Tags: Best of Lists


As a musician, there are those defining moments when you realize that you’ve just seen something that has changed you in some way. For many drummers who grew up in the 60’s, it was seeing Ringo and The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. His performance represented the beginning of a new era of music and brought serious attention to the people that sit behind the drums. This influence on popular culture actually increased Zildjian’s popularity and the demand for cymbals exploded almost overnight!

Now, thanks to the world wide web and sites like YouTube, inspiring videos like this one are available to a whole new generation of players, to watch at will, again and again and again. 

In the spirit of inspiration, we reached out to many of the drummers here at Zildjian and Vic Firth and asked them to share a video that moved them to pick up sticks for the first time, or work harder to hone their craft;  or to just share one they love for the pure joy of watching a great performance. Below is our list of 14 Inspiring Drum Videos. So grab a bowl of popcorn, or a pad and pair of sticks, and enjoy our "Staff Picks!"


Steve Gadd Band – “Way Back Home”

What I love about it…it’s Steve Gadd! But an additional reason that makes it special for me is that it was shot in both his and my hometown of Rochester, NY.
Joe T. - Artist Relations


Dennis Chambers - "Cissy Strut Drum Solo" - Late Show w/David Letterman - 2011 

Dennis Chambers' technique and musicality are on full display in this video. He is so much fun to watch!

Sarah H. - Artist Relations


Tommy Lee - Spinning Drum Solo - 1987

Tommy Lee is my true drum hero and he was doing this awesome stuff long before anyone else took it to the next level. This video is old but I remember seeing it live when I was 15 and it blew my mind.

(Note: This video contains foul language….but hey, he is “Rock Star Tommy Lee”!)

Adam C. - Sales


Aaron Spears – “Caught Up” – Modern Drummer Festival 2006

No doubt this is the one for me. Aaron Spears has groove, oozes creativity and overall inspiration!

Tony L. - Product Manager


Alan Dawson - The Rudimental Ritual - 1993

This impromtu video shows the rigorous demand Alan Dawson put upon himself to stay in shape, as this was his daily regiment for maintenance. My favorite part is when he stands up and says "that's the first 26...that's about one third of the way."

Cooper S. - Education Dept.


Anton Fig w/CBS Orchestra: Drum Solo on Late Show w/David Letterman - 2011

I love Anton Fig’s solo and the way he compliments the band during the song. Very tasteful.

Victor F. - Product Manager


Eric Harland - Charles Lloyd Quartet - "Caroline No"

I love this video because Eric Harland masterfully demonstrates playing in a more subtle and delicate setting while showing the highest possible level of musicality.

Christian L. - Education & Product Development


Tony Williams - Zildjian Day Drum Clinic - 1985

I remember watching The Zildjian Day Compilation video over and over again with my son when he was only two years old. It was his favorite bedtime video. He loved Tony then and today, 16 years later, he is still one of his biggest influences.

AnnMarie S. - Social Media & Web Content


Thomas Pridgen - BAG'SHOW 2015

There are so many drummers that are inspiring, but if I had to narrow this down to a fave artist it is Thomas Pridgen and the way he plays -  so smooth, so fluent and he just always looks like he is having fun!

Bob W. - International Marketing


Ilan Rubin - Guitar Center Drum Off 2011

I highly recommend checking out this drum solo by Ilan Rubin at the 2011 Guitar Center Drum Off. I remember watching this video over and over in my college dorm room when it was first released. I love how he sets up the solo with a looped backing track and then when the drums come in at 1:40 it is just explosive! Ilan moves around the kit with such ease. His drumming reminds me of a modernized John Bonham yet with a unique open handed playing technique. He is just so fun to watch and listen to, this video is music to my ears.

Emily S. - Artist Relations


Papa Jo Jones - Drum Solo 1964

Papa Jo Jones just oozes rhythm. This solo is subtle, and slick, and humorous.

Kim D. - Customer Service


Cadets Front Ensemble - "Between Angels & Demons" - 2011

This video is what really inspired me to audition for The Cadets and helped me get to know what it meant to perform like a Cadet, especially going through the winter camps. I like this video because they really go after all of the music with intensity and they show a high level of musicality and performance quality for so early in the season. You can tell they all enjoy communicating and playing together as an ensemble.

Lindsey H. - Education Dept.


Matt Greiner - "Caught Up", Zildjian Cover to Cover Video Series

Matt’s dedication to learning a completely different song like Usher and nail it is amazing. It was inspiring for Matt to take the plunge and add a little August Burns Red flair to this classic Usher song. He is awesome to watch and this video really takes it to another level.

Chris F. - Multi Media Design


Senri Kawguchi

Senri from Japan is awesome - young, talented, inspirational, and she uses a lot of cymbals! (spoken like a true sales guy)

Andy S. - Sales


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