Bearing edges.

I feel like the Bearing edges are the most important part of the drum. You can get a wide range of sounds from it. Bright, medium, to low. We love that vintage sound, so we add a 1/8 radius to the outside and 45 to the inside. It gives a warm vintage sound WITHOUT a bunch of over tones to mute out from the start. We found it makes it a whole lot easier for sound check and studio preparation. Wood plays a part too, but that’s another topic. The vintage drums sound because after years of playing the heads over time wear down the edges which losses its brightness plus the edges get worn down from excessive vibration over the years. We try to achieve this from the start.

Modern Drummer featured Outlaw Drums

Outlaw Drums has been featured in Modern Drummer magazine a number of times. However, the January 2016 issue of Modern Drummer not only featured moderndrummer-here_0134-1Outlaw Drums, but a local customer as well. Much to our surprise when we opened up our
recent issue of Modern Drummer, we were shocked to see a picture of a special build we had with Gillionville Baptist Church. What a surprise! Modern Drummer didn’t inform us of the article, but what an unbelievable feeling to be featured in the world’s most popular drumming magazine. DSC_4956With this build we used some old pews destined to be destroyed in a landfill and created beautiful instruments to be used during worship service. Who would have thought a small drum company in South Georgia and a local church would have a story in an international magazine? Just goes to show you never know who is paying attention to the work you are accomplishing. distinguished itself from other drum companies through their use of recycled wood to build their classic drums. Instead of cutting down trees at a time where it is critical for the world to become more eco friendly, Outlaw Drums uses old buildings, structures, or any other wood they can find that is no longer used or needed, and turns them into their classic drums. As they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, and this is nothing short of the inspiration on which Outlaw Drums functions. This method of using recycled wood isn’t just environmentally friendly, rather, the aged wood allows for the grains of the wood to tighten up making for a beautiful and unique sound with each drum built. Every piece of wood used it unique and has its own story, thus, once built into a drum, that uniqueness is carried over to the drum, giving it a one of a kind voice and story that is different from every other drum in the world.
In 2015 Outlaw Drums took this concept to another level when Gillionville Baptist Church in Albany, GA was in need of a drum set for the worship services. That’s when Michael Outlaw took old church pew that came from a church in Calhoun County GA, and with a lot of hard work and some incredible skills, Mr. Outlaw turned that old pew into a gorgeous one of a kind Outlaw Drum set. DSC_5049That same drum set is now used at the Gillionville Baptist Church and allowed another opportunity to serve! Click on the link below to see the beautiful rejuvenation and transformation of this old church pew into a gorgeous one of a kind Outlaw Drum set. Watch Michael Outlaw as he removes 30 year old gum from the pew, cranks out the nails, and creates a work of art for Gillionville Baptist Church!

Mahru Madjidi.

Outlaw Drums, American Wood Reborn, building a beginning from an end.



                           GETTING A DRUM ENDORSEMENTDSC_8681

Drumming endorsements rule the drumming world. The more impressive the roster for a company, the more successful they tend to be. Who plays what is a big influence on what people decide to purchase. The logic behind this is that you want to sound like your favorite drummers, therefore, you buy the same gear that they use in order to replicate that sound. An endorsement is not always necessary, but it can be extremely helpful to a professional drummers career.

In this article I will talk about the different levels of endorsements, why you would want an endorsement, and how to get one!

First, what is an endorsement?

This is when an Artist agrees to exclusively play one company’s product, whether it’s drums, cymbals, stands, cases, etc. and help market the gear for people to buy. In exchange, the drum company gives you discounts and special service to help keep your drumming needs fulfilled. Often times people refer to an endorsement deal as “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” The company that gives the deal is the sponsor, the drummer who has the sponsorship is the endorsed artist.

NOTE: There are EDUCATIONAL endorsements and PERFORMING ARTIST endorsements. You can get endorsed for being an educator OR as a performing artist. Keep that in mind!

Know You’re ABC’s

There are generally three levels of endorsements.

