Greatest Drummers of All Time


A hard category, due to the number of drumming styles, but selected are the most complete and versatile drummers. These drummers should be able to play more than one style. In addition, their impact and influence in music should be felt on a global scale. Not just suburban America. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Neil Peart
Neil Peart is the best! He can play Jazz. He plays for Rush and he plays really hard music. Nobody else could play Rush music in the hole list. I have went to other best drummer web sites and they all said that Neil Peart is 1. Neil Peart is the best! Go Rush! 1974-2112
Several guys on other sites are dissing Peart in favor of Portnoy and Mangini. Hey... They're skilled but please, those two guys are top ten... MAYBE, but in all honesty they couldn't carry Neil's pissbucket. I spent 35 years seeing concerts, was even a roadie for the Stampeders, Randy Bachmann, and Red Rider several times. I saw Pink Floyd in 79 & 80 do their Wall tour and I think I'm still there, but nobody, and I mean NOBODY, can touch Neil Peart with a pair of hickorys. He could use stale licorice and use his eyelids to hold them and they still couldn't come close... And Snortboy, I mean Portnoy, knew he was substandard to Neil. Get real people, use your grey matter (or what's left of it, and accept the facts. Neil Peart is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. (Thanks for that Bret Hart)
Neil is so technically proficient and imaginative when it comes to drumming (and indeed lyric writing) that, like others have previously said putting him at number 4 isn't really giving him anywhere near the amount of credit he deserves.
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2Shannon Leto
When Shannon drums, my heartbeat literally changes into what he's playing. When he starts playing you can tell it's so full of passion and energy. Wait. Scratch that. He does not PLAY the drums, he lets his passion take over and it basically becomes his life. He's seriously been doing this all of his life and he'll never stop. If you ever listen and watch him drum, you'll understand. It's basically heaven.
I can say anything, but it's better if you listen the This Is War. It'll tell you everything
I love his sounds *_*. He's the best drummer on the world and he is just Shanimal! My favourite drummer is Shanimal *_*
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3Buddy Rich
Buddy Rich is in a league of his own and easily surpasses every other drummer on the list.
His rolls were as smooth as milk and his dynamic range
And amazing stick control were awesome. Hearing Buddy play p diminuendo all the way to the edge of his snare drum with a sudden rimshot and heavy accent
Bomb on his bass drum was a mesmerizing thrill.

To those who write him off as a mere technical
Wizard, I suggest that you listen to his treatment
Of the lighter passages on 'Channel One Suite'
'I Can't Get Started' and 'Wave' and you'll be treated
To some of the most impeccably tasteful subtle musicianship possible. I recall hearing Buddy play
An extended duo with pianist Teddy Wilson at Ravinia
Park on Chicago's North Shore in which he used wire
Brushes exclusively. The delicate light touch of his playing was true poetic artistry.

I offer up the brilliant 'West Side Story Medley'
And the aforementioned 'Channel One Suite'
As examples of Buddy's superlative playing
And musicality.

Anyone that had the chance to witness Buddy
'run down' the single stroke roll from open to close
Will attest to his flawless technique and blinding speed.
I've heard them all -- Gene Krupa (my choice for runner up), Louis Bellson, Billy Cobham, Carl Palmer, and
Ginger Baker and great as they (were) are, no one even comes close to Buddy.

A few names that belong on the list are Billy Gladstone
Of Radio City Music Hall, Mitch Markovich, Ben Pollack, Roy C. Knapp, Big Sid Catlett, Jon Hiseman,
Davey Tough, George Wettling, Papa Jo Jones,
And Warren 'Baby' Dodds.

Buddy Rich was percussion perfection!

