The Evolution of Stewart Copeland: Drummer of The Police

October 12, 2023

Drummer of The Police, Stewart Copeland, sets the beat for a rhythmic journey into the world of rock and roll legends. 

Known for his distinctive sound and innovative style, Copeland helped to shape the music of the 80s, bringing a fresh and dynamic approach to drumming. 

Curious about how he achieved that iconic sound, his collaborations, and the influence he’s had on the music industry? 

Let’s dive into the beat and discover the rhythm of Stewart Copeland’s extraordinary career. Keep reading for an engaging exploration of the man behind the drums!

Stewart Copeland: Drummer of The Police

Early Life

Diving into the early life of Stewart Copeland, it wasn’t just about toys and cartoons. Born in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1952, Stewart found his rhythm early, immersing himself in the world of beats and tempos. His passion for drumming was ignited, and a legend in the making began to shape his sound.

Career

Flash forward to the late ‘70s, Stewart Copeland was not just another name in the crowd; he co-founded The Police, bringing a unique flair to the band’s sound. With hits like “Roxanne” and “Every Breath You Take,” Copeland’s innovative drumming style played a pivotal role in defining a new era of rock music. 

His journey didn’t stop there – a successful solo career, countless awards, and a reputation as one of the greatest drummers of all time are just some of the highlights.

Notable Performances

Talking about memorable moments, Stewart Copeland had several! One for the books was The Police’s performance at Shea Stadium in 1983 – an electrifying night that echoed the Beatles’ historic concert. 

Another unforgettable experience? The reunion tour in 2007-2008, where Copeland’s beats had fans dancing in nostalgia and admiration.

Notable Collaborations

Stewart Copeland wasn’t just sticking to his bandmates. The drummer collaborated with a variety of artists, infusing his distinctive style across genres. From teaming up with Stan Ridgway for the mesmerizing track “Don’t Box Me In” to working with Les Claypool and Trey Anastasio to form Oysterhead, Copeland’s collaborations are as diverse as his beats. 

It’s a rhythmic journey that showcases the versatility and depth of his musical genius.

Awards & Accolades

When we strike the chords of Stewart Copeland’s achievements, it’s like hitting a rhythmic jackpot! The man has bagged a plethora of awards, creating a melody of recognition. 

His shelves are adorned with five Grammy Awards with The Police, not to mention a Golden Globe nomination for his impressive film scores. And did we mention he’s been rightfully crowned by Rolling Stone as one of the Top 10 Drummers of All Time? Now, that’s a beat that resonates!

Discography

Diving into Stewart Copeland’s discography is like embarking on a rhythmic adventure! Here’s a glimpse of the beat-filled journey:

  • With The Police:
    • “Outlandos d’Amour” (1978) – Featuring the timeless hit “Roxanne.”
    • “Reggatta de Blanc” (1979) – Home to the classic “Message in a Bottle.”
    • “Zenyatta Mondatta” (1980) – Graced by tracks like “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.”
    • “Ghost in the Machine” (1981) – With the unforgettable “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.”
    • “Synchronicity” (1983) – Including the iconic “Every Breath You Take.”
  • Solo Ventures:
    • “The Rhythmatist” (1985) – A solo debut blending diverse rhythms.
    • “The Equalizer & Other Cliff Hangers” (1988) – Featuring his dynamic film scores.
    • “Orchestralli” (2004) – A live recording showcasing his classical compositions.

