Who are the top three drummers you admire and why ?

RickP

Gold Member
Just like the topic says - list your top three favourite drummers and the reasons why . For me :

1) Danny Seraphine - sure we all loved Buddy - but Danny was my first hero . I had a drum teacher that used to transcribe charts of records and he had me learning Chicago’s greatest hits. I learned quickly to appreciate Danny’s playing .

2) Art Blakey - in my first year of high school our teacher had a music appreciation class , he put on Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers “ Moanin” album and it was like someone turned on a light switch for me . I could just not get enough of Art . His power and drive and those movies steroids press roll crescendos just thrilled me . Still does .

3) Tony Williams - reading in Downbeat that Tony started playing with Miles at 17 just blew my mind .
I started investigating his playing more and more and just lived his approach and sound .

honourable mention goes to :
Mel Lewis
Steve Gadd
 
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Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
1. Morello. Such a subtle and musical player.

2. Billy Gladstone—Buddy said that Billy was the only guy in the business with a better buzz roll and rudiments than him.

3. Bob Becker—more of a percussionist than a set player, but he has the best hands I’ve ever seen.
 

bananers

Junior Member
1) Gavin Harrison - I've only really studied his playing in the last year and a half but he came at the perfect time for me inspirationally. I did 4 years at a music uni specifying in drums and when I finished I was pretty burnt out; I started a new job at a drum centre and got properly into his playing and my world was completely changed in terms of practice regimes, wanting to actually practice again and exploring new concepts I never thought I'd be interested in or capable of. I honestly could write an entire post about why he's absolutely my favourite but I don't want to ramble too much. Playing wise, he is unlike anyone I've ever listened to, he consistently makes drum parts unique and interesting, his precision and execution is just wonderful. If you know, you know!

2) Jeff Porcaro - His timing, his feel, he was one of the grooviest players I've ever heard. I also have tremendous respect for drummers who make a career out of never really soloing yet when they do it's something special. Hearing occasional Jeff solos from old live Toto gigs were great, even if they were literally just an elegant interlude.

3) John Bonham - Cliché perhaps but he was my introduction to "big sounding, out there" drumming. My dad is a big Who/Zep fan so that's where it comes from. Not much needed to be said about him as to why he's an inspiration playing wise but who doesn't love those open sounding drums, fat grooves and never ending triplets of doom. Knowledge of his grooves and licks led me to meeting a lot of the musicians that brought me to London, and it's definitely been fun!

The best drummers for me are always the ones who you can pick out instantly by their sound and as common an answer as that sounds, it's only a few that really do it for me. Steve Gadd is a huge inspiration also but I had a hard time condensing it to 3 really important ones!

Sorry for the long post.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Vinnie Colaiuta
Gregg Bissonette
Brian Blade

I like these three because they can all play many different styles / genres of music. Peace and goodwill.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Just three-I can't do it. It's an impossible task-Hercules couldn't do it, nor Perseus, or Thor, or Superman. I'm not up to the challenge-I hand my head in shame.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Can't do it. I could A) list 3 that heavily influenced me that are closest to the style I play.
Andy Newmark, Dennis Davis, Tony Thompson.
or
B) I could list 3 that I think are other worldly that I enjoy listening to. Which would be my favorites but not necessarily the best.
Tony Williams, Ralph Humphries, Mitch Mitchell
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Ian Paice, I love his style, I always wonder why we always talk about Bonham, and so few about paice. He didn’t have the same influence but his groove and touch are undeniable.
Nicko Mc brain : flamboyant style and sound.
Gavin Harrison, perfect combo of musicality, technicity and creativity.
 

Michaelj

Member
This list could change by the hour, so I just went with the gut feeling of first three that came to mind, two that most influenced me when I was developing and one (Benny) that has made a big impact in getting me BACK INTO drumming over the last few years.

Jeff Porcaro - the definition of professional musicianship
Benny Greb - hits a floor tom like a religious experience
Carter Beauford - pure joy. Watching him play, you think: why would anyone want to do anything else?
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Weckl, Vinnie, Jojo.

That's getting to be a boring list because it never changes. Marcus Gilmore is a charm to watch play. So is Antonio Sanchez, Todd Sucherman, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Gergo Borlai, and the list goes on.