Larry E. Johnson

Ps - By the way, it's a DRUM SET and BASS drum! Not a 'Drum Kit' or 'Kick' drum!
Buddy Rich was the Holy Grail of drummers. Any one who attempts to put a drummer ahead of Buddy Rich is insane. You can sum it up this way before Buddy died he said in an interview this his Music will Sustain forever. Buddy Rich was Right on time when he said that. You listen to Buddy Rich today at this time and all of his drumming sounds just as fresh and unbelievalbe as it did when he once performed it. What We are hearing today in drumming is just the same as a Washing Machine stuck in the Rinse Cycle. Same thing over and over no Creativity just pure noise. Buddy Rich just take a listen if or when he did take a drum solo. The Buddy Rich drum solo was like a GOOD BOOK it had a beginning a middle to it that kept you reading and staying with that solo and of course Buddy would give you a breathtaking finish. Today the drum solos you are hearing are just like the GRAND FINALE of a Fireworks Show. All noise and all loud loud louder FIREWORKS. No beginning just the END and a lot of noise. Man Buddy Rich we Miss you Big Time.
What a shame putting Buddy Rich in Ninth Place? Gene Krupa is up there with Louie Bellson laughing out loud. Buddy was the King of drummers. You put the other drummers that are on this so called list on a one and one battle with Buddy and they would go home crying. Just goes to show you where todays drumming has gone to? Travis Barker and Sullivan are you kidding. Sponge Bob Square Pants plays better drums than them.
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4James The Reverend Sullivan
I'm a fan of avenged sevenfold and I love jimmy but I don't think his the BEST drummer in the world but his drum cover is godlike although it is not the fastest but it sounds damn awesome with each and every song... as I said I don't think his the best drummer.. but he is 1 of the best drummer in the WORLD... the drum cover of a7x's first album is so godlike that it already beat most of the drummers! a 3rd position for jimmy is wonderful! he deserved it!
For me, he should be the no. 1 best drummer of all time, cause he makes his own way of drumming and own beat.. I also love the skill he always do, the "Double ride thing". It's why he is awesome.. FoREVer.. AVENGED SEVENFOLD FOREVER..
Who the hell even is yoshiki hayashi, if the rev were still her that guy would be dirt, foREVer R.I.P
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5John Bonham
Why isn't Bonham #1? Also is it just me or are their about 7 names in the top ten I've never heard of? This list is a terrible representative of the best drummer of all time. Have you ever listened to one of Bonham's drum solos? He does so much with such a small set and can continue like 4 different rhythms at the same time. He is the best.
Shannon Leto at number one? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Shannon doesn't have the talent that Bonham had in his LITTLE FINGER. He shouldn't even be in the top 100 drummers, it's absolutely ridiculous. Bonham was the most influential drummer of all time, all modern drummers would have studied Bonham like their life depended on it. He's influenced the likes of Dave Grohl (Who should be on this list anyway) Joey Kramer, Lee Kerslake, Tony Thompson, Tommy Lee, Peter Criss, Stewart Copeland, Chad Smith, Dave Lombardo and Brad Wilk... Some of the greatest drummers of today who quite frankly would outplay Shannon Leto blindfolded and with a single hand.
There are only a couple that can even share his spotlight... The off beat by a billisecond he plays at sets all pace and direction like no other... We can only march when he beats... Only Ginger Baker is close... Most others only bang the gong... Not many drummers have true effect on the sound... I am not even a tap my hands on the desk guy... But when I hear Zeppelin or Cream - I am compelled to listen first to the Drums of these two geniuses... The expert background of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jack Bruce and Robert Plant are only supporting roles to these different drummers...
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6Yoshiki Hayashi
My beloved Yoshiki?... He's the best! No one like him! That way of playing drums doesn't have comparation with anyone in this planet! His passion, his dedication... His madness when he's playing! He puts his soul in each note he plays on drums, and you can feel it! I can't explain it, you have to see it for understand it. He's a devil monster on drums and makes my heart explose! He's not only the best drummer in this planet, it's the best pianist, rocker, and human in this universe! I love him!
One of the best in the world and definitely the best in the top ten. X-Japan rock.
Yoshiki has the feel and the power when he plays yoru music!. He is the best!
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7Mike Portnoy
mike is the second best drummer in HISTORY. Only Neil Peart comes first. Anyone who disagrees is not a rock fan and you should keep your pathetic opinions to yourself. This genre is personified by Mike. I give Neil first place ONLY cause he did similar first. Mike took it to the next level and is the BEST nodern drummer. Im a big fan of death metal drummers like Origin and Pete Sandoval but overall no one can stand up to Mike Portnoy. Thanks Mike for the years of inspiration!


Mike certainly is one of the top drummers of all time. Neil Peart and John Bonham are the only drummers that could compare to Portnoy. Peart because of his overall talent and Bonham because of his style and how he revolutionized drumming (not to mention he was in Led Zeppelin and used only a single kick drum to play complex double kick fills). Let's be realistic, the Rev and Shannon Leto are good, but shouldn't belong on this list above Keith Moon, Thomas Lang, and Mike Portnoy. Thank god Peart is number one or else I wouldn't see any hope for the future of drumming.
personally, I think its a tie between portnoy and mike mangini. look him up. lars ulrich sucks. portnoy is amazing. buddy rich is also an amazing and respectable drummer. those should be top 3. portnoy, mangini, and rich.


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8Keith Moon
Clearly a lot of people involved in the voting are not drummers. I'm trying not to see this subjectively. Keith Moon is widely considered one of the best because of his natural creativity. He played the drums as a solo instrument, where as most other drummers of his era just kept the beat. Keith went above and beyond and decided to try something new. Ultimately, it influenced tons of people, even Neil Peart, and even more people idol Neil. So, the influence of Keith is literally everywhere in rock music. Technically speaking, he wasn't as musically educated as others like Bonzo or Peart. He made up for it through his weird technique and aggressive style of playing, which are things that simply cannot be taught. People commenting on this page are saying Tommy Lee is the best because he played upside down (which Buddy Rich did first) and Joey is the best because of his speed and precision. Well, drumming is about the sound and emotion behind it. Keith had insane charisma in his playing. Take a best or fill from a song by The Who. Have another drummer play it the same, then listen to Moon play it. The notes are the same, but Keith's drum swagger makes it sound different. Keith was also a very creative player when it came to double bass. The way he does flams on the double bass while doing fills on top of it (look for the Wont Get Fooled Again isolated drums over YouTube) was something I never even thought about doing. I could go on for sure, but there are a few of my reasons. I'd write more, but I'm in a rush.
The Loon at 11th? You blokes realize that this is a list of DRUMMERS, right? Not people smashing sticks on surfaces and calling it art. As for Peart, the current #2 guy, he was inspired by the Master of Exploding Toilets himself. (For you kids that think music is just WUB WUB WEOOW that are voting for other drummers, that means Keith). Listen to Love, Reign O'er Me. That crashing sound you hear at the end is Moon flipping over and destroying his drumset, because he's just that badass. Fully improvised, for no other reason other than destroying something.
Keith does it without even thinking about it as he was a pure natural talent when it came to playing the drums.

Keith was and still is the master of Rock and Roll drummers.

We can all have our opinions and who we think is best and there are many, many fine drummers in this world. So enjoy them all and remember keith was the best of his time on this planet.
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9Joey Jordison
He is my favorite and in my opinion #2, Peart is just to great, and Travis Barker isn't good at drumming, he is good at keeping rhythm and creating beats. He is a slow drummer


joey is the best drummer ever he speed and the rythem is awesome


Why isn't he number one! He is clearly the best drummer out there. He can do speed and precision perfectly.
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10Craig MacIntyre
Craig can really get the blood to going! Love to watch him play. Drummers fascinate me. I can multi-task online but drumming takes something else my brain just can't compute. Thanks Craig for giving out tips to those that occasionally sit in a song!


Craig is a fantastic drummer and fun to watch. Drummers have always fascinated me. Talk about multi-tasking... Amazing! Before joining Josh Groban's band, Craig performed with Jackopierce, Toni Lynn Washington, Jess Klein, Johnny A, and the Swinging Steaks, among others. Thanks for sharing your drumkit with you know who Craig. ;)


This guy RAWKS!
Craig you deserve recognition for all the wonderful work you do.


The Contenders

11Lars Ulrich
Dude Lars is not the best drummer but defiantly better than the rev R.I. P all respects to rev but the are seriously more than a 100 drummer better than him and oh my god Travis barker top 10 this is why the real list are made by Professionals because America is Retarded
How is Lars not #2? He should be there right after Buddy Rich! Who is Craig MacIntyre? And Yoshiki Hayashi? What the heck people. Without Lars and Dave Lombrado, modern metal drummers would have no idea what to do. Lars and Dave paved the way for every one else. They should have RESPECT!


How is lars not in the top 5? Guess who inspired the rev? LARS ULRICH DID! He is truly the best drummer of all time, GO METALLICA
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12Dave Grohl
What the hell is wrong with you people?! Dave Grohl will ALWAYS win, hands down, best drummer of all time. He's the most talented man out there. He's the most amazing person in the world, so kind and gentle yet wild and crazy. You gotta love Dave Grohl, he should definitely be number one on this list. Always.
Dave has done the lot, Scream, Nirvana, Foo & Crooked Vultures, he has been a guitarist also on David Bowie's "Heathen" Tour and has even filled in guest drummer for a lot of other bands... he shows no signs of letting up and has just recently completed his new album with Foo in his garage. David is ace and a real nice dude too!
People don't consider Dave to be an amazing drummer purely because in Nirvana his drum parts were energetic however simple. Yet if you listen to of his solo's or his work with queens of the stone age or them crooked vultures you'll get a completely different idea. Dave an animal and power house behind a drum kit
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13Vinnie Colaiuta
All of the drummers on top are the "popular" drummers that everyone knows. This guy is almost unknown yet he is far better than some of the drummers in the top ten
Wow goes to show how little people know about great drumming, vinnie has skills beyond any above him
On the list. You people need to hear his "going no where"
Truly a drummers drummer. Probably has played on more recordings than would fit on this page. Regarded as a god by many, including guys who have made this list themselves.
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14Danny Carey
I don't know why I voted in this list cause it has no credibility. The drummer from bon jovi is in the top ten. It has to be a joke, its like naming the backstreet boys drummer best drummer.

Jokes aside, there is a small number of very talented drummers in the world naming anyone among them is useless. My personal favorite is danny carey and he is among the top.
Carey is not necessarily as fast as most of the other drummers out there today. But he's definitely the most intricate and well versed in drums.
He deserves better than 16th. I don't know of any other drummer with as sound an internal clock and ability to play according to the song as him.
is it even possible to compare to him
sure some ppl can play really fast and do drum solos etc. but this is a man who has such an intricate way of playing that puts the songs together


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15Dave Lombardo
Dave Lombardo is better, faster and more aggressive than Lars Ulrich.
He is in another level
Is the best and favorite metal drummer of all time
And SLAYER isn't as mainstream as many bands here
Slayer is true, rude and aggressive metal
some of the stuff that he does on the kit is just amazing. Lars Ulrich and Joey Jordison are WAY overated

1. John Bonham
2. Niel Peart
3. Kieth Moon
4. Dave Lombardo
5. Mike Portnoy
6. Danny Carey
7. Ginger Baker
9. Terry Bozzio
10. Ian Paice


dave lombardo is probably the world's fastest drummer, just listen to any slayer song and you will know, not even jusr my opinion, for a fact dave lombardo should at least be in the top five, that is how good he is people.
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16Roger Taylor
he should be number one cause of his style and his charisma. secondly the way he moves his stick while playing drums. he is also contributes greatly to rock music. he as written such wonderful songs such as these are the days of our life. he is a multitasker. he plays drums, sing song, plays guitar, electric guitar and sometimes even piano.
I have almost a million reasons why Roger Taylor is the best Drummer, Musician, and Person ever, First of all, Listen to Breakthru and think how he did that amazing sound with only Drums?! Next find a live version of I'm In Love With My Car and think how he could play drums, and sing and still be able to breath after wards, and people, Ringo Starr, you barely know there are drums in Beatles songs, and after that's all sunk in listen to the back-up vocals on Somebody to love and then think about how ROGER TAYLOR IS TOTALLY NUMBER ONE!


