Why are metal drummers looked down on?

joshthedrumkid97

Senior Member
It has always seemed to me that drummers who play heavier styles of music are often thought of as 'not as good as swing/funk drummers. All my drum teachers have told me that it takes much less skill to be a metal drummer than to be a jazz drummer or other sorts of styles. I often hear people say that it takes not much skill to play at 250 bpm for 2 hours straight or play loud and agressively. Most people agree that isn't creative or musical. Blasting/double bass/china cymbals are always talked about badly by other snobs who think they are better because they don't play metal. Why is there such a consensus? I believe it takes a tremendous amount of skill to play at the speeds of George Kollias, David Haley, Derek Roddy, Tim Yeung and other metal drummers. I still like to play funk and other stuff and agree that it needs more finesse and touch, but really it is just a different style. You need different skills to play both metal and funk. I've never seen a jazz drummer who can play at almost 300bpm for hours on end like George Kollias can. But on the other hand I've never seen a metal drummer with the same touch and dynamics. Can't everyone just agree that metal is different and accept that it does take skill to play it well? What do you guys think?
 
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Mighty_Joker

Silver Member
It has always seemed to me that drummers who play heavier styles of music are often thought of as 'not as good as swing/funk drummers. All my drum teachers (apart from Dave Haley from Psycroptic) have told me that it takes much less skill to be a metal drummer than to be a jazz drummer or other sorts of styles. I often hear people say that it takes not much skill to play at 250 bpm for 2 hours straight or play loud and agressively. Most people agree that isn't creative or musical. Blasting/double bass/china cymbals are always talked about badly by other snobs who think they are better because they don't play metal. Why is there such a consensus? I believe it takes a tremendous amount of skill to play at the speeds of George Kollias, David Haley, Derek Roddy, Tim Yeung and other metal drummers. I still like to play funk and other stuff and agree that it needs more finesse and touch, but really it is just a different style. You need different skills to play both metal and funk. I've never seen a jazz drummer who can play at almost 300bpm for hours on end like George Kollias can. But on the other hand I've never seen a metal drummer with the same touch and dynamics. Can't everyone just agree that metal is different and accept that it does take skill to play it well? What do you guys think?

That is all.

Firstly, George Kollias does not play at 300bpm for hours on end. And if you want an example of a jazz drummer playing that fast, look up the song "Bebop" on For Musicians Only. It is 12 and a half minutes at 362bpm, with a constant up-beat swing, including two full choruses of trading 8's. Stan Levey was just as fast.

Now, for your point, metal DOES take less skill. It's just a fact. Speed ability does not equate to skill. Pick any Elvin Jones lick. To play it at 60bpm is ten times harder than it is to play a blast beat at 200bpm.

That said, I admire metal drummers, just as much as I admire all drummers in the profession. Kollias is one of my favourites, but he is not a typical metal drummer. Neither are people like Hannes Grossman or Derek Roddy, who have dedicated substantial time to mastering other styles.

The best metal drummers incorporate other styles into their drumming. Those that don't are typically the ones that are looked down upon. Compare Mike Portnoy to Mike Mangini. I know who I'd rather have in my band, yet both are "metal" drummers. That sort of drumming, taking influence from all sorts of musical and applying it to metal, DOES take as much skill as anything else. Simple blast beats do not.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
It's an immature thing to look down on other styles. I find your style repulsive to my ears, esp. blast beats. But, I admire the dedication and I've come to realize that it's wrong to judge the merits of an art form based solely on my tastes. Choosing to consume it is all about my tastes, but its validity doesn't require that I like it.

Honestly, if someone talks down your style, it sort of disqualifies them as a valid opinion. A lot of artists search for validation by pulling others down. Saying they don't like it is one thing, saying it's a lesser form is another. You can always hand the sticks to the next guy who says it's easy, and say "show me".
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I prefer jazz and funky drummers for sure. I like the dynamic range and swing/groove. Having said that, I doubt many drummers disrespect metal drummers. I sure don't. Some of the things they do are astounding.

Danny Carey is a fabulous player and Mike Mangini is unbelievable. Tomas Haake is superhuman - can't stand Meshuggah, though.

