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Al-time overrated and underrated drummers

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  • #16
    Rating any musician or an artist is purely subjective. Think of the armies of them in India or China. We may have no record of them, but they may be highly rated in their world. The top notch western musicians may be very underrated in non-western countries, rightfully so, they have nothing on the masters of those genres. So we all agree on the niche to have a frame of reference, but those can be sub-divided to a single artist (eg. Bjork), so again we speak subjectively when comparing any past or present ones. The objective truth can be found in legacy.

    There's a band from ex Yugoslavia (my country) called Leb i Sol (bread and salt), highly regarded, made many albums, left a big impact and a legacy. Top noch songwriting and performance in a kind of jazz/rock/ethnic style. The original drummer Garabet Tavitijan is a monster. His playing brought new challenges to even big western names (imagine Peter Erskin playing 7/8 and 9/8 ethnic grooves), and so did his bandmates, namely Vlatko Stefanovski on guitar. We all grew up on those 'crazy' beats, but then a new drummer joined them. He was even a bigger name but came from a different background and changed the sound and feel of the band. To cut a long story short, the new guy rode the glory wave that has made even bigger name of him, while the first one remained in the shadow, known mostly in musician circles of the past generations. Subjectively, it's obvious who gets which rating title here, but objectively, the biggest legacy and respect goes to the one that made a difference, that initiated many of us to even listen to that kind of music! Is Garabet underrated? Maybe by the youngsters in my country, but in other places he is un-rated. None of you have even heard of these names, yet he made an impact, and earned his credits objectively. Take a listen, tell me what you think.
     
    Last edited by MilosDrummer; 07-20-19, 10:33 AM.
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    • #17
      yes, Garabet is underrated and also Garo Tavitjan ; ) ..i've seen many great drumsolos of them on youtube..
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      • #18
        Originally posted by Ericdrumz View Post
        yes, Garabet is underrated and also Garo Tavitjan ; ) ..i've seen many great drumsolos of them on youtube..
        Haha, seems Garo has more fans than I thought ☺️ Good to hear!
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        • #19
          Originally posted by jimorlando View Post

          I think I am in this boat. There is no way that I know all the drummers and upon further reflection, I am just giving my opinion and mentioning some of my favorite drummers. Since I am a product of the 60s and early 70s, that is a lot of my frame of reference.
          I know the drummers who play the music I listen to and play along with. That's the bottom line really.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by MilosDrummer View Post
            Rating any musician or an artist is purely subjective. Think of the armies of them in India or China. We may have no record of them, but they may be highly rated in their world. The top notch western musicians may be very underrated in non-western countries, rightfully so, they have nothing on the masters of those genres. So we all agree on the niche to have a frame of reference, but those can be sub-divided to a single artist (eg. Bjork), so again we speak subjectively when comparing any past or present ones. The objective truth can be found in legacy.

            There's a band from ex Yugoslavia (my country) called Leb i Sol (bread and salt), highly regarded, made many albums, left a big impact and a legacy. Top noch songwriting and performance in a kind of jazz/rock/ethnic style. The original drummer Garabet Tavitijan is a monster. His playing brought new challenges to even big western names (imagine Peter Erskin playing 7/8 and 9/8 ethnic grooves), and so did his bandmates, namely Vlatko Stefanovski on guitar. We all grew up on those 'crazy' beats, but then a new drummer joined them. He was even a bigger name but came from a different background and changed the sound and feel of the band. To cut a long story short, the new guy rode the glory wave that has made even bigger name of him, while the first one remained in the shadow, known mostly in musician circles of the past generations. Subjectively, it's obvious who gets which rating title here, but objectively, the biggest legacy and respect goes to the one that made a difference, that initiated many of us to even listen to that kind of music! Is Garabet underrated? Maybe by the youngsters in my country, but in other places he is un-rated. None of you have even heard of these names, yet he made an impact, and earned his credits objectively. Take a listen, tell me what you think.
            This This This
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            • #21
              For me I feel like it just boils down to impact.... How did a drummer change the way we approach drumming after we hear them? There’s so many different genres and some that are so specific regionally that it’s impossible for anyone to be able to recall all of the talent past and present.

