If you’re a drummer or a musician then you know–you never forget your first drum set or instrument. I started playing drums in the first grade taking private lessons and practicing on a drum pad. Then I moved up to a snare drum. And I would set up buckets around the snare and bang away as if it were a set.
When I was in fifth grade my dad and I drove to New Bedford, MA after reading an ad in the newspaper for a drum set. That was a mistake. The second I saw it, one of us was sold. It was a classic Slingerland five-piece set-up with Zildjian cymbals. Slingerland was the set made famous by Buddy Rich. I’ll never forget the smoothness of the Gretsch bass drum pedal, the crack of the toms and that crisp sound of the cymbals (neither will my parents I’m sure, ha!).
Today I play a cherry wood Yamaha Recording Custom five-piece with Zildjian K customs. This is the set played by Steve Gadd and is a favorite of the the pros through the years in the recording studio.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been listening to The Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci. I love his story about getting his first drum set and its not so great cymbals. And his dad saying, “We’ve got to get you a Zildjian cymbal because those are the best.” Amen to that.
You can hear Ronnie tell the story in the first video and in the second one hear him play with his band The Killers live at the Royal Albert Hall, London.