With so many great drummers in the world it is impossible to create a "Top 10" list on your own. I think the only way to truly determine such a thing is to get the community involved so that the fans can dictate the results. I had always wanted to write an article like this, but I had to wait some time before I would have the resources to make something like this work. After several months of building an interactive following on Instagram, I felt that I had what I needed to pursue this monstrous task.
The first thing that I had to do was create an incentive for folks to feel compelled to participate so that this wouldn't fall flat on its face. A giveaway item was in order to create some additional interest in the contest. So I called on Nick Volpe, from Canadian Drum Gear, to sponsor the contest. We discussed some options for a giveaway item and nothing was truly grabbing my interest, UNTIL he mentioned that he had a Meinl extra dry splash cymbal laying around that was signed by Robert "Sput" Searight II. It would be easy and relatively affordable to ship and who doesn't like Meinl's dry line of cymbals? It was a win win for the contest.
As I created the posts and as they got shared by some major accounts such as Official DG2G, Drummers Corner Group, Snaredrumfreakz and Grooveshare, it became apparent who this contest was between. I kept seeing Stan Bicknell and Eric Moore coming up in the comments. Both Stan and Eric blew past the rest of the pack as the votes were well into the double digits. Without question, the results of this contest are easy to comprehend. I mean, this list is stacked....JUST LOOK AT IT!
If only you could get all of these drummers in the same room, that would be something to see. Who knows, maybe one day right? For now though, grab yourself a cuppa joe and a biscuit and enjoy the article.
I remember the first time time I encountered Larnell Lewis online. It was a Snarky Puppy video that a buddy sent to me on Facebook and the song was titled Lingus (We Like It Here). It was at around the six minute mark where I heard some incredible musical banter between Larnell and bassist/band leader Michael League, and of course that gentleman on the Korg synth. That piece of music is godly. It is incredibly well performed, produced and the fact that they have a live audience all listening with Dr. Dre headphones, is something else. Truly wonderful stuff.
Larnell is a world class act who’s sound is a eclectic mix of fusion music inspired from Afro and Latin Caribbean sounds, RnB, soul and funk. Also, even though his roots lay in gospel music, Larnell can play a variety of styles with incredible conviction and accuracy, which has lead to a steady career of working with such artists as Fred Hammond, Jully Black and Glenn Lewis to Michael Brecker, Hilario Duran, Molly Johnson, and of course, Snarky Puppy.
Zack is an Instagram drumming sensation. His name is becoming wide spread throughout the drumming community with his amazing videos showcasing his incredible blasting, endurance, dexterity and independence around the drum set.
Zack’s style of playing is rooted in heavy metal, and any kind of music that ends with core, that you can possibly imagine. At 24 years old, this young man owns his house, is married and has a very good head on his shoulders and simply works his ass off.
He has appeared on the Drummers I Like podcast and next month he will be DIL's feature artist to kick start their Drummers I Like Pro campaign. So if you want to learn more about developing speed and endurance, you may want to head over to DIL’s Instagram profile to check out what they have on the go. I feel he is very deserving of being on this list, and considering that he is one of few players on here that isn’t A list player shows he has incredible support within the Instagram drumming community. Good goin’ pal!
The Orlando Drummer. I feel that Adam is one of those guys that “gets” it when it comes to the business of drumming. He understands that in order to be successful in this industry these days you need to have lots of iron in the fire and you NEED to know how to promote yourself and then back it up with quality work. He is definitely one of the grand daddy’s of YouTubers in the drum community and he has really sorted out his craft.
His primary focus, from process of elimination, has brought him to the fore front of online drum education. He offers a lot of fantastic advice that is directly a product of real life experiences. Besides his business sense, Adam has the chops and the pocket and over the years of steady work, Adam has retained over 130K followers on Instagram, 64K subscribers on YouTube and 15K likes on Facebook. It is no wonder that Adam “The Orlando Drummer” Tuminaro showed up on this list.
