Top 10 The Police songs for drums. Tier List + Stats. Stewart Copeland character sheet inside!

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
"Synchronicity II" is hands-down my favorite police song, owing to its mood, color, theme, and driving (yet accent-rich) beat. Copeland's drumming, like Bonham's, is one of kind. We can imitate Copeland until our hands fall off, but we can only approximate the signature he inscribes upon every rhythm, and it's obvious that we're engaging in forgery. His skin-tight snare sound marked a one-man revolution in rock/pop drumming. During an age when many players had extremely low-tuned snares, Copeland stormed onto the scene with a sharp, cutting, non-conforming, and unapologetic sound. He's a major reason I've stuck with 14x5 and 14x5.5 snares (the 14x5 is his size of choice). He claims to have recorded almost every Police album with the same snare drum, in fact.
 
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AzHeat

Platinum Member
... a major reason I've stuck with 14x5 and 14x5.5 snares, resisting the trend to go deeper.
Funny...the same reason why I've gone to 6.5, so I can tune higher, bu maintain some body. This of course is debatable, because deeper shell doesn't necessarily mean more body. it just so happens to be true with mine. I just couldn't get that same tone out of my shallower ones to make them universal enough across all I play. I used to have a 13x4 as a side snare. It sounded like a firecracker. It was probably my favorite and only cost me $50. The guy that bought my PDPs wanted me to sweeten the deal by throwing it in. I did, but none I've found since sound the same. That cheap snare was grossly imperfect, but for some odd reason sounded fantastic. The imperfections must have been in the right spots, because the other ones I've seen all sound like $20 snares!

With respects to Stewart Copland. Yeah, he definitely went out of the box.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Ok. Here's my list, not in any particular order, of the ones I can be certain of:

* Regatta de Blanc
* It's Alright For You
* Syncronicity I
* Syncronicity II
* Driven To Tears
* When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What's Still Around
* Bombs Away
* Voices In My Head
* Contact
* No Time This Time
* Hole In My Life
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I don't think he was ever in a box to begin with. What he did...just like every great...came natural for him because it was inside of him.

Just an opinion
After a performance I did about 20 years ago, a drummer in the audience tracked me down to talk shop. He said a hi-hat pattern I had played reminded him of Stewart Copeland. He meant it as a compliment, but my mind processed it as "Copeland is the template; you're just a vague reproduction." That's the way it is with all groundbreaking drummers. We can't in any way resemble them without seeming unoriginal ourselves, as the listener is always searching for a reference point.

I've never tried to emulate Copeland, but I'm sure his influence is there. I spent a whole lot of time early on practicing to Police stuff.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Funny...the same reason why I've gone to 6.5, so I can tune higher, bu maintain some body. This of course is debatable, because deeper shell doesn't necessarily mean more body. it just so happens to be true with mine. I just couldn't get that same tone out of my shallower ones to make them universal enough across all I play. I used to have a 13x4 as a side snare. It sounded like a firecracker. It was probably my favorite and only cost me $50. The guy that bought my PDPs wanted me to sweeten the deal by throwing it in. I did, but none I've found since sound the same. That cheap snare was grossly imperfect, but for some odd reason sounded fantastic. The imperfections must have been in the right spots, because the other ones I've seen all sound like $20 snares!

With respects to Stewart Copland. Yeah, he definitely went out of the box.
I hear you, and I don't dislike deeper snares. They can have more body at higher tunings. I don't mind medium or even medium-low tunings either, and I sometimes use them myself. I've just never warmed up to a sloshy, pillow-soft snare that goes "Splat!." It sounds indecisive and is tougher to play.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
"Synchronicity II" is hands-down my favorite police song, owing to its mood, color, theme, and driving (yet accent-rich) beat. Copeland's drumming, like Bonham's, is one of kind. We can imitate Copeland until our hands fall off, but we can only approximate the signature he inscribes upon every rhythm, and it's obvious that we're engaging in forgery. His skin-tight snare sound marked a one-man revolution in rock/pop drumming. During an age when most players had low-tuned snares that mimicked flatulent toms -- an obese and weak presence my ears will never abide -- Copeland reminded all that the snare drum is designed to sound like a snare drum: sharp, cutting, non-conforming, and unapologetic. He did more to influence my snare preferences than any other drummer, and he's a major reason I've stuck with 14x5 and 14x5.5 snares, resisting the trend to go deeper.
You might enjoy Rob Brown's youtube video on Walking On The Moon - his fave record of all time.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
You might enjoy Rob Brown's youtube video on Walking On The Moon - his fave record of all time.
I'll have to check it out. I like Rob Brown. His views on tuning, which are much more feel-oriented and sound-oriented than they are mechanical and technical, are similar to my own.