Kicking ass at drumming and singing at the same time... That deserves higher than place 19. He may not be the fastest drummer, but his actual ability to hold a song together whilst backing up vocals and providing main vocals is a lot more than any of the other nominees can do.
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17Thomas Lang
Why in the world his thomas lang 46, he should be in the top 5. His speed is incredible and when he plays his sticks look like lightsabers. I mean, you can't even see his hand when he plays. He can effing roll his brush sticks!
This list is just a popularity contest. There are only a few people on it who deserve to be. Thomas Lang would wipe the floor with all of them.


Definitely a top 10 drummer, I saw him with Paul Gilbert in Zoetermeer. He did a solo for more than 10 minutes, he just doesn't stop. Fantastic
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18Mike Mangini
Mike mangini's control is amazing. If there is someone who has the right to claim that he's mastered the Drums on a completely different level then most other proffesional drummers have then it is Mike Mangini. He has mastered absolutely each and every aspect of the drums
There is no possible sequence of drumbeats that can't be played by him. Every style at every speed. Hardly comprehensible poly rhythms. Not only a top category drummer, he's also a good teacher using his former studies on human nervous system.
This guy is pure genius. Just hear him play, it is almost as if there are 4 people playing drums at the same time. He also at a time held the record of fastest drummer in a number of categories. He has rhythm and speed. He should be in the top ten for sure!
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19Travis Barker
Simply the best, the one with a unique style! Just because he is open to play every type of music, and he kicks ass!
If this is a list of human drummers Travis doesn't belong here. I mean he's like super human when he plays drums. I love his style hi's awesome. Blink
He must be in the top one in my opinion because every time I hear his composition my feet are tapping along the beat. I like his composition in miss you of blink 182.
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20Alex Van Halen
Eddie is the star in the family, but this guy is a monster. In addition to the method in which his drums are recorded (the sound is beautiful), his technique is flawless. His changes are dynamic and for the speed in which he plays, he is capable of downshifting in a nano-second. Very worthy of top 10 status.


Dudes a beast but not number one but definitely top ten maybe even five behind Portnoy, The Rev, and Peart. Just listen to hot for teacher. Sounds like there are 4 drummers. But who in the hell put Ringo in this. He isn't the best drummer in the world, he wasn't even the best drummer in the beatles.
Girl Gone Bad, Outta Love Again, Top Jimmy, Panama, Hot For Teacher. His touch and the way he finds the pocket of Eddies playing are paired with straight up showing off. He has a style like no other. Heavy Swing is the new category I'm inventing to put him in.
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21Gene Krupa
Gene Krupa was the best drummer of all time, followed by Buddy Rich, Jo Jones, Chick Webb, Lionel Hampton, Ray Bauduc, Big Sid Catlett, Ray McKinley, and Dave Black.
Rich was the most technically accomplished of all the drummers, but Krupa was more musical and swinging and his drums were beautifully tuned -- much better than Rich's. Hampton, better known for his vibe-playing, was a drummer first and foremost and was terrific. I have seen Louis Bellson and Art Blakey and they pale by comparison to Krupa and Rich. The rock drummers are terrible. They are not musical and they do not swing. They don't "play" the drums so much as pound them.
I am a young voter, 15, and I agree Gene Krupa is one of the best. I prefer his drumming over Buddy Rich's because Buddy's is mainly just "Hey, look how fast my hands go! ". Gene just puts a certain feeling into it that many drummers just can't.
I am simply astonished! This man is the greatest drummer of all time. What other drummer had a major movie made about him? He played for all the greats before starting his own orchestra. This number is ludicrus! This list must have been made by kids.
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22Steve Gadd
style, finesse, control and metronomic time-keeping! It's no wonder everyone was after him. In Japan he was called Steve God. Period.
If you asked pro drummers across all genres to compile this list, Steve Gadd would be in the top ten easily.
Best of current drummers -- hard to compare him to Buddy Rich who was the best of the previous era.

