Tama drums are a unique and highly regarded musical instrument manufactured and marketed by the Japanese company, Hoshino Gakki. (Who is also the founder)
Much of Tama’s research and development as well as the production of its professional drums is done in Seto, Japan. All hardware and more affordable line of products are made in Guangzhou, China.
While Hoshino has several offices around the world for marketing and distribution, its US office in Bensalem, Pennsylvania also contributes to Tama’s market research and development.
In 1965, Hoshino began marketing their drums under the name “Star Drums”. In Japanese tradition the Hoshino name translates to “star field” so they adapted the name. Hoshino’s wife’s name is Tama which means “jewel” so they adapted the Tama name on all their higher end high quality products.
Tama has a wide range of drums from high end professional models to lower cost models for beginners. They are made of several different materials and come in a wide range of sizes and finishes.
The Tama Starclassic is the professional line of products and can be made of 100% bubinga, 100% maple, birch/bubinga hybrid, or brass. All the starclassic drums feature the die cast hoops.
The Superstar and Imperialstar lines are cheaper and come in 100% birch and 100% poplar shells. Limited edition models would feature special wood and finishes.
Tama also has introduced the cordia wood Artstar line with a thinner drum shell aimed at the American market looking for high quality drums with an exotic finish and a great price!
Tama Drum kit lines include the following:
Starclassic bubinga Omni-tune Starclassic bubinga Elite
Starclassic bubinga Starclassic maple
Starclassic performer B/B Superstar Hyper-drive
Some popular bands that use the Tama drum include the following:
Stewart Copeland – The Police Chuck Burgi – Billy Joel
Simon Phillips – Toto Dave MacKintosh – Dragonforce
David Silveria – was in Korn Mike Malinin – Goo Goo Dolls
Lars Ulrich – Metallica Bennie Rodgers II – Mariah Carey
Dave Lombardo – Slayer Bruce Rutherford – Alan Jackson
Shauney Baby – The Pussycat dolls Jeremy Stacey – Sheryl Crow
Frank Beard – ZZ Top John Tempesta – The Cult
Justin Bennett – Skinny Puppy Roger Taylor – Duran Duran
Jimmy Keegan – Santana/Kenny Loggins Bill Ward – Black Sabbath
John Roberts – Janet Jackson/ Jill Scott Pete Prada – The Offspring
Tama drums are handmade and in most limited edition models. The inside of the drum is signed by the person who made it. Most limited edition sets have matching snare drum while most other sets come as a shell kit without a snare drum.
Tama was also one of the first companies to offer a free floating drum mounting systems which allows space between the drums for a more improved sound.
The Tama drum is professionally made using the Tukumi technique and only the most advanced craftsman and skilled individuals can touch and “feel” the wood that is used in making the highly regarded Tama drum.
The shell molding process involves tapping the wood into the shell with a block of wood and hammer, which helps the craftsman to “hear” the wood. This assists the craftsman to shape the wood appropriately into the best possible position to make the best possible sound.
The cutting edge process combines new technology of digital cameras and cutting tools as well as the old world technique of sanding by hand to produce the best looking and best sounding drums on the market!
The lacquer finishing process involves about 20 different processes including spraying, drying and buffing. All woods are different and require skilful application, All finishes are selected by highly experienced craftsman and they strive to make each kit match as close to perfection.
As you can see, the drum making process is nothing simple and can be manufactured in factories with machines and mass produced, but only the quality of a high end professional product can be enjoyed by the craftsman feeling and hearing the wood by putting his heart and soul into the fabrication process. The Tama drum is second to none!
Search for used Tama Drums for sale.