WHAT DRUMMERS DO YOU HEAR IN YOUR PLAYING?

BrokenStick

Junior Member
totally true...we would all be wrung out down to Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton and Chick Webb if we are tracing that far back...
Well, there is "nothing new under the sun."
I just know the stuff I think sounds cool, and even if I haven't a clue what he is doing (most of the time this is the case) if I listen long enough, something along the same lines turns up in something I do even if I made no conscious effort to learn or copy it. Baker used to do 4-stroke ruffs (two up and two down). Since I didn't have two kicks, I adapted that for what I had, and that resulted in something that goes back to at least Max Roach. I can't play the first bar of Morello's solo in Take Five, but some how without ever even trying to practice it, that groove ended up in my playing--or something close anyway. And we don't think about where the stuff we get from books comes from. I've always wondered if you listened to enough Joe Morello would you find the bulk of Accents and Rebounds in his playing? Methinks you would. Maybe if I listen to enough Allman Brothers I can sound like to drummers.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Well, there is "nothing new under the sun."
I just know the stuff I think sounds cool, and even if I haven't a clue what he is doing (most of the time this is the case) if I listen long enough, something along the same lines turns up in something I do even if I made no conscious effort to learn or copy it. Baker used to do 4-stroke ruffs (two up and two down). Since I didn't have two kicks, I adapted that for what I had, and that resulted in something that goes back to at least Max Roach. I can't play the first bar of Morello's solo in Take Five, but some how without ever even trying to practice it, that groove ended up in my playing--or something close anyway. And we don't think about where the stuff we get from books comes from. I've always wondered if you listened to enough Joe Morello would you find the bulk of Accents and Rebounds in his playing? Methinks you would. Maybe if I listen to enough Allman Brothers I can sound like to drummers.

yep...I grew up playing along to Rush, Kansas, Iron Maiden, The Police, Van Halen, Queensryche etc. on a 4 piece jazz drum kit with 3 cymbals. I had to do a TON of adjusting when tryign to learn fills. I think that also resulted in me playing stuff "like" what I was hearing, and that translated into ideas that I then put into original playing
 

BrokenStick

Junior Member
yep...I grew up playing along to Rush, Kansas, Iron Maiden, The Police, Van Halen, Queensryche etc. on a 4 piece jazz drum kit with 3 cymbals. I had to do a TON of adjusting when tryign to learn fills. I think that also resulted in me playing stuff "like" what I was hearing, and that translated into ideas that I then put into original playing
Kansas, Van Halen, me too--at least first VH album. Second was over my head. It's sacrilege, but I never got into Rush. Jethro Tull, Yes, UK et al, sure. Rush never appealed to me. Before that, a whole lotta stuff that turns out to be The Wrecking Crew and The Swampers. What I do amounts to a whole lot of paraphrasing and summarizing. I don't have the patience or ear--ironically--to figure these licks out note for note.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I'd like to think I'm somewhere between John Bonham and Clyde Stubblefield with Grohl and Tommy Lee mixed in. Certainly some Copeland and Henley influence.

And although I had to look up his name, Mickey McGee, Jackson Browne's drummer. Never knew his name, but I loved his playing and Browne's music. I'll add Neil

Peart. He was certainly and influence, but I don't feel like I play ANYTHING like him.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I'm not too sure who I sound like. There can be a distinction between drummers you sound like and drummers who influenced the way you sound.

But I'm sure you can hear some early Lars (his inventive accents particularly), Portnoy, Dirk Verbeuren (not an early influence, rather someone I instantly began borrowing from when I discovered his work on Sybreed), and like Super Phil said, I definitely took something away from Mikkey Dee from his King Diamond days.

Interestingly, now that I think about it, these drummers were more eye openers than early/ long time influences . For me early influences would be Peart, Bonham and Alex VH . After all these years though, I just don't sound like them so much anymore.
 
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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Kansas, Van Halen, me too--at least first VH album. Second was over my head. It's sacrilege, but I never got into Rush. Jethro Tull, Yes, UK et al, sure. Rush never appealed to me. Before that, a whole lotta stuff that turns out to be The Wrecking Crew and The Swampers. What I do amounts to a whole lot of paraphrasing and summarizing. I don't have the patience or ear--ironically--to figure these licks out note for note.

yeah...I can say that the ONLY Rush song I can play note for note is Subdivisions, and for some reason, Jacobs Ladder...I am paraphrasing most of the other songs...

in any song I learn, I try to copy the main beats exactly, and then I make the fills sound "close" to the original (again, probably from having to adapt to a small set in my early years)

unless it is a notable fill, like "In The Air Tonight" or the middle of "Tom Sawyer", I am mostly paraphrasing
 

Sebenza

Member
Been thinking about this question for quite a bit and I really can't answer it in any sort of definitive way. In fact, I'll have to admit that most of what I play is determined by what style of music it is and how good of a grasp I have on it, technically and physically, as well as what kind of groove/swing etc...applies to it. Some stuff I do well, other stuff not so much.

I did a lot of different things throughout the years, from (heavy) rock to funk to jazz to hip hop with a little latin and reggae sprinkled in between. I could not by the life of me tell you who I sound like when I play those things, only who I'd like to sound like...but that's an entirely different question, isn't it....
 

wraub

Well-known member
I can certainly name some drummers who inluenced me as a listener/pre-drummer, but as I play now I'd have a hard time saying "I sound like______".
Hell, I've been a bass player for decades and I've been told many times that I have a sound, and that I sound like me.
Again, I can name bass players as influences, but there's so many I think I'm sort of a melting pot of bass players, and the amalgam is my playing.

