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#1
Ok, please don't flame this post. I want to know why everyone thinks Lars Ulrich (yes, please no flame) is not a good drummer. Lars' drumming is my favorite sound in Metallica (and Im a guitarist!). Without the obvious childish 'He sucks' 'Napster' 'Hes a dick' statements, I cant find why hes not more of an inspiration in drummers.
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Last edited by MidniteHaze at May 2, 2011,
#2
he used to be good i think, but now he's getting older, his standard has dropped massively..
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#3
Quote by ChucklesMginty
Because:

His double bass work is very poor.
He's been doing the same kick/snare pattern his whole career.
Metallica are awful at holding a steady tempo live.
He's not really done anything very new on his instrument.


Basically, all that. Apart from the live playing, which I cannot confirm.
He never does anything interesting really.
#4
He can't hold a steady beat today and there is no variation in his drumming. He has simplified Metallica's songs to be able to play them live. A horrible drummer, really.
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#5
He was always OK. (drummer here). I read Joel McIver's Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica in which it is made fairly clear that when Lars was auditioning he was always a mediocre drummer. Not a lot of his stuff is exactly mind-blowing even for his time...He has endurance but as a drummer in THIS era he just doesn't stand out. I'm not saying he's bad but he's not great.

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#6
He's a good, solid rock drummer. I'd say as far as 'metal' goes, he's mediocre IMO, but as a rock drummer, he's 100% solid.

He just forgoes the flashy stuff that, when you get down to it, isn't necessary beyond preference.
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#7
Travis Barker is in a pop punk band and is better than him... (Speaking as both a Blink-182 and Metallica fan here)
#8
I just think in todays metal scene, whether more classic heavy metal, or newer metalcore, he doesn't stand out, because of his simplicity. I don't think he's a horrible drummer (though people who have seen him live tell me he struggles), but there are far better players out there.

However, I do agree that his double bass is terrible. Hence why in songs like "All Nightmare Long", he does triplets on the floor tom, when most metal drummers would use the double bass.

IMO, noone else would make Metallica sound like Metallica. For that reason, I don't think he's nearly as bad as everyone makes out. He has come up with some very inventive beats in the past, but he's getting on a bit, and losing his past edge.
#9
I don't really like his playing because in the studio recordings it doesn't sound like he thinks out his drum parts at all, to much random stuff going on in my opinion.

Saying that, I don't think he is a bad drummer, it's just he is getting old and hasn't really taken care of himself well.
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#10
Quote by ChucklesMginty
Because:

His double bass work is very poor.
He's been doing the same kick/snare pattern his whole career.
Metallica are awful at holding a steady tempo live on the faster songs.
He's not really done anything very new on his instrument.
+1

When I saw them in 2009 with A7X, Mastodon, Alice in Chains and The Sword, Lars wasn't even using double bass during the tempo change in One. That is one of Metallica's most monumental moments, and one of metal's greatest, too, and he can't or won't do it.

His beats are always marching beats. He rarely ever does anything more interesting or detailed than that. In his early years he was proficient with double bass, but as soon The Black Album came out it was like he had completely dropped all of that and reverted to playing basic marching beats. Although it suited the songs very well, it doesn't take very much skill and does become tiring listening to after a while.

When you see Lars and James dueling on two drum kits, you'll probably notice that Lars isn't wiping the slate. James actually can hold his own to one of the worlds most renowned and praised drummers. So, whether Lars has a few tricks up his sleeve as a drummer or not, we certainly don't see it in Metallica.
#11
Quote by AngryGoldfish
+1

When I saw them in 2009 with A7X, Mastodon, Alice in Chains and The Sword, Lars wasn't even using double bass during the tempo change in One. That is one of Metallica's most monumental moments, and one of metal's greatest, too, and he can't or won't do it.

His beats are always marching beats. He rarely ever does anything more interesting or detailed than that. In his early years he was proficient with double bass, but as soon The Black Album came out it was like he had completely dropped all of that and reverted to playing basic marching beats. Although it suited the songs very well, it doesn't take very much skill and does become tiring listening to after a while.

When you see Lars and James dueling on two drum kits, you'll probably notice that Lars isn't wiping the slate. James actually can hold his own to one of the worlds most renowned and praised drummers. So, whether Lars has a few tricks up his sleeve as a drummer or not, we certainly don't see it in Metallica.

