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‘Bang’ On! – Drummers Who Got It Right


I am a drummer and drums are my life. I cannot imagine a day without music having the taste of drums in it. Whenever I listen to music, the first thing that catches my attention is the drum part. That being said, I aspire to be a great drummer and wish I could get anywhere near the talent of the greats like Dave Grohl (Oh he is like a GOD to me), Neil Peart (Father of Drumming), Mike Portnoy (The master /\), Keith Moon(Unique), John Bonham(The Beast).

They are not the only ones to rock the rock music world. But these 5 are certainly the best that could happen to the rock industry. Let’s find out what makes them so special.



Known for his flamboyance, his showmanship, his meticulously composed fiendish complex arrangements and use of odd time signatures, Neil Ellwood Peart is one of the most universally respected rock drummer on this planet. Apart from his nearly superhuman and pyrotechnic drum playing, he is also responsible for providing intellectual lyrics to his band’s, RUSH, songs. Due to his superlative adroitness as a drummer, the band’s live performances are a treat to watch which are filled with Peart’s unconventional time signature and rhythmic style solos; sparking, obligatory drum solos which produces distinct sound and aura.

“Tom Sawyer”, “Spirit Of Radio”, “YYZ”, “2112”, “Limelight” are some of the songs which when heard can give you the idea how insanely skilled and technically astonishing drummer he is. Apart from a loyal fan base, he has also won many reader’s poll awards from Modern Drummer, including 12 consecutive “best recorded performance” awards. His nicknames are “Pratt” and “The Professor”.

He is the Father of Drumming, the Mentor and everything of drumming for me.




Despite his short life, Bonham’s life remains unrivaled and fans, critics and musicians alike continue to place him at or near top position in the list of the greatest drummers of all time. He was a beast. He often used sticks the thickness of tree trunks. What he could with one foot and one bass drum defied physics and puts today’s two footed players to shame.

His dazzling solos, cool beats and fills, and bass drum know-how had the ability to make band sway and groove like no other earning him the title of the subtle champion of Led Zeppelin.

Because of his speed, powerful arms and swift right foot, Bonzo is undeniably one of the greatest ever.

“When the levee breaks”, “Good times bad times”, “Archilles last stand”, “Moby Dick” defines his unparalleled showmanship and a talent unrivaled and irreplaceable.




Who’s the nicest guy in rock? The definite answer would be DAVID ERIC “DAVE” GROHL, the sharpest and the snazziest drummer the world has ever seen and would ever see. His refined yet sledgehammer style demonstrates extraordinary musicality and creativity. His bashing and smashing of drums produces so powerful, fat hard rock beats which are beyond any comparison. Blessed with phenomenal speed, mastered with inventive, fluid and ingenious drumming, it’s no wonder why everyone wants to jam with him. Flaunting his passion for drums, he lent his talent to bands like Nirvana, Queens Of The Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters and many, many more making the albums sound much more sweeter.

“Smells like teen spirit” from the album Nevermind by Nirvana, “A song for the dead” from the album Songs for the deaf by QOTSA, “My Hero” from the album The Color and the Shape by Foo Fighters are probably the best by Dave Grohl you could ever have in your playlist.

He is the very best and my favorite.




Revered for his diversity and use of dynamics with impeccable rhythm, MICHAEL STEPHEN “MIKE” PORTNOY is an astoundingly gifted drummer and don of progressive rock drumming. He grew up learning to play the drums primarily self-taught by listening to his early biggest influences, Keith Moon, John Bonham and Ringo Starr. As he developed a taste for more challenging progressive music, his biggest influences were Neil Peart and Frank Zappa.

With Dream Theater, the band which he co-founded, he took technicality and complexity to a whole new level. How could anyone synchronize that many licks with their feet while still keeping impeccable rhythm going using both wrists? Only one word fits the description of the talent that he holds: Godlike!

“Honor Thy Father”, “Dance of Eternity” and “Pull me under” are a few notable mention which are hard to play on drums. But Mike seems to have no difficulty pulling them off even with different time signatures like 11/4, 7/16, 5/8 and more fitted in just one song.




Self-destructive, hedonistic, unpredictable and quite simply an animal behind the kit, KEITH MOON’s wild drum technique was part of The Who’s core, and they haven’t sounded the same since he passed away in 1978.

He wasn’t technically the best. He wasn’t amazingly precise. But he was totally unique and came up with a style that broke through boundaries. Moon remains revered for his insanely busy technique which focused on fast, splashing rolls and double bass beats giving an incredible sound and feel to the The Who’s music.

“A quick one, while he’s away”, “I need you”, “Young man blues”, “The real me” are a few songs which are self-explanatory as to how vivid and talented he was. *Respect*


-By Aayush Gupta

Image Source: Google Images


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