Watch Chad Smith break down Red Hot Chili Peppers drum beats and fills in a virtual masterclass with Drumeo

Chad Smith performing live on DW drum kit with Paiste cymbals
(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

In a band where every instrumentalist is a hero of their instrument, it takes a special player to stand out. That’s exactly what Chad Smith has done with his drumming since joining the Red Hot Chili Peppers over 30 years ago.

With 10 studio albums under his belt, there’s a lot of beats and fills for Chad to reflect on, and recently he made the trip to Drumeo HQ to film an hour-and-twenty-minute breakdown of some of his most iconic drum beats and fills.

Hosted by Drumeo’s Brandon Toews, the virtual masterclass covers songs from across Chad’s career in the band, with a focus on tracks from Blood Sugar Sex Magik and Californication while also taking in By The Way (title track), Stadium Arcadium 

(Charlie) and The Getaway (The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie).

During a pause from playing, Chad took a moment to pay his respects to late Foo Fighters drummer, Taylor Hawkins, who he was close with.

As well as recalling some early memories of touring with Taylor during his tenure with Alanis Morissette, Chad recounts asking Taylor to be the godfather of his son, Beckett.

“I said, ‘Taylor, do you think you could be the godfather for Beckett? He goes, ‘Yeah, yeah. What do I have to do?' I go, 'I don’t really know…nothing.’ He says [deadpan] ‘Yeah, I can do that.’”

Chad Smith's Drumeo masterclass

  • Suck My Kiss 
  • Give It Away 
  • Blood Sugar Sex Magik
  • The Power Of Equality 
  • Mellowship Slinky In B Major 
  • Breaking The Girl 
  • Scar Tissue 
  • Around The World 
  • Otherside 
  • By The Way 
  • The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie 
  • Under The Bridge 
  • Charlie 
  • Can't Stop



Red Hot Chili Peppers are on a world tour in support of latest album, Return of the Dream Canteen throughout 2023. Click here for a full list of dates.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.