Home > Roy Burns

Roy Burns

Roy Burns is one of the very few drummers whose career has encompassed virtually every aspect of drumming and the music business. He has been a big band drummer, teacher, author, clinician, featured soloist, studio drummer, publisher, and now one of the owners of Aquarian Drumheads.

Roy was famous as a big band drummer in his early twenties performing with the legendary Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, and Woody Herman. In the sixties he concentrated on studio work and freelancing in the New York area. He played a number of top TV shows such as the Merv Griffin Show and the Tonight Show as well as TV and radio commercials. Roy also led his own jazz group and performed regularly at clubs such as The Metrepole and Birdland in New York.

During this time Roy was in demand as a teacher. It was from his teaching that Roy was inspired to write a number of drum instruction books, several of which are considered "classics" to this day, including "Finger Control", "Elementary Drum Method", "Advanced Rock Drumming", "New Orleans Drumming" and "One Surface Learning".

Roy was one of the very first Artist-Clinician Performers in the music industry. His background as a drummer, teacher, author and studio musician made him an ideal teacher/performer. In many instances, a Roy Burns drum clinic was the first one attended by young drummers in the U.S. and internationally. Roy was the first American drummer to present clinics in a number of countries such as, Australia, Ireland, Hong Kong, Denmark and others. Roy literally set the standard for today's drum clinicians. Thousands of drummers read his "Concepts" column in Modern Drummer Magazine. It was one of the most successful columns in the history of the magazine and ran an unprecedented 12 years.

During the 70's Roy was also the house drummer for the Monterey Jazz Festival and backed some of the greatest names in jazz and blues. In 1980, along with two close friends, Roy formed Aquarian. In 1987 Aquarian began to make drumheads and the rest, as they say, is history.

Aquarian experienced tremendous growth in a relatively short time because of innovative ideas and unique products of superior quality. As Roy says, "In everything we do, we keep the drummer in mind. We focus on helping the drummer attain a musical sound and achieve a better performance."

Roy Burns with Benny Goodman in Blokker, The Netherlands, 1958

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

 

Roy Burns with Benny Goodman from "Swing Into Spring" TV special

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Roy Burns at the 1975 Monterey Jazz Festival

Get the Flash Player to see this content.
"Don't Be That Way" Benny Goodman Live in Brussels

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

"Sing Sing Sing" Benny Goodman Live in Brussels

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

"Dill Pickles" off Big, Bad & Beautiful

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

"Mr. Blue" off Big, Bad & Beautiful

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

"Trilogy For Roy" off Big, Bad & Beautiful

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

"Take Me Out The Ballgame" off Skin Burns

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

"Wave" Bob Myers Solo album recorded in Hawaii

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Bob Myers Solo album recorded in Hawaii

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

"Manhattan Spiritual" Sy Zentner

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

"Move" Roy Burns Quintet

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

"Use Me" Roy Burns and Phil Upchurch live at the "Backroom" in Chicago, 1973

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.