Greatest Drummers of All Time

A hard category, due to the number of drumming styles, but selected are the most complete and versatile drummers. These drummers should be able to play more than one style. In addition, their impact and influence in music should be felt on a global scale. Not just suburban America.

The Top Ten

1 Neil Peart Neil Peart Neil Ellwood Peart (born September 12, 1952 in Hamilton, Canada) is a Canadian-American musician and author, best known as the drummer and primary lyricist for the rock band Rush. Peart has received numerous awards for his musical performances.

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

Neil's abilities to play his own style and other drummer's style shows a level of talent that surpasses others. His tribute to Buddy Rich and his style shows a deeper understanding of drumming than other drummers.

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

He's an incredibly talented drummer known for his extended drum solos and he's also one of greatest poets and songwriters of the modern age. There simply is no beating Peart. - CaptDeadeye

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2 John Bonham 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 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

Achilles Last Stand
Immigrant Song
Moby Dick
Good Times Bad Times
When The Levee Breaks
Fool In The Rain
90% of drummers could only dream to be able to recreate the magic of those songs perfectly. Keith Moon was a crazy showman who used drums as a lead instrument. Neil Peart was a good drum soloist with great stick control. Ringo always knew exactly what to play and how it would fit the song. Buddy Holly was a great jazz drummer. But Bonzo, in my opinion, is the manliest drummer who ever lived. Rhythmic style? Check. Fast foot? Check. Technical gift? Check. Good showman? Check. Good drum solos? Well, he didn't have many, but the ones he did kicked ass. Creativity? Again, check. Bonham had diversity and a feel for groove, but he also had a menacing rocker in him that no other drummer could recreate. Rest in peace, man. - AlexZoraj

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

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3 Keith Moon 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

He was the most musical Drummer on the planet. Speed is not everything. He certainly had speed and rhythm, but his drums where melodic and filled in as melody on most WHO songs. The way he tuned his drums and used fills to craft melody is unmatched. There is a difference of rhythm and melody. Keith had speed, rhythm and melody. Peart and Bonham I think would agree. This guy was a manic on drums!

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

He could play better wasted than a lot could while straight

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4 Mike Portnoy 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?

6:00. Dream Theater fans will understand - CaptDeadeye

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.

The best

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5 Dave Grohl 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 more.

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

He is a better drummer than guitarist and singer. - Userguy44

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

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6 Buddy Rich 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

Not even close. This guy is a God amongst mere mortals. This vote should be taken by the drummers listed. If so I'd bet rich would top the list.

The greatest drummer of all time, hands down. Nobody had faster hands or could riff on drums like him.

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

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7 Joey Jordison 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 more.

Joey Jordison is the best hammer and percussion have happen to listen to. There is much fondness in doing what loves most in music, and it shows. Since Slipknot of 1993 Joey Jordison won the fight with understanding sound, a great asset to any band in fact a fine persona as well. It might be odd however the character portray from Joey Jordison is that of Jesus except not in religion but of the musical scene. It is a relish when listening even if just in segments from Spotify and not the Albums bought with Slipknot as the band from anywhere of the 15 years from then to today. Good job to Joey Jordison! - iliescu

Best drummer ever, am surprise is the same height and complexion in persona as well. Not only has the main band 'Slipknot' done great with Joey Jordison in music through most of their existence(5 main stages) but now is again the finest at the drums helm in self record. There is an improvement in the drums in use from Joey Jordison throughout progression of the musical career with self as well(5 more stages). Awesome to see at top ten at drummer list, though should be in the number one slot of course. - iliescu

I love his playing...very tight and hard playing...

The talent is huge considering how many sessions of percussion extreme Joey Jordison could handle. Each time it is as if a complete and new version of brand on the drums which is something to realize without contemplation as well. Excellent attendance mind it and perfect score in the categories of drum and hammer works! - iliescu

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8 Lars Ulrich 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!

He was decent before the Black Album (especially Dyers Eve) and then everything went downhill. - galaxyfox

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

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

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.

He's is the king

He's the king of Thrash metal drumming,love you bro m/

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

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10 Ginger Baker 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.

