90.4k voters

The Best Drummers Of All Time

Updated December 27, 2020 503.4k votes 90.4k voters 1.3m views532 items

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

Update: Follow Ranker's official New Rock 2020 playlist on Spotify!

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.

  • Buddy Rich1
    Bernard "Buddy" Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987) was an American jazz drummer and...  more
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  • Neil Peart2
    Neil Ellwood Peart (September 12, 1952 – January 7, 2020) was a Canadian musician and writer...  more
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  • John Bonham3
    John Henry Bonham (31 May 1948 – 25 September 1980) was an English musician and songwriter,...  more
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  • Danny Carey4
    Daniel Edwin Carey (born May 10, 1961) is an American drummer and instrumentalist best known...  more
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  • Gene Krupa5
    Eugene Bertram Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was an American jazz drummer, band...  more
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    #1015 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time#810 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • Keith Moon6
    Keith John Moon (23 August 1946 – 7 September 1978) was an English drummer for the rock band...  more
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  • Steve Gadd7
    Stephen Kendall Gadd (born April 9, 1945) is an American drummer, percussionist, and session...  more
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    #41 of 241 The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists#198 of 226 Famous Jazz Drummers

  • Cozy Powell8
    Cozy Powell (Born Colin Trevor Flooks) (29 December 1947 – 5 April 1998) was an English rock...  more
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  • Mitch Mitchell9
    John Graham Mitchell (9 July 1946 – 12 November 2008) was an English drummer and former child...  more
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  • Ginger Baker10
    Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939) is an English drummer and a founder of the...  more
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  • Ian Paice11
    Ian Anderson Paice (born 29 June 1948) is an English musician, best known as the drummer and...  more
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  • Jeff Porcaro12
    Jeffrey Thomas Porcaro (; April 1, 1954 – August 5, 1992) was an American drummer, songwriter,...  more
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  • Dave Lombardo13
    David Lombardo (born February 16, 1965) is a Cuban-American drummer, best known as a...  more
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  • Stewart Copeland14
    Stewart Armstrong Copeland (born July 16, 1952) is an American musician and composer. He was...  more
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  • Roger Taylor15
    Roger Andrew Taylor (born 26 April 1960) is an English musician, best known as the drummer of...  more
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  • Chad Smith16
    Chad Gaylord Smith (born October 25, 1961) is an American musician who is the current drummer...  more
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  • Nick Mason17
    Nicholas Berkeley Mason, (born 27 January 1944) is an English drummer, best known as a...  more
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  • Max Roach18
    Maxwell Lemuel Roach (January 10, 1924 – August 16, 2007) was an American jazz drummer and...  more
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    #2 of 25 The 25 Most Popular & Influential Black Drummers#56 of 106 The Best Musical Artists From North Carolina

  • Billy Cobham19
    William Emanuel Cobham Jr. (born May 16, 1944) is a Panamanian-American jazz drummer who came...  more
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  • Carter Beauford20
    Carter Anthony Beauford (born November 2, 1958, in Charlottesville, Virginia) is an American...  more
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  • Carl Palmer21
    Carl Frederick Kendall Palmer (born 20 March 1950) is an English drummer and percussionist,...  more
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  • Mick Fleetwood22
    Michael John Kells Fleetwood (born 24 June 1947) is a British musician and actor, best known...  more
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  • Jason Bonham23
    Jason John Bonham (born 15 July 1966) is an English drummer. He is the son of the late Led...  more
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  • Mike Portnoy24
    Michael Stephen Portnoy (born April 20, 1967) is an American drummer and songwriter primarily...  more
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  • Bill Ward25
    William Thomas Ward (born 5 May 1948) is an English musician and visual artist, best known as...  more
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