11 recommended drum products and drum gear

1. Vater 5A Los Angeles American Hickory Wooden Tip drumsticks

When playing drums for a metal band I used to break sticks sometimes. I found these drumsticks and never broke a stick while playing metal again.

2. Vic Firth 5AVG Wood Tip Vic Grip Drumsticks

I use these sticks when teaching, purely because they look cool are are comfortable to play with. I don't really test their limits so they have never broken while playing. They are slightly longer than regular sticks by about an inch.

3. Evans drum heads

I always use double ply evans skins with a heavy batter snare head. The tone is always way better than single ply.

4. Zildjian cymbals

I use Zildjian Avedis cymbals. I love how heavy and weighty Zildjians feel to play, while also having a silky bright sound that cuts through and then gels back together the music.

5. Tama Drums

My favourite make of acoustic drums is Tama. I play a hyperdrive kit. This was my choice - most of the top make produce good drum kits. Anything above about £700 for the shells and stands is going to sound professional. You can however make a £300 kit sound good with decent heads, quality cymbals and careful tuning (and good playing!).

5. Double braced cymbal stands

No matter what make of cymbal stands, don't waste your money on single brace stands because they are not very sturdy.

7. Hardcases

A must have for transporting drums and for packing and stacking them away ready for a gig.

8. Roland V Drums

The drum kits with mesh heads are the best type of electric drums I have played on. The kits with drum brains that allow you to add your own drum samples hits in are the best, and a must if using it to play live. For general playing, teaching and midi recording, the other types of drum brains are sufficient.

9. Roland SPD-S

This has become a popular way of playing any digital sample live using drumsticks - played by the drummer, or any band member. I have used one in several different scenarios.

10. Abelton Drum Rack

I have been recording music using Abelton Live 9 for about 18 months. After a background using Cubase, I was abelto hit the ground running because most of the features were very similar. Abelton is probably easier and more powerful I would say. I have been making multisampled recordings of my own Tama drums and Zidljian cymbals. I have been recording midi using my Roland V drums, and then using the drum rack in abelton to play my sampled drum sounds, triggered by the recorded midi.

11. Metronome

A metronome on your phone, computer, built into your electric drums, or a physical product - they are all useful. Practicing with a metronome is essential to becoming a good drummer. Timing is everything.

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