None of it matters, though. If you enjoy doing what you're doing it doesn't matter what anyone thinks - unless they have a soul or business connection.
 

joshthedrumkid97

Senior Member
It's an immature thing to look down on other styles. I find your style repulsive to my ears, esp. blast beats. But, I admire the dedication and I've come to realize that it's wrong to judge the merits of an art form based solely on my tastes. Choosing to consume it is all about my tastes, but its validity doesn't require that I like it.

Honestly, if someone talks down your style, it sort of disqualifies them as a valid opinion. A lot of artists search for validation by pulling others down. Saying they don't like it is one thing, saying it's a lesser form is another. You can always hand the sticks to the next guy who says it's easy, and say "show me".
Thank you for finding metal repulsive whilst at the same time agree that it takes an equal amount of time and dedication to get good at it! You are very right. People should not judge an art form based just on whether they like it or not.
 

Mike Post

Junior Member
Danny Carey is a fabulous player and Mike Mangini is unbelievable. Tomas Haake is superhuman - can't stand Meshuggah, though..
You've named two of my favourite drummers; Danny and Tomas, while I actually use Mike's sticks. I love all of Danny's and Tomas' work but I don't consider Danny a metal drummer, honestly. Why is it that you can't stand Meshuggah? Just wondering!

Now, for your point, metal DOES take less skill. It's just a fact. Speed ability does not equate to skill. Pick any Elvin Jones lick. To play it at 60bpm is ten times harder than it is to play a blast beat at 200bpm.
I agree on the fact that speed does not equate (much) skill, but why are you equating metal to speed? While most of metal is real fast, it's not at all what metal is about -- although, I do understand why you think so. And yes.. playing slower is definitely harder! I slow down most of the songs I practice to around 60bpm because it's a great exercise for timing and it tightens the beat at higher speeds. A timing mistake at 60bpm is much more noticeable than a mistake at 300bpm.

Please check out my all-time favourite drummer and friend, Stef Broks of Textures. He's done some great work with his main band Textures and his fusion/metal project Exivious. Not sure why I'm posting this, though.. it's not like Stef is your typical metal drummer.

Stef Broks - Textures - "Singularity"
www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfykD8Mu7as&hd=1

Stef Broks - Textures - "Laments of An Icarus"
www.youtube.com/watch?v=t21Em7Oq3vw&hd=1

Exivious - Waves of Thought
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewdmxcdDSEA&hd=1
 
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Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
People should not judge an art form based just on whether they like it or not.
To a degree it's unavoidable......I mean, how else should I judge an art form? That's not to say I shouldn't be able to respect the skillset, hard work and dedication that went into creating it. But all in all, of course I'm gonna judge something on how it makes me feel. If I don't like something, then I don't like it. It really doesn't matter how good someone is at creating it, it's still unlikely to sway my emotions.

You can search for topics by using the search function either at the top of this page, or there is one available in each sub-forum.....although in the case of this topic, it would have been difficult to identify anyway. I just remembered that one from last time round is all.
 

Duracell

Senior Member
Being good at any style takes time and effort. Doesn't matter if it's metal or jazz. The difference is in what you focus on.

I find that the general concencus among drummers I talk to is that every style has merrit, and it's generally frowned upon to put down another drummer based solely on his musical style of choice.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
To Funny....

Over the years on this forums I've read:

Why do people look down metal drummers?
Why do people think jazz drummers are snobs?
Why do people not like country drummers?
Why do people think this/that/whatever isn't as valid as the other thing....(?)

People like what they like, and tend to downplay what they don't. It's unfortunelate not enough people respect what they don't know, but it's fact of life, with in music and outside of music. If someone doesn't like what you do, big deal, there are plenty of people who will like what you do.


People who say metal drumming is easy obviously have never done a gig with a metal band.

Very few drummers on this planet can honestly sit down and play a jazz gig with conviction and turn around and play a metal gig with conviction. Sure, plenty know enough about each to get away with it, but few can really do both at a really high level.

Debating over with is more valid/harder/easier is beyond pointless and stupid.

The cool thing about drumming is drumming accepts all kinds. From Papa Jo Jones to Charlie Watts to George Kollias, it's all valid and all very cool.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
It's an immature thing to look down on other styles. I find your style repulsive to my ears, esp. blast beats. But, I admire the dedication and I've come to realize that it's wrong to judge the merits of an art form based solely on my tastes. Choosing to consume it is all about my tastes, but its validity doesn't require that I like it.

