This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the February 2016 issue, which is available here.
4×15 & 5.5×15 Steel Snare Drums
Vibrant and versatile with supreme clarity and a full range of tones.
There’s been a bit of buzz building around the snares coming from Jim Beier’s shop in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Blue Öyster Cult’s Jules Radino, Olivia Newton-John’s Mark Beckett, and Charlie Daniels’ Pat McDonald have been using them live, and Nashville session ace Tommy Harden has been singing Beier’s praises in the studio. (I first became aware of Beier’s handi-work from following Harden’s posts on Instagram.)
The premise behind Beier drums, according to Jim, is to provide “a traditional, classic-looking line of drums that are a go-to workhorse for players.” The focus is on the sound first, and Beier goes to great lengths to ensure that every drum in a particular size sounds identical. Jim manually rolls and welds the shells, and he cuts the snare beds himself. The final finishing process is outsourced, but everything else is done in-house, including the engraving on the company’s bridge-style lugs. “I’m a one-man show, and I even haul my own steel,” says Jim. “I wanted to do this old-school with a bunch of hand tools, and it’s the only way I’ll ever do it.”
Check out a video demo below.
For the complete review, check out the February 2016 issue, which is available here.