As I become more and more drum-obsessed, I find myself turning to all kinds of outlets for information. I’ve never really been one for talk radio or podcasts, but as I began to look for drum and music-related information to occupy my ears (usually while my hands are doing some task that doesn’t require much mental input), I really came to enjoy hearing the stories of drummers from all walks of life.
These podcasts are also a useful tool for perspective… If you feel like you’re stuck or not making the kind of headway you’d like in your drumming career, if you feel like you don’t know what direction you want to head, if you’re feeling discouraged…
Listening to advice and information from the vast world of drummers can help set you back on the right track. One little nugget of info might be just what you need.
Similarly, if you’re feeling uninspired, haven’t picked up the sticks in a while, can’t find the drive to practice, and so on… Listening to podcasts about drumming (especially these few in particular) is a reminder of how much fun it can be.
We’ve got an amazing community built around playing this weird instrument(s), and when I listen to these podcasts, I remember that I’m part of it.
These are by no means the only drum-specific podcasts out there, and there may well be dozens I’ve never heard of. These 4 just happen to be the ones I listen to the most often – and they provide consistently valuable information for listeners, but each in very different ways.
Find appropriate links/places to listen at the end of each section below.
Behind The Kit
Matt Dudley at Behind The Kit is one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with online. His podcast focuses on working drummers, and the paces they go through to make a living with a pair of sticks.
He’s had a few fairly well known drummers on the show, but I love that the focus is much more on the people “in the trenches” so to speak – the people out there making it happen day to day as hired guns, teachers, session players, etc.
While it’s inspirational (and interesting) to hear mega-success stories, to learn that many of the same stresses exist whether you’re playing dive bars or stadiums, there’s something EXTREMELY practical and educational about these interviews…
For the vast majority of us, the work these guests are doing is far more realistic and attainable, and the information can be directly applied to our current lives.
Matt is also a great supporter of the larger “drum community” – doing this out of the kindness of his heart, connecting people, and being all around supportive to anyone and everyone!
Nick Ruffini at Drummer’s Resource is a motivated and motivational kind of guy, and his take on practice, business, and spending time pursuing goals gets me kinda fired up – he makes me want to tackle more, to push harder.
The podcast covers a more business oriented side of the drumming, as well as the industry that inevitably comes with it – but that’s not necessarily why I like it…
The interviews have a natural, casual feel to them, but it doesn’t stop them from moving into serious territory, doling out some excellent wisdom along the way.
Guests span a huge range of styles, eras, with many “big names” (past and present – from Roy Burns to Calvin Rogers) and maybe “lesser known” (but no less insightful) drummers all describing their own unique niche in the music world.
Nick also offers material – including some shorter, solo podcasts – on various drumming, business, and goal oriented topics, articles, coaching, even a social media bootcamp. He’s ’bout business, and provides a ton of great information.
Modern Drummer Podcast With Mike & Mike
The Modern Drummer Podcast is a little different. Instead of focusing on interviews, certifiable experts Mike Johnston and Mike Dawson offer up insights that can only be gained through the incredible breadth of their experience.
Johnston is the face of modern drum education (and my online instructor), and Dawson is the managing editor of Modern Drummer magazine. Both have accrued some serious knowledge in their travels and “years in the game,” and offer it up wholesale on this podcast.
The format often follows what’s going on in the magazine, but it’s not just a retelling of the printed information. These two share a funny and enjoyable banter, talk gear, offer up their “pick of the week,” and cover a whole range of topics important to drummers and musicians of all stripes. It’s like listening in to the average drum nerd chat – except both people are serious, encyclopedic veterans.
I’d Hit That
Interview based, but as far removed from the others as you can imagine. I’d Hit That is the podcast to listen to for candid, freewheeling interviews that scratch at iconic musicians as people. Not just about drums, or even the industry, the job, or the practice… These interviews could go anywhere (and do).
There isn’t even a theme to describe, per se – just that some of the most incredible and noteworthy kit players, from a wide spectrum of styles and eras, engage in some cool talks about life, music, their non-percussive hobbies, family… and on and on… And it’s not just drummers, Larry Lalonde and Billy Sheehan (among others) have both been guests as well.
Dave has a way of speaking directly, without beating around the bush, and it seems like he inspires that in his guests as well. I’d Hit That feels like a peek behind the curtain, and is a great reminder that everyone has a different background, different experiences, a different story to tell.
Each of these podcasts is full of useful (and entertaining) information no matter where you are on your drumming timeline. If you’ve got some downtime, a long commute, some data entry, or whatever… I highly recommend you check out each. Like and follow their social media accounts, say hi, and participate in this amazing community we share!