What makes a good drummer?


Platinum Member
I think a good drummer is not defined by the drummer but by the listener.

A little circular as the drummer is also listening...but I believe it is up to the audience to define a good drummer vrs a bad drummer...as they are the end target...not even the guy who is paying you...unless you are more interested in $ than in the song(as opposed to allowing the $ to follow the music)...and in that case, go away!

e.g. - it is reported Sting didn't get along with Vinnie...and he might rank Vinnie lower than other drummers...but who cares what anyone says except the paying/listening audience.

Yes, that means Meg is as valid as Buddy!...if not more so to many with modern day music consumer ears.(that is, normal people)

'Good' is relative to the evaluating scale...and there is no objective scaling when it comes to music no matter what judges/executives say(no, not even sales...that's a measure of how much you pay for marketing and distribution)...there are ways to evaluate specific skills..but that is like rating the pleasure a particular horse gives when going for a scenic ride by evaluating the horses ability to win races....purely moronic in terms of music.

If you mark yourself as a good or bad drummer, remember that your opinion in relation to the reality of music is only a percentage of the truth...I would put it at about 0-20%. The music tells all and maybe not to you as the musician...but maybe so for those musicians who take the effort to shave their ego and be 'o.k.' with their playing...perceived warts and all.

Have a look at an anime called 'Forest Of Piano'...a great illustration of the idea....or listen to Mikala Jade from this years 'Australian Voice' TV Show..catch both her audition song and her original called Yellow Rose...all on You Tube.(unless The Voice is really being crafty with deception and Mikala is playing along...something that this industry would do and not leave me surprised).
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Silver Member
Hal Blaine
Bernard Purdie
Josh Freese
Matt Chamberlain
Russell Kunkle
Lonnie Wilson
Tony Williams
Max Roach
Ed Shaughnessy

Go listen to them, and you'll know everything you need to know about what it is that makes a good drummer.