Each album and track tell a story, contributing to the rich tapestry of Stewart Copeland’s musical legacy. Explore the beats and discover the rhythm of a drumming maestro!

steward copeland

Stewart Copeland, drummer of the police Drum Kit

Set-Up

Starclassic Maple – Police Blue Sparkle*

Drums

  • Bass Drum: 22″x18″
  • Signature Snare Drum: 14″x5″
  • Tom Tom: 10″x8″, 13″x9″, 12″x8″
  • Floor Tom: 16″x16″, 18″x16″
  • October: OCT443N, OCT472N, OCT536N, OCT600N

Hardware

  • Pedal: Iron Cobra Power Glide Twin Pedal
  • Hi-Hat Stand: Iron Cobra Lever Glide
  • Drum Throne: HT430 Round Rider Trio

Cymbals (From left to right)

  • 14″ Splash: 2002 Flanger Splash (discontinued)
  • 12″ Hi-Hat: Signature Combo Crisp “Rhythmatist”
  • 6″ Chime: 2002 Cup Chime
  • 18″ Crash: Signature Fast Crash
  • 8″ Splash: Signature Splash
  • 10″ Splash: Signature Splash
  • 16″ Crash: Signature Full Crash
  • 22″ Ride: Signature Blue Bell “Rhythmatist”
  • 17″ Crash: Signature Fast Crash
  • 18″ Flat Ride: Signature Traditionals Light
  • 18″ Crash: Signature Fast Crash

Drum Heads

  • Batter Heads: Remo CS Black Dot
  • Resonant Heads: Remo Ambassador

Influences

Peeking behind the curtain of Stewart Copeland’s music, one can trace the threads of numerous influences weaving into his beats. Stewart has been vocal about the impact of various genres, notably jazz, reggae, and African rhythms, on his drumming style. 

The legendary Mitch Mitchell, renowned for his work with Jimi Hendrix, was a significant influence, infusing a touch of jazz flair into Copeland’s rock beats. It’s this eclectic mix that helped shape his unique, genre-blending sound, creating rhythmic magic!

Style

Stewart Copeland’s drumming style is a sonic adventure, a fusion of energy, precision, and innovation. Known for his high-tension, fast-paced beats, Copeland’s style is distinguished by his creative use of the hi-hat and ride cymbals, adding a shimmering layer to The Police’s sound. 

This man isn’t just playing the drums; he’s painting rhythmic landscapes, blending unexpected elements and pioneering techniques. It’s Copeland’s signature touch that makes every beat an experience!

Personal Life

Away from the drum kit, Stewart Copeland leads a life as rhythmically rich as his music. With a net worth estimated at $80 million, Copeland’s success in the music industry has certainly struck a high note. 

However, it’s not just about the beats and the bucks. Stewart is a dedicated family man, sharing his life with his wife, Fiona Dent, and their seven children, balancing the joys and challenges of parenthood.

In addition to being a rockstar and a family man, Copeland is also a passionate polo player and a versatile composer. He’s created scores for films, ballets, and operas, showcasing the depth and diversity of his musical talents. 

When the sticks are down and the stage lights are off, you might find him on a polo field, embracing the game’s dynamic energy or spending quality time with his loved ones. Stewart Copeland’s life is truly a symphony of diverse melodies, exciting rhythms, and heartfelt moments!

Stewart Copeland

FAQ Section

Why is Stewart Copeland a good drummer?

Stewart Copeland stands out as a phenomenal drummer due to his unique and innovative drumming style, characterized by high tension, fast-paced beats, and creative use of cymbals. 

His ability to seamlessly blend different genres, like jazz, reggae, and African rhythms, adds a distinct flavor to his music. Furthermore, his versatility, technical proficiency, and pioneering techniques have earned him recognition as one of the greatest drummers of all time.

Did Stewart Copeland and Sting get along?

The relationship between Stewart Copeland and Sting, bandmates in The Police, was known to be tumultuous at times. While they created musical magic together, their differing artistic visions and strong personalities led to tensions and disagreements. 

However, despite their differences, the duo, along with Andy Summers, managed to produce timeless hits and maintain a working relationship.

Who is Stewart Copeland’s favorite drummer?

Stewart Copeland has expressed admiration for several drummers. Still, one who significantly influenced his style is Mitch Mitchell, renowned for his work with Jimi Hendrix. 

Mitchell’s jazz-influenced approach to rock drumming had a lasting impact on Copeland, inspiring him to incorporate diverse elements and explore various rhythmic possibilities in his drumming.

Denis Loncaric
Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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