A Salute to Drummers

By Linda
Picture of drums

Rock Drummers, Backbone of a Band

Drummers are the backbone of a band, setting the energy level, mood, and emotion of the music. A skilled drummer can change the feel of the music, creating a hard-driving energizing beat or a unique ambiance. Such a drummer can stay “in the pocket” playing a complex beat that is just right for the music, holding down the rhythm for the whole band rather than just following along. He knows when to add a bit of flash, not solely to show off his own skills but to add a little spice to the performance. This is the kind of drummer that makes a band great. He knows his abilities, that he can lay down an impressive solo but won’t fill in a tune without clearance from the band. A drummer that works well with his band is a team player.  Talented, hard-working drummers should be given the recognition they deserve. Here are a few drummers that are in that first-class league just to give you a taste. There are countless others that could be covered but we will take a look at these few.

Neil Peart of Rush is one of the greatest rock drummers of all time, in my opinion. He is the one that caused me to take notice of the role a drummer takes in  making a band great. An excellent drummer sets the tone and takes fans on a musical journey. The rhythms and beats beckon you  into the heart of the song and capture you until the last beat is played. That is the art of a passionate drummer.


The Top Tens lists the hardest songs to play on drums. Schwanie2 considers “The Dance of Eternity” by  drummer Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater to be “easily the most challenging song I have come across. I have seen multiple transcripts of this song and it is mind blowing. While Neil Peart’s parts for various Rush songs are amazing, my hat goes off to Mike Portnoy for this masterpiece.” (thetoptens.com)

On the Christian rock scene, Jen Ledger of Skillet, a female drummer who gets a lot of attention puts her heart and soul into her performances attributing her inspiration to David Grohl, drummer for the Foo Fighters. In this excerpt from Modern Drummer, Jen outlines her influences, inspirations, and experiences.

Another talented drummer in the Christian Music biz is Joe Rickard of the band Red. Red is known for their fiery and energetic live shows. Joe’s drumming plays a huge part of their high-powered performances.


Seth Hostetter of Children 18:3 is another amazing drummer. Watch him rock it out in this drum solo.

Matt Greiner drummer for August Burns Red, a Christian metal/metalcore band, since 2003. The band started out in high school practicing in Matt’s basement egg house on the family farm.

Zac Mayfield of Oh Sleeper a fast as lightning, skilled, technical drummer, doesn’t miss a beat. You can feel the vibrations running through you driving the song from beginning to end on this “Marriage of Skin and Steel” performance.

A well-done drum solo engages the audience and creates that excitement and energy that permeates through the crowd. Talent drummers tap out performances that are memorable and stick with you long after the concert is over. A salute to the hard working, skillful drummers that excite and energize the music we love.