Are You A Krupa Or A Rich?

Posted: August 03, 2010 07:49 AM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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Don’t worry. I’m not trying to dredge up the age-old debate about who was the better drummer. But I have long had a theory that every drummer falls into one of two categories: either a Krupa or a Rich (that’s right, either Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich). You see, I think that infamous friendly feud helped to define generations of drummers that followed them. And it doesn’t matter what style you play, how old or young you are, your grip and pedal techniques, and so on.

According to my theory, drummers who incessantly attempt to break speed records, use outrageous techniques, play bombastic drum solos, and dominate the bandstand fall into the Rich category. On the other hand, I consider drummers that are content to groove hard with the ensemble, look for opportunities to add little accents and colors, and use solos to make melodic musical statements to be Krupas.

Okay, let’s pick some drummer duos who hail from approximately the same generation to further define the categories. During the ’60s, Ringo Starr was a Krupa and Keith Moon was a Rich. During the ’70s, Jim Keltner was a Krupa and Mitch Mitchell was a Rich. During the ’80s, Jeff Porcaro was a Krupa and Terry Bozzio was a Rich. I could go on. And on.

I consider myself a Krupa. How about you?


Andy Doerschuk
Editorial director,

Posted: August 03, 2010 12:26 PM


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I fall somewhere in the Rich category. Well, at least I used too. Now I am more of a Krupa, playing for the songs, in the pocket, and supporting the vocals, while every now and then I let my Rich side run free. O.K., I guess I am a little of both. cheese


A good drummer will sound good on anything. A Bad drummer will sound bad on anything.

Posted: August 04, 2010 08:27 AM


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well i guess i fall into the krupa catergory, but mitch mitchell, who is one of my favorite drummers, is in the rich catergory. so i think im somewhere in between

Posted: August 06, 2010 04:22 PM


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I’d have to say Krupa just because I seemed to connect with his playing more than Rich. I listened to one of my grandfathers original recordings of Benny Goodman’s Orchestra’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” and from then on I knew drums were my thing. Krupa’s style and colorful articulation has always been a huge influence on me.


Hit Hard, Play Fast, Have Fun

Posted: August 23, 2010 05:24 AM


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bashboomcrash - 04 August 2010 01:18 PM

Keith Moon appears to be purely bombastic and outrageous, but he is so locked into the songs, especially the vocals.
So to put him firmly in either category is difficult for me.

couldnt agree more. i would say im a krupa, with a splash of moon, or maybe a little more hithat.


I consider every drummer that’s Played before me an influence, in every way- buddie rich

Posted: August 23, 2010 02:19 PM


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I am totally a Krupa.  Peace and goodwill.


Mark Wellman ><>

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Posted: October 20, 2010 07:45 AM


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Playing the kind of music I do (musical Theater), I have to really let My Krupa side dominante…However, I’m such a Rich in any other musical application.

Posted: February 02, 2011 06:09 PM

Robert Paul Manning- THE NEW FENDERMEN

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I!m more of a Buddy Rich man on solos with a little Krupa - Morello - polly Rhythms and off beats. If your an Excellent Drummer you should be able to play any style. Drums to me are my soul.I never took a lesson in my life.I learned beats from all the great drummers from the Past to the present. I read somewhere I don!t remember where, a Drum solo should be your life story. So when I do a drum solo, I start off slow, like a single stroke roll that is the beginning of life. To a smooth roll with accents that is your learning years. To speed as you accelerate in life. To off beats and polly rhythms. That is your feelings your soul reaching out to you. Then combine all the rhythms together as you go through the complex up and downs of life. Then end with a crescendo and a Bang. To Illustrate I!m still here.

Posted: February 04, 2011 10:14 AM


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In the original post, I’m not sure Bozzio should be mentioned in the context. He goes way beyond anything we’ve ever seen before.

Knowing him & having done a bit of studying with him, I can honestly say that he is *not* about speed and outrageous technique. For him it’s always been about music. Which is why I love him. (And yes, I feel that on some projects he worked on, his “thing” does *not* work.)

Oh… what about yours truly? I feel I also fall somewhere in between.


Banging on: Gretsch, Pearl, dw, and Paiste.
Playing with: Pussy & The Learjets. Bone Clone. Ooh & The Ballyhoo.