For all the drum teachers out there who offer private lessons to students of all ages and abilities, here is a resource you can use with your students when they ask about a genre of music that maybe is not your expertise, but that you can certainly help them with if given the right direction. As most of us know, there is an unlimited number of bands, and therefore we can only follow a certain amount at any given time. I compiled this list after having several moments where I didn't quite know where to take a student based on what their interests were.
When teaching a student metal drumming, which I have a finite knowledge of, I would sort of scramble to find something interesting and that had strong musical content for me to draw lesson material from. It wasn't necessarily the best choice, and so to make sure I always had the best choice of drummer for the occasion, I began researching and making lists of drummers for each genre.
I would also note several key albums, so the next time a student asks who the best blast-drummer is, I would know which drummer for them to check out, as well as some key albums that highlight their drumming.
These are by no means definitive lists, and I am open to suggestions, put comment in the comment section, or send me an email.
If you think this is a good resource for other teachers then please share!
1. Neil Peart
Best known as the drummer of prog-rock band Rush, Neil Peart is considered one of the most influential rock drummers of all time.
Moving Pictures (Rush)
2. John Bonham
Drummer for the British rock band Led Zeppelin, there might not be a single rock drummer on the planet who doesn't site "Bonzo" as an influence on the instrument. His unique style and sound have given Led Zeppelin an instantly recognizable sound.
Led Zeppelin I
Led Zeppelin II
Led Zeppelin IV
3. Dave Grohl
Drummer for Nirvana and has also worked with Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails.
In Utero (Nirvana)
Songs for the Deaf (Queens of the Stone Age)
4. Todd Sucherman
Best known for having been a member of Styx since March 1995.
Return to Paradise (Styx)
Live at Riverport (Styx)
5. Jon Theodore
The original drummer of the Mars Volta, and current drummer for Queens of the Stone Age.
Deloused in the Comatorium (The Mars Volta)
Frances the Mute (The Mars Volta)
One Day As a Lion
1. Bill Bruford
Drummer for King Crimson, Yes, Gong, and bandleader of Earthworks. Bill Bruford was a pioneer in world of progressive drumming.
Red (King Crimson)
Discipline (King Crimson)
Close to the Edge (Yes)
2. Matt Garstka
One of the great young drummers of the genre, Matt Garstka pushes the boundaries of progressive music. He is best known as the drummer for Animals As Leaders.
The Madness of Many (Animals As Leaders)
Live 2017 (Animals As Leaders)
3. Jojo Mayer
Virtuoso Austrian drummer who was one of the main proponents of progressive electro-drumming.
The Distance Between Zero and One (NERVE)
4. Vinnie Colaiuta
An inductee of the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame, Vinnie Colaiuta is considered one of the most influential drummers of all time.
Joe’s Garage (Frank Zappa)
Ten Summoner’s Tales (Sting)
Vinnie Colaiuta (Vinnie Colaiuta)
5. Mike Portnoy
Ex-Dream Theater and inductee into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame.
Systematic Chaos (Dream Theater)
Awake (Dream Theater)
Scenes from a Memory (Dream Theater)
Liquid Tension Experiment
One of the most recorded drummers in history. Has made his mark in several different genres.
1. Steve Gadd
Aja (Steely Dan)
Friends (Chick Corea)
One-Trick Pony (Paul Simon)
2. Jeff Porcaro
First call session drummer in the 80s who had a knack for creating unique grooves that influenced the future generations.
Toto IV (Toto)
Thriller (Michael Jackson)
The Nightfly (Donald Fagen)
3. Bernard Purdie
Studio legend and inventor of the infamous "Pretty Purdie Shuffle"
Young, Gifted and Black (Aretha Franklin)
Live at the Fillmore West (Aretha Franklin)
Soul Drums (Bernard Purdie)
4. Hal Blaine
Claiming over 35,000 recording sessions and 6,000 singles, Hal Blaine's drumming is featured on 150 US top 10 hits, 40 of which went to number one.
Pet Sounds (Beach Boys)
Bookends (Simon & Garfunkel)
Leisure Time (Hal Blaine & The Young Cougars)
5. Jim Keltner
One of L.A.'s busiest studio drummers since the 1960s.
The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 (The Traveling Wilburys)
Bring the Family (John Hiatt)
Salutations (Conor Oberst)
1. Derek Roddy
His ability to record entire drum tracks in one or two takes earned him the nickname "One Take".
I, Monarch (Hate Eternal)
Black Seeds of Vengeance (Nile)
Serpents Rise (Any Album)
2. Danny Carey
Known for his work with the group Tool.
