Tell Tale Signs for a Good (or Bad) Drummer?

The Duff McKagan thread has got me thinking…

What are some tell tale signs whether a drummer has chops or not? :thinking:


(in Yoda voice)

Chops not important…
Only groove important…
(end Yoda voice)

You’ll know because it feels like this:
When you lay down on the perfect mattress, vs. Super 8 Motel mattress.

Driving in your grandfathers Lincoln Continental vs. your Jeep Cherokee where the transmission is shot.

Floating across the water in a safe and sea-worthy ship, rather than swimming against a harsh tide and pounding waves.

Trusting the drummer to nail the song - to know the song - to keep the time, to lead the band - those are the signs of a good drummer. And it should feel absolutely lovely to play bass to their parts.


As usual, Gio said all the things I would say. I can tell a good drummer from a bad one after about a bar. Maybe 3 beats. :stuck_out_tongue:

But also, other stuff that takes more time to learn about someone - do they make eye contact? Do they have humility when something goes funky with the time, or do they assume that they have a perfect internal clock and somebody else must be messing up?

And can they play with DYNAMICS??? If your snare drum is making me cringe, and it’s not a rock gig on a big stage… something is wrong.

And does 87 milliseconds magically disappear from the end of the bar every time they play a fill? :mage: