BILL BRUFORD'S DRUM SETS

An article by Rodrigo Delaveau Swett
rdelaveau@hotmail.com

Please note that Bill is unable to discuss any aspect of Rodrigo's Article

  • Drums and cymbals may probably change from one tour or record to another, or even from one track to another within the same record.
  • Most of the time Bill tunes his snare drum fairly tight, with the bottom snare side slightly tighter than the upper batter side, which is medium tight, no muffling; the Toms are tuned both sides medium tight, approximately the same pitch.
  • Some information is missing or lost in the mists of time, especially regarding cymbals and gongs, hardware, drumsticks and drumheads.
  • Furthermore, Bill used several acoustic rental or "loaner" kits for specific projects, such as The Symphonic Music of Yes or The Buddy Rich tribute, but they were all almost exclusively Tama Drums and Paiste Cymbals.

1968-1969:

Premier Olympic drums. (red oyster pearl finish, painted black. Paiste and Zildjian cymbals.

  • 14" x 5" wood snare drum
  • 13" x 9" Tom Tom.
  • 16" x 16" Floor Toms
  • 22" x 14" Bass Drum
  • 14" Paiste hi-hats
  • 18", 20", cymbals (probably Avedis Zildjian crash-rides)
  • 15" Super Zyn crash
  • Drumheads: Remo coated Ambassador on top; clear Diplomat on bottom.
  • Drumsticks: 5A

1969-1971:

Ludwig Drums. (Classic oyster finish, then covered in a plastic-backed flexible chromium like material). Paiste and Zildjian cymbals.

  • 14" x 5" Ludwig alloy (a.k.a. "Ludalloy") chrome-plated Supraphonic LM400 snare drum, (Baseball-Bat muffler)
  • 13" x 9" Tom Tom
  • (2) 16" x 16" Floor Toms
  • 22" x 14" Bass Drum

1971-1972:

Hayman Drums(“natural pine” finish –teakwood actually-). Paiste Cymbals.

  • 14" x 5" Ludwig Supraphonic snare drum; (or 14"x5.5" wood Hayman snare drum).
  • 13" x 9" (or 12”x 8”) Tom Tom.
  • 14”x 14”; 16" x 16" Floor Toms
  • 22" x 14" Bass Drum
  • 15” Giant Beat hi-hat
  • 16” , 17”, 18” or 20” crash, 602
  • 22” or 20” ride, 602.
  • 15" Super Zyn crash
  • Cowbell
  • Drumheads: Remo coated on top; Ambassador on bottom.
  • Drumsticks: Ludwig or Hayman 5A

1972-1973:

Ludwig Drums (“maple natural” finish) and Hayman Drums. Paiste Cymbals.

  • 14" x 6½" Ludwig Supersensitive chrome plated snare drum; or 14"x5.5 " wood Hayman snare drum.
  • 10" x 8" Premier timbale
  • 12"x 8", 13" x 9" Hayman Tom Toms
  • 13”x 9” Ludwig Tom Tom
  • 16" x 16" Ludwig Floor Tom
  • 22" x 14" Ludwig Bass Drum
  • 15" Sound Edge hi-hats, 2002
  • 14" hi-hat on a 18" medium crash cymbal, 2002.
  • 16" crash. 2002
  • 16" ride 2002
  • 20" Medium Ride with sizzles, 2002
  • 14”, 16”, 24” tuned gongs.
  • Woodblock, Cow-bell, metal plates.
  • Drumheads: Remo coated Ambassador on top; Diplomat on bottom.
  • Drumsticks: Ludwig 5A1

1974-1975:

Hayman and Ludwig Drums (natural wood finish). Paiste Cymbals

  • 14"x 6½" Ludwig Supersensitive chrome plated snare drum
  • 12” x 8” Hayman Tom Tom
  • 14" x 14" Hayman Floor Tom
  • 22" x 14" Ludwig Bass Drum
  • 15" Sound Edge hi-hats, 2002
  • 16" thin crash, 602
  • 17" Heavy crash, 602
  • 20" Medium Ride with sizzles, 602
  • 14”, 16”, 24” tuned gongs.
  • Zilco (or Zilket) Standard ride
  • 4”, 6”, 8”, Children cymbals
  • 2” fingercymbals
  • Woodblock, Cow-bells, metal plates
  • Drumheads: Remo coated Ambassador on top; Diplomat on bottom.
  • Drumsticks: Ludwig 5A and 5B

1976-1977:

Hayman and Ludwig Drums (natural wood finish). Paiste Cymbals

  • 14"x 6½" Ludwig Supersensitive chrome plated snare drum
  • 13” x 9” Ludwig Tom Tom
  • 12” x 8” Hayman Tom Tom
  • 16" x 16" Ludwig Floor Tom
  • 22" x 14" Ludwig Bass Drum
  • 15" Sound Edge hi-hats, 2002
  • (2)16" thin crashes, 602
  • 11” splash atop the crash, 2002
  • 20" Medium Ride with sizzles, 602
  • Percussion rack
  • Drumheads: Remo coated Ambassador on top; Clear Diplomat and power center on bottom.
  • Drumsticks: Ludwig 5A

1977-1978:

Remo Roto Toms, Hayman and Ludwig Drums (natural wood finish). Paiste Cymbals

  • 14"x 6½" Ludwig Supersensitive chrome plated snare drum
  • 14" and 18" Roto Toms
  • 12” x 8” Hayman Tom Tom
  • 16" x 16" Ludwig Floor Tom
  • 22" x 14" Ludwig Bass Drum
  • 15" Sound Edge hi-hats, 2002
  • (2)16" thin crashes, 602
  • 11” splash atop the crash, 2002
  • 20" Medium Ride with sizzles, 602
  • 24” tuned gongs.
  • 20” China, 2002
  • 8” Bell, 602
  • Percussion rack, including woodblocks, 3 swissbells, 3 untuned metal plates, 6” and 8” rototoms, triangles and finger cymbals.
  • Drumheads: Remo coated Ambassador on top; Clear Ambassador on bottom, Pinstripe on rototoms.
  • Drumsticks: Ludwig 5A

1978-1980:

Remo Roto Toms, Hayman and Ludwig Drums (natural wood finish). Paiste Cymbals

  • 14"x 6½" Ludwig Supersensitive chrome plated snare drum
  • (x2) 14", 18" Roto Toms
  • 14" x 14" Hayman Floor Tom
  • 22" x 14" Ludwig Bass Drum
  • 15" Sound Edge hi-hats, 2002
  • 16" thin crash, 17" Heavy crash, 602
  • 20" Medium Ride, 602
  • 14”, 16”, 24” tuned gongs.
  • 20” China, 18” crash, 2002
  • 8” Bell, 602, 11” splash 2002
  • 4”,6”,8”, Accent cymbals;2” finger cymbals
  • Percussion, including woodblocks, untuned metal plates, triangles.
  • Drumheads: Remo coated Ambassador on top; Fiberskin on rototoms.
  • Drumsticks: Ludwig 5A and 5B

1981-1982:

Tama SuperStar Drums (light blue finish); Remo Roto Toms, Simmons SDS5 electronic drums. Paiste Cymbals.

  • 14" x 6½" 8056 steel snare drum or
  • 14" x 5½" AW456 birch snare drum.
  • 14" Remo Roto Tom
  • 22" Tama gong drum (with 24” head)
  • (6) Simmons drum pads on kit
  • (5) Simmons drum pads on front frame
  • 22" x 14" Tama Bass Drum
  • Simmons electronic bass drum
  • (5) 6” Dragon drums
  • (2) 12" Avedis Zildjian splashes
  • 10" Avedis Zildjian splash
  • 20" Sound Creation or 2002 China
  • 18" 2002 heavy ride.
  • 18” 2002 crash
  • Assorted percussion
  • Slit drum
  • Drumheads: Remo coated Ambassador on top; Fiberskin on RotoTom; Clear Diplomat on bottom.
  • Drumsticks: Pro mark 5A

1982-1983:

Tama SuperStar Drums (natural birch finish); Paiste Cymbals.

  • 14" x 6½" BB156 Brass snare drum
  • 12” x 9” Tom Tom
  • 16” x 16” Floor Tom
  • 22" x 14" Tama Bass Drum
  • (4) low octave 6” Octobans
  • 14” 2002 Sound edge hi-hat
  • 16” 2002 or 602 crash
  • 20” Sound Creation or 2002 ride
  • 18” 2002 or 602 crash
  • Drum heads: coated Ambassador on Snare; clear power center on Toms.
  • Drum sticks: Pro Mark 5A

1983-1984:

Tama SuperStar Drums; Remo Roto Tom; Simmons SDS7 electronic drums; Paiste Cymbals.