It is hard to think of a more popular drummer than Luke Holland. With over 350,000 YouTube subscribers and 225,000 followers on Instagram, I think it is safe to say that Luke is the most famous drummer, in regards to social media on this list.
Much like Adam Tuminaro, Luke started a YouTube account, LukeHollandDrums, quite some time ago, 2009 to be exact. He started with creating his own drum cover and remix videos to promote himself online. As time went on and he gained more and more notoriety, he had a chance to sit in with the band Texas in July, which certainly helped his YouTube account but then a comedy music act, Josh Chomik, noticed him and that is when things started to explode. In a matter of a few days Luke went from around one thousand subscribers to nearly nine thousand.
Luke also is known for playing in the metal core band The Word Alive, which again was an opportunity gained from his notoriety on YouTube, but has since left that band. Since leaving The Word Alive, he began working with Jason Richardson and while all of this is going on, Luke is producing all kinds of drum cover videos and he is a premier educator for 180drums.
Matt Garstka is the drummer for the prog metal supergroup Animals as Leaders and he is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to progressive metal drumming. This dude is an animal on a kit, no pun intended, but also showcases tremendous finesse and accurate delivery.
Garstka has been playing drums since he was eight years old. In fact, his father Greg Garstka, who is a professional guitarist, had him playing in his band when Matt was only twelve. He was introduced to fusion, funk, latin and jazz drumming when he met Jo Sallins when he was fourteen and by age sixteen he began lessons with Bob Gullotti.
I personally enjoy watching Garstka play because of how he attacks the drums with everything he’s got without bludgeoning the drum set. He is very precise and his technique is off the hook. Overall, an amazing player that is more than deserving to be on this list.
So Tristan is a warrior. The dude has been laying down BeatADay for about three years now and the payoffs have been really tremendous. Along with Zack Austin and Stan Bicknell, Tristan is primarily recognized through the Instagram community and has had some ridiculous success by being involved in that community.
He has received some amazing endorsement opportunities through Dunnett Classic Drums, Meinl Cymbals, Vic Firth, SJC Drums, LowBoy Custom Beaters and KBrakes!
I feel that Tristan’s BeatADay project is incredibly commendable. He has all of these major endorsements based on the quality of his playing, the quality of his videos, the consistency of his account and of course he has a professional attitude that backs it all up. Most people WOULD NOT faithfully do BeatADay for over 1000 days. Not to be a “Debbie Downer” but lets be honest for a minute; That is an incredible display of discipline that isn’t found in enough people and for that reason I am really happy to see that Tristan ranked high on this list. Good job Tristan!
For drum educators, online education is an incredible way to pursue drumming as your career and very few people have done a better job of this than Mike Johnston. Like a couple others on this list, Mike started his YouTube channel years ago and has been steadily plugging away at it ever since, creating an ever growing loyal fan base of drummers that truly value his content and look up to him for his insightful advice concerning drums and life.
So with all of that success comes a heavy work load. Mike is an international clinician, YouTuber, he has his website www.mikeslessons.com where you can catch both live and pre-recorded lessons AND he hosts ten international drum camps each year at the mikeslessons.com facility. This man works his butt off and creates incredibly valuable content for our drumming community.
The resulted ranking of the votes is based of our Instagram drum community and during this contest it came down to a 3rd place tie between Mike Johnston and Benny Greb. In order to break the tie we had a face off to determine a clear winner. The results were incredibly close but it wasn't enough to take 3rd place. Instead the hat was tipped to Benny Greb.
Well this man is personally a huge favourite of mine. I mean, who doesn’t like Benny Greb? If someone said “Me!”, well you can go hoop your own forehead. Benny has incredible style, musicality and facility. What is even more incredible is how he explains his many concepts for practicing drums. With any of Benny’s lessons that I have watched I always leave feeling like I have a deeper understanding of how to approach the instrument. Also, I love people with a sense of humor and Benny has that in spades.
