The unknown drum set. Part 8

Anyone knows? No? Yes? What are the most common woods used for drums?

All right, here it is: maple.

You thought there were several kind of wood? In nature, yes, there are thousands of different essences. In drum making, 99% of the shells are made of maple. That’s the sound we hear on the radio, in concert, in festival. Everywhere.




Great wood, for sure. I’m not spitting on it. I think it is good for drums. It’s not too bright, fairly easy to tune, probably easy to work with, cheap to get. It checks a lot of the boxes.

Now, I said 99%. It means there is a 1 % of other wood? Correct!

Mainly birch. That’s the second most common wood. Then beech. After that, we go into the rare ones: Walnut, Bubinga, and mahogany. There are a few others as well.

Mine, as I said, is mahogany. With one slice of maple. To give it some spice.

And I am glad I chose mahogany. What a great wood for drums. Muted highs, smooth midrange, warm/rich low end. Vibrant and resonant.

It’s all I need.

And it changes from the maple, who’s great, but all too familiar.

I can give you guys the website where I got my kit. The luthier is a really humble man that works by himself to make the best drum kit he can. He’s been doing it for years. He will ask you some questions about what you will use the kit for, what is your preference. Then he will give you some woods to chose from. Listen to him: he knows. Trust him. I vouch for him. Don’t impose your will. He knows. He’s an expert. Yes, even with the hardware. He knows that too. Listen to him.

Then, if you order a kit, be patient. It takes time. It’s not like getting a gallon of milk. He has to make it, to patiently, thoughtfully put the different pieces of wood together. He does segmented shells. Don’t worry, it won’t be very fragile, your kit will stand the test of time. It’ll last forever if you take moderate care of it.

Oh, and his prices are reasonable. He’s not there to gut you.

Why did I decide to write such a long blog about it?

Because when my kit arrived, I tuned it in 35 minutes. Not 2 hours. I didn’t spend 1 and 1/2 hour negotiating with a stubborn shell that didn’t want to fit. The luthier made sure that my kit was from the same family. He did that job for me, he sent me one instrument that has 5 pieces. So, for all the headaches and muttered curses I ever threw at the different drum kits I ever tuned, I decided to make a long blog for the cause of the luthier, a forgotten breed of drum maker that deserves to be honored and praised.

Here is the website: