What does pine wood sound like?

The sound that pine makes!

We were sent two Outlaw snares to review with Modern Drummer, an eight-lug 6×13 in “chestnut glaze” finish, built from the Wilder timber, and a ten-lug 5×14 in “reborn blueberry,” reclaimed from a nineteenth century home that was torn down in 2013.  Both drums feature chrome tube lugs, triple-flange chromed steel hoops, a Dunnett three-position roto-style throw-off, an Evans G1 Coated batter and Snare Side 300 bottom, and PureSound snare wires (twenty strands on the 13″ drums and sixteen strands on the 14″). The stave-style shells of these drums are thick and cut with sharp bearing edges. The exteriors of the shells are painstakingly finished to maintain a rustic look and textured feel that hearken back to the buildings from which the drums are built.
    The 6×13 has one of the original nails in the shell, and the vent is actually a 1″ bolt hold. The 5×14 drum has a cool-looking blue/chestnut finish on the inside and outside of the shell that was applied meticulously by hand to match the weathered look of the building from which it was build. Outlaw’s .125″-thick “forest guard” metal badges are modeled after the shield worn by the U.S. Forest Service, which was established by Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 to preserve the country’s natural wonders. All of these features combine to give Outlaw snare drums a world-class appearance with a lot of history and vibe.
    Sonically, both drums were bright and snappy with strong articulation and nice snare response. The 13″ turned out to be the more versatile of the two. It sounded very lively and popping tuned very tight, while a medium tuning brought out an open, all-purpose voice. Lower tunings produced a fat and punchy sound with a nice pitch bend in the sustain. The 5×14 had a similar overall tone, but it performed  best at medium and lower tunings, where the natural brightness of the thick pine shell was counter-balanced by the depth and punch created when the heads were at a lower pitch. Even detuned all the way, this drum still had a strong, sizzling presence. No muffling was required on either snare during our testing.
    Outlaw also uses smaller pieces of reclaimed timber to make wooden bass drum beaters, and custom snare racks are available. Drum collectors, take note!
Michael Dawson

Outlaw Drums

Outlaw Drums Heritage Series

When Michael Outlaw first decided to try using building-reclaimed lumber from a centuries old building, he, by chance, chose the original estate remains of a former Confederate veteran.  That soldier, Charles Edward Wilder, enlisted in the 17th GA Infantry, part of Benning’s Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia.  Upon returning from the War, Wilder built his home from the wood of the native pine trees that grew on his land.

At that time, those trees were over 200 years old, dating back to the 1600’s.  Trees of this age and type provide extremely hard and dense wood with a very tight grain pattern.  Taking up residence in a building for 150 or more years would also provide even-curing and drying to that old timber.

With all that in mind, it made perfect sense to me that those historical origins should not be forgotten, but rather, celebrated.  I suggested to Michael that he should make a special set of drums celebrating those early roots by embedding Civil War Era bullets into the shells alongside all-else that makes Outlaw drums so special.

Putting our minds together, it was decided to make the first drums a matching set of snare drums.  We took into consideration that many aspects of the drum design should there-fore be mathematically kindred in order to achieve balanced, complimentary instruments.  That philosophy played out well.  The Primary Snare measured 6” x 14” with ten tube lugs, the Secondary Snare at 6” x 10”, had six tube lugs.  Construction of the shells was to be a stave design with reinforcing rings for added strength.  Michael uses what I think is a very interesting bearing edge that seems like his own “hybrid” approach, falling somewhere between a rounded vintage edge and something more modern.  Whatever he considers it, I have to feel that along with everything else he does, helps to creative that “Outlaw Sound.”

Both drums were made from the same board of reclaimed lumber.  In doing so, we would absolutely know that they were of the same tree and survived under the same conditions.  The idea was to timbre-match the drums as close as possible, making them a matched set.

Hardware for both drums was employed with the same strategy.  The 2.3 mm counter hoops, retro tube-lugs and air vent, were all black nickel-plated.  Matching Trick 3-position snare strainers and butts were mounted along with PureSound Snares.  Outlaw Drums impressive maker’s badge that mimics the U. S. Forrest Services badges rounded out the metal parts.

For these first two drums of the series, I was able to find a set of Civil War Era bullets that matched as close to the specs that the drums were designed too.  All four bullets were wood-struck:  two hit dead-on, producing a mushroom shape, the other two hit at about a 45 degree angle.  Two of them were Confederate and two were Union bullets.  This would allow me to place one Confederate and one Union bullet to a drum, each with a different configuration.

To finish off the design, we went with a rough wood exterior and an aged white and blue plaint motif to give that weathered look that harkens back the history of an old building.  Showing through the weathered paint is the bare, natural wood, again exemplifying the age of the wood and the building it must have come from.  A dab of dark, blood red paint was applied around each bullet-strike, to high-light the projectiles.  The blood-color was also added to help represent the terrible cost and history of the conflict.  When all three a hues are taken into consideration, the drums fly the colors of both sides of our History:  red, white, and blue.

How a drum looks is a very important quality in its desirability.  But most importantly, it needs to be a great sounding drum as well.  With Outlaw Drums I certainly have a winner here.  The stave shell construction of hard, aged Heart-Pine wood, gives these drums a very reflective, lively sound.  That “lively” quality is a very controlled openness, void of any unpleasant overtones or ringing.

While being incredibly sensitive, they are earthy and warm, loud and responsive, crisp and deep.  These drums have a powerful presence to them so they won’t be lost in a mix, nor do they have any unpleasant, over-powering tendencies.  Especially well suited for outdoor stages and loud environments, but versatile and sensitive enough for any application.

The secondary snare worked out especially great!  Tuned properly, it’s a higher octave version of the primary snare.  Very effective for accents, effects, or adding grace notes.  When needing to maintain a subtle backbeat, it becomes a thinner, smaller sounding version of an awesome snare drum.

Outlaw Drums Heritage Series brings a lot to the table with these superior instruments.  No detail was over-looked.  For those who identify drums with history, this is something you’ve been waiting for.  For those who just want a really bad-ass set of drums, well, Outlaw has something for you too.  Outlawdrums.com.072916bluedrum

Benny Greb: The Art & Science Of Groove – Drum Lesson (Drumeo)

  • Benny Greb is One of my favorite drummers of all time! We want you to become the best drummer you can possibly become. If you are like me when I see other great drummers play it makes me want to jump behind the kit. This has a very good exercise that I never thought about Watch in see at 16:18 into the video.
  • Our friends at drumeo posted this cool video of Benny Greb that caught my attention. It just keeps getting better and better at Drumeo!  There link is on the bottom.  “The Art & Science Of Groove”.




What do Chopping blocks and outlaw beaters have in common?

Just watch the video in the link.



Outlaw Drums is proud to present our kick drum beaters that will get you noticed!  Using end grain boards, much like chopping blocks, gives a harder, deeper sound. Each comes with a polished stainless steel rod, plus a replaceable felt pad. We can even engrave your initials for an additional $10.00. The wood is born of the same first generation heart pine wood; The wood that has become the signature of the company.  These Hammers provide a larger kick presence than ordinary felt beaters. The Hammers incorporate two different angled impact sides that provide two different impact results.  One side remains round while the other is angled on a perfect 9 Degrees to meet the kick drum head straight on.  Meeting the kick head “straight on” provides maximum coverage and contact with the head, increasing the effect on the strike-zone.  Utilizing an angled beater also extends the life of the drum head. Buy it once, play it forever with Life Time Warranty!! To buy click HERE


Watch video

Black Friday starts early this year!!!

Black Friday starts early this year!!!  Starting today thru December 24th buy one get one free beater!! That’s Right 2 Outlaw Drum Bass Beaters for $39.99!! Buy HERE! 
 Outlaw Drums is proud to present our kick drum beaters that will get you noticed!  Using End grain boards much like chopping blocks, gives a harder, deeper sound. Each comes with a Polished Stainless Steel rod, Plus a replaceable felt pad. We can even engrave your initials for an additional $10.00. The wood is born of the same first generation heart pine wood; The wood that has become the signature of the company, these Hammers provide a larger kick presence than ordinary felt beaters. The Hammers incorporate two different angled impact sides that provide two different impact results.  One side remains round while the other is angled on a perfect 9 Degrees to meet the kick drum head straight on.  Meeting the kick head “straight on” provides maximum coverage and contact with the head, increasing the effect on the strike-zone.  Utilizing an angled beater also extends the life of the drum head. Buy it once, play it forever with Life Time Warranty!! To buy click HERE   

Finding your sound for under $50.00

Finding the sound that defines you as a drummer might not be as easy as you think. Not having a $1000 laying around is common these days. So here are some tips on making your snare drum sound great for under $50.00.

  • Replacing heads- Changing your drum heads and strainer. It may sound so obvious but it often gets overlooked. By adding a new drum head with a thinner head; I like a evens G1 coated on your batter side and a hazy 300 snare side; it lets the drum breath and sound wetter. It brings the natural tones of the drums to the surface. Plus, you can always add muffing to the head if you want to dry it up.  This by itself will make a huge difference, you can reach a more dynamic range.
  • Strainers -In my opinion you don’t need to spend $50.00 on a strainer to find your sound.  Most of the time the cheaper ones sound way better and last a long  time. If you want to try a different count, do so. It does help but you need a trained ear to really tell the difference.
  •  Bearing edges (Only for wood drums)- While your heads are off, check the bearing edges. These can be worn down from years of vibrations and stick hits. You can sharpen the edge with some sandpaper or a file. The sharper the edge, the brighter the sound.  The thickness of a sd card works fine on the top and bottom, you can play with this. I would keep it sharp on the snare side. If you wanted to add more vintage sound on the top you can make it wider.  Add some wax to the edge and let it dry.
  • The tension is everything! I know I’m going to get hated on here but after building 100s of drums I can say this… When tuning the lugs and the head, I go by feel.  The bottom head I tune really tight, almost where it’s scary.  Getting the bottom tighter than the top makes a significant difference in sound and tuning.  Once the bottom is tight, it is sensitive to the snare wires.  If you use a tune bot its 400 on the bottom and 300 on the top. Once the bottom is set I can then tune the top low or high, however I want it.
  •  If you have tried tuning and there is still a snare buzz you that won’t go away (Like a gnat in south Ga) try this to fix it:
    • Swap strings to ribbon if it will let you. You can buy ribbon at Walmart or Hobby Lobby that works great. Make sure you get the one with the ridges on it. It’s only a few bucks and there are lots of colors to pick from.
    • Change the wire counts on the snares or try a different brand. Sometimes just by changing out brands you will find one that works better. It has a lot to do with how it sets on the drum and having the right snare wire angle that will fit into the snare bed tight. If you can get the snare to fit in the bed nicely you have a winner!  You can also adjust the strainer so you can make it tighter. You don’t want it too tight because it will choke the drum out making it sound like a tin can.  After you have done all this try loosening up the four tension rods that surrounds the snare wires a bit.
    • More info on this from www.drumeo.commaking your drum kit sound fat , Tuning your snaredrum  ,  Make your cheap drum set sound good 

Shotgun Drum

This snare has shotgun shells built in for vents. This drum was inspired by the sharp pop of a shotgun blast.  Having ten vents on the drum shell dries up the overtones for clarity creating a one-of-a-kind sound great for concerts with that little bit of extra crack. The shell is made of centuries old lumber making it a true piece of Americana. This drum has 1/8 radius on the outside and a 45 on the inside. This drum sold before we could even put it on the market. We managed to get a quick sound file before we shipped it.  We can customize this drum to any size.

Watch video 


Send us your wood.

Ok get your mind out of the gutter!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlsrHJIz5LEwatch here

We took on this unique project transforming this antique door into a drum. We started by disassembling all the hardware, pulling all the nails, and prepping the wood. Then it was time to start milling and exfoliating the wood. After an in depth finishing process, we were left with a beautiful finished product. It gives us a sense of deep satisfaction to repurpose wood that would otherwise be destroyed and give it new life as a one of a kind, hand-crafted drum. Looking at the finished product you can’t help but wonder what this piece of antique wood could tell you about the journey it took from a sapling to a resonating work of art in a drum. This is what we do. Outlaw Drums.
Email derrick@outlawdrums.com

If you want to see more on our kits click  here Rase littlefeild build

Picture Drum

Fun in the swamp with the outlaws

Outlaw Drums lets us see behind the scenes. Outlaw Drums

Outlaw Drums lets us see behind the scenes on the drums they build.
This drum kit was a slow build that took weeks to build. It was filled with so many obstacles and ideas to go through. My favorite part was having complete control of the turn out. The Outlaw kit was a mixture of Douglas fir and old virgin growth heart dating back before the 1800’s. The drum kit has a weathered textured feel, just like a old barn from years and rain. It was a 18×24 8×12 9×13 16×16 with all the joints are overlapped for ultra strength. The segmented shells will never go out of round or oval. The aged wood is locked in place and milled to the 64th of a inch for accuracy. The timeless timbers don’t flex, its very consistent. It took about 120 man hours to complete this project start to finish.