Benny began playing the drum set when he was six years old and was self taught through most of his drumming childhood. It wasn’t until he was older that he would attend musical academy’s in Dinkelsbuhl and Hamburg.
Benny has an incredible love for drums and one outlet that he particularly enjoys is showing, mostly younger players, some of his tips and tricks to playing. He occasionally can be found teaching students at the Hamburg School of Music, the Popakademie in Mannheim, the Popkurs of the Hochschule fur Music and Theater in Hamburg, and the Bandcamp of the Bayerische Musikacademie Hammelburg.
If that wasn’t enough on his plate, Benny also writes, records and produces his own projects. A couple of solo projects of his were Grebfuit and Moving Parts and he also has two educational movies released, The Art and Science of Groove and The Language of Drumming - A System for Musical Expression. Without question, Benny Greb has a well deserved podium spot in our “Top 10 Drummers” article. Incredible work by an amazing musician.
Our Aussie friend Mr. Stan Bicknell took 2nd place! Considering the individuals featured on this list, I would say that is quite amazing because Stan is a bit of an anomaly. He isn’t in a band, he isn’t a clinician and he isn’t a hired gun....currently. He is part owner of Rumble Coffee Roasters in Australia, and has his drums set up in the warehouse along with his workout equipment. However, with that being said, he is the King of "Instadrummers."
It was less than one year ago that Stan really started to hone his Instagram aesthetic and faithfully post high quality drumming content. The fruit of his labor is absolutely stunning. In less than 52 weeks he has gained 94.4K followers (at the time of writing this) in 48 weeks. That is 1.96K followers per week on average. I can't be 100% certain, but I am kinda thinkin' that is unparalleled. Known for his blazing single kick pedal technique and Pearl Crystal Beat drums paired with those incredible Evetts snare drums, Stan has made his mark and has inspired drummers all over the world to continue working hard at their craft.
It still hurts my brain how quickly his account has grown. I don’t think I have seen anything like that in the time that I have spent on Instagram. Absolutely incredible. Congratulations Stan on making it to the number two spot!!
Eric Moore is one of the most recognized players of our generation. His speed, accuracy, groove, chops and feel are all unbelievable. It is common to see videos of Eric playing at seemingly impossible speeds with incredible accuracy. What is even more impressive, to me at least, is that he can also take some hats, kick and snare and effortless groove his ass off just the same. He normally plays an enormous DW drum set with a sea of cymbals, but don’t let that fool you. He is not hiding behind anything at all.
It could be said that Eric Moore exited the womb with the ability to play drums. He wasn’t even out of diapers before he was playing drums and by the time he was 4 years old, he was playing for his church full time. Yes, you just read that correctly. His father was an organist for his church and so growing up playing drums in church was how he found his beginnings. Eric Moore is famously known for being the individual to start the Gospel Chops Movement and is the founder of Gospel Chops.
Professionally over the years he has performed with T.R.A.M., Suicidal Tendencies, Bobby Brown, Infectious Grooves, Chico Debarge, El Debarge, Diddy and many more. The list is almost too long to list in its entirety.
Before commencing the contest that would lead to this article, I had a feeling that Eric Moore just might win this thing. He is tremendously popular in the drumming community and he is a very special player. There just aren’t many people that can perform on the instrument with his level of flexibility, with both having the technical facility to blaze around the kit but then also play with tremendous feel and pocket. Congratulations Eric for taking the most votes for “The Top 10 Drummers of Instagram.”
Well that's it folks. I hope that you take the time to explore the social media profiles to each artist and check them out in detail. Each one of these gentlemen are doing incredible things in the drumming world. They are all highly deserving of being featured on a "Top 10" list and it felt great to express some personal thoughts on these players and learn more about their careers as drummers. It was great to see a handful of proper Instadrummers on this list as well. It was a nice mix between well known drumming superstars and grassroots profiles.
I want to thank everybody again for their participation in making this list possible and for reading the resulting article. It was a very ambitious project and I will probably do something like this again....but I'll make it even bigger and better next time! Thanks again for reading.