Greatest Drummers of All Time

AKPickin
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

1 Neil Peart Neil Ellwood Peart, (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020) was a Canadian musician and writer best known as the drummer and primary lyricist of the rock band Rush. Peart received numerous awards for his musical performances, including an induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1983, making ...read more.

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

I think there are two drummers that were the only people who could produce their exact sound. Buddy Rich, and Neil Peart. I don't care how many really good drummers could come close, they couldn't duplicate. It wasn't just his ability with the sticks... it was his innovation in how the drums should sound. He walked into an industry as a Canadian kid 'novice.' But he had in his mind the perfect sound, and no drummer can argue that he didin't achieve a sound with his kit, let alone his almost computer/machine-like precision. As much as he was technically the best--at least by being the first in his genre, he envisioned how drums should sound.

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

Sure, Keith Moon and John Bonham forever defined impressive drumming skills but for Neil Peart, it's in a whole new level. Neil Peart's drumming fits with many genres as well as punk, soul, metal especially Jazz which he still plays. Neil Peart is more than a drummer, he is a percussion maniac. YYZ is an example where the beat from the drums blossom to be the greatest song of Rush, even though it's instrumental and progressive. He inspired me to play the drums but I can't play good as him. YYZ is totally hard to play and his drum kit is worth more than my apartment. He's a complete legend.

2 John Bonham John Henry Bonham was born on May 31, 1948 in Redditch, United Kingdom. Bonham (nicknamed Bonzo) was a professional hard rock drummer who was best known for being the drummer in the band Led Zeppelin. Bonham was also one of the background singers in the band. His drumming is mainly displayed on the ...read more.

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

Hands down the hardest hitting drummer in rock history and ONLY takes a backseat to ONE other drummer...Neil Peart. Bonzo was and IS a Legend!

3 Keith Moon Keith John Moon was an English drummer for the rock band the Who. He was noted for his unique style and his eccentric, often self-destructive behaviour. His drumming continues to be praised by critics and musicians.

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

A deeply troubled guy full of contrasts but what he did onstage and that explosive energy put on every performance is and ever will be plainly unmatched. Hands down moon the loon

What Moon did, better and more often than any other rock drummer, is create more memorable moments, more dramatic, exciting moments than any other drummer.

The fills before the scream on Wont Get Fooled Again. The call to arms after the bridge to "Baba O'Reilly" His euphoria during Amazing Journey during Woodstock.

Need more? The machine gun melodic tom work on Happy Jack. The pop art chaos of My Generation. The wall of sound and manic scream of "Substitute".

Dropping the mic. Best ever.

In my opinion keith is the best to ever live

4 Mike Portnoy Michael Portnoy is an American drummer primarily known as the former drummer, backing vocalist, and a co-founder of the progressive metal/rock band Dream Theater. Known for his technical skill as a drummer, Portnoy has won 30 awards from the Modern Drummer magazine.

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?

Whoa man, this guy is amazing.

The best, for me.

He is the best!

5 Buddy Rich Bernard "Buddy" Rich was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. Widely considered one of the most influential drummers of all time and known for his virtuoso technique, power, and speed, Rich was billed as "the world's greatest drummer" during his career.

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

You have to be old enough to understand, or at least google him to hear him play. He was fabulous! I don't know of another person that could play as fast as he. No one can make him.

If you ask every other guy above #5 who the best is they would have all pointed to Buddy

6 Dave Grohl David Eric "Dave" Grohl is an American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer and film director. He is best known as the former drummer of the hugely popular 90s grunge band Nirvana and the vocalist/guitarist for the alternative rock band Foo Fighters. He has sat behind the ...read more.

Dave grohl is the best musician in my opinion he plays guitar and sings for the foo fighters and did drumming for nirvana and over all he is a true legend

Dave Grohl? Are you kidding me.. He couldn't even play for the Begees.. This list is a Joke...

THE BEST OF YOU

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.

7 James Sullivan James Owen Sullivan (February 9th, 1981 - December 28th 2009), better known by his stage name "The Rev" (Short for "The Reverend Tholomew Plague") was an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the former drummer, backing vocalist and co-founder of the American alternative metal/ metalcore ...read more.

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

Favorite drummer and an all around legend, RIP Jimmy. You are foREVer in our hearts - ace_comet667

8 Glen Power

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?

