In Praise of Genius Drummers Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa

It’s genius drummers time as here we have Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich – two of the best drummers in history! They used traditional grip (the angled hold of the stick in the left hand) over match grip (where you hold the stick as if you’re going to assault someone), which has fallen out of favour in modern drumming. And why? Maybe the ghost of Rich and Krupa told everyone to keep off their turf, or perhaps some folk just prefer holding it that way.

Anyway, in the ’60s the jazz legends toured around the United States doing drum battles. Here’s one such example from the Sammy Davis Jr. Show. Rich kind of destroys Krupa here, but we should point out this 1966 video sees a relatively young Rich, versus Krupa over a decade older than Rich. Frankly, both the solos offer a different style, with Krupa doing slow and funky, Rich going bananas.

At any rate, Krupa and Rich are seen as two of the best drummers of all time. There’s no denying that. Mr. Krupa’s impact on drumming is remarkable and inspired a certain Keith Moon. As for Buddy Rich, what does one say? The guy’s incredible. John Bonham’s drum solos often dragged on for 30 minutes, but in two right here Rich showed the world no one else can do what he does. And for this we praise him, and swing drummers, for being awesome.

Want to learn more about drumming? Check out Drum Solos: A Brief History!

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