In thinking more about pursuing drumming in a way I haven’t done before, I’ve given more thought to those players that I admire. Should any of these guys run across this post, please don’t take offense at your placement. I’ll have no qualms bumping you up the list should you contact me.

  • 10. Darren King, MuteMath
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    Have yet to see him live, but any drummer that has to duct tape headphones to his head has to either have serious chops or a muscle control problem. It’s most of the former, as far as I know. Wikipedia says he’s “well known for intense drum beats that showcase a vast amount of energy.”

  • 9. Will Champion, Coldplay
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    Steady. Deceptively simple yet evocative. As with all those in this list, he’s a perfect fit for the band he’s in.

  • 8. Keith Moon, The Who
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    Some might think, “Really, Moon is this low?” Well, I’m not well aquainted with The Who oeuvre, but I know he had the chops. And have you heard about the Keith Moon biopic staring Mike Myers?

  • 7. Larry Mullen, Jr., U2
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    A working-man’s drummer. Steady as a rock. Never overplays. Does exactly what is necessary. In some respects, he reminds me of Ringo Starr: the bedrock player for the world’s biggest band.

  • 6. Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters
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    A quintessential rock drummer. A perfect blend of simple complexity. Aggressive without being overbearing. Just knows how to rock.

  • 5. Stewart Copeland, The Police
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    A musician, then a drummer; a rare breed indeed. Purposefully and tastefully plays nearly anything that isn’t four-on-the-floor, snare-on-two-and-four kinds of beats. Inimitable.

  • 4. John Bonham, Led Zeppelin
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    Because no respectable drummer can make a list like this and not include Bonzo. A drummer to be emulated (at least stylistically).

  • 3. Dominic Howard, Muse
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    Fat. Powerful. Heavy. Orchestral. Emotive. Impressive. The more I listen, the more I want to be that kind of drummer. And possibly placed so high in the list because he’s a recent influence.

  • 2. Carter Beauford, Dave Matthews Band
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    Carter was one of my early drumming heroes. One of the most technically skilled drummers in the business. He plays busy, but it works perfectly as part of DMB. I always have and always will marvel at his abilities.

  • 1. Brandon Graves, Waterdeep
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    [Upper left in photo] You probably haven’t heard of Brandon. The first time I ever heard him play a solo, on Waterdeep’s Live at the New Earth, I was sure I was going to quit playing drums because I couldn’t imagine ever being that good. Alternately, I thought he might have been a multi-armed Hindu deity, until seeing him perform live. (He’s not). To me, his style, technical proficiency, and flat-out ability to rock are what I aspire to.

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