Greatest Drummers of All TimeAKPickin 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.
The Top Ten
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
So, I've learnt that Neil Peart is the best because..."he can play jazz"! wow, amazing - Zan
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)
Danny Carey is laughing somewhere... while playing 4 Peart solos at the same time - KwPaul
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.
BestV 227 Comments
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.
Here is my opinion on the top 10 best drummers. I will be judging them each by their skill level, creativity, and showmanship. I will also give the reasons for why I put them in each spot.
10. Phil Collins (Phil Collins, many know him as the drummer of the 70s rock band, Genesis, however, where he shined the most was when he became a solo artist in the early 80s. As a solo artist, he showed the world his magnificent ability to sing while drumming which is a rare skill to say the least and shows that he has some major skill. When it comes to his creativity and showmanship, he is very solid, if you listen to any of his drum fills, you will see the creativity he put into writing them).
9. Dave Grohl (The nicest guy in rock, lead singer of the Foo Fighters, and the drummer of many grunge/rock bands, Dave Grohl makes the number 9 spot due to his exceptional skill on the drums, creative drum fills, and top notch showmanship while on the drum set and off. Songs like Smells Like ...more
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.
Danny Carey can play 4 different John Bonham SONGS at the same time. 4 rhythms, lol... - KwPaul
If had hadn’t died; I’m confident he would & should be listed as #1... he always will be in my heart 💜V 189 Comments
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! - chriscrim74
It's called an opinion. In the rock genre, Peart and Portnoy may dominate, but then there's Carey, Bonham, and Moon. And if you count every genre, then Buddy Rich would dominate all? - naFrovivuS
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. - deadgrass27
The bestV 54 Comments
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.
Just because someone is inspired by someone else doesn't make them better. - zabathy1
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.
Definitely MY favorite of the three drumming legends. I have nothing against Peart and Bonham or their bands (Actually The Who is my LEAST favorite out of Rush, Zeppelin, and The Who), Keith Moon's drumming just catches my ear the most out of the three. He had an incredible sense of rhythm, even when he was just seemingly slamming his drum sticks on anything in sight. He was destructive but still had control over everything he was doing. When he went crazy, he still kept perfect time and made it fun to listen to. It's just so sad that he died so young and we never got to hear what music would have evolved into if he had been around to continue influencing young musicians while he was alive. But maybe it's because he died so young that he's well known and that he's an influential drummer. I don't know. I'm digressing and I guess I'll just stop here. - Aweso
I have probably commented on this before, but I want to say, Keitho is the best drummer, ever. Just because DT has some complex drum lines doesn't make Mike Portnoy in the top three. Have you listened to...well, any Who song pre-1979 when we sadly lost him? Whenever I listen to a Who song I always listen for Keitho. (Yes I call him Keitho.) His drumming is art, and he played the drums with such spirit and energy, if you look up live performances on youtube, you can see him literally jumping in his seat and hair everywhere, not to mention the explosions! - galaxyfoxV 87 Comments
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 ...more
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 ...more
What is there to say about Buddy that hasn't already been said a million times over? He was the greatest rhythmic prodigy to have ever hit the skins. He almost single-handedly defined the way the instrument should be played: with graceful intensity. His technical prowess, showmanship, soloing ability, speed (that left hand! ), and sound are yet to be matched by any drummer. And his drive. Oh man, his drive. I've never heard someone kick and drive a band as hard as Buddy EVER. Papa Joe Jones, Sonny Payne, and Gene Krupa (who, by the way, should also be in the top 10) come close. Buddy was the king, and most drummers on this list would agree.
RIP Traps. You've inspired millions of drummers (myself included) to work ourselves to the absolute apex of our abilities.
