Musicians The Best Drummers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
613.5k votes 80.2k 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
23,025 7,299
Neil Peart is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Swing music, Heavy metal

2
19,656 7,859
John Bonham is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

3
11,345 6,229
Keith Moon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Skiffle, Pop music, Rock music

4
11,839 4,041
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

5
21,337 6,336
Danny Carey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Industrial rock

6
7,313 4,577
Ginger Baker is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

7
7,317 4,118
Stewart Copeland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

8
8,258 4,949
Mike Portnoy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Metalcore

9
11,086 8,042
Dave Grohl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Doom metal, Rock music, Grunge

10
7,609 6,108
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

11
4,378 3,363
Bill Bruford is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

12
4,611 2,662
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

13
3,581 2,485
Mitch Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

14
3,905 2,894
Ian Paice is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

15
4,607 4,070
Alex Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Hard rock

16
3,229 2,722
Carl Palmer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Electronic dance music, Pop rock

17
3,812 2,874
Bill Ward is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

18
4,161 3,138
Nick Mason is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

19
5,264 3,201
Dave Lombardo is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

20
3,529 2,748
Terry Bozzio is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Progressive music, Synthpop, New Wave

21
4,477 2,773
Chad Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jazz-funk, Rock music, Experimental rock

22
2,799 1,940
Billy Cobham is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Rock music

23
3,634 2,540
Nicko McBrain is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

24
3,029 1,762
Steve Gadd is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

25
5,504 6,257
Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, World music