              My drum hero’s are varied between the commonly known and the obscure. As are everyone’s I’m sure. For me, if you can recall a drummer by name even if you’ve barely heard that artist’s catalog, then I honestly feel like you have to give them props because they made music so impactful that it crossed over those genres and regional boundaries.

              So for me, I really don’t think it’s fair to call a drummer overrated...

              UNDERRATED? Absolutely. We can all call out an obscure artist that nobody has heard of. Hell half the guys on this forum have some solid chops. But that’s the toil of an artists life. 50% skill / 50% luck in ever getting an ounce of recognition.

              Just my $.02
              Last edited by rdubu; 07-24-19, 07:50 AM.
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              • #22
                Originally posted by GuruMyStick View Post

                what I love about this forum, and for the most part the world, is that people can have differing opinions and still be brothers.
                That's the point of having a forum and discussions! Confronting different views makes us grow so thank you for making these topics and giving a good example on friendliness and politeness
                Last edited by MilosDrummer; 07-24-19, 09:08 AM.
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                • #23
                  GuruMyStick,

                  GuruMyStick wrote to demonocus:
                  I never heard one death metal drummer who I felt had any real soul in his heart, so if anybody knows of any by all means please send an example so I may be exposed to that.
                  What constitutes soul? Consider bebop and grindcore, where fast tempos play a significant role in the music. If you're used to hearing grooves at 80 BPM to 160 BPM, then your ears are likely in for a shock the first time you put on John Coltrane or Napalm Death! And indeed, consider the expanded harmonic forms and modal harmony of John Coltrane; this is not something first time listeners (or perhaps even seasoned listeners of jazz ) may find appealing, initially. Does this mean the musicians have no soul or that the music is bad? Not necessarily.

                  Before you can hear and analyze a given musical form, it's often necessary to understand the vocabulary and rules of that form. For example, the first time I heard grindcore (with a blast beat played at 240 BPM, maybe faster), I admit, I didn't get it. "What is the point of this", I asked myself? "Is this even music?" Now that I've heard more of this musical form, the music and its grooves and vocabulary are starting to make sense. Is grindcore part of my everyday listening now? No, and possibly it may never be, but I can appreciate what these musicians are doing and I can hear effective grindcore drumming (soulful) versus poor grindcore drumming (no soul). Ultimately, I think what constitutes soul in one genre may be very different in another.

                  Edited to add: I've made the assumption that you have not listened to a lot of death metal and that's why the drumming sounds soulless to you. If I'm wrong, well, maybe death metal (or, minimally, appreciation of what death metal drummers do) simply isn't your thing, which is fine. :-)

                  Last edited by TangTheHump; 07-25-19, 09:46 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by TangTheHump View Post
                    GuruMyStick,



                    What constitutes soul? Consider bebop and grindcore, where fast tempos play a significant role in the music. If you're used to hearing grooves at 80 BPM to 160 BPM, then your ears are likely in for a shock the first time you put on John Coltrane or Napalm Death! And indeed, consider the expanded harmonic forms and modal harmony of John Coltrane; this is not something first time listeners (or perhaps even seasoned listeners of jazz ) may find appealing, initially. Does this mean the musicians have no soul or that the music is bad? Not necessarily.

                    Before you can hear and analyze a given musical form, it's often necessary to understand the vocabulary and rules of that form. For example, the first time I heard grindcore (with a blast beat played at 240 BPM, maybe faster), I admit, I didn't get it. "What is the point of this", I asked myself? "Is this even music?" Now that I've heard more of this musical form, the music and its grooves and vocabulary are starting to make sense. Is grindcore part of my everyday listening now? No, and possibly it may never be, but I can appreciate what these musicians are doing and I can hear effective grindcore drumming (soulful) versus poor grindcore drumming (no soul). Ultimately, I think what constitutes soul in one genre may be very different in another.

                    Edited to add: I've made the assumption that you have not listened to a lot of death metal and that's why the drumming sounds soulless to you. If I'm wrong, well, maybe death metal (or, minimally, appreciation of what death metal drummers do) simply isn't your thing, which is fine. :-)
                    Yup that was a thoughtful and well-written and well thought out and inspiring post. I have been exposed to death metal, though perhaps not enough, especially thinking that after reading your post. Maybe there is "soul" in death metal that is there that I didn't see or hear or feel because I just didn't "give it a chance." Or at least enough of a chance. What I heard was basically machines going crazy fast just for the sake of being crazy fast, impressive as it is, with really no feeling behind it. Being a blues drummer, for the most part, it just never "hit me."

                    and maybe again you are right when you said it just maybe not for me. I listen to "modern music" meaning the boom boom boom the 1234, 1234, 1234, bass beat, that's not even a base or a bass drum, with lyrics to me that have absolutely no depth at all, though, I do realize and understand that there are countless who love it and feel it and enjoy it. This happens in almost every generation and has been happening for millennia. harken back to when Chuck Berry and Elvis first came on the scene and the public in general, the government, the religious institutions, and even many of the major musician such as Frank Sinatra and company, even THE Master Buddy Rich, were more or less against it.

                    I have had calm deep discussions with people who are younger who into this new "music." Justin Bieber etc. I explained to them that there are for the most part no instruments in a lot of this new music. I expressed my opinion that the soul expresses itself through an instrument. They retorted that I can happen by expression through electronics as well. They used my electronic drums as an example. Perhaps there is a point there. Doesn't mean I like the music, I am however open-minded if nothing else.

                    So if I was to give something a real big open-minded listen in the death metal genre, many times over, do you have any suggestions please where I may start?

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                    • #25
                      if i may say something.. a lot of metal drummers want to play 'like a machine' (i mean all blast beats/ kicks equal volume) and this coupled with speed
                      sounds 'soulless' to me too.. in other music styles dynamics and time (groove) are more important.. ..'real' metal might sound less musical because
                      of this.. (it's a taste thing) i can listen better to 'Djent' kind of metal.. where you still have more dynamics (ghostnotes etc) and more 'groovy' rhythms..
                      but.. in the last 5 years some drummers have emerged that can play real 'metal' style and 'groove'/ pocket, gospel chops, polyrhythms, odd time,
                      soloing.. or just funky in 4/4.. ..really 'everything' .. the level of these guys is 'not funny anymore' ..and if you only know their 'metal' side.. you could
                      also underrate them..

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                      • #26
                        GuruMyStick,

                        If I look back at my listening of the last few years, I'm sure there are death metal bands I've appreciated. I'm a bit short on time presently, so I'm going to recommend a band and drummer who are more industrial metal than death metal: Tool with Danny Carey on drums. Carey is a very musical player who, at times, hints at the dense drumming and blast oriented drumming you'll hear in death metal. My mainstream musical diet is typically blues, soul, funk, jazz, Motown, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, other world music, classical music, Broadway theatre, and opera, but I've found myself dabbling with (and really enjoying) quite a few things lately, such as:

                        Electronic Dance Music: Jojo Mayer, Nerve
                        Industrial Metal: Danny Carey, Tool
                        Progressive Metal: Mike Mangini, Dream Theater
                        Progressive Grunge Folk: Gavin Harrison, Porcupine Tree
                        Progressive Rock: Rod Morgenstein, Rudess / Morgenstein Project

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                        • #27
                          I have been very fortunate as a drummer - played professionally for years (1970 - 2015) and wrote for Modern Drummer (12+years) _ as well was in the biz of selling drums at three of the major drum shops in Canada for many years was a Premier endorser did clinics and was written up and featured in the PAS book Percussive Notes (Way before all y'all were born!) (Prior to all that years of Championship drumcorps and pipe band! Ergo ran into and met, hung out with drank with a lot of drummers we all know or heard about, Steve Smith, Jake Hanna (God I miss Jake - he was a CLASSIC!), Belson, Bozzio, Morello, Jeff Hamilton, Tony Royster (Baby-sat him!!!!) Appice, Purdie, Phil Collins, Ainsley, Elvin (Took a lesson from Mr. J!) Jim Gordon, Jeff Porcaro, Buddy, Harvey Mason... and a whole whack of others - this was off the top of my head. There are more.

