Mastery of the kit: easy to appreciate, difficult to attain. Such is the physicality that’s involved in advanced drumming, to execute it players have to match high-level musicianship with polished athleticism. Neither’s simple to come by.
But that formula makes for a spectacle that’s almost unique in the world of instrumental music. Seated at a drum set, with an array of percussive tools in their arsenal, a drummer can create a mesmerising display - one that undermines the subservient role of the drums in most genres.
From swing-era anthems to titanic works for the concert hall, the ten hardest drum parts below are strongly marked by both of the ingredients in that formula. Any performance of any of them will doubtless inspire awe in the listener, not just for the player’s ability, but for the wondrous art of drumming that this music celebrates.