Gear

I’ve been an official endorser for Paiste cymbals and Vic Firth sticks for a long time, and recently signed on with Q Drum Co.. Q Drum Co. is owned by master drum builder Jeremy Berman and Nine Inch Nails drummer Ilan Rubin. Jeremy was the main man behind Orange County Drums and Percussion (OCDP) for a long time, and is also one of the most in-demand and experienced drum techs in the industry. No one has more experience and knowledge about how drums should sound and work in a touring and recording situation, and that shines through in his work. He does some amazing stuff with metal shells as well.
I also own and use a ton of Drum Workshop drums and will often play DW drums at fly-out shows for their consistency, reliability and availability.
Apart from several DW and PDP kits and snares, I own a plethora of snare drums made by various companies, as well as a bunch of vintage drums. I’m a cymbal geek and have a large collection of Paiste cymbals to match any type of musical situation.

 

Bumblefoot setup

My setup always varies depending on the gig, but the gear I use with Bumblefoot is pretty consistent.

Drums:
DW or Q Drum Co. (occasionally random brand rental kits, but always in the sizes below):
16″x24″ bass drum (sometimes 22″ diameter, sometimes 18″ deep)
9″x13″ tom (on snare stand, sometimes 8″x12″)
16″x16″ floor tom (sometimes 14″ or 15″ diameter)
16″x18″ floor tom (sometimes 16″ diameter)
6.5″x14″ brass snare (usually PDP Ace w/DW True Hoops)
12″ or 13″ side snare

Cymbals (Paiste):
19″ Signature Dark Energy Dark Energy Crash Mark I
15″ 2002 Sound Edge Hi-Hat top / 15″ 2002 Medium Hi-Hat bottom
20″ 2002 Medium
24″ 2002 Ride
20″ 2002 Medium
20″ 2002 Novo China
19″ 2002 Crash

Bumblefoot setup in Santiago, Chile, 2013:
DennisLeeflang_Setup
 

Other setups

My basic setup usually consists of a 24″ bass drum (14″, 16″ or 18″ deep), a single tom (12″ or 13″) and one or two floor toms (depending on the situation, either a 15″ and 16″, 15″ and 18″, 14″ and 16″, 16″ and 18″, or just a 15″ or a 16″). Generally, I’ll use bigger drums on bigger stages, and smaller drums for softer music and/or in the studio or on smaller stages.
I love larger cymbals for the simple fact that they have a lower pitch that blends into music much better than smaller cymbals, which tend to stand out more and are more often found “annoying”. I also simply love the timbre and sonic textures of large cymbals.

 

 

I’m all about 15″ hi-hats. Ever since I tried a pair, I was sold. I prefer 15″ hats over 14″ hats because they tend to have a lower pitch, which, like mentioned before, often blends into music better and doesn’t become harsh. In order of volume/loudness of the gig, my favorite hats are:
15″ Formula 602 Modern Essentials Hi-Hats
15″ Signature Sound Edge Hi-Hats
15″ 2002 Sound Edge Hi-Hat Top w/ 15″ 2002 Medium Hi-Hat Bottom.
I’ll sometimes use the classic 15″ 2002 Sound Edge Hats pair as well. I’ll pick whichever of those fits the music best.
I absolutely love 20″ crash cymbals. I’ll use any combination of crashes from Paiste’s Formula 602, Formula 602 Modern Essentials, Dark Energy, Signature and 2002 lines for light to medium loud situations. For heavier music I’ll use either 2002 Medium crashes, or Signature Heavy Full Crashes.
Not many situations call for a china type cymbal these days, but when one does, the 20″ 2002 NOVO China is my very favorite. Its incredible dynamic range makes it respond very well to soft touches as well as loud hits. My go-to splash for those sessions that do have a place for them is the 8″ Paiste Twenty series splash.
Ride cymbals are a tricky thing. Every situation requires a ride to have just the right balance between volume, definition and wash. My very favorite ride is the classic 24″ 2002 Ride. It seems to work well in about 75% of the situations I find myself in. For lighter work, I’ll often use a 22″ Signature Dark Energy MkII Ride. But when recording, I will pick whatever fits the music from my large collection of rides.

 


Some of my favorite snare drums are a 6.5″x14″ PDP Ace (with DW True Hoops), a 6.5″x14″ solid brass DW (the thing weighs 20 lbs!) and a 6″x14″ Ahead Black Nickel Over Brass snare with S-Hoops. I definitely love brass snares, but my current favorite snare is a 6″x14″ walnut stave snare, custom-built for me by HD Custom Drums. This thing has an incredible tone. Apart from these, I own some 20-odd snares that I’ll choose from to fit the music.

 

 

I use Puresound Custom Pro wires on all of my snares, and a variety of Remo drum heads (always a P3 on the kick, Controlled Sound or Controlled Sound X on snare, Clear or Coated Emperors or Black Dots on toms).