                          I don't have a favorite player. There are hundreds ...Vinnie, Brian Blade, Weckl, Kunkel, Jimmy Cobb, Gavin, Shelly Manne and on and on and so on and so forth. All worth watching and learning from.

                          In Canada, the great players never get credit Vito, Delong, Bob McLaren, Claude Ranger (As I write this I am sitting in the house with a drum room where I live in Victoria - where I last saw Claude, drummed with him and shared such great times! RIP Best Canadian drummer and possibly the best I have ever seen!) and on and on (These cats are/were close friends and certified monsters!)

                          My point is. if you are a drummer. Excellent. If you do not like a drummer or that type of music cool groovy. BUT the thing is we are brothers and all those cats I met and know are just like us. JUST LIKE US.

                          Well, except for Freddy Gruber - but if ya don't have something nice to say ... you don't say anything. And that's all I gotta say about that!
                          Last edited by The Mose; 07-27-19, 10:21 PM.
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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by TangTheHump View Post
                            GuruMyStick,

                            If I look back at my listening of the last few years, I'm sure there are death metal bands I've appreciated. I'm a bit short on time presently, so I'm going to recommend a band and drummer who are more industrial metal than death metal: Tool with Danny Carey on drums. Carey is a very musical player who, at times, hints at the dense drumming and blast oriented drumming you'll hear in death metal. My mainstream musical diet is typically blues, soul, funk, jazz, Motown, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, other world music, classical music, Broadway theatre, and opera, but I've found myself dabbling with (and really enjoying) quite a few things lately, such as:

                            Electronic Dance Music: Jojo Mayer, Nerve
                            Industrial Metal: Danny Carey, Tool
                            Progressive Metal: Mike Mangini, Dream Theater
                            Progressive Grunge Folk: Gavin Harrison, Porcupine Tree
                            Progressive Rock: Rod Morgenstein, Rudess / Morgenstein Project
                            TangTheHump

                            Sounds like an auditory treasure trove. I will be listening with an open mind and open ears hopefully to find new diamonds in the rough.
                            Thank you
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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by The Mose View Post
                              I have been very fortunate as a drummer - played professionally for years (1970 - 2015) and wrote for Modern Drummer (12+years) _ as well was in the biz of selling drums at three of the major drum shops in Canada for many years was a Premier endorser did clinics and was written up and featured in the PAS book Percussive Notes (Way before all y'all were born!) (Prior to all that years of Championship drumcorps and pipe band! Ergo ran into and met, hung out with drank with a lot of drummers we all know or heard about, Steve Smith, Jake Hanna (God I miss Jake - he was a CLASSIC!), Belson, Bozzio, Morello, Jeff Hamilton, Tony Royster (Baby-sat him!!!!) Appice, Purdie, Phil Collins, Ainsley, Elvin (Took a lesson from Mr. J!) Jim Gordon, Jeff Porcaro, Buddy, Harvey Mason... and a whole whack of others - this was off the top of my head. There are more.

                              I don't have a favorite player. There are hundreds ...Vinnie, Brian Blade, Weckl, Kunkel, Jimmy Cobb, Gavin, Shelly Manne and on and on and so on and so forth. All worth watching and learning from.

                              In Canada, the great players never get credit Vito, Delong, Bob McLaren, Claude Ranger (As I write this I am sitting in the house with a drum room where I live in Victoria - where I last saw Claude, drummed with him and shared such great times! RIP Best Canadian drummer and possibly the best I have ever seen!) and on and on (These cats are/were close friends and certified monsters!)

                              My point is. if you are a drummer. Excellent. If you do not like a drummer or that type of music cool groovy. BUT the thing is we are brothers and all those cats I met and know are just like us. JUST LIKE US.

