Best Rock Drummers

The Contenders: Page 2

21 Bill Bruford Bill Bruford William Scott "Bill" Bruford is an English retired drummer, percussionist, composer, producer, and record label owner.

A shame how such a great drummer can be this far down on this list. I love drummers like Dave Grohl, Danny Carey etc. but they have nothing on this man. He is a genius. Very few drummers have impressed me as much as Bruford. Maybe one of the best drummers in the world technically and he has so much feeling in his playing. Always coming up with new things and sounds. Not to mention, how many drummers can say that they have played on all the good albums with artists such as Yes and King Crimson? Un-believable.

The most astoundingly melodic and creative drummer I have ever heard! Lots of technical ability too, but he never drums outside of the song. Recommended tracks: Heart of the Sunrise (Yes, Fragile); Lament (Starless and Bible Black, King Crimson); One More Red Nightmare (Red, KC); Starless (Red, KC), Indiscipline (Discipline, KC)

Top 10 material due to his uniqueness and natural style - still a few lengths behind Neil Peart- I have watched them both live from the front row - amazing to see Bruford's effortless flicking of the drums and Peart's incredible speed and timing. Bonham number 2, The Rev deserves to be near the top too. The rest depend on your your tastes which is why everyone is so raging about the low position of their favourites

Nathan said

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22 Phil Collins Phil Collins Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins is an English singer-songwriter and musician, who has also worked as a record producer and actor.

Without a doubt one of the most underestimated drummers in the world. Just listen to the early Genesis albums. He is incredible on every single song, always bringing something new to the table. He is not only an amazing drummer technically, being able to play songs in the weirdest time signatures not to mention his incredible speed, but he has so much feeling in his playing that it's almost disgusting. I am confident that this man is able to play just about anything.

I am very disappointed to see him this far down on the list. I recommend everyone that doubts me to check out the early Genesis albums, or just the song "Nuclear burn" with Brand-X, I am 100% confident that no one can disagree with how much of a monster-drummer this man is.

And oh yeah, when he started singing in Genesis instead of drumming he had both Bill Bruford and Chester Thompson playing drums when they toured instead of him, if that doesn't tell people anything... I don't know what will

I'm dumbfounded to find phil down here! Listen to slipperman in the cage medley- then change your mind! This guy is a drumming god, very much missed over, out of place down here should be at the very least top 5, but in my humble opinion number 1!

Only the fact that you can listen to a phil collins song on the radio and instantly figure out that it's him playing the drums only by his unique says a lot about his ability on that instrument. I don't if he's the best drummer regarding the technique since I'm not an expert myself, but he was able to make his playing to stand out, which rarely happens for a drummer, and I think that's worth a lot. and also the fact that besides all the physical issues he had over the years he kept playing and that's really significant

Listen to his drumming in Brand X

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23 Chad Smith Chad Smith Chadwick "Chad" Smith is an American musician and current drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which he joined in 1988 and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Very underrated drummer, extremely talented. Can keep a great beat and one of the few people would can keep up with Flea and John Frusciante (at least before. ) Also seems like a really nice guy with a great sense of humour

Chad Smith is underrated, he's a really funky drummer. Is able to play more genre's, why not?

What would they be without him? Also he is never seen as the main part of the band, he should be as recognized as the others in my opinion.
Really deserves a higher place in the Top 10.

To play so well with the style of music he plays takes some serious talent and he is just amazing

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24 Carl Palmer Carl Palmer Carl Frederick Kendall Palmer is an English drummer and percussionist most famed for playing with the prog-rock bands Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Asia.

Too many people voting for whoever played drums in their favourite band. No thought about the technical ability, the range of percussion instruments played to a high standard, the variety of musical styles, etc. The list is therefore devalued. When some idiot lists being able to play guitar as well and (give me strength... ) the ability to wear sunglasses in a cool manner as reasons to vote for a mediocre drummer like Roger Taylor then one knows the list is devalued to the point of being worthless.

