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Why 2 drummers?

Gandalf5150

Member
Messages
1,240
Been watchin ABB and Joe B recently. Both use 2 drummers.
A quick google check shows many 70s UK pop bands used 2 drummers, as did: The Grateful Dead, The Doobie Brothers and Phil Collins uses Chester Thompson and on several songs.


My question is why? What's the benefit?


Surely 1 drummer can play more freely and improv fills etc easier.
 

scienceguy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,183
I don't know about the others, but I read somewhere that Duane wanted two drummers in the ABB because he didn't think one drummer would be loud enough...
Playing in a band with two drummers is kinda like playing with two guitar players or two keyboard players. It's best when roles/parts are clearly defined.
When I first started playing back in the 70s, we had two drummers (we did a lot of ABB), and when I played with another group with only one drummer, it sounded so.... empty.
What's the benefit? It sounds awesome, especially if the two drummers can read each other. On the other hand, it might be overkill if your two drummers are Neil Peart and Phil Ehart...
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,928
Ya, besides it being kinda cool I'm not sure why. You'd need two REALLY good drummers to pull it off.
 

Elev8

Member
Messages
363
Same reason guitarists double up or use chorus pedals.
Fatter sound... Stereo effects... lots of reasons.
 

dlguitar64

Senior Member
Messages
5,627
I agree completely-i understand a drum set/hand drums duo ala Weather Report or Santana but 2 drum sets always seemed redundant and restricting to me.
 

mifar55

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
643
It's just like two guitar players. One is a time keeper and, one plays riffs.
 

Franklin

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,167
It works for the Allmans, 2 drummer and a percussion player. I really like their line up. For Joe B, at least on the Live at Royal Hall show, the two drummers seemed to be playing the exact same thing. That I do not understand so much.

My band has two drummers, one lead drummer and one who is the 2nd. The 2nd drummer plays off of the 1st and does a lot of fills and percussion stuff -especially when we jam. He also plays keys and sings.
 

celticelk

Member
Messages
1,940
Sonny Sharrock liked to use two drummers because "I like the time to be a little ****ed up." =) Apart from the already-mentioned groups, the only other two-drummer band I can think of is Kylesa, in which the drummers play very similar patterns but on opposite sides of the stereo spectrum.
 

fwguitar

Member
Messages
314
A few years ago at a festival I saw the worst band I have ever seen: Deathboat

They had two drummers playing the exact same punk beats. Pretty useless.

They also had two bass and three guitars and all of them sucked!!
 

Ben

Member
Messages
156
Sonny Sharrock liked to use two drummers because "I like the time to be a little ****ed up." =) Apart from the already-mentioned groups, the only other two-drummer band I can think of is Kylesa, in which the drummers play very similar patterns but on opposite sides of the stereo spectrum.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band uses two drummers as well; probably the ABB influence.
 

therhodeo

Member
Messages
10,070
It makes sense for what the ABB does. Trucks is Malcolm and Jaimoe is Angus. 2 drummers for them adds alot to their extended jams. I've seen other bands on the other hand who have 2 drummers playing the exact same thing and to me thats stupid.
 

Scott57

Member
Messages
2,514
I think the first time I saw a performance with two drummers was the in the film, "The Concert for Bangladesh." I remember thinking just how cool that was.
 

Tri7/5

Member
Messages
1,525
Moody blues did it once and iirc, it was a rythym/riff type thing.
They still do for their live shows. Part of it is the drummer speaks poetry on some songs and can't play during that time. The other drummer has a more orchestral type set (chimes, large deep floor toms, bigger crashing cymbals) as well for different sounds. The other part is he's like 70 now and can't play it quite as verbatim as he used to.
 

VicAjax

Male Supermodel
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,552
Rich vs. Roach is a pretty awesome album. of course, it's a gimmick... two different quintets led by two different drummers, Buddy Rich's combo panned to the left channel, Max Roach's to the right.

not totally on point of the thread, but what the hell, it's crazy cool:

 




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