Alex Van Halen

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
Alex's drumming on the new Van Halen record absolutely slays me. This is, by far, the "heaviest" Van Halen record and Al does a bang-up job (pun intended) kicking these songs into high-gear. Nearly 60 years old? You'd never know it. His signature snare tone is prominent and his double-bass work on songs like China Town and As Is, is amazing.

The guy has an incredible pocket and grooves the more "subtle" tunes like Blood and Fire and You and Your Blues, like a master. This could be the best rock drumming since... well... the last Van Halen record (like Van Halen III or not, the drumming was the highlight).

Looks like his live solo has taken a "Latin" flavor! Good stuff!


Gold Member
He sure has had some interesting kits...
What? No pics of his Peavey Radial Pro

His signature snare tone is prominent and his double-bass work on songs like China Town and As Is, is amazing.
Most times that signature snare tone came from one of these he has tucked away in his studio since the mid 90's when Eddy was endorsed by Peavey. I know of a couple drummers that have tried to buy it and the radial pro kit he has but he wont sell. There were only 2 of those Koa wood snares made, the second for Matt Sorum of G&R which is the pic below that was purchased from Matt a couple months ago by a drummer I know in Memphis.
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Silver Member
Alex does a good job on the new CD, but I can't think of any "wow" moments from him on the entire record (or anyone else for that matter).


One of my favourite drummers of all time. I think his best work was from the Diver Down/1984 era.
He's been a great influence on my playing since I was a kid.
Here's another great pic to add to the others......enjoy - what a monster!! How long are those boom stands to his right!!



Senior Member
Hey guys,
As far as his snare drum sound, He usually uses a black dot, or silver dot, with a layer of duct tap on the underside of the batter head, and then turned up table top tight.
I found this info out on a lengthy phone conversation with Tod Trent when he was at ontario music, back in 91 or 92. Bass Drums from 1984, 5150, and OU812 had plywood glued to the inside of the batter heads, and was triggered. Earlier bass drums were open, Kieth Moon Style, an sometimes had felt strips installed.
Now he just has wide open, un muffled bass drums.
Bass drum on F.U.C.K. was open, Ambassadors on batter and reso, tuned just above a wrinkle...Live, Remo muffs were used on batter and reso, with a 7 inch hole .
Toms are tuned up high, Jazz style. studio floor toms are 14 and 16, with ambassadors, as apposed to the live floor toms that are 16 and 18, and usually have double ply heads.
10 and 12 have ambassadors in the studio, and dot heads live, or coated ambassadors.


Senior Member
Anyone know what are the sizes of his silver sparkle Ludwigs seen in the "official music videos" for/off there debut/1st album?,
I.e his kicks look like 2x26" kicks glued/joined together&he has a 15" or larger rack tom on a snare stand inbetween his kick drums!.I for one LOVE both his studio&live drum sounds on VHII he used a Tama rosewood snare up until Diver Down then a Yamaha rosewood snare until Ludwig made his custom snare which's no longer made or available with his name