I started drumming when I was 11 with just a pair of sticks (didn’t get the kit till I was 12), which as you can probably guess, was before the creation of Youtube. I found myself trying to see drummers anyway that I could, whether it was VHS tapes of drummers ordered from the backs of magazines or begging my Dad to take me to concerts (which didn’t happen too often at that age). A memorable quote I think of is by Keith Moon who said, “I told people I was a drummer before I even had a set, I was a mental drummer.” It’s so true for those of us who had to imagine how to be a good drummer without examples readily available to us or the tools in which to practice. Now that I am raising little drumming humans I have come to realize the reality of this future world we live in. I feel like my boys will surpass me in skill before I know it, based simply on their ease of access to drum content.
Since I first created an account on Youtube back in the early 2000’s there has been one type of video that I find myself watching more than anything else as I dive down the rabbit hole. It keeps me motivated as a drummer to constantly strive to improve myself by watching drummers of all styles and skill levels play their hearts out for the world to watch. Not a day goes by that I don’t stumble across some 13 year-old with an Iphone that posts their drum solo or a successful recording artist in a million dollar studio with several cameramen capturing drumming gold. There is so many crazy inspiring drummers out there that have influenced me and made me better just by simply watching them. But for brevity’s sake I am going to narrow my list to the Top 5 Drummers to Watch on Youtube. (Keep in mind that this isn’t my sequential order of favorite drummers but rather a list of quality Youtube content.)
#5. Matt McGuire
Hailing from Brisbane, this Aussie has crazy energy and plays amazing Electro Drum-n-Bass covers that always get my head bobbing and can throw down hard on heavier tracks as well. His double hi-hat style impresses me to no end. This quote from his Facebook page speaks volumes about why he made this list.
“Connecting to each piece of music I play is critical. It allows the emotion to flow & energy to ignite. Technique & visual performance whilst tastefully complementing the music is the key to how I play. Performing with explosive energy & power leaves a mental signature to the audience in remembrance of my unique style.” – Matt McGuire – https://www.facebook.com/mattmcguiredrums
Watch his high-energy drum cover of David Guetta’s ‘Hey MaMa’
#4. Anika Niles
Playing out of Mannheim, Germany, Ms. Niles is one of my favorite female drummers at the moment and I find her unique style of groovy pop/rock/fusion to be intriguing. She completely killed it at this year’s 10th Anniversary Meinl Drum Festival. She strikes me as a very humble artist and will even do lessons via Skype if you email her a little about yourself through her website. – http://www.anikanilles.com/
Watch this performance of an original song ‘Synergy’ from her first EP titled ‘Alter Ego’
#3. Luke Holland
First off, this dude is crazy talented. Period. He plays for a band called The Word Alive and his drum covers are some of my very favorite on the internet. The content that he puts on his Youtube channel are always entertaining and super high quality thanks to Jeremy Tremp Pictures – http://www.jeremytremp.com/ – who takes the production of drum videos to a whole ‘nother level.
Check out his zombified drum remix of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’
#2. Matt Garstka
A truly gifted drummer, he is an incredible teacher and a true innovator in the world of modern day drumming. He is the percussion section for one of my favorite prog metal bands of all time, Animals As Leaders. His Youtube Channel is curated with content of him actually teaching how to play his beats which seem impossible to the naked ear. Most of his best drum videos, however, can be found on MEINL Cymbals channel. His style is inspiring and motivates me to be a better drummer everyday. Matt is definitely one of my favorite drummers!
Watch this amazing performance of Animals As Leaders song ‘Tooth and Claw’
#1. Benny Greb
Finally, my top pick for Must Follow Drummers on Youtube. He is one of the all time greats. Let me just say that if you are a drummer and want to learn the ways to take your drumming to the next level then you absolutely HAVE to watch/listen/absorb Benny Greb. His DVD ‘The Art&Science of the Groove’ is definitely on my Christmas wish list. Possibly my favorite drummer, this guy is a true visionary and plays the gamut of musical genres from Rock to Jazz Fusion. He is always posting great content and is an amazing educator.
Allow Benny to blow your mind with this excerpt from a drum solo
I hope you enjoyed this list! There were definitely some honorable mentions since I only decided to choose five but I will save that for another night. I would love to hear from ya’ll about who is on your list so make sure to comment! As always Keep Music Alive and Keep Dreaming!