By: Adam Kujawski
Neil Peart, the Rush rocker who has influenced many generations of aspiring drummers, celebrates a birthday this week! In his honor, we're taking a look at a few of the best Rock and Roll drummers of today, some of which have more than likely looked to Peart for inspiration while meticulously practicing that ultimate drum solo. So make sure to rock out to some Rush today, and enjoy our list of the Top 5 Drummers Who Rock!
1. Neil Peart
This Canadian rocker is widely regarded as one of the most talented drummers of all time. Neil Peart is so good, in fact, his abilities are often showcased on Rush live albums with separate tracks dedicated to his drum solos. He released the DVD Anatomy of a Drum Solo in 2005 where he reveals his technique and approach to soloing. Check out his performance on a 360o set during Drum Week on The Late Show with David Letterman.
2. Lars Ulrich
One of the founding members of Metallica, Lars Ulrich began drumming at an early age around the time he heard Deep Purple live in concert. Shortly after meeting James Hetfield, Metallica was born and the two churned out multiple heavy metal hits that transformed the genre. Ulrich is known for his double bass beats such as the sound on “One” below.
3. Danny Carey
Tool drummer, Danny Carey, found his beginnings in jazz music in when he performed in his high school jazz band. This style of music would have a profound influence on his approach to playing the drums later in life. Carey has expressed interest in geometric designs and has featured them in his percussion layout, most notably the unicursal hexagram. Here is Danny Carey on Tool’s “Schism”.
4. Chad Smith
Chad Smith is the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and has been with the band for 25 years. Although he isn’t one of the founding members, he has been behind the drum kit during the band’s most successful years, with his grooves fitting in perfectly with the band's funk-rock sound. Chad's skills helped the band secure a Grammy Award for “Scar Tissue” in 1999 and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Chili Peppers in 2012. The rocker also plays drums for the Sammy Hagar-led supergroup, Chickenfoot.
5. Dave Grohl
Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl taught himself to play drums at a young age by listening to bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and practicing for hours. His aggressive playing style was a key part to Nirvana's success in the early '90s, and though he has found a new home in front of the mic as singer for the Foo Fighters, Grohl continues to rock the drums in bands such as Them Crooked Vultures and occasionally, Queens of the Stone Age.
- The Late Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan
- Drummer, Avenged Sevenfold
- Matt Cameron
- Drummer, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam
- Dave Lombardo