My favourite drummers


Bernhard Castiglioni has created the ultimate drummer’s web site Drummerworld.com: bios and pictures of most of the world’s greatest drummers and lots of video footage. I’ve spent hours browsing through the recordings and here are some of my favourites:

  • Brian “Brain” Mantia’s gogo-beat: you don’t need dozens of toms and cymbals to lay down a funky groove
  • Toto’s Jeff Porcaro explaining how he created the “Rosanna” beat inspired by (he calls it ‘stolen from’) Bernard Purdie, John Bonham and Bo Didley.
  • Bernard Purdie who’s just fabulous but man, does he know it.
  • Jeff Hamilton doing some nice stuff with the brushes
  • Gavin Harrison mixes time signatures: Rhythmic Illusions
  • Rick Latham, with a hairdo that takes us back to the Miami Vice glory days, demonstrates the cow bell
  • Jojo Mayer showing how to do a quadruple bass drum beat with 1 foot and 1 bass drum
  • and the master remains Steve Gadd: see him explain the “50 ways to leave your lover” groove or more recent in the Drummers Collective: you don’t need volume to show off skill

Some names that I miss in his overview: Stevie Wonder, Dennis Davis (who played with David Bowie, Roy Ayers and Stevie Wonder), Phil Gould (from Level 42), Carla Azar (who played with Prince and Wendy & Lisa). Very few female drummers on this site, actually, and even less video footage of them.

And then some drummers who just like to show off:

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