A picture of drummer Larnell Lewis going hard on the drums. Looks like a final crash on the cymbals is taking place.
Cover Image © DRUMEO

Larnell Lewis: Drumming Beast Mode Personified

A video is currently going viral on YouTube for very good reason. A drummer named Larnell Lewis listens to a song he’s never heard before, in a genre he doesn’t typically play, ONE TIME – and then plays it live perfectly on the DRUMEO YouTube Channel. I had to share it here because I was so impressed!

First – The Video

His process is ridiculous! And, yeah, I’m a layman when it comes to music – but he’s even impressing people who apparently know a thing or two. I have heard “Enter Sandman” enough times in my life, but I couldn’t tell you step one of the drum section of the song — this man NAILED IT after one listen!

A Bit About Larnell

According to the About Page on his website

LARNELL LEWIS is a Grammy Award winning musician, composer, producer, and educator. [He is] Based in Toronto, has established himself among the most diverse and in-demand drummers in the world. 

Since 2012, Larnell has been playing with three time Grammy Award winning band, Snarky Puppy. Larnell leads successful ensembles of his own and has toured the globe with highly reputable contemporary musicians, including Quincy Jones, Laila Biali, Jeremy Ledbetter, Etienne Charles, Gregory Porter, Benny Golson, Lalah Hathaway, Jacob Collier, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Lisa Fisher, Kurt Elling, Gary Burton, and moreLarnell’s immense talent, fierce creativity, and evolving musical style keep him in-demand as a collaborator for artists internationally. 

Snippet from the About Page on LarnellLewisMusic.com

Full disclosure from my end: I had never heard of Larnell of the multiple Grammy Award winning band he plays with. Not until I saw the video above.

From what I can tell, the man is a monster of talent and musical knowledge. That’s really on display in another video he did for DRUMEO where he hears a track with NO drum section a few times and then he just composes one on the spot.

WHAAAAAAAAT!!??!?!?! Again, this isn’t just impressive to me. People who KNOW music are thoroughly impressed by the talent on display here.


Most people on this planet, myself included, are not this talented about ANYTHING – nor will they ever be (again – self included). These videos are impressive because you’re seeing the application of a LIFETIME worth of musical study (and respecting an art form) at work.

This dude is hearing songs once and then just rattling out concert-quality performances on the spot! And he’s so damn smooth with it! I didn’t know anything about him before, but I’m a fan now and I have to learn more. First thing – I’ll have to check out his albums on Spotify. Next thing – I’ll have to catch him in concert someday when the world isn’t covered in a plague.

Larnell – you’ve been added to the bucket list, my guy!

A black and white photo of drummer Larnell Lewis playing the drums.

As a very basic music listener, I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t even know drums played in different keys before that first video. And in the second video – you can REALLY hear it. I just hadn’t really paid attention to elements of drumming until that video came across my recommendations.

I am very curious how far this is about to propel him into the public eye. I know he was well-known before, but I feel like this is a crossover moment. He is probably on his way to becoming a household name and having a few TV spots in his future. Just my prediction if the steam from this keeps up or he drops a few more videos like this.

Are you this talented about anything? Do you think you ever will be? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Peace, and thanks for reading.


The soundtrack for this post provided by…

Image Credits:
– Cover Image © DRUMEO
– Body © D’Addario & Co.

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Created by Alex Volkov