The Myth of Karaoke Drumming Videos

From the file of Things You Will Never Hear: 

"Hey, didn't I see your cover video of you drumming to the new Maroon 5 song on YouTube?"
"Yeah, that's me."
"Dude, that was awesome! I want to hire you for my world tour and new recording!"

YouTube cover videos, or Karaoke drumming, has become a big thing. Or so it seems. I must admit that I just don't get the 'Drum Cover' karaoke video thing. If I want to see someone play a TOOL song on a video, I want to see Danny Carey. If I want to see someone play a RUSH song, I want to see Neil Peart. It all seems more like a sport than music, with people sharing videos back and forth, like moves in a game. 

Now before you go thinking I'm some sort of crotchety old guy, when I was younger, I jammed along to recordings. I did it all the time. But it was a learning thing, and I didn't really want anyone else to hear it. Today, YouTube is inundated with karaoke drumming videos. And FaceBook is full of drummers posting, "Hey, look at my video!"

Would someone please tell what is the purpose?

Now, if it's just to show off, I'm not impressed. Anyone can learn to copy a part note-for-note and make a video. But that doesn't mean they can play in a band, make it groove/swing, or bring something of their own to the table. Being able to recreate something someone else has done makes you a technician, not a musician. And there's a big difference. A musician should be able to think for themself and create something of their own.

But I Might Get Discovered!

OK, so YES and Journey both found new singers from watching YouTube videos of clone, err, tribute bands. This does not make YouTube the ideal place to find a new gig. Just because you can play the new Dream Theater track just like Mike Mangini will not help you get hired. In fact, Dream Theater just hired Mike Mangini, so you most likely have zero chance of playing with them. So what now? Well, maybe a Dream Theater tribute band in Oklahoma needs a new drummer. Other than that, I don't really know of anyone getting hired for a legit gig because of their YouTube Karaoke videos. If someone reading this has, then please let me know.

But What Should I do?

Well, I have nothing against YouTube and videos. I have a whole bunch of them out there myself. But why don't you do something different? Like record a cover song with a real live band! What a novel approach. "But I don't have a band," you say. Then get your friends together and make one. Even one friend will do. You can be a duo—it's still a band. And whatever cover song you do will certainly have its own unique thing going on.

Check this out: Two 11 year old kids shredding in Times Square!

Unlock the Truth

If these 2 kids can do it, so can you! And these kids are writing their own tunes too, not just playing covers. So write your own songs and make a video of that. I'd much rather watch these kids than the 100th video drum cover version of the new Maroon 5 song. And if I was looking for talent, I'd be more interested in these kids, because they're bringing it!

So if you must video, then make better videos. Make your own music!

~ MB

PS - BTW, this blog post is based on a Facebook drum group posting I put up today. So if some of it looks familiar, well, it is.


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