As an added note, James can actually do the One tempo change double kick part (we're talking the machine gun part right?).
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#12
wow thats a pretty simple double bass part for one of the "best drummers in the world" to not be able to play in his sleep.

I agree with everyone else, hes ok...Just highly overrated.
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#13
Yeah, the machine gun riff just before the solo.

Loads of drummers can do it. It only takes a few years of solid practise to get to that speed.
#14
lol....seriosuly...Lars sucks...I can play that beat and im a guitar player.
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#15
Quote by ChucklesMginty
Because:

His double bass work is very poor.
He's been doing the same kick/snare pattern his whole career.
Metallica are awful at holding a steady tempo live on the faster songs.
He's not really done anything very new on his instrument.



This is the general concensus

YET heres why I like Lars

he has his own touch on things, love it or hate it, thats on you, but the second Lars jumps on a kit, you know its Lars and I think thats awesome. He does things so unnaturally compared to most drummers. When he decides to use crashes, he snare rolls, his fills---they're Lars Ulrich. Listen to a song like Creeping Death Or an odd song from Black Album, he just does stuff his way

Quote by maddnotez
lol....seriosuly...Lars sucks...I can play that beat and im a guitar player.


and you're dumb, go away

And yes Lars is a lazy live drummer, no doubt, he stepped up his game a bit in 2010 but its a known fact
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#16
Quote by GoodCharloteSux

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Irony.

I saw Metallica late last year, and he didn't do anything wrong when I saw him. He's just... bland?
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#18
He used to be awesome. I'd like for any one of you guys to show a video of themselves playing any song off of ...And Justice For All clean the whole way through. (He didn't actually do it himself, there's a ton of editing done, but a lot of his drumming in this album is extremely interesting.)
#19
Everything negative that was outlined above is spot on. His playing isn't interesting, and he's horrible live. I sincerely doubt he's practiced more than a few minutes in over 20 years, honestly... he hit a peak somewhere from 1986-1988 and then has been going constantly downhill since.

In terms of old OLD school metal drummers, Dave Lombardo and Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel) would both eat him for breakfast, and when more death metal started popping up in the late 80s/early 90s... oh boy.

There are videos of Joey Jordison and Lombardo both playing some of his songs, and the difference is huge. Like, seriously huge.

Also... I've been playing double bass since November of 2010, and I can play that part of One, although I practice very diligently.
Last edited by Steve08 at May 2, 2011,
#20
I think the general idea is that whilst there's not much variation on his beats and fills etc, he's reliable and suits the music well.

It does then bring up the question, what's a good drummer to you? I'd be perfectly happy with a drummer who's reliable and plays well for the music. You can't deny Metallica's success with Lars as a drummer, and I've heard and played with a lot worse around the music scene. Quite often a drummer will be trying to be clever with a certain beat, but it just ends up screwing up the song anyway. If everyone wants to focus on the double-bass technique, that's like bagging on a guitarist because they don't play as fast as Malmsteen.
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#21
Quote by ChucklesMginty
Because:

His double bass work is very poor.
He's been doing the same kick/snare pattern his whole career.
Metallica are awful at holding a steady tempo live on the faster songs.
He's not really done anything very new on his instrument.


this and:

His fills are pretty dull.
He can't execute his own fills properly in a live setting.
He hasn't corrected any of these problems over the course of his almost 30 year professional music career.
#22
Quote by Steve08

Also... I've been playing double bass since November of 2010, and I can play that part of One, although I practice very diligently.


This is what Lars should have been doing when he was out drinking and scoring drugs

I don't know to what degree his role his but he does have songwriting credits on many of Metallicas songs, so it's likely the band would have sounded different without him.
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#23
Hitting the drums fast and hard doesn't make you a good drummer. Good drummers play music on their drums and poor drummers simply keep a beat. Most of the time Lars can keep a beat but there is no attention to musical detail and notes. I play jazz and blues which requires me to listen to the notes and the music so I have really developed my ear. Most jazz players will pick other jazz drummers as "the best" but I think the best drummers play metal. It's not because of their speed or their double bass, it's because of their ability to hit the tom that sounds best for that part of the song or for picking the right size cymbal to hit. Lars has never focused on this. His fills are very generic and his solos are simply loud and fast. There is no real talent in that.
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#24
Quote by AngryGoldfish
His beats are always marching beats.

This describes Lars' drumming to a Tee.