Judged by ability, no one comes near Buddy Rich. His technique was absolutely mindblowing!V 188 Comments
If this were a list for underrated musicians, Grohl would have my vote. But as it's a list for best drummer, he's my second place choice (Favouring Peart). I certainly don't think Grohl is the best drummer--but probably the most versatile and effortless in his style. Able to play any genre, with anybody, drumming for many different bands each who had a very unique style. He definitely knew how to work with what he had, however simple, and make it a masterpiece. This man does not get 1/billionth of the credit he deserves or should have.
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
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.
the bestV 46 Comments
Anyone who has ever heard The Script, live or otherwise, can confidently agree with me in saying that Glen Power is a force to be reckoned with. Not only can he drum with incredible skill and talent, he can sing, write songs, and play the guitar and the piano. He is a living legend!
Glen is a versatile drummer who can drum to any music style. Not many drummers can sing such amazing harmonies and interact with the band and fans in the way he does while keeping a rhythm. Not only that, Glen is proficient in various other musical instruments including guitar and piano - he truly has a gift. As far as talent goes, he has bucket loads, turn that bucket upside down and he will give you a rhythm. Many of The Script songs have a powerful drum beat that is often simple yet effective. Always a clean sound and with a surname like Power - well it says it all! A very humble man and a truly underrated talent!
Glen Power is the only drummer who I can sit and watch doing his thing and be generally interested all the way through and that speaks volumes. Also he recently played live while being randomly blindfolded by his bandmate and never missed a beat. He not only plays but he sings and also has a versatile talent and can play piano as well. Need I give any more reasons why this man is a living legend and the best drummer to ever exist?
A drummer who has got loads of drumming tecniques! Master as I can say.V 521 Comments
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!
I think he is the beast of drumming because he has the speed and his own way of drumming
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
The knife master...😎 r.i.p the revV 211 Comments
joey is the best drummer ever he speed and the rythem is awesome - sic(6)sic
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 - zack182daley
Why isn't he number one! He is clearly the best drummer out there. He can do speed and precision perfectly.
Deserves top 3V 86 Comments
Judging from the way the comments are written, it seems to me that those who voted for him are mainly Metallica fan boys who have probably never tried much of anything beyond Metallica. The guy is very sloppy and unoriginal. He is only at number 9 because he's the drummer of the biggest metal band in history yet easiest to listen to. It is a shame considering how many legends are beyond him in ranking... - RalphSaad
Shouldn't be anywhere near the top 100! He throws in random fills, he loses track of time, he replaced his ride cymbal with a China cymbal and uses it to mask his mistakes, he can't play double bass, he simplifies down a song painfully so take him off the list!
Lars revolutionized drumming. Listen to their first album. Whiplash motorbreath metal militia nobody played that fast in rock or metal bands before. On ride the lightning he proved he could make musical songs like fade to black and for whom the bell tolls work. On master of puppets he perfected his technique of thrash/speed metal while still playing songs Luke sanitarium and the thing that should not be... And justice for all saw his musical ability soar through the roof. Listen to one, dyers eve, blackened, you'll know what I'm talking about. On the black album he created great atmosphere with complementing all the other great players in Metallica's sound. Its about serving the song with Lars and the rest of Metallica. They proved this with load and reload. He didn't overplay. He let the other players do their thing. St. Anger is underrated in terms of his drumming. The title track heard him return partly to his thrash roots in the choruses. Frantic was also great. Death magnetic saw ...more
He actually is great... trolls hate him - lilrocketmanV 90 Comments
He is a unknown genius - Brunorsk
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 - evilchimpmunk566
This list includes some of the drummers that don't deserve to be in it. Then there's Dave Lombardo. He deserves to be among the top three drummers. Right after Bonham. Rest I don't care where you put them. If this guy would have been in a mainstream band, I wouldn't be writing this. Because then the world would have already done what I am trying to do, and this comment of mine wouldn't be needed. - 0rgasmatron
Dave Lombardo and Lars Ulrich are the two greatest drummers of all time and Vinnie Paul is third - lilrocketmanV 30 Comments
This man was the first true, modern rock drummer. He modernized and changed the whole worlds drumming. As, a drummer with many influences, I know better than many people how important he has been to music. He didn't just invent fantastic drumfills and rythms, but he practically invented the rock drumming that EVERY single rock drummer knows today. Just one of all the things he did was to play with his half open hi hat. People didn't often do that in rock back in those days, not in the same way as he did it. This may sound rude, but I don't think you can fully understand what he did to the rock music if your nnot a drummer yourself. It took me some year s to actually understand what this man did for all of us. I'm still thinking about him every time I sit down by my drums to play.
