I’m not a drummer, so everything you read from here on is based purely from a guitarist’s perspective.
I watch drummers all of the time and I see all levels of quality. My benchmark for whether they are a good drummer or not is two-fold, firstly, can they sustain a groove and secondly can they play the Rosanna shuffle? Ha I hear you say that’s a high benchmark. yes it is, don’t get me wrong, if a drummer can lay down a tidy groove, that’s usually good enough. But if they can play the Rosanna Shuffle anywhere near as good as Jeff Porcaro, then – respect!!! Here’s Mr Porcaro playing and explaining the Rosanna Shuffle for those drummers out there who want to impress!
I was lucky enough to have met Jeff Porcaro as I gatecrashed the after show party at the Hammersmith Odeon in the early 1990’s. He was a thoroughly nice man and he didn’t dob me in. I was also fortunate enough to meet Simon Philips under similar circumstances a few years later. As good as Simon is there’s no disputing the fact that he’s no Porcaro. So what’s the secret ingredient that makes a good drummer great? Well I won’t claim to know the answer to that one, but practice makes perfect. So if you want to be the next Buddy Rich or Cozy Powell you know what you need to do!
So I’m off to play some nifty lead breaks on my electric guitar. I need all the practice I can get :0)