I wouldn't say his drumming was anything special even back then, hell, Bonham, Peart and Alex Van Halen were playing like madmen years before Metallica even entered the scene, and those are just the popular rock drummers, jazz drummers like Buddy Rich had been ripping holes into the space-time continuum decades before with their playing.
People just cite Lars as a great drummer for the same reason they call Kirk Hammett the best guitarist in the world, because they're part of the most popular metal band in the world, and are thus revered.

EDIT: also, I personally think that anything Metallica were originally good at instantly became moot as soon as Cowboys from Hell came out. I also think that Pantera is the reason Metallica tried to go into a more blues-focused sound on Load and Reload, just like the hoards of Nü Metal bands are what caused Metallica to make St. Anger. They can say that it was supposed to be a therapeutic album all they want, I agree with Hammett when he says that they were following a trend in music, and that it was bullshit.
Last edited by CoreysMonster at May 3, 2011,
#25
his playing is pretty boring, but his kit does sound good...
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#26
Quote by CoreysMonster
This describes Lars' drumming to a Tee.

I wouldn't say his drumming was anything special even back then, hell, Bonham, Peart and Alex Van Halen were playing like madmen years before Metallica even entered the scene, and those are just the popular rock drummers, jazz drummers like Buddy Rich had been ripping holes into the space-time continuum decades before with their playing.
People just cite Lars as a great drummer for the same reason they call Kirk Hammett the best guitarist in the world, because they're part of the most popular metal band in the world, and are thus revered.

EDIT: also, I personally think that anything Metallica were originally good at instantly became moot as soon as Cowboys from Hell came out. I also think that Pantera is the reason Metallica tried to go into a more blues-focused sound on Load and Reload, just like the hoards of Nü Metal bands are what caused Metallica to make St. Anger. They can say that it was supposed to be a therapeutic album all they want, I agree with Hammett when he says that they were following a trend in music, and that it was bullshit.
Exactly.

There is obviously no denying the genius that Metallica was as an outfit, but individually they weren't that amazing. James was, in fact, the most talented musician among them as he could do everything that the others could do, but sang as well - which is probably harder than playing a solo with lots of distortion and wah.
#27
Quote by Skinny91
I don't know to what degree his role his but he does have songwriting credits on many of Metallicas songs, so it's likely the band would have sounded different without him.

Yeah, if you watch the recording processes, Lars is the only one that actually sits there the most with the editors and structures the songs. James comes up with the riffs, Kirk the solos, and Lars will sit there and give ideas, and most of them are pretty good. Obviously James has the melodic/emotional touch to the songs. I believe he has songwriting credits on ALL of their songs, which means he's more behind the scenes. He's also a perfectionist, which makes him even more vital to the band. I also like all the class in this thread. I really underestimated you all.
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#28
Lars is part of a world famous band, obviously he's going to come under some scrutiny, especially at that level.
And I agree he's not that good of a drummer, but he's one of my inspirations because he's really enthusiastic about his playing, it's not the greatest, but he enjoys it. And he shows it alot more than other drummers. He just gets into it if you know what I mean. That's why he's a good drummer to me.
But my own philosophy is this to some extent: If you can inspire someone else to pick up the sticks and play drums or whatever, then you're a good drummer. Simple as that really, no need for extreme fills, insane double bass pedalling, complex jazz rudimental rhythms etc... Just enjoy what you do, and he does.
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#29
hes a great musician,u dont have to be a top player to be in a famous band,just look at gene simmons or nikki sixx,they are hardly the best players of there instruments but they are great songwriters and its a known fact that lars arranges alot of the guitar parts and how they all link up.
#30
I guess he suits Metallica. I listen to Metallica for the guitars myself.. but whatever some people like Lars. Seems to me like Lars Ulrich is a rock drummer playing in a thrash metal band. If Dave Lombardo had joined Metallica instead of Lars they would probably sound like a completely different band and i'm not sure if thats a good or bad thing. I could say the same about the band if Dave Mustaine had stayed with them though. The only thing Lars does that is unique is he likes to hit the cymbals on an odd timing, and i'l admit when I was a 13 year old boy that influenced me.
#31
because metallica sucks balls.

They have an uncanny ability to take a cool song concept and then make it incredibly gay
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#32
I read an article about the recording of Ride the lightning, MoP and ...And justice for all...