"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.
Paul drummed well on those two tracks, but I doubt he would've been able to drum well on 150+ tracks like Ringo did - marmalade_skies
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.
He is the absolute best.. nothing more to say.V 59 Comments
The best I ever heard and with the broadest scope in jazz, rock, African, Japanese etc. A true genius. Only the like of Buddy Rich compare and they weren't nearly as wide in scope or as fanatically dedicated to their craft. A crazy genius and a great artist met in one! The first time I heard him I mentioned to the band member, listening to one of his long solos while sitting next to me, that he was the greatest drummer I ever heard and he said that he thought so too. I found out later that I was speaking to Eric Clapton. My opinion has never changed and I seriously doubt if Eric's has either.
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.
In a different rhythmic galaxy into which few other 20th century drummers/percussionists voyaged. Not technically proficient, but used his innate abilities to achieve an inimitable "sound". The Jackson Pollock of drumming. His irascible personality, egocentricity, and long- time heroin abuse, combined with an exaggerated sense of his abilities ( there were many drummers who had more "chops" than he) detracted from his uniqueness, which was a shame; nonetheless, Ginger blazed a path for up-and- coming drummers.
Why is ginger this lowV 32 Comments
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. - AKPickin
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.
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.
Lars and AVH outside the top 10? You have got to be kidding me. - Th47V 12 Comments
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?
This guy is probably the most unique drummer out there. Combining reggae and ethnic beats into punk rock drumming, he has created some of the coolest licks out there. And he's a master at keeping time in a way no other drummer has ever done before (crashing on 4, bass drum on 2/3, etc.)
Very underrated. - Userguy44V 22 Comments
As a life-long drummer, I had developed morphing lists of "best" drummers based on favorite bands, styles, genres, etc. over the years. I had a standard kind of mish-mashed mixed-up list: Rich, Roach, Peart, Bonham, Moon, Copeland, Baker, Starr, etc.. Then I tried throwing out all pre-conceived notions and objectively started listening to drummers, and BOOM! Vinnie Colaiuta reigns supreme. There is no competition. He can play ALL styles better than anyone on any of my previous lists. The one possible exception is Buddy Rich at the height of his skills performing snare drum magic in solos. I'm sure Vinnie can do the same, but I just haven't found a recording. Yet.
Most of this list is not about the best drummers, but the drummer of the band you love... Talking of Drummers Vinnie got the whole palette of a true artist, and any piece he plays, no matter in what group or genre, he pulls out the essence and makes it unique. He is in the top 3.
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
Best everV 15 Comments
Of all of the drummers out there, only Neal Peart and Mike Portnoy Can keep up with Danny's complex beats and just completely hellish time signatures. Danny's Beats are simply ridiculous.
Ticks and Leeches and Hooker with a Penis showed his ridiculous speed and intensiveness, Parabola and Schism show how fast he can play off the hi hats and such, to the point where they are like spasms but sound musical, Jambi and Lateralus show how he can make the weirdest time signatures sound fantastic and make them flow, Bottom and Jimmy show how he uses the continued switch between cross-stick rims and hi hats or bells into his patterns, The Grudge and AEnima show Danny's ability to make creative rhythms out of simply using Toms, Eulogy and Pushit show his ability to use speed and off beat snare or hi hat hits in complex beats, and Sober just shows that he can make a beat sound really simple, while actually playing it is 10x harder than it sounds.
