Louson Drums is a custom drum company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We create custom drum kits, cajóns, and percussion instruments
Our goal is to fit musician to instrument. As a small company, we can devote individual attention to your custom drum building requests, whether you want a full drum kit, bass drum or custom cajón.
“Louson Drums is an LLC with three current members: myself, my father Ed Cashman, and my friend Louis Maione. We were founded in May of 2015. we started in Pittsburgh.” – Carson Cashman
“Our workshop is located in Turtle Creek just outside Pittsburgh, but it isn’t open to the public. We are beginning to think about moving into a retail store location and hope to take the plunge sometime in 2019.“
“We make both the small CajonTab as well as full size cajon drums. We also make foot tambourines, which can go over the end of your shoe to give your foot tap a cymbal sound. We also make small wooden shakers and wooden click castanets. These can either go onto our snare bar to create an extra click sound, or another hard bodied instrument like a guitar.“
Like many musical instruments, the cajon drum has a rich history. Although there are no definitive documents stating when the first actual cajon drum was played, historians typically point to the African people from Central and Western Africa living under slavery in18th century Peru as the drums originators. There is some controversy over whether the first new world cajon drums were adaptations of African box drums or an instrument of necessity to evade colonial bans on slaves owning musical instruments. In fact the word “cajon” simply means “box” or “drawer”.
Cajon drums grew in popularity throughout South America and the Caribbean through the 19th century. In the 20th century, cajon drums were introduced to Spanish Flamenco music and have thrived as a natural complement to the style.
“I think the instrument is becoming popular in America due to increased awareness thanks to our connected internet culture. Many people I see at craft shows have seen or heard of a cajon drum, even if they don’t know what its called yet. I think this wasn’t the case 20 or 30 years ago in America.“
“We believe a more mobile life is an enriched life. Our instruments are meant to be enjoyed wherever you are, not left behind in a studio.The CajonTab represents freedom of movement and expression.”
“We make custom CajonTabs. We can customize the wood, the size, the tapa material (face of the drum), etc. “
“In 2015 we made a few full drum kits but switched to building cajon drums, mostly because they were accessible instruments to make in a small home workshop. The cajon drums were a hit at local craft shows around Pittsburgh, so we started experimenting with cajon designs and thought it would be fun to make a super portable variation. Our first “CajonTab” drums were selling in the summer of 2015.“
“There are a million benefits to drumming. Its crazy! In particular, hand drumming and drum circles are incredibly therapeutic. They build community and solidarity as we work together to build the rhythm. The act of hand drumming can be like a meditation, as the space between beats can clear the mind of its racing thoughts and allow the participant to exist in the moment. I often will begin my day with a 10-20 minute solo hand drumming session. There are tons of studies out there, especially in the music therapy space, about how drumming can be useful for treating PTSD and other stress related ailments.“
“We first learned about Music Therapy from a customer at a craft show in the summer of 2016. We went to the American Music Therapy Associations national convention at that customers recommendation, which was in Sandusky Ohio that year. We sold a ton of drums and the MT-BC’s (music therapist, board certified) there were extremely positive and encouraging to us. They told us our drums were really great options for them, since they often need to travel with instruments and the small size was very convenient. They also liked that the drums are intuitive and easy to play without training. And no sticks to worry about!“
“Through starting the business and interacting with hundreds of customers of our drums, I’ve learned a lot about how people use percussion instruments. Some people use a hand drum to jam with friends. Some use it for public performance. Others might use it in a clinical practice like Music Therapy. The thing they all have in common is that they are using musical instruments and music to enrich their lives or the lives of those around them“.
“I didn’t realize when we set out to create a percussion company in 2015 that we were putting so much good into the world. I get fan mail fairly regularly and its really pretty touching! People share with me how much they love the drum and how they’re using it“.
“Often it’s a product being sent as a gift to someone far, far away. Sometimes they want to tell me about how they couldn’t play drums anymore because of a physical disability and our drums are small enough for them to play again. Each time I read one of these letters, I’m reminded that building drums is more than just a business. Its a contribution to the health and happiness of our fellow human beings“.
The catalog of products Louson Drums makes and sells can be found by clicking on the link below:
Interested in a custom CajonTab? No problem! Contact us today and tell us your drum idea. We’ll work with you to design the drum for you. If you are a retailer or wholesaler, please fill out the contact form to request a price sheet. You may also reach us by phone at 412-501-3786. Thank you for your interest in Louson Drums!
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