Drum Solo Showdown: Carl Palmer vs. Nick Mason


Drummers’ almost constant smile hid their competitive face and the iron will to be a protagonist. Drummers are not content with their instrument at the bottom, although at a higher level. They wanted to shine and they knew that they had the stuff to do it. So the drums were on their side, in one of the corners of the stage most of the time.

Carl Palmer never hid his aspirations and ambitions. He reaches 70 years of age as a progressive rock legend alongside another seventy, Bill Bruford (ex-King Crimson and Yes), and continues to spread the legacy of his main lifelong work, Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

With insistence, he got the space he wanted and became a reference within rock n roll. Precise, versatile, and creative, he also composed and almost always amazed by the ease with which he unraveled complex pieces, such as “Pictures at an Exhibition”, by Modest Mussorgsky, one of the great moments of the ELP.

The Hut of Baba Yaga, The Curse of Baba Yaga, and The Great Gates of Kiev are some of Palmer’s best drum moments. Showcasing his versatility and drumming skills.

In the center, a happy Carl Palmer distributes between drumming smiles left and right; eye, with a traditional grip of the left stick. Palmer, the young drummer was virtuous in the sense that Teresa of Calcutta was.

When talking about Pink Floyd, maybe great songs and records come to mind, as well as the names of Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and David Gilmour, but, of course, Nick Mason
was also an important part of the British group.

Mason has always liked to keep a “low profile”, perhaps the spotlight falls little on him, however, his role in Pink Floyd was very important.

He managed to create his own style over time. He could maintain a slow rhythm throughout the song, or he could explode and become a beast of drums and cymbals.

As an example of the first three songs we can mention “Echoes”, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, and “One Of These Days”, among others.

Do not forget that during the psychedelic stage of Pink Floyd, the band used to do long jams which required Mason to know how to improvise and adapt to Barrett’s madness.

Perhaps his best virtue is the handling of silences, he is practically a master of this. He was also one of the pioneers in using the double bass drum, although he never abused that resource and the “loops”.

Who do you think is better? Carl Palmer or Nick Mason?