Carter Beauford and his chops-heavy jazz drumming technique

Carter Beauford is the founding member of Dave Matthews Band. With his chops-heavy jazz drumming technique and love for Tony Williams, the drummer has been able to create the most incredible groves.

Carter Beauford
Carter Beauford

Carter Beauford presents his performances with a pop sensitivity you can never hear in any other groove. He is an essential member of the band and could be one reason for their strength. He has an excellent feel for the biggest and best jazz groves ever heard. And this makes him a highly sort after jazz drummer.

But he does not just stop at the common jazz styles. Carter is well known across the industry for his creativity. He has a unique way of playing even the most popular tracks with wildly complicated, incredibly busy licks. 

Take, for instance, the most common “Ants Marching,” some people don’t find it as interesting because it is too common.

However, Carter makes it interesting by filling a unique hi-hat pattern before orchestrally climbing higher with Matthews’ vocal stabs. In other words, he is always innovating new ways of adding fun to the most obvious themes. Another nice example is how is adds tricky bass drum work to “So Much to Say,” which all makes sense in the end.

Carter attractively plays with “Dancing Nancies,” treating it like a second line, which stops at Stewart Copeland’s home yard or extends to the used of two snares on “Two Step.” “Drumming does not have to be normal,” he once said. “Just like music composition, there is so much inspiration around us that we can use to create the most amazing sounds.”

Carter Beauford Performing
Carter Beauford Performing

And that is how he approached every piece he worked on. He bends the “rules,” crafting attractive patterns that brings joy to the listener. His heavy approach is mostly unheard of in Jazz; this makes it easy to recognize any song he may have worked on.

There is no episode where Beauford disappointed himself or those he worked. He understands what is needed to offer exceptional results and uses every power in his arms and mind to produce.

And of course, it is hard to forget the live shows he performs in. He uses his monstrous drum solo explosions in double-kick frenzies, creating evolving songs night after night. It is incredible how he manages to change his styles every night without feeling fatigued – not very many drummers can do this without running out of ideas fast. 

But Carter is no ordinary entertainer. It is not just in his talent or experience, but in the way, he creates new ideas out of nothing that gives him the spotlight.

Carter Beauford Drum Set
Carter Beauford Drum Set

He attributes his inspiration to the fact that every audience is different. Hence, he always tries to “speak directly to that audience or deliver a different message every time we play.” He said, talking to Guitar Center.

He added if he played the same think over and over, “the world would get out.” With this in mind, the drummer has managed to grasp his audience with undisputedly incredible creativity with every groove.

What do you think?

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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