It is joke the quality of Ginger's playing easily surpasses Moon or Bonham and I love The Who and Zeppelin but Ginger had much more scope to his art than either, he used jazz and African rhythms as masterfully as he did the 'rock' drumming, which we pretty much invented by himself!

The best drummer of all times

The best Drummer of times.
Unique. He was a true musician, a so writer, a composer not just drums player. And as I see number one is Neil Peart who said when they asked him about Baker, " I wanted to be like him and that's why I become a Drummer". I guess that says it all

Extraordinarily competent!

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The Newcomers

? Nils Fjellström
? KJ Sawka

The Contenders

11 Alex Van Halen 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.

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

Lars and AVH outside the top 10? You have got to be kidding me. - Th47

Girl Gone Bad, Outta Love Again, Top Jimmy, Panama, Hot For Teacher. His touch and the way he finds the pocket of Eddies playing are paired with straight up showing off. He has a style like no other. Heavy Swing is the new category I'm inventing to put him in.

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12 Vinnie Colaiuta

Should be in the top three and Buddy Rich should be number one, can outplay Neil Peart with his eyes closed. Played better on five drums than Neil did on fifty in my opinion.

Should be at least top 3, he can do it all at an exceptional level.

#1 no one else is even close.

dam good

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13 Ringo Starr 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.

This guy's personality should get him in the top tens - ListerBlister

Pete was the best...but Ringo was the Starr!

Very innovative for the 1960s. - JoLeKosovo

He should be in the top ten

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14 Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan Jimmy 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 more.

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.

His style was unique

To low on this list

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15 James The Rev Sullivan

I'm a fan of Avenged Sevenfold and I love jimmy but I don't think his the BEST drummer in the world but his drum cover is godlike although it is not the fastest but it sounds damn awesome with each and every song... as I said I don't think his the best drummer.. but he is 1 of the best drummer in the WORLD... the drum cover of a7x's first album is so godlike that it already beat most of the drummers! a 3rd position for jimmy is wonderful! he deserved it!

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

He has nowhere near the recognition he deserves. His talent on the drums is second to none. I think the reason he is often overlooked is because the people who are often placed ahead of him were part of much bigger and more popular bands. I mean just look at Ringo Starr, he couldn't do any complex pieces and often stuck to simple, bland beats. If he wasn't part of the arguably biggest band of all time, I don't believe he would even be mentioned. The Rev, I believe stands at least in the top three of all time it's just a shame that people don't know who he is as Avenged Sevenfold aren't exactly a household name

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

His Drums Had A VOICE! His beat Spoke/Speaks! INCREDIBLE

Phil is in the top ten any time of the day...

Get him in the top 10. - Userguy44

Phil should be number one. He doesn't just play the drums, he has such an original style, that he makes them sing!
He is innovative, technically precise, and simply the BEST. He has the perfect balance between techique and feel.
Don't just judge him on his solo career. Check out "Supper's Ready" by Genesis, pay particular attention to the Apocalypse in 9/8 section. It's pure magic. If that isn't convincing enough, listen to Genesis, "The Musical Box." He holds back until around the 8:00 minute mark, and then he just explodes! Truly an amazing talent!

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17 Danny Carey 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 more.

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.

If each musical instrument had its own God, Danny would be the Alpha and Omega of drums. I'd like to know what bloated, cigar smoking, music industry douche bag made this list. Granted, there is talent in some of the other named drummers, but NONE of them could hold a match to Danny. HELL! Most of them couldn't hold a match in the bathroom after Danny took. Which even after a night of tacos and Diablo would still sound better than most on this list..

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

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

He is some sort of a...GOD, who can drum with just one hand

Rick Allen is a very underrated drummer and a amazing comeback became a huge fan of him and Def Leppard after hearing his story.

Better drummer with one arm than most everyone else with two arms.

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19 Stewart Copeland 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.

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!

His music like in Spyro the Dragon made me appreciate what the guy put out there for gamers who grew up listening to the sweet melody in his music.

Very underrated. - Userguy44

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. )

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

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...

Caught somewhere in time. Explains it all. Double bass drum tap with one foot is incredible.

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.