23Nicko McBrain
The minimum that he deserves to be in the top 5. his extreme beats done with a single pedal and skills like the 14/8 riff that not any drummer can perform. I think the octupus Nicko McBrain is the best in his british heavy metal music.
Nicko deserves to be in top 5. Because he can easily beat John Bonham and kick his ass. Nicko is one of the greatest drummer of the legendary heavy metal band iron maiden. He is fast and skilled. I am very disappointed to see him in number 20. He deserves more.
this guy deserves to be in the top 10 for sure his skill is unmatched
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24Tre Cool
he is the best drummer ever because there is so much variety in his drum playing. he has the most energy of any drummer and puts so much effort into his drumming. he always makes sure he puts on a good concert with green day and he is the most lively spirited person I know haha. if you listen to homecoming in a part he plays the drums while singing. that's pretty hard to do considering that he's doing hard rolls and has a huge drum set(kit) s=and has to be able to move around to all of them while singing. he's amazing and will always be a big part of green day's fan's hearts. <3 (:
The. Best. Maybe he's not #1 because perhaps the others are better in some way(I don't listen to japanese music... ) But Mr. Wright deserves a position above #5, unanimously, hands down, and THAT GOES WITHOUT SAYING!
Wow. How is Tre not at #1?!?!? That japenese guy sucks! Tre is amazing and plays with lots energy and anyone who watches him can totally tell he loves what he does! Go Tre and Go Germany!
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25Dave Weckl
This dude is technically way more gifted than many of the names above. Jimmy "the REV" the best? he´s good but COME ON, i´m sure most of the people who voted never heard weckl
One of the best, most sophisticated, outstanding drummer I ever heard in my life, and I heard all of them. Absolutely a genius on the drums. A top ten must!
what is dave doing all the way down here? God help me!
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26Stewart Copeland
Bonham's really my favorite, but I had to vote Copeland to push him up a little in the polls. For me, when it comes to quintessential rock drumming, there are four names: John Bonham, Phil Collins, Stewart Copeland, and Keith Moon (who is really off in his own, unique category. )
Stewart Copeland's precision percussion, timing and rhythm must have this guy higher up this chart?
Probably controversial, but Copeland is wicked in many styles and worthy of his place on this list.


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27Tico Torres
Even Gene Krupa rated Buddy as the greatest and that says it all. Not only was he fast, he also had a delicacy and variety of touch that placed him on a higher plane than both contemporary and younger drummers. Added to this he had a dry sense of humour which often came through during his playing. See him on the Muppet Show on YouTube.
Simply. Number 1. Greatest Drummer from the greatest ever band. No Band has ever performed live as well as Jovi. No band ever will do. Quite simply music perfection.
Everybody who has ever been at a Bon Jovi concert knows that Tico plays the drumms with great zeal and he loves what he is doing!
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28Rob Bourdon
Hottest drummer ever! Rob bourden should be in first place you inspired me to play the drum's I'm 14 years old and I've been playing since 2002!
Best drummer ever! He plays in my favourite band, and he's the best drummer I know! He should be at first place! VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE GO SOLDIERS!
Guys He is not the best but definitely deserves a spot in the top ten. He is one of the best. Rob Bourdon Rocks. GO go Rob Bourdon.
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29Virgil Donati
Insane drummer, incredible musician, extremely original, extraordinary skill, very nice guy.
The best from another world

30Phil Collins
John bonham, Neil peart, phil Collins, Keith moon, ringo, Dave grohl, and Chad smith should all be in the top ten!
This is a joke! Number #38? Whoever does not vote Phil Collins does not know what talent is. He NEEDS to be at his rightful place at #1! He is the greatest of the great, the coolest of the cool. He is far lower than he should be. Phil Collins isn't a rock god he IS the rock god! So please vote for Phil Collins!
Anybody who has 15 minutes should go on youtube and check his solo's or his duets with Chester Thompson, especially Genesis in concert. Truely mesmerising!
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31Billy Cobham
Billy is far above this whole list... Besides the likes of Buddy Rich and Carl Palmer.. They would be neck and neck for #1,2,3... His chops are so profound and Billy is also one of the first drummers to play open-handed lead.
his invation to playing drums with so much energy and groove... it was so innovative for his day...
... speed... technique... musical interpretation... diverse styles... he could play
I saw Cobham twice in my life. He changed the way I listened to music from then on. Also got to meet him when he played with Dreams. Truly a great and humble man. So much talent. Also saw him with the late George Duke. Another historic performance. One of the best of all times.
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32Ringo Starr
"John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison have all said that Starr was the best rock and roll drummer in the world, although when asked in an interview once "Is Ringo Starr the best drummer in the world? " Lennon quipped "He's not the best drummer in The Beatles! " This was in reference to the songs on 1968's White Album "Back In The USSR" and "Dear Prudence", the first two tracks on the album, in which McCartney handled the drumming" LololI laughed so hard. By the way I love Ringo. He is the best.
Virtuosity as a technician does not make one the best. Technicians will always be forgotten. The ones who blazed trails will be remembered in the long run - hundreds of years down the road. Ringo will be remembered and admired 100's of years from now for his creativity vis-a-vis drumming contributions. Quality of drumming is just a bonus. End of Story.
Just a natural feel drummer and gave the backbeat to Beatles classics which as Robin Williams said in an interview they are part of our DNA. So in that alOne Ringo's drumming is part of the Dna of all drummers. So that is #1
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33Dennis Chambers
Denis Chambers at 10 was better than Gene Kruper who was himself a drum genius. He has played with santana and a whole number of funk bands. He is a virtuoso. Look up the tube clip with denis chambers and McGlaghlon playing and see the awe in his eyes when Chambers goes into a solo break which lasts for about 5 minutes. Buddy Rich was all speed by comparison to Chambers. Tony Royster Junior who I don't think is even on here was playing drums at age 4 and competed against Chambers in a drum off when Chambers was about 30 and Roster Jnr was about 10 - wow what a great drummer he is too. Jo Jo Mayer may not be pecifically a funk drummer but he is the quitessential 'everything drummer'. May just be better than Roster but not better than Chambers.


Drum extrodinaire. Has play with George Clinton, Santana, various jazz musicians, as well as Latin and other types. Probably the most diverse drummer of our time.


Dennis has got to be top five.

34Antonio Sanchez

35Terry Bozzio
How did he get beat by these other dudes?! Except peart, makes little sense. Taste perhaps
determining who is the best needs to know all drummers. I don't! but o know that Terry was able to play "black page" composed by franck Zappa.

36Chad Smith
Look up "RHCP-I Like Dirt, Rolling Rock Festival 2000". It's crazy.


besides the fact that he was voted by drummer magazine the best drummer alive he also holds the world record for playing the worlds largest drum kit
chad play drums like a animal.. he has got a rocker spirit but he don't know that. red hot chili peppers the best ever.
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37Bill Ward
There is no greatest drummer because there so so many but Lars shouldn't even be in the top million drummers and Bill Ward is the king of metal drummers. Death also has the greatest metal drummers. I think all Deaths drummers should be in the top 20.
probably the fastest drummer ever
50 piece drum set! come on!
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38Carl Palmer
A true progressive, programmer, musician, and all-around artist, Carl Palmer belongs in ANYONE'S top ten list!... Anyone who is informed and knows the difference between cheap thumping showmanship, and true technique and virtuosity, anyway. What a biased, superficial list of drummers, this is. A popularity contest for many. Carl Palmer is amazing, in a word, and his gifts and talent are legendary. If most of you could please remove your collective heads out of your asses and LISTEN and WATCH, you would know well what I mean. Carl Palmer is "the show that never ends! "
Welcome back my friends. Let's get to the point, Carl Palmer is the best drummer of all time. He is insanely adept at playing any kind of music. He is a model for drummers everywhere. You think Neil Peart is #1? In Peart's biography he stated his number one influence was Carl Palmer. Palmer won Rolling Stone's drummer of the year 1970-1976. He is so forgotten, but when progressive rock was on the rise, this man along with Emerson, was a GOD of progressive rock. He is the rock drummer, no THE drummer. Legendary musician. Percussion virtuoso.
This list must be visited by 12 year olds who haven't listened to any music made after 2001. Carl Palmer is the reference standard by which every other drummer shows their weaknesses.
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39Ginger Baker
Masterfully combining very heavy, rolling rock beats with jazz feel and fine nuances. He pioneered rock drumming by infusing jazz musical sense and sensibility: never the repetitive, boring stuff you get so much of in pop and rock drumming today. Always varied, creative, and in the tradition of jazz ensembles a soloist and equal co-creator to most of the classic Cream hit-songs.
Ginger Baker at 80? Are you kidding? He invented the double-base and could play Jazz and Rock and was a GREAT musician. 90% of the names before him on this list, most of all, RINGO STARR make this list a joke. Ginger Baker could wipe the floor with Ringo. So could most drummers living today like Dave Grohl and Mike Starr.
What a terrible list.
Listen the Cream-Song Toad and you will see that he is the number one.
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40Nick Mason
If Nick Mason is not the best, for sure he is one of the top 10.
Just listen to some of the Pink Floyd songs such as Run Like Hell or Time and you'll recognize his talent.

Not an insane, crazy, drummer, but he set the mood for many of their greatest songs.


The greatest of the simple drummers. Solid Master of the funk style. Very underrated. Listen to Time, Money, Set the Controls to the Heart of the Sun.
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41Tomas Haake
A lot of people would not have heard Meshuggah's music and are able to digest the shear undeniable inventory of rhythm this man has created... A complete, totally unique and ground braking drummer of epic proportion... Tomas Haake has taken a simple 4/4 beat and created the most mathematical equations to blow your brain into separating peices... I think he is a genius and should be recognised for taking rhythm to a place we have never seen before... When talking about greatest drummers of ALL TIME, this man has re-created time and should be recognised as one of the most significant influences of the next many generations... It will be years before people actually realise the depth of this man's raw talent...
tomas haake is the best drummer of all time but few of them know about him his simply born as a drummer and after him is george kollias


why is this guy after lars ulrich? metallica are great but when it comes to talent meshuggah rape


42Tommy Lee
NUMBER 31! Who made this list, I'm sorry to say but Tommy should be at least in the top 10 I mean drumming while spinning upside down and all the other stuff. Come on you must be blind or something. Who ever made this list needs to be shot or giving a new pair of ears. Tommy is one of the best drummers in the World. PERIOD
no body can did like him. play on the spinning cage! he's the best!


HELLO?! No question about it, Lee was the best, he is the best, & he always will be the best. Can you tell me anyone else who can play a solo while spinning upside down? No, you can't, because no one has even tried!

43Mitch Mitchell
Most people don't know about this guy because Hendrix was always standing in front of him, and rightly so, it's his band, but this was still really, listen to Hey Joe, or Voodoo Child, because his fills are great.
This guy was put with the greatest guitar player of all time. Best and favorite drummer in my book
Just... Just listen to "If 6 was 9"

That is all.

44Matt Cameron
Drummer for Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, two of the greatest Alternative rock bands of all time.

45Francesco Paoli

46Tony Williams

The most innovative drummer of them all - and his technique is unparalleled!

47Tony Royster Jr.
He has got to be the greatest drummer on the planet. He's played for a lot of artist all around the world, won many drum battles and contest, can play any style well, and solo with blazin speed not mention he has more trix and combos than any drummer out there. Without a doubt Royster, Jr. Is #1.
he can play any kind of music... he started out with jazz. then rock. then rnb. that covers almost all styles.
the best of all time
he also play dw drums, wtf, he so the best!


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48Snowy Shaw

49Louie Bellson
By putting LB # 87 on any list of drummers, you've demonstrated the list is a waste of time!
Bellson applied complex rudiments to drums in the 1930s and perfected them over the next 50 years. He was a composer, arranger, and bandleader throughout his career.
Duke Ellington said he was the greatest drummer and greatest musician he knew... DE knew more than a few musicians in his life... Including Buddy Rich.
I saw Ringo Starr up there above Bellson somewhere... Do you have any idea what you're talking about?
Unbelievable underrated drummer. Just as good as rich who was the greatest ever to live.
The master... So many drummers used his drum manuals, myself included.

50Shawn Drover

51John Blackwell

52Shannon Lucas

53Ted Kirkpatrick

54Rick Allen
Rick Allen was a beast when he had two arms... Check out Pyromania and high n Dry! At the time, he was only about 20 years old... Had he matured and had both arms, think of all the legends he would've left behind. But alas, even with one arm, he'll destroy most of the drummers out there. I vote him as top 5 drummers of all time hands down!
Even before he had one arm he was truly great at drums. Listen to "Rock of Ages" and he was one fantastic drummer! Yet he can still do that work with one arm!
he's simply a true icon symbol for drummers around the world! All should be amazed to what he can do with a set of drums and a stick- rock on Rick!
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55Longineu W. Parsons III
I love his work with LPMD the best but his work with YC is amazing as well. Love his hand speed! Not too many drummers have the ability to be great in multiple genres. I encourage everyone to listen to his other groups!
He is an amazing drummer in a band that is just as amazing. I love watching him play live. Also he's a very nice guy.
I've been following LP since Yellowcard first came onto the scene. This guy blazes around a drum kit, and his technique appears to be flawless! He's the best multi-genre drummer there is, and could give ANY top drummer a run for their money. Guys like Travis Barker and The Rev should be shining this guy's shoes.
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56Joe Morello
Technically the best I have heard. His contribution was always more than one forth of The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Could achieve more with one hand while keeping his glasses on with the other hand than anyone I have seen or heard.
Nothing to say, pure Art.

57Ian Paice
Ian paice solo on space truckin deserves a mention he is certainly up there with the sandy nelsons kieth monn and cozy powell greats
Considering Almost All other Drummers In This List were Infants While He Was Playing" Ian Was WAAY ahead of his Time & most Drummers worth his Salt Still Bows To The Grand master! "That's A Fact"
Consider The Time line!
How come that he is ranked so low?
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58Bob Burns

59Gusti Hendy

60Bill Bruford
To place Bruford at such a low rating means two things: First, you people need to learn what polyrhythmic drumming means (Bruford can play four separate time signatures at once, a different signature per limb) and Second, you people have no idea what qualifies a good/better/best drummer. Most of this poll is a popularity contest, NOT based on skill level.
One word: Starless (of the red album), just listen to it and you'll understand!
He not only is technically perfect, but his tuned kits make music which separates Bill from just skin bangers
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61Scott Travis
Absolutely underrated and kickass drummer. Definitely deserves to be much higher on the list. Painkiller Drum Solo, enough said..
You tend to get addicted to the beats & rhythm he creates, cannot explain. Painkiller, Hell Patrol... Need to be much higher than this

62Jason Rullo

63Vinnie Paul Abbott

64Butch Trucks
He is the train

65Setyo Nugroho

66Chris Coleman

67Carter Anthony Beauford
Carter's style is versatile and his groove relentless. His presence in the ensemble's sound is both essential and completely natural.
Such an underrated drummer. One of the few drummers I have ever been truly blown away by and can carry on a solo like nobody's business!
Have you heard this man play a solo? It's amazing. You can't help but just shake your head at how amazing it is.
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68Nick Menza

He is so complex and passionate player!

69Steven Adler
not the best drummer of all time but he deserves some credit. No one suited guns n roses bluesy/hard rock style on appetite for destruction like steven did. You gotta love that cow bell!!
On the drum, Mr. Steven "Popcorn" Adler

which is better than Matt sorum, Frank Ferrer and other drummers that guns n roses had


Popcorn Adler. The Original Guns N' Roses Drummer. Brilliance was in his work. Deserves appreciation. Especially in Rocket Queen!
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70Awaji Yukihiro
what makes a drummer the best? it is not only their technical performance, but also charisma and feeling. yukkie has all that
Yukihiro is simply amazing! Despite his skinny appearance, his tempo, beats and speed are unbelievable! He'll always be the best for me <33
did you see him perform live in DIES IN CRIES and L'Arc~en~Ciel? his beats are so fast that make his drumsticks fly.


