The Magnificent Seven

Any trap-set drummer who cites just one influence is too much of a copycat IMO; especially in the broad field of Rock Music. Like cooking, a pinch-here and dash-there hopefully makes your style somewhat unique. Although my list of admired drummers is long, I point to seven who shaped my approach over the years. Seven is a good number for me; it's also the age I began drumming (48 yrs ago).

1. RINGO Even if you've never heard him, any rock drummer has Ringo Starr as an influence. He was one of the first to not come from another genre, and certainly the first rock drummer with a massive world-wide audience. What he did wasn't fancy by today's standards, but pioneering. If you think he's too simplistic, play along with him. You might be surprised! RECOMMENDED LISTENING: "With the Beatles"

2. DON BREWER   Here's where I learned the off-beat, as his drumming often followed the guitar line. He liked to put the snare on quarter note down-beats and the bass drum on 16th note up-beats. RL: Grand Funk Railroad "Closer to Home"

3. IAN PAICE   This guy is syncopated. Any part of his set could be on any beat of the music, and his solos used lots of rudiments. RL: Deep Purple "Burn"

4. TOMMY ALDRIDGE  I heard him in 1973 and said "two bass drums can't be played that fast"; but they were. His hands didn't impress me, but his double-bass triplets have stuck with me ever since. RL: Black Oak Arkansas "Raunch and Roll-Live"

5. ALAN WHITE   Numero Uno of my influences. Whether the music is very complex or straight-forward, he puts an edge to it. Although very feel-oriented, his arrangements could be mathematical; playing 5 beats to the band's 4 until it came out together. And being able to groove in 11/16 time was quite impressive! RL: Yes "Relayer"

6. BILL LORDAN   His drumming is basic, his cymbal technique is spectacular. At least 8 cymbals in his set-up which he truly used for shade/contrast. His 16th-note ride cymbal playing was way ahead of everyone else. RL: "Robin Trower Live"

7. NEIL PEART   Okay, I got multi-toms, how do I use them beyond flashy solos? Here was the answer. RL: Rush "Hemispheres"

No doubt some will say "how could I not be influenced by (fill-in-the-blank)?  These drummers had me molded by age 20. They may not be the best, but I'm glad their playing got into my brain.

Mark's Drumset Equipment:

24' double bass drums
14' dyna-sonic chrome snare
8'/10' concert toms
13'/14' front toms
16'/18' floor toms

14' new Beat hi-hats
22' Pang
18' Rock Crash
8' Splash
24' Ping Ride
20' China-boy Low
19' Rock Crash
22' Swish
24' Turkish Gong

PAISTE 20' China type
Bell Tree
LP Cowbell
LUDWIG Speed-king Pedals