Hand drummers in Berkeley, California, about 1966
Drummer at a party in Canjambari, Guinea-Bissau, 1974
A marching drum line warming up, 2011
Turkmenistan Independence Day, 2011

A drummer is a percussionist who creates music using drums.

Most contemporary western bands that play rock, pop, jazz, or R&B music include a drummer for purposes including timekeeping and embellishing the musical timbre. The drummer's equipment includes a drum kit (or "drum set" or "trap set") which includes various drums, cymbals and an assortment of accessory hardware such as pedals, standing support mechanisms, and drum sticks.

In other genres, particularly in the traditional music of many countries, drummers use individual drums of various sizes and designs rather than drum kits. Some use only their hands to strike the drums.[1]

In larger ensembles, the drummer may be part of a rhythm section with other percussionists playing, for example, vibraphone, marimba or xylophone. These musicians provide the timing and rhythmic foundation which allow the players of melodic instruments, including voices, to coordinate their musical performance.

Some famous drummers include: Ringo Starr, John Bonham, Ginger Baker, Keith Moon (The Who), Neil Peart, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Tim "Herb" Alexander (Primus), Phil Rudd (AC/DC), Rashied Ali, Carl Allen, Steve White, Craig Blundell, Travis Barker, Tony Royster Jr., Rick Allen (Def Leppard).

As well as the primary rhythmic function,[2] in some musical styles, such as world, jazz, classical, and electronica, the drummer is called upon to provide solo and lead performances, at times when the main feature of the music is the rhythmic development.

There are many tools that a drummer can use for either timekeeping or soloing.These include cymbals (china, crash, ride, splash, hi-hats, etc.), snare, toms, auxiliary percussion (bells, Latin drums, cowbells, temple blocks) and many others.Also there are single, double, and triple bass pedals for the bass drum.


Drummer of the French Chasseurs alpins, 2007

Before motorized transport became widespread, drummers played a key role in military conflicts. Military drummers provided drum cadences that set a steady marching pace and elevated troop morale on the battlefield. In some armies drums also assisted in combat by keeping cadence for firing and loading drills with muzzle loading guns. Military drummers were also employed on the parade field, when troops passed in review, and in various ceremonies including ominous drum rolls accompanying disciplinary punishments. Children also served as drummer boys well into the nineteenth century, though less commonly than is popularly assumed; due to the nature of the job, experienced older men were preferred.

In modern times, drummers are not employed in battle, but their ceremonial duties continue. Typically buglers and drummers mass under a sergeant-drummer and during marches alternately perform with the regiment or battalion ensembles.

Military-based musical percussion traditions were not limited exclusively to the western world. When Emir Osman I was appointed commander of the Turkish army on the Byzantine border in the late 13th century, he was symbolically installed via a handover of musical instruments by the Seldjuk sultan. In the Ottoman Empire, the size of a military band reflected the rank of its commander in chief: the largest band was reserved for the Sultan (viz. his Grand Vizier when taking the field). It included various percussion instruments, often adopted in European military music (as 'Janissary music'). The pitched bass drum is still known in some languages as the Turkish Drum.

Military drumming is the origin of Traditional grip as opposed to Matched grip of drumsticks.

Other Languages
العربية: طبال
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Бубнач
brezhoneg: Tabouliner
Deutsch: Schlagzeuger
eesti: Trummar
español: Tamborilero
فارسی: طبل‌زن
français: Batteur
한국어: 드럼 연주자
íslenska: Trommuleikari
italiano: Batterista
עברית: מתופף
Latina: Tympanista
Nedersaksies: Drummer
日本語: ドラマー
polski: Dobosz
português: Baterista
română: Baterist
русский: Барабанщик
Simple English: Drummer
slovenčina: Bubeník
suomi: Rumpali
svenska: Trumslagare
Türkçe: Davulcu
українська: Барабанщик
ייִדיש: פויקער
中文: 鼓手