rich and Bellson. Most of his most famous works, including his one big hit, "Big Noise From Winnetka" (where he played his sticks on the bass strings of Bob Haggart) were performed during his time with Bob Crosby and The Bobcats, from 1935 to 1942.

Barrett Deems (1914 to 1998)


Barrett Deems (March 1, 1914 to September 15, 1998) was an American swing music jazz drummer born in Springfield, Illinois, probably best known for his work with jazz musicians Jimmy Dorsey, Louis Armstrong (he performed as part of Armstrong's band in the 1956 musical High Society), Red Norvo, and Muggsy Spanier. Deems was married twice; he was survived by his second wife, Jane Johnson, and by his daughter. Deems died of pneumonia in Chicago, 15 September 1998, at the age of 84.

He often referred to himself as "The Worlds Fastest Drummer"

Shelly Manne (1920 to 1984)


Sheldon "Shelly" Manne (June 11, 1920 – September 26, 1984), was an American jazz drummer. Most frequently associated with West Coast jazz, he was known for his versatility and also played in a number of other styles, including Dixieland, swing, bebop, avant-garde jazz and fusion, as well as contributing to the musical background of hundreds of Hollywood films and television programs.

Widely regarded as a most versatile and musical drummer, Shelly Manne (1920-1984) was a founding father of the West Coast jazz scene in the 1950s. Manne possessed a phenomenal technique, which he channeled into some of the most creative, lyrical drumming ever heard. His solos were unique, sometimes humorous, and above all else, musical.

Charlie Watts (1941 - 2021)


Charles Robert Watts was an English drummer, best known as a member of the Rolling Stones. Originally trained as a graphic artist, he started Jagger, and Keith Richards. In 1963, he joined their group, the Rolling Stones, as drummer, while doubling as designer of their record sleeves and tour stages. He has also toured with his own group, the Charlie Watts Quintet, and appeared in London at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club with the Charlie Watts Tentet.

In 2006, Watts was elected into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame; in the same year, Vanity Fair elected him into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. In the estimation of noted music critic Robert Christgau, Watts is "rock's greatest drummer." In 2016, he was ranked 12th on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Drummers of All Time".

"The Ragtime Drummer" - James I. Lent (1912 Victor) Arthur Pryor's Band

Some years ago the Band ordered Concert Band parts for The Ragtime Drummer composed by James Lent/arr.Wm. L. Cahn. The Band arrangement proved unplayable for the 4th-of-July Band and was eliminated from our potential repertoire.

drummer drummer drum

Animal and Rita Moreno