Carl Palmer (also Emerson Lake and Palmer) easily is number three or four on this list after Bonham, Keith Moon, etc.; most of the others, especially the likes of wankers like Travis Barker pale in comparison to rock drummers like Ginger Baker, Mitch Mitchell, Bill Bruford, Alan White, Chad Wackerman, I saw a guy the other night, Graham Broad, with the Roger Waters band that makes Barker look second rate. It's a shame that people with limited knowledge think such lesser talent is top ten material.

Carl Palmer, number 62? Are you kidding me? He should be far ahead of Neil Peart and the 9 behind him! Peart copied Palmer, so give me a break! Palmer, at age 62, can wipe up the floor with many of these drummers twice as young as him. It is such a shame that the people who voted are not putting on their thinking caps. Shameful. Absolutely shameful!

Listen to Carl Palmer across all the albums played and compare them with other drummers across theirs. Dare you! Carl comes out ahead every time. Other drummers liked : Ginger Baker - go ahead and play his solo with Cream and tell me he can't be higher on the list too!

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25 Mike Mangini Mike Mangini Mike Mangini is an American drummer. Since 2010, he has been a member of progressive metal band Dream Theater, following the departure of founding drummer Mike Portnoy.

I'm about to barf on my mac! Half the drummers on this list can't do things this exceptional machine. As John Petrucci said about Mangini "He can do things with one hand that takes others two". OH but he's "Petrucci" is probably rated in the 90's if at all on the guitar poll. John Myung DT's Bass player was voted #1 of all time on one of theses polls. So take the best Bass player EVER and pair him with the 96th in the world drummer. That makes as much sense as this poll and every one like it. Just keep drumming... No matter who you are!

This list is a perfect example of pop-fans rating for drummers based on Which Band They Are IN and not on how good drummers they actually are by people that know nothing about drumming. This poll is not reliable in any other way than measuring the support for different kinds of bands that play mainstream pop music. Mike Mangini plays better than everybody else, his solos make me proud as a human being and he is a great guy. And even if he was a jerk, he still is the best drummer on every section of drumming. Fastest, best composer, most technical and never does a mistake. People who don't understand his solos go rate damn Ulrich ew! Shame on you!

Ex-Berkley professor, set multiple World's Fastest Drummer records, expert at poly-rhythmic techniques, now the drummer of the most technically proficient band in the world... And he's rated 101. This list is a joke.

And here's the other DT drummer. - AdamDestructorJr.

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26 Rick Allen Rick Allen Richard John Cyril "Rick" Allen is an English drummer who has played for the hard rock band Def Leppard since 1978. He overcame the amputation of his left arm in 1985 and continued to play with the band, which subsequently went on to its most commercially successful phase.

Rick Allen should be much higher up on this. Although all the amazing drummers are not very high. Your top ten is totally screwed up. Open your ears and listen to some good music!

He was a great drummer before he lost his arm and inspirational after the accident! I saw him play live at his first 'one-armed show' at Wembley. It was incredible to see how he used both feet to make up for the lost arm. Anyone who's tried to drum will know how difficult that would be. My number 1!

How is a one-armed drummer not in the top 10? Especially as seing how he can still play complex beats. Whether it's electronic or acoustic, Rick Allen should be at least in the top 20, let alone the top 10. What is this?

He may not be my favorite drummer but goddamnit, I had to vote for him. - Solariser

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27 Terry Bozzio Terry Bozzio Terry John "Ted" Bozzio is an American drummer best known for his work with Missing Persons and Frank Zappa.

Popularity contest. Terry Bozzio is way better than Ringo Starr, and all these other drummers. He invented a whole new drumming style, and has the most intricate hardest, and musical parts known to man. He does what no other has done, with ostinatoes. He has amazing independence considering the parts he is playing

Possibly the drummer that most fits the whole percussionist category: he's not only incredibly precise and owner of a terrific sight-reading ability, but he's without any doubt one of the biggest exponent of the drumming independence, with his famous ostinatos. Did you know the Black Page story? Check it out!

