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I'm Not A Dumb Drummer!

Feb 11, 2008
The drummer by definition has to be the most rock and roll member of the band. You have to be a little unhinged to be a drummer. All that time spent banging definitely seems to have an effect. It is remarkable therefore that some of the finest drummers seem to be strangely sensible. Take Phil Collins, Dave Grohl and John Densmore. These guys for some of the most hardcore bands ever to grace the planet (Nirvana and The Doors that is - I'm not sure Genesis could be called hardcore!) yet they have achieved phenomenal individual success despite, by definition, being a screw loose.

John Densmore, the drummer for The Doors, walked out on the band in protest at the self-destructive actions of the other band members. He rejoined the next day. He is one drummer that is particularly bemused by the dumb drummer stereotype. He was an accomplished musician on other instruments such as the piano and briefly the clarinet. He hates people that downplay the credibility of the drums and has stated that "the drum was the first fucking instrument". His eloquence sums up the disappointment that some drummers feel when their art form is insulted. Densmore really utilised his orchestral experience and incorporated into his drumming style. The distinctive drumming in The End really drew on the differences between fortissimo [very loud] and pianissimo [very soft]. It is the change in volume of the drums made that the song the incredibly powerful piece of music that it is. Is this far more sophisticated than you may ever have thought?

Dave Grohl is another of the Uber drummers that has played with some of the toughest rock bands ever. As the drummer for Nirvana he was no stranger to sex and drugs and rock and roll. His simple, hard-hitting style of drumming was at the core of the bands success and gave their music a spine. The untimely death of Kurt Cobain in 1994 saw the end of Nirvana but Grohl did not stay depressed and moved on to form his own band. He dropped drumming duties opting to form his own band and called it the Foo Fighters. He switched from drums to guitar and vocals and the band went on to receive massive commercial success. In 2002 Grohl joined up with the Queens of the Stoneage to help them record their album, songs for the deaf. He has also performed with Norah Jones, David Bowie and the legendary Tenacious D. There are few drummers that have received such a wide range of success as Dave Grohl. Throughout his career he has proved that he is more than a dumb drummer.

Universally chastised by members of the press and the music industry the following drummer seems to have upset a lot of people in his long successful career. If drumming was judged purely on commercial success he would probably be at the top of the list of best drummers in the world. He has been an actor in films, played drums for some of the most successful bands ever and has written soundtracks for a number of Disney films. Phil Collins is both incredibly talented and extremely business savvy. The range and extent of his success proves that drummers can be intelligent and sensible yet extremely successful. Phil Collins is yet another example that quashes the dumb drummer stereotype.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is a keen musician. He has played the drums for many years. He shares his experiences to help people that are looking for USB drumkits.
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