Fat vs. skinny

joeysnare

Silver Member
I was having an odd conversation with my guitarest (who also a drum enthusiast)the other night. Basically we were looking at the differences between overweight and slimmer drummers in terms of speed.
Ive seen some slimmer guys for example Tommy Lee who in terms of speed is nothing special, as opposed to say Gene Hoglan or Nickolas Barker who are way overweight but mindbogglingly fast and seem to have endless endurance.
The one point we seemed to agree on is that maybe having a heavy torso forces these faster players to learn how to use ankles and wrists/fingers early on because of a lack of mobility caused by their girth.
Also in Gene's case the natural strength of being a larger guy alows him to use tree trunk sized sticks while still having great dynamics around the kit.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Not sure it has much bearing.

Bonham started slimmer than he ended up, yet still had the speed and dexterity. So weight didn't play a factor in his skill development as he wasn't fat yet. Guys like Weckyl and Vinnie are slim, yet are incredibly fast around the kit with good use of ankles, wrist and finger speed. No huge builds among Rich, Krupa or Bellson either. Masters of speed drumming incorporating quick fingers et al like Jo Jo and Johnny Rabb are thin.

I know there's guys like Dennis Chambers to be considered but IMO there's just too many small/thin guys who have equal speed and power to larger guys for weight to be a factor.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
I'll go with PFG on this. A close 350lb drummer friend of mine plays with such a deliberate but light touch (superb player). By contrast, my old percussion teacher could knock Bonham riffs out like thunder yet she was in her 70's and weighed about 80lb (she could do the light touch stuff equally well). I do think you might have something on the wrist action observation though. My big drummer friend has a superb wrist action (no comments necessary Polly!)
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Interesting subject... I once watched the great Larry Londin playing with tremendous strength and authority on his drums, He was a little on the heavy side, but he was a great musician also. But then I see a full sized man like Bernard Purdie play with such beautiful sensitivity and taste.

Then there's the smaller thinner guys with blazing speed and mobility around the kit. Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Carl Palmer, Simon Phillips, Steve Smith... it goes on and on.

I don't know if height is a factor because Gene Krupa and Louie were smaller men compared to Neil Peart and John Bonham.

Maybe all that matters is the size of their heart :)
 
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DamoSyzygy

Guest
I dont think it makes that big a difference, as the speed is technique related, not necessarily strength related.

Mind you, maybe its just a case of heavier people being happier sitting behind a pad for 3 hrs bouncing a stick while the skinny guys go for a run outdoors? :)
 
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Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan

Guest
I dont think it makes that big a difference, as the speed is technique related, not necessarily strength related.

Mind you, maybe its just a case of heavier people being happier sitting behind a pad for 3 hrs bouncing a stick while the skinny guys go for a run outdoors? :)
The thin guys are out scoring....at least, that's what I tell myself on my morning run.
Casper
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Under that weight or fat there is still muscle fibre that could be well trained. I am much older and heavier than I was in high school and can play much better than I did back then. They may not live as long and may have more trouble getting their gear up to the second floor but they can still get the wrists and feet moving as well as the little guys.
 

Fiery

Silver Member
I was having an odd conversation with my guitarest (who also a drum enthusiast)the other night. Basically we were looking at the differences between overweight and slimmer drummers in terms of speed.
Ive seen some slimmer guys for example Tommy Lee who in terms of speed is nothing special, as opposed to say Gene Hoglan or Nickolas Barker who are way overweight but mindbogglingly fast and seem to have endless endurance.
The one point we seemed to agree on is that maybe having a heavy torso forces these faster players to learn how to use ankles and wrists/fingers early on because of a lack of mobility caused by their girth.
Also in Gene's case the natural strength of being a larger guy alows him to use tree trunk sized sticks while still having great dynamics around the kit.
How about comparing George Kollias and Derek Roddy to Hoglan and Barker? To what conclusions would that lead you?
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Not sure it has much bearing.

Bonham started slimmer than he ended up, yet still had the speed and dexterity. So weight didn't play a factor in his skill development as he wasn't fat yet. Guys like Weckyl and Vinnie are slim, yet are incredibly fast around the kit with good use of ankles, wrist and finger speed. No huge builds among Rich, Krupa or Bellson either. Masters of speed drumming incorporating quick fingers et al like Jo Jo and Johnny Rabb are thin.

I know there's guys like Dennis Chambers to be considered but IMO there's just too many small/thin guys who have equal speed and power to larger guys for weight to be a factor.
Agreed.

How about comparing George Kollias and Derek Roddy to Hoglan and Barker? To what conclusions would that lead you?
And add in Flo Mounier.
 

joeysnare

Silver Member
How about comparing George Kollias and Derek Roddy to Hoglan and Barker? To what conclusions would that lead you?
lol actually i purposfully left out george, derek, and a few others just because theres no comparing to them in terms of speed. Its more along the lines of pondering how these larger drummers are putting to bed the preconcieved notions that obese people are lazy do nothings. Me ive never been overweight but ive had a few friends that were over my life and they fit the profile perfectly ,lazy, eating for the sake of eating, and just getting them to do small tasks is a chore. Frankly these drummers amaze me , id love to know what makes them tick, and how their body performs under such heavy drumming workloads.
 
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Big_Philly

Guest
Under that weight or fat there is still muscle fibre that could be well trained.
Exactly. You gotta protect your muscles, right? Theirs are protected by a natural cushion...

I have often seen rather fat bouncers at clubs, makes you wonder what they're gonna do if there's trouble sometimes. But don't be fooled...
 

thtst

Senior Member
It is not the size of the drumstick/drummer, but how they use it.

PS: Size matters, yet that is another subject not related to this discussion board. LOL
 
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