Technically, musically, even lyrically (he manages that on the drums)... The kind of perfectionist who makes his intriguing rhythms look easy. That's when you know you've got a bit of a genius before you.

9 Lars Ulrich Lars Ulrich is a Danish drummer and one of the founding members of the American thrash metal band Metallica.

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!

I hear a lot of hate about Ulrich, but in my opinion, he should be listed higher. Ok, maybe he plays one beat for half of Metallica's songs, but he makes them work well. Plus, when he adds a little bit of double bass to a consistent beat on the ride and snare on "Motorbreath" and "Hit the Lights", it sounds really good. He's not the best, but he should be ranked higher than #9.

He should be at 1

10 Joey Jordison Joey Jordison, is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer, best known for his work as the former drummer and co-songwriter for the heavy metal band Slipknot as well as guitarist in the Horror-punk band Murderdolls. He is the co-founder and drummer for the Blackened Death Metal band Sinsaenum ...read more.

What a guy

BADASS

Best drummer in the world forever!

1001 variation music... Boundless inspiration!

Watch him drum eyeless and you all know

The Newcomers

? Jaki Liebezeit

Human metronome.

Honestly, a „best drummers“ list without Can‘s drummer Jaki Liebezeit can‘t be real. A true rhythm machine. Just listen to Can‘s „Oh Yeah“ and all their great their stuff from the early 70s. - TheFliFlux

The Contenders

11 Dave Lombardo David "Dave" Lombardo is a Cuban American drummer, best known as a co-founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer.

Great, Godly drummer, should be top 3 at least

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

He should be at number 1

He came with the fastest double bass to metal. He has insane drum fills. He has made metal drumming classics tuhat everyone uses nowadays. He has composed an opera and jazz music, can play slow to punk to thrash to anything.

12 Ginger Baker Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker is an English drummer, best known as the founder of the rock band Cream. His work in the 1960s earned him the reputation of "rock's first superstar drummer," while his individual style melds a jazz background with African rhythms.

With Jazz and African influences and turning it into Rock is very hard to do but Ginger did it like it was a simple job! The song Toad by Cream shows his amazing talents and his solo song Ginger Spice shows his uniqueness when he drums!

Not only the best, but would kick the arses of the others too.

Super creative

RIP. A true legend - CaptDeadeye

13 Alex Van Halen Alexander Arthur "Alex" Van Halen is a Dutch-born American musician, best known as the drummer and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen.

Awesome, creative, he blends so well with the rest of the song

One of the most overrated drummers ever he is only known for one song which hot for a teacher which the song it self sucks

Hot for Teacher is RIDICULOUS. How is Alex not in the top 5?

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

14 Vinnie Colaiuta

Vinnie Colaiuta, Yah- Drums. Trust me.

One of the greatest of all time.

Only underrated because he was never in one particularly commercial band like the beatles or zeppelin.

Simply the best all-round drummer period.

15 Danny Carey Daniel Edwin "Danny" Carey, born May 10, 1961 in Lawrence, Kansas, is an American drummer and instrumentalist best known for his work in American Grammy Award-winning progressive rock band Tool. He has also contributed to albums by and played with such artists as Zaum, Green Jellÿ, Pigface, Skinny ...read more.

Absolutely incredible drummer. Putting Grohl ahead of him is a sin. Not the best drummer alive, but as far as god-like abilities go, he is a top five drummer at least. His low ranking here is due to being part of progressive rock,a music style that doesn't appeal to most people. Someone playing a 5, 7 or 11 beat pattern tends to rub people the wrong way because simple 4 or 6 beat patterns are easier to bang your head to. The enjoyment of Tool is mathematical more than musical though there are certainly gloriously beautiful musical movements as well as precise and flowing odd time signatures that challenge the brain to keep up.

Just saw him last night - the guy is not of this world! Completely felt the vibe of my personal favourite Neil Peart with him. He actually makes the drums a melodic instrument (no easy task), both complimenting and accentuating the song structure, and of course, the time signature changes. Prog Metal at it's finest! I too cannot understand this list - Lars & Alex would have an aneurysm trying to do half of what this guy pulls off!

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

Danny Carey is a legend. If you listen to the drumming in songs like Right In Two, Rosetta Stoned, Pneuma and plenty other Tool songs you will see how talented he is. If you don't think he deserves to be at least in the top 5 after listening to those tracks then I don't know what to say...