Terry bozzio OWNS genesis' drummer! I can't beleive he is not in the top ten!

Teeny tiny terry ted bozzio. One of the best ever.

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28 Shannon Leto Shannon Leto Shannon Leto is an American musician and songwriter best known as the drummer of rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars.

Full of energy, plays like a beast.
So pure, so natural, love it

Shannon plays with a passion that it be circulated to anyone who is around. And it only takes passion, but also love, fun and every particle of his body. Shannon is all one with the drums, the rhythm, rhythm that sweeps you making you lose track of time. Hearing him play is like hearing the heart beat of life... Well, we can say that is the best drummer of all time!

Love to watch him play! He's just a perfect drummer!

He sucks - ShaunHu

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29 Nicko McBrain Nicko McBrain Michael Henry "Nicko" McBrain is an English musician, best known as the drummer of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, which he joined in 1982.

Absolutely wrong.

Nicko McBrain is one of the greatest drummers in metal. I'm not sure about other genres taken into account in this list, but Nicko McBrain is easily one of if not the greatest metal drummer. He should be at least in the top 5, McBrain is a god of drums. Listen to the albums Piece of Mind, Brave New World, and A Matter of Life and Death, and if you know much about drumming, you'll realize Nicko is unbelievable.

I'm very disappointed he's below Joey Jordison, and even Lars Ulrich. Nicko blows those two out of the water, no competition for him at all.

I am always thinking about this, why don't mcbrain be the first... Just listen to where eagles dare, deja-vu, the evil that man do or even face in sand. He was playing pedal by just one foot... In the face in sand song, mcbrain playing only one pedal, one foot, but the sound just like two pedal and two foot...

Absolutely wrong.

Nicko McBrain is one of the greatest drummers in metal. I'm not sure about other genres taken into account in this list, but Nicko McBrain is easily one of if not the greatest metal drummer. He should be at least in the top 5, McBrain is a god of drums. Listen to the ablums Piece of Mind, Brave New World, and A Matter of Life and Death, and if you know much about drumming, you'll realize Nicko is unbelievable.

I'm very disappointed he's below Joey Jordison, and even Lars Ulrich. Nicko blows those two out of the water, no competition for him at all.

While I don't feel Nicko is the best (maybe top ten) he is not deserving of a low spot. Neither is Menza or Haake (the meshuggah beast). Ward should also be higher and oh look Ulrich is 8 despite being mediocre good.

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30 Nick Mason Nick Mason Nicholas Berkeley "Nick" Mason is an English musician and composer, best known as the drummer of legendary rock band Pink Floyd.

Most Drummers only hit the drums (dur :P), but this guy isn't playing drums on a song, he is playing a song on his drums. There's not other drummer that can play with such patience and taste like Nick Mason. I'm a drummer, and most of those punk/metal retadrs (Ulrich, that Slipknot guy, Travis Baker) are PRETTY overrated, and Nick Mason kicks their asses. Trust me, I've been playing drums for 27 years, and I know when a drummer s a GOOD, Gifted drummer, and Nick Mason is one of these drummers.

Watch "Live at Pompeii" and see the Master in full flow.

A true artist who understood music, not just a glorified show-off like certain others. Listen to "One of These Days" to understand what real drumming sounds like.

Ringo might be a classic drummer, but Mason could do everything he does 20 times better, with just one hand. He can instantly change a song from fast paced rock song to a ballad. He is essential to the Pink Floyd sound.

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31 Alan White

It is Shameful to be adding this Guys Name at the bottom of this list. But he can not go unmentioned. He Most Certainly should be in the top ten.

Check out the drumming to Sound Chaser by Yes, its phenomenal. Then there's the likes of Instant Karma where the drumming makes the song.

