The Best Drummers of All Time Bands/Musicians

The Best Drummers of All Time

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99,370 views 260 items 37,302 votes 4,596 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 1529
    Down 582

    the people's #1
    Neil Peart

    Progressive metal, Swing music, Heavy metal More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 1388
    Down 599

    most listed
    John Bonham

    Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal More
    100
  3. 3
    Up 1098
    Down 445
    Skiffle, Pop music, Rock music More
    96
  4. 4
    Up 896
    Down 375
    Swing music, Big band, Jazz More
    85
  5. 5
    Up 559
    Down 423

    controversial
    Ginger Baker

    Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz More
    74
  6. 6
    Up 624
    Down 517

    often listed &controversial
    Dave Grohl

    Doom metal, Rock music, Grunge More
    71
  7. 7
    Up 488
    Down 370
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    68
  8. 8
    Up 517
    Down 379
    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Metalcore More
    67
  9. 9
    Up 589
    Down 543

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Phil Collins

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    66
  10. 10
    Up 358
    Down 265

    ranked low on reranks
    Ian Paice

    Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock More
    65
  11. 11
    Up 344
    Down 272
    Rock music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion More
    64
  12. 12
    Up 383
    Down 223
    Swing music, Big band, Jazz More
    64
  13. 13
    Up 315
    Down 273
    Rock music, Electronic dance music, Pop rock More
    62
  14. 14
    Up 269
    Down 224
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion More
    61
  15. 15
    Up 508
    Down 534

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ringo Starr

    Pop music, Rock music, World music More
    60
  16. 16
    Up 359
    Down 349

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Alex Van Halen

    Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Hard rock More
    60
  17. 17
    Up 245
    Down 205
    Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock More
    59
  18. 18
    Up 351
    Down 273
    Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Industrial rock More
    59
  19. 19
    Up 224
    Down 200

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Bill Ward

    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal More
    59
  20. 20
    Up 271
    Down 255

    often listed &controversial
    Charlie Watts

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae More
    57
  21. 21
    Up 304
    Down 167

    ranked low on reranks
    Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan

    57
  22. 22
    Up 245
    Down 222

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Nick Mason

    Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock More
    57
  23. 23
    Up 244
    Down 207
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Blues More
    55
  24. 24
    Up 185
    Down 182

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dave Lombardo

    Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal More
    54
  25. 25
    Up 190
    Down 171

    controversial
    Carmine Appice

    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    53
  26. 26
    Up 189
    Down 135

    ranked low on reranks
    Roger Taylor

    New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock More
    53
  27. 27
    Up 155
    Down 129
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk More
    53
  28. 28
    Up 177
    Down 174
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock More
    53
  29. 29
    Up 312
    Down 399

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lars Ulrich

    Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal More
    52
  30. 30
    Up 187
    Down 198

    ranked high on reranks &controversial
    Terry Bozzio

    Progressive music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    52
  31. 31
    Up 156
    Down 152

    often listed &ranked low on reranks
    Billy Cobham

    Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Rock music More
    52
  32. 32
    Up 213
    Down 261

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Travis Barker

    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Rap metal More
    51
  33. 33
    Up 143
    Down 127

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Vinnie Paul

    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal More
    50
  34. 34
    Up 170
    Down 143

    ranked low on reranks
    Chad Smith

    Jazz-funk, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    50
  35. 35
    Up 153
    Down 125
    Pop music, Rock music, Arena rock More
    50
  36. 36
    Up 123
    Down 98

    ranked low on reranks
    Taylor Hawkins

    Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock More
    49
  37. 37
    Up 135
    Down 124
    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues More
    48
  38. 38
    Up 124
    Down 92

    ranked low on reranks
    Max Roach

    Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop More
    48
  39. 39
    Up 149
    Down 169

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Max Weinberg

    Popular music, Rock music, Jazz More
    48
  40. 40
    Up 103
    Down 112

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Elvin Jones

    Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop More
    47
  41. 41
    Up 83
    Down 72
    Glam metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Rock music More
    47
    added by: LarryHolland
  42. 42
    Up 144
    Down 158

    often listed &controversial
    Carter Beauford

    Fusion, Rock music, Black metal More
    47
  43. 43
    Up 97
    Down 89

    ranked low on reranks
    Matt Cameron

    Garage rock, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia More
    47
  44. 44
    Up 96
    Down 95
    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock More
    47
    added by: Mentor_rm9
  45. 45
    Up 111
    Down 120

    controversial
    Art Blakey

    Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop More
    46
  46. 46
    Up 90
    Down 98
    Thrash metal, Pop music, Rock music More
    46
  47. 47
    Up 214
    Down 226

    ranked low on reranks
    Chester Thompson

    Jazz fusion, Pop rock, Progressive rock More
    46
  48. 48
    Up 75
    Down 83
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Instrumental rock More
    45
  49. 49
    Up 68
    Down 80
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion More
    45
  50. 50
    Up 67
    Down 86

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Simon Phillips

    Rock music, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion More
    43
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