DW Drums – Drum Workshop

Drum Workshop, or DW for short, is a leading American drum company. In 1972, 26 year old DW founder, Don Lombardi, started his business giving drum lessons at his teaching studio, which he appropriately named Drum Workshop, in Santa Monica, CA. He soon began offering drum sticks, books, and drums for sale from the Drum Workshop location, and partnered with one of his students, 17 year old John Good, to help out with the sales.

Don and John shared an interest in how drums work and together tried to think of ways to improve the state of the art in drum equipment. The first of their efforts was Don’s design for an adjustable trap case seat. The seat became the first DW product and achieved modest success, but helped sustain the Drum Workshop venture.

In 1977 one of Don’s students was the son of Tom Beckman, the owner of the Camco Drum Company. Beckman was looking to sell his company and contacted Don, who bought Camco’s tools, molds, and machinery with money borrowed from his parents and some outside investors. Drum Workshop then started manufacturing the Camco 5000 bass drum pedal, re-branded under the DW name.

In 1980 DW patented the chain and sprocket bass drum pedal drive system, which is the industry standard today. The first chain and sprocket model was the 5000CX, which was followed by the addition of a stabilizing footboard on the 5000T Turbo model, and an offset sprocket for quicker action on the 5000A Accelerator. During the 1980s Drum Workshop also led the industry in manufacture of double bass pedals based on their 5000 series.

Drum Workshop followed their accomplishment in pedal making with great success in their drum manufacture effort, led by John Good. John has been a drum technician and experimented with drum sounds and acoustics while John concentrated on hardware and pedals. DW started out manufacturing a few customized drum sets a month, but gained acclaim and professional endorsement, and soon demand for DW drums exceeded manufacturing capacity.

Today DW is a leader custom drum manufacture. It offers a large variety of snare drum shell materials including aluminum, copper, steel, brass, brass/maple combination, a great selection of lacquered finishes, and various types of rims.

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