3. Gene Hoglan
A highly-influential drummer known for his creative use of double-pedals.
Alien (Strapping Young Lad)
Dark Roots of Earth (Testament)
Individual Thought Patterns (Death)
4. Joey Jordison
Best known for his work with Slipknot, and is considered one of most influential metal drummers of all-time.
The All-Star Sessions (Roadrunner United)
5. Tomas Haake
Drummer and principal songwriter for metal superband Meshuggah. As been named Best Metal Drummer by Modern Drummer Magazine.
The Violent Sleep of Reason (Meshuggah)
1. Elvin Jones
A Love Supreme (John Coltrane)
My Favorite Things (John Coltrane)
Puttin' It Together (Elvin Jones)
2. Max Roach
Study In Brown (Clifford Brown & Max Roach)
Parisian Sketches (Max Roach)
3. Tony Williams
Miles Smiles (Miles Davis)
E.S.P. (Miles Davis)
Empyrean Isles (Herbie Hancock)
4. Papa Jo Jones
Count Basie at Newport (Count Basie)
The Essential Jo Jones (Papa Jo Jones)
Jo Jones Trio (Papa Jo Jones)
5. Buddy Rich
Big Swing Face (Buddy Rich Big Band)
The Drum Battle (B. Rich, G. Krupa)
Lester Young Trio (Lester Young)
1. Eric Harland
13th Floor (Eric Harland)
Invisible Cinema (Aaron Parks)
Back East (Joshua Redman)
2. Ari Hoenig
The Painter (Ari Hoenig)
Bert’s Playground (Ari Hoenig)
Jazz Side of the Moon: Music of Pink Floyd
3. Nate Smith
Pathways (Dave Holland)
Critical Mass (Dave Holland)
Underground (Chris Potter)
4. Brian Blade
Pursuance (Kenny Garrett)
Trilogy (Chick Corea, Christian McBride, B. Blade)
Footprints Live! (Wayne Shorter)
5. Mark Guiliana
Family First (Mark Guiliana)
Beyond Now (Donny McCaslin)
Mehliana (M. Guiliana, Brad Mehldau)
1. Clyde Stubblefied
In the Jungle Groove (James Brown)
I Got the Feelin’ (James Brown)
The Original Funky Drummer Breakbeat Album
2. Mike Clark
Thrust (Herbie Hancock)
Heritage (Eddie Henderson)
The Funk Stops Here (Mike Clark & Paul Jackson)
3. Zigaboo Modeliste
Cissy Strut (The Meters)
Struttin’ (The Meters)
I’m on the Right Track (Zigaboo Modeliste)
4. Stanton Moore
Flyin’ the Koop (Stanton Moore)
All Kooked Out (Stanton Moore)
The Other Side of Midnight (Galactic)
5. David Garibaldi
Back to Oakland (Tower of Power)
East Bay Grease (Tower of Power)
Soul Vaccination (Tower of Power)
1. Chris Dave
Black Messiah (D’Angelo)
Chris Dave and the Drumhedz
Double Booked (Robert Glasper)
2. Steve Jordan
Continuum (John Mayer)
Try (John Mayer)
Made In America (Blues Brothers)
3. Adam Deitch
Uberjam (John Scofield)
Up All Night (John Scofield)
Tonight (Average White Band)
4. Karreem Riggins
The Evolution of Oneself (Orrin Evans)
Emily’s D+Evolution (Esperanza Spalding)
Welcome 2 Detroit (J Dilla)
5. Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson
How I Got Over (The Roots)
Phrenology (The Roots)
1. Dafnis Prieto
About the Monks (Dafnis Prieto)
Absolute Quintet (Dafnis Prieto)
Taking the Soul for a Walk (Dafnis Prieto)
2. Ignacio Berroa
Heritage and Passion (Ignacio Berroa)
Worldwide (Giovanni Hidalgo)
Supernova (Gonzalo Rubalcaba)
3. Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez
Habana (Roy Hargrove)
Thru My Eyes (Michel Camilo)
El Negro and Robby at The Third World War (H. Hernandez, R. Ameen)
4. Airto Moreira
Live at the Fillmore East (Miles Davis)
Weather Report (Weather Report)
5. Trilok Gurtu
1. Terry Bozzio
Solo Drum Music
2. Ari Hoenig
The Life of a Day
3. Dan Weiss
Tintal Drumset Solos
Jhaptal Drumset Solos
4. Nate Smith
5. Billy Martin
illy B Eats Vol.1 Groove Bang and Jive Around