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Settle the debate -- the better drummer

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
My friends and I have long argued over who the better drummer is, Neal Peart or Stewart Copeland, with me firmly in the Copeland camp. Now granted, I don't have anywhere near the musical knowledge of some of you, but to my ear, Copeland just does some uncanny things with a pair of sticks. But I'd be very interested to hear what some of you out there think (especially Mikah, whose musical acumen never ceases to amaze me) of the two, or of any other drummers you think are worthy of dethroning either one.
post #2 of 29
Quote:
Poxy Von Sinister:
My friends and I have long argued over who the better drummer is, Neal Peart or Stewart Copeland, with me firmly in the Copeland camp. Now granted, I don't have anywhere near the musical knowledge of some of you, but to my ear, Copeland just does some uncanny things with a pair of sticks. But I'd be very interested to hear what some of you out there think (especially Mikah, whose musical acumen never ceases to amaze me) of the two, or of any other drummers you think are worthy of dethroning either one.
Neal Peart is fantastic, but Copeland can't be topped, imo. If you check out the Pat Metheny boards you will see there's been a long heated battle in regards to who the best drummers are and Copeland keeps topping that list. Hell, they gave him his own thread. LOL
post #3 of 29
As a drummer, I'd have to go with...

the guy from Nickleback.

Okay, I've had a few too many Tanqueray and tonics tonight. Sue me.

Anyway, I'm a big fan of both Copeland and Peart, actually, although I seldom listen to either of them a whole lot nowadays. I probably spent more of my formative drummer years playing along to Peart (especially Moving Pictures through Presto-era Rush), and this probably helped me more with playing in the off time-signature, unusual arrangements, etc. But Copeland demonstrated such a unique and ear-catching style in songs that were fundamentally more simple that I give him huge props. I mean, a song like "Roxanne" could be played very straightforward, and it would't pack half the punch, even if the public at large probably doesn't realize this.

For better or worse, though, Peart also writes the lyrics and is probably more mistake-free than Copeland live. But, personally, I dig a good mistake if covered well. And Copeland was hired by Peter Gabrial just for his hi-hat on "Red Rain." Now, that's impressive.

Although, on top of that, Copeland participated in Animal Logic, which is fairly horrid, except for the fact that he and Stanley Clark played in it. Peart has stayed with the tried-and-true.

So, basically, it's a draw for me.

That said, I dig Keith Moon and John Bonham even more, and, technically speaking, Peart and Copeland could play rings around them. It's all about style, and all these guys have it.

As far as more modern rock drummers go, it's hard to beat Jimmy Chamberlain and Matt Cameron for matching individual style with chops.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
DaveB Battles the Pink Robots:
As a drummer, I'd have to go with...

the guy from Nickleback.

Okay, I've had a few too many Tanqueray and tonics tonight. Sue me.

Anyway, I'm a big fan of both Copeland and Peart, actually, although I seldom listen to either of them a whole lot nowadays. I probably spent more of my formative drummer years playing along to Peart (especially Moving Pictures through Presto-era Rush), and this probably helped me more with playing in the off time-signature, unusual arrangements, etc. But Copeland demonstrated such a unique and ear-catching style in songs that were fundamentally more simple that I give him huge props. I mean, a song like "Roxanne" could be played very straightforward, and it would't pack half the punch, even if the public at large probably doesn't realize this.

For better or worse, though, Peart also writes the lyrics and is probably more mistake-free than Copeland live. But, personally, I dig a good mistake if covered well. And Copeland was hired by Peter Gabrial just for his hi-hat on "Red Rain." Now, that's impressive.

Although, on top of that, Copeland participated in Animal Logic, which is fairly horrid, except for the fact that he and Stanley Clark played in it. Peart has stayed with the tried-and-true.

So, basically, it's a draw for me.

That said, I dig Keith Moon and John Bonham even more, and, technically speaking, Peart and Copeland could play rings around them. It's all about style, and all these guys have it.

