Is Buddy Rich REALLY the greatest drummer of all time?

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
Let's just put all of this Who's the Greatest Drummer of All Time stuff to bed right now.

Buddy Rich is the second greatest... I am the greatest of all time.

Behave, and don't question me!
 

boomstick

Silver Member
"the greatest drummer of all time"
I don't think such a thing exists. Buddy is a great drummer no doubt, and I love to watch his eye-popping skills, but from that generation, I'm more inspired by Krupa.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
Budd was certainly no Peter Criss, but the guy put on his pants, picked up his sticks and kept on tryin'. That's what counts.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Greatest?

All that says is magnitude...but what is the scale?

One of the larger laments of college admissions folks is the lack of understanding of the need for a logical label on a scalar measure.

In the end, we are talking about art...and 'greatest' is foolish in that light.

If we decide to alter our scalar label, to something like 'fastest double stroke roll', then we might be able to actually say something rational...but then, who cares who is fastest...I sure don't.

In the end, art is NOT a competition...a competition is a competition.
 

River19

Senior Member
It's art, and it's subjective. There is no way to prove, even if he was still living, if Buddy was better than (insert drummer) is or was. His body of work is amazing, but if you grew up having never seen/heard him play (live or recorded) then what frame of reference are you drawing from? This is a ridiculous argument, and one that can't be proven wrong or right...not even in a Rolling Stone article.
This was my reaction as well, saved some typing.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I must ask the question though, misleading from what?
I was alluding to the fact that there really is no way to have a greatest anything of all time. There's just no objective way to do that, since by its very nature a GOAT is very subjective.

This is really just a bit of hero-worship, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's like politics, or religion, you either accept it or don't. But if you don't think so, and somebody else does, are you saying one of them is wrong? In instances like this, we can all be right, because it certainly doesn't change anything by believing one way or the other.
I don't think anyone is wrong, since it's all so subjective. Unless of course anyone actually thinks Jeff Indyke is the best ;)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I was alluding to the fact that there really is no way to have a greatest anything of all time. There's just no objective way to do that, since by its very nature a GOAT is very subjective.



I don't think anyone is wrong, since it's all so subjective. Unless of course anyone actually thinks Jeff Indyke is the best ;)
I SO don’t know who Jeff Indyke is. I feel left out of a joke or something.
 

Hummada

Senior Member
If you take the subjective, which anything in the world can be, and "art" out of the equation then you still have the greatest. Why? Because there's no one that can do what he could do on drums. Not even the top end guys that practice and gig with the top musicians of today.

There are the greatest(of many different subject) and that's what inspiration and hopefulness of another being born in our lifetime is. Not worship. The scale is there and we can get to it in our own way, but there's no doubt that there are people born to do these things naturally. Those people are the inspiration and hope that exists. They are one in millions!!!

There are people out there that could be the greatest, but they don't have the privilege or the opportunity to be in the spot light. So that is still the scale.

You can take almost any subject and pick out the greatest. It's what everyone learns from and the greatest learned from everyone else as well. It's not a one way street. It's a collective whole and someone will be on top.
 

Bonzodownunder

Senior Member
No.Blaine, Gadd, Gordon, Earl Palmer, John "Jr" Robinson are.WHY?! , simply because of the sheer number of sessions played on&DIFFERENT & VARIOUS STYLES of music played!.Imho(&humble opinion) BR 's overrated & could only play ONE style of music:bigband, bebop&jazz!.
 

Hummada

Senior Member
No.Blaine, Gadd, Gordon, Earl Palmer, John "Jr" Robinson are.WHY?! , simply because of the sheer number of sessions played on&DIFFERENT & VARIOUS STYLES of music played!.Imho(&humble opinion) BR 's overrated & could only play ONE style of music:bigband, bebop&jazz!.
The thing is about style is that there is no style. Any of the big band drummers can play any style. That's what's missing that people don't understand. There are styles from different cultures around the world. Big band/jazz has a combination of all that, and you can say that about every other style but it builds up to that. . Sure there are extreme styles that are more straight forward(like speed metal and rap which I can't stand), but it's all there. A whole collective! You can take any subject in the world and apply that. The sub categories are a pleasure and are built upon, but it all comes together just like a pot of chili.

I'm more of fan of those guys you mentioned when I listen to music because they play more simple with the level of musicality that Buddy had. Buddy is in your face and playing to extreme levels of energy, but when he is playing it's just the natural way he plays. He himself didn't know how he was doing what he did on those drums. The info is out there and I'm not telling you nothing new. This is my opinion and your welcome to disagree. We can only go by the info we have accepted-sorry I just made that up. That's what I love about people... Arguing, learning, and a little Peace.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Not really related to the question about the greatest drummer, but it does get me thinking about something I've been contemplating lately.

There aren't many physical feats that aren't surpassed over time. Athletes get faster and stronger. One of the few things in drumming that I feel has not really been done better would be Buddy's single-stroke roll. Another is Tony's ride cymbal playing, those crazy five-note groupings at blazing tempos. I guess it's not so shocking when you think about the relatively low demand for those particular skills in modern music. But still, they have stood the test of time.

For Buddy, the specific thing I'm amazed by is that single-stroke roll thing he did, where he starts slow and builds it up, moves it to the rim of the snare and then back, from pianissimo to forte. I don't think anyone has the technique to do that like him, even today. Play faster? Sure. But the power, control and speed combined needed to pull that off so cleanly across tempos and dynamics is what sets Buddy apart. I've watched Mangini, Jojo and others try it and I don't think they come all that close. The speed is there, but the gradual build-up, the power to go from a whisper to a roar, their techniques don't seem to quite work the same way. There are players who can play more notes in a minute, but the complete command of it is something I don't think has been done better in all the decades since.

Again, nothing to do with the topic of who the greatest drummer is. Just saying.
Maybe. Actually, the one thing I’ve never seen anyone do as well is his buzz roll. Buddy himself said Billy Gladstone had a better buzz roll, but I’ve never seen video of Gladstone’s playing.
 
Top