16 Ringo Starr Richard Starkey known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles.

Sure he may not have gone ballistic on drum sets as lots of these other guys, but he was the perfect pop drummer. He knows exactly what to play for each song, and with his vast creativity, made many original drum beats. The beat from "In My Life" is a completely original beat, that to date, has not been known to be used in any other song. And if so, the song also probably just sounds like "In My Life." He was also, a human metronome. Had perfect rhythm. He seems to be underrated simply for the fact that his beats sound basic, but try playing some of The Beatles more complex songs like "Rain." You'll come to find that they are a lot harder to play than you'd realize.

John bonham was amazing always but Ringo helped make the Beatles great!

Simple yet amazing.

What he decides not to showcase in technical ability he showcases in simplicity and charm - ListerBlister

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

Under rated. Made drums do what he wanted to hear. Great drummer.

Lucky enough to seem him live 6 times - a life memory that never leaves me.

As a drummer totally amazing. Should be in top 10.

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!

18 Stewart Copeland Stewart Armstrong Copeland is an American musician, multi-instrumentalist and composer best known as the drummer for the English-American rock band The Police and for his film and video game soundtracks.

Legend

Best drummer in the world

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. )

From the first time I heard the Police I fell in love with drums. I was able pick up on the beats and that was something I was definitely illiterate about! He is amazing!

19 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.

He should be in the top 10 of this list because he can destroy most of the drums out there with only one arm

He has obviously slowed down over the years, but the things that man can do while drumming is beyond me. Def Leppards best album by far was after Rick’s accident

Dude can drum with one arm! If that doesn't deserve recognition, I don't know what does - CaptDeadeye

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!

20 Dave Weckl

In terms of technical skill, control, execution and taste, he and Vinnie are the greatest. But where is Billy Cobham and Lenny White on this list?

Best drummer alive. 2nd best all time. Duh.

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!

21 Bill Ward William Thomas "Bill" Ward is an English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer for the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath.

Any young drummer wood shedding to his favorite albums can figure out with a little hard work and understanding of syncopation, how to play any Led Zeppelin song, any Rush song, or any other popular music in their iPods. Yet I don't care who you are, or how good you think you are, Mike bordin, Tommy fluctose, it doesn't matter. None of us can play the Wizard, none of us can play Electric Funeral or any other Black Sabbath song because Bill Ward is on a different level. He is the 5th point of the alchemy star, the aetherial. His DNA is Black Sabbath and it birthed a new style of drumming where the open holes were as powerful as the notes on the drums. Sometimes his playing sounds like a marching band drum line falling down a flight of stairs. Yet as his notes land in a pile of rubble at the bottom of that stairwell, the chills go down your spine. This music was recorded over 40 years ago and sounds like it came from the depths of hell and played by the most powerful angels in heaven. ...more

One of the best drummers ever. Bill Ward is a living legend, a natural born talent, a God of the drums. Tony Iommi is of course the godfather of heavy metal but without Bill Black Sabbath would have been another story.

I can't believe he's so low. Just listen to The Wizard or any song really off the first album. This man kicked off metal drumming!

Really great dirving force.

22 Vinnie Paul Abbott

Pantera

Are these voters on dope? This man is the
greatest..

Best on the list. This list is full of limp wristed goobers.

Should be way closer to the top of this list.

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

Pink Floyd is a precision program rock band. Your leader of precision of time is always the dummer. I seriously doubt that any body else could have filled the role as well as nick mason.

One of my favorites

One of These Days

Brilliant

24 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.

How the hell is Portnoy 4 and Mangini 24 right now? Mangini isn't any lesser of a drummer than Portnoy and he's way back here behind schmucks like Lars Ulrich? People should look up some of Mangini's live playing. I guess the mix really does screw up his sound on the albums.

The best. He sounds mechanical because he's a machine.

He is the fastest drummer, he can play all the stiles, he can play very hard polyrhythmic grooves, he can play all the dream Theater stuff, however he is a slow double bass drummer

I don’t know why Mike is not in the top 10. He really deserves it.

25 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.

He CAN'T be lower than at least 4

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.

26 Gene The Atomic Clock Hoglan

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!

