The Reason I Want To Play Drums


My friend has a Yamaha drum kit. He's into rock and that's all fine and all but I'm not moved by rock to play drums. I don't own drums but he gave me a basic drum lesson.

Yes Buddy Holly and the Crickets are rock n roll but when I say rock I mean '60s and '70s classic rock. I listen to some of that but it doesn't move me to want to play drums. This is what drives me. One day I'll get drums. I also love swing band drummers. Listen to "Rock Around The Clock", the drummer was obviously a swing drummer. Well I read that but I can hear it too. His name is William "Billy" Gussak.

But this is the main reason I am interested in drums. Jerry "Ivan" Allison is an amazing player. How about you?


Gene Krupa---Polish guy that invented the drum solo. Listen to "Sing, Sing, Sing". First famous musician to be busted for drugs.


I love Krupa and Blakey too as well. I guess what got me interested was really Jerry Allison and William Gussak but the guys like Krup and Blakey are amazing and I love their playing.

Buddy Rich too. I have all these guys on CD. I love Burundi drumming too and I learned of that style by being a fan of Bow Wow Wow and Dave Barbe their drummer way back when.


Awww great googamooga! There was a BUNCHA big band guys that were just scary!

Sonny Payne with Count Basie, for example...those guys were the Zappa of that stuff, bandwise IMO...

(Bonus #1: he’s on a 1957 Gretsch Kit.)

(Bonus #2: Freddie Green on guitar)

One other guy you never hear about is a Dutch fella named Huub Janssen. I don’t think he’s ever played upside of Europe.

(in this vid, the guy on the left kit is Peter York. He’s the drummer on “Gimme Some Lovin’ “ by Spencer Davis.)

And just for fun, here’s a goofy British thing from the ‘60’s that includes, among many others, Ginger Baker, Phil Seaman, Ronnie Verrell (the drummer on The Muppet Show and the drum voice of Animal. His son was the on-screen drummer in “Spinal Tap”), and Andy White (the drummer on the single version of “Love Me Do”, “Please Please Me” and “PS. I Love You” by The Beatles)...


Jerry Allison is a fabulous player, so musical. Really inventive feels with fills that constantly surprise, always in perfect service to the material.

The entire Crickets combination was spot-on. Buddy and Jerry had a great click together, bouncing off one another's inventive, busy-busy, funky rhythmic shifts. Joe B had the perfect bass approach in that context- deceptively simple and static, often holding two-to-the-bar through an entire song, he anchored the whole thing down with a subtle swing and acres of useful space.

It's a parallel universe invertion of the Motown Sound where the drums and guitars were often static, pistol firing the pulse, liberating the Jamerson bass.

The main thrust of the point- when things get busy, one side of the rhythm triangle really ought to stay quite still.


Bill Kreutzmann, Johnny Barbata, Ralph Molina of Crazy Horse, and Dannie Richmond from Charles Mingus' groups.


Dannie Richmond also played with the Mark-Almond band in the 70's (one of my favorite bands). I saw them several times and they always knocked me out.


I'm coming from the opposite direction. I started on drums and picked up guitar when my older brother joined the USAF on a whim when I was still in high school. He was the guitar player and then he was gone. My goals as a guitar player started humble enough. I wanted to be able to play rock and roll bar chords so I could write songs. Then I wanted to be able to play at least as good as Elvis did on the 1968 Comeback Special. His feel and tone on that show really hit me. Then I started learning all the most popular major and minor open chords along with 7ths. Currently I'm working on becoming a better lead guitarist while also expanding my vocabulary. It's been incremental steps of learning.

If you apply this same attitude towards drumming you will have a very fun journey. It's great that you already have a direction to start by focusing on swing and early rock and roll. This will serve you well! I hope you have fun.

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