A LEVEL: This is the highest level and is given only to the best of the best like Travis Barker, Thomas Lang, Chad Smith, and other huge names in the drum world. The A level deal varies per company, but generally it means that the Artist gets their gear for %80-%100 off retail price, signature lines, and top service.

B: The B level is for well-known upcoming drummers who don’t quite have the stardom of A level drummers…. yet. These drummers include people like Luke Holland and Aaron Gillespie (earlier in their careers of course, now they may even have A level endorsements). Another example of someone who qualifies for a B level endorsement is a drummer for an indie band who tours regularly and has a solid following. B level deals typically range around %50 off retail price, customized gear, great service.

C: Finally, you have the lowest level of endorsements typically given to drummers starting out in their pro careers. C level is something attainable for any drummer. It’s more about getting people to play your products and help spread the name of your company than about how well you play or what your resume boasts. Having an impressive social media following can go a long way in C level deals because they are mostly for marketing purposes. Lots of smaller accessory and custom drum company’s offer these. C level deals will get you about %10-%20 off retail price.


The Pro’s and Con’s of an Endorsement Deal


First of all they aren’t easy to get if you don’t know the right people. It’s all about making connections and truly believing in the product. I’ll get more into how to get one next, but first let’s go over what having on entails. In short, an endorsement comes with great power, but also great responsibility.

The PROS to having an endorsement vary depending on the level, but one major perk is getting a discount off gear! Drum equipment is expensive, and getting a discount goes a long way over time. You also receive superior service and promotions. Having a DW DRUMS endorsement for example means that DW will provide you drums for shows you play all over the world. They will feature you on their web site and artist roster, social media, set up clinics for you and other artists, and really help promote your career. If you have a drumstick endorsement they often customize your stick with your logo and if you are an A level artist you get your own signature drumstick! With endorsements can come access to shows like NAMM and PASIC, extra goodies like banners, new products, and take your input when creating new products.

For the most part an endorsement is all good, but you have to do your part. Exclusivity is what gets artists into trouble sometimes. When you sign with a company, say TRX cymbals, you are agreeing to EXCLUSIVELY play their cymbals. You can own other cymbals and some people even sneak them into studios for use, but don’t even think about taking a picture of yourself using other cymbal brands because that will mean an end to your endorsement. That’s why it is VERY important to LOVE the product you play because you are stuck with it for the duration of your contract. Also, you need to be holding up your end of the promotions because you have a responsibility as an artist to promote your sponsors products. This could mean using them, creating product reviews, posting about how great they are on social media, and more. The greater the deal, the more responsibilities you will have. Take your endorsement seriously, which brings me to the next section: How to get an endorsement.



This is the quintessential question, and luck for you I have the answer! There are ways of getting an endorsement and then there are the best ways to get an endorsement.

Filling out forms – Technically, to get endorsement you go on the company’s website and fill out the form they have for drummers looking to get endorsed, but that is similar to applying for jobs online. Unless your drum resume is phenomenal, don’t expect to hear back from them. You can also call them and tell them you’re interested in getting a sponsorship but they get SO many phone calls about that on a daily basis that chances are you will annoy the company and get a rude response. Also, companies HATE it when they see an artist applying for every single company trying to get a deal. They want to see that you truly value their particular product above others and aren’t in it for the discount, rather, to be part of spreading the word about how great the product is. That’s why you see so many suck ups online swearing by a certain cymbal, stick, drum and then tagging the company in the post. It’s usually their way of asking for an endorsement.

But why would the company endorse you if you already pay money to buy their stuff? That, my fellow drummers the key question you must ask yourself. What can you do for them that makes it worth their while to bring you on board.


The way I suggest you get endorsed is a simple step by step process. (This is the equivalent of getting a job through networking rather than sending out resumes to everyone.)

Step 1: Find what you love to play

If you don’t like what you play then there’s no point to getting endorsed!! Find the gear that you love and would be happy playing for the rest of your life.

Step 2: Build your resume

Start making a name for yourself. Make the companies come to you. If you’re in a band, start playing gigs, make an EP, promote yourself online as much as possible (marketing is HUGE – having a large social media following can almost guarantee an endorsement deal). Practice and get really good at playing drums. Create a brand for yourself, teach lessons on YouTube, make drum covers, post s groove every day on instagram. There is a lot you can do to get the companies attention.

