Late Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen is regarded as one of the all-time greatest guitar players in rock history with his highly popular tapping guitar solo technique and his immense contributions to the band’s extraordinary success.
Although the entire world recognizes the Van Halen icon as one of the most exceptional guitar players of all time, Eddie Van Halen’s rock music journey didn’t initially start as a guitarist. Instead, he was drawn to playing drums, whereas his brother Alex Van Halen was the guitarist.
Fortunately for his fans, the guitarist changed his mind at an early age. However, fans cannot help themselves but wonder how his career would look like if he never switched from drums to guitar. Let’s look at some of the fans’ opinions to see what they think about this hypothetical question.
Eddie Van Halen Started Making Music With Drums
The Van Halen brothers started experimenting with music at the age of six when they learned to play the piano from an elderly piano teacher, Stasys Kalvaitis. Although his musical journey began with piano, Eddie Van Halen was never taught to read music. He instead watched recitals of Bach or Mozart to improvise.
Even though their parents wanted the boys to become classical pianists, Eddie Van Halen quickly gravitated towards rock music and bought a drum kit for himself while his brother began playing the guitar. However, after he heard Alex playing the Surfaris drum solo of ‘Wipe Out,’ he gave his drums to his brother. After that point, he managed to become one of the greatest guitar players of all time.
How Eddie Van Halen’s Career Would Look Like If He Continued With Drums
According to many fans, the late Van Halen icon would make a decent drummer if he continued with that instrument. However, he would never achieve the level he got to as a guitarist since he was a legend to the rock community. Since he most likely would fade away as a drummer, fans are glad that the brothers swapped instruments before it was too late.
Many fans also stressed the importance of his role in Van Halen and said the band would be plain without Eddie Van Halen’s solos. Although the band had so much to offer in many aspects, fans agree that Eddie’s guitar playing took everything to another level which made them so special in the end.
A fan said Eddie would make a fair drummer:
“He’d probably have been a fair to good drummer but nowhere near as good as he is on guitar. While it’s impossible to predict ‘what if,’ I think it’s safe to say that the musical landscape would be much different for guitarists as Ed really ushered in a whole new era of ‘shred’ guitar playing that just about every major guitarist tried to incorporate at least a little of in their playing.
Maybe someone else would have come along, maybe not. As for a band, it’s unlikely Van Halen would’ve made it past the local club scene or lasted as a band at all as Eddie’s playing really is the focal point of Van Halen.”
A fan’s comment pointed out Van Halen’s success:
“Van Halen would likely have stayed in mediocrity like the thousand other bands before and after them.
The main appeal of the band Van Halen was Eddie’s guitar. Sure, DLR’s lyrics, vocals, and showmanship drew some in but Eddie was the driving force of that band.
He was fearless and his style and sound were unlike others on the scene.“
Even though Eddie Van Halen had never been a drummer of any band, it’s nice to see his fans admitting the ultimate truth; that he was made to become the legendary guitarist of Van Halen.