Charlie Watts


Senior Member
Forgive me if there already is a thread on him, but i could not find one.

Another of my favorite drummers. He has (IMO) sublime taste and groove when playing.

Any other fans of his on these boards?

Disco Stu

Senior Member
Thanks for starting this thread. It's a shame there wasn't one already. Yes, Charlie is a great drummer, a great musician, very groovy, and an integral part of the sound of the Stones. When I get the time, I plan to line up my Stones tunes and really study what Charlie's doing.

Disco Stu

Senior Member
The thing I love the "most" about Charlie is he's been playing the same drum kit for 46 years (or so).
I didn't know that, but it is pretty cool. I guess he found something he liked and stuck with it. I imagine it also helps to make his drumming instantly recognizable.


Senior Member
Charlie is my inspiration and the reason why I started drums...He doesn't have crazy chops like other guys, but his playing is simple and fits The Rolling Stones' music, well. He also has a passion for jazz and has numerous albums as a leader playing jazz.


Senior Member
Charlie is a great drummer. No, he doesn't display blazing chops & he can't play 1200 beats per minute on his kick drum, he doesn't have to, he's Charlie Watts. He plays for the music & does it better than most. There is much to learn from him & his playing style.
Sorry, guys, but Charlie used Ludwigs until around Dec. 1966/Jan. 1967. He also used matched grip at that time.

When he switched drums to Gretsch, he also switched from matched to traditional grip. Apparently he got inspired by his jazz roots to switch drums and grips.

Check out photographs of the Stones before '67 and you'll see it: Ludwigs and matched grip. In Bill Wyman's "Rolling with the Stones" and in the compilation book "According to the Rolling Stones," there are multiple pictures of Charlie before he became the Gretsch man we all know and love.

Personally, I think his definitive drumming came after the switch.



Platinum Member
Yes, as I've delved into "Uncle Charlie" kit history a bit more, seems like he started out on Premiers (like most UK drummers), but jumped to Ludwigs as soon as he could. Had a Black Ludwig kit, and a Black Diamond Pearl kit. And picked up Gretsch, like PW states, 66-67. That makes his Gretsch kit already 10 years old when he got it.


Silver Member
Get Off Of My Cloud, The Last Time, Lets Spend The Night Together, Paint It Black, I Can't Get No Satisfaction, Under My Thumb, Ruby Tuesday, Sympathy For The Devil, Street Fighting Man ... and on and on and on. Man, the guy invented perfect rock & roll drumming. You young guys, run and download those songs. This stuff is R&R 101. Joey
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Senior Member
I've heard a story where when Mick and Keith wanna tour they ring Charlie; he'll say no so they don't tour. Next year they try again and he'll go 'yes' and they're off. The other is that it's Charlie that has managed to keep the band together for all these years. He seems the suave gentleman off the kit, and on the kit too!
Yes, I like Charley Watts as well.
Keith Moon and Charley Watts, both extremes to me.
I like Charley because with just one tom tom he does very creative, but simple licks as well suited for the stones music.... and he is not flashy either... has in depth quality.
I have never seen him playing solos

...... to me drum solos are boring.

Keith Moon is the only drummer I have seen playing with the music , actually doing " solos" through out the song, which seems so brilliant.


Junior Member
Watts has this great "lift" thing he does with his right hand on certain beats, just on the back beat he'll throw in this 1/4 note pause that opens up the sound and makes the snare hit more up front and not buried with the hats. Very tasteful and subtle.