BY PHIL HOOD
Podcasts have grown steadily in popularity since launching more than a decade ago. But the growth has been slow and steady rather than fast and overwhelming. Each year a few million more Americans become podcast fans. According to statistics 44 million Americans are listening regularly these days. On the other side, more than one-third of Americans have yet to hear even one podcast.
[Check out the bottom of this article for a chance to win a set of PinchClips for your cymbals!]
Despite the size of the audience, podcasts are, in Michael Vosbein’s words, “a business in search of a business model.” It’s not that the audience doesn’t have great potential. It’s just that the advertising community has yet to embrace podcasting the way it embraced radio in an earlier age. But many of the podcasts on our list here have stuck it out for hundreds of episodes and have sponsors that support their efforts.
“I’ve learned a great deal by listening carefully. Most people never listen.”
– Ernest Hemingway
I’ve included a directory of podcasts below. If you’re completely new to drumming podcasts, here’s my suggestion: Download three or four and try them out. Choose the listening app that works best for you. Then listen to a couple of episodes of each program to see if the host, style, and content work for you.
180 Drums specializes in lessons and has reached thousands of students. Their podcast focuses on drummer interviews with an interesting mix of styles, eras, and approaches. 93 episodes.
Ask The Drummer with Steve Such. Each episode answers a range of questions called in by drummers, from which earplugs to use to how to warm up. Additional questions are answered on the web site.
Behind The Kit with Matt Dudley emphasizes education and the global drum community. The podcast covers lots of teaching topics such as “How to make a Youtube video.” 58 episodes.
Daily Drummer focuses strictly on career help topics and has done so for 180 episodes over two years.
Discussions In Percussion is one of the best hand percussion podcast, with Marcos Torres and Damon Grant. Recent interviewees included Jamey Haddad, Paul Simon’s longtime percussionist. 79 episodes.
Drumeo’s podcast is a high-production affair that features the production values we’ve come to expect from their lessons. The interviews often take place in-studio and include exclusive videos or lessons with the interview subject, including most recently Rodney Holmes. 39 episodes.
Drum Gab is funny and conversational in tone, aiming to break out of the interview format while still interviewing drummers. Lots of up-and-comers are featured here.
Drummers I Like by Richard Ducat features interviews with top drummers, including younger player, as well as teaching superstars like Bruce Becker. There’s also a “Daily Fill” that features drum lessons, motivational guidance, business lessons, and gear reviews. 97 episodes.
Drummer Nation is Michael Vosbein’s podcast covering jazz and classic drummers. It’s available in video too. Vosbein’s a serious interviewer who elicits good stories from his subjects. Drummer Nation is live each Wednesday on Facebook and podcasts every two weeks on iTunes and other outlets. Behind The Scenes wrote about this podcast here. 64 episodes.
Drummers Weekly Groovecast with Phil Smith and Jon Chalden is a chatty weekly drum hang that tries not to take itself too seriously. The hosts invite musicians other than drummers to the show, and also highlight gear and underrated drummers. 104 episodes.
Drummers Resource is the granddaddy of all the drummer interview podcasts with 409 total episodes. Host Nick Ruffini is a skilled interviewer who mixes musical insight, career advice, and a genuine fascination with his interviewees. The Daniel Glass podcast, which was formerly a separate show, has been rolled into the Drummer Resource podcast, so there are now two episodes per week.
I’d Hit That features fun, quirky, but penetrating interviews with a variety of drummers. This one is definitely worth checking out. 132 episodes.
Meinl Radio features the company’s artist relations head Chris Brewer talking with Meinl players. I like how he jumps straight into the heart of the content with each show and pulls no punches while questioning his interview subjects.
Modern Drummer Podcast is hosted by Mike and Mike (Dawson and Johnston). It’s an upbeat mix of talk, new products, and playing info.
Play Cajon is the podcast arm of Playcajon.org, a resource and lesson site for aspiring percussionists. Host Paul Jennings offers interviews with a fascinating panoply of hand percussionists, from stars like Kevin Ricard to drum set innovators. 26 episodes. Note: The Play Cajon set of lessons are now available through Drumchannel.com.
The Trap Set features Joe Wong’s engaging, funny interviews. The production values are as excellent as are the interview questions. Plus, Joe occasionally hosts live events and pulls some really interesting guests including Brian Blade, Michael Shrieve, Karrieem Riggins, and Brad Wilk in recent weeks. 175 episodes.
Working Drummer Podcast is perhaps the most well-produced of the career-oriented podcasts. It is hosted by Matthew Crouse and Zack Albetta, and each issue features a drummer interview with a career emphasis.
These podcasts halted production or in some cases, ceased forever. But many of them produced useful content and you can still find their old episodes online.
80/20 Drummer with Nathaniel Smith died after 3 episodes.
Drummers Live talked shop with 10 drummers in 2015 before closing.
Drummer Radio with Bill Zildjian, son of Sabian founder Robert Zildjian, put together a great series of shows that ended in 2016.
Drummertalk went silent after 273 shows in 2016.
DrumTalk was a good, early podcast by Joe Crabtree that ended in 2014.
Drum Tuning Guru was a well-received and useful podcast that tuned out after 20 episodes.
Give The Drummer Some stopped giving in 2016 after 82 episodes. It’s worth checking out for the many hard rock and metal drummers who were interviewed.
Global Drum Network retreated from the world after 11 episodes in 2016.
Nashville Drummers Project was a good idea but it rode into the sunset in 2015.
Win A Headhunter’s Creation Courtesy of Behind The Scenes
Dave Rundle of Canada’s Headhunters Drumsticks is never content with the way things are. And, as a result he has created radical designs for innovative sticks, brushes, and bundles that reshape the sound possibilities for drummers. For the next month I’m giving away a different Headhunters stick each week. Prizes include:
- The Dreamcatchers Wired, which add weight to brushes making them backbeat-ready
- The Crossovers II Bamboo, a stick combined with rods to deliver fast response and real rimshots
- Fat Bastards, which are cross brushes with rods to deliver fat sounds perfect for train beats and slow ballads
- Standard 5A with the Black X handle
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