Dirk Verbeuren has been banging the drums since the 1990s, and is the current drummer for thrash metal band Megadeth. Unlike most of us, he had never heard The Killers’ 2004 hit Mr. Brightside before stopping by Drumeo’s studio. After giving a drumless version a listen, he broke it down, chopped it up, and performed his own take on the track’s rhythms.
The Cure’s original drummer Lol Tolhurst, Siouxsie & the Banshees’ drummer Budgie, and producer Jacknife Lee teamed up and have an album on the way. The rhythmic title track, Los Angeles, just dropped and features vocals by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. Stream the single or pre-order the album now. Video by John Liwag. (Thanks, Christian!)
Eric Carr of EMC Productions is no stranger to doing weird things with drums. This time, he set up a ridiculously complicated drum kit where snares and toms represent letters of the alphabet, the bass is the space, smaller drums are numbers, and cymbals provide punctuation. It’s not the quickest way to type, but it’s certainly the most rhythmic.
Rock out with your spoons out with Fred’s Mix Stix. Made of beechwood, these 13″ kitchen spoons have drumstick tips on their handles so you can bang out some beats on your pots and pans. The set includes one solid spoon and one slotted spoon. Also great for drummers who need to taste soup while playing.
Steelpan drums are made from the bottom of an oil drum. Filmmaker Chas Sheppard met artist Jimi Phillip to see how they’re made. He starts by pounding a concave shape, then sketches each pan and hammers them before heating, tempering, and tuning by ear. This BTS footage from Sounds Like Steel stands on its own.
Inspired by that commercial where the guy plays drums on his Pringles cans, Eric and Tony G from EMCproductions made their own set of drums out of potato crisp (and Gatorade) cans. They replaced the plastic lids with balloons as drum heads and used their metal bottoms as “cymbals.”
Richard Rey aka Office Drummer, has a unique skill. He accepts song requests, then live streams an improvised drum beat regardless of whether or not he’s played it before. His performances include Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic, Outkast’s Hey Ya!, Green Day’s Brain Stew/Jaded, and MGMT’s Electric Feel.
Amen, Brother is an obscure B-side from a 1969 record by The Winstons, but it’s also the source for a six-second, 4-bar drum and bass sample which has found its way into literally thousands of hip hop, techno, dance, and pop songs. It’s even in the Futurama theme.
Brick Technology answers the question “Can LEGO play the drums?” with a resounding “Yes.” He built this LEGO Technic machine using a series of levers that tap switches, triggering a digital drum machine. Like a music box or player piano, it uses a series of bumps on a rolling track to tell it which buttons to tap.
The music from the first couple of Sonic the Hedgehog games is some of the best in the history of video games. Among our favorites is the music from the Chemical Plant Zone, which drummer gotobejake made even better by adding a live rhythm track. We also enjoyed Jake’s take on Duck Tales.
Musician and streamer Drew on the Kit likes to take viral videos and improvise drum beats to them. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite clips into a YouTube playlist, including cats, dogs, birds, and people doing their thing with a new rhythm section. You can catch his live stream performances on Twitch.
Builder Tim Sway dusted off an old drum kit he found in the trash and gave it a whole new life. What makes these drums really special is that he crafted their bodies by recycling hollow core closet doors. He then reused the old hardware and added new Remo drumheads. Tim has previously made guitars from a similar material.
The guys from Signal Snowboards teamed up with Ernest Packaging to create a custom electric guitar and drum kit made from cardboard. The Cardboard Sessions hands those instruments over to talented musicians to perform in impromptu jam sessions. Though they didn’t manage to make a cardboard brass section.
We always thought that drum machines came along sometime in the 1970s, but it turns out that there was one model you could buy as early as 1959. Look Mum No Computer opens the doors to his personal museum for a look at the Wurlitzer Side Man to see how the ingenious way it made rhythms with electromechanical systems.
Normally, drummers play on solid ground. But the Westfield High School Band has a gyroscopic rig that lets a percussionist perform while spinning on three axes. EMC Productions got up close with this dizzying thrill ride for drummers and took it for a spin. We’re impressed that he didn’t lose his lunch while playing.
Musician Seth Everman takes a moment to step away from his keyboard to bang on the drums. To spice things up a bit, he used them to add a whole new rhythm track to ABBA’s 1975 classic Mamma Mia. Seth, we challenge you to do the same with Herb Alpert’s theme from Casino Royale next.
AeroBand’s electronic drumsticks let you practice drumming anywhere, working with your mobile device to play realistic drum sounds. They offer an ultra-low latency Bluetooth connection, and the AeroBand app helps you learn drumming via games. There’s also a bundle that comes with foot sensors to complete your drum kit.
Musician Joe Porter plays a variety of percussion instruments. Sit back and enjoy as he performs a sampling of video game music on an instrument made from plastic soda bottles, timpani drums, steel pan, and more. He has an earlier video game medley and a collection of commercial jingles that are worth a listen too.
Music equipment rental company Gate to Hell shared footage of them assembling an enormous drum kit at Essen, Germany concert venue Turock. After the massive rig of percussion instruments was set up, musician Jürgen “Ventor” Reil from the band Kreator put the drum set to the test.
If you look around, you can find a bargain-basement drum kit for about $200. But if even that’s not in your budget, you could do what Deden Noy did, and make your own drums from plastic buckets, water bottles, scrap metal, and packing tape. Check out his YouTube channel for more performances.
Musician Moritz Simon Geist creates music with the help of robots. For this performance, he set up a pan filled with hot oil, popcorn, and sensors that triggered strikes on a drum kit each time a popcorn kernel burst open. The resulting beats are definitely giving us a jazz fusion vibe.