Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith absolutely nails the drum part on a song he's never heard before

Originally published at: Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith absolutely nails the drum part on a song he's never heard before | Boing Boing


Drumeo is so cool.

Being a (middling to poor) guitarist myself, I would sit transfixed for hours watching my best friend Emile practice drumming.

At the time, I just couldn’t begin to fathom the coordination required to move so many limbs independently while also maintaining the groove, and Drumeo takes me back to those happy, smokey days in his attic bedroom (which was next door to mine, so hell, if he was going to practice, I might as well just pop round and watch).

These days, I think I might actually be able to at least play a basic 4-on-the-floor rock beat, but I still marvel at drummers and feel they’re incredibly under-appreciated.

I think one of my favourites as I’ve gotten older is the original Iron Maiden drummer, Clive Burr, who is sadly no longer with us.
Nicko McBrain is one of the nicest, down-to-earth people in music, but Clive was far more inventive and groovy. Killers is quite possibly my favourite Maiden album, and a lot of that is thanks to Clive’s drumming.

Of course, I did also discover Greyson Nekrutman via Drumeo, and man, he’s incredible.


I really wish Neil Peart was still around and could have done one of those…


This video is what brought drumeo to my attention: We Dared A Funk Drummer To Learn "Schism" By Tool - Drumeo Beat it’s a really cool idea and Dennis is such a pro. As for Chad, well, he’s a rock-solid rock drummer, I’m not shocked on this one.

Side note: I think there are approximately two kinds of drummers in this world: musicians who can play the drums (let’s call them musicians), and people who hit things rhythmically to express themselves (bashers). This is not to say that there are no grey areas between the two, and of course, the latter can be very musical.

Having spent a lot of time with many drummers, I’ve observed that bashers also tend to be right-leaning ideologically and are sort of strange people to me. I love musician drummers though; the beat/grooves are so important to getting a lot of music right. And the feel of a great drummer is priceless.

ETA: spelling, grammar

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Drumeo is indeed great. It may or may not be the best way to start learning drumming in a structured way, since there’s so much stuff, however the amount of content they have is amazing and it’s all really good.

I’ve used a lot of their videos while learning how to play drums. I always thought it was funny that there were rock and roll ha ha jokes about how drummers are stupid. I suppose that’s because drumming is just hitting things with sticks. it’s just very complicated hitting things with sticks, and some of what you need to do, your brain will not want to do until you push some neurons around.

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The video made me think of that kind of a distinction as well, though you put it far better than I ever could. As someone who loves music but knows next to nothing about it beyond what I like and not, this video struck me as an excellent illustration of the musicality of drumming in a way I haven’t really seen on its own before - his ability to read and predict the structure of the song is one thing, but the way he used the instrument so well, and meshed so well with the song, was amazing.


when I was in highschool and was still into RHCP (mother’s milk was current, then BSSM senior year) they had an interview in Interview magazine in which they described the audition process for drummers that begat Chad. memorably, they described his competition as “weak-opotamuses.” he definitely works with RHCP.

watching him work through the song was enlightening. he’ll never be mistaken for Bernard Purdie, but it was still plenty impressive, he’s obviously a student of his craft.

This is the second one I’ve seen of these and it’s a wonderful idea - but why don’t they let us hear the drumless track at the start? I’d never heard the song either, but was cruelly prevented from being able to experience what he heard. Is that some copyright bullshiot?

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But they did? Not at the very start, and I can agree that earlier might have been better, but I also see how for the sake of storytelling they needed to introduce the song to viewers in a familiar or “full” way. Especially with the beginning of that song being so fully reliant on the kick drum beat starting it out without it would likely have been a worse showcase of his reading of the song, as listeners not very familiar with the song likely wouldn’t have recognized it at all - the opening being the full track adds crucial context for listeners to “get” the song. Starting out with the drum track, then removing it, then having him take over allows them to very effectively showcase how he immediately recognizes the timing of the song. They could for the example have introduced the song to viewers and then started the whole “this is what he hears” part from the very beginning - that’s just a judgement call between narrative flow and brevity, and clarity at the cost of a marginally longer video, where they prioritized the former. Arguably this could have been solved by setting expectations better by captioning earlier.

Perhaps. But for a few glorious seconds I thought I might be able to experience the mind of Chad. Removing the drums when he was playing was irrelevant (and logically they had no choice). Personally, I’d have had it so that we heard what he heard, with some of us going “OMG this is that song I’ve heard!” and some of us going “OK some emo stuff here…” then done a bit of A/B cutting after: “Hey Chad you played this [clip], but the original does it like this [clip] - let’s talk about that!” I dunno feels like missed opportunity to me but then I just lie in bed all day complaining don’t mind me.


I think you’re mostly describing the difference between the current 8-minute video and one 2-3x that runtime. Which definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing IMO, but I see how it would reach a more narrow audience.

It’s a bit odd though because Drumeo must have a pretty specific viewership of engaged and curious drummers who would lap up a conversion about that crazy single stroke fill he did with those guitar stabs half way in (his first one was a bit of guess but once he realised, the others were spot on). And most YT channels fall over themselves to spin out content as long as possible for monetisation reasons. Mystery hey?

Nah, this just falls into a shorter, more digestible category of Youtube content, made to reach a broader audience rather than an in-depth enthusiast viewership. It’s meant to be relatively short and impressive, not in-depth content for expert viewers. It’s not a TikTok, but it’s not a 25-minute masterclass either - they’d likely want you to pay for that.

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