Drum Industry legend, John Aldridge, is an accomplished hand engraver and has mastered the techniques used by his drum engraving predecessors of the 1920s-30s. Although there are machines that can engrave now, nothing can reproduce the strokes and appearance of the the archaic wriggle style, so John prefers to stay with the time tested method of hand engraving. There are no machines, powered tools, or any other devices other than a few small wood handled blades used in this approach! His work has been sought after by many high profile drummers as well as vintage drum collectors throughout the world.
John has produced numerous versions of the Ludwig Black Beauty with the Ludwig Drum Company, starting with the 1990 reintroduction of hand engraving to Ludwig. Since 1999, he has served as the exclusive engraver of the Black Beauty snare drum, completing the 90th Anniversary model, the 2005-2007 Limited edition, and the latest Black Beauty 100th Anniversary Limited Edition snare drums. But Ludwig is not the only company to take advantage of John's engraving services. In late 1989, John opened the door for his first custom jobs and engraved a few drums for Drum Workshop's top endorsers. Most of his early production involved doing aftermarket engraving on drums for individuals and drum shops. Since that time, John has been the prime source for drum companies looking to enhance their product offerings with engraving. From the hoops for Johnny Craviotto's prestigious Lake Superior snare drums, to Slingerland's Copper and Brass Beauties, to Tama's Kenny Aronoff Trackmaster, to Ludwig's 90th-100th Anniversary model snare drums, John has worked with most major manufacturers of metal snare drums in the music industry.
John is also the founder of Not So Modern Drummer Magazine , and is the REO Speedwagon drum tech (15yrs)