Tama "Bill Bruford Signature Series Palette" snare drum, and then building a duplicate version wrapped in chrome. Although they looked and sounded great, I thought about completing this project by adding a kit to go with it. Now I suppose I could always could buy a Tama Starclassic kit, and use the snares I built, but where is the fun in that? Bruford's Signature snare drum had all black Tama lugs, just like his Tama kit with King Crimson. That particular kit was a Canary Yellow Tama with deep power toms. Bruford would reappear with a another version of that yellow kit at the 1999 Modern Drummer Festival alongside his all acoustic Earthworks band. That kit also had black lugs, and featured an 18" kick drum, 16", 13", 12" and 10" toms. That kit appeared to be a rarity, perhaps even custom-made for Bruford. I've never seen another Tama kit that matched it. If I could gather the right shells, get some yellow drum wrap, black flanged hoops, and black lugs, perhaps I could make a version of that kit for myself!
|Bill Bruford playing his symmetrical drum set-up|
"I arrange the drums flat on the same plane, like a timpanist with five timpani. Personally I find moving the left stick a few inches to the left (to reach the high tom) easier than moving it up and forward, as on a traditional kit. The drums are also arranged in a "broken" pitch order to avoid the common descending roll of drums from high to low. The set-up also avoids the now unnecessary problem of the right hand playing the hi-hat on the left side which I always found strange..."
As I discovered during the Bruford snare projects, those black Tama Starclassic lugs were no longer available, having been replaced by Black Nickel lugs. Those lugs are really expensive (around $20 per lug!) and a kit this size would require nearly 70 of them! At that price, I'd be better off buying a Starclassic kit. Now, I don't know how I missed them before, but Shaw Percussion of England makes their own, inexpensive version of the Tama Starclassic lugs in both chrome and black! Shaw is similar to the Goedrum company in China, which also makes Gretsch style lugs. I've used quite a few of the Goedrum lugs on many of my "Gretsch" style kits, so finding the folks at Shaw was a great resource. Like the Goedrum lugs, the Shaw lugs are cosmetically close enough to the original with only a few subtle differences, which was suitable for my purposes.
|The 10" x 8" Tom|
|The 13" x 11" Tom|
|The 16" x 14" Floor Tom|
|The 20" x 16" Kick Drum|
The entire kit sounded great, especially the toms. They were perhaps the biggest surprise of all. They sounded so good in fact, that I eschewed using any of the Evans clear E-Rings. I did need however, to add a bit more muffling to the 20" kick drum, but overall, I'm pleased with the sound of it. I can't wait to play them live with my jazz and fusion quartets. I'll post more photos and videos once I get the kit set up in the studio, and following my first performance with it!