Greatest Drummer In The World

Since I created such seething hatred by attacking Metallica and their crap ass songs, I thought it was time to start grilling another sacred cow.  Might I submit that Neil Peart has been dethroned as the world’s greatest drummer in the world.  Enter the new king…Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy.

Exhibit A:  Mike drumming the end of As I Am and the very kick ass beginning of This Dying Soul:


20 Responses to Greatest Drummer In The World

  1. IrishWalsh says:

    False! False!

    Peart remains King.

  2. IrishWalsh says:

    I will however add, and you know this Jordan, that those are easily 2 of my favorite DT songs and largely because of the sick sick drum lines.

    Train of Thought is a phenomenal album to be sure. As you would say nice and “crunchy”.

  3. Buddy Rich Fan says:

    Thats a Big Joke. Go ahead and ask Neil. Buddy Rich remains the Greatest Drummer in the World. If you do your homework and listen and watch Buddy Rich especially on u tube Buddy Rich Drum Solo l970 you will see and hear the Greatest Drummer in The World. There are no ands ifs or buts. Buddy Rich is Still the Greatest Drummer Ever.

  4. Switched to Buddy Rich says:

    Used to think that Rock Drummers like Travis and Neil and Lars and Keith and even Ringo were something else. Man did I change my opinion after hearing and watching Buddy Rich. No other drummer in the history of music could deliver a super punch in drumming period. I wasted my time all these years listening to rock drummers. All of the drummers like Travis and Lars and Keith are nothing more than Noise and more and more Noise. Buddy Rich is most definitely the most creative musical drummer who ever got behind a set of drums. I am tired of Noise and Smashing and Banging of Drums. I now draw all my attention to Buddy Rich. Now there is a reason for drumming .. Buddy Rich is the Reason

  5. rockfan says:

    Damn, that is impressive. Anyone who knows drums will acknowledge that Peart is a master, and NOT just because he is fastest, most technical etc (although his technical skills are clearly world class) but also because of his phrasing and sense of rhythm, composition, and even harmony. Peart’s drumming was/is a huge part of Rush’s sound, delivering far more than his “third” of the band’s presence. The fact that he has written volumes of insightful, articulate and poetic lyrics may not have direct bearing in the drumming debate, but it does give insight into the breadth of Neil’s creativity and overall approach to the music.

    Mike Portnoy clearly has the technical skills, he looks to be completely at ease playing even the most difficult passages, and his phrasing and composition are awesome. Perhaps he is the new king…

    As far as Buddy Rich…he’s from a different genre and so is hard to compare, but I suspect that neither Neil nor Mike would dispute his title as “the greatest drummer that ever lived”

  6. Buddy Rich Still the Finest Drummer Ever says:

    I get a kick out of people saying Buddy Rich was from a different genre. Above all whether you are playing drums from the Big Band Era of the l940s or to the Current Heavy Metal Genre drums are drums. You can either bang smash cymbals and pound on drums like a Caveman. By the way that is what the new current generation of drummers do. They Pound and Use their Arms to play a set of drums. If you like Extra Loud and Mega Loud Music stick with Heavy Metal and all the Hearing Aid Companies will make a fortune on you. Hearing aids dont come cheap and you will need batteries too when you become deaf. Now if you understand and comprehend great drumming you will listen to and pay attention to Buddy Rich. Here is a man the Worlds Greatest Drummer Buddy Rich who could play all the styles and play them to the upmost. You tell me one drummer out there in Heavy Metal that can take a pair of brushes and play soft and quiet and still swing a band? Its not how loud you play??? its how accurate and pin point definition you use behind a set of drums. Buddy Rich had all these pluses plus every night Buddy Rich got behind a set of drums he created a new and different drum solo. What you are hearing today is nothing but Nursery School Rock Beats that kids learn to play in the play pen. Sorry I prefer to listen to Buddy Rich over all the kids in the play pens. Buddy Rich forever and ever. Buddy Rich

  7. rocket says:

    i am the only living soul left of a era when you needed a fucking psycho ass custodian to mop up my testostorine after beeting down a front of drummers& how i inharited this soul was to apply john bonhams same dna and that only the best sorry buddy , tony go more crying , and you will gain but never conquer. you taste it?

