Showroom: Introducing Sugar Percussion’s Stave-Built Custom Drums

Founded in 2011 and employing skills honed from twenty years of woodworking, Sugar Percussion constructs stave-shell, solid wood drums by hand, one at a time. There are no stock models, and every drum is built after deliberations and conversations between the player and the builder.

Black Crowes drummer, Steve Gorman, was introduced to the company through a snare and subsequently ordered a full kit, all built from a single plank of eastern black cherry. Upon receiving his kit, Gorman said, “Exactly how drums are supposed to sound, exactly how they’re supposed to feel.” He used the kit throughout the final Black Crowes tour, and then ordered a second kit, made from Alaskan yellow cedar, for his latest project, Trigger Hippy.

On the recording side, producer Eric Valentine was also introduced to Sugar Percussion via a snare. A full kit and three snares later, the Eric Valentine Signature Recording Kit was born. The kit employs shallow depths, thicker shells, blunter bearing edges, and a dimension schedule based on prime numbers to inhibit sympathetic resonance between drums. The result is said to be a controlled and balanced sound that’s honed for studio use. Advertisement

Sugar Percussion continues to build recording, live, and hybrid kits and snares for a wide range of clients, including Gadgetbox Studios (Santa Cruz), Blackbird Studios (Nashville), the Blasting Room (Ft. Collins), SIR (New York City), and its drums are available as backline in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City.


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