After 25 years in Wallingford, the independently owned and operated percussion shop, the Drum Exchange, will be closing at the end of August. Owners Ed and Candace Hartman, reached out to Wallyhood to express their appreciation to the Wallingford Community and the loyal customers who have made the commitment to shop local with them over the past 25 years.
The shop has been known as a place to explore the world of percussion and feel at home. Ed and Candace have been a great resource to the neighborhood in sharing their knowledge and helping you find the product that is just right for you. The brick and mortar shop provided a place, like their ‘Wall of Rhythm” that you could play and hear the sound of the instrument before purchasing, in the way that only shopping local can provide. The Drum Exchange has hosted free Drumset and Marimba workshops with award winning percussionists over the years. The store is closing, but they hope to continue the drum/percussion lesson program in some capacity in the Wallingford neighborhood. Updates will be posted on the website: drumexchange.com
More Cowbell?! Remember that classic “More Cowbell” skit from SNL? In 2012 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the shop, they hosted a cowbell jam where they reenacted the hilarious skit. They gave away 100 cowbells and 100 pairs of drumsticks and the whole audience joined in the jam.
Stop in soon and wish Ed and Candace the best of luck! All their inventory is on sale and it is a great opportunity to check out a wide variety of percussion instruments (drumsets, cymbals, djembes, etc). I also hear that Ed has some interesting and unique items from his personal collection that are available.
Candace and Ed shared a bit of history with me:
THE DRUM EXCHANGE – Closing after 25 years in Wallingford.
The seeds that sprouted The Drum Exchange actually began back in Chicago, where a young Ed Hartman was making noise in the basement playing his 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 entered the Indiana University of Music, where he earned a BA degree in Percussive Arts. 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, bands, dance groups and started several arts organizations.
In 1992, Ed officially created “The Drum Exchange” and set-up shop next door to John’s Music (which closed years ago). Although it might seem illogical to open a drum shop next to another drum shop, there was a distinction between the products offered at John’s Music and The Drum Exchange. The symbiotic nature of these two similar but different shops allowed them to operate side-by-side for nearly 20 years. 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 drum/percussion clinics with renowned Percussionists such as Carmine Appice, Dave Samuels, Mark Walker and Pete Escovedo. Some clinics were offbeat such as the one about triangle beaters (that’s right, just the beater), recycled junk percussion and the playful “Most Bashed & Trashed Drumhead” contest.
Over the years The Drum Exchange supplied a set of castanets to the 1990s show “Northern Exposure,” a set of timpani to “Bill Nye, the Science Guy,” drum sets and concert percussion to national and local performers, including Tito Puente, Chick Corea, and Blink 192. When John’s Music closed, The Drum Exchange added hand percussion, and became the last specialty drum shop in the Seattle city limts.
Ed’s wife, Candace has been in charge of marketing, the website, purchasing and assisting in sales. Vance Nurkala has had his “Studio V” at The Drum Exchange for over 20 years and along with Ed, they have taught countless students from 5 to 90 years old (some of which have become professional musicians). The store has serviced the schools and community with equipment sales, repairs, rentals, and education.
The Drum Exchange will close it’s doors at the end of August 2017. Come visit the store, while you can, and take advantage of huge savings on all items (up to 60% off) , including unusual items from Ed’s personal collection. The Drum Exchange has been a tremendous resource for the Northwest and a unique part of Wallingford.
I loved communicating with Ed and Candace to write this story. They are so genuine and the appreciation they have for the community and the support they have received over the years is clear.
I will definitely be stopping by to say hello, check out the stock and find out just what a Djembe is.
The Drum Exchange – 4501 Interlake Ave N
I purchased a tambourine there a few years ago for a Halloween costume. They were super friendly. Good luck to them!
Any reason offered for why they’re closing?
They heard the drumbeat of progress, hayduke.
If it’s yet another ugly oversized soulless box that gets built in it’s place, that drumbeat will sound more like fingernails on a chalkboard.
This was from their Facebook post announcing their closing:
A heartfelt goodbye from The Drum Exchange…
It is with extreme regret that Candace and I are liquidating the retail side of The Drum Exchange after 25 years of operation. The growing preference of customers to purchase from online retailers, Craigslist and Ebay, created a business model we couldn’t sustain.
It’s actually surprising for them to be able to last so long. I think being very active locally and being very nice helped. I went to UW Day of Percussion one year, and Drum Exchange was very helpful there. Still, while I have no doubt people who attended the events would love them, many probably still buy things from online retailers in the end. I think drum school might be more sustainable, but the market is probably limited, competition also seems high, and they probably don’t need the storefront for that.