George A. Roberts | SoultoneCymbals.com

George A. Roberts

George A. Roberts

Pantoscopic Tilt

I was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1971 and was raised by Christian parents in Staten Island, NY. I now live South of Boston, MA, but spent 8 years living in Lancaster, PA. Known to some as “Bear Hands”.

My first drum was a toy, purchased as a souvenir. It was a rubber-skinned Native American styled drum about 5” x 6” with the heads tied on with leather straps that had feathers attached to them. I was probably about 3 or 4 years old. I lost the sticks that came with it though. At dinner time, I loved eating chicken “drumsticks”, and would use the dried-up bones as drumsticks to play my toy drum.

My first experience watching and listening someone playing drums was at church. A kind gentleman there named Angelo Christiano played at the church I want to in my childhood. He had a very light touch, when playing along with the old hymns and choruses we sang. I learned later that he was a jazz player. He was truly my first inspiration to play the drums.

At the age of 7, my mom hired a piano teacher for my sister and me, where I learned the very basics of reading music, and learning timing.

In 4th grade, in public school, I learned to play the trumpet, although that never took. My trumpet was in Bb, and it was never explained to me that I had to transpose, and just never grasped the concept.

From the age of 12 to 15, I attended a Christian School in the basement of my childhood church. This is when I expressed an interest in playing drums. Mr. Christiano gave me permission to practice on his drum set after school! My cousin John Edwardson also let me borrow his old snare drum kit that he had from high school. At the age of 14, I began taking lessons at Percussion Paradise in Staten Island and also took music lessons at Dr. Trogan’s music school.

That Christmas, my parents bought me my first drum set! It was an old Japanese-made CB-700 4-piece kit. 20’ kick, 8x12 mounted tom, and a floor tom. I don’t remember if it was a 14” or a 16”.

I should have stuck with the lessons and practiced more. I was not a very good student. I was more interested in the girls in music school, than my lessons (I can admit this now! Lol). My lessons, of course, consisted of repetitive rudiments on the snare drum and learning to read “Drum Music”. All I wanted to do was play along with some of my favorite music. In my music, I heard the drummer playing on a whole drum set, so that is what I wanted to learn on.

I started playing drums in my home church in Staten Island. I made the usual mistakes that young drummers make, like over-playing, losing count during fills, and speeding up, but it was all fun. Another great influence on me was, has been, and still is, Pastor Greg Wheaton. He was my youth pastor at the time, and a very talented musician who would always encourage me. I currently go to the church he pastors in Taunton, MA, and am on a rotation with 3 other drummers there.

During my older teenage years, I switched schools, and began playing drums on the school worship team for weekly chapel. After high school, I attended The Culinary Institute of America, and brought a drum set there to play, with little success. There was a cement-walled “music room” on the first floor of the quietest dorm. And that just was doomed by design. So, instead, I played my drums once or twice on a pavilion overlooking the Hudson River in NY. Now that I think of it, this would be a cool location to shoot a video, if the school would allow me to! Lol!

Up until about 2011, almost all of my drumming had been in church. This was the year I decided to try out for a “real band”. A group of guys, playing country music, calling themselves “Southern Justice” took me on as their drummer. The funniest thing with this band was that at practices, I couldn’t play my drum set. It was too loud for the neighbors. We were practicing in the bass player’s basement, and he lived in an end unit of a town house. So, I ended up practicing by hitting a steel-tubed bar stool, using the seat and the frame as different sounds to keep the rhythm. It was weird, but it worked!

Since then, I have worked with several other bands including, “Dusty Fender”, Fast Lane”, “Killing Time”, “Pulse”, and “The Last Stand Band”. My current band is the “Pantoscopic Tilt Blues Band”, here in Massachusetts, and as mentioned before, I still play in church.

My introduction to Soultone Cymbals, was actually through videos featuring Meytal Cohen. I had never seen these cymbals before, and they looked cool, and sounded amazing!

As my first set of Soultone Cymbals, I selected the Abby Series for not only their beauty, but they also had a very unique sound. Upon opening my box and playing them for the first time, I was overwhelmed by how well they were made! They felt more durable and heavier than 99% of the cymbals that I have ever played, and the sound was rich and full, yet warm, without being too dark.

My favorite style of music to play drums to is Worship music. Sure, I enjoy playing covers of rock, pop, country, and some other styles, but when I play worship music in church, there is a freedom there that feels so free and natural! People say that when I play drums in church, that my playing is “anointed”, but my playing in church is all for God’s glory.

My Soultone Set: 

20" Abby Ride
18" Abby Crash
16" Abby Crash
14" Abby Hi-Hat Pair

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