The Best Drummers of All Time Bands/Musicians

The Best Drummers of All Time

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100,305 views 260 items 37,514 votes 4,626 voters 146 followers 92reranks
Who is the greatest drummer ever? This is a list of the best drummers of all time, voted on and ranked by music lovers worldwide. Add your own list or vote on the greatest drummers here. Although many of the top drummers in history are rock drummers, this list is not restricted to just rock music. It covers all genres, so feel free to add anyone you think is missing.

Need some ideas for the best drummers of all time? Check out this list of the best female drummers -- many of them are outstanding and certainly worthy of inclusion here.

Debate about who is truly the best drummer ever can get heated. Once you start looking at the legendary drummers like John Bonham, Neil Peart, Keith Moon and Buddy Rich, well, it's hard to rank one over the other. Many of the drummers listed here are also singers and songwriters, and some are/were band leaders as well. If you need examples, check out this list of the best singing drummers for inspiration.

What made these famous drummers so amazing? An incredible sense of time and meter, for one thing. But it's more than just technical prowess: It's an overall presence, as well. Being a drummer is about skill, first and foremost, but it's also about showmanship, particularly in the rock genre. Disagree? That's totally fine. Just make sure you vote on these drummers, one way or the other.

List Criteria: Vote on the most skilled drummers who predominately played the drums in a band; all genres of music are acceptable

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  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 1399
    Down 600

    most listed
    John Bonham

    Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 1540
    Down 584

    the people's #1
    Neil Peart

    Progressive metal, Swing music, Heavy metal More
    100
  3. 3
    Up 1106
    Down 445
    Skiffle, Pop music, Rock music More
    96
  4. 4
    Up 907
    Down 376
    Swing music, Big band, Jazz More
    85
  5. 5
    Up 564
    Down 424

    controversial
    Ginger Baker

    Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz More
    74
  6. 6
    Up 628
    Down 521

    controversial
    Dave Grohl

    Doom metal, Rock music, Grunge More
    71
  7. 7
    Up 493
    Down 372
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    69
  8. 8
    Up 521
    Down 381
    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Metalcore More
    68
  9. 9
    Up 592
    Down 546

    controversial
    Phil Collins

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    66
  10. 10
    Up 361
    Down 268
    Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock More
    65
  11. 11
    Up 344
    Down 275
    Rock music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion More
    64
  12. 12
    Up 385
    Down 224
    Swing music, Big band, Jazz More
    64
  13. 13
    Up 272
    Down 224
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion More
    62
  14. 14
    Up 316
    Down 275
    Rock music, Electronic dance music, Pop rock More
    62
  15. 15
    Up 512
    Down 536

    controversial
    Ringo Starr

    Pop music, Rock music, World music More
    61
  16. 16
    Up 363
    Down 351

    controversial
    Alex Van Halen

    Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Hard rock More
    60
  17. 17
    Up 355
    Down 275
    Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Industrial rock More
    59
  18. 18
    Up 228
    Down 202
    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal More
    59
  19. 19
    Up 246
    Down 206
    Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock More
    59
  20. 20
    Up 276
    Down 256

    controversial
    Charlie Watts

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae More
    57
  21. 21
    Up 246
    Down 222
    Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock More
    57
  22. 22
    Up 304
    Down 168

    ranked low on reranks
    Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan

    57
  23. 23
    Up 246
    Down 207
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Blues More
    55
  24. 24
    Up 187
    Down 183
    Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal More
    54
  25. 25
    Up 191
    Down 135
    New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock More
    53
  26. 26
    Up 157
    Down 129
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk More
    53
  27. 27
    Up 191
    Down 172

    controversial
    Carmine Appice

    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    53
  28. 28
    Up 179
    Down 174
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock More
    52
  29. 29
    Up 189
    Down 199

    controversial
    Terry Bozzio

    Progressive music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    52
  30. 30
    Up 315
    Down 401

    controversial
    Lars Ulrich

    Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal More
    52
  31. 31
    Up 156
    Down 152
    Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Rock music More
    52
  32. 32
    Up 214
    Down 262

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Travis Barker

    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Rap metal More
    51
  33. 33
    Up 171
    Down 145
    Jazz-funk, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    50
  34. 34
    Up 146
    Down 127
    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal More
    50
  35. 35
    Up 153
    Down 126
    Pop music, Rock music, Arena rock More
    50
  36. 36
    Up 124
    Down 99
    Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock More
    49
  37. 37
    Up 137
    Down 124
    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues More
    49
  38. 38
    Up 126
    Down 92
    Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop More
    48
  39. 39
    Up 150
    Down 169

    controversial
    Max Weinberg

    Popular music, Rock music, Jazz More
    48
  40. 40
    Up 104
    Down 112
    Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop More
    48
  41. 41
    Up 146
    Down 158

    controversial
    Carter Beauford

    Fusion, Rock music, Black metal More
    47
  42. 42
    Up 97
    Down 89
    Garage rock, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia More
    47
  43. 43
    Up 96
    Down 95
    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock More
    47
    added by: Mentor_rm9
  44. 44
    Up 83
    Down 73
    Glam metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Rock music More
    46
    added by: LarryHolland
  45. 45
    Up 112
    Down 120

    controversial
    Art Blakey

    Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop More
    46
  46. 46
    Up 92
    Down 98
    Thrash metal, Pop music, Rock music More
    46
  47. 47
    Up 214
    Down 226
    Jazz fusion, Pop rock, Progressive rock More
    46
  48. 48
    Up 77
    Down 83
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Instrumental rock More
    45
  49. 49
    Up 69
    Down 80
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion More
    45
  50. 50
    Up 68
    Down 86
    Rock music, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion More
    44
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