Drummers The Best Drummers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
603.7k votes 78.7k voters 1.1M views 738 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.
list ordered by

1
22,681 7,135
Neil Peart is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Swing music, Heavy metal

2
19,336 7,684
John Bonham is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

3
11,162 6,095
Keith Moon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Skiffle, Pop music, Rock music

4
11,661 3,946
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

5
21,245 6,228
Danny Carey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Industrial rock

6
7,169 4,497
Ginger Baker is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

7
7,196 4,046
Stewart Copeland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

8
8,169 4,868
Mike Portnoy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Metalcore

9
10,951 7,918
Dave Grohl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Doom metal, Rock music, Grunge

10
7,451 5,998
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

11
4,318 3,297
Bill Bruford is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

12
4,535 2,602
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

13
3,511 2,439
Mitch Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

14
3,843 2,841
Ian Paice is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

15
4,521 3,990
Alex Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Hard rock

16
3,149 2,671
Carl Palmer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Electronic dance music, Pop rock

17
5,217 3,142
Dave Lombardo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

18
3,752 2,821
Bill Ward is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

19
4,106 3,088
Nick Mason is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

20
3,484 2,697
Terry Bozzio is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive music, Synthpop, New Wave

21
4,427 2,716
Chad Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jazz-funk, Rock music, Experimental rock

22
2,756 1,897
Billy Cobham is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Rock music

23
3,595 2,496
Nicko McBrain is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

24
2,981 1,722
Steve Gadd is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

25
5,365 6,151
Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, World music

26
4,051 2,708
Vinnie Paul is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

27
2,495 1,642
Vinnie Colaiuta is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Pop music, Rock music

28
3,046 1,830
Carter Beauford is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Fusion, Rock music, Black metal

29
2,159 1,301
Dave Weckl is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Post-bop

30
3,118 2,358
Mick Fleetwood is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Blues

31
2,866 2,642
Charlie Watts is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

32
2,148 1,414
Gavin Harrison is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Jazz fusion, Experimental music

33
2,458 1,610
Jeff Porcaro is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Arena rock

34
2,452 1,689
Mike Mangini is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mentor_rm9 added Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

35
2,036 1,530
Cozy Powell is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

36
1,858 1,318
Max Roach is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

37
2,802 1,913
Taylor Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

38
5,077 6,648
Lars Ulrich is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

39
1,885 1,575
Carmine Appice is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

40
2,256 1,685
Matt Cameron is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Garage rock, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

41
2,682 1,066
Mario Duplantier is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mentor_rm9 added Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal

42
2,408 1,326
Chris Adler is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
SensitivePsych0 added Thrash metal, Groove metal, Melodic death metal

43
3,897 3,485
Travis Barker is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop punk, Rap metal

44
2,193 1,634
Roger Taylor is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock

45
1,655 1,343
Buddy Miles is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk

46
1,490 1,324
Simon Phillips is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion

47
1,419 1,156
Steve Smith is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

48
3,242 2,102
Jimmy "The Rev" Sull... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan

49
1,573 1,200
Art Blakey is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

50
1,578 1,143
Marco Minnemann is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal