Family / Artists
Joyful Noise Drum Company
JNDC

FAMILY / ARTISTS

BIOGRAPHY

John Aldridge

John Aldridge began his love affair with vintage drums just over 35 years ago. The Ludwig Black Beauty snare drums from the early 1920's led him to learn a skill that had virtually disappeared from the drum world for more than 50 years. Upon discovering that purchasing an engraved drum from the 1920s was completely outside his monetary limits, John set out to learn how to engrave with the intention of taking a standard model 20's Ludwig snare and plating and engraving it to turn it into a black beauty. Although he asked several jewelry engravers to teach him how to engrave, none believed that he would stay with it long enough to make it worthwhile to spend their time teaching him. After many visits to his shop, an elderly gentleman working in a jewelry shop in Claremore, Oklahoma gave John a ten minute demonstration of the three basic strokes and the tools that were used to produce the patterns that John wanted to duplicate from a 1923 Ludwig DeLuxe model snare drum. Taking that brief lesson and a note telling him where he could purchase the small blades and wooden handles used in the process, John embarked on his quest to learn how to engrave by himself. He could hear the old engraver chuckling to his son as he walked out the door!

Thirty years and literally hundreds of drums later, it's safe to say that John has "stuck with it". Widely recognized as the person most responsible for re-introducing engraving to the drum world and an established authority on the subject of engraved drums of the past, John continues to engrave in the same style and with the same methods that were used at the end of the 19th century.

John is now an accomplished hand engraver and has mastered the techniques used by his drum engraving predecessors of the 1920s-30s. Although there are machines that can engrave now, nothing can reproduce the strokes and appearance of the the archaic wriggle style, so John prefers to stay with the time tested method of hand engraving. There are no machines, powered tools, or any other devices other than a few small wood handled blades used in this approach! His work has been sought after by many high profile drummers as well as vintage drum collectors throughout the world.

John has produced numerous versions of the Ludwig Black Beauty with the Ludwig Drum Company, starting with the 1990 reintroduction of hand engraving to Ludwig. Since 1999, he has served as the exclusive engraver of the Black Beauty snare drum, copmleting the 90th Anniversary model, the 2005-2007 Limited edition, and the latest Black Beauty 100th Anniversary Limited Edition snare drums. But Ludwig is not the only company to take advantage of John's engraving services. In late 1989, Johh opened the door for his first custom jobs and engraved a few drums for Drum Workshop's top endorsers. Most of his early production involved doing aftermarket engraving on drums for individuals and drum shops. Since that time, John has been the prime source for drum companies looking to enhance their product offerings with engraving. From the hoops for Johnny Craviotto's prestigious Lake Superior snare drums, to Slingerland's Copper and Brass Beauties, to Tama's Kenny Aronoff Trackmaster limited, to Ludwig's 90th-100th Anniversary model snare drums, John has worked with most major manufacturers of metal snare drums in the music industry.

John also works with individuals to create unique instruments, either by engraving the customer's drum, or by providing a new drum and engraving it to the customer's specifications. If you've been thinking about having a custom drum built to your specifications, John can help there as well. Since he works in conjunction with some of the most reputable and respected drum companies and custom drum makers in the world, he has access to a plethora of high quality professional level instruments which are suitable for custom engraving.

John also works with individuals to create unique instruments, either by engraving the customer's drum, or by providing a new drum and engraving it to the customer's specifications. If you've been thinking about having a custom drum built to your specifications, John can help there as well. Since he works in conjunction with some of the most reputable and respected drum companies and custom drum makers in the world, he has access to a plethora of high quality professional level instruments which are suitable for custom engraving.

Although John branched out into custom drum manufacturing a few years ago, he now confines his drum designing skills to a joint venture with Joyful Noise Drum Company, which also manufactures the John Aldridge Deluxe model to John's exacting specifications. Customers of JNDC can request virtually any engraving design that can be imagined as part of a custom order, or select one of our exclusive Winged Elite or Scrolled Elite patterns, available only on Joyful Noise drums.