The Prof is in. Shannon Forest

Bernard Purdie cymbal practice cymbal technique cymbals Formula 602 Jeff Porcaro Nashville Paiste Shannon Forrest Toto

Next up to the plate on our run through drummers cymbal set ups is Nashville great Shannon Forest.

He's been working in country music central since 1991 and racked up a very impressive resume covering recording dates with Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride and Tim McGraw (and many more besides).  Couple this with more than a few Academy of Country Music Awards for his work and dates with Michael McDonald, you could quite rightly say this guy has considerable skills and musicality.  In fact it was his work with McDonald that put him on Toto's radar and we all know how that turned out...

The most significant thing that struck me when I first saw Shannon Forest play was his uncanny ability to seem to be, well, Jeff Porcaro.  Take a look at his kit set up (yes, those toms are positioned 'just so').  He uses Paiste cymbals, his 1/16th note grooves are smooth as silk, he swings, hard and when the music calls for it he becomes tastefully powerful.

Now, this should not detract from the fact that Shannon is his own man, but you can see where he's come from (there's some Dr Steve Gadd in there with a little dash of Bernard 'I like that' Purdie too).  Like all great musicians he has taken these influences and placed his own playing personality on top, the recipe yielding a first call player for one of the world's top bands.

Cymbals are the name of the game here though and he favours the clean crispness and sonic range of Paiste, the great swiss cymbal smiths known for their consistency and innovation (you know that wavy bottom hi-hat thing? Yep, that was them).

So what do we see on Shannon's kit?

14" 602 Classic Sounds Medium Hi-Hats

20" 602 Classic Sounds Thin Crash

18" 602 Classic Sounds Thin Crash

21" Formula 602 Classic Sounds Medium Ride (you many want this but it's Custom so expect to wait and you'll pay that little bit more that the usual if you fancy ordering one)

20" 602 Classic Sounds Thin Crash

So it is Formula 602 all the way, with their light but cutting tones and innate smooth response at all volume levels, plus it won't escape anyone's attention that they love microphones (not literally, it's just a writing device called 'personification' - yeah,  that's right, I play drums and know 'words').

After all that I'm now going to dust off my VHS player and sit through the indigestion filled (did nobody think that it may have been a better idea not to rush lunch with Jeff?) 'Master Session - Jeff Porcaro'.

Hold that line...

If you'd like a 'famous' cymbal set up featured in future blogs then get in touch with us here at and we'll do our best!

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