The best drummer is not Alan White of Yes, it is Alan White of Oasis. Just listen to his amazing drumming in the All Around the World reprise! Truly amazing drumming.

Leaonard haze,

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32 Max Weinberg

In terms of the basic melodies and the lyrics Springsteen is of course the genius of his music but in terms of understanding and execution Max is THE member of the band. And when playing live he understands Bruce like no other member of the band and that transcends so powerfully to the audience. Plus he is so cool, non-sentimental and fun to watch when he plays.

An amazing and talented, stamina-fillled rock drummer. His precision in "Born to run" live performances is amazing. The Boss is in debt with him.

Still going strong with The E Street Band and The Boss! Has to be in here, he's the heartbeat of the band! - redmess

Weinberg is the greatest drummer ever. He is a real rock "power" drummer. Awesome.

33 Tommy Lee Tommy Lee Thomas Lee Bass, best known as Tommy Lee, is a Greek-American musician and founding member of heavy metal band Mötley Crüe.

This is a man that while wasted on alcohol and drugs could keep playing while being shunted in various directions. Now, clean and sober (if still a little hyper! ) he's going upside down and still keeping an awesome beat. I'd love to see some of the others on this list manage to pull off an amazing drum solo while strapped a rollercoaster AND still sing his backup lyrics!


Tommy Lee is THE best drummer that I can think of in my lifetime. I can't think of any other drummer that I can honestly say that about. Tommy is so creative with his drumming ability. He's the only one to my knowledge that made a circle thing to go in circles. I can't think of any other that has been as creative as Tommy.

WHAT THE HELL?! 33rd Place? Just watching Tommy play is mind blowing- He meshes with his drum kit- And he did this while wasted!

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34 Gene Krupa Gene Krupa Eugene Bertram "Gene" Krupa was an American jazz and big band drummer, band leader, actor, and composer.

Krupa was definitely one of the best drummers in his era. Certainly he was a very charismatic drummer to watch. He had, as buddy rich had, IT. IT is star quality. 99.9% of drummers don't have IT. Krupa certainly influenced many young people to pick up the sticks and start playing drums. From that standpoint Krupa is in the same league as buddy rich.

Krupa and Rich were among the top drummers in the world. I have seen both in concert many years ago.

Yeah, that he is sitting WAY below some of these drummers on the list pretty much says everything. This list was made by "fans" and their ilk. Gotta love the kids who WANT TO SHOUT WITH ALL CAPS, how often is the message worth reading? uh-huh.

There is a reason Krupa is still remembered today. He was a master of his craft and better than a lot of the drummers out today - Johnnyt800

Indeed Krupa is amazing, but he was a jazz drummer, not rock. - naFrovivuS

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35 Michael Shrieve

Shrieve sits among the top 10 or 20, among the likes of Buddy Rich. Amazing speed, accuracy, and creativity. The youngest musician at Woodstock in 1969, he overshadowed practically all musicians at the festival. I'm a Mitch Mitchell fan, but Mike sits above most drummers historically. I dreamed of playing like Shrieve after Woodstock, and still do.
Also check out an amazing unknown master who is based in Chicago: David Jennings. Zen like master, a brilliant jazz musician and composer, and an effortless precision and fast, smoothe percussionist.

Shrieve's performance at Woodstock on Soul Sacrifice is the best rock drum solo I have ever heard.

Woodstock - Soul Sacrifice

It is very important to understand te concept that Michael was. Very impressionant attitude for rock, jazz, blues and latin music. In my opinion he must be in a top 20.

