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Was John Bonham a better drummer than Neil Peart?

Asked by: Sumocolt768
  • Bonham best of his time.

    Neil peart is arguably the better drummer but remember he has an added 30+ years on bonham. However if you take the same sample size period bonham is better. It's shame he had to die when he did because they (Led Zeppelin) were going to tour in the fall. If the roles were reversed we would not be having this discussion b/c Bonham had natural skill while Peart had acquired skill.

  • Rush was great but,

    John didn't even have 2 bass petals, Neil had to be lowered into his drum set, if John Bonham had the same drum set that Neil than there would be no question, Jimmy Page said that the only reason John had only one bass petal was because Jimmy stole all his bass petals because if he had 2 bass petals Jimmy wouldn't be able to keep up with him

  • One word: Feeling

    I am not a musician so my opinion is based on being a music fan growing up listening to both Zeppelin and Rush. As I got older, I began to listen more to the sound of the instruments and their contribution to each song that they play. As I listen, I hear Bonham's feeling in his music. He may not have always been perfect or technical but he put the raw feeling into his music and that is what I love about him. Peart is a phenomenal drummer. His talent is immeasurable, sure, but he's a little too perfect and technical for me so while I can respect his talent, for me, Bonham had more feeling.

  • Bonham better by far

    Peart was a mechanical, educated drummer, where as bonham it was in his blood. Bonham had sense of rytham, feeling, awkward awesome off beats, knew how to fill in space with beautiful hesitation . Most drummers that believe peart was better drummer may know how to play drums, but don't really understand what makes a great drummer!

  • Bonham is actually musically gifted. Pert is just fill and tricks.

    John Bonham actually played music with his drums. Take the music away and there is still a beat and a melody and a fullness and that driving human element. Pert is a talented percussionist but it's all bells and whistles and no substance and no feel, just mindless rolls, not the backbone of a real drummer.

  • Bonham is actually musically gifted. Pert is just fill and tricks.

    John Bonham actually played music with his drums. Take the music away and there is still a beat and a melody and a fullness and that driving human element. Pert is a talented percussionist but it's all bells and whistles and no substance and no feel, just mindless rolls, not the backbone of a real drummer.

  • It's all about depth for me....

    It is amazing the DEPTH John Bonham got out of his relatively small basic kit when compared to the monstrosity of a kit that Neil Peart uses. Peart could swing his sticks anywhere and hit a drum....Bonham had to work for it a bit more. And that right foot ........ He used a single pedal and he made it sound like a Jack rabbit was pounding on it!

  • Bonham, the one and only

    Agree with many here, this is, to a great extent, a debate between technical ability and raw talent. Bonham is the one who had more artistic ability and feel. He could channel the atmosphere through his instrument like no other. Neil COULD have been the more technically advanced drummer but I'd take Bonhams' talent over Neils' ability if i'd get to pick.

  • Feel vs time

    You can train time but not feel. When the levee breaks, no one will ever duplicate that unless we have an amazing talent up and coming. The feel that bonham had was astounding, neil pert i respect him and admire him but i take feel over time any day mamba out

  • Feel vs time

    You can train time but not feel. When the levee breaks, no one will ever duplicate that unless we have an amazing talent up and coming. The feel that bonham had was astounding, neil pert i respect him and admire him but i take feel over time any day mamba out

  • John Bonham lacked the formal training Neil Peart had

    Though both drummers are (or were, in this case for Bonham) fantastic percussionists, Bonham simply didn't have the formal training that Peart was provided early on. Whereas Bonham was more experimental (think Led Zeppelin's "Two Sticks"), Peart was more methodical and precise. John Bonham may have been speedy, but Peart has stamina and proficiency.

  • A funny story...

    So many (keith) moons ago (probably 1986), in an apartment in Lexington, my old friend had two other friends over - just hanging out, doing hits, shots, etc. As they enjoyed a selection of music fromt those bands, a discussion started between the two invited friends (who knew each other) as to whether Bohnam was a better drummer than Peart. They disagreed. On and on it went as my friend mused that neither would conceed. Before long, though still on topic, it was clear that each was beginning to see the other as a jerk. When guest "A" had reached his limit, he pulled his tool out of his pants and drew the line. "If you're so damn sure that Bonham is better than Peart, then reach down an pull my d1*k!" guest B would not give in and reached down and pulled it. As you can guess, the gloves came off, furniture was broken, One went away pissed and the other with a busted nose etc, and my friend with a broken stereo and furniture. So yes this is a very serious topic and needs to be settled in the manliest of manners. Have never heard of that line in the sand before, but thought it was classic. Although I wouldn't pull anyone's tool to make the point, I'll choose Peart for his ability to cover such a diverse set of rhythms and instruments What can be said about Bonham, his style was unique and took rock to a new place and he will be sorely missed.

