Drum Covers


Junior Member
so i'm wasn't too sure where to put this thread so I figured here would suffice. This is pretty much about a discussion with a friend and am curious to what other drummer's views are on this subject of drum covers. I was checking out some drum covers on YouTube and a friend of mine was shockingly disgusted as to what I thought were very well done covers. Apparently he thinks that covers need to imitate the original artist's drums exactly to be a cover. I had never thought they needed to be exactly the same. it was under my impression it could be what ever you wanted to play.

but thats pretty much the jist of the whole thing. I would really appreciate to hear other views on this. thanks for reading!


Senior Member
Well i'm kinda on the fence with this. On one hand you have a drummer that plays the songs perfectly and on the other you have one that plays it almost perfectly with the exception of a few variations here and there. You could call the perfect played song a cover but the one that's almost perfect is still, for the most part, played the same way and is still the same song no matter how you look at it( unless they just rewrite the whole song..there are exceptions lol). IMO i don't look at either one as covers. I just see a drummer playing a song how he/she wants to play it weather it's being played as it was written or almost played as it was written. Damn i hope all that made sense.

That's the beauty of music and "covering" songs. You can play them the way they were meant to be played or you can have fun with them....your choice! But i don't call anything i see another band or musician playing that was written by someone else a cover...but that's just me. Some here may agree with me some may not but this is just my opinion. Later!!


Junior Member
I have a large bunch of drum covers on YouTube www.YouTube.com/dexstardrummer and you could say I play all of them completely 'wrong'. I can play them all pretty much note for note, but I choose not to. If I played the songs like i do in the videos in a band, I'd most probably get fired. But seeing as when I play in bands I do stick to the 'rules' and play it correctly, I thought why not let loose and have a great time playing them how I'd like to? To provide some entertainment to other drum fans.
I've had some great feedback off some nice people. And I'm glad they enjoy what I do, but no I don't think that the songs need to be played exact for a YouTube video (if it is for entertainment purposes) unless it is a video which is teaching someone how to play it, for an exam for example.
However when playing for a band, or for teaching, yes I think it should be played close to the original drummers take, as that is what an audience wants to see, not someone just going crazy.

For me
YouTube: have some fun with the song
Live performance: play for the music


Gold Member
I'm in a cover band and we do most songs real close as far as the layout..this makes it easier to work on at home with an ipod version of the song..as far as drumming there are some signature rolls that have to be in a song for me..most metalica songs I try my best to cover exact due to fact you can idenify these songs by the drumming..on the other hand the crowd is not there to listen to a live jukebox ..I believe your "own style" has to shine through as much as possible.. I first learn the song as close as possible then find it morphing into my style after a few weeks/months of playing it..

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
This is kind of a discussion about "don't say anything new until you can say what's already been said" . I think if you're learning how to play, or just getting started with putting yourself 'out there' to be seen, it's good to know from an employer's stand-point, that you can fill the bill and give prospective bands what they expect to hear. Once it's established that you really can play, then I've found people to be tolerant with any kind of musical transgression I may take within the framework.

But this is all dependent on who you're trying to attract: straight cover bands or improvising cover bands. Most of my work has been with jazz style players covering the hits of the day. So on the bandstand, if you have to stretch a song, you can. If someone says to take a drum solo somewhere in the piece, you can, if the band leaders decides to change styles on a song, the band can go there. I find these situations the most satisfying, because we're taking care of the audience by letting them hear what they want to hear, but we're not necessarily playing anything note-for-note. But there have also been alot of times when the note-for-note version is most appropriate, for example, whenever we play "On Broadway" (a la George Benson), if I'm given a solo, I can't help but play note-for-note what Harvey Mason played on the original recording because it just fit so well, I can't improve on that, and I love being able to cop what my idols have played!

Max Crespo

I just started doing covers and my philosophy is to try to get the same genral feel with fills in the correct spots and similar snare and bass patters.

On a side note I usually will throw in my own fills


Senior Member
Most drummers don't even play the recorded song the same way live so why should anyone else?
If you want to take the time to break down the whole song and learn it note for note then you are probably an excellent drummer, but if you can play the recognizable parts right and improvise other parts all in time then you are still an excellent drummer (with less time on your hands most likely)