Claymore Drums

Claymore Drums The best bass and tenor drums on the market. Producer of quality tenor and bass drums


Thank you, health professionals!

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I don’t know what it’s like in your area but the food lines in Pittsburgh are huge. So I have decided to help in a littl...

I don’t know what it’s like in your area but the food lines in Pittsburgh are huge. So I have decided to help in a little way. I am going to donate all the profits from the sales of my GapStixs to the local foodbank. Please go to and have a look. As the saying goes “I don’t have a lot but I know what it’s like to be without”. If you could pass this on I’d appreciate it. Thanks much.

Home of the GapStix and "Pipe Band Drumming for the Very Beginner" Instructional Book

Here’s my simplified drum score for massed band 4/4’s. More videos to come on YouTube, comment or message with any reque...
Simplified Massed Band Drum Score - 4/4

Here’s my simplified drum score for massed band 4/4’s. More videos to come on YouTube, comment or message with any requests.

Simplified massed band drum score for 4/4 time signature. This score can be used by beginners taking part in massed bands or simply for instructional purpose...

A new product from Claymore. I have come up with a simple and inexpensive method to reduce the moisture content of a ree...

A new product from Claymore. I have come up with a simple and inexpensive method to reduce the moisture content of a reed after playing. It's called the Claymore Cap. It's designed to fit over chanter reed covers that have an existing hole in the top. If your cover does not, you can simply drill one yourself. Inside the cap is an absorbent silica pack. This will help in reducing excess moisture and any problems related to a wet reed.More info:


This may not seem like conventional advice, but it is important to understand the difference between your practice pad and your snare drum. When teaching, I always emphasize the importance in quality of the sound and not the quantity of sound you are trying for on the pad. This means playing everything clean, controlled and soft when practicing. There is a tendency to get, shall we say, over enthusiastic while playing on a pad. If you transfer this heavy handed playing onto the snare drum, you take away one of the biggest aspects of the drum...dynamics. If the volume scale of a snare is from 0-10, and you or your corps are playing at an 8 all the time, who is going to notice when you play at 10? It should also be noted that playing loud makes it very hard for a corps to play well together. Playing soft forces everyone to listen and hone in as a corps. Keep in mind, whatever volume you achieve on the pad will be 10 times louder on the drum. Again, quality of sound is the goal, not quantity of sound.


It is always important to learn the structure of a movement first and then it's rhythmical application. The goal is to play clean with good musical presentation.


As an instructor/lead stick it is always a challenge when it comes to choosing or writing scores for your corps. There is that balancing act between playability and degree of difficulty. You don’t want them to difficult that your corps struggles with them, or to simple that they do not showcase your player’s. I approach this by choosing/write scores that my middle player can handle. Challenging enough for my less experience players, interesting enough for my advance players.


One of the things I try and teach students/corps/bands is mindfulness. This is the ability to listen beyond what you are playing. Rather than concentrating on what you are doing alone you become aware of what’s happening around you. It’s sometimes referred to as, getting your head in the game, or, going on automatic pilot. You no longer think about what you are playing but what your corps/band is playing. Once everyone is in, there is a coherence in the playing. This does not mean that it is note perfect, but the effect and feeling is beyond just playing well. To me, it means the difference between being a player and a musician. You can see it, sometimes, when a band member looks like their constipated when playing (sorry), but it’s true. You can just see that they are concentrating so hard on what they are doing to the exclusion of everything else. This is when they become a player in the band, and not part of the band.
There are two basic things that need to happen to be able to achieve this. For pipers, learn the music, be comfortable with your instrument. For drummers, learn the music and a big one for me, LEARN THE TUNE! If you can’t hum the tune you will never understand how the drum score relates to the music. It’s the equivalent of musical pin the tail on the donkey. You’re playing blind.


A couple of weeks ago I posted a bit on what makes for a successful pipe band. I got an email asking what makes for a successful/good player. This is what I came up with.
1) Good instruction. This includes private lessons, weekend workshops and summer schools.
2) Playing solos. The discipline and commitment needed to play solos lays the foundation for a rewarding career in the idiom.
3) Teaching. Teaching requires you to be able to read, play and understand what it is you are trying to teach. From the simplest tune/exercise to whatever level you are capable of teaching to, it will require you to know your stuff.
It comes down to this, the more you put into it the more you are going to get out of it.
What else?


Had a conversation the other day about what makes for a successful band. Here is what came out of it.
1) A teaching program. This above anything else is the most important thing. A band is a byproduct of teaching. The future of any band is in its youth. It should not come as any surprise that the more you teach the better the band gets.
2) Commitment, as I tell bands that I have worked with over the years. You don’t have to play what the grade I bands are playing to win. You just have to sound like them. This means, show up, show up on time and show up ready to play for all band rehearsals.
3) Every band/section/player faces the same question. We/I (am) are here and we/I want to be there as a band/section/player. What do we need to do to get there and are we prepared to do it. This requires the leadership to sit down and have a realistic talk about each components future. Hopefully coming up with a game plan that is doable.
4) A band should have two new goals every year. One is a band goal the other is a musical one. For example, the musical one could be to learn a hornpipe/jig set. The band goal could be to go to Maxville games. Anything that is well within the scope of the bands abilities. This gives more reason to show up to band rehearsal. Also, make sure everyone knows what they are and remind them regular.
What else?


Just a short note to say thanks to all my old and new customers for a great year. Looking forward to an even better 2017. The thought for the day: If you know only the drum score and not the tune, you are a drummer. If you know the drum score and the tune, then you are a musician.


Number 2 of things I know.
The future of any band is in it's youth . Every band needs a healthy teaching program.


In all the years that I have been involved in pipe bands, my own and working with others. I have learnt a thing or two about how successful bands work.
First off "the success or failure of a band is in its leadership and instruction.


Just to answer some questions. Yes, I do refurbish bass and tenors drums, and yes, I can adapt my tensioning system to metal hoops. I can replace/refinish, or not, any of the three main parts of the bass or tenor drum. That would be the hoops, tensioning system, and the shell (rap not lacquer finish). If you are on a budget but still want a new look, this is the way to go.


Some of my recent projects.


When people first inquire about my drums, the first question they normally ask is “What makes your drums better than the others?” The short answer is, “They are handmade”. This means that I have complete control over the final product.
When I get a drum shell in, I test it for tonal quality and resonance. If it does not meet my standard, I either reject it or work on it until it does. This is important because not all shells are created equal. Wood is a dynamic material, and a number of factors go into how a shell will eventually sound. One of the main factors is the bearing edge. This is the part of the shell that touches the drum head. There are three basic bearing edges a 45 degree, 45 degree rounded and double 45 degree. I use the rounded 45 degree with my secret twist.
Why is the bearing edge so important? It is the contact point for the energy transfer from the head through the shell to the bottom head, thus producing the tone and volume you are looking for. The poor transfer of energy is caused by a damaged or poorly constructed bearing edge, or inferior core wood. Cheap drums may say solid birch or maple, but that might be the inside and outside layer only. The wood in-between could be of a poor quality, usually crocus wood. The type of wood also affects the tonal quality. Birch, for example, gives a brighter and sharper sound. As for maple, it gives a warmer, softer sound. Other woods, such as mahogany, can be used, but weight and cost are major deterrents.
Because I also make my own tension systems, I can easily make them any length. This allows me to offer drums of different dimensions. The length of a drum affects the tone and volume. The longer the shell the deeper the sound which generally plays louder. This means you can get a broader range of sounds and a better pitch.
I also use only wooden hoops made from rock maple. Again, it has to do with the transfer of energy. Manmade materials do not vibrate so, therefore, do not transfer the energy to the shell. Yes, wooden hoops can be a little harder to work with. But the end result is an overall better sounding instrument.
In conclusion, my drums are for the serious player and or band that is looking for that edge. Sometimes the difference between first place and the “thank you for coming prize” could be a different look or sound. But most of all, they are made with a dedication to producing the best sounding instrument I can. I am confident that anyone playing my drums will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it for them.


Hello everyone, today we are proud to announce that we are resuming full time operations! We have an newly updated website and are ready to take orders, so go check out and see what we have to offer for all of your bass and tenor drum needs!


check us out at

claymore drums are hand-made tenor and bass drums for pipe bands

February 25, 2011

February 25, 2011


149 Robin St
North Versailles, PA


(412) 860-4002


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great site Mark!