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21 Dave Weckl Dave Weckl

Best drummer in syncope-driven drumming

Just the best alive drummer.

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!

Dave Weckl 25? Mike Portnoy and those guys like him will never in this life be able to play music of Dave Weckl, and Weckl would probably read Dance of eternity like a newspaper.

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

Definitely number 1 for me

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.

Down at 27? What? - galaxyfox

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 must feel the rhythm

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23 Bill Ward 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.

Like Bonham and Peart a little nore, but they're doing fine up top. Let's give Bill a little boost. - DragonSlayer5279

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.

You can have Sabbath without Ozzy, but not without Bill, take him away and the magic is gone.

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.

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24 Vinnie Paul Abbott

Are these voters on dope? This man is the

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

Underrated - lilrocketman

Should be way closer to the top of this list.

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

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

Nothing less than the former DT drummer.

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.

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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.

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28 Thomas Lang

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


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!

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

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.

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30 Nick Menza 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!

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31 Antonio Sanchez 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


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32 Tomas Haake 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 He was named the number one drummer in the "Metal" category, in the July 2008 more.

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

Tomas Haake at 33. Tf? He should be in at least top 10 if not top 5.
His drumming is very complex combined with djent grooves. And how that sloppy Ulrich is in top 10

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

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33 Roger Taylor 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 more.

He is amazing. Very good drummer, can sing, his beautiful falsettos, can play guitar, very pretty, just so talented

Underrated drummer.

Why is he so low? He is much better than most of the others above him!

Has anyone head his solos? They are literally godly...

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34 Steve Gadd

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.

Best of current drummers -- hard to compare him to Buddy Rich who was the best of the previous era.

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35 Rob Bourdon Rob Bourdon Robert Gregory Bourdon is an American musician, best known as the drummer and one of the founding members of the American rock band Linkin Park.

Hottest drummer ever! Rob bourden should be in first place you inspired me to play the drum's I'm 14 years old and I've been playing since 2002!

Best drummer ever! He plays in my favourite band, and he's the best drummer I know! He should be at first place! VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE GO SOLDIERS!

Alright I gotta admit leaving Meteora and MTM aside he didn't actually did any awesome drumming till The Hunting Party. That album shows his flair, fast yet smooth transitions. A Line in the Sand and other songs are pretty good example. His Given Up solo should also not be forgotten. He may not deserve to be in the Top 5 but he clearly is a Top 10 material now!

Guys He is not the best but definitely deserves a spot in the top ten. He is one of the best. Rob Bourdon Rocks. GO go Rob Bourdon.

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36 Tre Cool 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.

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 amazing

Most underrated drummer in the world

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!

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37 Mikkey Dee Mikkey Dee Micael Kiriakos Delaoglou, known better by his stage name Mikkey Dee, is a Greek-Swedish rock musician.

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"

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

Come on guys, you know Gene Krupa, don't you? None of most of the drummers above him would exist if Gene Krupa was never born!

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

Rich and krupa one and two..

He started it all and the sets we play today is Krupa!

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

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...

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.

Very underrated. He brought a lot of attitude to the kit. should be top ten.

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.

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40 Dennis Chambers 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.

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

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

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

He's the only drummer in the world who can play upside down/sideways/spinning/& puking all at the same time & never misses a beat.

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42 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

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

Just listen to the whole of the Agony album.

His hands go to over one million speed

44 Carl Palmer 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 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.

Anybody who knows anything about talent knows this ranking is a disservice to Carl. This more of a popularity contest than a judgement on actual talent. Anybody who has ever seen him perform knows he's in the top ten, if not higher. What he can do with his drumsticks, foot pedals and his gong hammers is incredible. Certainly better than the the one armed drummer ranked ahead of him. No offense but how can a one armed drummer be ranked above this virtuoso? - Abigsoxfan

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45 Shawn Aulbrook
46 Ian Paice 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.

Easily top 10

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

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47 Steven Adler 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!

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48 Scott Travis 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!

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49 Matt Cameron 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.

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.

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

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 Vinny Appice 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.

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)

Runs in the family like brother Carmine

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45,000 votes
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1. Ringo Starr
2. John Bonham
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3. Jimmy Rainsford
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