Most drummers would be aware that most common drum beats are used in various classic popular sings.
Some classics, such as Stayin’ Alive, Eye of the Tiger, and Billie Jean, have similar kinds of drum beats.
(You may be playing those memorable beats in your mind while reading it.)
But does drumming movies come across your mind where drums have played a significant role?
Today we are going to talk about 11 drumming movies that may entertain and motivate you.
11 Drumming Movies
Drums are a crucial part of almost all genres of movies, from comedy to action. Many popular films are famous because of their soundtracks and drums are a vital part of any soundtrack.
But there are some movies where musical instruments are at the forefront. While such movies are less common, they can be entertaining and motivating, especially for drummers.
If there is an excellent film that is dedicated to drumming, it is Whiplash.
It is a real cinematic gem with great drumming lessons as the focal point of the movie. Whiplash is a movie revolving around a young drummer and his toxic relationship with a drumming instructor, who is unyielding and cruel.
Hoping to be rich, the jazz drum student is forced to endure psychological manipulations, humiliation, and even physical violence (the instructor throwing cymbals at him).
You can learn about jazz drums and functioning of the music schools (obviously except for the obsessive instructor)
However, some scenes can be quite hard to watch. For instance, the young drummer pushed to extreme and bleeding due to extreme training. Again, in reality, the chances of that happening are negligible.
Besides, an advanced drummer may also shudder at some errors in the movie. For instance, cymbal sounds being heard while hitting the snare drum.
All in all, it is a masterpiece that portrays the journey of a jazz drum student and his relation with an obsessive instructor. J. K. Simmons, an actor who played the role of professor, won an Oscar. It’s a great blend of jazz scores and story between the main characters.
The Gene Krupa Story
Gene Krupa – the great jazz drummer – needs no introduction. It’s a movie from 1959 and depicts Gene Krupa’s life.
This movie is a mixture of romance, drama, and comedy. In the film, the famous drummer tells a story about his life, how he got famous, and later spending is earnings on drugs and alcohol.
The biopic also illustrates how Gene Krupa’s father was against his drumming, despite his undeniable talent. But this doesn’t hold the drummer back, and he continues playing drums. He also met his wife while doing so.
However, after his father’s death, Gene Krupa followed the path set by his father, which was the study of theology.
As one may expect, his passion for music wouldn’t die.
Now, as he was caught between studies and his passion, his counselor suggested selecting a path of his own wish instead of his late father.
Gene Krupa eventually progresses toward the drumming career and starts gaining success. However, he succumbs to drugs and alcohol. His infidelities and alcoholism destroy his marriage.
The movie ends on a positive note, and he even remarries his wife.
Ah, and the best part…
All the sounds in this film are played by Gene Krupa himself.
A Drummers Dream
This documentary features seven of the best drummers who hold classes, passing their knowledge to the younger drummers.
A Drummers Dream is a beautiful movie that entertains you as well as teaches you. You will be able to learn various styles mastered and played by these famous drummers. Some styles include soul, rock, jazz, funk, and Latin.
No matter the style you play, you will get to learn something from this movie. The best part of the film is that you get to hear these different styles firsthand, directly from the masters.
This movie is not about drumming. Wondering why it is on the list then?
Well, the movie is about the soundtrack, especially drums. Birdman was nominated for and even won Oscar, and it is fair to say that it was because of the magic of drumming and rhythm of the soundtrack.
So, even if drumming has nothing to do with the plot, the music intrigues and aids the plot to develop.
This Oscar-winning movie is about the aging of the movie star who tries to get again in a Broadway production. The story is excellent, but it is made legendary by the soundtrack.
So, despite the drumming kit being invisible, it is evidently central to the movie. The movie might not have been such a massive success if it weren’t for the rhythmic bass drum beats, jingle of the cymbals, and musical outpourings of the drum.
The Man With A Golden Arm
The film is based on the book with the same name and is known for the soundtrack by Elmer Bernstein and signature tune by Saul Bass. It was a revolutionary movie that used jazz drumming and music in cinema.
This movie is a story of a young guy who begins to play jazz on drums in order to shun the demons after returning from rehab.
Unfortunately, his new and normal life is short-lived as he gives an audition being completely drugged up.
This legendary scene has won the heart of many. No other movie had displayed the inner chaos and torment so accurately to the viewers. Wrong notes and arrhythmia resulting in clumsiness depict shadows and depths of his mind.
It was the first movie in Hollywood that openly addresses the issue of drugs and effects caused by it.
Sound of Noise
It is a Swedish movie with an incredibly imaginative plot. The Sound Of Noise movie is about six guerilla drummers who terrorize the city through their playing. These drummers are chased by a music-hating, tone-deaf inspector.
The plot may sound silly, but the film is funny and has a brilliant soundtrack and great editing. The soundtrack includes drumming on ever-day items available in a big city.
You will not only laugh but also enjoy great music throughout the movie.
Ain’t in It for My Health
It is one more documentary on our list. It is about the drumming legend, Levon Helm – drummer of legendary The Band.
The biopic is about his history with the band and how he played. It also shows him practicing today for Band reunion, after almost 25 years.
Such documentaries help to preserve knowledge and also in passing it to the younger drummers.
That Thing You Do
Directed and written by Tom Hanks, the movie is about a band formed in the mid-’60s. The band receives fame when the drummer breaks his arm and is introduced to the 4/4 rhythm by his sub, introducing the Beatles sound to the USA
Despite being a family movie, you may also learn about how show-business works.
It is a film about two Cuban brothers. These two musicians migrate to the USA to try making it a band in the music world.
Mambo Kings, despite being a classic drama, has a great deal of music. It’s a great movie to watch, especially if you love Latin music.
Antonio Banderas and Armand Asante know how to sing. Besides, it has added female voices, and the movie is an incredible emotional ride.
Beware of Mr. Baker
Ginger Baker is one of the most famous drummers in the world who has revolutionized the way drums were used, especially rock music.
The biopic takes a look at Ginger Baker’s work with the Cream, where he made history with Eric Clapton. The movie also depicts his work with a legendary African musician Fela Kuti.
Ginger Baker now lives on his farm in South Africa. This biopic is a unique monument to one of the greatest drummers in the music industry.
Being one of the iconic movies, The Strip film revolves around the life of a drummer who wishes to move to LA and open his own club. But here he gets mangled with mobsters and is blamed for a murder.
Although it is a crime movie, it still has fantastic music, especially for Jazz lovers. The Strip movie showcases LA jazz clubs of the time. If you want to learn about jazz or if you are a jazz drummer, you may love this movie a lot. Drum solos are incredibly great, and guest’s appearance of Louis Armstrong is like a cherry on the cake.
We hope the list would help you with movies that you may not have heard about and would help you to expand your drumming horizons. Be it a biopic of a great drummer or an iconic film with astounding drumming in the background, and the list has all. We hope you find something that inspires you to watch a movie.