EDIT: The newest drummer I'm admiring is Attila Zombori from Hungary. Such talent at a young age. And plays piano, bass, and guitar!
 
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Mighty_Joker

Silver Member
Dave Weckl
- Probably the greatest drummer of our generation, and a contender for the greatest of all time. His consistency, fluid, smooth musicality, precision, and effortless mastery of the instrument will never be matched. I don't always love the music he plays, especially his own band, which is a bit too elevator funk for me, but his work with Chick Corea and Mike Stern, for me, rank up there with the best.

Vinnie Colaiuta
- Same as above as far as the GOAT contender. He doesn't have the same effortless fluidity as Weckl, but he has a raw, organic power that is earth shattering, backed up by immense technical mastery and a rhythmic mind that can play with time like it's water. If Weckl is a surgeon's knife, Vinnie is a heavy artillery battalion with impeccable aim.

No drummers have had as much influence on my playing as these two. I can't claim to sound much like either of them, but I have turned to them for study, inspiration, and source material more than any other, and will never, ever tire of listening to them.

Tony Williams/Elvin Jones/Jack DeJohnette
- I know it's cheating to name three, but I can't separate these three. These three drummers, first introduced to me by John Riley, introduced me to what jazz drumming is all about. Their approach to time, specifically broken time playing, has directly influenced me (I have an album called Broken Time), and their jazz sound is, for me, the ultimate realisation of the drum kit in the jazz style.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Dave Weckl
- Probably the greatest drummer of our generation, and a contender for the greatest of all time. His consistency, fluid, smooth musicality, precision, and effortless mastery of the instrument will never be matched. I don't always love the music he plays, especially his own band, which is a bit too elevator funk for me, but his work with Chick Corea and Mike Stern, for me, rank up there with the best.

Vinnie Colaiuta
- Same as above as far as the GOAT contender. He doesn't have the same effortless fluidity as Weckl, but he has a raw, organic power that is earth shattering, backed up by immense technical mastery and a rhythmic mind that can play with time like it's water. If Weckl is a surgeon's knife, Vinnie is a heavy artillery battalion with impeccable aim.

No drummers have had as much influence on my playing as these two. I can't claim to sound much like either of them, but I have turned to them for study, inspiration, and source material more than any other, and will never, ever tire of listening to them.

Tony Williams/Elvin Jones/Jack DeJohnette
- I know it's cheating to name three, but I can't separate these three. These three drummers, first introduced to me by John Riley, introduced me to what jazz drumming is all about. Their approach to time, specifically broken time playing, has directly influenced me (I have an album called Broken Time), and their jazz sound is, for me, the ultimate realisation of the drum kit in the jazz style.
I concur entirely about Weckl. His skills are superb; his music, however, sometimes induces yawning.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Uncle Vinnie (Colaiuta):
The most versatile drummer around. He does it all, while still sounding like himself. Also plays on a lot of my favourite albums. I can relate to his approach. Mighty Joker said the rest.

Paolo Vinaccia:
I grew up listening to Paolo. In many ways on the other side of the spectrum. He plays on my other favourite albums, especially things I listening to in my teens. Unique player with enormous passion. Hung out with him many times. Great guy. He will be missed.

Here's where it gets tricky as there are so many.

Dave's is definetly the master of control.

All the pioneers are on a level of their own.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Ian Paice, I love his style, I always wonder why we always talk about Bonham, and so few about paice. He didn’t have the same influence but his groove and touch are undeniable.
Nicko Mc brain : flamboyant style and sound.
Gavin Harrison, perfect combo of musicality, technicity and creativity.
Ian Paice is certainly worthy of top accolades. For some bizarre reason, it's easy to forget him, perhaps because I admire his drumming but not his band.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
OK. I'm the simpleton here. These are the guys (just the first three) that moved me to play the drums. I'm not very sophisticated.

- The unnamed studio drummers who played on Johnny Horton's two hits, The Battle of New Orleans and North to Alaska. About 1959 my parents bought me a Kent snare drum because I was obsessed with the drums on these two hits. I learned to mimic the cadences of New Orleans by using press rolls and singles that I made up out of necessity. Rudiments? Never heard of them. North to Alaska was my first introduction to the new sound of country-inspired rock and roll. It was infectious - and a snare drum was all I needed to recreate that sound in my head.

