Drum Snobs


Junior Member
Have you guys ever encountered a Drum Snob?

I don't like it when drummers hate on other drummers for no apparent reason.

A big one I see a lot is drummers who play different genres hating on each other.
The worse case scenario is when you come in contact with a drummer who thinks every drummer except for them sucks.

Respect what others do and what drives them. Just because it may not be what you're into doesn't mean they suck. Take the time to learn from them because you may find some cool things you can apply to your playing.



Senior Member
I think one can be a drum snob and still be a likeable person. I think many of us are guilty of it at some point. Being very particular about gear choices and playing styles is OK in my book. But then there's the arrogant jerk, which is what you're describing. I don't care too much for those types.


Senior Member
I met a friend of a friend recently and struck up a conversation when I found out he was a drummer. He was telling me about all the cool gear he has in his studio (not sure if this was BS or not) and that I should come check it out sometime. That sounded cool, but the more he talked I could tell he was one of those "my way is best and anything else is lame" type of guys. He mocked anything that wasn't expensive, high-end gear. He dismissed anyone that didn't incorporate whatever technical rudiment/paradiddle whatever he was talking about into all their playing. He really turned out to be a drag. I don't know anything else about this guy, but based on our brief conversation I'd guess he doesn't play well with others, regardless of whatever technical ability he may or may not have.


"Uncle Larry"
I think it's hard for any musician to forego themselves and be supportive of other musicians who are in the same boat. Most musicians want that attention for themselves. If I am being honest, I am pretty competitive. I always want to be the best drummer in the room. Usually I look for things that I feel the other guy is doing wrong, and placate myself that I could do it better, when I feel I could. Shallow I know, but I'm being honest here. In my world, I see more crap drummers than great drummers, by a large margin. It pisses me off that they can't make more of an effort a lot of times. Or don't care enough. Or don't have a good work ethic. Or has low standards. I see this all too much.

Now if someone is clearly a great musician, I have no problem outwardly gushing over them. I like witnessing great players because I get to steal from them. I just got a chance to witness a truly great drummer a few weeks ago. It was awesome. But I am always picking apart drummers I see. To myself. Everything from their playing choices to their tuning choices to their attitude choices and anything else that jumps out. I am genuinely very supportive outwardly to any drummer. Inwardly, I have my opinions though. So I admit to having...I'm not sure if it's snobbiness or competitiveness, maybe both. I do keep it to myself, but I have to admit, it is there.

Hating other genres, that's just silly. That's just hurting yourself.


Junior Member
I think one can be a drum snob and still be a likeable person. I think many of us are guilty of it at some point. Being very particular about gear choices and playing styles is OK in my book. But then there's the arrogant jerk, which is what you're describing. I don't care too much for those types.
You're right, it's the real arrogant ones that get to me.


Gold Member
I have my moments of drum snobbery. It usually has little to with genre and more to do with the attitude said drummer. If a guy is walking around the club like he is gods gift to drummers then plays like a monkey on crack, I will usually partake in a little drum snobbishness.


"Uncle Larry"
Drum snobbery is a way of patting yourself on the back. Making yourself feel good about yourself. I'm not saying it's good, it's probably not. But I know it happens because I've done it. Could be any thing from insecurity to arrogance to an unenlightened attitude, but it seems like a way of consoling oneself. Which implies that something is upsetting. Which there might well be, attitude-wise at least. So any time I catch myself feeling like snobby, I will try to remember this thread and try and let it go...rise above it. I'll let you know how that goes lol.

I'm just having a hard time separating which part is snob and which part is competitive. Could they be one in the same?


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
We all assess everything we see or hear, and it's a short jump to judging and adopting an attitude about them. And it's hardly limited to drums, drummers, or music. People can have prejudices in pretty much every area of life, whether it's about other people, or objects.

I don't have a problem with drum snobs, as long as they have earned that right via their experience, and then I just regard them as immodest. Those who are snobs - and don't know what they're talking about - are amusing to those of us who do. :)



Well-known member
My thought is humility is nothing more than one click away to help drop your ego a bit.

The other thing that helps is studying from a teacher who is so far beyond your own skill set that you have nothing but the spirit to improve. The teacher needs to be brutally honest and have no troubles telling you just how hip your not. I spent several years with a few of these teachers and it leaves a life long impression on you.

Lastly, if someone thinks they are all that, I'd invite go to spend a weekend taking one-on-one lessons at a place like Drummers Collective. Spending some time with the true bad-asses will / should shed light pretty quickly on where you stand against the real competition. Did it several times and there's nothing quite like it to change your elevated view for life.


I don't know if I possess drum snobbery or not
but I seem to find something interesting in most drummers I see.
Some aspect. Maybe that signifies an insecurity on my part.


