Wondering who is the best percussionist in the world? Do you wish you were the best, but don’t know how to achieve your goal? Read on as Kip Allen, session drummer, percussionist, and Drum Workshop Artist, a resident of Nashville since 2008, tells you what it takes to become a great percussionist, and who he believes are the top of the percussionist trade. When you are looking for the best for your next recording session, Kip Allen is a name to remember.
Who is the best percussionist in the world?
Let me ask you this: who was the best baseball player who ever lived? Babe Ruth? Ted Williams? Hank Aaron? Who is the best now? Judge? Ohtani?
The problem with lists like those are that they change depending upon who you ask. It is a completely subjective opinion based upon subjective criteria. I can name a list of percussionists I believe are great at this moment, but then mention would have to be made about percussionists who have passed on over the years, and in the end, there would still not be agreement on who is, or was, the best.
And I like it that way. There are just too many good ones, and have been too many good ones. It seems like a dis-justice to single out just one.
How can you become the best percussionist in the world?
The answer to this subjective question, calling for a subjective answer, is the same as the answer for the next question, so let’s move on to that.
How can you simply improve your percussionist skills?
Practice, practice, and practice some more. After you do that, do gigs, do more gigs, and then, in your spare time, do more gigs. Yes, there is such a thing as being born with talent, but even those born with talent had to work hard to reach levels that talent alone could not reach. After all, even Aaron Judge goes to Spring Training and practices, and even Aaron Judge works out during the off-season.
How to become recognized for those skills?
Finally, a question which calls for more than subjectivity. How do you become recognized?
The social media world we live in has actually handed a gift to musicians who want to become recognized for their skills. Anyone can play, online, on YouTube and Instagram, and by doing so have a chance at massive recognition. It Is not unusual for a struggling musician to become discovered through a YouTube video.
Other than that, the way to stardom leads down the same road it always has led down. You need to play as any gigs as possible, in front of as many small crowds as possible. Open mike nights at taverns, sitting in on jam sessions whenever possible, and just simple being the squeaky wheel demanding grease. Persistence can pay off; not always, but more often than one might think.
Above all, though, you must have the skill. Being “discovered” is great, but you better have the skills once you are discovered.
A final word about Kip Allen
Kip Allen is a name people in Nashville remember when they are looking for a songwriter, music producer, session drummer, or drummer percussionist, and the fact that big-name talents in the music industry know Kip by name speaks volumes about his professional skills.