  8. Buddy Rich Dominates the Drum World says:

    Crazy to see drummers with two Bass Drums and one Double Bass Drum Pedal. Hundreds of Cymbals and Toms. They cant play anything but Noise. There is no comparison. You watch and hear whats being played today and its nothing but sixteenth note patterns. No class No Style Just Noise after layer of Noise. Watch the drummers left sticks today? A big joke? They Stay on the Snare and play Basic two and four patterns. Beginning drum books cover this on the first two pages? What a disgrace to see guys pound a set of drums and the fans think they are hot. Just Really Trash Cans being banged . A double bass drum pedal being played fast and right sticks just pounding. Thats not Drumming thats just Noise. Stick with Buddy Rich you will See a Master Drummer. Buddy Rich Forever and Ever.


    Something has to be made Clear about Buddy Rich and any drummer who knows the art of playing a Drum Set without POUNDING and HAMERING on Cymbals does know that it is an ART to play a drum set with class and expertise. First and Foremost how many modern day drummers who play LOUD and LOUDER heavy Metal own a set of BRUSHES? Buddy was a master out of playing brushes. You get these constant copouts that Buddy Rich was from another GENRE of MUSIC thats a joke. Any drummer who Calls himself a Drummer can play ANY STYLE of Music. ??? No such thing as a Rock Drummer a Jazz Drummer a Country Western Drummer a Blues Drummer a Polka Drummer a Hip Hop Drummer. Dont give me that cop out?? A drummer is a drummer. Buddy Rich could play any style of music and make that music sound great sound fantastic. Also remember you dont have to play loud and louder to be a good drummer. ???? If you listen to a drum solo today it all sounds the SAME Exact SAME tons of noise no scientific drumming just pure NOISE loads of NOISE. So when it comes down to the greatest drumming ever just take time out to listen to the MOST DEDICATED Drummer of all time. Mr. Buddy Rich. He was most definitely ONE of a KIND. Buddy Rich the beginning and end of drumming period.

  10. Cant Compare Buddy Rich to any Drummer? says:

    Its a Modern Generation of New Sounds and New Styles a lot of New Modern Drummers. Went to the comparison mode and tried to compare Buddy Rich to Travis Joey Neil Lars and Mike and Ringo and Keith Moon and Dave Weckl and Simon and all the new people out there playing drums???? There is no one who can come close to Buddy Rich. Some thing you see missing in todays modern drumming whether it be metal hip hop fusion or Jazz is this? There is no drum ideas out there? Its the same type drum solo played over and over again. I see spot lights on the stage revolving drum sets two bass drums many many cymbals but the drum solos fall apart after the first minute. They fall short of a drum solo just a barage of noise with added spot lights and special movie tricks like smoke and revolving lights. Thats not drumming thats just a cover up. Buddy Rich played phenominal drum solos that had substance taste and each drum solo was a work of art and precision. What your hearing and seeing today is noise over layer of noise. Also watch the guys playing today they use their ARMS and have their stick heights over fourteen inches to make a bounce. they use their ARMS instead of their wrists. Dead give away to show you they POUND a set of drums. A big Joke. Its all in the WRISTS. Buddy Rich played with total control using his WRISTS not his arms. Dont give the different GENRE thing a thought. You heard Buddy Rich behind a set of drums you heard the GREATEST sounding Snare drum and his Toms were tuned like an orchestra. You listen and watch today it sounds all the same. Cardboard Box Drum Sounds cymbals sound like Breaking Plates and Bass Drums sound like Storage Boxes dropping off the loading dock. You can not compare Buddy Rich to any drummer out there. There is no comparison. Buddy Rich was the total Musician. the Musical Drummer.

  11. dokken1 says:

    Dream Theater is in the studio again, and I can’t wait to see what magic they produce!

  12. Never Another Buddy Rich says:

    Lots of Wanna Bee Drummers out there who really think they can play one Rock Beat and Pound and Crucify a Set of Drums and think they are the shining drummer of all time? If you see some drummer pounding on a high hat and playing straight eight notes and using the same over and over again Noise hard rock heavy metal sounds you know its a fake who needs lights and loud amps to cover up his sloppy playing. Guys who grip their sticks like handle bars on a bike and play with stick heights over five to six inches from the drums are really sand box drummers. Buddy Rich was simply a technician who used his wrists to rebound a stick. Buddy never needed to play behind guitar players playing so loud you could not hear the rest of the band. Its not how loud you play its how well you can play a drum rudiment bounce your sticks and above all be musical. Pull every rock drummer out there and ask them to play a one handed buzz roll or above all play five or six drum rhythms at one time and they are lost in traffic. Each and Every Rock drum sound is in four four time and its the basic kinder garten drumming that a monkey can play. Buddy Rich the Master Drummer was far beyond basic rock drumming he chose a path of drumming that no one and repeat no one can duplicate. If you like the most primitive easy easy easy drumming stick with rock and heavy metal. If you like to advance and want to play above and beyond listen to and watch Buddy Rich

  13. You guys are fanboys says:

    wow, you mean lots of wanna be drummer no-it-alls here. lets get some clarification:
    Mike Portnoy is not the greatest drummer but he is a great drummer. he doesn’t stick to just 4/4’s and if you think that your stupid, you’ve seen what? one clip of him drumming? so you know the limits of his skill?

