Keith Carlock: One of Your New Favourite Jazz Drummers

A Gretsch drum kit
Bah dum tish.

Jazz drummers are the best in the world… according to Buddy Rich. He was rather opinionated about many things.

But when you see the very best jazz drummers going for it, you can’t help but swing towards Rich’s point of view.

Such as with Keith Carlock here, whose style mixes jazz with fusion, rock, and blues rock. It’s a hell of a mix and he’s one hell of a drummer. Behold!

The Brilliance of Keith Carlock in One Jazzy Drum Solo

Okay, so Carlock plays for the likes of Steely Dan, Sting, John Mayer, and lots of others. A drummer of this quality will naturally be in high demand.

The first thing to notice about the American is he has a peculiar style of playing. The way he holds and angles the sticks is unique. Even awkward looking. Not the best technique for drum solos, you could say.

And we don’t mean his use of traditional grip —the left hand stick angled across the snare drum. Most rock drummers hold the sticks facing forward, but for jazz and swing Mr. Carlock’s approach is the ubiquitous style.

But it clearly works for him as he has a tremendous free flowing style of drumming.

It’s energetic but packed full of natural rhythm, perfect timing, and blurring rolls and paradiddles.

If you don’t know anything about drumming then it’s pretty mesmerising to watch. But there’s a method in amongst the madness.

A lot of blokes consider drumming as a macho pursuit and go into it thinking it’ll make them look rather manly.

Whilst being fit and strong can help, it’s really all about your wrists, fingers, and your brain. It’s not about just whacking the kit as hard as possible.

Whenever we see blokes as good as this giving it some welly it makes us want to drum. Which we do. But nowhere near to that standard.

But if you want to take it up, drumming has a huge wodge of physical and mental health boosting attributes. Here’s Mr. Carlock with a few pointers.

Most people tend to associate drumming with human males, but human females have always had a drumming presence.

This is more so than ever before in modern times. There are YouTube stars such as Japanese legend Yoyoka Soma. She’s got excellent chops!

There’s also established talents like Cindy Blackman Santana who’s already famous throughout the drumming community.

It’s all great to see. The advent of the internet has brought the drumming world together and it’s a joyous thing.

And one celebrated in the 2021 documentary film Count Me In.

There’s never been a better time to be into drumming than now. And the likes of Keith Carlock can teach you a thing or two in pursuit of prime drumming performance.


  1. Neat! Does Sheila E count as a drummer?
    I live over where musicians jam, and the drum kit is under my bed, & I love it!
    OH!!! Best part! I get all of the broken used up drumsticks, which I use in my plants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are lots of drummer jokes, that they’re not proper musicians etc. I play the drums and, well, it’s hard work. You need an incredible level of skill, musicality, harmony etc. to be at a genius level. But they’re great fun for anyone to play.

      I will check out Mr. Ryan Brown, thanking you! Nice to see Harrogate of Yorkshire getting a mention there.


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