Music

The Best Drummers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
645.1k votes 85.3k voters 1.2M views 656 items

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.
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list ordered by
1
Neil Peart is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Swing music, Heavy metal
2
John Bonham is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal
3
Danny Carey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Industrial rock
4
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz
5
Keith Moon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Skiffle, Pop music, Rock music
6
Ginger Baker is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz
7
Stewart Copeland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music
8
Mike Portnoy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Metalcore
9
Dave Grohl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Doom metal, Rock music, Grunge
10
Bill Bruford is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion
11
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music
12
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz
13
Mitch Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion
14
Nick Mason is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock
15
Ian Paice is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock
16
Dave Lombardo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal
17
Alex Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Hard rock
18
Bill Ward is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal
19
Terry Bozzio is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive music, Synthpop, New Wave
20
Carl Palmer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Electronic dance music, Pop rock
21
Chad Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jazz-funk, Rock music, Experimental rock
22
Steve Gadd is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues
23
Billy Cobham is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Rock music
24
Vinnie Paul is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal
25
Cozy Powell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock