music The Best Drummers of All Time  

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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
17,282 6,546
John Bonham is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
John Bonham Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

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2
20,348 6,337
Neil Peart is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Neil Peart Progressive metal, Swing music, Heavy metal

3
9,946 5,280
Keith Moon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Keith Moon Skiffle, Pop music, Rock music

4
10,391 3,472
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Buddy Rich Swing music, Big band, Jazz

5
20,645 5,549
Danny Carey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Danny Carey Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Industrial rock

6
6,284 3,974
Ginger Baker is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Ginger Baker Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

7
6,479 3,541
Stewart Copeland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Stewart Copeland New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

8
7,543 4,336
Mike Portnoy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mike Portnoy Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Metalcore

9
10,009 7,242
Dave Grohl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Dave Grohl Doom metal, Rock music, Grunge

10
6,607 5,354
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Phil Collins Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

11
3,930 2,936
Bill Bruford is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Bill Bruford Rock music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

12
3,428 2,520
Ian Paice is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Ian Paice Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

13
3,943 2,321
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Gene Krupa Swing music, Big band, Jazz

14
3,960 3,481
Alex Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Alex Van Halen Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Hard rock

15
4,926 2,778
Dave Lombardo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Dave Lombardo Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

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16
3,069 2,101
Mitch Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mitch Mitchell Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

17
3,748 2,723
Nick Mason is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Nick Mason Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

18
3,385 2,501
Bill Ward is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Bill Ward Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

19
3,222 2,402
Terry Bozzio is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Terry Bozzio Progressive music, Synthpop, New Wave

20
2,757 2,354
Carl Palmer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Carl Palmer Rock music, Electronic dance music, Pop rock

21
4,046 2,361
Chad Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Chad Smith Jazz-funk, Rock music, Experimental rock

22
3,315 2,220
Nicko McBrain is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Nicko McBrain Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

23
2,463 1,647
Billy Cobham is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Billy Cobham Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Rock music

24
2,642 1,484
Steve Gadd is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Steve Gadd Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

25
3,744 2,396
Vinnie Paul is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Vinnie Paul Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

26
2,268 1,418
Vinnie Colaiuta is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Vinnie Colaiuta Thrash metal, Pop music, Rock music

27
2,768 1,600
Carter Beauford is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Carter Beauford Fusion, Rock music, Black metal

28
4,598 5,482
Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Ringo Starr Pop music, Rock music, World music

29
1,961 1,098
Dave Weckl is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Dave Weckl Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Post-bop

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30
2,013 1,197
Gavin Harrison is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Gavin Harrison Progressive metal, Jazz fusion, Experimental music

31
2,680 2,062
Mick Fleetwood is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mick Fleetwood Blues-rock, Rock music, Blues

32
2,461 2,334
Charlie Watts is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Charlie Watts Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

33
2,610 860
Mario Duplantier is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mentor_rm9 added Mario Duplantier Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal

34
2,275 1,471
Mike Mangini is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mentor_rm9 added Mike Mangini Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

35
2,129 1,429
Jeff Porcaro is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jeff Porcaro Pop music, Rock music, Arena rock

36
4,556 6,041
Lars Ulrich is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Lars Ulrich Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

37
2,088 1,496
Matt Cameron is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Matt Cameron Garage rock, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

38
2,478 1,684
Taylor Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Taylor Hawkins Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

39
2,261 1,135
Chris Adler is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
SensitivePsych0 added Chris Adler Thrash metal, Groove metal, Melodic death metal

40
1,766 1,367
Cozy Powell is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Cozy Powell Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

41
1,634 1,166
Max Roach is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Max Roach Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

42
1,619 1,409
Carmine Appice is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Carmine Appice Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

43
3,547 3,173
Travis Barker is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Travis Barker Hip hop music, Pop punk, Rap metal

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44
1,865 1,437
Roger Taylor is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Roger Taylor New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock

45
1,337 1,148
Simon Phillips is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Simon Phillips Rock music, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion

46
1,481 1,198
Buddy Miles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Buddy Miles Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk

47
1,487 968
Marco Minnemann is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Marco Minnemann Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

48
1,466 942
Tomas Haake is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Mentor_rm9 added Tomas Haake Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Extreme metal

49
1,221 994
Steve Smith is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Steve Smith Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

50
2,940 1,913
Jimmy "The Rev" Sull... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Drummers of All Time
Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan