A Look At Neil Peart’s Gear with Paul Wells

Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF9ucbt7VHI

Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsSU_GjbdLQ

Part 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRhASmUGQSY


Not to ‘pick on’ Gretsch, makers of excellent quality and sounding instruments, but this is interesting quote from Neil Peart: “…the company proved surprisingly uncooperative in regards to this [sound-off/comparison] test.” at ~47:00 into Part 2 (quoted from MODERN DRUMMER May 1987).  I wonder if Gretsch realized that the drum shells and constructions, once arrived at a certain level of craftsmanship, do not offer incredible variance in tone; instead, like strings “mattering more” in realizing tone (across different guitar brands, constructions, materials), comparison tests of heads seem to indicate the most tonal-variety “bang-for-buck” variance arises not from drum maker or material but rather from differences in (mere) drum heads.  See here https://soundquality.org/2023/06/62-heads-aquarian-evans-remo-same-snare-same-tensioning-same-hoops-same-microphone-same-player-kit-sticks-and-riff-amazing-variety-of-tone/

On the flipside, listen (Part 2, from ~47:00) up through 54:00 to hear how a yellow Gretsch kit is identified as likely “spark” that “brought Neil back” into playing.  RE “GHOST RIDER” book.  It’s not just about tone or feel; clearly, there is some other magic there.

After comparing / playing five identical drumkits in 1987, Neil Peart chose LUDWIG drums for their thinner / more resonant shells and resulting clarity in tone.


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