Step 3: Make Connections

Try to go to the NAMM show and other similar networking events and get to know the reps for the companies you want to represent. Don’t be annoying and ask about endorsements. Truly get to know them and build a relationship with them. Tell them about yourself and what it is about their product that draws you to it. Also make connections with other drummers who are endorsed! They are your ticket to getting your endorsement because they can introduce you to the right people and recommend you.

Step 4: Patience and Persistence – Start Small

***What I highly suggest doing is starting out with smaller companies. Even Travis Barker endorsed Spaun drums for many years before he switched to OCPD. The famous YouTube drummer Cobus Potgeiter even started with a TRX cymbals endorsement and moved his way up to Sabian after he built his reputation more.*** Find a small company that makes a product you enjoy. Get to know them. For example if you call to get a quote for a custom drum from a small company, ask them if you can talk to one of their artists about the drums. Start making videos with their product and email them the link. Play your role as if you were an artist, and you can become one. Then next time you call to order another drum, tell them you want to be part of the company in an official way and you want to continue to grow with them and do your part in getting them noticed. Be loyal to them and don’t go selling their drums behind their back to make money.

If you can hold out until you can get the endorsement from your dream company, great! But sometimes you will need or want an endorsement from a company sooner and don’t have the accolades for getting in with the big dogs just yet.

Things don’t happen overnight but if you keep at it you can definitely get endorsed. It’s very doable!

Heart pine or yellow pine.


DSC_0318There were approximately 79,000,000 acres of these trees and almost all were gone by 1900’s. This wood was the main building material for homes and factories. Most structures built after 1930’s were from second generation pine trees that do not produce the very tight growth rings associated with the first generation timber. Plus, that rich amber color takes years to achieve. Heart Pine is rich in resin and in strength. Here is a video that gives you more insight.



What is a drumming injury?

IMG_0264Drums are the most physical instrument in the world. Great drummers have strength, stamina, speed, and even more strength. Because of the physicality of this instrument, drummers are very prone to becoming injured. As someone who has been injured very badly, trust me you want to avoid it at all costs. In this newsletter I will talk about how you can get injured, how to prevent it and what to do if you do get injured.

Note: I am not a doctor and do not claim to have any specialized knowledge on injuries. This is general advice based on my experience. If you have any sort of issue or potential injury you should seek the professional help of a doctor as soon as possible.

What is a drumming injury?

The answer to this can vary, but lifting those heavy drums, playing with tense muscles, or the constant unnatural movement of tightening and loosening lugs and stands will take a huge toll on a person’s arms. Arm injuries resulting from these movements are typically arthritis and tendonitis being long term injuries, and soreness and swelling in the short term.

The arms are doing most of the work and thus, are at the most risk, but the legs and groin are susceptible as well. Sometimes bass drums are not mounted on the floor well and can slide away from you as you hit the bass drum. The sliding away and pushing forward with your leg to hit the kick drum can cause groin strains and leave you with a very uncomfortable soreness.

Another thing you want to be careful about that’s not so much an injury, but more of a lifestyle concern is your back and posture. Just like hunching over the keyboard to type, you are in that same hunching position when you play drums. Some drummers do not have a kit set up well and sit awkwardly and very hunched over while playing. This is a horrible habit to get into and can cause you to hunch over as you age and will definitely cause back pain and stiffness over time. Do not let these injuries scare you though, these are all totally avoidable and will not occur if you do the following.

How to prevent drum injuries.

Generally, always try to WARM UP whether it’s on a pad or the drum set. Before you even do that, STRETCH BEFORE PLAYING DRUMS! It’s an easy thing to do and only takes a couple minutes. By warming up your muscles you go a long way in preventing injuries. Stretch your arms, wrists, legs and anything else you want. You can find drummer specific stretches online and on YouTube.

