Gregg Bissonette is a living legend who’s worked with everyone from David Lee Roth to Ringo Starr. A drummer of super adaptability, great pocket and affable personality, he won the title of “Best All-Around Drummer” in the 2023 Modern Drummer Readers Poll.
So of course, we asked Gregg to share his favorite drum parts of all time.
He’s chosen a baker’s dozen of grooves, fills, and all-around awesome sections from a variety of genres and musical eras (in no particular order).
Read on to get a peek into Gregg’s mind – and the rhythms that fuel his mojo!
Terry Bozzio is one of my best pals, so let’s start with his band Missing Persons and the song “Noticeable one.”
Check out the section at 3:03:
Here’s a classic: Ringo Starr – my favorite drummer of all time – with the song “Ticket To Ride”! I love the groove in the verse:
It’s one of the greatest Bonham parts of all time:
I really love this original groove that Billy Cobham came up with (at 1:10) and it just so happens to be the groove that Alex Van Halen borrowed for Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher”.
Alex played it a little bit different without the ghost notes on the snare, but both this song and “Hot For Teacher” are two of my favorite drum grooves ever – all thanks to the great Billy Cobham!
Dave Grohl double-tracked drums on this song, so only an octopus can play it note-for-note live. But this tom groove is one of the greatest:
I played along to this song so much as a kid. Danny Seraphine’s work on “Now That You’ve Gone” by Chicago is legendary.
Jimmy Branly is my Afro-Cuban drum set instructor and one of my best friends. He’s been my teacher since around 1998.
He’s from Havana, Cuba and he’s the most amazing Afro-Cuban drummer. This song is kind of a culmination of a lot of songs, and you hear him playing a great cowbell groove and a 2-3 rumba clave on his left hand. He plays bongo bell with his left foot on the quarter notes and improvising on the bass drum.
What an incredible groove by an incredible drummer and great friend.
Jimmy himself wrote out an example of the groove he’s playing in the above video! Keep in mind that he’s comping a lot:
The great Mitch Mitchell, everybody:
David Garibaldi on “Soul Vaccination” – what a great groove! Listen to the section at 0:18:
The late, great Tony Williams.
Gene Pello played on “ABC” by the Jackson 5. Drummers don’t know that much about him, but what a great drummer.
Here’s the section at 1:27:
This is classic James Gadson. These are the funkiest 8 bars in soul music as far as I’m concerned. It makes me want to dance every time I hear it, and believe me you don’t want to see me dance!
Listen to the section from 1:39-2:00:
This is Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste at his finest with The Meters. This intro is the quintessential groove for New Orleans second line. Ziggy is so incredible and a great guy!
More from Gregg Bissonette
Wanna steal a page from Gregg’s playbook? Watch his video courses, “Becoming A Well-Rounded Drummer” and “How To Start And End Songs”, available with your free 7-day Drumeo trial!
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