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Questlove - The Roots, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Posted by Rockshop on 1 July 2013




Ahmir Khalib Thompson (born on January 20, 1971), known professionally as ?uestlove or Questlove is an American drummer, DJ, music journalist and record producer. He is best known as the drummer and joint frontman for the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, who are now the in-house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, a hugely successful talk show in America.

Questlove has produced for artists such as Common, D’Angelo, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Bilal, Jay-Z, Nikka Costa, Amy Winehouse and more recently, Al Green and John Legend.

Questlove has been described as a living link between the digital science of modern hip-hop and the flesh-and-blood textures of vintage R&B 

He co-founded The Roots, regarded as one of the most musically inventive hip-hop acts. The Roots have consistently broken new ground in hip hop, taking live performance and musicianship to previously undiscovered places. In a largely electronic based genre, Questlove’s influence has been game changing, making him one of today’s most inventive and recognisable players. His col-laborations with other artists have shown the importance of real-time playing in a style dominated by sampling and programming.

His father was the leader of the ‘50s doo-wop group Lee Andrews and the Hearts, so Questlove grew up onstage. Playing the ‘oldies circuit’ with groups like The Coasters, The Drifters, The Chiffons. He was playing percussion at gigs from the age of seven and by 13 was the musical director. He continued playing with these acts until he got a record deal with The Roots at age 22.

Questlove is continually innovative in his drum kit set-up and use of gear. Whether it’s playing with tambourines on cymbals; the unique snare drum tuning in his usual two snare set up; playing with no crash cymbals and often no rack tom, Questlove has found his own unique voice operating outside the conventional drum kit mindset.

Teaming up with Ludwig Drums in 2012 lead to a unique collaboration called The Breakbeats kit. Due for a New Zealand release later this year, it promises to be a real game changer for innovative players.


Ludwig Kit

1.    20”x16” Bass Drum

2.   12”x8” Mounted Tom

3.    14”x3.5” Snare Drum

4.   14”x5.5” Snare Drum

5.   16”x16” Floor Tom

Ludwig USA Classic Maple –
Sky Blue Pearl

Zildjian Cymbals 

6.   14” A Zildjian New Beat HiHats

7.    20” Oriental Crash of Doom

8.    24” K Zildjian Light Ride

Live Kit 1 - Ludwig USA Classic Maple 
10MT/12MT/14FT/16FT/22BD – Black Oyster Pearl

Live Kit 2 - Ludwig USA Vistalite
12MT/16FT/18FT/26BD – Vistalite Clear