Why would Meg White be considered a 'good' drummer?

First post for a longtime lurker. Woot!
Last couple of months (probably because of the new album’s recent release), I’ve seen several publications refer to Meg White’s (of the White Stripes) drumming as good or great:

“…she keeps steady, thundering time.”

“Meg White really rushes the beats, but you can easily hear that she’s a great rock drummer…”

Is this just fanboyism? Am I missing something?

I’m glad that she knows where to find the cymbals on her drum kit, and how to make them sound pretty good, but she can barely keep the beat. Perhaps her best virtue as a drummer is that she doesn’t try to overextend herself.

So, what does everyone else think?

I can think of two reasons.


No. She’s marginally tolerable, at best.

Because writing that she’s a bad drummer has become cliche.

Because there’s a difference between being good and being talented. What she does on the White Stripes tracks is exactly perfect for the White Stripes. There was a thread here last week asking why people hate Yngwie Malmsteen. Meg White is like the anti-Yngwie. She does what’s needed, not what’s good.

Jack White wouldn’t even argue that she’s particularly technically skilled. He values the simplicity of her style.

The last two posters are bang on. Even her inability to keep a beat is an asset for the White Stripes, because it helps keep the music loose and spontaneous.

Jack White picked for exactly those kinds of characteristics. He has said that he liked her child-like approach to the drums, how she just bangs the hell out of them while grooving to the music. She’s simply part of their sound.

Just don’t ask her to sit in for Neal Peart.

I’ve heard people compare her to John Bonham and the white stripes to Led Zeppelin. I give her the primalism, maybe a distant student, but to give her that weight, I am unconvinced.

:eek: Just :eek:
Mo Tucker maybe.

A) Mo Tucker is a goddess

B) Meg White gets the damn job done. Any other style of drumming, and it wouldn’t be the White Stripes. They’re not trying to be Queen, fercrynoutloud. Virtuosity is not the same as artistry; in fact they are often antithetical. Gimme Bob Dylan over Placido Domingo any day.

Yes she is!!!

Indeed. If i could list the “bad” singers (Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed) I would rather listen to than many “good” singers…

And I prefer Mo Tucker and Meg White doing what they’re supposed to for the band they’re in…at least we won’t be subjected to some '70’s style 20 minute drum solo!

I’m with the others defending her. It’s the old-fashioned punk aesthetic - by not having any of the ‘expected’ abilities, she’s made a sound that is uniquely hers. The first drum stroke at the end of the intro of Fell in Love With a Girl, and you know it’s Meg. One bar, even one beat of My Doorbell, and it’s unmistakably the White Stripes. Technical ability isn’t everything - the sheer energy of the sound she makes is crucial.

For a theoretical example of what lissener is saying here, try to imagine Placido Domingo singing the lead vocals for “Seven Nation Army.”

Yes, he can sing. But he can’t sing “Seven Nation Army.”

For an even more amusing example, try to imagine the Three Tenors doing the Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere.”

I would pay a lot of money to hear this. Great example.

Maybe they’re just talking about the drowning in your own bodily fluids thing.

I would be willing to donate some bodily fluids to Meg White.

I agree with those that say her drumming delivers exactly what it should. I just don’t want to watch her doing it. IMO she looks , ummm, “differently abled” whilst pounding the skins. And VCO3, she may have the rock of gibraltar, but she also has the face of man. Shiver.

And I’ve heard her compared to an overenthusiastic fifth-grader. But I agree that she gets the job done.

Definitely agreed with most of you on that. Certainly wouldn’t stretch to call her particularly skilled or talented with the drums, but damned if I don’t end up stomping along! :slight_smile:

It’s all about character.

Well, she’s also been favorably compared to Rachel Trachbenburg, whose drumming has been similarly described.