It’s not everyday you see a 72-year-old whose favourite hobby is slaying heavy metal on drums. Meet Dorothea Taylor, On Drumeo’s YouTube channel she absolutely crushed Disturbed’s classic “Down with the Sickness”, laying down a hellaciously heavy groove.
The video has been viewed a whopping 18.8 million times, with 40,000 fans in the comments just amazed at Taylor’s firepower behind the kit. What stands out to me as a metal drummer myself, is how rock solid her timing and groove is. She would be an excellent addition to any band as this is at the core of what a drummer needs to lay down. Check out the performance in the video below.
Taylor’s absolute command of heavy metal drumming didn’t escape viewers’ notice, with admiring comments such as “Fantastic meter and restraint. She’s precisely on the beat. Surgical. Like a perfect studio drummer.” Of course it wouldn’t be YouTube without a few cheeky comments too, such as “I would pay to see Disturbed do a show with grandma on drums.”
“Down with the Sickness” is a perfect choice for the video, as the song has the iconic tom intro and main riff driven hard by Mike Wengren’s beats. Taylor has made several videos for Drumeo, another being her take on Blink-182’s hit “What’s My Age Again”, and I don’t have to say how fitting that title is, right? Watch Taylor groove through the pop punk beats below.
Taylor was born on November 30, 1950 and is based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She began playing drums at 13 in a drum corps and started playing in bands at 17, having played in groups ranging from polka to rock and roll in the years since. She’s a professional musician and drum teacher and never had a “real job” outside of working in music.
In addition to her amazing skills with the sticks, Taylor is also a talented presenter, as you can see at the end of both videos. In the Disturbed video she gives viewers the following message: “Drummers come in all ages, sizes, shapes and ethnicities. And regardless of how old you are, we’re all still part of a drumming family. So remember, don’t judge anybody by their looks, and always keep sharing your drumming passion with the world.”
At the end of the Blink-182 video, she states her love for rudiments, which is unsurprising given she started in a drum corps. She then explains how Blink-182 sticksman Travis Barker uses rudiments at the start of the song, namely flams, five-stroke rolls and pataflalfas. She also demonstrates each rudiment and adds that “this is a great example of how to incorporate drum rudiments into punk rock drumming.”
If you want to learn more from the Godmother of drumming, check out her YouTube channel Dorothea Taylor Dtdrummerlady, which is linked below. On her channel she regularly uploads her playing and drumming educational videos, often focusing on rudiments. If you would like to see more from Dorothea Taylor, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.