All of these songs show how Danny ...more
First off, people like Ringo and Lars and even Keith Moon do not belong on this list. They are popular drummers, drummers that guitar players and non-musicians point to simply because of their name recognition. Their technical skill and creativity and routinely dwarfed by 12 year olds on YouTube. Lars is renowned for being the least talented member of his band, come on!
Danny Carey can absolutely play as fast as the other drummers on this list, listen to Hoover With A Penis live if you don't believe me. But that's not super important, anyone can speed train. What sets Danny apart is his creativity. Tool would be nothing without him, let alone all the other bands he's played with. His kit is so huge and varied that he makes up half of their sound by himself. He studies sacred geometry and the occult. I'm 100% sure Danny sold his soul to Satan. But going to school for drums and having 40 years of experience in multiple styles also helps.
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.
is goodV 70 Comments
The fact that Krupa is 22nd on this list proves that you can't ask this question without going genre-specific. I think you need to card some of these voters at the door too. Meaning no disrespect, in most cases a teenager is not going to have a wide enough scope to make a meaningful vote on something like this- hence, Leto at #2!!?? I guarantee 90% or more of the voters here don't listen to jazz or swing and have never seen this guy rip it up. I like a lot of the other guys on this list, but search up a couple of his videos on the web and just watch and "feel" this guy play. My #1 drummer in any category because he was a technical genius that still played with passion and flare. Truly awesome. - Kidkoffee
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.
Gene Krupa basically invented the idea of using tom toms. Without him, nobody would have even heard of Neil Peart. The only reason Peart is on top of the list is that no one appreciates swing music anymore. Krupa inspired Buddy Rich (who is, in my opinion, the best drummer) and should be at least in the top ten.
For all of you who idolize Keith Moon or John Bonham or any of the other most acclaimed rock drummers need to know that KRUPA WAS THE FIRST ROCK DRUMMER. He was about 30 years ahead of his time. Without him, you wouldn't have any of your rock favorites. Just listen to Krupa's live drumming when he was with Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, particularly on "Sing Sing Sing (With a Swing)" during the famed January 16, 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert. He dominates the song with extremely loud (but innovative) playing. It's hard not to feel the huge excitement of the performance. You'll wish you'd been there.V 28 Comments
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!
I loved Phil's playing with Genesis before he became a front man and solo artist. He's a very talented man and a drummer first...his 70's style was very different to his 80's style, partly because of the way music was being produced and partly because he adapted to influences. When he worked on the 3rd Peter Gabriel album, Peter told him there were to be no cymbals on the entire record (check it out). The drumming style he adopted as a result was a forerunner of the "In the Air Tonight" style that most people know him for...but I still love his much looser and busier progressive style of the 70's...plus of course, his jazz outlet through Brand X...all good stuff
John bonham, Neil peart, phil Collins, Keith moon, ringo, Dave grohl, and Chad smith should all be in the top ten!
Listen to The Musical Box. Enough said. - MaxPapV 55 Comments
Mr. Octopus. THE KING OF SINGLE PEDAL, he prefers to employ a fast, bare foot technique using a single pedal, so why not he be the first...
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.
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.
Caught somewhere in time. Explains it all. Double bass drum tap with one foot is incredible.V 17 Comments
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! - Queen-aholic
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.
Subtle, yet primal. Textured, yet walloping. Taylor simply oozes chops that no one else has, with a style all his own. Grandeur is perhaps a strange word to apply to drumming, but that's what Roger Taylor has. I'm in awe every time I hear him. #1, bar none.
A little low on this list.V 37 Comments
Only drummer capable of counting and playing overlapping series of 3, 5, 7, 13 notes, each series with each different hand and foot simultaneously. He is unbeatable, the only drummer who makes his colleagues feel weak and nervous. He will never be on the top of the list because he will never play with a monster band
He should be in the Top 5! He is the most technical and skilled drummer ever. All those lists are subjective, based on author's likes and dislikes, and all of them are different. But the truth is the only one!
