Nick Cesarz playing drums at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Photo: Jake Maciosek / Playing live with Vinyl Theatre at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for the AP 30th Anniversary

Drum Spy is an online magazine dedicated to reviews of high-end and beginner drum gear complete with price comparisons to most major retailers in the United States.

Hey there. I’m Nick, and I’ve been obsessed with playing the drums for more than twenty years. I play in a pop-rock band called Vinyl Theatre and also produce music for local bands in Milwaukee, WI.

I founded this website in November of 2016 with a simple vision:

  • To become a trusted resource where people can come to learn about new drum products and information about being a drummer.
  • To provide the best, most reliable, understandable drumming advice.
  • To create and nurture a community of drummers willing to help each other be better players and feel more confident in any drumming situation (you’re more than welcome to join our Drum Junkies Facebook Group with over 1,500 members).

About Me

When I was nine years old I was lucky enough to win a drawing out of a hat to become one of two percussionists in the fifth grade. Thus began my trek carrying a snare drum on my back on the school bus each day.

I was fortunate that my parents supported my ambition for music, allowing me to begin private lessons after school.

Since day one of percussion and drums, I’ve been obsessed. I took music and continued private lessons all through-out high school and studied at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater for four years, learning drums and percussion.

During my time at university, I acquired an incredible excess of knowledge studying orchestral excerpts, playing techniques, varieties of percussion, playing in many different ensembles, and discovering a real love for the many instruments known as percussion.

Drum set, being my biggest passion, was my primary focus. I played in many jazz groups, big and small.

Currently I use the following gear:

  • DW Design Black Satin
  • DW Collector’s Series 5.5×14″ Snare
  • 14″ Meinl Byzance Hi-Hats
  • 19″ Meinl Byzance Thin Crash
  • 20″ Meinl Byzance Ride
  • Roland TD-50KV Electronic Drum Set
  • Roland SPD-SX

I learned how to play four-mallet marimba, performing pieces from Nebojsa Zivkovic, Nigel Westlake, Stephen Whibley, and Michael J. Burritt (possibly others I cannot remember). Percussion ensemble was a primary focus for our curriculum which introduced me to some of my favorite composers, including Steve Reich and Phillip Glass.


After leaving school, I’ve been touring and making music with my band Vinyl Theatre. In 2012, we began playing local clubs and recorded many albums under many different names for two years. In 2014, we signed to Atlantic Records and have toured with plenty of well-known acts such as twenty one pilots, smallpools, Misterwives, Grizfolk, The Mowgli’s, Dashboard Confessional, and countless others.

It’s been a journey and one hell of a learning experience.

I have written for Modern Drummer, Music Think Tank, Indie On The Move, and others.

How We Review Products

Our team follows a specific process when reviewing drum gear to ensure our reviews are impartial, enlightening, and unbiased. We either buy the product ourselves or have a member of my staff review a product they may already own. Occasionally companies will send us drum equipment to test out and review. Whether we bought the product outright or received it for free, we always try to give a fair and objective evaluation.

Drum Spy always correctly identifies sponsored content on our website to maintain transparency. We stay unbiased in our reviews despite receiving certain products for free. Also, we disclose any affiliate relationships we have with the companies we link to, including Drumeo and Sweetwater. We receive a small commission from purchases made through these links, and we clearly state this to our viewers on each page.

In some cases where we haven’t used certain product, we still let our readers know about it because they may be new and noteworthy of checking out. To provide the most accurate and trustworthy information, we always try our best to test out and review the products ourselves.

Transparency and objectivity in our assessments are vital to us at Drum Spy. Our mission is to assist drummers in locating equipment that genuinely suits them. Despite being a small team, we aim to offer the most thorough research and reviews available online.

Connect With Me?

If you have any questions or comments, or perhaps you’d like to submit an article, please contact us here. We also do features on drummers, so please feel free to send your press kit over and we’ll be in contact.

I may have founded Drum Spy, but I can’t solely be the only contributor. We welcome drummers of all ages and perspectives to give insight, reviews, self-promotion (with humility) to help further the website.

Some of the opinion pieces may be speculative, as we can’t always get our hands on all the products we talk about. Despite this, we still do our best to provide an objective view of each product we mention.

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