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.
- 1Bernard "Buddy" Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987) was an American jazz drummer and... more on Wikipedia10,9283,788
- 2Neil Ellwood Peart (September 12, 1952 – January 7, 2020) was a Canadian musician and writer... more on Wikipedia18,4947,710
- 3John Henry Bonham (31 May 1948 – 25 September 1980) was an English musician and songwriter,... more on Wikipedia16,3247,932
- 4Daniel Edwin Carey (born May 10, 1961) is an American drummer and instrumentalist best known... more on Wikipedia14,0586,741
- 5Eugene Bertram Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was an American jazz drummer, band... more on Wikipedia5,0052,293
- 6Keith John Moon (23 August 1946 – 7 September 1978) was an English drummer for the rock band... more on Wikipedia9,3536,344
- 7Stephen Kendall Gadd (born April 9, 1945) is an American drummer, percussionist, and session... more on Wikipedia2,9531,618
- 8Cozy Powell (Born Colin Trevor Flooks) (29 December 1947 – 5 April 1998) was an English rock... more on Wikipedia2,9421,443
- 9John Graham Mitchell (9 July 1946 – 12 November 2008) was an English drummer and former child... more on Wikipedia3,0432,145
- 10Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939) is an English drummer and a founder of the... more on Wikipedia6,2984,598
- 11Ian Anderson Paice (born 29 June 1948) is an English musician, best known as the drummer and... more on Wikipedia3,2162,386
- 12Jeffrey Thomas Porcaro (; April 1, 1954 – August 5, 1992) was an American drummer, songwriter,... more on Wikipedia2,1251,487
- 13David Lombardo (born February 16, 1965) is a Cuban-American drummer, best known as a... more on Wikipedia3,7882,695
- 14Roger Andrew Taylor (born 26 April 1960) is an English musician, best known as the drummer of... more on Wikipedia2,5711,492
- 15Stewart Armstrong Copeland (born July 16, 1952) is an American musician and composer. He was... more on Wikipedia5,8744,450
- 16Chad Gaylord Smith (born October 25, 1961) is an American musician who is the current drummer... more on Wikipedia3,4062,530
- 17Nicholas Berkeley Mason, (born 27 January 1944) is an English drummer, best known as a... more on Wikipedia3,3542,553
- 18Carter Anthony Beauford (born November 2, 1958, in Charlottesville, Virginia) is an American... more on Wikipedia2,2981,709
- 19Maxwell Lemuel Roach (January 10, 1924 – August 16, 2007) was an American jazz drummer and... more on Wikipedia1,6121,184
- 20William Emanuel Cobham Jr. (born May 16, 1944) is a Panamanian-American jazz drummer who came... more on Wikipedia2,2481,732
- 21Carl Frederick Kendall Palmer (born 20 March 1950) is an English drummer and percussionist,... more on Wikipedia2,8752,238
- 22Michael John Kells Fleetwood (born 24 June 1947) is a British musician and actor, best known... more on Wikipedia2,7482,072
- 23Jason John Bonham (born 15 July 1966) is an English drummer. He is the son of the late Led... more on Wikipedia1,101666
- 24Michael Stephen Portnoy (born April 20, 1967) is an American drummer and songwriter primarily... more on Wikipedia6,0154,916
- 25William Thomas Ward (born 5 May 1948) is an English musician and visual artist, best known as... more on Wikipedia3,0212,388