Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures

23rd Mar 2011 | 12:02

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb have raised the bar for drummers everywhere by possessing that most enviable of abilities to turn their hands (and feet) to near-enough every musical style - from jazz and fusion to rock and pop - without breaking so much as bead of sweat.

Rhythm magazine caught up with the technical masters to find out the secrets of their technique, get some handy advice that we can all apply to our drumming and, of course, take a closer look at the pairs’ kits.

You can already read the full interview - Thomas Lang and Benny Greb: 50 pro drumming tips and tricks - but here we’re concentrating purely on gear.

First up: Thomas Lang shows off his kit

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Thomas Lang's kit
DW Collector's series drums in Solid Black Lacquer: 22"x18" (x2) kick drums; 8"x7", 10"x8", 12"x9" rack toms; 16"x14", 18"x16" floor toms on legs; 20" gong drum

What's the most common mistake people make when setting up their drums?

Thomas Lang: "To set the drums up for the viewer so it looks cool from the front rather than for yourself. I know a lot of young drummers make that mistake."

Next: Thomas's snares

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Snares
DW Collector's Series 14"x6" main snare; 12"x4" second snare

"Number two would be to set the drums up so that the bass drum is facing the audience straight on, rather than being off to the right if you are a right-handed drummer, because the bass drum is not the centre of the drumset."

Next: cymbals

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Cymbals
Meinl: 13" Byzance Brilliant Fast hi-hats; 14" Soundcaster Fusion Medium hi-hats; 12" Generation X Safari hi-hats; 8" Classics Bells Effect cymbals; 20" Soundcaster Fusion Powerful ride; 16" & 18" Soundcaster Fusion Medium crashes

"Number three is to try to make the drumset perfectly symmetrical."

Next: more cymbals

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Cymbals cont.
Meinl: 18" Byzance Jazz Medium Thin crash; 17" Byzance Jazz Medium Thin crash; 14" Generation X Filter china; 16" Generation X Filter china; 19" Generation X crash; 10" Soundcaster Fusion splash

"Another is to sit too low or too high, or to set up the cymbals too far away from the player so you have to play with your arm completely stretched - I see that a lot."

Next: hardware

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Hardware
DW: 9700 boom stand (x10); 9000 single pedal (x2), 9500TB hi-hat stand (x2); 9100M throne; 9300 snare stand; 9303 piccolo snare stand

"Whatever you do with your body mechanically has to be within a spherical space. It's not a straight plane, you are moving within a spherical space and your set-up has to reflect that…"

Next: heads

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Heads
Remo: Clear Emperors on toms; Powerstroke 3 on kick; Coated CS on snare Sticks: Vic Firth Signature Series

"…so whatever is higher on the drumset has to be closer to you."

Next: Benny Greb's kit

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Benny Greb's kit
Sonor SQ2 Vintage Beech in White Pearl: 22"x18" bass drum; 10"x8" tom tom; 14"x14" floor tom; 16"x16" floor tom

Benny Greb: "I would say it's that they don't really set it up, bit by bit, in relation to how they sit and to their body, but they set up their kit then sit behind it and see whether it feels right."

Next: Benny's snares

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Snares
Sonor SQ2 13"x6.5" and 12"x5"

"What creates great results is to take your stool, adjust it so it is cool for you, which normally means there is more than a 90° angle between your legs and your spine and between your upper legs and lower legs.”

Next: cymbals

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Cymbals
Meinl: 14" Byzance Extra Dry hi-hats; 8" Byzance Traditional Thin splash; 18" Byzance Extra Dry crash; 20" Benny Greb Sand ride; 12" Generation X Trash hat; 22" Byzance Extra Thin Jazz ride; 18" Byzance Jazz Extra Thin crash

"Then you set up the snare drum so it is comfortable, then a bass drum where the foot really sits, then a hi-hat where the foot really sits, and so on…"

Next: hardware

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Hardware
Sonor 600 Series; Giant Step pedal

"…if you let students do this, it really results in a very natural set-up."

Next: heads

Thomas Lang and Benny Greb's drum setups in pictures
Heads
Remo Coated Emperors on top; Remo Ambassadors on the bottom; Powerstroke 3 on the bass drum Sticks: Pro-Mark 5BG

For more advice from these two technical masters, check out Thomas Lang and Benny Greb: 5 pro drumming tips and tricks. And for more from Rhythm magazine, check out the current issue 188 fronted by drum pioneer and all-round legend Phil Collins, or subscribe to Rhythm for a monthly dose of new gear reviews, kit buying guides, pro drum lessons and all-star interviews.


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