                              Well, except for Freddy Gruber - but if ya don't have something nice to say ... you don't say anything. And that's all I gotta say about that!
                              The Mose

                              Indeed sounds like you've had quite the journey of life thus far. And blessed be this journey evidently.

                              I totally understand relate and received what you say about "they" are JUST LIKE US. I am also an entertainment law attorney. Directly, via parties, gatherings, concerts, conventions, etc. etc. etc., throughout my lifetime, I've also met a lot of "them." (All areas of entertainment, [ex: acting], not just music). And also partied (too much), drank to levels I don't really want to speak of here, and on and on it goes. Yes indeed "they" are just like us; it's quite a strange phenomenon how a sort of caste system has been created wherein some people believe that notoriety or ability and such actually really does make people "better," and in the end what it really does is downgrade the self, which in my opinion ain't cool. We are all special in our special ways. Nobody is better than anybody else.

                              And I agree if you are a drummer: excellent. Anybody who plays an instrument to me is a hero. That does not mean they are better, just means that they put time and energy into learning something. That's heroic. In the end we are mind-muscle memory monkeys, said in a funny way. It's not a big deal. Those who can practice eight hours a day for many years will generally be able to do things that those who can only put in an hour day and cannot do. And even with that, it takes a lot of luck being in the right place at the right time and all that jazz to get known, usually.


                              I've also been training in martial arts (MMA) pretty much my whole life, the same thing applies, it is just a thing, does not make anybody better than anyone else, and those who study it for real really know it's not about violence in the end, God forbid one would actually become violent against another human being, it's really an atrocious thought, it would take extra extraordinary circumstances way beyond my control and only after every single option has been used and I mean every one before I would even think about engaging which would only be in absolute self-defense with the least amount of force necessary to stop an aggression that I simply could not stop otherwise.

                              And I will throw in degrees. Read enough books, pass that test, and one can become anything, pretty much at any age. It's not a big deal. It doesn't make anybody better either. when I tell people I am a lawyer sometimes they say stupid stuff such as: that's amazing. I say no if not, I read some books, took some test, passed on, through my hat up in the air, got drunk, stayed drunk, then people started calling me counselor, no biggie. I just don't drink nearly as much anymore. Unfortunately.

                              I am sorry for your loss of your friend. Though it does underscore something that I reinforce to people all the time: to not take the self too seriously, whether famous, pseudo-famous, not famous, in the Bowery, whatever, as time passes and when it's done it's quite eternal which is a very very very long time. How much better of the world would it be if everybody paused for even a moment and really let their own inevitable death sink in and stop putting up all of these façades, which is just ego.

                              I am middle-aged now. Feels like not being old and not being young: confusing! . Most of my friends were bad asses, and accordingly, they are dead. I mean real bad asses. Not the wannabes that are seen about these days. They were NOT supposed to live long lives. It wasn't tragic that they died. They died the way they were: ALIVE. This notion that we all should live to 125 years old to me is just not true, though that just my opinion. These people were led to lead bad ass lives as they were bad asses and did their thing and that's that.

                              Your list of drummers is stupendous. I am not going against what I said above; I am still yet going to say that you are fortunate to be around many of these master drummers, as we being drummers we watch these cats who had the time and energy to build up their mind-muscle memory and such and become masters of the trade.

                              Your post was also real, sincere, and one could feel it. And one can feel you. I got that you're really good guy. This forum is a better place now due to your post. Thank you for being you, and thank you for sharing.
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                              • #30
                                Very kind of you to say! (I really have to work on my writing cause if you ask 10 folks 9 would spit on the sidewalk and say ... "Oh him!" A Gal i knew an author put me in one of her books - killed me off in Chapter Two. I was pretty happy I made it that far in the damn book!_ or dang got another one fooled!

                                I agree with your sentiments above - good stuff and well thought out. Appreciated boocoo!

                                Last thought: Art ... "Drums, they're round they sit in the floor you hit em." Had a chance while sitting at the Sping Street Bar when he walked by - chatted with Mr. Blakey and yep he was a funny, as nice and as hip as y'all would imagine.

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