An absolute monster. His independence is remarkable. I believe he is the most skilled drummer on the planet right now.
THE BESTV 8 Comments
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!
Quite possibly the most technically proficient drummer of all time. "Illumination Theory" is based on a polyrhythm that includes a subdivision of nineteen. Nineteen! His hands are the fastest ever (he has world record), he has an octopus-like coverage of the kit rivaled only by Kieth Moon, and there is, quite frankly, probably nothing he cannot play.
Nothing less than the former DT drummer.V 11 Comments
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!
Rick Allen is better than any other drummer on this list, and he only has one arm. You've got to admire his passion and all-out greatness. It is a shame that he's this far down on the list.
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 is some sort of a...GOD, who can drum with just one handV 17 Comments
Gadd is a drummers drummer and like Buddy Rich, a natural talent with an innate ability to feel the music. He lives it, just look at his face when he plays. His drumming contributes, it doesn't dominate, but is it incredibly skilled in a very subtle way. Check out his playing with Chick Corea and of course, the legendary "50 ways to leave your lover" drum part...
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.
This is the drummer who is playing most stylish or how I say ''tastiest'' way, only musicians will understand how good he's playing. Public will be bored, bcs they want those fast hands in heavy metal playing over the kit real fast. But yeh, Steve God. Buddy Rich is my other idolV 7 Comments
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!
Hands down the most versatile and musical drummer today. Voters on these lists should always do their homework and actually listen to everyone before voting.
Best drummer in syncope-driven drummingV 9 Comments
Being a drummer does not mean that you need to be loud, need to be fast and crazy. Drummers are the backbone of most songs. Nick Mason was not only the backbone for Pink Floyd's songs, but he was the beauty and soul of their music. His drumming is an expression of his inner being and inner soul, and you can hear this in their music. It is not just the passion that you can hear in his drumming, but you can hear the expression of his inner being. His drumming show what is means to be human. Complete freedom, let your inner self be free, no restraint.
How come he is number 30? Why such a good drummer is that underrated? He is not an insane drummer but look at his sense man...listen to "live at Pompeii" stuffs..You will understand.. Banging the drums isn't about everything..you must feel the rhythm
Not an insane, crazy, drummer, but he set the mood for many of their greatest songs. - Darrell
Down at 27? What? - galaxyfoxV 15 Comments
The thing about Bill Ward is that he was the drummer in THE FIRST metal band to ever exist. But I wouldn't say he's a metal drummer. He's more like a hip hop drummer mixed with a jazz drummer on steroids. He would lay down funky grooves with the kick pedal on songs like Hand of Doom and Behind the Wall of Sleep that could just as easily exist in a Biggie Smalls song as a metal song, and would then proceed to destroy your mind with lightning fast fills. The man had hands like a machine gun. And when you watch live footage of him, it's so amazing that the camera man practically focuses on him the whole time. He was an absolute maniac on the drums and his beats are among the grooviest ever written. 100% underrated. Probably due to the fact that Sabbath only really put out 3 amazing albums.
If Black Sabbath were the founders of metal, Bill Ward is the father of metal drumming. Others on this list might outshine him from a technical standpoint, but they probably wouldn't even be on this list if he hadn't inspired them to pick up a pair of sticks in the first place. It's a real shame the newly reformed Black Sabbath couldn't find a way to get him involved in the current (and potentially final) reunion.
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.
I only voted for Bill Ward is because he is so low on the list. 28?!? Are you kidding me? - allen28V 9 Comments
You're right, it is too low on this list, seeing as how he's also at number seven.
Oh look, he's listed twice. He really is beloved. - naFrovivuS
His style was unique
Way too low - DisturbedpotatoV 2 Comments
This list really is silly. People are just voting for the drummer of their favourite bands (Hence 30 Seconds to Mars and X-Japan being in the top ten! If only real drummers voted and it was actually down to skill and talent, then this guy, Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart, Chris Adler, Tomas Haake, Joey Jordison, Buddy Rich, John Bohnam, Gavin Harrison & Dave Lombardo would be in the top 10, as well as others not far behind like Dave Grohl and Mitch Mitchell etc. NOT regular drummers from popular bands!
