Why Great Drummers Are Better Than Us (@The 80/20 Drummer Lesson)

What do Larnell Lewis, Sarah Thawer, and Mark Guiliana have in common?

They’re all great drummers. But what makes them so great? Why do they sound so good?

In this quick tip, Nate Smith (aka “The 80/20 Drummer”) explains how note placement is a key reason top drummers sound better than the rest of us. And you don’t have to be ‘born with it’ to learn how to improve where and how you hit the drums.

Nate shares his favorite analogy about note placement and shows you a few metronome exercises to improve your timing. Give them a try!

And if you want to dive deeper — we have hundreds of lessons hosted by many of the drumming greats mentioned in this video inside Drumeo. Try it out here for free with a 7-day trial: https://drumeo.com/trial-10007

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Comment (392)

  1. They are better because they practice more. And every recording you hear on an album most likely took multiple takes as does every video you see. Nothing makes up for practice.

  2. The most under rated drummer is Joey Kramer from Aerosmith. You can really hear how great he is by listening to Aerosmith live without Joey during this current tour compared to Aerosmith with Joey Kramer. When they did their Nine Lives album, Joey wasn’t there for the recording so they used a session drummer…when Joey came back they scrapped the whole album and re-recorded it with Joey.

  3. The Parking Spot is a metaphor used for swing too. If you want to learn mare about dancing your hits around the beat, try studying some jazz standards as you think about it.

  4. Simply put, they practiced the right shit on a consistent basis. One thing that held back my playing for many years is consistency. If you want to be great, you gotta do it consistently and gradually moving out of your comfort zone.

  5. That was fun! Easily one of my favourite Drumeo videos yet. I already followed/enjoyed Nates stuff but the production quality here along with the visuals/sense of humour intermixed was a beautiful blend of approachable education. Thank you. 🙏

  6. Being able to displace the beat by 8th's and 16th's along with a click was one of the hardest things I ever learned how to do. Because I (we) was raised on rock and roll radio it took soooo long to be able to escape that backbeat as we've been trained to find it. Now I can slip in and out of it at will but it wasn't easy

  7. Drumeo can have weak content too! Wow…

    This guy can't even speak properly…but tongue aside, he has a lazy attitude on the kit with a terrible posture and thinks he knows something special. Probably he can play, but something different is to be good a teaching.

    By far the weakest video i've seen on Drumeo.

    From Anika, Thomas Lang, SugarFoot, Minnemann, Phillips, etc… to this guy? Come on Drumeo, come on…

  8. This was great. I watch 80/20 as well at times. This lesson reminds of Phil Rudd on a song like 'Back In Black'. It is simple beat, but if you listen closely, Rudd is in a pocket that is unbelievable. It's deceptively simple pattern, but its all how Rudd plays it. It comes with time to develop feel.

  9. This is so awesome. I’m a better drummer than I was 2 years ago and by a lot because of my teachers in Lima, Peru and also because of you Nate. That tip of keeping things hitting at the same time and the off beat 16ths helped me a lot.

  10. I’be followed Nate for a long time. It’s GREAT to have him on Drumeo!! He sees the “inside” perspective on things that we all observe, but that we don’t really understand the details of.

    Each one of your educators brings something different, yet they all come together to make Drumeo a “go to” in drum education.

    Thank you, Jared, and Nate!!!

  11. Thanks for your responses. I've deleted my former comments because I think I muddied the waters in respect to the topic of your video. Love your channel and respect you as a musician and tutor truly. Thanks for the exchange all the same

  12. When I manage to practice every day for a while I begin to feel like I’m getting close, especially on a good day where I’m just jamming along with my favorite tunes

    Then I miss a few days due to boring responsibilities and when I come back I’m sloppy, takes a while to warm up, and I struggle to lock up with the beat real tight. Really frustrating when I just can’t manage to play at the level I know I’m capable of, or at least want to be capable of.

  13. You look so professional all dressed up, got to get used to the new look, congratulations, I knew they were going to nab you, always loved your authenticity and style, keep moving forward

  14. For some reason I read this as “Why great dinosaurs are better than us” and then saw the elephant and thought this was supposed to be a dinosaur and then wondered what dinosaurs and elephants have to do with drumming (totally started working on theories around polyrhythmic leg cadences before figuring it out).


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