My 2016 Signature Snare

In 2011 I paced the floor of what would become the Greiner Kilmer shop with my new friend and business partner, Kaleb Kilmer.  We were in pursuit of different varities of wood we could put together in assembling the first snare drum with a Greiner Kilmer badge and my signature. 5 years later, Kaleb and I deliberated about how to commemorate that first signature snare, and we landed on the 2016 Matt Greiner signature snare.

Like every drum from GK, it is built by hand with heart, yielding a product that is truly one of a kind.  The difference between my new signature snare, is that I designed it to my playing style and preferred sound.  I knew I wanted it, like my first GK signature snare, to consist of maple, cherry, and walnut. This combination of woods gives me the brightness and attack I need to cut through the mix, but also has warmth and depth to give the snare body and a nice crack.


The shell is 5.5x14"; I have liked 14" snare drums for a decade now.  I've played 13" snares but found that 14" snares are a more versatile drum for my needs.  I have owned snares from 4" to 7.5" deep.  We designed this snare to be right in the 'sweet spot,' at 5.5", giving you options to tune to your preference. The depth is accented by the round-over/45 degree bearing edge that this snare boasts. Hand-cut and tested, GK edges hold true and take the headache out of tuning a snare to the sound you want.

All the hardware on this snare is tough and reliable, as it needs to be when I tour. The hoops and lugs are die-cast, and are not only strong, but also focus the sound of the drum. You can't get any better than the MAG strainer system, and the Remo heads and Puresound wires are what I proudly endorse!

I wanted this snare drum to be the one I pull out of the case when I arrive a gig or in the studio or even back at August Burns Red's practice space.  I wanted this snare drum to be the one I pick over the other snares I own, even my favorite snare drum, the GK 'Pioneer.'  

I am very proud of this 2016 Greiner Kilmer signature snare drum.  I put a lot of work into the design, based on my playing style and preferences for the snare drum of my dreams.  This is my favorite snare drum in my collection.  This drum has my name on it and I stand by it. 


Each time I play my signature snare drum, I grow more impressed.  I played it in the studio for the first time, recording a play through of August Burns Red's song, "Identity," and right out of the box, the snare sounded great.  I tuned the drum down a half turn to acquire more of a 'fat' sound.  Minutes later we were recording and I was very happy with the sound. Out of the studio and into the next week, I replaced the Coated Controlled Sound head with a Remo Black Max head.  It's a head typically used in marching but I like using them with August Burns Red, in live settings.  My drum tech and fellow GK artist, Adam Gray, hit the snare a few times after putting the Black Max on it, and smiled in approval.  The sound of this snare has only improved with time.

Posted on May 20, 2016 .

The Holiday Season is Upon Us!

It's November which means that Christmas is growing ever closer with each day. This is the busiest season around the shop. If you want a chance at having a drum by Christmas, make sure to get your order in ASAP! You can contact me via email ( and I will answer any questions you have about the order process, or designing a custom drum or drumkit with you!

Give the drummer in your life a new GK drum to take pride in playing this winter. #takeprideinwhatyouplay

Posted on November 2, 2015 and filed under Kaleb.

Teaching Others Teaches Yourself.

A workshop I taught on Vans Warped Tour in Detroit, Michigan.

A workshop I taught on Vans Warped Tour in Detroit, Michigan.

As the saying goes, "This ain't my first rodeo."   For the 3rd time in 5 years, I left home in June and embarked on a 25,000 mile circus they call The Van's Warped Tour.  Although the sponsors have changed, the names on the line-up have come and gone, and new faces stand in line with tickets in hand, many things remain the same year after year.  This year on the Warped Tour was, however, very different for me.  I had a list of names on a piece of paper who were enrolled to take drum lessons with me.  As I would come to find out, the 45 minutes I spent under that blue tent away from the noise and chaos of Warped Tour was the best part of my day, everyday.  

Matt Halpern, the drummer for Periphery, called me early this year and asked if I was interested in teaching drum lessons all summer long on Warped Tour.  He explained that he had started a new company called The Entertainment Institute, which aims at providing education and insight in the broad and beautiful world of music performance and business.  I agreed and began putting together a curriculum back in May.  

I am a mostly self-taught drummer.  I spent a lot of money (and time) over the past decade attempting to find a drum instructor who could push me to be better at my instrument.  All I found, time and time again, were instructors who were teaching from a template, they weren't teaching subjectively and looking at my strengths and more importantly, my weaknesses.  That was the case until I met a man named Clyde Lucas.  Clyde played drums at the church I attended as a kid.  My mom brought to my attention that he was teaching lessons in Lancaster and encouraged me to call him and give it a shot.  I called and spoke with his wife who helped me set up a time.  I'll never forget getting to his house, descending the stairs into his basement, and sitting down at that antiquated dinosaur of wood he called a drum-set!  The drum heads must have been a decade old and the cymbals were so 'loved' that the logos were worn off of them.  Clyde asked me to start playing and walked back up the stairs  Little did I know he was listening to me from afar and taking the pressure off of me by not standing right beside me.  He was letting me play my instrument the way I do naturally.  He walked down the stairs, said "FANTASTIC" like he always did about everything as it pertained to drums, and began breaking me down.  

Clyde slowed the metronome down to 80bpm on his 90s keyboard and began teaching me control, feel, and groove.  Clyde gave me in 1 minute of that 1 hour lesson more than any instructor had ever given me.  I took a total of 4 drum lessons with Clyde, visiting him in between tours.  I even helped him transport his drums to a church where he had a jazz gig.  He was up there in years and was too weak to do all the work.  It wasn't long after before I heard the news that Clyde had passed on and was now singing "FANTASTIC" in heaven and was free from all the pain.

So, how do I teach drums and why was this summer on the hot Warped Tour a different experience for me?  I thought of Clyde almost every single day I taught my students.  Here I was, traveling the U.S. and Canada and in each and every city there was a little "Matt Greiner" who had strengths and weaknesses that made him the drummer he is today.  I had the opportunity to resemble Clyde and his teaching style and encourage them to face their weaknesses and challenge their strengths.  I had the opportunity to teach seasoned drummers as well as day old beginners.  I taught so much and I learned that, in the end, teaching teaches yourself.

From home in Lancaster County, PA.,


Posted on September 10, 2015 .