Gene Krupa, the first rock drummer | Zero to Drum

Gene Krupa is among the top drummers who have left a huge footmark in the industry.

Neil Peart, one of the greatest drummers of all times once said Krupa was “the first rock drummer, in very many ways.” This is an excellent witness to the works of Gene Krupa. When it comes to innovation and creating new styles, he appears in full swing.

His style included unique personal features that seemed to tell stories. It is not every day that you meet such a talented drummer with everything to offer to the world. Gene is said to be a drummer with a keen ear to details.

Peart continues to state that Krupa was the first drummer to command the spotlight. It almost came naturally to him because his work was so good it inspired everyone around him. In addition, he was the first drummer to be celebrated for his solos.

Such is not something that comes easily, especially since many people prefer group work in a band. But Krupa changed all that with his charming drumming style that almost translated into a song.

One fan of his once stated that “Krupa’s drumming makes it feel as though the kit can hear his thoughts an translate them exactly how he wants.”

Krupa basically did easy things. It was not like he was trying so hard, but “everything he did made him look spectacular,” added Peart. In other words, he is one drummer who used the stick in any simple manner he could.

His imagination built such innovative creativity that flowed through the sticks, landing on the drums with inspiring output. And by all means, Krupa had a lot of inspiration for other musicians then and even days that followed.

He is well known for his flailing to attach, four-on-the-floor bass-drum tattoo, and a manically funky cowbell.

It seems most of his personality and style was inspired by New Orleans drummers Baby Dodds and Zutty Singleton. And with this style, Krupa was able to drive Benny Goodman’s innovative Thirties band to greater heights. Through this, the drummer initiated a generation of nature rock giants. Big names like Keith Moon and John Bonham came from Krupa’s coaching.

This just shows how influential he was then, and even now, as many other drummers join the industry, trying to make their mark in the industry. It is always easy to see when something is good, and Krupa is an excellent example of pro drumming.

Gene worked with his opponent in the epic drum battles that started the modern “Gospel Chops” drum videos, Buddy Rich, to initiate drum-set artistry as sports and spectacle. And he is the godfather of this industry even today. 

And when you think about the still-thriving tradition of showstopping, arena-scale star turns, including Bonham’s “Moby Dick” and Peart’s “The Rhythm Method,” Krupa’s name will not fail to feature.

He has offered support for many talents that the industry thrives today in many areas because of his influence. It is not easy to talk about great drummers without mentioning him.

What do you think?

Avatar Of Andrea

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.

Stewart Copeland, from the Police to Primus’ Les Claypool

Drum Rhythm

How to learn Rhythm