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91.0k voters

The Best Drummers Of All Time

Updated December 27, 2020 511.8k votes 91.0k 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.

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    Bernard "Buddy" Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987) was an American jazz drummer and...  more

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    John Henry Bonham (31 May 1948 – 25 September 1980) was an English musician and songwriter,...  more

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    Daniel Edwin Carey (born May 10, 1961) is an American drummer and instrumentalist best known...  more
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    Eugene Bertram Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was an American jazz drummer, band...  more

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    Keith John Moon (23 August 1946 – 7 September 1978) was an English drummer for the rock band...  more

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    Stephen Kendall Gadd (born April 9, 1945) is an American drummer, percussionist, and session...  more
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    Cozy Powell (Born Colin Trevor Flooks) (29 December 1947 – 5 April 1998) was an English rock...  more

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    Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939) is an English drummer and a founder of the...  more

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    John Graham Mitchell (9 July 1946 – 12 November 2008) was an English drummer and former child...  more
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    David Lombardo (born February 16, 1965) is a Cuban-American drummer, best known as a...  more

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    Ian Anderson Paice (born 29 June 1948) is an English musician, best known as the drummer and...  more
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    Roger Andrew Taylor (born 26 April 1960) is an English musician, best known as the drummer of...  more

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    Jeffrey Thomas Porcaro (; April 1, 1954 – August 5, 1992) was an American drummer, songwriter,...  more

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    Chad Gaylord Smith (born October 25, 1961) is an American musician who is the current drummer...  more

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    Nicholas Berkeley Mason, (born 27 January 1944) is an English drummer, best known as a...  more
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    Carter Anthony Beauford (born November 2, 1958, in Charlottesville, Virginia) is an American...  more
  • 19
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    William Emanuel Cobham Jr. (born May 16, 1944) is a Panamanian-American jazz drummer who came...  more

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    Maxwell Lemuel Roach (January 10, 1924 – August 16, 2007) was an American jazz drummer and...  more

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    Carl Frederick Kendall Palmer (born 20 March 1950) is an English drummer and percussionist,...  more
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    Michael Stephen Portnoy (born April 20, 1967) is an American drummer and songwriter primarily...  more
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