Top 5 Drummers to Study in Each Genre

For all the drum teachers out there who offer private lessons to students of all ages and abilities, here is a resource you can use with your students when they ask about a genre of music that maybe is not your expertise, but that you can certainly help them with if given the right direction. As most of us know, there is an unlimited number of bands, and therefore we can only follow a certain amount at any given time. I compiled this list after having several moments where I didn't quite know where to take a student based on what their interests were.

When teaching a student metal drumming, which I have a finite knowledge of, I would sort of scramble to find something interesting and that had strong musical content for me to draw lesson material from. It wasn't necessarily the best choice, and so to make sure I always had the best choice of drummer for the occasion, I began researching and making lists of drummers for each genre.

I would also note several key albums, so the next time a student asks who the best blast-drummer is, I would know which drummer for them to check out, as well as some key albums that highlight their drumming.

These are by no means definitive lists, and I am open to suggestions, put comment in the comment section, or send me an email.

If you think this is a good resource for other teachers then please share!

 

 

Rock

 

1. Neil Peart

Best known as the drummer of prog-rock band Rush, Neil Peart is considered one of the most influential rock drummers of all time.


Recommended Albums:

2112 (Rush)

Hemispheres (Rush)

Moving Pictures (Rush)

 

 

2. John Bonham

Drummer for the British rock band Led Zeppelin, there might not be a single rock drummer on the planet who doesn't site "Bonzo" as an influence on the instrument. His unique style and sound have Led Zeppelin an instantly recognizable sound.


Recommended Albums:

Led Zeppelin I

Led Zeppelin II

Led Zeppelin IV 

 

 

3. Dave Grohl

Drummer for Nirvana and has also worked with Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails.


Recommended Albums:

Nevermind (Nirvana)

In Utero (Nirvana)

Songs for the Deaf (Queens of the Stone Age)

 

 

4. Todd Sucherman

Best known for having been a member of Styx since March 1995.


Recommended Albums:

Return to Paradise (Styx)

Live at Riverport (Styx)

 

 

5. Jon Theodore

The original drummer of the Mars Volta, and current drummer for Queens of the Stone Age.


Recommended Albums:

 Deloused in the Comatorium (The Mars Volta)

Frances the Mute (The Mars Volta)

One Day As a Lion

 

 

 

Progressive Music

 

1. Bill Bruford

Drummer for King Crimson, Yes, Gong, and bandleader of Earthworks. Bill Bruford was a pioneer in world of progressive drumming.


Recommended Albums:

Red (King Crimson)

Discipline (King Crimson)

Close to the Edge (Yes)

 

2. Matt Garstka

One of the great young drummers of the genre, Matt Garstka pushes the boundaries of progressive music. He is best known as the drummer for Animals As Leaders.


Recommended Albums:

The Madness of Many (Animals As Leaders)

Live 2017 (Animals As Leaders)

 

 

3. Jojo Mayer

Virtuoso Austrian drummer who was one of the main proponents of progressive electro-drumming.


Recommended Albums:

The Distance Between Zero and One (NERVE)

Reloaded (Depart)

 

 

4. Vinnie Colaiuta

An inductee of the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame, Vinnie Colaiuta is considered one of the most influential drummers of all time.


Recommended Albums:

Joe’s Garage (Frank Zappa)

Ten Summoner’s Tales (Sting)

Vinnie Colaiuta (Vinnie Colaiuta)

 

 

5. Mike Portnoy

Another inductee into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame, Mike Portnoy is considered one of the most influential
progressive rock drummers of all time.