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71Leon Ray Legoh

72Aaron Spears
Aaron spears happens to be one of the very few drummers who played for Usher, Alicia keys and James brown I vote Aaron spears pne of the best drummers alive right now.

73Peter Erskine

74Dominic Howard
Dom Howard, in my opinion, is one of the best drummers EVER! He should be in the top ten.
All of the members of Muse should at least be in the top ten of all their "fields". So, Matt should be in the top ten guitarists, Chris the top ten bassists and Dom in the top ten drummers. Because, in my opinion, they are ALL amazing. X
He is amazing drummer can play a lot of drum. He can play a lot of song that was so hard to play it. He can play fast as he can. He also can play very long time without exhausted and looking tired when play at the concert. He is the best player drum I had saw at the wembley stadium before.
Knights of cydonia. Resistance. Dom howard is the best. We love you dom! Keep up the good work
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75Steve Smith
I'm happy I even found this man in the list. Most people probably don't know, but this is the drummer for Journey during their greatest years of success. He is flawless and sharp in his style, and if anyone out there loves Steve Perry and/or Journey, don't forget about the drummer!

76Gavin Harrison
He is simply the best in my opinion! He is amazing on porcupine tree, just listen to fear of a blank planet and the incident, he is amazing in 05ric, and he is now in King Crimson, and I am seeing them this year in concert. Now, Gavin, has versatility on the drums, he can play in many different time signatures, he uses rudiments any chance he gets, and his dynamics are just amazing! Just look up gavin harrison on YouTube, watch a few videos, and decide for yourself.
Gavin Harrison should be in the top ten if not the top five greatest drummers of all time. Just watch how he handles the drums when he was on David Letterman as a guest. This guy could teach some of these other drummers how to play the drums.
So underrated! He's one of the best! There's no comparison with the commercial bands drummers. So precise
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77Matt Greiner
Total monster and the best modern metal drummer out there. Listen to composure, marianas trench, beauty in tragedy, and animals then try and say otherwise

78Ray Fean
Ray Fean is one of the most amazing drummers ever. He deserves this more than anything, some people don't consider the drummers. But Ray plays an important part of Celtic Woman and deserves this more than anything
Ray is a great drummer and a very nice person. He has worked at a high level for many years. For the past 10 years he has been an integral part of Celtic Woman.
Ray is an amazing part of Celtic Woman! It wouldn't be Celtic Woman without him. He is also really friendly! He completely deserves this!
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79Cozy Powell

he isn't the best but his work with rainbow was great

80Gilang Ramadhan

81Chris Kontos

82George "Spanky" McCurdy

83Ed Thigpen

84John Mitch Mitchell
Listen to Manic Depression, this man should be easily higher than position 42.

85Mick Fleetwood
You only have to listen to 'Go Your Own Way' from Rumours to know why he's the best drummer!
When Mick is on the drums, you have no doubt who's playing. Together with John McVie, their sound is visceral.

86John Dolmayan

Never misses a beat both live and at the recording studio. Fast, hard, and unforgiving.

Just the fact that he can do double base, fast drum rolls, and always has a natural rhythm set up in every System of a Down song puts him at #1 in my book. Listen to Soil. That's him at his best.

87Jan Axel Hellhammer Blomberg

88Jimmy DeGrasso
Some amazing Megadeth solos. Also check out his work with Alice on youtube.

89Dennis Chamber

90Chris Adler
How? How? 59?!?! He is undoubtedly the best... Nobody can question his sheer brilliance. How many other drummers in his genre actually play without triggers? He is the reason I started playing the drums.
Just listen to now you've got something to die for or ruin. His drumming is fast yet unique. Probably one of the best metal bands out there right now. Won best metal drummer. I don't know why he is this low?
just the most talented drummer in the world... chris is my personal insperation on music and life. listen to blacken the cursed sun or 11th hour you'll see what I'm takkin about!
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91Cobus Potgieter

92George Kollias

93Gil Moore
Sings, wrote, good live

94Bud Gaugh

That man made me wanna play drums!

Sublime is awesome. I would put bud in the top 10 if it were up to me. He is awesome he made me want to play

Thanks Dub and Had A that inspired me to take up the drums.

His high hat progression and use of the bass drum convinced me to buy a drum set and jam along to Sublime's tunes.

Can't deny it, the man is an underrated genius.

95Nick Augusto
Come on people. How is nick all the way down here? He should be in at least the top 20. He does the most insane double bass ever in shattering the skies above. GO TRIVIUM.

96Charlie Benante

97Frank Beard

98Thomas Pridgen
He is like the coolest and complete drummer of all time. His strokes are highly remarkable (left hand equals right hand). Plus His drumfills are awesome! This Guy was born to drum, for real.

99Mike Derosier

Listen to Barracuda and you will agree.

Mike is as good or better than any one on this list.

100Gary Husband

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This list was created 6 years, 153 days ago and has been voted on over 24,000 times. This top ten list contains 262 items, has been remixed 36 times and has been blogged about 5 times.

Updated Sunday, April 20, 2014

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