How do you define a "drummer's drummer"?


I went and saw Sonic Youth last night and Steve Shelley is a beast behind the kit. He is so very creative. I was looking at his wikipedia entry and it states that he is a "drummer's drummer." I have heard the term before but can not really picture who or what defines it.

Help me out here.

Joe P

Senior Member
That just means that even/especially drummers can appreciate his drumming. It's not like a musical term or anything. That's all it means. To use an non-drumming-related example, if someone is referred to as "the everyman's politician," he is a politician that "the everyman" (working class) can like/appreciate.
In example, Phil is a real drummer's drummer...Colin Greenwood

It's similar as King of Kings - God of Gods - Master of all Masters, it means Supreme / Top Notch.

I hope it helped.


Platinum Member
I think of a dummer's drummer as someone who isn't all that well known with the public but is a favourite in the drumming community.

Nick G.

Senior Member
id saya drummers drummer

a drummers drummer sounds good to everyone but drummers especially appreciate his technique and "flair"


Wikipedia is an ok resource but be careful to take it for what it is. Who typed "drummers drummer" on there and exactly when was that title awarded??? Nothing against any drummers but wikipedia is full of rhetoric as well as fact.


Silver Member
...a drummers drummer is one that leaves you unable to decide if you want to either kill him/her or be him/her.



Senior Member
there are lots of man's man. I think likewise there are lots of Drummer's drummers...

I think I would put it this way:

If any five of us are in a room with one set of drums we all would want to be the one at the kit.

If a Drummer's drummer was in the room we all would want to be sitting there listing to him play..!


Senior Member
i''d agree with that.seems more productive to be a "producers drummer". if you get in with a producer you get to play on more albums.
Then you wouldn't be a drummer's drummer.

All drummer's drummers are drummers that producers want to work with even though the drummer says, "crap no!, I like my drums to ring that much..!


The Colonel

Silver Member
LOTS of 'drummers' fit that bill! Boatloads. One of those however, is NOT Gadd. Everyone likes Gadd.


I can honestly say that I've never heard Gadd. Never heard 50 ways to leave your lover - or whatever it's called - the only time I heard Gadd was at the Berklee school's American Drummer Achievement Award - when he barely played (not a kit)


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
To me a Drummers Drummer would be someone like Dom Famularo. He's a great drummer, a great technician, a great instructor/educator, a world renown ambassador for We drummers, but when you talk to him, in 5 minutes you feel like you have known him forever. Down to earth, and willing to give anything he has for the drumming community.
I met him at a drum clinic and can say I came away with a new friend as well as more drumming knowledge.