Recommended Albums:

Systematic Chaos (Dream Theater)

Awake (Dream Theater)

Scenes from a Memory (Dream Theater)

Liquid Tension Experiment

 

 

Studio Greats

 

1. Steve Gadd


Recommended Albums:

Aja (Steely Dan)

Friends (Chick Corea)

One-Trick Pony (Paul Simon)

 

 

2. Jeff Porcaro


Recommended Albums:

Toto IV (Toto)

Thriller (Michael Jackson)

The Nightfly (Donald Fagen)

 

 

3. Bernard Purdie


Recommended Albums:

Young, Gifted and Black (Aretha Franklin)

Live at the Fillmore West (Aretha Franklin)

Soul Drums (Bernard Purdie)

 

 

4. Hal Blaine


Recommended Albums:

Pet Sounds (Beach Boys)

Bookends (Simon & Garfunkel)

Leisure Time (Hal Blaine & The Young Cougars)

 

 

5. Jim Keltner


Recommended Albums:

The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 (The Traveling Wilburys)

Bring the Family (John Hiatt)

Salutations (Conor Oberst)

 

 

Metal

 

1. Derek Roddy


Recommended Albums:

I, Monarch (Hate Eternal)

Black Seeds of Vengeance (Nile)

Serpents Rise (Any Album)

 

 

2. Danny Carey


Recommended Albums:

Lateralus (Tool)

Aenima (Tool)

Undertow (Tool)

 

 

3. Gene Hoglan


Recommended Albums:

Alien (Strapping Young Lad)

Dark Roots of Earth (Testament)

Individual Thought Patterns (Death)

 

 

4. Joey Jordison


Recommended Albums:

Slipknot (Slipknot)

The All-Star Sessions (Roadrunner United)

 

 

5. Tomas Haake


Recommended Albums:

The Violent Sleep of Reason (Meshuggah)

Koloss (Meshuggah)

ObZen (Meshuggah)

Nothing (Meshuggah)

 

 

Jazz

 

1. Elvin Jones


Recommended Albums:

A Love Supreme (John Coltrane)

My Favorite Things (John Coltrane)

Puttin' It Together (Elvin Jones)

 

 

2. Max Roach


Recommended Albums:

Study In Brown (Clifford Brown & Max Roach)

Parisian Sketches (Max Roach)

Money Jungle

 

 

3. Tony Williams


Recommended Albums:

Miles Smiles (Miles Davis)

E.S.P. (Miles Davis)

Empyrean Isles (Herbie Hancock)

 

 

4. Papa Jo Jones


Recommended Albums:

Count Basie at Newport (Count Basie)

The Essential Jo Jones (Papa Jo Jones)

Jo Jones Trio (Papa Jo Jones)

 

 

5. Buddy Rich


Recommended Albums:

Big Swing Face (Buddy Rich Big Band)

The Drum Battle (B. Rich, G. Krupa)

Lester Young Trio (Lester Young)

 

 

Modern Jazz

 

1. Eric Harland


Recommended Albums:

13th Floor (Eric Harland)

Invisible Cinema (Aaron Parks)

Back East (Joshua Redman)

 

 

2. Ari Hoenig


Recommended Albums:

The Painter (Ari Hoenig)

Bert’s Playground (Ari Hoenig)

Jazz Side of the Moon: Music of Pink Floyd

 

 

3. Nate Smith


Recommended Albums:

Pathways (Dave Holland)

Critical Mass (Dave Holland)

Underground (Chris Potter) 

 

 

4. Brian Blade


Recommended Albums:

Pursuance (Kenny Garrett)

Trilogy (Chick Corea, Christian McBride, B. Blade)

Footprints Live! (Wayne Shorter)

 

 

5. Mark Guiliana


Recommended Albums:

Family First (Mark Guiliana)

Beyond Now (Donny McCaslin)

Mehliana (M. Guiliana, Brad Mehldau)

 

 

Funk

 

1. Clyde Stubblefied


Recommended Albums:

In the Jungle Groove (James Brown)

I Got the Feelin’ (James Brown)

The Original Funky Drummer Breakbeat Album

 

 

2. Mike Clark


Recommended Albums:

Thrust (Herbie Hancock)

Heritage (Eddie Henderson)

The Funk Stops Here (Mike Clark & Paul Jackson)

 

 

3. Zigaboo Modeliste


Recommended Albums:

Cissy Strut (The Meters)

