Phil Rudd

Phil Rudd, AC/DC's backseat rhythm man, is one of my all-time favorite drummers. To me, all of my favorite drummers have a big core quality about their approaches to playing. For Phil Rudd, the award is Purity. What's great about the way Phil plays is that he plays in such a pure fashion that he compliments all of the music by simply supplying basic, solid backbeats, following the bass, locking into the rhythm, and giving the music the right amount of space to give it more impact.

I've never heard any drummer in the world be able to do this like Phil Rudd, and I'm darn impressed with someone who can sound so interesting without branching out. Sure, many argue that a 12-year-old who's been playing for just a couple of years could play every AC/DC part. But that's not the point. It's the creativity that goes into Phil's playing that makes him so spectacular. It's not just the ideas behind his playing: It's that he knows how to do it. A big part of this is the way he follows the bass guitar. He knows when to add 2 kicks, when to hit the snare and when to hit the bass. He doesn't just play it because it's "all he knows". There's a certain feel and distinct groove to what Phil does.

I can play every AC/DC song on the drums, no sweat. A lot of you can. Experts can. Intermediates can. Some beginners can. But what I've never heard anybody do with the music is play with such purity in a fitting, powerful way the way the AC/DC man can. In fact, I don't think anyone will ever hold that title. I think it belongs to none other than Phil Rudd, whom I will always admire as a drummer.




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Wow. I never really thought of him like that. I guess I just always thought being simple was taking the easy way out. But when you think about it he drives alot of their music with just a solid simple beat. It sure fits the AC/DC sound. I guess their music wasn't for the musician, it was for the working man like alot of us that just like to rock out. His playing fit the band like a glove. Sometimes knowing what to leave out, is more important then knowing what to throw in huh?
Agreed, that's part of the thing. Phil leaves such a big impact because he gives the music so much space and just has a really pure, fat, punchy sound that really gives the music power.

And playing simple that way is harder than you may think. It's much easier to just go all out and overindulge the way a lot of drummers sadly seem to do.


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I've talked with many producers who swear that Phil Rudd along with Stan Lynch (TP & The Heartbreakers) are two of the most rock solid drummers they've ever worked with.
Good back-beat drummers... no crap, no triggers, always prepared, and impeccable timing.

Phil's always been solid... he fits that band to a tee.
Think about it, he was replaced with 2 others drummers when he left a while back, and they both played exactly the same mold that he set.... that's a huge part of the AC/DC sound.

Go back to some of the really early footage and really watch him.... he's working his ass off back there!!


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The only beat that Phil played that really moved me was "You Shook Me All Night Long," it was so simple yet so groovy to me.

Other than that, he did basically the same thing any other drummer did in that era.

Potatoe Snack

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eh, respectable in a way but for me personally, he doesnt need to get technical but alittle more wouldn't have hurt.

Lancelot Frosty

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He isn't impressive to listen to and such, but he fits the music perfectly and never over plays.
Which is good.
Playing simple is hard to do.


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I think Phil is definately overlooked/underated. You dont have to fill every second with flash, its all in the groove baby! Phils got it.


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I was shocked when Beavis and Butthead were watching an AC DC video and complained that Phill Rudd wasn't in the band anymore
No one ever gives him an credit


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i remember at The For Those About to Rock tour, I saw them here in detroit and was amazed at his perfect tempo and drive. you hear his playing on the radio, you know it's him right away. shogun
Rockula!":15uigrai said:
I was shocked when Beavis and Butthead were watching an AC DC video and complained that Phill Rudd wasn't in the band anymore
No one ever gives him an credit
Yeah, I kind of feel sorry for him sometimes. He probably gets the least amount of attention, and it doesn't help him that he isn't really flashy and technique-based, which seems to be what most people expect out of drummers nowadays.