First, I’ll go over how to prevent hand, arm, and wrist injuries, since these are the most prone. RELAXED GRIP on the stick is a must. If you ever find yourself tensely holding the stick then let loose and relax your grip. Your TECHNIQUE will also play a huge role in preventing injuries. If you are using an improper technique to play, you may not notice anything at slow speeds, but as you play faster you will notice yourself tensing up. This is because you are using incorrect technique! You should be able to play fast while maintaining a loose grip at all times. If you cannot figure out what the proper playing technique is, GO TAKE LESSONS so a professional drum instructor can show you how to play correctly. USE TOOLS to help you tighten and loosen lugs, clamps and stands. They have wrenches that you can use instead of drum keys to take the pressure off your wrist when tuning your drums. As for tightening and loosening stands, carry around a set of pliers with you and use those instead of your fingers to break down or set up your drums. The pliers can clamp on to the part that tightens and the motion you use to turn it will be much less stressful on your wrists and arms.

As for your feet and groin, MOUNT YOUR BASS DRUM by using kick brakes or simply putting something heavy in front of the bass drum so it doesn’t slide. You can also set up on top of a DRUM RUG instead of hardwood or another slippery surface to allow your drum to stay in place better.

Most importantly, PROPER POSTURE will allow you to play drums many more years. This is something that you need to pay attention to and constantly correct until you get used to proper posture. Make sure you are SITTING STRAIGHT and not hunched over or with your shoulders up or tense. The way you have your DRUMS SETUP will play a big role in this. Try to set things up to be within your reach without having to move on your throne. If your drums are set up awkwardly, you will have to move awkwardly, and risk injury. Watch out for a newsletter on how to set up your drums properly to learn more about that.

  1. What do you do if you have a drum injury?

Depending on what kind of injury and where it is, there are different solutions. If you are in the middle of playing and you notice any pain or swelling anywhere STOP PLAYING IMMEDIATELY AND TAKE A BREAK FROM DRUMS UNTIL YOU ARE PAIN FREE. Now, this is sometimes hard to do if you are in the middle of a gig or a tour where you have to keep playing. In that case, it’s always best to SEE A DOCTOR and get professional advice on the extent of the injury and what you can do about it. Sometimes you may need to go to physical therapy or occupational therapy to rehabilitate the injured part of your body. If you don’t think it’s that bad or cannot go to a doctor try ICING THE AREA especially if it’s swollen. Sometimes ARM WRAPS can help on the spot. You can get these at you local drug store; simply wear the arm sleeve so that it puts pressure on your arms and prevents swelling. This is best use temporarily and will not be a good long term fix. Trust me, I tried and it didn’t work.

Injuries are not necessary and are completely avoidable. Since drumming is an active and physical instrument to play, it’s only natural that you are vulnerable to hurting yourself. So make sure you do your homework and take the time to stretch, warm up, setup your drums properly and use proper technique. It will totally be worth it in the long run!

What Michael looks for when building his kits?

What Michael looks for when building his kits?

IMG_1117Each drum is built with a passion. To bring shape to something that does not want to be round is not as easy as it appears. Determination, a sharp eye, a sensitive feel is a must. Laying out the boards to determine the best placements for the badge, throw, butt plate, vent, and lugsFullSizeRender 3.
While keeping in mind that a natural vent fashioned by Mother Nature might be used or is adding the best option all the while maintaining the most natural look achievable. As each board is flipped back and forth looking for something special to catch his eye to bring the kit to a new level. Finding a little note on the board from over 30 years ago, maybe even old chewed bubblegum. He stops, takes a picture to send to the customer, he makes sure to add this little memento in the build. It’s more than just a drum kit, it’s art.DSC_0318

Price bidding is not our thing. We are bringing back to life wood that is several centuries’ old, dating back before the civil war, making sure none of this precioDSC_6966us lumber is wasted. Because of the rare nature of this lumber and the great lengths taken to possess every inch, each cut matters. On an average, a 4 piece kit has 268 pieces of wood that are hand cut and examined for perfection.
That’s a total of 536 angles made with the precision of within a hundredth of an inch on each cut.  Each section of lumber is glued and fitted with water proof glue for several days. Once the glue sets, the clamps are removed and the drum is lathed to fit the determined size. A flat 2 inch slab of steel is used to mill the bearing edges for exactness, all while being driven by a high powered shaper, not a router.