One of the greatest drummers of all time...part of Dethklok's success is due to Mr. Hoglan.
He drum for two legenadry DEATH albums!
Donati has pushed well past the boundaries most drummers didn't know existed. His style is unique and his combination of precision, speed and complexity is an example of what someone can accomplish when they dedicate their lives to pushing the limits of what is achievable on a drum kit. BUT he doesn't play in a popular rock band and doesn't stay inside the limits of the basic 4/4 time signature and therefore most voters here won't even have heard of this master. This laughable list is far from accurate and is merely people's opinion on their favourite drummers, as evident in the comments for Tommy Lee. Being able to play without a shirt on or while spinning upside down does not make you an amazing drummer.
Virgil donati is not only the best and most complex drummer who has ever lived but will be the best long after he has gone. That's how far advanced this guy is. It will literally take many many years before earth see another Virgil donati! I have studied him my hole life met him and all. He should not only be number 1 on this list but there should be a big gap between 1 and 2 and 2 should definitely be weckl. But donati is number one by farr!
Seen Virgil play live in different bands, went to 3 of Virgil's drum clinics, went to a Simon Phillips drum clinic in Australia and asked him a question about double kick technique, he said ask Virgil because he's the best.
His drum solo on Cruise Missile while playing with Loose Change in Melbourne, is out of the world, 15 minutes of pure genius.V 5 Comments
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 is quite lame overall, but Palmer at this rank must mean that he and ELP have been forgotten. To see what this guy can do, see YouTube. In addition to all else he's a showman, by far the best solos in rock (caveat: never saw Moon play live). I think of his performances as a Cirque de Soleil of drumming - - technically dazzling, cross-genre, acrobatic and with laser precision against an extremely complex musical backdrop.
1. Joe Morello
2. Buddy Rich
4. Max Roach
5. Art Blakey
6. Billy Cobham
9. Carl Palmer
10. Gene Krupa (popularzation of drum solos)
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!
I am a big Green Day fan but Green Day would be nothing without Tre Cool. All those great songs would not be so great. American Idiot would be really bad. But The how crew is amazing and they are going in the hall fame in the next few years maybe this year. Love yah Green Day. Best of the best. They are the punk rock kings.
The most dangerous drummer in the world. He takes simple beats and plays them even better. His faces are hilarious, and his energy is ridiculous. Now I can't argue with legends like John Bonham and Neal Peart being atop this list, but I think Tre deserves top 15 at least, maybe even top 10
Amazing just amazingV 41 Comments
Anyone who knows a thing about drumming for real would put Billy Cobham above the majority of the drummers listed here simply because he was their teacher, their rolemodel, the one all drummers looked up to. Just ask Dennis Chambers, Steve Smith, Sheila E. (she and her dad Pete Escovedo played together with Billy Cobham on his 1977 Magic album) Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl and all your other favorites. Either they were a fan of Billy Cobham or they were a fan of one of his many students. Billy Cobham is truly your favorite drummer's drummer! When you talk about drums there is a before Billy Cobham era and an after Billy Cobham era, that is probably the best indication as to why he is the absolute number 1 drummer. In the sixties he was a pure jazz drummer playing with George Benson (Billie's Bounce! ), Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter or Horace Silver in 1968 (check out the live track Nutville! ), invented jazzrock fusion drums with Miles Davis (Bitches Brew), Dreams (featuring ...more
People who have voted, probably did it out of popularity, Cobham is one of the best drummers in the World, and maybe of all time, just not the most popular unless your a renowned drummer, or follower that really understands what drumming is all about!
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.
