Jeff Porcaro, King of Groove – Toto

This is probably one of the most misleading drum beats of all time. When you hear it in the song “Rosanna” it sounds pretty simply and you think “I could do that, it’s just a nice swinging beat.” But then when you actually break it down and realize the subtle timing of the hi-hats and ghost notes on the snare you realize that this beat is hard as hell to play.


Jeff Porcaro was an American drummer, songwriter, and record producer. In a career that spanned more than 20 years, Porcaro was best known for his work with the rock band Toto. Porcaro is one of the most recorded session musicians in history, working on hundreds of albums and thousands of sessions. While already an established studio player in the 1970s, he came to prominence in the United States as the drummer on the Steely Dan album Katy Lied. AllMusic has characterized him as “arguably the most highly regarded studio drummer in rock from the mid-’70s to the early ’90s”, further stating that “It is no exaggeration to say that the sound of mainstream pop/rock drumming in the 1980s was, to a large extent, the sound of Jeff Porcaro.” He was posthumously inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1993.

Jeff Porcaro

Fun Fact

Jeff’s father Joe Porcaro was my Jazz teacher when I was a student at the LA Music Academy! I used to “need” to go use the bathroom a lot during his class. He’s a great teacher but I’m just not that into Jazz. Haha.

In LA Music Acadamy, Back in the day!

Toto – Rosanna (Live At Montreux 1991)