Gold Member
I think there is a natural competiveness that comes with the territory of drumming, like anything else where more than one person is in the room that can play the same instrument. You automatically feel the urge to say to yourself "Okay, drummer X, let's see what you got", and you mentally compare your skill set theirs, if that makes sense.

Usually if I'm someplace and can get close enough to actually see clearly what the drummer is doing, I move there to see what he's doing. Usually by doing this I learn something from the other drummer, whether it's how he sets up the kit, holds his sticks, plays a certain song, his techniques, looseness, etc.

I was recenlty at a bar where one of our favorite bands was playing and actually got to a place where I could see how the drummer set his snare (flat, tilted in, tilted out, etc). I was wondering for a while. After I saw that and admired what he was doing, I came away thinking "wow, so THAT's how he does it." From a distance it seemed he had a great fluid motion and used little effort around the kit.

Anyway, ya the egocentric jerks are a real turnoff.

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I think we're all a bit competitive but we can see when this is anti-social and hopefully grow on from it, or at least learn to hide it. The snobs that really bore me are the guys that think a badge or a logo makes their stuff intangibly superior.


Senior Member
Sometimes I scrutinize other drummers more than I probably should. Certainly, when I see a band play a Rush tune (I'm a huge Rush fan, I'm sure you can tell by my handle - something I picked 20 years ago when I needed a username for something, and it stuck), I'll make a mental note that they didn't play something right, or say to my wife "Hey, that's not how that goes," but at this point it's more because I enjoy watching her roll her eyes at me.

For the most part, I enjoy watching any drummer, especially drummers who are better than I am. Overall, I have respect for most drummers I talk to, or just watch.

Except Lars, that guy can bite me.

Anon La Ply

Funny how things go. When I was young I was into flashy hard rock drummers and would shoehorn big fills all over the place. I looked down on commercial players because - get this - I thought the reason they weren't playing flashy fills was due to inability. Doh! The concept of taste and restraint wasn't on my radar. As Bermuda said, it's funny. To think that after a few months playing I was rating myself above someone like Jim Keltner! Madness!

I am always amused at people who have achieved little in music who dis Meg. Personally, I respect anyone who can produce the goods at big gigs. If I had to perform in front of thousands of people in a stadium I'd probably poop my pants and trip over my cape as I ran off stage.

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
There's a lot more about me to hate than just my drumming. I have to admit, most of the drummers I see nowadays are better than I am, but I never really feel like they are being snobs towards me. Maybe that's because only mostly cool people go to the studio. Maybe I just don't give a crap. I certainly have my preferences, but I'll jam with almost anyone. The only thing that bothers me is the players who can't gel well with the music. That goes for drummers too. It's annoying.


Silver Member
I tend to pre-judge a person with trashy looking or no-name brand drums, cheap cymbals or not technically sound. Sometimes it is a problem, especially if someone is self-taught, and they do certain things wrong, or have a bad setup. It isn't necessarily a good thing, but at the same time, if I hear someone play that is good, I admit it. If they are playing a style I don't play well, I will at least give admit they are better in that style. I don't always have to be top, or struggle being around drummers with less expensive gear.


Platinum Member
People who actually are snobs without good reason are annoying, I guess, but so are people who call snobbery on anyone who actually takes what they do seriously. That's a thing that happens, too. There's a certain small town/ghetto mentality that has to drag everyone down to the same level of mediocrity/unseriousness. I'm probably more annoyed by people like that.


Platinum Member
I don't know if I would call it snobbery or not, but if I see a drummer and he isn't doing anything that catches my ear or impresses me I have a tendency to lose interest in what he is doing. I love to learn from other drummers, and when I watch another drummer that is my primary mindset. I could care less what kind of gear he has or the style of music he plays, its the operation I am concerned with. I will be more than happy to hang out with and talk to him, and I don't judge the person by their playing, but I want to learn. And please don't think it is because I have some kind of drumming complex, I am a very modest person and don't really think that my drumming is super spectacular by any means. I just want to learn, and if I am not I get bored. I don't go to a lot of shows for this reason, unless it is a band that I just have to see.


Gold Member
My idea of a drum snob is someone who has "all the gear and no idea". The frequent you tube posters with large expensive kits who can't play for toffee but proceed to tell the rest of us how it should be done are a particular dislike.

I haven't met that many in my life thankfully. I have a realistic view of my own playing too and don't let the odd occassion where someone really digs my playing and tells me about it go to my head because of that. (I was told I was "Awesome" at a bar gig last weekend! The poor girls meds had clearly worn off at that point...)

I have to admit to being a bit of a gear snob, particularly when it comes to cymbals, but we all have our crosses to bear....