Mike Mangini

Mike Mangini

Formerly of Dream Theater

Drumming "called" Mike Mangini when he looked at album covers played by his siblings and set up food cans at age 2.5, got a toy kit at age 3, then received a miniature kit at age 4. He played along mostly to Beatles albums and took a few drum kit lessons at age 5. Up until age 18, Mangini was lucky that the Waltham, MA public school system had a great music program. He was able to compete in the classical and jazz genres, as well as in band competitions. Mangini played in cover bands up until the 80's, did original bands during the 80's and he didn't tour outside the USA until 1993 with Annihilator. With Extreme, Steve Vai, James LaBrie, Dale Bozzio's Missing Persons and drum clinics, Mangini's kit changed to be a 100% symmetrical one with regard to playing fully lefty, fully righty and all combinations between. For a bullet list of awards, see http://www.mikemangini.com/biography.html.

Mike Mangini'S SETUP:

  1. LOWER Rack Left: 18"Oriental Trash/14"Trashformer
  2. 9" Oriental Splash above 13" Oriental Trash/Splashformer. Upper Rack Left Middle: 20" Ping Ride
  3. 14" A Custom Hihats
  4. 13" New Beat HiHats. Upper Rack Left Up: 18" A Custom Crash
  5. 21" Z China
  6. 18" A Custom Crash. LOWER Rack Right: 8" ZHT Splash above 12" Oriental Trash/Splashformer
  7. 14" Oriental Trash/Trashformer
  8. 12" A Splash above 20" Oriental/20" Crash of Doom.Upper Rack Right Middle: 13" ZBT Hihats
  9. 14" K/Z Hihats
  10. 20" Z Ride. Upper Rack Right Up: 18" A Custom Crash
  11. 19" Z China
  12. 19" A Custom Crash.

* May be prototype

IN 3

Mike Mangini's
IN 3


    I am inspired by the images I get in my mind of what I cannot yet play, as well as by most any player that has something they do that nobody else can sound like. The possibilities that exist for me come from a database I built in my The Grid DVD (to answer most simply.) This database fuses an expression from 7 main categories of possibilities ranging from dynamics and musical styles to 24 basic limb combinations using any rhythms or phrases of notes between 1-20. By siting at my kit and just looking at it while the image of this Grid is in my mind, I get inspired to try sound combinations with the ideas. I simply think drums are fun to hit in any way imaginable. I also really get moved by just about any drummer when that drummer is in their "zone" with confidence.


    Any words I can offer to the next generation of drummers is to be relentless in practicing what they imagine they can be while not forgetting that they have to bring this into professional environments. Therefore, keeping a birds-eye-view on who they are around and how the environments work is equally as important as the skills they bring.


    My favorite cymbal combination is a Trashformer or Splashformer stacked under an Oriental of some kind. I like the consistency so I can hear the pitch and tightness differences with the different sizes. I don't feel right hitting a high pitched stack combination with low range music notes. Having an array of pitches is more orchestrated and satisfying to me.