My Top Ten Favorite Drummers are:
- Keith Moon (The Who)
- Neil Peart (Rush)
- Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Asia)
- Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)
- Phil Collins (Genesis)
- John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
- Mitch Mitchell (Jimmy Hendrix)
- Ringo Starr (Beatles)
- Bill Bruford (Yes)
- Clive Burr (Iron Maiden)
I am NOT saying these are the best drummers out there. I am only saying I like these drummers the most, and their playing had been influential in my drumming. There are two other drummers that deserve honorable mentions on my page.
The first is my drum hero, Gene Krupa. A Chicago boy, Gene Krupa had completely transformed the drum set as we know it today. He helped Slingerland Drums produce a tunable tom tom, helping pave the way for modern drum sets with their numerous toms. Gene Krupa also helped the drummer step out into the spotlight and promoted the drums as a solo instrument. Drummers would not be who we are today if it was not for Gene Krupa.
The second drummer is Buddy Rich. I was always enthralled watching him blast his way around a drum set on numerous Johnny Carson Shows in the 1970s. I believe he made me want to become a drummer. Although to be fair, I was already one, playing in the school band. I am sure me playing the drums was the impetus for me wanting to watch Buddy. However, I was only a percussionist at that point really, playing a single instrument at a time.
I initially learned to play a drum set by listening to Steve Miller’s Greatest Hits. I do not really remember the progression of drum mentors, but I listened to a lot of songs, and I tried to copy every one. I still try to copy songs as close to the original as possible to this day.
I listened to rock growing up, what is now considered classic rock. That is my main music I prefer. While jamming as a teenager with other kids as school, we often played the blues, or our version of it. The blues was great to improvise to and to learn from. Also, I learned later, that all American music springs from the blues.
I learned how to play heavy metal drums with a double bass drum in 1983. I taught myself how to play double bass drums as YouTube did not exist then. I have since found out that heavy metal drums is considered the second hardest drum style to play, with jazz being the hardest. I guess that is because of the heavy beats and fast timing. I liked it, but do not consider myself a metal drummer.
During my forties, I discovered jazz. I have been hooked since, too. I love most forms of jazz, from early jazz, to swing and to bebop, I love the art that jazz is. However, I do not consider myself a jazz drummer by any stretch of the imagination. I have never learned how to play jazz drums, but one day I hope to change that.
About ten years ago, I watched a documentary about hip hop and realized that hip hop is ALL about rhythm, so for me what is there not to like? I learned that I prefer west coast gangsta rap (who would have thunk?). For me, some the best riffs I can create is when I listen to hip hop. It is fun as hell!