Dominic Howard

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Dominic Howard
Drummer - Rock

Bands: Muse

Drumsticks: Pro-Mark

Dominic James Howard (born (1977-12-07) December 7, 1977 (age 44)) is an English musician, best known as the drummer, percussionist and co-producer for the English rock band Muse. He also contributes to the synthesized and electronic-based elements found in their music.

Early life

Howard was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, in England. When he was around 8 years old he moved with his family to Teignmouth, a small town in Devon. He began playing drums at about the age of 12, when he was inspired by a jazz band performing at school.

Howard's first band was named Carnage Mayhem, which he was in at school. Meanwhile, he befriended Matt Bellamy, who played guitar but did not have a stable band. Not long after, Bellamy was offered the chance to join Howard's band. After two years of drop-outs, Bellamy suggested that they write their own songs, and only Howard and Bellamy remained. Chris Wolstenholme, who played drums in "Fixed Penalty", then entered the scene and with a great "spirit of sacrifice" he began to play bass.

In the first months of 1994 Gothic Plague was born, followed by Rocket Baby Dolls and then finally Muse.

He is a left-handed drummer. He also Played drums in Vicky Cryer with Jason Hill from Louis XIV.

Personal life

In 2004, Howard's father, William Howard, came to watch Muse's performance at Glastonbury Festival. Just after their performance finished, William died from a heart attack. The band then cancelled other shows including an Italy tour and Roskilde Festival. The band released a statement "In this dreadfully difficult time, we request that the privacy of Dom's family and friends is respected".

In a session where he and Bellamy answered questions from fans, Howard stated that the celebrity, alive or dead, he'd most like to meet is Jimi Hendrix. He had a dog called Hendrix. It is not his dog anymore, however.

On 26 September 2008, Howard, along with Bellamy and Wolstenholme, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Plymouth.


Drum kits

Howard is known to be an endorser of DW Drums, and uses a custom finished kit by the brand. However, he has used a set of orange and red Ludwig Vistalites in the USA cut of the Stockholm Syndrome music video, while a clear set of Vistalites was once seen on one of the background images of Muse's official site. As of 2009, Dominic appears to be using DW Drums. His new kit is maple with VLT (Vertical Low Timbre) shells and reinforcement rings in a custom finish. All of his recent appearances in support of the new album "Resistance", Howard can be seen using Drum Workshop kits. All of his drum sets are left-handed.

Some of his past drum sets include:

  • Blue sparkle Tama Starclassic Maple kit with chrome hardware (destroyed at the conclusion of the 2001 Origin of Symmetry / Dead Star/In Your World EP support tour, as seen on "Hullabaloo" DVD).
  • Grey kit (unknown composition) with chrome hardware (as seen on the "Top of the Pops" live performance and recording of Origin of Symmetry). Its fate is unknown.
  • Blue sparkle Tama Starclassic Maple kit with chrome hardware (used during 2002 tour and Absolution recording). Its fate is unknown. At least one rack tom survived until 2003 as it was used at the Grouse Lodge sessions of the Absolution recordings.
  • Silver sparkle Tama Starclassic maple kit with chrome hardware (as seen in music videos for Hyper Music, Feeling Good, Plug in Baby and Dead Star).
  • Custom chrome finished Tama Starclassic Maple kit with black nickel hardware (as seen on the Absolution Tour DVD). At least four different instances of this kit have been acquired and subsequently destroyed by the band at the end of live shows, at the conclusion of the Earls Court 2004 performance, at the 2004 Glastonbury Festival and on two other occasions.
  • Crystal ice (transparent)Tama Starclassic Mirage kit with white powder-coated hardware. This Kit was donated to Oxfam in help of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. (During the last show of the Black Holes and Revelations tour, at V festival, Howard used this kit but with the standard chrome hardware).
  • He has also played a Tama Starclassic Bubinga kit supporting My Chemical Romance in Williamsburg USA.
  • For recording he has used a blue DW kit.
  • During 3 songs (Soldier's Poem, Unintended, Blackout) at the band's performance at Wembley Stadium he used a Vintage Gretsch Jazz Kit in a Champagne Sparkle Finish.


Howard uses a selection of Zildjian cymbals. Over the years his tastes in cymbals have changed – for example, on the Hullabaloo DVD he uses 13" A Custom Projection hi-hats, 8" A Custom splash, 11" FX Oriental "Trash" Splash, 18" and 19" A Custom Crashes, 18" FX Oriental China Trash and a 22" K Custom Ride, whereas more recent performances have seen the addition of a 20" Escalade Rim as a cymbal, hung above his hi-hats, and the discontinued 14" K Custom Special Dry Hi-Hats to replace – and contrast – the A Customs. Lately the A Custom splash has been changed out in favour of an 9" A Splash. He has discontinued using the Crash of Doom as of the Black Holes period, and now uses a 22" K Custom Ride in live situations (and for recording). Also in 2006, at the Quart festival, he is seen in a picture at using an 24" Escalade rim as a Cymbal on his right stand.

For recording he uses darker K Custom Zildjian Fast and Dark crashes while he often uses the brighter A Customs in live performances for their increased "cut" (K Customs were used at Live 8, Abbey Road Session, Royal Albert Hall, and so on).

Drum sticks

Howard left Pro-Mark in 2013 and went to started using Vic Firth drumsticks.Howard had made his own signature series drumstick with Pro-Mark. The hickory TX101W Dom Howard wooden tipped drumstick is 16" (40.64 cm) long and is 0.571" (1.45 cm) thick with an olive tip. You can still get Howard's Pro-Mark drumsticks but it's without his signature.

Drum heads

Howard uses Remo drum heads. At Hullabaloo his toms have clear Remo Emperor batter heads while the Black Beauty snare has a coated Controlled Sound batter head. His Ayotte kick has a Remo Powerstroke 3 batter and the Starclassic snare usually has either coated Emperor or coated CS dot heads.

Dominic Howard Drumstick Collection

Current Drumstick Count in Collection: 2.