As far as more modern rock drummers go, it's hard to beat Jimmy Chamberlain and Matt Cameron for matching individual style with chops.
Good post. I like Nickelback. I haven't listened to any of Stewart's new stuff post Police, but I understand that his new band has one of the former Primus members in it. They are supposed to be pretty kickin'. I didn't know that he was the drummer on "Red Rain"!! So cool. I love Peter Gabriel and I love that song, so that was nice to read. Peart himself has had some nice comments in regards to Copeland and that in itself shows mutual respect for a fellow craftsman. I don't believe musicians themselves (of any real cailper) would rate each other the way us commoners do anyway. They're ALL good...just different levels of expertise and styles. I'm a big fan of Paul Wertico and most say...uh...who? So it all comes down to personal taste for the most part. I also think that it was Peart's lyrics that helped elevate Rush to the level they attained. I was never a fan of Lee's voice, but the lyrics and percussion were enough to keep me listening. I saw them perform live once. I have never heard The Police live ever and have had to live with that frustration for YEARS! But I read this evening that Sting, Andy and Stewart have a surprise in store for us. One can only pray.
post #5 of 29
Quote:
DaveB Battles the Pink Robots:
As far as more modern rock drummers go, it's hard to beat Jimmy Chamberlain and Matt Cameron for matching individual style with chops.
And may I add the most under-rated drummer to that list: Dave Grohl. Not only for his work with Nirvana and Foo Fighters, but I've heard an advance copy of Queens of the Stone Ages' Songs For The Deaf, on which he drums, and it is simply amazing.
post #6 of 29
I'd also have to add Tool's Danny Carey for pure technical brilliance mixed with an insane style.
post #7 of 29
Beat me to it. Danny Carey is a MACHINE.
post #8 of 29
"Stanton Moore is the greatest living drummer on the planet" Trey Anastasio.

I agree with him.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Avalon:
Good post. I like Nickelback.
I was being facetious there, actually. And drunk.

Quote:
I didn't know that he was the drummer on "Red Rain"!!
Actually, that's the cool part. He wasn't the drummer. Gabriel just brought him in to play hi-hat on the track.

Agreed about the guy from Tool, too. He's amazing.

I like Grohl, but I find him a tad overrated, actually. He's a good, solid, powerful drummer, but he's only put out a couple things that really blow me away, as far as originality or technique go. Rather see him on a best drummers list than a best guitarists list, though.
post #10 of 29
Why do you suppose they call Neal Peart The Professor?

I just love it when he plays two sets on the rotating platform...never misses a damn beat.
post #11 of 29
But if you want power...Lars Ulrich.
post #12 of 29
Carter. Beauford. Period.
post #13 of 29
If double bass is your thing: Raymond FUCKING Herrera.
post #14 of 29
You really can't compare these guys very well on a technical level because they play completely different styles.

Peart is cool but I was a little put off by the fact he did the same drum solo for 15 years. Rush's music hasn't aged all that well with me either, but the playing that's there is perfect for the music. He's a technical monster, and I'm a long-time Rush fan so it's not like I think he sucks, but...

I give it Copeland, who's always been more understated and subtle in his playing. His work with the Police STILL surprises me - things I didn't notice for years and years that make those songs great are right there if you take a moment and look at them. His work on the hte Rumblefish soundtrack is something I find really surprising and cool, and the Rhythmatist project he did while travelling Africa was a surprise totally out of left field.

Peart is obviously a very talented musician, and his playing influenced a LOT of drummers who regard hm as a hero, but I think Copeland is cooler and more tasteful.

That said, Tomas Haake from Meshuggah could beat both of their tired asses into the ground, heh.
post #15 of 29
First, to contribute to the off-tiopic direction:

I'd have to say that Virgil Donati to be one of the bestest drummers on Earth. He plays with a variety of prog-rock people, but I heard him on this one particular one called Planet X with Tony macalpine and Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater....holy crap. Talk about double bass drumming...I'd LOVE to see Raymond Herrera even TOUCH this Planet X song called "Dog Boots."

He's unstoppably good. Technically.

For primal rock drumming, I think Bonham was the king. Moon is a close second, but he's cut down slightly by the anemic production of many The Who songs and albums, especially those produced by Kit Lambert.

Strictly for jazz and pop, I'd say Omar Hakim is unfuckwitable. He's the guy who succeeded Copeland as STing's solo drummer for his first two records. For proof of his greatness, watch the live performance of "I Burn For You" on Sting's "Bring on the Night" documentary.

For all-around coolness, I have to defer to Kofi Baker, the son of Ginger Baker from Cream. Again, he plays with a lot of jazz and prog people, but he's just beyond amazing. Apt. Q-258 (yes, that is the name this guy performs under) is also a Baker-like master of all styles.

NOW THEN...as for who's better...Peart or Copeland...?

Make mine Copeland. peart is amazing technically, and on many other levels. But I give Copeland the edge because his unorthodox style made so much of so little. I mean, I love The Police, and I REALLY love Andy Summers' guitar work with them, but when I hear their records these days, I often listen for Stewart's stuff.

Take "Demolition Man," for example. It's a static, never-changing song consisting of exactly ONE 8-second riff repeated ad infinitum for 6 minutes. But it never gets old to me because of the absolutely dynamic Copeland drumming. He weaves in and out of verses and choruses like a bird that's taken flight, and even when he settles on a groove for a bit, it's full of life and not staid.

And for hit-hat/cymbal stuff, there is NO other drummer better. Not one. Just listening to stuff like "Miss "Murder by Numbers" or his stuff with Oysterhead...he has mastered the hi-hat like no one else I've ever heard.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
mikah912:
I'd say Omar Hakim is unfuckwitable...For proof of his greatness, watch the live performance of "I Burn For You" on Sting's "Bring on the Night" documentary.
That is a fucking AWESOME. Yes, the man shreds.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Kronos:
But if you want power...Lars Ulrich.
"We know Lars will never be drummer of the year..." James Hetfield

I agree with him
post #18 of 29
Quote:
DaveB Battles the Pink Robots:
Quote:
Avalon:
Good post. I like Nickelback.
I was being facetious there, actually. And drunk.

Quote:
I didn't know that he was the drummer on "Red Rain"!!
Actually, that's the cool part. He wasn't the drummer. Gabriel just brought him in to play hi-hat on the track.

Agreed about the guy from Tool, too. He's amazing.

I like Grohl, but I find him a tad overrated, actually. He's a good, solid, powerful drummer, but he's only put out a couple things that really blow me away, as far as originality or technique go. Rather see him on a best drummers list than a best guitarists list, though.
LOL! That's quite alright if you were being facetious and drunk. I still like 'em! I like Godsmack too. Not that they are too much alike, but I thought of them today. Anyways...if Gabriel only brought Copeland in to play high-hat that's okay. He could have had him brought in to bang on two Campbell soup cans and I'd still be thrilled to hear he was a part of that awesome song.


Micah....my friends in Cali have been plugging Dream Theatre quite heavily for the past month. I'd like to hear your overall opinion of them, if you wouldn't mind. I read here that you are quite knowledgeable in regards to music, so your opinion would be appreciated.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Avalon:
Micah....my friends in Cali have been plugging Dream Theatre quite heavily for the past month. I'd like to hear your overall opinion of them, if you wouldn't mind. I read here that you are quite knowledgeable in regards to music, so your opinion would be appreciated.
I like them kind of in spite of theirselves.

Incredibly talented, and they CAN write some really good songs, but more often than not they reach for epic structures and complexity just for the sake of it, and it becomes an exercise in futility.

Still...they're well worth a listen if you're a fan of musicianship and something truly different.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
mikah912:
Quote:
Avalon:
Micah....my friends in Cali have been plugging Dream Theatre quite heavily for the past month. I'd like to hear your overall opinion of them, if you wouldn't mind. I read here that you are quite knowledgeable in regards to music, so your opinion would be appreciated.
I like them kind of in spite of theirselves.

Incredibly talented, and they CAN write some really good songs, but more often than not they reach for epic structures and complexity just for the sake of it, and it becomes an exercise in futility.

Still...they're well worth a listen if you're a fan of musicianship and something truly different.
Thank you for your take. "Different" always perks my ears. I was sent a link to listen to a couple of songs and they keep pushing me to get their cd. You can't always judge by the recordings so I've been curious. Hmmm..I'm not too keen on hearing that futility comment though. Hopefully they will improve? *g*

Just to get back on topic, I've seen Guster perform live twice now (unintentionally as they were kick-offs to a headliner), but I wanted to say that I was really impressed with their drummer. Sorry I can't think of his name at the moment, but he plays a full set and instead of using sticks he uses his hands wrapped up in white tape. He was pretty damn good. I have never seen other drummers do this, so maybe it's not knew, but it's cool to watch.
post #21 of 29
Ack! Let me clarify. My friends sent the link.
post #22 of 29
Damn! NEW not knew.
post #23 of 29
as a drummer? copeland.

as a person who is a not very proficient drummer, i look up to anyone who can keep a beat with both their hands and their feet. (hee! i rhyme!) because that's something i just.can't.do.
post #24 of 29
Micah wins by invoking Omar Hakim. I'll now drop the name of Victor Bisetti, percussionist extraoridinaire from Los Lobos.
post #25 of 29
Oh, and in reply to the question at hand..... Copeland, though Peart is an amazing technician.
post #26 of 29
Who needs drums when you have...
<img src="http://www.gipsykings.com/img/band.jpg" alt="" />
post #27 of 29
The Gypsy Kings...

The greatest "Spanish" flamenco musicians ever to come from France.

And above...when I was mentioning great Police tunes to hear Stewart Copeland at his best, I somehow inadvertently cut off "Miss Gradenko" and fused it with "Murder by Numbers."

Check out BOTH of those songs, folks.
post #28 of 29
Do some research here: <a href="http://www.drummerworld.com/index2.html" target="_blank">http://www.drummerworld.com/index2.html</a>
post #29 of 29
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