The Best Drummers of All Time

481k votes 63k voters 1M views 660 items tags f p @

List Criteria: 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.
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
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  1. 1
    + 15,994
    - 5,537

    most listed
    Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  2. 2
    + 18,633
    - 5,628
    Neil Peart is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time

    the people's #1
    Neil Peart Progressive metal, Swing music, Heavy metal

  3. 3
    + 20,211
    - 4,705

    ranked low on reranks
    Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Industrial rock

    ;
  4. 4
    + 9,410
    - 3,005
    Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Buddy Rich Swing music, Big band, Jazz

  5. 5
    + 8,798
    - 4,799


    Skiffle, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  6. 6
    + 5,600
    - 3,454


    Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

    ;
  7. 7
    + 7,110
    - 3,789


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Metalcore

    ;
  8. 8
    + 5,884
    - 3,042
    Stewart Copeland is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Stewart Copeland New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

  9. 9
    + 9,340
    - 6,545
    Dave Grohl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Dave Grohl Doom metal, Rock music, Grunge

  10. 10
    + 3,543
    - 2,539


    Rock music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

    ;
  11. 11
    + 5,987
    - 4,777
    Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Phil Collins Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

  12. 12
    + 4,667
    - 2,371
    Dave Lombardo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Dave Lombardo Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

  13. 13
    + 2,986
    - 2,086
    Terry Bozzio is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Terry Bozzio Progressive music, Synthpop, New Wave

  14. 14
    + 3,085
    - 2,177


    Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

    ;
  15. 15
    + 3,493
    - 2,016


    Swing music, Big band, Jazz

    ;
  16. 16
    + 3,442
    - 2,464


    Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

    ;
  17. 17
    + 3,600
    - 3,131

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Hard rock

    ;
  18. 18
    + 3,098
    - 2,269
    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. 19
    + 2,743
    - 1,890
    Mitch Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Mitch Mitchell Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

  20. 20
    + 3,745
    - 2,100

    ranked low on reranks
    Jazz-funk, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  21. 21
    + 2,372
    - 2,170

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Rock music, Electronic dance music, Pop rock

    ;
  22. 22
    + 3,100
    - 2,017
    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. 23
    + 2,204
    - 1,495


    Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Rock music

    ;
  24. 24
    + 2,344
    - 1,333


    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  25. 25
    + 3,578
    - 2,172


    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ;
  26. 26
    + 2,077
    - 1,256
    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. 27
    + 2,587
    - 1,429


    Fusion, Rock music, Black metal

    ;
  28. 28
    + 1,909
    - 1,022
    Gavin Harrison is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Gavin Harrison Progressive metal, Jazz fusion, Experimental music

  29. 29
    + 2,576
    - 676

    ranked low on reranks & added by Mentor_rm9
    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1,760
    - 954


    Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Post-bop

    ;
  31. 31
    + 4,077
    - 5,062
    Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ringo Starr Pop music, Rock music, World music

  32. 32
    + 2,159
    - 1,306
    Mike Mangini is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time

    added by Mentor_rm9
    Mike Mangini Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

  33. 33
    + 2,157
    - 964

    ranked low on reranks & added by SensitivePsych0
    Thrash metal, Groove metal, Melodic death metal

    ;
  34. 34
    + 2,378
    - 1,872


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Blues

    ;
  35. 35
    + 1,976
    - 1,353


    Garage rock, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

    ;
  36. 36
    + 2,309
    - 1,510


    Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

    ;
  37. 37
    + 1,896
    - 1,304
    Jeff Porcaro is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Jeff Porcaro Pop music, Rock music, Arena rock

  38. 38
    + 1,435
    - 1,055


    Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

    ;
  39. 39
    + 1,435
    - 1,293
    Carmine Appice is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Carmine Appice Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

  40. 40
    + 2,170
    - 2,136


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

    ;
  41. 41
    + 4,177
    - 5,655

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

    ;
  42. 42
    + 1,575
    - 1,241
    Cozy Powell is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Cozy Powell Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

  43. 43
    + 3,271
    - 2,960

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Rap metal

    ;
  44. 44
    + 1,425
    - 813

    added by Mentor_rm9
    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Extreme metal

    ;
  45. 45
    + 1,409
    - 849

    ranked low on reranks
    Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  46. 46
    + 1,363
    - 1,092


    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk

    ;
  47. 47
    + 1,612
    - 1,112


    Pop punk, Industrial metal, Rock music

    ;
  48. 48
    + 1,198
    - 1,030
    Simon Phillips is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Simon Phillips Rock music, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion

  49. 49
    + 1,640
    - 1,311


    New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock

    ;
  50. 50
    + 2,717
    - 1,794
    Jimmy "The Rev" Sull... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time


    Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan

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