Ahhh yes, hey everyone, Rob here! Now we get to talk about the fun stuff! Now we talk drums, baby! Errrrr…please don’t tell the others that I said that. Their stuff is fun too, I suppose. Oh and as you may pick up on from the photo above I am a left-handed drummer. I haven’t decided necessarily whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, but it does mean that I am in my right mind. This is one of my favourite photos of my kit.
Anyhow, where to start?
What do I sit on?
I think that I will start with where I plant my butt! I love my Pearl Roadster Throne. It is plain and simple and it works for me. I have tried the tractor-style seats, but they feel too much like, well, a tractor seat for me. I tried ones with backs, and wheels, and pockets; wooden ones, heck someone suggested I try a yoga ball, but nope, give me the Pearl Roadster.
What does my left foot use to whack the bass drum with?
Speaking of Pearl, I am currently using a Pearl P-120P single bass pedal. It too is simple; it does the job and I like it alright, but I have kind of been looking around for something that I like a little better. I just don’t know what yet.
What do I use to hit stuff with?
I use mostly Vic Firth sticks with 5A wooden tips. However, I also use different types, sizes, nylon tips…whatever, depending on my mood and where I am playing. I even have a pair of carbon fiber sticks that I have had since I was a teenager; those things are awesome and will never break, but they are loud to begin with and, well, I have a tendency to pound the crap out of my drums. I am sure that I have heard my wooded sticks cry. Then they break.
What are those loud shiny round things?
Since I was a teenager I have been a fan of Zildjian cymbals. For me, there is just something right about the way they sound and feel when I smash the crap out of them. I can’t really explain it, but seeing that Zildjian logo as I get ready to crack ‘em just somehow feels like home. Oh and to quote two very cool people who used the same expression 20 years apart, I have a bit of a tendency to “pound my drums like they owe me money”. Anyways, where was I? Oh ya, cymbals. So, most of my cymbals are Zildjian. I use 14″ New Beat Hi Hats, a 16″ Medium Thin Crash, a 18″ Medium Thin Crash, and a 21″ Sweet Ride. I also have a Sabian 10″ Splash that I love. I have also been using my buddy Truman’s Sabian 18″ crash that has an awesome bell on it. I have been looking to add a China Crash, but after much searching I still haven’t found “the one” yet.
How about the round plastic things that the sticks hit?
I have never used anything but Remo heads. I first went with them because my best buddy’s name was Remo so it just seemed the way to go. I continue to use them in his memory. Since he has left this world seeing his name all over my kit always brings thoughts of good times we had. Of course, in addition to that, I really like them. Way back I always used the black dots because I saw Gil Moore’s kit at a Triumph concert and thought they looked cool. Yes, scientific I know…hey don’t judge me! These days I use all Remo Weatherking Pin Stripes except on my snare which I tend to use a Remo Coated Ambassador. One of these days I am going to pick up a set of Black Dots just for kicks.
Ok now for my babies!
I am playing a Sonor Ascent Studio Set with a Burnt Fade finish that I freaking love! I have my friend, and professional drummer extraordinaire, Topher Stott to thank for that. When I was looking for a new kit he suggested that I check out Sonor. To be honest they weren’t even on my radar at the time, but man, I love them. They look great and sound better and being small in size, they are great for transporting to and from gigs (and up and down stairs).
The kit is a 5 piece comprised of a bass drum 20″ x 18″, tom tom 10″ x 8″, tom tom 12″ x 9″, floor tom 14″ x 14″, and a snare drum 14″ x 5.5″. At first I wasn’t sure whether I would like having the toms run off the cymbal stands instead of being mounted on the bass drum, but it has really grown on me. Then there is the bass drum. I thought “what kind of boom will I get from a 20″ kick?”, but it holds its own. I find that the whole kit plays bigger than it is.
I also have my old Tama Swingstar snare as a backup that is the one thing that I kept when I got rid of my old kit. Even during all those years that I didn’t really play I always kept that snare. I saved my money for it when I was a teenager; I can remember the day I finally had enough to go and buy it.
How do I move the kit around?
What do I use when I am learning new tunes?
I have a Roland TD-9 that I use to practice on. I always, always scoffed at the idea of electronic kits. “That is not a freakin drum set!!!” is something that I would usually say about them. Then I sat down and played this kit. Still wasn’t sold until I closed my eyes and played around with the hi hat pedal, I was impressed with the reaction on it. Anyhow, it has almost 50 pre-programmed kits on it, and then you can create your own. You can also modify any of the presets, change the size and type of cymbal, or tom, or snare…whatever. It is pretty cool. However, I like it because I can plug my iPod into it and play along with any song we happen to be learning.
Everyone in the house likes the kit also because I can plug some headphones in and play. Did I mention that I tend to pound the drums pretty hard when I play? I have a set of Audio Technica studio headphones that I love. I also have a Peavey PR120 that I can plug into that kicks butt pretty good for jamming or gigs in places where the acoustic kit might be too much (see the second sentence in this section).
Well, I think that is about it. I haven’t even got into my cajon, djembe, and other percussion stuff, but that is for another day.
I would say that the picture below captures perfectly how much I love playing my Sonor kit and doing so with the incredible people in my LMT family!