Greatest Drummers of All Time


The Contenders: Page 4

61 Gavin Harrison

He is simply the best in my opinion! He is amazing on porcupine tree, just listen to fear of a blank planet and the incident, he is amazing in 05ric, and he is now in King Crimson, and I am seeing them this year in concert. Now, Gavin, has versatility on the drums, he can play in many different time signatures, he uses rudiments any chance he gets, and his dynamics are just amazing! Just look up gavin harrison on YouTube, watch a few videos, and decide for yourself.

He has some of the best chops in modern music, and knows exactly what to play, at what moment in a song. How he manages to lay down in a groove, odd or common time, and how he does it so effortlessly, is true talent.

If you ever hear Sound Of Muzak, that song is in 7/4 (Except the chorus, which is in common time), but you would never know that due to the pocket he stays in. Same with Halo... One part of the song, about two and a half minutes in, is in 17/16, but due to the overriding technique he uses, makes it easy to enjoy the song.

To top it all off, he is quite proficient in jazz, and has Steve Gadd as one of influences!

Here's the thing: The only way to do a proper list, is to give every voter a list of candidates, somehow ensure the voters know what makes a drummer good, make sure they listen to songs they've played on, and rule out any possibility of votes being cast based on popularity. Since these criteria are impossible, this list is meaningless, as evidenced by Gavin Harrison being so low on this list. He belongs in the top 10, along with guys like Portnoy, Mangini, Minnemann, Peart, Lang, etc. And it's not about who did it first, it's about who's the best, ie, TALENT. Which means guys like Bonham and Moon should be much lower, because there have been so many newer drummers who came later that are simply BETTER.

Best drummer ever. Just listen to the stuff by Porcupine Tree and Your Wilderness by The Pineapple Thief. - ActOfGenesis

V 10 Comments
62 Joe Morello

Technically the best I have heard. His contribution was always more than one forth of The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Could achieve more with one hand while keeping his glasses on with the other hand than anyone I have seen or heard.

Joe could do more with unusual time signatures than any other drummer. A class act. Enormously talented.

No one could do a solo like Joe. No one had the perception and acuity. He was one of a kind.

A technician on the drums that no other drummer can match. He gave drum sessions in the 60,s in the UK, astounded all drummers present, absolutely brilliant.

V 5 Comments
63 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.

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!

Absolutely underrated and kickass drummer. Definitely deserves to be much higher on the list. Painkiller Drum Solo, enough said..

64 Aaron Kitcher

Sure he's fast, but he doesn't have much else.

65 Bob Burns
66 Shawn Drover Shawn Drover Shawn Drover is a Canadian musician, best known for his work with the American thrash metal band Megadeth.
67 Jeff Porcaro

It was a shock when he died, toto did not know who was going to take he's place. and he is the best drummer in my heart, and my heart is a locked door

This guy should be at LEAST on top 20.

As a real drummer in the 80s and showing everyone his rocking spirit, he should be at least in the top 20.

This guy was one of the best, should at least have been in top ten, and definitely in front of Lars Ulrich and Steven Adler

V 8 Comments
68 Chris Coleman

Have any of you even heard of Chris Coleman? Cause I seriously doubt it, if any of you heard of this guy you'd see he's better than almost everyone in the top ten, the only reason so called "drummers" like Joey jordison are in the top ten is because of commercial success, and John Bonham is great, and at one time I thought he was the best, and he was my favorite drummer, but now, the unknowns like Chris Coleman and Benny Greb are my favorite.

69 Aaron Spears

So his house drummer and this is the reason why he shouldn't on a list like this

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

70 Nick Augusto

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

71 George Kollias George Kollias Georgios "George" Kollias is a Greek heavy metal drummer and music teacher best known for his work with American technical death metal band Nile.

People's main argument against this guy is that he has no groove, even though groovy drums don't work with technical death metal. You see, Kollias can play groovy, but groovy drummers can't play nearly as fast as Kollias.

Should be number one. No one can match his speed, technique and versatility

I've seen drummers like Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart, Buddy Rich, The Rev, John Bonham, those guys have good techniques, but none as fast as him, if you watch him doing the 200 to 280 bpm, you'll be surprised on how fast he is. One of the best death metal drummers out if Inferno.

Best metal drummer of all time! Out of this world techique, skill and speed. Very unique style and sound. Rated #73 is a complete joke, like this list anyway...

V 1 Comment
72 Steve Smith Steve Smith Steve Elliott Smith is an American drummer known for being the drummer of the rock band Journey rejoining the band for the third time in 2015. Modern Drummer magazine readers voted him the #1 All-Around Drummer five years in a row.

