NAMM 2023: Tama announces limited edition Lil’ John Roberts Signature Snare Drum

Namm 2023: Lil’ John Roberts has a who’s who list of funk, soul and R&B names to his CV, having recorded and performed with the likes of Prince, Stevie Wonder, George Duke, Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock and more. Now, Tama has announced that they’re honouring Roberts with his own limited edition signature Tama Lil’ John Roberts snare drum finished in Dark Blue Matt.

Made from a 14”x5.5”, 1mm steel shell (with a centre-bead), this 8-lug snare might appear a little ‘ordinary’ for a signature drum, that is until you learn that both the top and bottom bearing edges are filled with silicone.  

Not only does Tama say that this increase the shell’s strength, but that it also tames some of the steel shell’s bright overtones, as well as offering a wide tuning range.

Tama Lil' John Roberts signature snare drum

(Image credit: Tama)

Elsewhere, the Lil’ John Roberts Signature Snare Drum comes fitted with black nickel die-cast hoops and 20-strand, carbon steel snare wires combining for a sharp attack and crisp response and Linear Drive strainer and butt. There’s a Remo USA Coated Ambassador as standard, and the snare also features a specially-designed badge with Roberts’ signature and the model name.

“When [Tama] approached me about doing a signature snare drum we talked about the kinds of snares that I like.” says Roberts. “The one main drum that has stuck with me for most of my career is the snare that Clyde Stubblefield and Jabo Starks used with James Brown. A very vintage snare sound…this snare is very close to that kind of sound.”

The Tama Lil’ John Roberts Signature Snare Drum is limited to 150 pieces worldwide. For more information or to find a retailer, click here.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.