Honestly, if someone talks down your style, it sort of disqualifies them as a valid opinion. A lot of artists search for validation by pulling others down. Saying they don't like it is one thing, saying it's a lesser form is another. You can always hand the sticks to the next guy who says it's easy, and say "show me".
Excellent post.

I love the last tine: "show me"
 

joshthedrumkid97

Senior Member
Firstly, George Kollias does not play at 300bpm for hours on end. And if you want an example of a jazz drummer playing that fast, look up the song "Bebop" on For Musicians Only. It is 12 and a half minutes at 362bpm, with a constant up-beat swing, including two full choruses of trading 8's. Stan Levey was just as fast.

Now, for your point, metal DOES take less skill. It's just a fact. Speed ability does not equate to skill. Pick any Elvin Jones lick. To play it at 60bpm is ten times harder than it is to play a blast beat at 200bpm.

That said, I admire metal drummers, just as much as I admire all drummers in the profession. Kollias is one of my favourites, but he is not a typical metal drummer. Neither are people like Hannes Grossman or Derek Roddy, who have dedicated substantial time to mastering other styles.

The best metal drummers incorporate other styles into their drumming. Those that don't are typically the ones that are looked down upon. Compare Mike Portnoy to Mike Mangini. I know who I'd rather have in my band, yet both are "metal" drummers. That sort of drumming, taking influence from all sorts of musical and applying it to metal, DOES take as much skill as anything else. Simple blast beats do not.
I just wanna say that metal is not just about speed. There is musicality in it as well. Metal drumming is not just blasting at high bpms like you seem to see it as. But i agree with you as well sort of - I like to include other styles of drumming when i play metal. I like it when metal drummers change it up and add some cool new licks that aren't just 32nd notes around the toms and bass drums. I agree that if a metal dude can only play metal and nothing else, he isn't that great. Versatility is an important thing to have as a musician.
 

joshthedrumkid97

Senior Member
Being good at any style takes time and effort. Doesn't matter if it's metal or jazz. The difference is in what you focus on.

I find that the general concencus among drummers I talk to is that every style has merrit, and it's generally frowned upon to put down another drummer based solely on his musical style of choice.
I like where ever you're from. From my experiences it seems the consensus is that if you like metal you are not as good.
 

Mighty_Joker

Silver Member
I just wanna say that metal is not just about speed. There is musicality in it as well. Metal drumming is not just blasting at high bpms like you seem to see it as. But i agree with you as well sort of - I like to include other styles of drumming when i play metal. I like it when metal drummers change it up and add some cool new licks that aren't just 32nd notes around the toms and bass drums. I agree that if a metal dude can only play metal and nothing else, he isn't that great. Versatility is an important thing to have as a musician.
Yes, but that was in response to your opening paragraph, which was explicitly about speed:

It has always seemed to me that drummers who play heavier styles of music are often thought of as 'not as good as swing/funk drummers. All my drum teachers (apart from Dave Haley from Psycroptic) have told me that it takes much less skill to be a metal drummer than to be a jazz drummer or other sorts of styles. I often hear people say that it takes not much skill to play at 250 bpm for 2 hours straight or play loud and agressively. Most people agree that isn't creative or musical. Blasting/double bass/china cymbals are always talked about badly by other snobs who think they are better because they don't play metal. Why is there such a consensus? I believe it takes a tremendous amount of skill to play at the speeds of George Kollias, David Haley, Derek Roddy, Tim Yeung and other metal drummers. I still like to play funk and other stuff and agree that it needs more finesse and touch, but really it is just a different style. You need different skills to play both metal and funk. I've never seen a jazz drummer who can play at almost 300bpm for hours on end like George Kollias can. But on the other hand I've never seen a metal drummer with the same touch and dynamics. Can't everyone just agree that metal is different and accept that it does take skill to play it well? What do you guys think?
If you're talking about slow metal playing, then it really is very simplistic; just stylised rock beats really. This is why I said the top metal drummers incorporate influences from all over the place to embellish this. The rest don't, which is why metal often gets a bad name.
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
There's definitely some inferiority complex thing going on with metal people. These threads are becoming a monthly occurrence.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Why is it that you can't stand Meshuggah? Just wondering!
It's too brutal for me, Mike. I expect that my preferred music isn't first choice on your playlist either :)

PS. Liebe, the ast one was Chunky - haven't seen him around for a while. He came and left the place like a whirlwind!
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
it's very un "metal" to care about these kind of things

:)
 
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