I get a lot of questions about the gear I use, so I decided to make this page where you can learn about what I use and why I use it.
The base kit for everything I do is made by Yamaha Drums. It’s a 2013 Stage Custom kit in Cranberry Red, and it utilizes 100% Birch shells. I have a various drum sizes that I can put into any series of combinations based on the gig that I’m playing. For heavier genres, I typically use the full set of toms (10″-12″-14″) when space allows. When playing jazz, latin, and smaller venues, I typically use only the 10″ and 14″ toms. The utilitarian 20″ bass drum is the perfect size for me: big enough sounding to kick a big band, but small enough to be used on a bebop gig.
The cymbals are made by Soultone Cymbals, and I utilize different sizes and weights for different gigs. For the jazz side of things, I use larger crashes, rides, and chinas from their Vintage Old School and Custom Brilliant lines. For rock/pop stuff, I’ll use their Custom, Custom Brilliant, Gospel, and FXO series crashes, splashes, and chinas. The hats are 14″ Custom Series, and they work for all genres – it’s the only part of my cymbal setup that stays the same when switching between genres.
For drumheads, I use Aquarian Drumheads. I like their Texture Coated for the snare batter, and either Coated Super 2’s or Texture Coated heads for toms. I use Classic Clears on bottom (resonant side) of snare and toms. On my bass drum, I use a Super Kick II on the batter side; for live gigs, I use a Yamaha smooth white logo head on the resonant side, and for recording, I use a black Yamaha logo head with a port hole on the front.
As far as drumsticks, I’m currently using the Vic Firth American Jazz 1 (AJ1) stick. I got turned onto these by Derico Watson and have been in love with them ever since. I love the feel of the sticks – how they have substantial girth, but aren’t heavy at all – and for the utility playing I do (rock one night, jazz the next), I can use them for whatever I’m playing and be confident that I have a great stick in my hand. I also use various implements for texture (Heritage Brushes and Rutes).
All my hardware is made by Yamaha. I use their 700 and 800 series single- and double-braced cymbal stands, hi-hat stand, and snare stand. For pedals, I use a DW 5000 AD4 series single pedal, or a Tama Iron Cobra Power Glide double pedal. I also use a Meinl bass drum cowbell mount with a Pearl Bala Mambo Cowbell. I sit on a Roc ‘n Soc throne: thread adjust model, with bicycle-style seat and back rest attachment.