The Drum Exchange specializes in new, used, vintage and one-of-a-kind percussion instruments.

Copyright 2017 - The Drum Exchange. All rights reserved.

Phone: 206.545.3564

Email: edrums@aol.com

4501 Interlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 (Map)

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11AM-6PM




Drums & Percussion


Lessons & Services


About Us


About The Drum Exchange

The Drum Exchange

An independent drum shop that's upbeat and a little offbeat

The seeds that sprouted The Drum Exchange actually began in Chicago, where a young Ed Hartman was making noise in the basement playing his Camco drumset. His neighbors dubbed him “Bongo Eddie” and he hung out in the famous drum shops of downtown Chicago, soaking in all he could about many kinds of percussion instruments. He then went to Indiana University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion. In 1979, he packed up his drums and vibes and drove his “Ford LTD” to Seattle to start his percussion career. Ed toured the Pacific Northwest and performed with many musicians, orchestras, theatre/dance groups and started several arts organizations. In the mid-1980s, Ed found a kindred spirit named John Avinger, who had recently started “John’s Music” on the “Ave” in the University District. Ed started a percussion teaching studio within John’s store and after a few years, they decided to move to a new location in Wallingford. At that time in the early 1990s, the hand drum movement was in full swing. As State Chapter President of Percussive Arts Society, Ed produced "Days of Percussion" featuring regional and national percussionists. With John's help, this evolved into the World Rhythm Festival, an annual event at the Seattle Center.

The focus of John’s Music was mainly World percussion, so Ed started to sell rebuilt used drumsets, cymbals and hardware. In 1992, Ed officially created “The Drum Exchange” and set-up shop next door to John’s Music. Although it might seem illogical to open a drum shop next to another drum shop, each specialized in different drumming realms: John’s Music offered hand drums and world percussion and The Drum Exchange offered drumsets and concert percussion. Over the years, each shop went through many changes; walls were built, torn down and built again. A major turning point happened in 2008 when The Drum Exchange expanded and doubled the size of their showroom. This change provided a new opportunity to hold events with renowned percussionists such as Carmine Appice, Dave Samuels, Mark Walker and Pete Escovedo. Some events were offbeat such as the one about triangle beaters (that’s right, just the beater), recycled junk percussion and the “Most Bashed & Trashed Drumhead” contest. In 2011, John unplugged the John’s Music cash register and closed his store. With this huge change, The Drum Exchange transformed again, adding World percussion along with drumsets, and merging the two drumming realms into one (very compact) space.

Today, life at The Drum Exchange has its own unique rhythm with Ed teaching lessons and fixing drums, his wife, Candace, handles the website. marketing and adds a creative touch to the shop, and longtime (in-store) drum instructor, Vance Nurkala, inspires students to excel in drumming. The Drum Exchange has been open for 25 years; a big accomplishment for a small brick-and-mortar retail store! Upbeat and sometimes offbeat, The Drum Exchange keeps the beat going as a local resource for drummers and percussionists of all ages and levels.

Read more about The Drum Exchange in DRUM Business.

Drum Exchange founder, Ed Hartman, goin’ bonkers with giant drumsticks!


Celebrating 25 years as an independent drum shop in Seattle, WA!