So much music, so little time (music without drums)
June 11, 2014 7:01 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for music without original drums so I can practice my free-playing. Right now I'm using some Eno, Gem Club, and Satie, but I'd like some more punk- and rock-oriented stuff if it's out there, especially stuff approaching a conventional rock song structure so I can work in transitions and different grooves.

To be clear, I'm not looking for drumless backing tracks of super familiar songs I might already know, because I'm trying to make up my own stuff.

Recent/seminal stuff I gravitate toward: No Age, Joy Division, Tame Impala, Throwing Muses, The National, Fiona Apple, Earth, Black Keys, Flaming Lips, Elliott Smith, OK Go, Beck, Portishead, Grizzly Bear, Air.
posted by cocoagirl to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Check out this thread on the Prog Archives discussing drumless tracks.

From the thread:

Spirit of the Water - Camel
With Twilight as my Guide - TMV
Motion Picture Soundtrack - Radiohead
Horizon's - Genesis
Oblivion Ocean - Pain of Salvation
Without You / Dark Poet - Beardfish
His Hands Matches His Tongue - The Dear Hunter
Wait for Sleep - Dream Theater
The Hermit / or his classical work - Steve Hackett
Heartattack in a Layby - Porcupine Tree
Dust in the Wind - Kansas
tons of stuff - Tangerine Dream
posted by Jairus at 7:12 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Lou Reed's live album "Animal Serenade" is drummer-less.
posted by davebush at 7:48 PM on June 11, 2014

Regina Spektor — Us

Smashing Pumpkins — Disarm (a few cymbals) and Sweet Sweet
posted by John Cohen at 7:56 PM on June 11, 2014

King Buzzo (of Melvins fame) just released a solo acoustic guitar album, This Machine Kills Artists, which might fit the bill; no drums and pretty fun to jam over.
posted by Jotnbeo at 7:58 PM on June 11, 2014

The Devil Makes Three might be of interest. They are.. uhh.. sort of.. new bluegrass? But has a punk vibe to a certain extent. And no drummer. Here are a few up beat songs: Ace's and Two's, Never Learn, The Bullet. My favorite songs by them are slower: Old Number 7, Shades.
posted by sacrifix at 8:34 PM on June 11, 2014

Oh wow, I didn't realize Trampled by Turtles don't have a drummer either. Also bluegrass. Wait so Long is basically an unplugged punk song, Darkness and Light, Never Again, and my personal favorite School Bus Driver.
posted by sacrifix at 8:39 PM on June 11, 2014

For more punkish/rock type stuff:
Ted Leo's album Tell Balgeary, Balgury is Dead. All tracks except the first are drumless. Examples: 1 2 3
A Radio With Guts had an album of electric-guitar-only songs. 1 2
posted by slomodinkens at 9:43 PM on June 11, 2014

The Marine Girls (Tracy Thorn's first band and one of Kurt Cobain's favorite bands) didn't have a drummer.
posted by w0mbat at 9:45 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might explore the world of demo recordings. A lot of Elvis Costello's home demos didn't have drums, for instance; you could probably track down most of his catalogue on the Rhino 2xCD editions and get drumless versions of many songs. (The SPIKE demos are my personal favorite.)
posted by mykescipark at 11:01 PM on June 11, 2014

how about good ol' Billy Bragg?

Neil Young's Le Noise too.

there's also Dos, aka Mike Watt & Kira Roessler, both on bass & vocals

U.S. Saucer were drummerless, if that kind of thing is your jam.

also, it's been a while since i've actually listened to this record, but i seem to remember Steeleye Span's Parcel of Rogues being mostly percussionless.
posted by tealsocks at 12:43 AM on June 12, 2014

Lou Reed and John Cale's Songs for Drella just uses piano, viola and guitar, plus voice.
posted by chbrooks at 11:47 AM on June 12, 2014

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