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For the Rihanna tour, even though the kit is littered with triggers, Chris still wants his drums to have power and projection.
“I’m playing a Yamaha Oak Custom,” he says. “This is only my opinion but I think oak is a more versatile sounding drum.
“In Rihanna’s show there is some pop stuff, some r&b, some rock and then there is some house-type stuff. Maple is kind of high-pitched so it’s more of an r&b, hip-hop kit. Birch is warmer but to me it doesn’t cut through like the oak does.
“When I sit at the drumset, I’ll take out one in-ear and listen to my drums acoustically. I want to hear the drums. With some drums in big arenas, you hit the drum and you can’t hear it because the sound goes straight out but the oak gives me that bounce-back that I like.”
Now check out Rhythm’s current Issue 202 for an in-depth tribute to the incredible Buddy Rich. Or subscribe to Rhythm here for a monthly dose of new gear reviews, kit buying guides, pro drum lessons and all-star interviews.
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