I'm happy I even found this man in the list. Most people probably don't know, but this is the drummer for Journey during their greatest years of success. He is flawless and sharp in his style, and if anyone out there loves Steve Perry and/or Journey, don't forget about the drummer!

I'm slightly incredulous that Steve Smith is showing at 72nd!
Along with Buddy Rich, he is generally regarded by the majority of drummers worth their salt as being the ultimate talent. Neil Peart, no less, cites him as such.
Speaking as a drummer myself, so many of the names on here seem to be based on popularity and their band's success as opposed to their actual capability on the drum kit.
To be at the very top of this list for the simplistic title of 'Best' Drummer, the required qualities are more than just speed, power and flashy / impressive chops. Sure, good technique and employment of the rudiments is pretty vital (Steve Smith was taught by the legendary late drumming guru Freddie Gruber who also coached Peart and Dave Weckl amongst many other drummer's drummers)
Not that there is anything wrong with speed, power and outright flashy virtuosity - I grew up idolising Neil Peart for these qualities who is top of the tree in the rock field, in my opinion.
However, ...more

If we're being objective here and truly comparing ALL rock drummers based on ability and style, not on fan awareness or a band's popularity, it's pretty obvious Smith is #1. Just a quick YouTube search of some of his clips show his insane technique, control, taste and groove. Ask any actual drummer. This guy is probably the best overall drummer on the planet right now. Watch this drum battle between him and Marvin Smitty Smith (who I used to put as #1 but he kind of slipped in the past decade). v=uzY_ofk--50

73 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. Best. Maybe he's not #1 because perhaps the others are better in some way(I don't listen to Japanese music... ) But Mr. Wright deserves a position above #5, unanimously, hands down, and THAT GOES WITHOUT SAYING!

I am a big Green Day fan but Green Day would be nothing without Tre Cool. All those great songs would not be so great. American Idiot would be really bad. But The how crew is amazing and they are going in the hall fame in the next few years maybe this year. Love yah Green Day. Best of the best. They are the punk rock kings.

Come on, people! Tre Cool is the greatest drummer alive! His abundantly eccentric energy, his hilarious antics, his madcap demeanor, and his undying passion for what he does-- Tre is the physical embodiment of drumming!

Listen to bang bang and burnout solos

V 36 Comments
74 Paul Bostaph
75 Charlie Benante

His drumming is fast and goes so well with the songs. He doesn't just try to play 1000 miles an hour but really shows his creativity and musicianship in songs like I Am the Law with the military styled intro beat and changes the whole pace and intensity of the songs without any other musicians having to change a thing of what they're playing.

One of the most underrated drummers. His work spans almost 30 years and pushes himself further with every new release.

Amazing drummer! Crazy double bass and hand speed. Listen to caught In a mosh!

76 George "Spanky" McCurdy
77 Steve Asheim
78 Taylor Hawkins Taylor Hawkins Oliver Taylor Hawkins is an American musician, best known as the drummer of the rock band Foo Fighters.

Should be much higher than travis barker!

Should be much higher in my opinion.

True creativity and style with power and finesse. There is feeling in his drumming. He plays with the the music and compliments it and just doesn't keep a beat. The fills and power he uses as it's needed and then the mild presence of his work when it's needed.
Truly an artist.

V 3 Comments
79 Phil Rudd Phil Rudd Phillip Hugh Norman Rudd is a New Zealand-based Australian drummer, best known for his membership in Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1975 through 1983, and again from 1994 to 2015. Upon the 1977 departure of bass guitarist Mark Evans from AC/DC, Rudd became the only Australian-born member of the more.

This dude is a machine! AC/DC tried others (Simon Wright, Chris Slade) but none had the feel of Phil. As integral to AC/DC's sound as Angus...

Great timing. No one gets near that.

What the hell is this!
As if "Left Hook Rudd" is 163rd not even 100 when he should clearly be top 20
PHIL was an amazing drummer with perfect timing
What even is this

V 3 Comments
80 Mick Fleetwood

You only have to listen to 'Go Your Own Way' from Rumours to know why he's the best drummer!

This guy loves partying behind his drums! You can see he's having a good time. Gotta love this guy!

Mick is more than just a drummer. He is an entertainer who obviously loves his work and his band.

PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Top Ten Best Female Drummers of All Time Most Technical Drummers of All Time Top Ten Greatest Rock and Jazz Drummers of All Time Greatest Christian Drummers of All Time Greatest Guitarists & Drummers of All Time

List StatsUpdated 21 Sep 2017

32,000 votes
375 listings
9 years, 308 days old

Top Remixes (71)

1. Neil Peart
2. Buddy Rich
3. Vinnie Colaiuta
1. John Bonham
2. Keith Moon
3. Dave Grohl
1. Billy Cobham
2. Keith Moon
3. Matt Cameron

View All 71


Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.