Finishing the drums is a whole different sheet of music. We use an old timeDSC_2062 (1) Nitrocellulose lacquer, so your drums will age the way vintage drums did before our time, not like the stuff sprayed on today’s drums that don’t age. Multiple coats are applied with a high volume, low pressure sprayIMG_2987er and sanded between coverings, much like the way vintage drums were finished. No short cuts are made on our drums; even the hardware has a nice touch.
We add woodened sleeves to the kick drums to match the looks of the drums. The hardware used is top quality. In fact, you could purchase a complete kit from others for what we pay for hardware alone. We ensure that you have the best possible instDSC_0451rument when you receive our products. If we can, we deliver the drums to the customer. If not, we carefully package them for their journey. That’s what makes Outlaw Drums so different.

Once in awhile….

Cool day at the shop! I rarely ever keep animals I find but…. once in awhile one sneaks up on me. The other day my mom found this kitten peeking her head out behind the shop. I knew that if my little girl saw it, it was all over. Well she saw it…… you try to pull this cat away. The new addition to the Outlaw family. Kit is her name.

Dirty South Snare Drum. The Outlaw Signature Series (American wood reborn)

The Outlaw Signature Series (American wood reborn)

If you are a serious drummer or collector this signature Outlaw Drums series are the drums for you. This series uses centuries-old wood that gives a blast of projection and clarity that is in direct relationship with the high resin content from the slow growth timber most of which was in the North American forests in the 1600s. Once this wood is gone its gone.DSC_2161

Specializing in 200-600 year old wood reclaimed from tobacco barns, gymnasiums, plantation houses, and old bridges. The American Wood Reborn Series is handcrafted and designed to highlight old nail holes, saw kerfs, spots in the wood that was stained from years of tobacco leaves or where oil ran down and dripped on the floor for years from a mill. On Some applications we leave the original nails in the drums and on some occasions use the original Bolt holes for venting. Our craftsmen are artists that see with more than there eyes. Each piece of wood is studied to lay out the best possible solution that matches perfectly. Each drum kit is a unique work of art. To say your drum kit was a old barn is kinda cool in any ones book. The waiting list for this line is 2-6 months. Watch Video click Here



Sean Markos Absolutley one of my favorite drums youve ever produced Michael Outlaw! Those hoops are awesome!!! 

Victor Montano Amazing piece of art…..

Steve Bucket Milam i like the dryness of it…i can hear that on some country

If you are a serious drummer or collector this signature Outlaw Drums series are the drums for you. This series uses centuries-old wood that gives a blast of projection and clarity that is in direct relationship with the high resin content from the slow growth timber most of which was in the North American forests in the 1600s. Once this wood is gone its gone. Click here to watch video 

Sean Markos Absolutley one of my favorite drums youve ever producedMichael Outlaw! Those hoops are awesome!!! 

Joey Roberts The detail is just amazing.

Marty French III Used it today and loved it. It sounds as good as it looks.

Mike Soldano What a sexy beast! That will be the jewel of some lucky drummers kit.

I’ve worked wood my whole life and I must say, this is beautiful!! Props!

Someday I’ll own one of your snares for my collection! Just starting collecting I’m up to 20 right now. Nothing crazy yet but hoping to have a killer collection someday.

Most beautiful snare drums ever!!!

14×6 Weathered Heart Pine Reborn Snare Drum features a stave shell made from reclaimed Heart Pine wood found in barns, homes, mills, or bridges built before 1900. This century-old wood has seen quite a bit of American history along its way, and has been left with a weathered texture on the exterior. It has a distressed finish on the hardware to match the rugged exterior shell. 

