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Watch Keith Carlock demo and talk through his new Gretsch signature snare drum

Earlier this month, the Drum Workshop family (including Gretsch, DW, PDP and LP) held its Drum Day LA virtual event, where it officially unveiled the Gretsch Keith Carlock signature snare drum.

Now, Gretsch and Keith himself are treating us to a closer look at the Steely Dan/Toto/Sting/John mayer (to name just a few) drummer’s new snare. In the video above, Keith plays his 14” x 5.5” aged brass signature model in a number of tunings and styles, while talking us through why the snare works so well for him.

“Brass has always been my favourite metal, I’ve been playing brass drums all my life." Keith tells us in the video. 

"This one is very special because it has that ‘Great Gretsch Sound!’. It's is a 5-and-a-half [depth], looking for that maximum versatility in the drum. It’s also great for all dynamic ranges - what I love about brass is the crack and body that it has. It’s really special.”

“This drum is super-versatile, I’ve used it on pop sessions, I’ve used it playing jazz, I’ve used it playing the music of Steely Dan, pretty much every situation that I’ve been involved in stylistically.”

“You can get a nice overtones if you want that ring sound, the die-cast hoop controls those just enough, it doesn’t take it away, but it’s controlled. In really loud situations, it cuts through a band. It doesn’t choke on you, you can really lay-into it. It’s going to take what you give it.”

“It sounds great tuned high and in the mid section, in the low section I can get that really beefy, Al Jackson Jr Memphis/Stax sound if i want it. The articulation with the snare [wires] on a brass shell is just perfect.”

“My favourite music comes from the late ’60s/’70s and into the early ’80s, and a lot of music that i’ve been hired to play comes from that era. A lot of the music that I’ve been hired to play comes from that era, so to fit that stylistically and that vibe of what I play and what I love, I wanted to put it into the drum.”

“I wanted the shell to look vintaged, aged, weathered. Paul Cooper down in South Carolina at the Gretsch factory came up with some ingredients to make it look this way. It gives it that vintage ’70s look that I think is beautiful.”

Stuart Williams
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.