Tool Drummer
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Daniel Edwin “Danny” Carey is a drumming prodigy who began his career at the age of ten to later became a Tool drummer.

He has been in bands such as Skinny Puppy, Tool, and ZAUM. He helped record Grammy Award winners’ albums for their respective genres before joining up with the American Rock band Green Jelly, making him internationally famous among fans worldwide!

In addition to contributing drums on tracks like 1998’s ‘Take Ya Higher’ (their top 5 hits!), Carole King’s 1999 masterpiece ‘Time Feathered00007.

Carey’s love of music and study in percussion led him to expand beyond just theory into the principles behind geometry. His thirst for learning also led him to learn more about science while at college—especially when it came time for physics class!

But Carey found inspiration from these subjects during college. Playing jazz allowed him access into Kansas City nightlife scenes where he met plenty of other musicians who would later become friends.

Carey has been a part of several bands, including Tool, Pigmy Love Circus, and VOLTO!. He also found time to work on projects from his past, such as Legend Of The Seagullmen, with whom he played in place for the two drummers who could not show up at their practice session.

Is the Tool drummer good?

Without a doubt, the tool drummer is good. This does not come as a surprise given his impressive resumé of work with other bands and artists.

He is one of the most sought-after drummers today, and musicians from across all genres would agree that they are extremely fortunate to have him as their tool drummer.”

Danny Carey is known for his crazy polyrhythmic skills, odd time signatures and melodic drumming.

Danny Carey drum setup

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Danny uses Sonor SQ2 drum series. His set consists of:

  • Bass drum 24 ” x 20 ”
  • Bass drum 22 ” x 19 ”
  • Floor tom 16 ” x 18 ”
  • Floor tom 14 ” x 16 ”
  • Tom tom 12 ” x 12 ”
  • Tom tom 10 ” x 10 ”
  • Tom tom 8 ” x 8 ”
  • Snare drum 14 ” x 8 ”
  • Gong Tom 22 ” x 15 ”

Danny Carey cymbals

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Danny uses Paiste cymbals. this is his current setup:

  • 6″ 2002 Cup Chime
  • 6 1/2″ 2002 Cup Chime
  • 22″ 2002 Novo China (Custom)
  • 5 1/2″ 2002 Cup Chime
  • 8″ Signature Dark Energy Splash Mark I
  • 8″ Signature Splash
  • 10″ Signature Dark Energy Splash Mark I
  • 18″ Signature Power Crash
  • 14″ Formula 602 Classic Sound Edge Hi-Hat
  • 18″ Signature Power Crash
  • 22″ Signature Dry Heavy Ride “Monad”
  • 22″ Signature Heavy China (discontinued)
  • 20″ Signature Power Crash
  • 11″ Noise Works Dark Buzz China Top
  • 18″ 2002 China

Who is Danny Carey’s favorite drummer?

Danny mentions drummers like Neil Peart, John Bonham, and Tony Williams in the Grammy acceptance speech. This has a perfect sense cause Danny sounds like all three at once.

In his playing, you can easily hear his rock influence from guys like John Bonham. Carey can be characterized as a fusion rock drummer so having Neil Peart as an influence has a perfect sense.

Tony Williams comes as a cherry on top since the jazz cats influence many fusion rock drummers like Mike Portnoy, Mike Mangini, Virgin Donati, etc.

How does Danny Carey rank as a drummer?

Danny ranks pretty high in the drumming community since his drum parts are very complex. They are a mix of polyrhythms and odd time signatures.

Also, he created a unique style, and we are not talking about drumming only. Danny’s drum kit is very recognizable with its electronic parts, logo, and everything.

Danny often performs in his basketball jerseys which also makes him memorable.

How to play like Danny Carey?

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We already said Danny Carrey drumming is based around complex polyrhythms and odd time signatures. Besides that, Danny is a melodic drummer, so if you want to play like Danny Carey, you have to start thinking in a melodic sense.

Melodic drumming

The biggest drumming names, such as Dave Weckl, Peter Erskine, and Vinnie Colaiuta, use this kind of approach. They tend to play according to the melody they hear and adjust rudiments to match a certain melody that matches the song.

Be creative in melodies rather than trying to play all the new rudiments you learned in one song. Imagine a melody and try to play it on different drum kit elements until you get the combination that sounds the best.

Question and answer

Most of his drum parts are based around some tom pattern. In drumming language, a question and answer. You can practice this easily. Play something on the right side of the kit and repeat the same phrase on the left, or play something across toms and repeat that with other parts like snare and bass drum.

Danny implements these kinds of elements to make creative drum parts.


Another thing distinctive for Danny is his incorporation of drum rudiments. He tends to play very simple rudiments like paradiddle but very creatively orchestrated, so it is hard to recognize.

With orchestration and dynamic, you will create various phrases, rhythms, and sounds out of only one drum rudiment.

Snare sound

Last but not least is his snare drum sound. By that, we don’t think of his signature snare drum but the way he uses snare drum with snare wire off. Again this is done to get the tone out of the snare drum so you can play melodies rather than rhythms.

How tall is Danny Carey?

Danny Carey’s height is 6’5 which is very tall for drummers.

What albums have Danny Carey drummed on?

Except for Tool, Danny collaborated with Zaum, Green Jellö, Pigface, Skinny Puppy, Adrian Belew, Carole King, Collide, Meat Puppets, Lusk.

During his career, he played on 40 albums. His full discography can be found here.