Chad Smith Drummer

Chad Smith: Drummer

chad smith with RHCP transparent drum kit playing live

Chad Smith, Turin December 2011

Chad Smith started playing the drums at the age of seven (please see the TCS Chad Smith biography for more information) and played enthusiastically in just about every band going at school during his youth. He preferred to gain practical experience rather than take any formal training:

“Surprisingly, Chad never took any lessons, preferring instead to gather as much practical experience as he could by getting into every single band at school. “Marching band, jazz band, symphonic band, concert band, any kind of band,” he says counting them off on his fingers. “That’s where I learnt to read. I was pretty good so I’d always get an ‘A’ in band which would help to balance out my ‘D’s and ‘C’s in everything else.” Source

After leaving school, Chad found employment in bands such as Tilt and Toby Redd where he further learned to hone his craft before leaving Michigan for the bright lights of L.A. Once in the city, Chad enrolled on his first formal musical training when he signed up at the L.A. Musician’s Institute.  However, this was to prove somewhat short-lived as a few months later, Chad auditioned for a band on a friend’s suggestion and was hired. That band was the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Since then, Smith has been the band’s drummer.

Chad Smith’s Discography with RHCP:

Mother’s Milk
Blood Sugar Sex Magik
By The Way
Greatest Hits
Stadium Arcadium
I’m With You

Chad Smith Drummer- the Other Bands! 

Chad Smith is prolific as a drummer; not only does he still beat the skins for the Red Hot Chili Peppers but over the years he has found the time to do guest appearances on numerous albums covering a broad spectrum of genres; he has guested on a diverse list from the Dixie Chicks (‘Taking the Long Way’), Johnny Cash (‘Unearthed’), Glen Hughes (‘Songs In The Key Of Rock’, ‘Soulfully Live In The City Of Angels’, ‘Soul Mover’ & ‘Music For The Divine’), Kid Rock (‘Born Free’) right through to Paul Oakenfold ( ‘Pop Killer).

Chad also plays drums for a number of other bands and on several of his own solo projects on a more permanent basis; Smith fits in playing for them as touring and recording commitments with the Chili Peppers allows:


chad smith drummer RHCP pirate

Chad Smith: Rhythm Train

In April 2010, Chad Smith joined together with singer, Leslie Bixler and actor, Dick Van Dyke to record ‘Rhythm Train’ which was designed specifically for children. Inspired to produce music for his son Cole, Smith sings and plays guitar as well as drums. He also features as various characters in the videos released to accompany the Rhythm Train singles.

More info here: Chad Smith & Rhythm train photo gallery & videos.

Chad Smith: Chickenfoot

chad smith Chickenfoot

Chad Smith also plays drums for Chickenfoot (he plays on their albums but tours only as commitments with RHCP will allow; normally Kenny Aronoff stands in for Chad when he is not able to tour). The ‘supergroup’ formed in 2009 with Chad Smith, Sammy Hagar and other ex-Van Halen member, Michael Anthony, coming together with guitarist Joe Satriani after a series of jams at Sammy Hagar’s Mexican bar; the jamming sessions went so well and they had so much fun that they decided to take the jams one stage further and work together to record an album. Their first album, the self-titled ‘Chickenfoot’, was released in 2009 with their second album, Chickenfoot III  (there is no Chickenfoot II) was released at the end of 2011.


Chad Smith: Bombastic Meatbats

chad smith's bombastic meatbats meat the meatbats  chad smith's bombastic meatbats more meat

In addition, the drummer also fronts his own band, Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats which has currently released two albums ‘Meet the Meatbats’ (2009) and ‘More Meat’ (2010). The tracks were inspired by 70’s rock groups such as Led Zeppelin.


Chad Smith: Outernationals

Chad Smith guested on the Outernationals album, Todos Somos Ilegales: We Are All Illegals; he played drums on the title track and has guested live with them on several occasions. The album was released in December 2011.

Chad Smith: Toby Redd

And in-between all of this, Chad Smith still makes occasional guest appearances with his old band, Tody Redd:


Chad Smith: DVD/Video Appearances

Chad has appeared on live videos in his role as drummer with the Red Hot Chili Peppers e.g. Live in Hyde Park (2004); in addtion, he also features in a drumming

chad smith teaches drumming skills & techniques

techniques DVD called ‘Eastern Rim’ (2008) that was put together using material gathered from various drum clinics that Smith had performed in. 


chad smith drummer RHCP actor

Chad Smith as Spider Moore, 'Session Man'

Chad Smith starred in a short movie called ‘Session Man’ in 1991 which won an Academy Award; he played the part of drummer Spider Moore.


Chad Smith: Guinness Book of Records- Largest Drum Set

Chad Smith Guinness Book of records largest drum kit RHCP

Video Screencap: Chad Smith Playing the World's Largest Drum Kit

Chad Smith gained the world record on December 6th 1994, in Pontiac, Michigan  for playing the world’s largest drum set. The drum kit was made up of 308 pieces featuing every type of drum (and a doorbell!) and was worth over $50 000. The concept originated with Chad’s friend, Dan McCourt, who brought his dream to fruition and set up the kit in a nightclub converted from a church. Due to insurance costs, the kit was set up for just the one evening – although it nearly didn’t last that long as Chad’s fire helmet nearly set things alight!…

Video about the Concept and Set-up:

Chad Playing the Largest Drum Set:

More information on Chad’s drums here: TCS Information Page on Chad Smith’s Drum set up and equipment


Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats


Rhythm Train


2 thoughts on “Chad Smith Drummer

  1. Hey, can anyone tell me what make of snare Chad is using, for example on the Dixie chicks „Taking the Long Way” album?
    I don’t know whether there are any session pics; and even if there were I couldn’t see the snare. #BlindGuy

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