Buddy Rich – Always a Lesson Learned

SKF NOTE: Buddy Rich endorsed Ludwig drums, Rogers drums, and several other drum brands. But in my mind it’s hard to separate Buddy Rich from Slingerland drums. On DrumForum.org one knowledgeable person said Buddy endorsed Slingerland 1938-1946, switched for a time to endorsing other drums, and then came back to Slingerland 1968-1977.

That makes sense. Those were formative years in my life. For a young drummer, Buddy Rich’s mastery of the instrument was the impossible dream. The gold standard.

Whether I was watching Rich performing on tv, on an album, or in concert, he was always playing a Slingerland drum set that looked exactly like the set in this 1968 drum ad.

During Buddy’s tv appearances he often played loaner drum sets provided by the tv show. How those drum sets sounded was always a toss-up. One time Buddy sat down behind a four-piece Ludwig set that sounded as if a stage hand had just assembled the drums straight from their packing boxes, with no attempt to tension the drum heads for a good sound.

Whenever I heard Buddy playing his own drums they sounded great. The crispest snare in the business with deep, punchy toms and bass drum.

Sometimes I would see on tv Buddy struggling a bit playing on an unresponsive loaner snare. Even so, Buddy always sounded great. There was always a takeaway, a lesson learned, watching Buddy Rich play drums.

About Scott K Fish

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