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History of Electronic Drums: Episode 1 (1960-1983)

If you’ve ever wanted to know the origins of edrums and how they impacted music, this is the series for you. This is the History Of Electronic Drums: part 1. All the books, magazines, websites, and more that I used as sources are listed below.

The Best Books On Electronic Drums: (*Affiliate Links)

The History Of Simmons:

Electronic DrumFax (1960-1990)

*(These product links are affiliate links which mean if you buy something 65 Drums will receive a commission from Amazon or Guitar Center. This helps support the channel and allows me to continue to make videos like this. Thank you for the support!)

My Sources For This Series:
The Books: Electronic Drumfax: Vintage Electronic Drum Kits (1970-1990) and The Complete Simmons Drum Guide: The Rise And Fall Of Simmons Electronic Drums by Alex Graham. Those are the very best books on electronic drum history that you can buy. Go buy both of them, you won’t be disappointed. Another helpful book was Electronic Drums. By Frank Vilardi and Steve Tarshis. It was written around 1985 or so and features lots of mini-reviews of early electronic drums from the early 80s (it even comes with a Flexi-Disc record). The Complete Simmons Drum Book by Bob Henrit is also a great read. I was lucky to buy it for $60. The book is out of print and going for up to $160 online. Also the book All About Electronic Percussion by Mike Snyder.

The Magazines: Modern Drummer, Sound On Sound, Electronic & Music Maker Magazine, International Recording Musician & Recording World, One Two Testing, Music Technology, and Digital Drummer were all very useful. I had a date by date timeline from the book collection, but these magazine reviews gave me context on what the drums were like to play, how the drum companies were doing, and whether or not the different drum sets were any good! A big thank you to for archiving many of the older, out of print magazines I mentioned. Instead of having to spend thousands of dollars to buy those magazines, I was able to read the digitized versions on that website. The most comprehensive magazine for electronic drum information was Modern Drummer. People lovingly covered anything from 1960 to 1989, and the internet really helps with anything from 2000 onward. But there’s a large information gap when it comes to 90s era electronic drums. So I went through about 35,000 pages of Modern Drummer Magazine to fill in different information gaps I had and to find advertisement photos. Digital Drummer Magazine has been a great resource. It began in 2010 and has been very detailed in its coverage of edrums.

Websites: was very helpful in its coverage of edrum news as it happened from 2007 to 2014, reading through all the posts helped not forget certain kits, and nail down the dates. The forum has helped me countless times over the years, including during the making of this video. Seeing chatter about upcoming edrum kits from about 2000 until today helped me nail down difficult to find information. Believe it or not, Facebook has helped out tremendously. The “about” section of each company page usually contains a brief history of the company and a founding date. Plus going through posts from different companies lets me see when a new cymbal for drum set was introduced. I of course visited dozens of company websites to get official information of different releases, but many delete old press releases and no longer list their drum lines beyond a generation or two. I can’t forget the Wayback Machine from This amazing tool lets you see websites from whatever year you want, it helped my research in this video.

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JOHN EMINGTON TIM JORDAN Nathan Aldonza Ruud Olsson Scott Zellner LloydCustoms Vitali Kanarski Ben Berman Frank’s Drum Cave Phil Davidson Enrique Sierra

0:00 Intro Start
1:34 The 1960s
3:58 The 1970s
12:43 The 1980s