Tama Drums (from Japanese: 多満 (Kanji); タマ (Kana)) is a brand of drums and hardware manufactured and marketed by Hoshino Gakki.[1]

Tama Drums
Company typePrivate
IndustryMusical instruments
Founded1965; 59 years ago (1965)
ParentHoshino Gakki

The research and development of its products, along with production of its professional drum lines, is done in Seto, Japan, while its hardware and less expensive drums are manufactured in Guangzhou, China.[2] Hoshino has several offices around the world for marketing and wholesale distribution. Drums destined for the American market are assembled and stocked in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.[3]

History edit

Hoshino Gakki began manufacturing drums in 1961 under the name "Star Drums". Hoshino, the family name of the founder, translates to "star field," thus the selection of the "Star Drums" brand name. The drums were manufactured at Hoshino's subsidiary, Tama Seisakusho, which had opened in 1962 to manufacture Ibanez guitars and amplifiers. While the production of guitars and amps was moved out of the factory by 1966, the production of drums there continued to grow. The two higher lines of drum models, Imperial Star and Royal Star, were introduced to the American market and were successful lower-cost drums competing against more expensive American-made drums offered by Rogers, Ludwig, and Slingerland Drum Company at the time.

By 1974, Hoshino decided to make a concerted effort to make high-quality drums and hardware and start marketing its drums under the Tama brand.[4] Tama was the name of the owner's wife, and is also a homophone with the Japanese word meaning "jewel". "Star" continues to be used in the names of Tama's drum models to this day.[5]

Tama and Drum Workshop (DW) jointly bought the bankrupt Camco Drum Company. As part of the deal, DW received the Camco tooling and manufacturing equipment while Tama received the Camco name, designs, engineering and patent rights.

At the time, Camco was producing what was thought to be the best drum pedal on the market. DW continued production of the pedal using the original tooling, rebadging it as the DW5000. Tama began production of the same pedal under the Camco name. The Tama version of the Camco pedal is commonly referred to as the Tamco pedal to distinguish it from an original Camco pedal. Tama integrated all the engineering from Camco into their production process and the overall level of quality of their drums increased virtually overnight. The original plan was to market the low-end Tama drums to beginners and use the Camco brand to sell high-end drums to professional musicians.

Tama is the inventor of a unique type of tubular drums called octobans. Octobans are 6-inches in diameter and are manufactured in eight different lengths ranging from 280 millimetres (11 in) up to 600 millimetres (24 in). They vary in pitch by using different shell lengths, rather than widths.[6]

References edit

  1. ^ Strain, James Allen (2017). A Dictionary for the Modern Percussionist and Drummer. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-8108-8693-3. OCLC 974035735. Tama. A Japanese drum brand founded in 1965 by the Hoshino Gakki instrument manufacturing company.
  2. ^ Loncaric, Denis (October 26, 2022). "Where are Tama Drums made?". DRUM! Magazine. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  3. ^ Furia, Claire (January 12, 1998). "Ibanez guitars hit right chord". Philadelphia Inquirer. pp. E1, E3.
  4. ^ Nicholls 2008, p. 56.
  5. ^ Brennan 2020, p. 247.
  6. ^ Beck 2007, p. 63.

Bibliography edit

External links edit