musicians The Best Drummers of All Time  

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

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 of all time 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 best drummers in the world, one way or the other.
list ordered by

1
17,234 6,520
John Bonham is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
John Bonham Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

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2
20,290 6,321
Neil Peart is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Neil Peart Progressive metal, Swing music, Heavy metal

3
9,920 5,269
Keith Moon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Keith Moon Skiffle, Pop music, Rock music

4
10,358 3,465
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Buddy Rich Swing music, Big band, Jazz

5
20,626 5,536
Danny Carey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Danny Carey Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Industrial rock

6
6,270 3,967
Ginger Baker is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Ginger Baker Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

7
6,464 3,536
Stewart Copeland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Stewart Copeland New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

8
7,528 4,326
Mike Portnoy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mike Portnoy Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Metalcore

9
9,989 7,230
Dave Grohl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Dave Grohl Doom metal, Rock music, Grunge

10
6,591 5,345
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Phil Collins Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

11
3,921 2,934
Bill Bruford is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Bill Bruford Rock music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

12
3,422 2,515
Ian Paice is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Ian Paice Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

13
3,930 2,318
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Gene Krupa Swing music, Big band, Jazz

14
3,948 3,475
Alex Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Alex Van Halen Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Hard rock

15
4,923 2,773
Dave Lombardo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Dave Lombardo Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

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16
3,063 2,097
Mitch Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mitch Mitchell Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

17
3,744 2,718
Nick Mason is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Nick Mason Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

18
3,380 2,498
Bill Ward is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Bill Ward Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

19
3,218 2,400
Terry Bozzio is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Terry Bozzio Progressive music, Synthpop, New Wave

20
2,746 2,353
Carl Palmer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Carl Palmer Rock music, Electronic dance music, Pop rock

21
4,037 2,354
Chad Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Chad Smith Jazz-funk, Rock music, Experimental rock

22
3,313 2,215
Nicko McBrain is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Nicko McBrain Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

23
2,462 1,645
Billy Cobham is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Billy Cobham Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Rock music

24
2,635 1,482
Steve Gadd is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Steve Gadd Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

25
3,742 2,391
Vinnie Paul is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Vinnie Paul Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

26
2,265 1,416
Vinnie Colaiuta is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Vinnie Colaiuta Thrash metal, Pop music, Rock music

27
2,760 1,599
Carter Beauford is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Carter Beauford Fusion, Rock music, Black metal

28
4,576 5,473
Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Ringo Starr Pop music, Rock music, World music

29
1,954 1,098
Dave Weckl is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Dave Weckl Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Post-bop

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30
2,009 1,196
Gavin Harrison is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Gavin Harrison Progressive metal, Jazz fusion, Experimental music

31
2,674 2,060
Mick Fleetwood is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mick Fleetwood Blues-rock, Rock music, Blues

32
2,609 858
Mario Duplantier is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mentor_rm9 added Mario Duplantier Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal

33
2,451 2,330
Charlie Watts is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Charlie Watts Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

34
2,267 1,470
Mike Mangini is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mentor_rm9 added Mike Mangini Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

35
2,127 1,428
Jeff Porcaro is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jeff Porcaro Pop music, Rock music, Arena rock

36
4,543 6,030
Lars Ulrich is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Lars Ulrich Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

37
2,085 1,493
Matt Cameron is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Matt Cameron Garage rock, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

38
2,470 1,680
Taylor Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Taylor Hawkins Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

39
2,256 1,133
Chris Adler is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
SensitivePsych0 added Chris Adler Thrash metal, Groove metal, Melodic death metal

40
1,760 1,366
Cozy Powell is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Cozy Powell Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

41
1,628 1,165
Max Roach is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Max Roach Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

42
1,616 1,408
Carmine Appice is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Carmine Appice Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

43
3,539 3,171
Travis Barker is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Travis Barker Hip hop music, Pop punk, Rap metal

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44
1,861 1,436
Roger Taylor is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Roger Taylor New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock

45
1,337 1,146
Simon Phillips is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Simon Phillips Rock music, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion

46
1,479 1,196
Buddy Miles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Buddy Miles Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk

47
1,485 967
Marco Minnemann is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Marco Minnemann Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

48
1,464 940
Tomas Haake is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mentor_rm9 added Tomas Haake Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Extreme metal

49
1,214 993
Steve Smith is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Steve Smith Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

50
2,927 1,912
Jimmy "The Rev" Sull... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan