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91.2k voters

The Best Drummers Of All Time

Updated May 13, 2021 501.0k votes 91.2k voters 1.3m views534 items

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

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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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    Bernard "Buddy" Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He is considered one of the most influential drummers of all time and was known for his virtuoso...  more

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    Neil Ellwood Peart (September 12, 1952 – January 7, 2020) was a Canadian musician and writer best known as the drummer and primary lyricist of the rock band Rush. Peart received numerous awards for...  more

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    John Henry Bonham (31 May 1948 – 25 September 1980) was an English musician and songwriter, best known as the drummer for the British rock band Led Zeppelin. Esteemed for his speed, power, fast bass...  more

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    Daniel Edwin Carey (born May 10, 1961) is an American drummer and instrumentalist best known for his work in American Grammy Award-winning progressive metal band Tool. He has also contributed to...  more
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    Eugene Bertram Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was an American jazz drummer, band leader, actor, and composer known for his energetic style and showmanship. His drum solo on "Sing, Sing,...  more

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    Keith John Moon (23 August 1946 – 7 September 1978) was an English drummer for the rock band the Who. He was noted for his unique style and his eccentric, often self-destructive behaviour. His...  more

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    Cozy Powell (Born Colin Trevor Flooks) (29 December 1947 – 5 April 1998) was an English rock drummer, who made his name with many major rock bands and artists like The Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Gary...  more

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    Stephen Kendall Gadd (born April 9, 1945) is an American drummer, percussionist, and session musician. Gadd is one of the most well-known and highly regarded session and studio drummers in the...  more
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    Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939) is an English drummer and a founder of the rock band Cream. His work in the 1960s earned him the reputation of "rock's first superstar drummer",...  more

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    John Graham Mitchell (9 July 1946 – 12 November 2008) was an English drummer and former child actor, who was best known for his work in the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He was inducted into the Modern...  more
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    Stewart Armstrong Copeland (born July 16, 1952) is an American musician and composer. He was the drummer for the British rock band the Police, has produced film and video game soundtracks and written...  more

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    David Lombardo (born February 16, 1965) is a Cuban-American drummer, best known as a co-founding member of American thrash metal band Slayer. Lombardo played drums on nine Slayer albums, including...  more

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    Ian Anderson Paice (born 29 June 1948) is an English musician, best known as the drummer and last constant original member of the English rock band Deep Purple....  more
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    Roger Andrew Taylor (born 26 April 1960) is an English musician, best known as the drummer of the new wave music band Duran Duran from their inception until 1985, and again from 2001 onwards. Duran...  more

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    Jeffrey Thomas Porcaro (; April 1, 1954 – August 5, 1992) was an American drummer, songwriter, and record producer. In a career that spanned more than 20 years, Porcaro was best known for his work...  more

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    Chad Gaylord Smith (born October 25, 1961) is an American musician who is the current drummer of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, which he joined in 1988. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll...  more

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    Nicholas Berkeley Mason, (born 27 January 1944) is an English drummer, best known as a founder member of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. Mason is the only Pink Floyd member to have been...  more
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    William Emanuel Cobham Jr. (born May 16, 1944) is a Panamanian-American jazz drummer who came to prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s with trumpeter Miles Davis and then with the Mahavishnu...  more

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    Michael Stephen Portnoy (born April 20, 1967) is an American drummer and songwriter primarily known as the former drummer, backing vocalist, and a co-founder of the progressive metal/rock band Dream...  more
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    Carter Anthony Beauford (born November 2, 1958, in Charlottesville, Virginia) is an American drummer, percussionist, and founding member of Dave Matthews Band. He is known for his ability to adapt to...  more
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    William Thomas Ward (born 5 May 1948) is an English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer of the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He also performed lead vocals on two...  more
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    Scott Rockenfield (born June 15, 1963), also known as SRock, is an American drummer and composer. He is best known as the drummer for the progressive metal band Queensrÿche, which he co-founded in...  more
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    Oliver Taylor Hawkins (born February 17, 1972) is an American musician, best known as the drummer for the rock band Foo Fighters. Prior to joining the band in 1997, he was the touring drummer for...  more
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    Maxwell Lemuel Roach (January 10, 1924 – August 16, 2007) was an American jazz drummer and composer. A pioneer of bebop, he worked in many other styles of music, and is generally considered alongside...  more

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    Jason John Bonham (born 15 July 1966) is an English drummer. He is the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and Patricia "Pat" Bonham (née Phillips). After his father's death in September...  more