Same with drummers, I think, although If I could hear Bill Bruford, Pierre Moerlen, Dennis Chambers, Tim Alexander, Rod Morgenstein, Stewart Copeland, Joe Morello, Mike Bordin, Danny Heifetz, John Weathers, Zigaboo Modeliste, Vinnie Paul, and the myriad others who impressed upon me the skill and artistry of creative drumming in any of my drum playing, I'd be pretty pleased.



edit- I have edited this post a couple of times to add drummers whom I forgot the first time but definitely are in my personal mix)
 
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bud7h4

Silver Member
. . . . I could not by the life of me tell you who I sound like when I play those things, only who I'd like to sound like...but that's an entirely different question, isn't it....

Sadly, the drummers I'd like to sound like the most are the ones I can't seem to. Actually I don't even want to sound like them, if I could just take some of what they're doing and make it sound as musical and natural as they do. Instead of like this . . .

 
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DrumWhipper

Member
My influences are:

Chris “Whipper” Layton
Keech Rainwater
Rich Redmond
David Carr
Rick Allen
 

BrokenStick

Junior Member
Been thinking about this question for quite a bit and I really can't answer it in any sort of definitive way. In fact, I'll have to admit that most of what I play is determined by what style of music it is and how good of a grasp I have on it, technically and physically, as well as what kind of groove/swing etc...applies to it. Some stuff I do well, other stuff not so much.

I did a lot of different things throughout the years, from (heavy) rock to funk to jazz to hip hop with a little latin and reggae sprinkled in between. I could not by the life of me tell you who I sound like when I play those things, only who I'd like to sound like...but that's an entirely different question, isn't it....
Unless you are in a tribute band, I hope--and think it is inevitable--that you ultimately sound like you. I think the original author of this thread mentioned something about having expounded on "becoming unique." I don't have an IG account, and while I am curious I am not curious enough to create an IG account to look. I am not sure, but I think it was something Tommy Igo said. If you line a hundred drummers up and ask them to play the same simple beat, you'd have one hundred interpretations of that groove. Same goes for a Jimmy Cobb quarter note swing feel. All would be different (unique); they'd all--hopefully--be similar; a very few would be distinctive. I'm old school, so unique for me is a binary term: it is or it isn't. There are no degrees of uniqueness even though that is not in line with modern usage cases.

Anyway, getting back to the Igo thing. Methinks it all has way less to do with "sound" and a whole lot more to do with "feel." I'll have to ruminate on this, but I believe sound is more what the ear hears; while feel is more what the body and soul reacts to. Put it another way "feel" is for the music; sound is for the ego. There is, of course, some overlap in meaning and room for interpretation.

Oh well, I am still on first cup of coffee this morning, so I reserve the right to renounce all the above as utter bunkum.
 

petrez

Senior Member
Well, I've heard from other drummers that I play very "clean", solid, for a metal drummer. Might not be the most flashy, but I do put in some nice, fitting, sometimes unexpected fills, if the songs call for it. As for which drummers have influenced my style (the most), I would say Mike Portnoy, early Lars Ulrich, John Tempesta (White Zombie/Testament-era), Chris Adler.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Not sure I get this whole idea of "being unique" and having "a sound." It is always unique from first to last. As for being distinctive, well maybe that is a different animal. I've NEVER considered trying to sound like someone else or cared if I did or didn't. Musicians are like sponges; they absorb whatever they come into contact with. If you wring them out, you get a composite that is comprised of everything that went in and is at least different if not distinctive than what went before it. And it is compounded by the idea that we soak up what others have absorbed before us. Bonham ripped off Max Roach, and I borrowed that from Bonham decades before I knew that lick came from Max. Not sure if any of that makes sense--awful tired.
I found that I was chasing someone else's sound...once i realized that I started asking myself how I want to sound...and adjusted accordingly.

I'm pretty sure I could find someone else that I sound like in playing, tuning, instrument selection, etc...but then it would be more accidental instead of intentional...and that kind of duplication I can live with as long as I'm not too acutely aware of it.

I liken it to reaching a point where what you have to say is not parroting what a parent says...kind of a 'musical growing up'.

It is possible to parrot others too much while is also possible to chase uniqueness just for its own sake...the middle ground seems to have treated me well.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
yeah...I can say that the ONLY Rush song I can play note for note is Subdivisions, and for some reason, Jacobs Ladder...I am paraphrasing most of the other songs...

in any song I learn, I try to copy the main beats exactly, and then I make the fills sound "close" to the original (again, probably from having to adapt to a small set in my early years)

unless it is a notable fill, like "In The Air Tonight" or the middle of "Tom Sawyer", I am mostly paraphrasing

You’d be surprised how many people technically don’t play the “In The Air Tonight” fill correctly either and are paraphrasing (I’d say 95% of the time) - it’s all hands and they leave out the bass drum notes
 

TMe

Senior Member
Charlie Watts. And that's flattering myself. I probably sound more like a generic pop drummer who showed up for the show drunk and unrehearsed.
 
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DrumWhipper

Member
I recognize the first name on that list; none of the others have I ever heard of. Other blues guys?
Keech is the drummer for the country band Lonestar.

Rich is the drummer for Jason Aldean, but also does a ton of session work in addition to playing for Melissa Ethridge and others.

David was the drummer for Christian rock band Third Day.

Rick is with Def Leppard.
 
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