Modern Drummer

Last updated
Modern Drummer
PublisherDavid Frangioni
FounderRon Spagnardi
First issueJanuary 1977
CompanyModern Drummer Publications
CountryUnited States
ISSN 0194-4533

Modern Drummer is a monthly publication targeting the interests of drummers and percussionists. The magazine features interviews, equipment reviews, and columns offering advice on technique, as well as information for the general public. Modern Drummer is also available on the internet.

Drum kit collection of drums and other percussion instruments

A drum kit — also called a drum set, trap set, or simply drums — is a collection of drums and other percussion instruments, typically cymbals, which are set up on stands to be played by a single player, with drumsticks held in both hands, and the feet operating pedals that control the hi-hat cymbal and the beater for the bass drum. A drum kit consists of a mix of drums and idiophones – most significantly cymbals, but can also include the woodblock and cowbell. In the 2000s, some kits also include electronic instruments. Also, both hybrid and entirely electronic kits are used.

A magazine is a publication, usually a periodical publication, which is printed or electronically published. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by prepaid subscriptions, or a combination of the three.

Internet Global system of connected computer networks

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.


First published in 1977, today the print version of Modern Drummer is available in 67 countries. The monthly digital edition, enhanced with music and videos corresponding to the current issue's contents, is available on the internet. An electronic newsletter featuring unique editorial, MD Wire, is also published monthly. A corresponding website is used to supplement the magazine with blogs and other items which cannot be provided in the paper format (e.g., audio-video presentations).

Editorial journalism genre

An editorial, leading article (US) or leader (UK), is an article written by the senior editorial staff or publisher of a newspaper, magazine, or any other written document, often unsigned. Australian and major United States newspapers, such as The New York Times and The Boston Globe, often classify editorials under the heading "opinion".

A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page. Until 2009, blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject or topic. In the 2010s, "multi-author blogs" (MABs) emerged, featuring the writing of multiple authors and sometimes professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups, and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other "microblogging" systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into the news media. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

In 1993 Modern Drummer Publications introduced a bimonthly drum dealer-oriented magazine called Drum Business, and for more than 20 years its book division has released works by drum educators. In 2006 the company published its first hardcover book on the history of drumming, entitled The Drummer: 100 Years Of Rhythmic Power And Invention. Since 1987 it has also produced the Modern Drummer Festival.

Hardcover Book bound with a rigid protective cover

A hardcover or hardback book is one bound with rigid protective covers. It has a flexible, sewn spine which allows the book to lie flat on a surface when opened. Following the ISBN sequence numbers, books of this type may be identified by the abbreviation Hbk.


Modern Drummer magazine was conceived in the basement of Ron and Isabel Spagnardi's home in Nutley, New Jersey, funded only with the family's personal savings. The magazine's initial staff consisted of Leo Spagnardi (Ron's father, who taught him how to play the drums), and Ron and Isabel's daughter, Lori. Although they had no real publication experience or financial backing, the Spagnardis placed ads in local newspapers, in Downbeat, and in Drum World. [1]

Nutley, New Jersey Township in New Jersey, United States

Nutley is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 28,370, reflecting an increase of 1,008 (+3.7%) from the 27,362 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 263 (+1.0%) from the 27,099 counted in the 1990 Census.

Newspaper Scheduled publication containing news of events, articles, features, editorials, and advertising

A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background.

"What we didn’t consider when we put the ads in the papers," recalled Isabel in The Drummer, "was that we were innocently breaking the law by advertising a product that didn’t even exist yet!" The ads worked, however, and subscriptions began coming in as the first issue was still being laid out on the Spagnardis’ ping-pong table. Ron contributed most of the magazine's content, writing the majority of the articles on an old typewriter under various pen names. Within two years, the Spagnardis’ basement could no longer provide the necessary space and so moved to its first proper office in Clifton, New Jersey. By 1984, the magazine once again outgrew its headquarters and moved to a larger facility in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. Ten years later, it moved to an even larger facility in the same town. Modern Drummer’s offices remain at 12 Old Bridge Road in Cedar Grove today.

Table tennis racket sport

Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball back and forth across a table using small rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net. Except for the initial serve, the rules are generally as follows: players must allow a ball played toward them to bounce one time on their side of the table, and must return it so that it bounces on the opposite side at least once. A point is scored when a player fails to return the ball within the rules. Play is fast and demands quick reactions. Spinning the ball alters its trajectory and limits an opponent's options, giving the hitter a great advantage.

Typewriter machine for writing in characters

A typewriter is a mechanical or electromechanical machine for writing characters similar to those produced by printer's movable type. Typically, a typewriter has an array of keys, and pressing one causes a different single character to be produced on the paper, by causing a ribbon with dried ink to be struck against the paper by a type element similar to the sorts used in movable type letterpress printing. Commonly, a separate type element corresponds to each key, but the mechanism may also use a single type element with a different portion of it used for each possible character. At the end of the nineteenth century, the term typewriter was also applied to a person who used a typing machine.

A pen name is a pseudonym adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their works in place of their "real" name. A pen name may be used to make the author's name more distinctive, to disguise their gender, to distance an author from some or all of their previous works, to protect the author from retribution for their writings, to combine more than one author into a single author, or for any of a number of reasons related to the marketing or aesthetic presentation of the work. The author's name may be known only to the publisher or may come to be common knowledge.

Ron Spagnardi died on September 22, 2003. [2]

Drum Business and book publishing

In 1993 Modern Drummer Publications introduced Drum Business, a magazine dedicated to the needs of drum retailers. The bi-monthly publication features interviews with drum sellers, press releases for new products, drum-industry news, articles and news such as on the annual National Association of Merchant Musicians (NAMM) convention.

Publication output of the act of publishing, and also refers to any printed copies; distribution of copies to the general public with the consent of the author

To publish is to make content available to the general public. While specific use of the term may vary among countries, it is usually applied to text, images, or other audio-visual content, including paper. The word publication means the act of publishing, and also refers to any printed copies.

A press release, news release, media release, press statement or video release is an official statement delivered to members of the news media for the purpose of providing information, an official statement, or making an announcement. A press release is traditionally composed of nine structural elements. Press releases can be delivered to members of the media both physically and electronically.

Among the books Modern Drummer Publications has released are titles by well-known drummers such as Gary Chester, Carl Palmer and Bill Bruford. Ron Spagnardi authored more than a dozen books.

Readers poll

Each year Modern Drummer publishes the results of its readers poll, which highlights top drummers spanning all genres of music and inducts one drummer into the Modern Drummer Hall Of Fame. Awards are also given for top educational materials and recorded performances.

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  1. Mark Small, "Alum Profile - Ron Spagnardi '63", Berklee College of Music (accessed 2014-07-19).
  2. "Ron Spagnardi.(Deaths)", The Music Trades , November 1, 2003   via  HighBeam Research (subscription required)