27 Virgil Donati

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.

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.

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!

His drum solo on Cruise Missile while playing with Loose Change in Melbourne, is out of the world, 15 minutes of pure genius.

28 Thomas Lang

Should be #1 on the list. There's nothing he can't do.

No2

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!

29 Antonio Sanchez Antonio Sánchez is a Mexican jazz drummer. In 2014 his popularity increased significantly when Sánchez composed original music for Birdman.

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.

30 Steve Gadd

Steve Gadd, the father of modern drumming is rated #30 on this list. That right there blows completely all credibility out of this so called best drummer list.

Should be in the top 10! He is my personal favorite. My top 10 would go like this.
1. Steve Gadd
2. Jeff Porcaro
3. Carter Beauford
4. John Bonham
5. Phil Collins
6. Dave Weckl
7. Bernard Purdie
8. Niel Peart
9. Buddy Rich
10. Lars Ulrich

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.

31 Tre Cool Frank Edwin Wright III, known professionally as Tré Cool, is a German-born American drummer, best known as the drummer for the American punk rock/pop punk band Green Day. He replaced the band's former drummer John Kiffmeyer in 1990.

He has so much energy and is so good on drums.

One of the best pop musicians ever. Seriously, the amount of sheer energy he puts into Green Day's music elevates them above other pop artists. - CaptDeadeye

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!

Of all the lists of Best Drummers, this list is the only one that mentions Trè Cool. I was actually shocked and disappointed with the other lists. I agree with the other comments, Trè Cool should be in the Top 10, his energy and playing style is so unique. My suggestion, even if you know the song, listen to "American Idiot" and listen to the absolutely drum energy in the song.

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

Made the drums into more than something to keep time with. His solos are still masterpieces.

How you can have Phil colins and Ringo Starr in front of Gene Krupa just shows what a shower of crap this list is... Gene and buddy and many of the same era would embarrass most of these drummers on this list

I agree I have lived through the 50's to present and have music in my back ground. I understand going with what you know but historical record show the facts not opinion to this day Gene Krupa has no equal. The truth is a simple fact krupa is simply the best. He born with a gift unmatched in talent and speed.

The best drummer I know of.

33 Roger Taylor Roger Meddows Taylor is an English musician , multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter born on July 26th,1949 in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. He was the drummer of the band Queen and wrote few of many hits such as "Under Pressure", "A Kind Of Magic" and "Radio Ga Ga". Despite being well known in Queen ...read more.

I love the way he can sing and drumming at the same time!

Multi talented. Bachelors degree in music. A Kind Of Magic Man. World Class Act.

Good drummer. Shame about his high-pitched, raspy voice.

Just one word: OVERRATED!

34 Mitch Mitchell John Ronald "Mitch" Mitchell was an English drummer who was best known for his work in the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The best is Ginger Baker and Mitch Mitchell.

Both are jazz oriented and smooth. Very fast from Mitch if you watch Monterey Pop Festival and end of Wild Thing. Look how fast and accurate and smooth he is. It is like watching Buddy Rich in fast motion.

Like Ginger and Eric said, "I get mad when someone mentions my name along the likes of Bonham or Moon". Both are good, but they cannot compare to these two greats.

I've been playing for over 55 years and started with Rich, Krupa, Roach, and all the other jazz greats and not-so-greats. Then I listened to Holly, Johnny and the Hurricanes, Elvis, Fats, Del Vikings, and The Ventures.

When I was seven The Beatles were on WMCA that Christmas. The Dave Clark Five were already known to me as was The Yardbirds and the Stones. I then moved into The Airplane, Hot Tuna, Santana, Cream, Hendrix, Climax Blues Bank, Allman Bros., and Billy Cobham.

Some of these people I know, and most I have met. Some I even played ...more - dawei4321

Underrated, one of the best.

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.

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...

35 Tomas Haake Tomas Haake is a Swedish drummer and main songwriter of the experimental metal band Meshuggah. He is known for his polyrhythms and technical ability. In 2012, he was named the 5th best Modern Metal drummer by MetalSucks.net. He was named the number one drummer in the "Metal" category, in the July 2008 ...read more.

These lists are terrible because everyone votes for there favourite bands instead of the best.

Sucks

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

36 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.

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

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.

37 Dennis Chambers Milton "Dennis" Chambers, is an American drummer. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2001.