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36 Paul Whaley

He is a member of Blue Cheer and did drumming like the true Rock way. His drumming sounds great like how he drumes all over. Other drummers are not like that and a lot of them just keep like a steady beat and are like have a more clean beat. How can Blue Cheer be so underrated? Part of is because a lot of people do not know Blue Cheer. Blue Cheer should be spread more and Blue Cheer should be more like. Blue Cheer should be for every Rock fan just like Led Zeppelin can be for every Rock fan. Blue Cheer is like Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Rolling Stones, and The Who for Hard rock. Blue Cheer sounds like those artists and really rocks, and rocks it out like those artists. Led Zeppelin can be like that too but not as much as Blue Cheer. Led Zeppelin has the fell as the other Hard rock from the 70s. No way an Alternative rock, Metal, Punk, Experimental rock, or Roots rock artist is better than Blue Cheer. Rock will always be better than Alternative rock, Metal, Punk, Experimental rock, or ...more - BlueFuse

What are you talking about? Why would I Experimental rock better than all those types of Rock music when all Rock music is good in their own way! The only Rock subgenre I like more than any single Rock Genre is Psychedelic rock. I cannot believe you would say that when I did not say anything like that or what I said have nothing to do with me likening experimental rock better than this type of music. I do not want people to think this of me if that is not true. I make perfectly sense. - BlueFuse

37 Carman Appice

A Rock solid drummer legendary was an inspiration to John Bonham. This list is best rock drummer. There are a lot of great drummers on this list but I think Carmen is The most rock. He has played rock music for almost 50 years.

Him and his brother vinny appice both played for some of the top bands in the last 40 years they are legendary and should be ranked a lot higher vinny appice was with black sabbath

Are you serious? Vanilla Fudge, Ozzy, Blue Murder, every band that needed a sick metal drummer for the past 40 years.

How many kilos of Medical Marijuana did you vaporize before putting " THE KING OF ROCK AND ROLL DRUMMERS" at number 40? CARMAN APPICE #1 GINGER BAKER a close #2 KEITH MOON #3 JOHN BONHAM #4 RINGO STARR #5. All of these LEGENDS INCLUDING CHARLIE WATT, could play any style music MASTERFULLY if they so desired!

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38 Charlie Watts Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts has kept the beat for the greatest rock in roll band in the world for 50 years. Watch him on Midnight Rambler, Honky Tonk Woman and all the other classic Stones. I have not even heard of half of these people you have n the top 10. Mr. Watts should at least be in the top 10.

Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones.......Ring any bells!

He belongs to the greatest Rock n Roll Band in the Universe At least we should honour him by puuting him on the TOP TEN !!

Come ON people!!

XOXO Charlie Watts

Love ya always

Charlie has a rock drummer of the century award on his mantle but kids are voting again that don't even understand music. Charlie could probably outplay most of the guys ahead of him blindfolded with one hand behind his back, literally!

Without a doubt one of the best. To be listed so far below Ringo Starr is a joke. Should be the other way around.

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39 Clive Burr Clive Burr

Clive Burr is (was) way better and more creative than most of the drummers listed here in top positions.

Probably the most underrated drummer on this list.

Not a personal favorite drummer of mine but infinitely better than Nicko - dubsinthetubs

A Class Act! Hard to follow...

V 2 Comments
40 Chris Adler Chris Adler Christopher James Adler is an American drummer, best known as a member of the groove metal band Lamb of God.

All you people keep talking of how fast you play the drums, Chris Adler isn't just about speed, he is exceptional.. Playing a wicked cool beats at high speeds, that takes skill... He should be number 1, or at least in the top 10, #45? Damn!

He got rated best Metal drummer of 2009. I think he is an amazing Drummer and the only reason why he is not in the top 10 is because he is not well known enough. His drumming is immaculate I think he at least deserves 5th.

WTF...Chris Adler Could Kill any other drummer and/or match what they got...IT be close between Joey Jordison/Or the Drummer from Tool..i forgot his name...if they had a Drum comp i would be there in a Second Btw Chris adler should be number 1!!!!

He should be at number one awesome drummer

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151,000 votes
516 listings
11 years, 12 days old

Top Remixes (170)

1. John Bonham
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This is not right
Best Drummers
Best Rock Drummers List Is A Joke!!!
Best Rock Drummer.
This list is rediculous
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