Copeland's most resplendent hi-hat work might occur in "Walking on the Moon."
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I'll have to check it out. I like Rob Brown. His views on tuning, which are much more feel-oriented and sound-oriented than they are mechanical and technical, are similar to my own.

Copeland's most resplendent hi-hat work might occur in "Walking on the Moon."
Brother from another mother 😁
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I went through my Sting phase about 30 yrs ago:

Message In A Bottle
Don't Stand So Close To Me
Walking On The Moon
Roxanne
De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
King of Pain

Listening to some of the other material listed above, and watching live Police footage, I've come to the conclusion his ability to sound so clean with such power was partly due to his height (and young age at the time). I think the same holds for other tall drummers like Neil Peart. Being 5'6", I would wear myself out trying to play any of that harder shit. I know in my later years I tend to shy away from straight 8th rhythms on the hihat. Boring for me and an extreme misuse of my drumming skills. Probably useful within a weight loss program. Certain drumming is pure exercise.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I went through my Sting phase about 30 yrs ago:

Message In A Bottle
Don't Stand So Close To Me
Walking On The Moon
Roxanne
De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
King of Pain

Listening to some of the other material listed above, and watching live Police footage, I've come to the conclusion his ability to sound so clean with such power was partly due to his height (and young age at the time). I think the same holds for other tall drummers like Neil Peart. Being 5'6", I would wear myself out trying to play any of that harder shit. I know in my later years I tend to shy away from straight 8th rhythms on the hihat. Boring for me and an extreme misuse of my drumming skills. Probably useful within a weight loss program. Certain drumming is pure exercise.
A lot of Copeland's perceived power and cleanliness also stems from his preference for high tunings. I read an interview in which he was asked about his tuning methods. He replied that he cranks up his heads, both batter and resonant, because he likes the stick response and the capacity of high tunings to cut through mixes. He described his snare as cranked so high that it could drop a bird from the sky. That's a big part of the Copeland sound.

I've always liked tight snares. Tight toms, not so much. I go for more low end in the tom department. It's all a matter of taste.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Ok. Here's my list, not in any particular order, of the ones I can be certain of:

* Regatta de Blanc
* It's Alright For You
* Syncronicity I
* Syncronicity II
* Driven To Tears
* When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What's Still Around
* Bombs Away
* Voices In My Head
* Contact
* No Time This Time
* Hole In My Life
I can't believe I only recognize Synchronicity out of these tunes. Of those, "When The World...." looks like the most interesting.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
I can't believe I only recognize Synchronicity out of these tunes. Of those, "When The World...." looks like the most interesting.
My three favorite albums are Zenyatta Mondatta, Regatta de Blanc and Outlandos d'Amour. Most, if not all, come from those three albums. You really need to listen to them.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
My three favorite albums are Zenyatta Mondatta, Regatta de Blanc and Outlandos d'Amour. Most, if not all, come from those three albums. You really need to listen to them.
I must've gotten the Best Of compilation. I don't recognize any of those names.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
oh man...Stewart...the whole reason for my snare sound. I always wanted Coplands snare sound; Peart's ride cymbal pattern and sound; Nikko McBrains' bass foot, and Scott Rockenfield's chain cymbal stands

and you can play along to a Police song, but you can't play along to Stewart...which is awesome!!

I don't have a favorite Police album because I like them all, in progression. Each album is it's own masterpiece, and they all fit perfectly in order to record the groups progression...
 
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