Charlie Benante Credits Phil Collins And Neil Peart For Inventing Air Drumming


Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante recently joined an interview with BraveWords and named two legendary drummers, Phil Collins and Neil Peart, as the inventors of air drumming.

Air drumming refers to the drummers pretending to play without the presence of an actual drum set. It requires the practitioners to move their hands and arms as if performing with physical drums. It is similar to the air guitar and allows individuals to develop good grip and stick control. It also allows the practitioners to rock out even if they don’t have actual musical ability.

Since drumming relies on physical coordination and muscle memory, air-drumming can be a helpful way to become a better drummer for the players who play drums. Maybe it can never fully replace physical practice, but it can still be a valuable tool to improve drumming skills.

According to Charlie Benante, Rush’s late drummer Neil Peart and Genesis’ Phil Collins invented air drumming. While talking about Peart’s complex playing style, Benante stated that his contribution to drumming is indisputable.

The late drummer showed that the show was not only about singers or guitar players. It drew the audience’s attention to the back and proved how vital the drummer was for the gigs. For Benante, staying without air-drumming while watching Peart and Collins during the live shows is almost impossible.

Charlie Benante speaking on who invented air-drumming:

“It’s the greatest thing because what he did for other drummers, he would show that it’s not all about the singer or the guitar player, it’s also about that guy in the back right there, that people are taking notice to. I mean, let’s face it, between Neil and Phil Collins, they invented air drumming.

There’s no way that you can sit and watch Rush and not; when that part comes up, you can’t help doing the fills. I mean, at a Rush show, you’ll see a lot of drummers just doing the fills. But Neil did so much for drumming, and I think a lot of other drummers understand and appreciate him for that.”

You can watch the entire interview on BraveWords below.