History of the Drumset: Part 9

1935 – Gene Krupa


We can’t talk about Big Band Drumming without mentioning Gene Krupa. Not only did Krupa help out the role of a drummer in the big band, he helped evolve the drumset as we know it today.


Gene Krupa became the face of swing in the Big Band era.

The snowshoe cymbal developed into a pedal called the “Low-Boy” hi-hatGene worked closely with Avedis Zildjian to produce cymbals that were much thinner than those in the past. Together they developed the first crash and splash cymbals used on the drum kit.


1963 The Vic Firth Company is Founded

Vic Firth launches his company with some of the most popular sticks and mallets in production today: the T1 General Timpani Mallet and SD1 General Snare Drum Stick. Committed to producing the highest quality products, these iconic sticks and mallets are still the world’s best sellers over 60 years later!

1983 Signature Series

Vic Firth launches the Steve Gadd signature model and becomes the first company to produce signature drumsticks that reflect the true musical requirements of the artist. To this day, each model is conceived through extensive research with the world’s top players.

1994 Stone Grinding

Vic begins producing sticks in center-less stone grinders rather than traditional lathes. A first for the industry, stone grinding increases quality, consistency, and allows for more complex design elements such as unique tip shapes and tapers.

2002 Injection Molded Nylon Tips

Vic solves the age old problem of nylon tips flying off by developing an injection molding system whereby the stick and the tip become one! For the first time in drumstick history, nylon tips mirror the shape and profile of their wood counterparts!


For nearly 60 years, we at the Vic Firth Company have focused on developing and manufacturing what has become the world’s most popular drumsticks, mallets, alternative implements, and accessories… with the best durability, feel, and sound options, across the widest variety of genres and styles.

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