Rock groups with distinctive drum sounds


Senior Member
Jeff Porcaro!!

Tim Alexander with Primus, for sure. That bass drum/snare drum sound is about as distinct as any, imo.

Matt Cameron with Soundgarden on the album, "Superunknown". Cameron is just a monster all the way around.

Danny Carey at any point in Tool's progression.


Senior Member
Certain albums from bands do, like A Matter Of Life And Death by Iron Maiden or St. Anger by Metallica (tee hee). And the Sex Pistols, I guess


Senior Member
Alex Van Halen and his "brown" snare drum sound.
I've heard about Eddie's "Brown Sound" (modified Marshall w/ the Ibanez destroyer, or franken strat), but I've never heard of Alex's snare drum sound (as distinctively loosely tuned as it was) as a "Brown Sound."


Early Yes had a cleanly engineered acoustic sound. Bruford, acoustically, to the present has had a clean, high-pitched, ringing snare sound that's kind of his own. (forget all the electronic King Crimson stuff. I like alot of it, but it's not distictive)


Senior Member
The following bands have their snares tuned some what distinctively and sounds the same in more than one albums, I think. I am not talking about their capabilities but just the drum sound.

The Doors (almost all their albums have the same drum sound)
The Rolling Stones (70's albums from Black and Blue till Emotional Rescue)
The Who (From "Tommy" to "Who are you", the same drum sound)
AC/DC-- all albums from Back in Black, except Blow up your video, which has a different tuning)

(In other words, just from drum sounds I can recognize the bands)

there may be more.
The snare sound on "Happy Jack" by the Who was noticeably different. It had a very flappy sound, which I happened to love when I first heard it.

Class A Drummer

Pioneer Member
Definitley Rush and Dream Theater/Liquid Tension. I normally wouldnt say Dream Theater, but after covering a bunch of there music i could spot that drumming from a mile away.


Platinum Member
The one's I don't. even have to think about (Bonham,Mitchell,Paice,Moon) but also Troy

Lucatta from Tesla, Scott Rockenfield from Queensryche any of Cozy Powell's stuff

Nick Menza from Megadeth, and how about good ole Mick Fleetwood.



Gold Member
All the drummers mentioned are outstanding drummers. But as far as a particular drum sound that stands out? Stewart Copeland's snare is the most likely candidate. Bonham's toms had a sound you don't normally hear in rock and roll. They were tuned higher, more like the big band drummers (Rich, Krupa, Belson). But I can't really think of anything that really stands out from a purely sound standpoint. Most recording engineers insist on that dampened studio sound, which tends to make drums sound so generic on recordings.


Gold Member
Don't worry, pretty soon all live drum sounds will be replaced by samples and they'll all sound alike. What a relief!

michael drums


It's most, if not all, of the progressive rock bands that have that distinct drum sound. ie...

ELP, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Queen,Yes, Zappa, Genesis, Kansas, Rush, Dream Theatre, Porcupine Tree, etc...

The drums are at the forefront of the music, to keep it "progressing". Hence the word, progressive.

So it's only natural that the drums have a "distinctive" sound.
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Senior Member
I had been contemplating this a while- and many of the ones that first came to mind have already been said.

I was watching VH1 classic over the weekend and caught something about a band I had forgetten about recently. I went back to my collection and have been listening to some of thier albums since and the production on his drums is amazing. To my ears it is on par with Bonham.

Now I dont believe he is anywhere close to Bonham but I would have to say Steven Adler from Guns n Roses.

His simple drum part in Paradise City is so clear he sounds like he is playing cannons not drums!

Every time I hear that album I have to stop what I am doing and just air drum!