Why this man is not in the top ten is beyond me. Completely underrated.V 9 Comments
In my opinion Tommy Lee has always been and always will be the best drummer in the world. Watching Tommy play amazing and unforgettable. He also has gorgeous tattoo's and I don't believe I have ever seen him play while wearing a shirt, for his age, lifestyle and the drugs he abused along with having Hepatitis C he looks amazing for his age. Anyone that misses out on seeing Tommy Lee perform has missed out on the chance of a lifetime to see a rock legend.
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
Being a 80's music lover and a Motley Crue fan from the beginning I have to say Tommy Lee defines the true best of the best definitely the greatest
BestV 6 Comments
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.
Overshadowed by Jimi of course, but he totally kills it, equally as talented as Jimi in their respective instruments. Has and always will be underrated so had to vote for him.
I personally think that Mitch deserves to be way higher than 17 he was one of the greatest drummers in history he was the foundation for jazz fusion he should be at least 6
He is just as talented in the drums as Hendrix was to the guitar! Listen closely to those 3 classic lps the Experience put out and you'll see for yourself how amazing this guy was. Need to vote him up more...V 9 Comments
Chad Smith is one of the most sought-after session drummers in the world - and probably one of the loudest. In the late 80s, he blew away the newly-formed Red Hot Chilli Peppers lineup, though his hard rock and hell's angels style appearance looked out of place, so singer Anthony Kiedis told him to ditch the bandana and come back the next day. Smith kept it on, but they admired his persistence. Today he's also touring with the supergroup Chickenfoot, when he gets a chance.
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
Look up "RHCP-I Like Dirt, Rolling Rock Festival 2000". It's crazy. - Johannes9
insaneV 5 Comments
He is so complex and passionate player!
This is a ridiculous list. Nick should easily be in the top 20.
It's a shame that he's so low and Lars is at 9. Worst is that Gar isn't even on the list!
Go listen to the Holy Wars drum trackV 4 Comments
Richie Sambora plays in a band with drums in it. That qualifies him for this list, doesn't it?
Just listen to his Birdman score. Incredible drumming.
Can hang in the Pat Metheny Group
BiRDMAN.V 1 Comment
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...
Wow! this guy should be in the top 10! his mastery of the polyrhythm is almost that of Danny Carey's mastery! This list is ridiculous. Here is my opinion to make up for it (top 20):
20. Bill Ward - Black Sabbath
19. Phil Collins - Genesis
18. Lars Ulrich - Metallica
17. Nick Menza - Megadeth
16. Dave Grohl - Nirvana
15. Alex Van Halen - Van Halen
14. Dave Lombardo - Slayer
13. Joey Jordison - Slipknot
12. Gene Krupa
11. Mitch Mitchell - Jimi Hendrix Experience
10. Ginger Baker - Cream
9. Nicko McBrain - Iron Maiden
8. Thomas Haake - Meshuggah
7. Mike Mangini - Dream Theater
6. Danny Carey - Tool
5. Mike Portnoy - Dream Theater
4. Keith Moon - The Who
3. Buddy Rich
2. Neil Peart - Rush
1. John Bonham - Led Zeppelin
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 - ado006
BOW TO THE LORDV 6 Comments
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. - gumobe
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. - AKPickin
Top five for sure. I guess metal fans are the only ones voting on this bunk list.
In my opinion the top 2 are...
Best Drummer: Chambers
Most Unique Drummer: The Rev
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 - ronluna
Popcorn Adler. The Original Guns N' Roses Drummer. Brilliance was in his work. Deserves appreciation. Especially in Rocket Queen!
Such a great drummer perfect for Guns N' Roses love the cowbell and rocket queen is just brilliantV 4 Comments
Terry Bozzio should be # 1. He was a drumming legend before most of these guys. Bozzio should be compared to drummers like Buddy Rich. Look him up on line and watch and listen to his dynamics and technique then compare.
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.
Clearly underrated by a solid 30+ spots. A bit of a mercenary which probably hurts him in these rankings but do yourself a favor and seek out his music.