    Metal is all noise? that is definetly a biased opinion, no fact what-so-ever, you obviously don’t get it, you don’t understand metal, and what is good metal and what is bad metal.

    Buddy Rich can play anything? that doesn’t sound like something the man himself would say, their are so many unique drummers out their who operate on different levels then anyone else, timing flourishes, chops, how they piece it all together in a song can be something of their own creation that the only way someone else could play it would be by imitating that persons creation.

    The Greatest Drummer is an opinion of its self. Some believe its Neil Peart, I personally think its John Bonham, Some think its Keith Moon. Others may look at modern music and think that Danny Carey, Mike Portnoy, Tomas Haake, Jeremiah Green, or even Kris Myers is the greatest, just on how unique their play style is.

    Technique, Buddy Rich used the gladstone system, which is used by many drummers as a way of overcoming speed and stamina barriers, playing smarter not harder. But on the other hand you got drummers out their like Dariusz Brzozowski who prove that you can have insane speed and stamina doing it the hard way.

    Listen to what you like, don’t play music your not into, its ok to have a niche that is just yours, i like to think i have mine.

    Side note: With the gladstone system to hit louder you increase the striking distance betwean your arms and drums, so the louder you want to drum the slower your fills and rolls become, when i want to shake the very foundation of the building i ditch the gladstone system grip my sticks and throw my body into it. call it noise but it is music to my ears.

  14. They All Sound Alike Heavyy Metal and Cardboard Boxes says:

    All of the fan boys are right on time when they say Buddy Rich is the greatest drummer to draw breath. Listened to Mike and all the others its the same loud overplayed metal drumming. Cymbals sound like breaking dishes and drums are cereal boxes. Its not about four four time or time changes its all about style and how you play a musical set of drums. If the guys turn their amps up and force the so called heavy metal drummer to play louder he must really make more cymbal pounding and even make his drums sound like cardboard boxes falling off the crate. Thats not called Music thats called listening to the sounds of boxes falling down steps and cymbals with the sound of plates falling on the floor. Nothing to do with drumming or music its all about how loud you can play? Once again the wanna be drummers and the fans of Buddy Rich are exactly right. Put on a Buddy Rich drum solo or watch a Buddy Rich drum solo and you will hear and see the Master Drummer.

  15. Paradiddle Paul says:

    Want to add my observations about drummers today and whats going on? Without a doubt musical styles and pop music have changed so much its hard to keep track of what the young generation wants and demands in music? As far as drummers go? You can sum it all up this way. Volume and more Volume. Its either you have to have a lot of drums and to be good you must play them the very loudest way it takes? Really and sincerely this is not music or good drumming. After going thru all the rock drummers and that includes all the heavy metal drummers I have made a complete ninety degree turn around and changed to jazz drummers. And the reason is very clear they play better drums. By this I mean they use better control of dynamics that meaning they can play soft and then build up to a loud crecendo and tone it down and play soft all over again The Jazz Drummers have it over the Rock drummers in so many ways. Their rolls and rudiments are better and cleaner. Also their co ordination patterns between the bass drums and cymbals are far more technical. After hearing blasting guitars for so many years I have given up on noise and loud rock music. Its all the same. The School of Heavy Metal is just nothing more than pure noise. So I will take the Jazz drummers any day over the Dime a Dozen Rock and heavy metal drummers.

