The Deluge of YouTube™ Karaoke Drumming

I recently made this comment on my Facebook page:
So, what in the world is the point of all these karaoke drumming videos posted on YouTube? So you can play along to "YYZ" — that doesn't make you Neil Peart. I'd much rather see someone playing their own music and showing that they can actually think, and not just mime…
As expected, I received comments agreeing with me, but I also received one saying, “A few of them have landed pro gigs from these things.” This one made me think. I suppose that some people have garnered some sort of gig from their videos, but I really have to ask, who would hire them? It’s true that both Journey & YES found their new singers (both virtual clones for their old singers) on YouTube. But to be fair, the videos didn’t feature them singing along to old Journey or YES CDs, rather, their were singing in Journey/YES tribute bands. So this was pretty close to singing in the real bands.
But what I’m alarmed about is the fact that so many drummers with a Flip camera are filming themselves playing along to their favorite CDs/MP3s, then posting the results for the world at large to watch. And often there’s some sort of caveat, “Yeah, I know it’s not perfect. I missed that fill before the second chorus. But it still rocks.” All I can do is shake my head in disbelief. 
I know everyone wants to show off now and then, but do you really want the whole world to see your bull shit version of an old STYX song? Playing along to records really proves nothing. Trained monkeys could do it. And the problem is, once you put a shitty video on the web, it’s there pretty much for eternity. Do you really want to be remembered for rocking out your Pearl Exports to some forgettable Nickleback song? If you think YouTube is your short cut to being discovered and finding stardom, well, I hate to disappoint you (and 10 million others), but it’s not.
If you really have something to say, then say it. But if what you have to say is not particularly memorable, then it’s best to leave it at home. If you are serious about music and drumming, then only post video that shows you off in a good light. Rather than mime to a CD, play the same song with a live band. Or better yet, write your own music and present that. 
The best advice I ever got from someone was, “Make sure your talent is undeniable.” Think about it— 

“Make sure your talent is undeniable.” 

If it’s not, then don’t let it out of the box until it is…
~ MB


  1. “Make sure your talent is undeniable.” — I've been racking my brain trying to recall who said that to me. It was about 10 years ago when I was working retail, selling drums, and it was my regional SABIAN rep—I believe his name was Shawn, I can't recall his last name. So many thanks to you Shawn for the sage advice!

  2. It would be a tough fight. Every one should start practicing with their meter now.

    drums native american


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