  • 14" x 6½" 8056 steel snare drum
  • 14" Remo Roto Tom
  • 22" Tama gong drum (with 24” head)
  • (5) Simmons pads on kit
  • (7) Simmons pads on back frame
  • 22" x 14" Tama Bass Drum
  • Simmons electronic bass drum
  • (4) Low octave Octobans
  • Slit drum
  • 18" Sound Creation China
  • 18" 2002 crash
  • 14”, 16”, 24” tuned gongs
  • Assorted percussion
  • Drumheads: Remo coated Ambassador on top; Clear Ambassador on bottom.
  • Drumsticks: Pro Mark 5A

1985-1986:

Tama SuperStar Drums; SDS9 Simmons electronic drums. Paiste 2002 and 602 Cymbals

  • 14" x 6½" 8056 steel snare drum
  • 12” x 10” Tom Tom
  • 16” x 16” Floor Tom
  • 22" x 16" Tama Bass Drum
  • (7) Simmons electronic pads
  • 14” medium hi-hat
  • 16” crash
  • 18” crash
  • 20” medium ride
  • 16” china
  • Drumheads: Remo Coated ambassador on batter, clear ambassador on resonants.
  • Drum Sticks: Pro Mark 5A

1987-1991:

SDX Simmons electronic drums, Tama drums, Paiste Sound Formula or Signature cymbals.

  • 14" x 6½" Brass chrome Tama snare drum
  • (9) Simmons ZI drum pads on back frame
  • (7) Simmons ZI drum pads on drum set
  • Simmons electronic bass drum
  • 14" medium Hi-Hat
  • 18" Power China
  • 16" Power Crash
  • 18" Crash ride
  • 20" Dry heavy ride
  • 24” Gong
  • Drumheads: Evans.G1 coated on snare
  • Drumsticks: Pro-Mark SD-9

1992-1993:

Simmons SDX electronic drums, Tama Artstar II Drums, Paiste Signature Cymbals

  • 14" x 6½" Tama wood snare drum
  • (10) Simmons ZI drum pads
  • 22” x 16” bass drum.
  • 12" x 10" Tom Tom
  • 16" x 16" Floor Tom
  • 14" Sound edge Hi-Hat
  • 18" Power China
  • 16" Power Crash
  • 20" Dry heavy ride
  • Gong
  • Drumheads: Evans. Genera 190 snare batter, Genera G1 on Tom tops, Resonants on bottoms, Genera G2 on bass drum and Genera G2 on front
  • Drumsticks: Pro-Mark, SD-1 or SD-9

1994-1998:

Tama Starclassic Drums (yellow canary finish) Paiste Signature Cymbals. Simmons SDX Electronic drums.

  • 14" x 6½ maple snare drum
  • (10) Simmons ZI electronic drum pads
  • 10" X 10", 12" X 11" Tom Toms
  • 16" x 16" Floor Tom;
  • 22" X 16" Bass Drum
  • 14" Sound edge Hi-Hat
  • 16" Thin Crash
  • 16" Thin China
  • 18" Full Crash
  • 20" Dry ride
  • Yamaha DX 11, DW 5000 TE Electronic Bass Pedal
  • Drum heads: Evans. Genera 190 snare batter, Genera G1 on Tom tops, Resonants on bottoms, Genera G2 on bass drum and Genera G2 on front
  • Drumsticks: Pro-Mark.SD-1 or SD-9 Bill Bruford Signature

1998-2001:

Tama Starclassic Maple Drums (canary yellow; green sparkle, and others finishes); Paiste cymbals.

  • 14" x 6½" wood snare
  • 10" x 8", 12" x 10", 13" x 11" Tom Toms
  • 16" x 16" Floor Tom
  • 18" x 16" (sometimes 20" x16" or 22" x 16") Bass Drum
  • 14" Medium Light Traditional Hi-hat
  • 16" Extra thin Traditional Crash
  • 16" Thin Signature China
  • 15" Thin Traditional Crash
  • 20" Medium Traditional ride
  • 10” splashes on top of rides.
  • Cow bells : 5" A.A.Meinl, and 8" L.P.
  • Drum heads: Evans. Hazy 300 Snare side; Genera G1 Clear Toms; EQ1; G1 Coated Snare
  • Drum sticks: Promark SD-4 Bill Bruford Signature

2001-PRESENT:

Tama Starclassic or Starclassic Perfomer Drums (Tequila Sunrise, Royal walnut and others finishes); Paiste cymbals.

  • 14"x 6" BB146 Bill Bruford Signature Snare Drum
  • 10" x 9", 12" x 11", 13" x 12" Tom Toms
  • 16" x 16" Floor Tom
  • 20" x 16" (or 22” x 16”) Bass Drum
  • 13" Dimensions Thin Heavy Hi-hat
  • 16" Traditional Thin Crash
  • 20" Signature Flat Ride
  • 18" Dimensions Medium Ride
  • 20" Traditional medium swish china.
  • Cow bells: 5" A.A.Meinl, and 8" L.P.
  • Drum heads: Evans. Hazy 300 Snare side; G1 Coated Snare. Genera G1 Clear on Toms; EQ1 on Bass Drum;
  • Drum sticks: Promark SD-4 Bill Bruford Signature