Struttin’ (The Meters)

I’m on the Right Track (Zigaboo Modeliste)

 

 

4. Stanton Moore


Recommended Albums:

Flyin’ the Koop (Stanton Moore)

All Kooked Out (Stanton Moore)

The Other Side of Midnight (Galactic)

 

 

5. David Garibaldi


Recommended Albums:

Back to Oakland (Tower of Power)

East Bay Grease (Tower of Power)

Soul Vaccination (Tower of Power)

 

 

R&B/Hip Hop

 

1. Chris Dave


Recommended Albums:

Black Messiah (D’Angelo)

Chris Dave and the Drumhedz

Double Booked (Robert Glasper)

 

 

2. Steve Jordan


Recommended Albums:

Continuum (John Mayer)

Try (John Mayer)

Made In America (Blues Brothers)

 

 

3. Adam Deitch


Recommended Albums:

Uberjam (John Scofield)

Up All Night (John Scofield)

Tonight (Average White Band)

 

 

4. Karreem Riggins


Recommended Albums:

The Evolution of Oneself (Orrin Evans)

Emily’s D+Evolution (Esperanza Spalding)

Welcome 2 Detroit (J Dilla)

 

 

5. Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson


Recommended Albums:

Voodoo (D’Angelo)

How I Got Over (The Roots)

Phrenology (The Roots)

 

 

World Drumming

 

1. Dafnis Prieto


Recommended Albums:

About the Monks (Dafnis Prieto)

Absolute Quintet (Dafnis Prieto)

Taking the Soul for a Walk (Dafnis Prieto)

 

 

2. Ignacio Berroa


Recommended Albums:

Heritage and Passion (Ignacio Berroa)

Worldwide (Giovanni Hidalgo)

Supernova (Gonzalo Rubalcaba)

 

 

3. Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez


Recommended Albums:

Habana (Roy Hargrove)

Thru My Eyes (Michel Camilo)

El Negro and Robby at The Third World War (H. Hernandez, R. Ameen)

 

 

4. Airto Moreira


Recommended Albums:

Live at the Fillmore East (Miles Davis)

Weather Report (Weather Report)

 

 

5. Trilok Gurtu


Recommended Albums:

Arkeology

The Glimpse

 

 

Solo Drums

 

1. Terry Bozzio


Recommended Albums:

Solo Drum Music

Melodic Drumming

 

 

2. Ari Hoenig


Recommended Albums:

The Life of a Day

Time Travels

 

 

3. Dan Weiss


Recommended Albums:

Tintal Drumset Solos

Jhaptal Drumset Solos

 

 

4. Nate Smith


Recommended Album:

Pocket Change

 

 

5. Billy Martin


Recommended Album

illy B Eats Vol.1 Groove Bang and Jive Around

 

 

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by: Brandon Goodwin    
Montreal, QC, Canada    

 

 

Brandon Goodwin Bio

Brandon has worked with renowned jazz musicians such as Braxton Cook, Grammy-award winning artists Delfeayo Marsalis, and Kebbi Williams, as well as some of Canada’s top talent, including Fraser Hollins, Al McLean, and Samuel Blais, as well as  

Brandon has studied with some of Canada’s top drummers, including, Nasyr Abdul Al-Kabyr (Dizzy Gillespie), Dave Laing, and Dave Robbins, and has also studied privately with internationally acclaimed drummers Ari Hoenig and Dan Weiss.  

He has taught masterclasses at high schools and universities in Canada and the U.S. and is the owner/principal operator of Studio Drum MTL. Based out of Verdun QC, Brandon services Greater Montreal, Lasalle, Lachine, NDG, Westmount, and Cote St Luc with his high quality drum lessons.  

www.studiodrummontreal.com 

Brandon’s group B’s Bees has performed concerts in North America and in Asia, at major jazz festivals and in some of the best jazz clubs in the world. The group has also performed masterclasses at high schools and in universities in Canada, the U.S. and in Asia. 

www.bs-bees.com

 

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