Metal Drum Kit Tips

Dougie Blackwood

to describe why I am making these Metal Drum Kit Tips I have only one motivation.


Over many years, I have changed from drum to drum and setup to setup.

So far these are the parts with me that have stuck and I feel that to save a lot of people from making the same mistakes it was time to unveil a metal drum kit tips, given from the experiences of my own drumming.


Now I have to warn all of you about to read that these are my own experiences and no two drummers can hit the same so keep that in mind and all shall be well.

SO, here it is: My 5 Metal Drum Kit Tips.

Metal Drum Kit Tips

Why do you as drummers want to sound good?

Well – in a short sentence do you want to sound so bad that people never come back to a show?!

Metal Drum Kit Tip 5.)

Cymbals – Sabian, Zildjan or Paiste

I prefer to use Sabian Cymbals as they fit my sound and they make me feel like my favourite drummers.

I would recommend the Sabian AAX Promotional Set which comes with hi-hat, ride and 2 crashes. As a china (Which I feel is needed for Metal) I would recommend the Dark China 14″ as it gives a sharp and yet demonising tone for breakdowns and makes everyone including your band want to jump into a mosh pit.
As for Paiste, I would recommend something like the PST7 or PST8 Cymbals packs along with the 2002 Novo China for the big huge soundscape or even for general power in your playing without having to hit the cymbals too hard.

PST8 Cymbal Pack – Thomann

2002 Novo China – Thomann

Zildjan, I have to say, I am not a huge fan of Zildjan cymbals but that so many people have played them I have to think they are doing something right, I have used Zildjan in the past and while they do more than the job accounts for I feel more at home playing Sabian.
I would recommend the A Custom cymbal pack or the K Custom Dark Pack – along with the K Series china.

Metal Drum Kit Tip 4.)

Bass Pedals – Pearl or DW.

I play Pearl Demon Drive Eliminators and have done for many years. They give me a ridiculous amount of control over what my feet are doing and with extra control over how much power I put into it. My playing went from fast to EXTREMELY FAST after acquiring these pedals.

Demon Drive Eliminators Direct Drive – I would recommend if you are playing any type of metal, they have great feedback from drum to foot and they allow for changes in foot placement for ease whilst still playing.
DW 9002 Double Pedal Chain Drive – I have used these in a few practise rooms and borrowed when recording a few songs, they have great feedback, they feel quite good and aren’t as heavy as many other pedals can feel while trying to achieve fast double bass.

Metal Drum Kit Tip 3.)

Snare Drum – Joey Jordison 13″ Signature Snare or DW Collectors Series Metal Snare 14″

This was a tough one but in the end since I use Joey Jordison’s signature snare and will probably use it for a very long time, my heart will always recommend this first. The tonality of the drum is completely unreal, it sounds good no matter how it is tuned and no matter how it is played.
DW Collectors Series 14″ is a good snare and cracks where the music needs it, it is well rounded and will give love to any drummers playing.

Joey Jordison Pearl Snare – Thomann

DW 14″ Collectors Snare – Thomann (Not Available from Thomann – other alternatives are available)

Metal Drum Kit Tip 2.)

Footblasters triggers


I would highly recommend having a set of these while playing live or in the studio, they place upon the pedal and that means you don’t have to worry about double triggering or mounting it upon your bass drum, just put it on your snare and leave it there. It is helpful if you want the perfect kick mix to front of house or even as a mix to In-Ear Monitoring systems.

Metal Drum Kit Tip 1.)

Trigger Module – Roland TM-1 or Roland TM-2

I play with the Roland TM-1 live as it did enough for us and we even use it in recordings so we don’t need to resample the kicks and can use the triggers as a clean signal to change for a kick sound. It is slightly cheaper than the TM-2 but in my opinion it no way makes it any different than the TM-2. 

This is instrumental (Pun intended) for my Metal Drum Kit Tips, it made playing live shows go from not being able to hear to being able to hear my kicks and then be able to have a mix that sounds different to other bands I was playing with.

Roland TM-1 – Thomann

Roland TM-2 – Thomann

And there you have it – Dougie’s 5 Metal Drum Kit Tips to have the perfect Metal Kit Setup.