- Ringo. What else is there to say? A rocking beat, weird haircuts, obvious fun, and screaming girls. I remember asking my dad on that Sunday night in 1964, "Why would somebody wear their hair like that, Daddy?" "It's just a style," he replied. Not to me. It was new, different, exciting, and DANGEROUS. . I'll never forget how those cymbals swayed back and forth on those skinny little Ludwig cymbal stands. Absolutely entrancing. And dynamite waiting to explode.

- Dave Clark. THE snare drum sound of the era. I played Bits & Pieces over and over and over just to savor that snare drum. Ringing rim-shots became my specialty!!!! Those bright blue glass-glitter Rogers drums were made for color TV, and Dave Clark was simply . . . COOL!

GeeDeeEmm

 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Tough question because there's so many! It's hard to nail it down to just three of them. I'm not even gonna try because all I do is attempt to emulate the masters, and there are lots of them!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
OK. I'm the simpleton here. These are the guys (just the first three) that moved me to play the drums. I'm not very sophisticated.

- The unnamed studio drummers who played on Johnny Horton's two hits, The Battle of New Orleans and North to Alaska. About 1959 my parents bought me a Kent snare drum because I was obsessed with the drums on these two hits. I learned to mimic the cadences of New Orleans by using press rolls and singles that I made up out of necessity. Rudiments? Never heard of them. North to Alaska was my first introduction to the new sound of country-inspired rock and roll. It was infectious - and a snare drum was all I needed to recreate that sound in my head.

- Ringo. What else is there to say? A rocking beat, weird haircuts, obvious fun, and screaming girls. I remember asking my dad on that Sunday night in 1964, "Why would somebody wear their hair like that, Daddy?" "It's just a style," he replied. Not to me. It was new, different, exciting, and DANGEROUS. . I'll never forget how those cymbals swayed back and forth on those skinny little Ludwig cymbal stands. Absolutely entrancing. And dynamite waiting to explode.

- Dave Clark. THE snare drum sound of the era. I played Bits & Pieces over and over and over just to savor that snare drum. Ringing rim-shots became my specialty!!!! Those bright blue glass-glitter Rogers drums were made for color TV, and Dave Clark was simply . . . COOL!

GeeDeeEmm

"Unnamed studio drummers" are among the best on the planet. In a way, their greatness is elevated by their anonymity. We have only their music, not their images, making their contributions all the more meaningful. There's nothing in place to distract from their playing. They are pure spirit in the world of drumming.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
started playing drums in 1976. 1st grade. 7 years old. These are the "Foundational 3" for me:

Neil Peart: first guy that I saw take drums seriously and who was able to mix busy with groove. All of the other "godlike" things about Rush helped...Ged is my most fav bass player; same with Lerxt on guitar...plus I identified with his introverted, bookworm-ish, type lifestyle. I would imagine that I was Neil Peart as a young'n...even signing my school work as "Neil Peart" in 4th and 5th grade

Gene Krupa: was my dad's most favorite drummer, and I grew up studying him with dad; he also knew my grandfather somehow...grandpa had lived in Chicago, and used to see Benny Goodmen play live...somehow, Krupa and him became friends. Later on, when Krupa would come through town, he would stop by my dads house and have dinner if time allowed. We have slides of Krupa, and my dad as a kid, sitting at and playing my dads drum set that I use now

Joe Morello: same as above. Dad's second most fav drummer. Morello, and the Brubeck Quartet were "required listening" in the house when I was a kid. One of the first songs I remember dad teaching me - as a 6 year old - was Take 5.

the next 3 most influential (the other guys I "dreamed of being" as a youngster) would be
Phil Eheart
John Panozzo
Clive Burr

I also have to mention that The Ohio State Marching Band drumline was real influential in my drumming. My best friends dad was the band director back in the 70's, and he would take us to practice down on campus.... the power, volume, precision, and speed just blew me away at the time

it would be interesting to do a thread titled "your 3 favorite drummers from each decade you have played" since it is actually pretty hard to whittle it down
 
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gf2564

Junior Member
1) Another vote for Danny Seraphine- monster overlooked/underrated player, even to this day!
2) Steve Gadd- Mr. Groove; love his playing on anything!
3) Steve Smith- Not a Journey fan but love watching him play other genres. Can play anything and always looks so relaxed and in control!
 
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