Not all drum companies offer signature snare drums, although the trend is on the up and it does seem an obvious ploy. Along with the ride cymbal, the snare drum is usually the most recognisable part of a drummer’s sound and adopting your hero’s snare should at least give you a leg-up towards mastering their signature beat.
It’s quite a big commitment for a company to invest in a radical signature snare design, so it’s perhaps not surprising that only the bigger companies - like Pearl, Yamaha and Tama - have a wide selection. Some designs are pretty far out - they probably wouldn’t have been thought of had they not been specified by the picky artist in question. Of course, this is how it should be, and shows just how personal the snare drum is compared to the rest of the drum kit.
In other instances, a signature snare may simply be a tweaked version of a standard model, which you could buy more cheaply without the name (Neil Peart’s 30th anniversary DW Edge, for example).
Remember, though, that it’s not just the instrument itself that gives your drumming hero their particular signature sound. It has just as much to do with the way they hit their snares, tune them, and what head combination they use. Not to mention the considerable talent and ability they bring to it…
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