The Greatest Prog Drummers of All Time (No, He's Not No. 1)

Deafmoon

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To me, the beauty of prog drummers was always the diversity in the music that coerced drummers to use a variety of percussive, other than just drum set. Wilson, Bruford, Palmer, Barlow, Collins, Pugwash, Peart, Bozzio, Harrison, ... they all play or played a variety of instruments within the context of the music. Bells, Gongs, Field drums, Glockenspiel, hand drums, frame drums, etc. That to me made progressive music. Portnoy copying Peart though, doesn't make the cut in my book.
 

Esotericdrums

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Kris Myers from Umphreys McGee should be towards the top as well. Umphreys live has blown my mind several times. They have the ability to build up the music to insane levels of intensity and improv to that level as well
 

Vistalite Black

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The lack of certainty over how Prog is defined is mainly a function of the name. The better term is Noodly Doodly because it conveys instant understanding.

There's also the 99:1 ratio of men to women at a true Prog show (explaining why Styx or Kansas don't count to the Progsnobs).

For further explanation, I dug into Progarchives.com for these helpful signatories of a true Prog band:

- Starting an album with a fade in synth intro!
- Side-length tracks.
- Gatefold vinyls.
- Bass guitar having bigger role than most other rock genres (also 17-string bass guitars).
- Same with keyboards.
- Concept albums with wizards or historical figures on the cover.
- Suites.
- Solo w**kery and shredding (Prog metal only).
- Endless of lineup changes.
- Fantasy/myth themed lyrics.
- Lute and glockenspiel solos.
- Weird beard facial hair.
- Someone in the band wears a cape.
- 2.5-hour concerts where the band plays only four songs and a medley.

Did I miss any?
 

MidiFinger

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DnD 3.5 til death do us part... my group loves and still plays 3.5
Advantage/Disadvantage is a terrible mechanic.
DnD 3.5 is Prog, DnD 5 is Rap for the short bus crowd

1. Dave Weckl
2. Neil Peart
3. Bobby Jarzombek
4. Mike Portnoy
5. Billy Cobham
 

FlowTom

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I always liked the Blues Project. There's that word again.
Pip Pyle is one of those drummers that got my attention from the very first note.
I was fortunate to see the original Happy The Man lineup a few times with Michael Beck on drums.
In the mid 1970's not every band had a drummer playing inside an iron pipe structure that took up half the stage.

 

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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The octopus in the bathtub BJ Wilson was not a prog drummer. He was much more then that.

from MD. - “Most who experienced his playing first-hand—including Jimmy Page, who nearly nabbed him for Led Zeppelin—believed he was one of the best drummers who ever lived.”

Let’s hear it for the real number one

Definitely not a prog drummer, maybe art rock is a more apt description (whatever that term means). I've been watching him a lot lately, can't believe how low he would sit in relation to his snare. Looks like he could eat off of it in the video you posted!
 

Zeroesque

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Top 15 prog? Really hard to leave out Virgil and Simon, IMO. I would also argue for Mastelotto, Mangini, Castronovo...and lots of Shrapnel-era guys could be in the conversation once you get beyond the few genre-defining "founder" type-guys from the 70s.

I also agree with those making a distinction between Fusion and Prog.
 

Houndog

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I base that on the fact that I can play Marillion songs correctly, I can play maybe 6 Rush songs .
 

dyland

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DnD 3.5 til death do us part... my group loves and still plays 3.5
Advantage/Disadvantage is a terrible mechanic.
DnD 3.5 is Prog, DnD 5 is Rap for the short bus crowd

1. Dave Weckl
2. Neil Peart
3. Bobby Jarzombek
4. Mike Portnoy
5. Billy Cobham
The thing that I do love about Adv/Dis is that it streamlines so many abilities and is much more accessible than having a unique rule for each situation. But I do understand and appreciate 3.5 players dedication to sifting through all that crunch.

Feelings on Pathfinder?
 

mydadisjr

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I love it... "MORE PROG THAN PEART"

Quote of the day!!

I am gonna learn some YES and KING CRIMSON so I can be more prog than Peart.
 

musiqman

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QUOTE="Houndog, post: 2090360, member: 324"]
I base that on the fact that I can play Marillion songs correctly, I can play maybe 6 Rush songs .
[/QUOTE]

Since when has the prog bar set by how hard something is to play?

As cool as they were, I find Marillion, Yes, or Pendragon much more prog than Rush.
 

mydadisjr

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Muiqman sez...
As cool as they were, I find Marillion, Yes, or Pendragon much more prog than Rush.


Totally... to me Rush was a decent FM radio band with interesting lyrics (and some parts in 7/4 time) that had more in common with Styx and Kansas than Yes/King Crimson/Gentle Giant.

I am not a Rush hater, I had the WAVES and PICTURES albums on vinyl back in the day, but I just never thought of them as very "proggy".
 

harry

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Yes, Buddy could outplay all of these drummers IF all they wanted to do was play a Buddy Rich solo. If you put Buddy into these other musical contexts, his style wouldn't always fit (if he could even tolerate it!).
Maybe you are confusing what Buddy could do with what he would do.
I agree with Prufrock..Buddy hated rock and said it was not even music. His style Would not fit rock music.
 


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