Apparantly Lars's philosophy about drum recording is that to make it sound good, you have to hit hard.. in a interwiev with engineer that recorded Justice, he said that they recorded drums in ~30-45 second clips, then Lars was too exhausted to go on, and they had a small break. Restarded where they were, and then all the takes were mixed together... With tapes :S
Also the heads needed to be changed every 10-15 take
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Last edited by linus.d at May 6, 2011,
#33
Quote by linus.d
I read an article about the recording of Ride the lightning, MoP and ...And justice for all...

Apparantly Lars's philosophy about drum recording is that to make it sound good, you have to hit hard.. in a interwiev with engineer that recorded Justice, he said that they recorded drums in ~30-45 second clips, then Lars was too exhausted to go on, and they had a small break. Restarded where they were, and then all the takes were mixed together... With tapes :S
Also the heads needed to be changed every 10-15 take


Thats pretty crazy, never heard that about him. Not that I agree with it, it sounds expenisive and time conusiming, haha. Also, seeing he was doing 30-45 second takes of songs I think he could have been a lot more imaginative.
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#34
He was good at best, during the first five albums. I kinda like his stuff on AJFA, especially Blackened. Also, his simple yet upbeat roles in songs like Hit the Lights are pretty awesome too. Why does he get so much hate? For one, he's terrible nowadays because he's too busy swimming in money to give a sh*t about drums. The second reason he's hated is simply because he's in Metallica, there are people who refuse to listen to bands that are popular. There are a sh*tload of Metallica haters, and Lars is probably Metallica's weakest members so he gets raped. Not to mention after the whole Napster incident he was just asking to be ripped on.
#36
Quote by austhrax
hes a great musician,u dont have to be a top player to be in a famous band,just look at gene simmons or nikki sixx,they are hardly the best players of there instruments but they are great songwriters and its a known fact that lars arranges alot of the guitar parts and how they all link up.

One might also look into Matt Sorum of GnR and Phil Rudd of AC/DC...
Quote by linus.d
I read an article about the recording of Ride the lightning, MoP and ...And justice for all...

Apparantly Lars's philosophy about drum recording is that to make it sound good, you have to hit hard.. in a interwiev with engineer that recorded Justice, he said that they recorded drums in ~30-45 second clips, then Lars was too exhausted to go on, and they had a small break. Restarded where they were, and then all the takes were mixed together... With tapes :S
Also the heads needed to be changed every 10-15 take

That sounds a liiittle bit like BS. Source?

I do agree with most of what's being said here, having been a Metallica fan since I was four (22 years ago, wow) I am never the less able to see his obvious shortcomings, but I don't seen them as weaknesses as such.
Last edited by Pikka Bird at May 6, 2011,
#37
Quote by linus.d
I read an article about the recording of Ride the lightning, MoP and ...And justice for all...

Apparantly Lars's philosophy about drum recording is that to make it sound good, you have to hit hard.. in a interwiev with engineer that recorded Justice, he said that they recorded drums in ~30-45 second clips, then Lars was too exhausted to go on, and they had a small break. Restarded where they were, and then all the takes were mixed together... With tapes :S
Also the heads needed to be changed every 10-15 take

This was also inderectly pointed out in "A year and a half".
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#38
That still seems bogus to me, especially if you're playing slow stuff like... pretty much everything on the Black Album. Metal drummers that play blast beats REALLY LOUD on the hands (examples being Derek Roddy, KC Howard, Adam Jarvis, Brad Fickeisen, Mike Smith, Danny Walker and Gene Hoglan) go for an entire set with a ton of power and they're not giving up after 30-45 seconds... it could just be that Lars, you know, sucks.
Last edited by Steve08 at May 6, 2011,
#39
Quote by linus.d
I read an article about the recording of Ride the lightning, MoP and ...And justice for all...

Apparantly Lars's philosophy about drum recording is that to make it sound good, you have to hit hard.. in a interwiev with engineer that recorded Justice, he said that they recorded drums in ~30-45 second clips, then Lars was too exhausted to go on, and they had a small break. Restarded where they were, and then all the takes were mixed together... With tapes :S
Also the heads needed to be changed every 10-15 take

Please explain how drummers like Dave Grohl and John Bonhom, both being notorious for beating the shit out of their drums as hard as they can, can play entire sets visibly beating the crap out of their kits, but Lars can't even play longer than half a minute? That sounds like complete bullshit, unless Lars has some kind of bizarre disease that doesn't let him exert himself for more than half a minute.
#40
If it is true, then it may be that Lars wanted people to think he was a badass, and that his badassery would be reflected into his music, when really it's just lameness that comes across as badassery, like the kid who could whammy without a whammy.
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