The Outlaw Signature Series (American wood reborn)

Bearing edges

The question was asked. Why we useIMG_1385 the edges we use! I feel like the Bearing edges are the most important part of the drum. You can get a wide range of sounds from it. Bright, medium, to low. We love that vintage sound, so we add a 1/8 radius to the outside and 45 to the inside. It gives a warm vintage sound WITHOUT a bunch of over tones to mute out from the start. We found it makes it a whole lot Bearingedgeeasier for sound check and studio preparation. Wood plays a part too, but that’s another topic. The vintage drums sound because after years of playing the heads over time wear down the edges which losses its brightness plus the edges get worn down from excessive vibration over the years. We try to achieve this from the start.



Setting up your drum set in a way that is comfortable is one of the most important first steps you take before you start playing. Each drummer has a setup that works better for them, but these general guidelines will give you something to go off of, especially if you are setting up drums for the first time.

  1. FIND A SPACE – Find any area where you will have enough room to setup your drums. Try to give yourself at least 6 feet x 4 feet space for a 4 or 5 piece kit.
  2. PLACE BASS DRUM IN THE MIDDLE – Your bass drum takes up the most room and will be the centerpiece of your kit so place that in the middle of the designated area first.
  3. SNARE DRUM AT BELLY BUTTON HEIGHT – The snare drum is the next drum you should set up. That will go to the left of the bass drum (assuming you are right handed), but keep it below the bass drum towards you. Make sure you can still reach your bass drum pedal comfortably with your leg without hitting the snare. The snare drum should be about level with your belly button.
  4. HI HAT STAND TO LEFT OF SNARE – You want to create a V type angle with your hi hat and bass drum pedal if you are looking at it from a birdseye view. Put your feet on each pedal (hi hat and bass drum pedals), and make sure that you can hit the snare in the middle and move your feet comfortably. Move around and adjust as needed.
    1. The height of the Hi Hat varies per drummer. Some like it below their shoulder level, and others prefer it right above the snare. Play around and find what works for you.
  5. FLOOR TOM – Goes to the right of the bass drum, directly on the other side of your snare drum. The floor tom is typically placed half an inch lower in height than the snare drum. This allows for easy transitioning during playing.
  6. RACK TOMS – If you have one rack tom, mount it to the left of the bass drum and behind your snare drum. Depending on the mounting system you have, you may need to move your rack tom more to the left and not directly behind the snare drum to prevent it from hitting the top of the bass drum. You usually find this with virgin bass drums. If your bass drum is not virgin and has a mount attached to it, then your job is easy and you just hook it up to the mount on your bass drum
    1. If you have a second drum, you want to mount them in a way so that both rack toms are side by side. This may require you to move them up higher if you have a virgin bass drum.
    2. If your bass drum has a mounting system on it, then simply mount the second rack tom to the right mount.
    3. Some people prefer the bigger tom on the left, but most drummers use the smaller tom on the left and the bigger tom to the right.
    4. As far as angle goes, some players like the toms to be completely flat like your snare drum, but most players like to give the toms an angle by pushing the bottom of the toms down so that the drum head is pointed more towards you than the ceiling.
  7. RIDE CYMBAL – Should go next. If you have one rack tom, try placing the ride cymbal where the right tom would go. If your bass drum has mounts, you may even be able to hook up your ride to that. If you have two toms, move the ride so that it’s to the right of the kit slightly hovering over the floor tom.
  8. CRASH CYMBALS NO HIGHER THAN YOUR NECK – Finally, the crashes. Make sure that you can easily reach your crash cymbals from where you are sitting. They can be put at any height you want, but general rule of thumb: keep them below your neck level, otherwise you will find yourself reaching too much.
    1. A typical setup will have one crash cymbal to the left side, one to the right.
    2. The crash of the left will go somewhere to the left of your left rack tom and behind your hi hat. The right cymbal will go to the right of your rack tom/ride cymbal and hover a little above it.
  9. KEEP A TIDY SETUP – You don’t want your cymbals to hover too close to any other drum or cymbal because you don’t want to accidently hit it, but at the same time you want to have things as close to each other as possible to allow yourself to have a better reach and to transition easier between the different parts of the drum set.

Here is a picture of a drum kit setup to give you a reference:

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 8.05.14 PM