For the weekly #askYES feature over 5 weeks, the current touring members of YES choose tracks they find inspiring and hope will be an inspiration for people learning their chosen instruments.

Here are Alan White’s Drums & Percussion Inspirations, with notes from Alan below.

You can also listen to this playlist on Spotify or watch and listen on YouTube.



Gene Krupa & Buddy Rich – The Drum Battle
At 12 years old, hearing Krupa and Buddy Rich inspired me to practice more, to master the instrument. Truly a classic.


Buddy Rich – Cottontail
These performances have both of them pulling out all the chops in the book.



Steve Gadd – Duke’s Lullaby
Steve is the master of playing simply but making it count. He is one of the greatest “playing with feel” ever.



Weather Report – Rumba Mama
This is a great example of me getting into fusion style drumming and taught me how to incorporate that into my style of playing.
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Return To Forever – The Romantic Warrior
Lenny White is a friend of mine. This is yet again a superb example of being innovative and adventurous with your instrument.


Alphonse Mouzon – Mind Transplant
Another superb performance by Alphonse Mouzon; a talented performer.


Billy Cobham – Taurian Matador
I have done quit a few clinic tours with Billy. He is a great guy, as well as a truly gifted and inspiring drummer.


Cream – White Room
I had the pleasure of being in Ginger Bakers Airforce for quite a while and struck up a great relationship with him along with Phil Seaman who was a popular, talented studio musician in 60’s and 70’s. Ginger has a unique style and was the driving force in Cream.



Ringo Starr – With A Little Help From My Friends
How could I not include Ringo? I’ve got to know him over the years and he is a great example of how to play simply to make the music work. He first taught me how to play a double bass drum beat in the mid 60’s. Mastering that was empowering and at a young age I thought I could conquer the world.

All the best,
Alan