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  #1  
Old 09-20-2011, 09:34 AM
Rudd Fan 92 Rudd Fan 92 is offline
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Default Levon Helms Drum Setup

What where the drums and the drum sizes he used in the 60s 70s and now.Oh and one more thing i have a set of ludwig classic maples the sizes 26x14 bass 14x11 mounted tom and a 16x16 floor are the sizes to big to get that levon helm sound and what heads did he use then and now. Thanks Peace
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:59 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: Levon Helms Drum Setup

Thats a long list.The only thing he used consistantly was a 17"A Zildjian ride.Everything else pretty much varied from mostly vintage Ludwig marching drums,single tension,double tension,rope tension drums,in various sizes and finishes,although he was partial to mahogany in the 70"s..I'm not sure what he's playing now,either Pearl or Yamaha I think is what I saw him playing last.I do know he loked to use lots of tape on his drumheads as well as his cymbals.

Steve B
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:25 AM
Forgiven Forgiven is offline
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Default Re: Levon Helms Drum Setup

This is from memory, in Modern Drummer a couple years ago, he was using Slingerland drums. I think the sizes were 20,12,14,16 and 14 snare. Heads were Remo. Coated Powerstroke on the kick, coated CS on the snare, and coated Ambassadors or Fiberskyns on the toms, I think.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:22 AM
Mr. Compactness Mr. Compactness is offline
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Default Re: Levon Helms Drum Setup

He used to use a 26" Gretsch kick and a 26" Ludwig back in the 60's and 70's. I don't know what he used for rack toms, but you're on the right track. In the 90's on his instructional video it looks like he used a 13 or 14 rack and a 16 floor tom. The key to his sound is to tune low and to dampen the drums quite a bit.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:12 PM
john gerrard john gerrard is offline
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Default Re: Levon Helms Drum Setup

If you Google "Midnight Ramble" Go to Grammy Award Studio and check out the equipment section. It gives a run down on the drums he uses. He has a 12 and 15 Ludwig tom toms that Ringo gave him. Pretty cool. Also various other Slingerland and Yamaha kits. There are also cool pictures.

In case you didn't know about the Midnight Ramble there is some really cool reading. Best wishes. John
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:50 PM
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ron pangborn ron pangborn is offline
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Default Re: Levon Helms Drum Setup

I was fortunate enough to play on Levon's drums at a Midnight Ramble about a year ago.
He had a natural maple finish set of Slingerlands 20, 12, 14 16. P3 on the kick and Vintage Ambassadors on the toms, as I recall. Zildjians all around although I was given a choice of what cymbals to use from two overstuffed cymbal bags. I chose mostly Armand Zildjians. The snare I used was a yamaha 6.5 x14 maple.I'm not sure what Levon used for his show. It was one of the musical highlights of my life!! I even got to play percussion with him on "The Weight" at the finale of the show...Whew!!
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:44 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: Levon Helms Drum Setup

Were they vintage Slingerlands?Great drums.Boy would I have some questions for Levon,like did Robbie Robertsons singing really suck that much ;)I'm a big fan of Levon and the Band so to be on the same stage with Levon must have been a trip.....

Steve B
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:24 PM
john gerrard john gerrard is offline
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Default Re: Levon Helms Drum Setup

Ron, I'm really impressed to hear that you got to play at the "Ramble" That must have been an awesome experience for you. I've never been to one but I would love to get there sometime. John
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:30 PM
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ron pangborn ron pangborn is offline
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Default Re: Levon Helms Drum Setup

They were not vintage Slingerlands. I guess they were Nashville Slingy's. His tech had just changed the heads from Fyberskins to vintage ambassadors. Beautifully tuned and a real pleasure to play, (even with the O-rings on the heads).
I was drumming for Motor City legend Mitch Ryder at the Midnight Ramble. Levon was a real gentleman and invited us into his kitchen for a short hang, just him and his dog.....I'm thinking, "pintch me I MUST be dreaming".
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