June 1

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LISTEN! Top 10+ Drummers that sing

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Good morning, and thanks a lot for joining me on Midnightdrummer.com this day!

In this blog post, I'd like to talk about the Top 10+ drummers that sing—while playing drums at the same time. 

If you haven't tried singing while playing drums, you should definitely add it into your daily practice routine!

Why?

Because singing while playing drums can be a tough challenge and will improve your timing and rhythmic skills over time.  

Can't sing properly?

Most drummers cannot sing properly!

But learning the basics is fun, and it will help you become a much better musician and a better drummer, too.
Start leveling up your singing skills, and have a look at this great online course by professional singer Melanie Alexander:

60 days 100 % Money-back guarantee included!

Why drummers should learn to sing properly

Microphone - Image by Jon Tyson

Now, let's see who the drummers are who really master this challenge and can sing very well while playing drums.

Here are the contents:

Top 10+ drummers that sing

Here are my top 10+ list of singing drummers.

Please let me know in the comments, which drummers should be added.

#1 Phil Collins

Phil Collins is probably the most famous drummer who sings while playing drums. 

Phil Collins is a real master as a drummer and as a singer, too!

Maybe you have seen him performing the song "In the air tonight”, which you can watch here:

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Jump to 4:25 to see him play the drums while singing at the same time.

And yes, there are phrases which are pretty difficult to sing, because they are completely off-beat so to say.

You will figure it out, what part I mean, when you try singing that song while drumming. 🙂

#2 Todd Sucherman

I think, many of you know the world-class drummer Todd Sucherman. He's became famous as a drummer for Styx.

In the following video, you can see him sing and playing drums at the same time:

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#3 Sheila E.

Yes, there are the ladies who not only can play the drums, but also sing!

Sheila E. is probably one of the most famous female drummers in the world, having played with greats like Prince, Cyndi Lauper and Beyoncé, for example.

At 3:17 you can see her singing while playing the drums:

Subscribe to my YT-channel and get free drum lessons for beginners.

#4 Micky Dolenz

I just found out that Micky Dolenz is the drummer for the Monkees – a popular band from the 1960s. 

In the following song “I'm a believer” you can see him sing lead while playing the drums on stage:

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#5 Karen Carpenter

Here's another fantastic drummer-lady and her name is Karen Carpenter.

Here skills on the drums are incredible, while her singing is remarkable too!

Most musicians would be happy to be able if they could do either of them.

At minute 1:21 you can see Karen play drums and sing at the same time:

Subscribe to my YT-channel and get free drum lessons for beginners.

#6 Roger Taylor

Roger Taylor is another very popular drummer who sings.

In this case, the band is Queen.

In the following video, you can see him sing backing vocals to the song "Somebody to love”:

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#7 Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr is the drummer of the Beatles.

Everybody probably knows that!

But did you know that he also sang while playing the drums?

Look here starting at minute 0:30:

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#8 Levon Helm

I must admit, that I didn't know Levon Helm before I started writing this blog post.

Still, he's a very popular singer, songwriter, and drummer for “The Band” which is very popular in the USA.

In the next video, Levon Helm explains his approach on how to sing while playing the drums:

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#9 Don Henley

Don Henley has been a lead singer and also drummer for the “Eagles”

Here's what it looks and sounds like when he performs as a singer and drummer at the same time:

Subscribe to my YT-channel and get free drum lessons for beginners.

#10 Peter Criss

Peter Criss is another pretty popular drummer.

No wonder, because he's been a drummer for the band Kiss, and he knows how to play the drums!

In the following video at minute 8:40 you can see Peter Criss singing while playing drums:

Subscribe to my YT-channel and get free drum lessons for beginners.

#11 Gil Moore

Gil Moore is the drummer for the band Canadian rock band “Triumph” and he can sing very well!

In the following video, starting at 1:10 you can see him doing both – Playing drums while singing:

Subscribe to my YT-channel and get free drum lessons for beginners.

#11 Deen Castronovo

Deen Castronovo is another drummer who sings, and I didn't know him before writing this article.

He's been a drummer for “Journey” and in the following video you can see him singing while playing the drums:

Subscribe to my YT-channel and get free drum lessons for beginners.

Who's the best singing drummer?

Phil Collins is one of the best singing drummers in the world! His capability to playing complex drum grooves and fills while singing difficult phrases in off-beat rhythmic variations is unmatched.

Does Phil Collins singing while playing drums?

Yes, Phil Collins used to sing while playing drums. His most favorite song “In the Air tonight” is a very good example to study his drumming capabilities as well as his skills in singing.

What band has a drummer that sings?

There are several bands which have a drummer that sings:

  • The Police
  • Foo Fighters
  • Journey
  • Styx
  • Eagles
  • The Beatles
  • etc.

Did the Eagles drummer sing?

Yes, the Eagles drummer, who is Don Henley sings while playing drums. He is also a lead singer while playing drums in the song “Hotel California”.

Are there any jazz drummers who sing?

I just had to research a bit to find cool jazz drummers, that also sing while swinging on their drum sets.

At first, here's a video in which Quincy Davis explains, why singing as a (jazz) drummer makes sense:

Subscribe to my YT-channel and get free drum lessons for beginners.

But after a while I stopped researching because I wasn't able to find a good jazz drummer who sings.

If you know a few, please let me know in the comments.

Who are the best lead singer drummers?

This is another question, which isn't easy to answer, because there are so many great drummers, who don't only sing while playing drums, but are also lead singers in their bands.

There are at least 5 famous drummers that sing lead, which I mentioned already:

  • Don Henley – Eagles
  • Levon Helm – The Band
  • Karen Carpenter – The Carpenters
  • Micky Dolenz - The Monkees
  • Phil Collins – Genesis 

Of course, there are more.

Maybe they aren't as popular, but still there are a lot of rough diamonds hidden in shady rehearsal rooms somewhere on this planet.

If you can sing and play the drums, please let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Can you sing while playing the drums?

I think that singing while playing the drums is a fantastic skill every drummer should practice.
If you need some help with the basics, please have a look at this online course.

Even if you can't sing to a song hitting the right notes, it's worth trying, and you should add this to your daily practice routine.

Why?

You will improve your timing skills tremendously, just trying to count the quarter note while playing easy drum beats can be difficult, but it's worth the effort!

So, can you sing while playing drums?

Please let me know in the comments below!

Enjoy playing drums and talk soon!

Keno Hellmann

Keno is a professional drummer & blogger from Hamburg, Germany.
In his career, he played drums for prominent artists like Elton John and popular German bands like Rosenstolz, Big Soul and others.
Since 2004 he's also teaching drums to students of all age-groups from beginners to advanced and semi-professional drummers.

He loves kitesurfing in Germany's North Sea & Egypt's Red Sea, cooking, and he is a big supporter of the HSV football team.

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