Drummers The Best Drummers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
609.4k votes 79.6k 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
22,876 7,249
Neil Peart is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Swing music, Heavy metal

2
19,518 7,800
John Bonham is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

3
11,275 6,180
Keith Moon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Skiffle, Pop music, Rock music

4
11,765 4,005
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

5
21,300 6,300
Danny Carey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Industrial rock

6
7,257 4,547
Ginger Baker is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

7
7,269 4,089
Stewart Copeland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

8
8,225 4,919
Mike Portnoy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Metalcore

9
11,018 7,999
Dave Grohl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Doom metal, Rock music, Grunge

10
7,548 6,065
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

11
4,356 3,337
Bill Bruford is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

12
4,582 2,638
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

13
3,557 2,467
Mitch Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

14
3,886 2,874
Ian Paice is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

15
4,573 4,037
Alex Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Hard rock

16
3,199 2,701
Carl Palmer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Electronic dance music, Pop rock

17
3,792 2,852
Bill Ward is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

18
5,246 3,181
Dave Lombardo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

19
4,139 3,120
Nick Mason is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

20
3,514 2,726
Terry Bozzio is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive music, Synthpop, New Wave

21
4,450 2,755
Chad Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jazz-funk, Rock music, Experimental rock

22
2,785 1,922
Billy Cobham is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Rock music

23
3,615 2,523
Nicko McBrain is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

24
3,009 1,744
Steve Gadd is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

25
5,451 6,207
Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, World music

26
4,068 2,733
Vinnie Paul is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

27
2,513 1,661
Vinnie Colaiuta is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Pop music, Rock music

28
3,070 1,850
Carter Beauford is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Fusion, Rock music, Black metal

29
2,179 1,321
Dave Weckl is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Post-bop

30
3,159 2,388
Mick Fleetwood is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Blues

31
2,905 2,675
Charlie Watts is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

32
2,160 1,436
Gavin Harrison is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Jazz fusion, Experimental music

33
2,486 1,628
Jeff Porcaro is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Arena rock

34
2,066 1,549
Cozy Powell is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

35
2,463 1,709
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
1,878 1,336
Max Roach is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

37
5,123 6,702
Lars Ulrich is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

38
2,817 1,937
Taylor Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

39
1,907 1,592
Carmine Appice is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

40
2,265 1,708
Matt Cameron is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Garage rock, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

41
2,688 1,089
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
2,314 1,650
Roger Taylor is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock

43
2,420 1,346
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
3,925 3,512
Travis Barker is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Hip hop music, Pop punk, Rap metal

45
1,672 1,353
Buddy Miles is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk

46
1,439 1,167
Steve Smith is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

47
1,502 1,337
Simon Phillips is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion

48
3,268 2,112
Jimmy "The Rev" Sull... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan

49
1,586 1,210
Art Blakey is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

50
1,586 1,156
Marco Minnemann is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal