Drummers The Best Drummers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
610.6k votes 79.7k voters 1.1M views 742 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
19,555 7,818
John Bonham is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

2
22,906 7,262
Neil Peart is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Swing music, Heavy metal

3
11,297 6,196
Keith Moon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Skiffle, Pop music, Rock music

4
11,789 4,013
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

5
21,312 6,311
Danny Carey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Industrial rock

6
7,278 4,556
Ginger Baker is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

7
7,283 4,099
Stewart Copeland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

8
8,234 4,929
Mike Portnoy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Metalcore

9
11,034 8,011
Dave Grohl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Doom metal, Rock music, Grunge

10
7,564 6,080
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

11
4,367 3,345
Bill Bruford is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

12
4,594 2,645
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

13
3,568 2,472
Mitch Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

14
3,893 2,880
Ian Paice is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

15
4,584 4,047
Alex Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Hard rock

16
3,209 2,708
Carl Palmer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Electronic dance music, Pop rock

17
3,800 2,857
Bill Ward is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

18
5,254 3,186
Dave Lombardo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

19
4,149 3,125
Nick Mason is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

20
3,519 2,734
Terry Bozzio is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive music, Synthpop, New Wave

21
4,454 2,761
Chad Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jazz-funk, Rock music, Experimental rock

22
2,786 1,928
Billy Cobham is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Rock music

23
3,623 2,526
Nicko McBrain is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

24
3,015 1,750
Steve Gadd is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

25
5,464 6,219
Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, World music

26
4,075 2,739
Vinnie Paul is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

27
2,517 1,667
Vinnie Colaiuta is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Pop music, Rock music

28
3,071 1,856
Carter Beauford is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Fusion, Rock music, Black metal

29
2,181 1,326
Dave Weckl is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Post-bop

30
3,166 2,392
Mick Fleetwood is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Blues

31
2,915 2,679
Charlie Watts is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

32
2,164 1,440
Gavin Harrison is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Jazz fusion, Experimental music

33
2,493 1,633
Jeff Porcaro is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Arena rock

34
2,074 1,551
Cozy Powell is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

35
2,468 1,714
Mike Mangini is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mentor_rm9 added Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

36
1,884 1,340
Max Roach is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

37
5,133 6,711
Lars Ulrich is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

38
2,824 1,942
Taylor Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

39
1,913 1,595
Carmine Appice is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

40
2,268 1,711
Matt Cameron is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Garage rock, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

41
2,688 1,093
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
2,332 1,655
Roger Taylor is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock

43
2,421 1,351
Chris Adler is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
SensitivePsych0 added Thrash metal, Groove metal, Melodic death metal

44
3,930 3,517
Travis Barker is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop punk, Rap metal

45
1,675 1,354
Buddy Miles is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk

46
1,440 1,170
Steve Smith is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

47
1,506 1,339
Simon Phillips is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion

48
3,273 2,115
Jimmy "The Rev" Sull... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan

49
1,587 1,213
Art Blakey is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

50
1,586 1,159
Marco Minnemann is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal