Top 5 Favorite Drummers #5 – Steve Smith

This week I’m going to make a list of my five favorite drummers as of right now. This list is constantly changing as my preferences become different and I discover new drummers, but I thought it would be fun seeing as I’m an avid lover of everything drum related. So I’m starting the list today and ending on Friday with my #1 favorite drummer. I cannot stress the word “favorite” enough. A lot of people make lists that use words like “best” and “all-time,” and what they all forget is that in the world of music there is no authority on who is the best, and if there were it sure as hell wouldn’t be a 20 year old kid from the suburbs of St. Louis. So! These are just my favorite drummers. I’m going to start the list with an amazing drummer named Steve Smith. Smith, who is probably most well-known as one of the drummers for Journey. Despite having worked with a bunch of artists I don’t like (Mariah Carey, Savage Garden, Journey), he has also worked with people like Dweezil Zappa, Bill Evans, Stuart Hamm, and Victor Wooten. His work with these artists is not why I love his drumming so much. To me he is a master of the drum solo. He seems like an old school kind of guy because he plays with traditional grip, has a jazz background, and is pushing 60, but also incorporates new tricks like top-notch double bass drumming and one-handed rolls (or gravity rolls). Above all that he is incredibly musical. It can’t really be explained, but his drum solos feel more like compositions rather than a collection of beats and fills. His drums are also tuned beautifully which add a lot to the musical element. I really can’t find any weaknesses in his playing. I think one could easily make the argument that he’s the best drummer playing today or even ever. His left hand is extremely fast and accurate, his feet are solid, and his limb independence is mind-blowing. In the video posted below, watch as all four limbs, at times, are all playing separate rhythms but manage to come together as one to make for an absolutely beautiful drum solo. Ladies and gentlemen…Steve Smith.

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