Out of all the instruments, drums are the most difficult ones to document and an error-proof list cannot be made as the drum sets were ... well, sets, of different items, which could change from one night to the other. Roger had dozens of items and his roadie assembled the kit based on his specifications, but it also varied depending on the venue, the set-list and the general mood of the moment. Roger also trashed his drum kits sometimes, either as a celebration for the end of a tour, or in frustration if he was upset for some reason.

Roger liked drums from the American company Ludwig, which was very popular for English musicians (e.g. Ringo Starr and Roger's idol, John Bonham), and he used them for most of the early tours. From 1976 onwards, the company sent him vast supplies of both drums and hardware, which all but ended any 'money problem' he could face, and gave him freedom to replace items if they were worn off or if he'd destroyed them. For cymbals, he mostly mixed Zildjian and Paiste until 1982; he's mostly been exclusive to Zildjian from 1984 onwards.

The kits often consisted of:

  • 1 bass-drum (a.k.a. kick) with pedal.
  • 1 snare drum.
  • 2 floor toms.
  • 2-3 mounted (a.k.a. rack) tom-toms.
  • 1 pair of hi-hats.
  • 1-2 ride cymbals.
  • 3-5 crash cymbals.
  • Various stands for some of those items.
  • Microphones (usually AKG) to amplify the kit.

They could also, during some tours, include any of the following:

  • 1-2 china cymbals.
  • 1-5 splash cymbals.
  • 1-3 cowbells.
  • Electronic drum pads.
  • 2 rototoms.
  • Windchimes.

Next to his drum set, Roger used a pair of timpani from late 1978 to late 1982 and, of course, from late 1975 to late 1982 he also had a massive gong which had to be cleaned, packed, moved, unpacked and set up every concert just to be hit once at the end of Bohemian Rhapsody and during White Man or Ogre Battle.