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.

Dennis Chambers down here at #35 is CRIMINAL. Top 5 easily.

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

Why is he so low

I first saw Tommy in 1985 THEATER OF PAIN at Madison Square Garden, NY. When I left the Garden a cab was waiting at the light. The passenger asked who was playing. All I could say was GOD on drums!

He’s underrated!

Well he can play upside-down, surely with his talent puts him in the top 10.

39 Mario Duplantier Mario Duplantier is a French musician and artist best known as the drummer of technical death metal band Gojira.

Should be top 25

Just watch a live from Gojira. It's worth it.

Lol he needs to be at least around the 20's mark... while Gojira isn't all that well known, they are a kick-ass band, and Mario Duplantier destroys on the drums. Just listen to "L'Enfant Sauvage", 'toxic garbage island", or "Silvera"

I am so disappointed in everyone who voted otherwise. Listen to the Gojira song "The Heaviest Matter in the Universe", and have your minds blown. Yes, he is the only one drumming. - ThatoneMetalhead

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

A TANK.

Palmer #1
Peart #2

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.

41 Matt Greiner

He's god of drums the speed he plays is stunning

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

42 Ian Paice Ian Anderson Paice (born 29 June 1948) is an English musician, best known as the drummer of the English rock band Deep Purple. He has been the band's only constant member since its foundation.

How in God's name is Lars Ulrich and Tre Cool above this epic man? Can they attempt to play Burn as well as he does? 71 and he still has the power. Jeez - galaxyfox

Huge fan of deep purple and he has decades of drumming. His style.

Most underrated, almost as good as bonham, rock solid, groovy, and heavy.

The list is objective.. more of a popularity vote... I love ian's drumming... Am disappointed at the placement of most of these guys... Where is Danny Seraphine (Chicago)?

43 Francesco Paoli Francesco Paoli is the drummer for the Italian technical death metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse, formed in 2007.

His hands go to over one million speed

Just listen to the whole of the Agony album.

44 Shawn Aulbrook
45 Steven Adler Steven Adler is an American musician. He is best known as the former drummer and co-songwriter of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s.

Shame he won't rejoin Guns N' Roses...Frank is kinda garbage rn - general_tao

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!

46 Nick Menza Nick Menza (1964-2016) was a professional drummer best known for his work in Megadeth from 1989-1998 and in 2004. He recorded drums on four of Megadeth's albums "Rust In Peace", "Countdown To Extinction", "Youthanasia", and "Cryptic Writings".

Totally underrated. He was a beast in his prime. The intro to "addicted to chaos" still gets me every time I hear it...25 years later. Simple, precise, powerful and just the perfect sound. Matter of fact, I may go listen to it right now followed by a complete spin of...Rust In Peace. Thanks for the music and for being part of the best group of guys to put up with Mustaine!

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 track

He is so complex and passionate player!

47 Vinny Appice Vincent Samson Appice is an American rock drummer of Italian descent and the younger brother of drummer Carmine Appice. He is best known for his work with the bands Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and Big Noize.

Powerhouse - provided hand claps for John Lennon on a track- cool 😎 - stellar beginning to present day greatness, vastly underrated!

Just to the person who said he played in Rainbow, he didn't. The only other Dio member who did was Jimmy Bain

Straight Through the Heart (Dio). The intro requires serious skills. How is he not way higher than this?

He played greatest bands like rainbow, dio, and black Sabbath ( after bill ward left the band)

48 Scott Travis Mark Scott Travis is a Grammy Award winning American rock musician, best known as the drummer for the English heavy metal band Judas Priest and the American heavy metal band Racer X.

He stands 5th in the greatest drummers behind Phil collins

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!

49 Matt Cameron Matt Cameron is an American composer, and musician. He is mostly famous for being the drummer of the three grunge bands Soundagrden, Pearl Jam, and Temple of the Dog.

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

I have now seen Pearl Jam 3 times in my life just to hear Matt play. Massive thanks to Matt for every single note he has have ever hit.

Wow! He should be at least number 10. He's just amazing. Cheak his work in Soundgarden. Just great

He's incredible cheak out his work on the song "Jesus Christ Pose"
Underrated drummer

50 John Humphrey

I really like him. He's my second favorite after Portnoy. He's got wicked groove

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