  • Both of them are exceptionally skilled, But I still think that Peart is the better drummer.

    I do not doubt that Bonham was exceptionally skilled, But I think that Peart is simply the more refined and more experienced drummer. He is very famous for his jaw dropping drum solos and his exceptional speed and accuracy when he is drumming. While Bonham is pretty equal when it comes to speed I have never seen him playing a drum set that is bigger than maybe a seven piece set. Peart not only does well with any drum set thrown at him but he has massive drum sets and amazing solos? How does that even compare with Bonham?

  • I think they are both exceptionally talented percussionists, but I still think Peart is the better and more refined drummer.

    Neil is very famous for his very precise and incredible drum solos, and he also can drum very quickly and efficiently. Both drummers share this talent, but Neil is able to do this on a MUCH bigger scale. I don't know much about Bonham but most of the videos I have seen of him are on six piece drum sets max. How can you beat Peart with his precise flow, amazing speed and exhilarating solos?

  • I think they are both exceptionally talented percussionists, but I still think Peart is the better and more refined drummer.

    Neil is very famous for his very precise and incredible drum solos, and he also can drum very quickly and efficiently. Both drummers share this talent, but Neil is able to do this on a MUCH bigger scale. I don't know much about Bonham but most of the videos I have seen of him are on six piece drum sets max. How can you beat Peart with his precise flow, amazing speed and exhilarating solos?

  • Neil Peart is the best drummer ever!!!!!!

    (In addition to being the best song writer ever). Listening to him play hits the mind and soul in ways that are consummate to his sheer poetry. Bonham might have mastered basic percussive skills, but Neil played in a way that made his kit just as crucial and in your face as an electric guitar. He also never stopped experimenting with different styles, and managed to always stay skilled for 40 years.

  • Not even in the same league

    Bonham a talented alcoholic drummer, has no relation with a musically minded and intelligent Peart! Although i am a fan of Zeppelin, Rush is more of a progressive band. Think of it like this...If you had to play the drums for Led Zeppelin or Rush which would be easier. Bonhams alcohol certainly helped him

  • Different Leagues of Drumming

    While Bonham was a good rock drummer, one of the best, Neil Peart is one of the greatest prog drummers that has ever lived, and the requirements to be a prog drummer are far greater than anything Bonham could play. There's no way Bonham could have written or played epics such as Cygnus, 2112, or Xanadu, and while John experimented with other styled of music, Neil was far better at jazz and actually accomplished something in that genre. I don't think anyone could honestly say that Bonham could write and perform even one drum solo on the level of Neil's, much less write one for every Rush tour, something Neil did.

  • This is a joke. Neil RULES!

    OK then. I agree that John Bonham is good. Well--way more than "good." Remarkable abilities that many seasoned drummers cannot imitate. He has a unique style too--and even if you're not a fan of the LZ music, you simply MUST admire his musicianship. Neil, however, wins hands down in technical ability, skill, and overall musicianship. Unbelievable precision and speed, he defines the word "tight" wrt rock drumming. Aside from his eye-watering technical expertise, he brings a cohesiveness to Rush that is mind-bending. Words can't express the genius behind his drumming. Yeah... Neil rules forever!

  • Neil has my Vote for the Best Drummer

    Peart's technical ability coupled with his penchant to make the beat match the essences of the lyrics set the tone of the song is phenomenal. Yes, I agree it could be mechanical, but this made the song and moreover the drum segment are replicable thus easier to learn. As many can agree, understanding the message and learning is a major point in many of Rush's songs. The Drum beat produced by Neil Peart serves as the carrier of the message. With No dis-respect or discredit towards John Bonham, another phenomenal drummer in his own right. My vote is for Neil Peart as the better drummer.


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