  16. Carl says:

    Everything said about Buddy Rich is true. He may have been a tough person to work for but oh man how he could drum. Something I noticed about Buddy Rich when I saw and heard him was this. He seperated himself from every other drummer out there. He would start a song off with a drum solo and he would let you know in his own way he was the Boss. Other drummers out there think just wish and prayed they could catch up with him in ideas speed and clean playing. Buddy would never ever consider himself to be the lesser drummer. He would prove to you and the entire percussion world that he was boss. Like he said in interviews I take no prisoners. He would destroy you and never ever let you come close to him in drum skills. I see drummers try to edge up to him and play like him they fell flat on their faces. He screamed at the members in his own bands. Too many times he would yell and even find faults with his own playing. He wanted you to give one hundred fifty percent of yourself if you were on his stage. He also expected himself to play better and better every night he got behind those drums. Buddy was his own worst critic. One night I saw him take a drum solo on Channel One suite In Boston and he had drummers in the audience crying their eyes out in disbelief? He would do this one handed roll with his left stick and then quickly very quickly go from tom toms floor toms and small toms and snare drums and make it so clean precision and fast it was a blur. His bass drum pedal would roll with one foot. But what I respected the most of Buddy Rich was that he was a team player he would intermingle with all the guys in his band. He would bolster his trumpet section his trombones . his sax section. His bass man and him would work like a great Quarter Back and Wide End Receiver. All of the guys in the buddy rich big band were like a great great football team. Everyone did their share of the work but all at the same time Buddy Rich was the Boss. He would scold you if you were not playing up to his standards but at the same time he would be pushing and driving you to play the best you could. Buddy Rich to this date was the intergral force behind a set of drums. Too see him play live was like watching the greatest show on a set of drums. All of his drum solos were encyclopedias in drumming. Never a same same drum solo for Buddy. He would pull all the stops out each and every night and give you a display of drumming that books and pictures and drum workshops could not even come close too. Buddy Rich the most spectacular drummer of all time. Buddy Rich

  17. Very well written post however, I would recommend that you turn the No Follow off in your comment section.

    Keep up the good work.

  18. Victor says:

    I get a kick out of reading all these captions on drummers. For seventy plus years I have been exposed to drumming. Rock Drumming and Big Band Jazz Drumming and Rap Drumming and you name it drumming. I have seen all the so called rock drummers heard them play their hearts out and watched them endorse all these cymbal companies and drum companies. Seen Them All and Heard them all. One drummer takes the Front Seat and makes all the so called rock drummers rap drummers look like small midgets. One man behind the set of drums was the Master the Technician the Best of the Best Drummers ever. His name was Buddy Rich. Buddy Rich

  19. Nathan says:

    Pushed Seventeen Years Studying Percussion and did the drum clinics and watched all these Rock Drummers try to convince me that their so called Rock Bands were something else? A Big Joke to me. Any one who knows anything about percussion and drums period knows that Buddy Rich could not be compared. If you go to a studio or drum shop and see these so called drummers playing behind two bass drum set ups and lots of toms around them and a barage of tons of cymbals dont let that impress you. That just a set up showing how many drums they can have set up around them. Buddy Rich had an old standard set of drums just one bass drum a floor tom and a small tom and a few cymbals. Buddy played rings and circles around all the current drummers out there today. What I admired so much about Buddy Rich and what set him apart from all the Rock Drummers and Metal Drummers was this. Buddy Rich played new ideas every time he played. He had all the speed and dexterity that was ever played behind a set of drums. He never resorted to over played rock drum phrases and he never hammered a set of drums. He played with complete clean drumming and his drums were always melodic and he played behind that Big Band of His and Blended in with the other musicians in his band. There was one time I will never ever forget? The Buddy Rich Big Band was playing in Baltimore Maryland and Buddy did his usual long drum solo on Channel One Suite and all of a sudden the lights went out and the spot light just one old standard spot light stayed on him. Clear as Day Buddy shouted Turn the Spot Light Out. I know what I am doing. He played such a dynamic single stroke roll and brought it down to a shallow whisper and then all of a sudden he brought that roll up to a thunderous wave that sounded like the Ocean in its full force was coming in front of the band stand. I saw the guys in his band look at him in amazement? His own musicians were enthralled by his expertise. The crowd applauded and cheered so much after his dynamic drum solo and he played three extra tunes. Buddy Rich the one and only Buddy Rich.

  20. Leonard says:

    Have to say Yes to Buddy Rich, Everyone I am hearing out there today sound like Robot Drummers. Granted some have speed and cool sounding bass drums and nice looking tatoos. Flashing lights on the stage and all the funny hats. So went to a compact disc shop and bought a video called Buddy Rich at the Top. You got to be kidding me? How and the world can one man play a drum kit that incredible? Buddy Rich did this drum solo on an arrangement called West Side Story. So what all these critics are saying about Buddy Rich??? I will echo my sendiments and agree with them whole heartedly Buddy Rich is truly the greatest drummer ever. Forget Heavy Metal Drummers. You want class drumming check out Buddy Rich

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