For better or worse, I sound like me.


Junior Member
There is a current thread which asks, "What famous drum or drum set would you like to play in person?" (It's a fun thread by the way if you have not visited it.) It got me thinking about famous player's kits in relation to the kits that I've owned. (It's always scary when I get deep in thought.) In any case, it inspired this thread.

I've owned a lot of different drum sets over the years. I started out on a cheap MIJ stencil kit that was beat to death when I got it. Since then I've owned some beautiful kits by Slingerland, Gretsch, Rogers, Leedy, and DW. I've also played on countless back line kits from every manufacturer that you can think of. At a drum camp hosted by Jim Riley I spent a weekend playing one of the Ludwig kits that he used to record and tour with Rascal Flatts. For better or worse through it all, I still sound like me.

The reverse is also true. I've had the pleasure of having several famous drummers use my kits for master classes and clinics. Stanton Moore and Hannah Welton each used one of my vintage Gretsch kits, Daniel Glass used my DW Collector Series kit. When each of them sat behind one of my kits, it suddenly sounded like "their" kit.

I'm at least as guilty as anyone about focusing on the gear. It's fun and harmless. (I'm likely more guilty than most!) At the end of the day it is all about how we make use of what we have. I've been trying to make the most of this time when I'm shut in practicing, to be the best possible me. :D
Last edited:

Captain Bash

Silver Member
Same for me, given the same room heads, sizes and tuning, I pretty much sound the same on any kit unless it’s really extreme construction difference, such as stave set vs thin ply shells for me it’s 80% drummers touch and 20% gear.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
As I grow older and have more experience I can definetly get by on most instruments as the focus is the music and I just do what I have to to make it happen. Playing all sorts of rentde backline, getting by at jam sessions, crappy sounding rooms, crappy monitoring situations, teaching in lots of different facilities with extreme variances in type and level of gear you just get used to work with anything.

It's an opinion often stated.

Personally, though people play like themselves and will adjust things both on the instrument and technically to get what they want, I often hear a clear difference.

dale w miller

Silver Member
I never understood the desire to be a clone. Of course mimicking someone else’s ideas helps build technique and some inspiration, but the idea that anyone want to sound like a watered down version of the original makes me cringe.

Being a student at a music school, I personally found myself pushing as much away as I was taking in. In many ways I feel I didn’t take away from the school as much as I could of, but at least I wasn’t like the 75% of the students who sounded alike.

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
justadrummer writes: "At the end of the day, it is all about how we make use of what we have."

Undeniably so. For some drummers, focusing on gear is an excuse to avoid perfecting their skills. They blame sticks and cymbals for their technical shortcomings, never accepting that their woes should be traced to their minds and hands. Equipment is important, of course, but it's meaningless compared to one's aptitude. An extra hour of practice is more valuable than a brand-new snare drum.

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
"Being a student at a music school, I personally found myself pushing as much away as I was taking in."

Well stated. Effective learning should always be a discriminatory process. A sponge that randomly takes on water will soon saturate itself to the point of uselessness. Knowing what to soak up and what to dismiss is of the essence for drummers. It's the only way to develop a unique style.