Bands with Two Drummers - Is There Really a Point?

TColumbia37

Silver Member
I am in full support of having two drummers if it can be done tastefully. Haven't you ever just set up two kits next to each other, and jammed with a friend? It's crazy the kind of beats and fills two people can create while working together. And THAT, backing an entire band, is just amazing.
 

chipotle

Senior Member
I seem to remember seeing Joe Cocker a long time ago with 2 drummers.

There's been some nice two drummer collaborations in the jazz world.

Miles Runs the VooDoo Down with Jack Djohnette and Don Alias.

Coltrane's Meditations with Elvin Jones and Rashied Ali
 

Chunky

Silver Member
I've never seen or heard it done very well ever.
It's pointless when they both play the same parts. It's clever I suppose but, so is playing while juggling sticks or throwing polyrhythms into parts (that don't need them).

from a sound point of view getting all of those drums to compliment each other when played in unison would be near impossible. it certainly wouldn't be better than a single kit.

I'd like to hear a band do it where the second drummer knew his role, he always played seperate parts but, only played when it was needed so, could probably sit out of half of every song or use little more than one hand and lets face it, it might sound goos on record but no crowd is going to dig that.

Just use a backing track if you don't have enough limbs, the you won't force parts in.

Terrible idea.

Midnite Zephyr - lol it's always bloody guitarists with these daft ideas then they chsnge their mind!
hey atleast you're the alpha drummer!
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I've never seen or heard it done very well ever.
It's pointless when they both play the same parts. It's clever I suppose but, so is playing while juggling sticks or throwing polyrhythms into parts (that don't need them).

Midnite Zephyr - lol it's always bloody guitarists with these daft ideas then they chsnge their mind!
hey atleast you're the alpha drummer!

Ya, funny how that goes, but it did force me to step it up a notch. The other guy is an awesome drummer, but he is over-the-top in some areas where the vibe of the song doesn't call for it. We're playing a gig this evening and I just spoke with the guitarist. We're gonna do the gig with one drummer after all. I'm cool either way, it just means less hassle for me. We sound just fine with my drumming. It's not really necessary.

I like the way that Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann played together in the Grateful Dead. I'm sure Bill could have done the gig himself, but the tribal element that Mickey gave it was really cool. That's who I emulated in my playing as a second drummer. Not sure if I am the Alpha drummer. I laid back a lot because I had to, but if it's done tastefully, it can be pretty awesome (at least in my mind).
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
To quote Nigel Tuffnel, "well it's one more init" These drummers go up to 2 (not eleven, sorry...).
 

Nuka

Senior Member
Watched the Joe Bonamassa gig (Live at the Royal Albert Hall, ft. Eric Clapton) earlier on SkyArts and he had dual drummers.

Rather liked it. Nothing majorly special, each drummer did have their own sequences, but it added depth, looked good on stage and was different. Maybe they're the reasons people do it?
 

Chunky

Silver Member
Ya, funny how that goes, but it did force me to step it up a notch. The other guy is an awesome drummer, but he is over-the-top in some areas where the vibe of the song doesn't call for it. We're playing a gig this evening and I just spoke with the guitarist. We're gonna do the gig with one drummer after all. I'm cool either way, it just means less hassle for me. We sound just fine with my drumming. It's not really necessary.

I like the way that Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann played together in the Grateful Dead. I'm sure Bill could have done the gig himself, but the tribal element that Mickey gave it was really cool. That's who I emulated in my playing as a second drummer. Not sure if I am the Alpha drummer. I laid back a lot because I had to, but if it's done tastefully, it can be pretty awesome (at least in my mind).

I don't think flashy fills or speed defines the alpha drummer. If you're picking the right parts to play and the other guy is overplaying, I'd say you're the alpha.
And judging by the fact the band favours you, then they obvioisly think it too.

Can't put a price on taste and phrasing man!

I'd love to ha e a proper go at double drumming at somepoint, just for a laugh. It must be really hard. Two musicians used to leading, who follows who?
I knlw the answer is 'the beat' but, no-one plays perfectly in time so...
Must be tough.

As cringeworthy as it may be I've always loved Slipknots percussionists. They never do anything mindblowing and most of the time they are just re-enforcing the beat but, it's the sound.
It's not two drummers hitting the same drums, they are huge, deep drums and give Slipknot that sound.
No-one covers Slipknot songs and there's a good reason, it just sounds crap without those big drums beefing up the sound!

Great showmanship too, theybhave the freedom of having little enough to play to be able to really entertain. So they're a guilty pleasure for me.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I don't think flashy fills or speed defines the alpha drummer. If you're picking the right parts to play and the other guy is overplaying, I'd say you're the alpha.
And judging by the fact the band favours you, then they obvioisly think it too.

Can't put a price on taste and phrasing man!

I'd love to ha e a proper go at double drumming at somepoint, just for a laugh. It must be really hard. Two musicians used to leading, who follows who?
I knlw the answer is 'the beat' but, no-one plays perfectly in time so...
Must be tough.

As cringeworthy as it may be I've always loved Slipknots percussionists. They never do anything mindblowing and most of the time they are just re-enforcing the beat but, it's the sound.
It's not two drummers hitting the same drums, they are huge, deep drums and give Slipknot that sound.
No-one covers Slipknot songs and there's a good reason, it just sounds crap without those big drums beefing up the sound!

Great showmanship too, theybhave the freedom of having little enough to play to be able to really entertain. So they're a guilty pleasure for me.

I'm not too familiar with Slipknot. Just a couple songs. I didn't even know they have two drummers. haha. I just know of Joey Jordison.

