How John Bonham’s Habit of Playing With the Guitar Rather Than Bass Made Him Such a Great Drummer

Polyphonic takes a deep look into the distinct style of the late, great John Bonham. Bonzo, as he was known, was able to create such a solid foundation for Led Zeppelin that could have a little fun with time signatures, polyrhythmic beats, triplets and the like. Notably was his particular practice of following the guitar rather than the bass to give the band a very different laid back sound than that of their peers.

…Part of what made the band work so well was the way that Bonzo played along with guitarist Jimmy Page. The essence to me of the whole Zeppelin thing was John Bonham following the guitars. He would take the riffs and he would make that his drum part. Instead of just doing it four/four and getting with the bass player he got in with the guitar player. Getting in with the guitar riff helps tighten up and energize Led Zeppelin.