After graduation from Purdue in 1983, I worked as an Industrial & Graphic Designer for design consulting firms and product manufacturers. Those day jobs gave me the insight on how to make and market my own drum products. I studied drumming ergonomics and the construction of drums and component parts, observing the relationship between the drummer, drums, and music. I view the drumkit as a single instrument, all parts working together, each piece needing to work in harmony with the rest. Just as fingers cradle and play the keys of a clarinet, the drummer uses his whole body to play the drums as a singular instrument. Hardware, drums and cymbals, throne and stands, are all set-up and played in unison by the drummer to produce percussive music. I love the sound of the whole drumkit when it is set-up, the other drums resonating in unison when any single drum is struck. The hardware suspends the instrument in a personal, playable configuration. How the drummer positions the drumkit and its components creates the drummer's physical playing style as well. Unlike other instruments that come mainly "as is", the drummer can change all the parts of the drumkit to make it their own personal instrument and sound. Playing on other drummers' kits really made me aware of how dependent a drummer is on hardware and the nuances of his or her own particular playing style.
As I played over the years, I felt that existing drumming standards and "norms" seemed to limit new product designs and playing ideas. Isn't the whole challenge of playing drums simply getting the best sounds out of them? I felt drumming should not be restricted by equipment and previous manufacturing capability. I avoided cost and marketing restrictions that would jeopardize innovation. I focused my efforts on making the best products, with new design approaches, alternative manufacturing methods, and the use of ideal materials. Because of these drum product innovations, many of the Slug products have been awarded patents for their uniqueness in design and function.
My philosophy is that you usually get what you pay for. Any product isn't worth buying just because it's a little cheaper in price than the one you really want. All drum products should let you perform at your best level or you are just buying into a gimmick. As a drummer, if I wouldn't use it, why would I want to manufacture it?
Keep on Sluggin!
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