We just got done with our gig. It was a small stage, but we made it work with two drummers. We have 3 guitarists, a bass and a keyboard player, so I think the beefier sound adds a cool extra rhythmic layer of sound to the music and really adds to it nicely. It does take a bit of practice staying in synch with another drummer, but if you ever get a chance, you should try it just for fun. It really should be another guy who is at your talent level. You have to really understand where your parts are. The other drummer in my band tends to lay back a bit during gigs, so we both get a few Alpha moments in there. I like it!
 

Chunky

Silver Member
I'm not too familiar with Slipknot. Just a couple songs. I didn't even know they have two drummers. haha. I just know of Joey Jordison.

We just got done with our gig. It was a small stage, but we made it work with two drummers. We have 3 guitarists, a bass and a keyboard player, so I think the beefier sound adds a cool extra rhythmic layer of sound to the music and really adds to it nicely. It does take a bit of practice staying in synch with another drummer, but if you ever get a chance, you should try it just for fun. It really should be another guy who is at your talent level. You have to really understand where your parts are. The other drummer in my band tends to lay back a bit during gigs, so we both get a few Alpha moments in there. I like it!

Sounds fun, I'll have to give it a try at some point.

Slipknot have 3 drummers! although Joey is the bands drummer and the other two play percussion. I think they use timps and all kinds but in the beginning when they had little money I think they just turned large bass drums on their sides, tune them low and hit then with baseball bat sized sticks!

They are usually just buffing up the drum sound but, that's why Slipknot have THAT sound and why no-one ever dares cover their songs.
It just doesn't sound the same without it so, as simple as it may be I think they are crucial to the bands sound.

The percussionists are great showman too and don't have parts that get in the way of them entertaining the crowd. It's pretty well thought out really, regardless of whether you like them or not they came up with some great gimmicks and kept it interesting always.
 

groove1

Silver Member
When it's done right, I love it. All to often I have seen 2 drummers in bands where it was obvious that the 2 drummers had not had enough time to work out how they were going
to play together and reduced each other to the most basic of beats when they were each
capable individually of doing a better job for the band than they were in there efforts not to
step on each other. (that must be my longest sentence to date!)
 

wizard sticks

Senior Member
Phil Collins and Chester Thompson is an obvious example from what I know - however, it wasn't as simple as just two drummers playing together. Collins only played when he wasn't singing, and sometimes Chester would have a rest, or play some percussion, or be like a beatbox as Collins did his 'animal from the muppets' impression.

It can sound a bit "heavy" so I suppose it depends on the music.
 

MangueBeat

Junior Member
I really like the way Melvins use two drummers. The complement each other in fills, sometimes play the same beat but they still variate it by using different cymbal types. Also, live it's a very impressive show, as one is right and the other left handed and they share a cymbal in the middle of the sets.

I think Miles Davis' Bitches Brew also features two drummers.
 

TYBG

Junior Member
I love a lot of those bands on that list! Everything's personal preference of course. Some bands have two drummers for the same reason some drummers have four bass drums- they're in show business. Like many other elements of the entertainment industry, some things are done to put on a show and entertain the audience. It's all about excess and theatrics.
Other bands, like Dananananaykroyd and Melvins, use two drummers or a single drummer when the song calls for it. I notice on songs where there are two drummers, they sync up on certain points of the song like a chorus and then vary their fills. They often use different tunings and cymbals also, so the combined sound is unique. If I remember correctly, the Arcade Fire does the same thing.
I think most bands fall into one of those two categories, although not all bands can be so easily generalized (no clue why Pavement used two drummers)
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Based on the performance of "Beady Eye" on Jools Holland's TV show (U.K) last night I would to say NO. Mind you, they are dull and mindless in the best "Oasis" tradition.

Awful, I agree.
Over-rated, pretentious, tossers
 

richkenyon

Silver Member
Wow... completely forgot I have done the two drummer thing with a Genesis cover band!! I guess the reason why I forgot it was more like one drummer & a singer who owns a drum kit - which I don't mean to sound overly negative because he did try his best. But it never felt like two drummers.

Only tie I have seen it live to my knowledge was Murder Inc. It was really cool - Martin Atkins & Big Paul Ferguson. A really big sound.
 

mymarkers

Senior Member
Listen to "Whippin' Post" by the Allman Brothers. In several parts, one drummer plays a slow 12/8 while the other plays a fast 3/4. Theoretically, one drummer could accomplish the same feel with accents and ghost notes. But it just wouldn't have the same texture as two different drummers playing simultaneously. That's one of the only songs that I have really noticed that there are two drummers.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
It does take a bit of practice staying in synch with another drummer, but if you ever get a chance, you should try it just for fun. It really should be another guy who is at your talent level. You have to really understand where your parts are. The other drummer in my band tends to lay back a bit during gigs, so we both get a few Alpha moments in there. I like it!

Good advice, Bon. Do you find the extra rhythmic accountability forces you to listen more acutely? Difficult to avoid unintentional flams.

Drum jams are fun, though. These days I'm more conscious of not making a continuous din. Tinnitus will do that.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Listen to "Whippin' Post" by the Allman Brothers. In several parts, one drummer plays a slow 12/8 while the other plays a fast 3/4. Theoretically, one drummer could accomplish the same feel with accents and ghost notes. But it just wouldn't have the same texture as two different drummers playing simultaneously. That's one of the only songs that I have really noticed that there are two drummers.

Amazing ..... I was going to say the exact same song - same band!! I'd say listen to any of the songs from live at Fillmore east.. In memory of Elizabeth reed, statesboro blues.. The 2 drummers are meshed together and create a dense layer for 2 phenomenal guitar players to solo over.. I don't think they always played different parts, I think they were just good listeners... The first clue of being a good musician ..
 
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