 

My main stick is Vic Firth‘s 5B wood tip. I’ll use either the regular 5B, the ones with the black lacquer coating, or the ones with Vic Grip, depending on the temperature/humidity of the venue and how much extra grip I may need on the stick. The lacquered sticks offer a little more grip for chilly/dry environments, and the Vic Grip even more so, which I’ll use a lot in the winter. For lower volume situations, I’ll use 55A’s.

 

My hardware is all DW 9000 series, with a 5000 series hi-hat stand and either 9000 or 5000 series single or double pedals.

 

I proudly endorse and work with the following amazing companies and their great products and/or services:

Q Drum Co.
The best boutique drum company out there. Check out their brass and copper drums. Unbelievable craftsmanship and sounds!
Paiste Cymbals

I’ve been a Paiste guy from day 1. Not just as a player, bust also as a collector. A childhood dream came true when I signed on as an official endorser in 2010. In 2012 I visited the factory in Switzerland, which was a religious experience. No other cymbals record like Paistes. Microphones and engineers love them. The way they sound in the room is the way they sound on the record. No guess work, no surprises. As a bonus, the company is run by the nicest people in the bizz. Paiste for life.

Vic Firth sticks
I’ve been with Vic since 2004 and I’ve never looked back. The sticks are super consistent and I have mine picked at a specific weight so each pair truly is identical to the next. The sticks are so incredibly durable, I rarely use more than a single pair for an all-day session or 3-hour rock n’ roll show!
Ahead Armor Cases
Best soft cases on the market, period! Heavily padded, heavy-duty zippers and a unique shape that leaves room for brackets and strainers. The hardware sleds are awesome!
Cymbag
Nifty little protective sleeves for your cymbals. Ideal for covering your cymbals between practices in a shared room, overnight when playing the same club several nights in a row, or for extra protection against finger prints and scratching during transport.
Qsticks
Created by my teacher, Luuk Kranenburg. These are not your normal dowel sticks or rods. Hand-made from much more durable wood, with multiple coats of hard varnish, these rods last up to 5 times longer than the ones you’re familiar with. Plus the rounded tips offer a fatter sound on cymbals and prevent heads from denting. Available in many different weights, sizes and colors.
Hendrix Drums / HD Custom Drums
Hendrix Drums and its custom shop HD Custom Drums build some of the finest stave shell drums on the market. Ultra-thin shells are unique in the stave drum world, and Rhett Hendrix got it down to a science. Amazingly rich, deep, warm and fat sounding drums. Check out the Archetype snare drum line! (I officially endorse HD snare drums only)
Sleeved Washers
A genius little invention by Rhett Hendrix. These washers replace the nylon washers we all have on our tension rods. The Sleeved Washers have a sleeve on the bottom on the washer, eliminating all metal to metal contact between tension rods and drum hoops. This results in a fatter drum sound, more accurate tuning, and less detuning through vibrations into the tension rods.
S-Hoops aka SafeHoops
I was one of the very first drummers to discover S-Hoops back in 2005, and I quickly became friends with inventor Rick Barrickman, who sadly passed away in 2007. S-Hoops feature a top flange that bevels inward, towards the drum head. The top flange is about 1/2″ long, and offers a greater stick-to-hoop surface when hitting rim shots or rim clicks (side-stick). If you’re a hard-hitting rim shot guy, these hoops will eliminate the excessive wear on the shaft of your stick, and create far less fatigue on your wrists. The S-Hoop also greatly boosts the attack (or “crack”) and focus of a drum, without choking it or affecting its sustain.
The Carmichael Throne
The Carmichael Throne enables your tailbone to float freely, eliminating back pains and fatigue. With your tailbone not being crushed like on a normal throne, you tend to automatically sit up straight and not slouch over (which is usually a subconscious result of trying to shift weight off your tailbone). Do your butt and/or lower back hurt after a longer rehearsal, session or show? Maybe your legs will even tingle or go numb? Try a Carmichael Throne and you’ll never go back to using a regular throne.
DrumTacs
Such a little thing but such a huge invention. No more sticky, messy moongel or gaff tape. DrumTacs are not stickers or produced with any kind of glue. The hard gel sticks on a molecular level (imagine thousands of tiny suction cups). They last far longer than moongel and most importantly… the foam top side doesn’t stick to the inside of your bags or cases.
CymbalFusion.com
Any gear I don’t/can’t get through my endorsements, I get from CymbalFusion. Best prices, best service, bar none. Anything you need, call them and tell them I sent you! If it’s not on their site, they can order it, and usually have it drop-shipped from the manufacturer straight to you.
Beat Supplier
Being from Holland originally, I still play and teach there regularly. My friends at Beat Supplier are my exclusive assistants when I need any type of gear or help in Holland, or even Europe as a whole. They also serve as my agent for clinic bookings in Holland. Anything drum-related I need in Holland, they have it covered. Also a killer drum store!
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