Where on earth is Buddy Miles on this list?V 4 Comments
Paice is an absolute monster. His playing on Made In Japan alone ranks him alongside Bonham and Moon - almost no other rock drummer could match his speed, power, inventiveness and sense of swing. Listen to Smoke On The Water again - everyone remembers the iconic riff but Ian's is literally half of what makes the song great. His studio parts were always brilliantly conceived, and live he was like a locomotive loaded with nitroglycerine. Actually, if you spliced John and Keith together and dusted them with Gene Krupa you would end up with...Ian Paice.
He is 67 now and just recently seeing him live I have to say he is still kicking it big time. How can he of all drummers be rated at only place 53? he was a pioneer... so accurate you could basically calibrate your metronome with his timing...
Just give a listen to "The Mule" by Deep Purple, a song released in 1971. Also Fireball, Burn. - Metal_Treasure
Easily top 10V 12 Comments
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.
He has some of the best chops in modern music, and knows exactly what to play, at what moment in a song. How he manages to lay down in a groove, odd or common time, and how he does it so effortlessly, is true talent.
If you ever hear Sound Of Muzak, that song is in 7/4 (Except the chorus, which is in common time), but you would never know that due to the pocket he stays in. Same with Halo... One part of the song, about two and a half minutes in, is in 17/16, but due to the overriding technique he uses, makes it easy to enjoy the song.
To top it all off, he is quite proficient in jazz, and has Steve Gadd as one of influences!
Here's the thing: The only way to do a proper list, is to give every voter a list of candidates, somehow ensure the voters know what makes a drummer good, make sure they listen to songs they've played on, and rule out any possibility of votes being cast based on popularity. Since these criteria are impossible, this list is meaningless, as evidenced by Gavin Harrison being so low on this list. He belongs in the top 10, along with guys like Portnoy, Mangini, Minnemann, Peart, Lang, etc. And it's not about who did it first, it's about who's the best, ie, TALENT. Which means guys like Bonham and Moon should be much lower, because there have been so many newer drummers who came later that are simply BETTER.
Best drummer ever. Just listen to the stuff by Porcupine Tree and Your Wilderness by The Pineapple Thief. - ActOfGenesisV 10 Comments
You tend to get addicted to the beats & rhythm he creates, cannot explain. Painkiller, Hell Patrol... Need to be much higher than this
Rightly said, you tend to develop an addiction. This guy is very special, and I cannot tolerate to see him listed low in the order.
Fair, accurate, hits like clockwork, irreplaceable Judas!
He stands 5th in the greatest drummers behind Phil collinsV 1 Comment
Mikkey is insane! Rocked with Motorhead, Helloween, King Diamond and Dokken, thats a pretty impressive list. Listen to Hell Was Made In Heaven and tell me he doesn't belong in the top 10 -
Mikkey is the beast with motorhead. Like lemmy sad. "the best drummer he had ever played with"
People's main argument against this guy is that he has no groove, even though groovy drums don't work with technical death metal. You see, Kollias can play groovy, but groovy drummers can't play nearly as fast as Kollias.
Should be number one. No one can match his speed, technique and versatility
I've seen drummers like Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart, Buddy Rich, The Rev, John Bonham, those guys have good techniques, but none as fast as him, if you watch him doing the 200 to 280 bpm, you'll be surprised on how fast he is. One of the best death metal drummers out if Inferno.
Best metal drummer of all time! Out of this world techique, skill and speed. Very unique style and sound. Rated #73 is a complete joke, like this list anyway...V 1 Comment
The master of technicality, almost all of his work is amazing, but songs like Provision, The Wake (but really only the drum track on that one), Meddler, White Washed, and Endorphins really showcase the best of what he can do
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
He is truly a musician from pummeling songs like Back Burner to creativity shown in songs like Internal Cannon, he can play at sonic speeds and throw down grooves for Spanish-esque style beats
He's god of drums the speed he plays is stunningV 2 Comments
Just listen to the whole of the Agony album.
His hands go to over one million speed
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