Sure, shiny guitars and decorated amp cabinets may be fancy, but many drummers also contribute style on stage.
As their playing ability is the backbone to a successful band, drummers have customized their kits to create a sound unique to their group while also reflecting personal interests.
Showcasing your band’s insignia on a custom bass drum head is a creative expression and promotional strategy.
Compiled is a list of the ten best drummers of all time who also added a little twist to their setup while continually helping music evolve.
1. Keith Moon
The sporadic personality Moon brought to The Who matched his expansive Premier kits. It would eventually feature two custom bass drum heads and four-floor toms sporting the band’s logo and heritage with British flags. Moon’s antics mixed with his fast-paced style caused his sets to explode on stage, actually though.
2. Ringo Starr
Ringo’s simple, yet iconic Oyster Black Pearl Ludwig kit helped make The Beatles one of the largest acts on the planet while influencing drummers for decades. Starr’s always been proud to showcase the American brand, keeping the drum’s logo tucked above the band’s famous emblem on his bass head.
3. John Bonham
His early Ludwig kits with Led Zeppelin may have been basic, but Bonham’s distinct, hard-hitting style inspired drummers around the world to emulate the same rock sound at home. While they were always colorful, Bonham’s stainless steel kit at the end of his career allowed for an even louder sound on stage.
4. Neil Peart
Peart’s kit alone was enough to put on a show featuring more parts than the eye could see and sets 1,500 years old. The Rush drummer always took advantage of using his engulfing set up as a canvas from featuring the artwork of the band’s albums to showcasing his passion for hockey on his custom drum heads.
5. Travis Barker
In addition to Blink-182, Barker’s kits have been used in hip-hop and rap side projects. His most notable kit is a custom Orange County Drum and Percussion set with Zildjian cymbals he’s used at times to pay tribute to his extensive collection of Cadillacs with a hood ornament as part of the drum head’s decor.
6. Steven Adler
Adler’s contributions to Guns N’ Roses success went beyond the kit. He helped write songs and had no issue booting KISS’ Paul Stanley as a producer on Appetite for Destruction when his differing ideas included modifying Adler’s drums that would eventually feature the band’s colorful iconic crest on his Tama bass head.
7. Carter Beauford
The most iconic member of the Dave Matthews Band is, well, Dave Matthews, but Beauford’s diverse drumming style from jazz to folk, to funk, helped make the group well rounded and critically acclaimed. The founding member is one of the more mainstream musicians to currently use a kit with Yamaha drums.
8. Phil Collins
Collins experimentation in the recording studio led to an accidental innovative sound helping brand eighties music with classics like In the Air Tonight. As he’s used Pearl, Premier and most recently Gretsch kits throughout his career, Collin’s signature sound was also derived from a Roland CR-78 drum machine.
9. Meg White
Drawing name inspiration from the peppermint candy, Meg White also incorporated the design into her Ludwig kit before The White Stripes split in 2011. Despite underlying criticism about her simplistic style, White’s drumming approach has received support from some of the best in the business.
10. Buddy Rich
You can’t really name the best drummers of all time without mentioning Buddy Rich. His influential style of playing from Jazz roots created a domino effect that’s crossed over into other genres for generations. His most iconic kit was a signature Slingerland used at the latter end of his career.
What’s Your Iconic Kit Look Like?
You don’t have to wait until you’re under the lights of a sold-out arena to customize your drum heads with that new logo or color scheme you’ve been working on.
The best drummers of all time have to start somewhere.
Order your own custom printed bass head and learn about the different options we have available.