Famous Drummers’ Gear: A Peek Inside The World Of Professional Drum Setups

Posted by Mike Schumacher

Drum sets are a staple instrument in popular music. Most popular music genres, like hip-hop and pop, demand songs with a strong drum beat and accompaniment.

Along with the bass guitar, the drum set is also a key instrument in rock music. Drummers are often portrayed as the backbone of the band, keeping the rhythm and pace for all other instruments to play off of.

With how important the drum set is in music, it is no surprise that there is a large market for accessories, equipment, and new kits. There are websites dedicated to selling new drums and old used ones at discounted prices, companies that make just specific pieces of equipment, and sellers that offer custom kits tailored to your preferences and style.

Buddy Rich

Famous Drummers' Gear: A Peek Inside the World of Professional Drum Setups

The drum kit used by Buddy Rich is one of the most iconic setups in the world. Famous for his fast footwork and dynamic style, Rich is credited with helping to develop the style of jazz drumming we know and love today.

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His gear includes a set of Zildjian cymbals, most notably a heavy bass ride cymbal and a thin China cymbal. He also uses a Drum Workshop drum set with Vistalite drums, which are very bright in tone.

His sticks include heavy heads on the batter side and soft tips on the other end. This helps him to play with different dynamics by applying different amounts of pressure.

Aside from his professional gear, he also had many pieces that were very personalized to him.

Neil Peart

Famous Drummers' Gear: A Peek Inside the World of Professional Drum Setups

One of the most famous drummers in the world is Neil Peart. He is most well-known for his work with the band Rush. Neil has a very specific style and taste in music, which is reflected in his drum set up.

He designs his sets himself, choosing the colors and brands of drums and other equipment. He even designs his own set of special ghost notes that he uses during concerts.

His popularity has even inspired online stores to sell fake “Neil Peart” sets, although these are not as high quality or authentic as the real thing.

Given how important his style is to him, he probably would not enjoy seeing fake sets for sale, so do not buy these! Check out some of his authentic sets below.

Lars Ulrich

Famous Drummers' Gear: A Peek Inside the World of Professional Drum Setups

Known as the drummer for Metallica, one of the most famous bands in the world, Lars Ulrich is also known for his famous drum kits.

Ulrich has been playing drums since he was a child, and his love for music is what propelled him into the world of rock music. He is well-known for his technical style of playing, which emphasizes the use of different drums and patterns to create a specific sound or feeling.

Many of Ulrich’s earlier kits were Pearl Masters Series sets. He used these from 1984 until around 1990, when he switched to Sonor sets. These stayed with him until his retirement in 2002, when he returned to using a Pearl set.

His later sets were all pearl white with gold hardware. The reason he chose these colors was because they matched the band’s tour uniforms.

Alex Van Halen

Famous Drummers' Gear: A Peek Inside the World of Professional Drum Setups

Famous drummers are a great source of inspiration for aspiring musicians. Not only do they inspire you to play music, but they also teach you how to put together a professional drum setup.

Many famous drummers have their own brand of drums or gear that they endorse. Some even have their own gear companies where they design and produce their own drums, sticks, and other equipment.

Some of the most famous drum sets are composed of Roland electronic drums paired with Zildjian cymbals. These are some of the brands that aspiring drummers should look into when putting together their own setups.

Alex Van Halen, brother of guitar legend Eddie Van Halen, is one of the most famous rock drummers today. His skills have inspired many young musicians to take up the drums and pursue a career in music.

Tommy Lee

Famous metal drummer Tommy Lee is known for his energetic, in-your-face style. He is also famous for his favorite drum set: the Pearl Masters Series kit.

This collection is made up of five toms, a bass drum, and a snare. All of the drums are tuned slightly flat, with a warm, rich sound. This is due to the brass shells that the drums are made of.

The pedals have been said to be some of the best due to their durability. The swivel function allows for freedom of movement when playing. The stands are heavy-duty which prevent any shaky playing.

By looking at his setup, you can see that he likes to have a lot of space between his drums. This gives him room to play freely and move around while performing.

Roger Taylor

Famous Drummers' Gear: A Peek Inside the World of Professional Drum Setups

The drummer for the legendary British band Queen, Roger Taylor, uses a five-piece drum set. His bass drum and throne are both Vixon, and his main drum set is Pearl.

His snare is a Zildjian brand and his other drums are Paiste brands. He also uses Remo heads and Vic Firth sticks.

Considering how famous Queen was, it is surprising how few pieces of equipment he has actually given out. Only one person has ever reported receiving a piece of his equipment, and it was just a stick!

Despite this, Roger says that he still gets people coming up to him asking to try out his old gear, hoping to find some secret talent enhancement.

Bill Bruford

Famous Drummers' Gear: A Peek Inside the World of Professional Drum Setups

A leading member of the rock band Yes for almost a decade, Bill Bruford also played in bands like Genesis and Brand X.

He was known for his unusual drum setups, using two bass drums and separating the cymbals into two separate stands. This is due to his desire to have very precise sounds.

His desire to have precise sounds led him to buy very expensive equipment to make that possible. He was an avid fan of Pearl drums and cymbals, so he invested in that brand.

He has said that he has gone through dozens of drum sets during his career due to wear and tear, but he has kept his favorite setups!

His love for music and precision helped him become a famous drummer, but his specific gear choices helped him define his style.

Stewart Copeland

Famous Drummers' Gear: A Peek Inside the World of Professional Drum Setups

In the world of drumming, being well-equipped is a must. Famous drummers like The Police’s Stewart Copeland have created their own iconic looks that other drummers admire.

Copeland is famous for his military-style setups with lots of gear attached to the drums and cymbals. His stick holders are also unique, with a swivel base that holds the sticks in place.

Drum companies create products that are designed to fit well with their brand and other accessories. Many companies collaborate with each other to create unique combinations for the professional drummer.

Copeland is famous for his military-style setups with lots of gear attached to the drums and cymbals. His “Para Para” kit has many extras, including diving rod style stands and a chupacabra stand on top of the bass drum.

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