Greatest Drummers of All Time


The Contenders: Page 5

81 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

82 Paul Bostaph
83 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!

84 George "Spanky" McCurdy
85 Steve Asheim
86 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
87 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
88 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.

89 Larry Mullen Jr

Larry is the best drummer in the world! AND he plays in the best band in the world! His best idea when he was a teenager: to look for people to start a band!
YES! He began to write music history! "The Larry Mullen Band, " "Feedback, " "the Hype" - and then finally they found to the name that everyone should know soon - worldwide!

Larry - the best drummer in the world... No doubt!

Larry not only is the BEST drummer EVER, he's also the reason we have the best band EVER. Larry's a street drummer. He simply is unique and MAGNIFICENT! -Mary Brown Holland

If you play live for millions of people, if your band albums have sold millions of copies, that makes you the best drummer.


To me Larry mullen is so underrated.

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90 Dennis Chamber
91 John Mitch Mitchell

Listen to Manic Depression, this man should be easily higher than position 42.


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92 Longineu W. Parsons III

I've been following LP since Yellowcard first came onto the scene. This guy blazes around a drum kit, and his technique appears to be flawless! He's the best multi-genre drummer there is, and could give ANY top drummer a run for their money. Guys like Travis Barker and The Rev should be shining this guy's shoes.

He is a great guy just like everyone says but his drumming matches his personality I can tell you that. He really makes drumming look effortless and honestly is the best drummer of his class, why Travis Barker is above him is beyond me, there is no comparison with the pair

This guy is amazing! He's crazy fast and so creative. He does so many different styles and he's really great at all of them. It doesn't matter who he plays for, he'll make it look like he played with them for years. UNDERRATED!

Watching LP Live is a treat. I agree with others, that his LPMD work is currently an unknown treasure. Do yourself a favor and checkout his group LPMD. Saw them live and it was SICK!

V 24 Comments
93 Tony Williams Tony Williams

Well lets see, The great Tony Williams ranked at 86! I was under the impression this was a list of the greatest drummers. Tony Williams was a better drummer then 95% of this list by the time he was 17, about when he started playing for Miles Davis.

Maybe the greatest drummer of all time, yes better than Buddy Rich, better than even the great Max Roach. A real honest to god jazz icon, who invented blast beats.

If young and or ignorant drummers learn to drop this man's name instead of say Neil Peart or even Buddy Rich, they might actually have some credibility among drummers who know something about great drummers.

Please do yourself a favor and find and listen to some of his work at least on YouTube, you will not be disappointed.

The greatest drummer - without a doubt - and one of the great musicians of the 20th century.

The most innovative drummer of them all - and his technique is unparalleled!

94 Cobus Potgieter

Since I discovered him on YouTube, I thought he was amazing. This dude has my vote.

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95 Ray Fean

Ray is an awesome drummer! He is the most important member of the Celtic Woman band. He is also one of the nicest musicians I have met. After a Celtic Woman concert, he spoke for a while with me and my little sister. He even signed our tour program and drew a drum kit on it for her! Ray is so dedicated to Celtic Woman and he really deserves this!

Ray Fean is one of the most amazing drummers ever. He deserves this more than anything, some people don't consider the drummers. But Ray plays an important part of Celtic Woman and deserves this more than anything

Ray is a great drummer and a very nice person. He has worked at a high level for many years. For the past 10 years he has been an integral part of Celtic Woman.

Love to watch Ray perform!

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96 Danny Seraphine

I bought a Chicago II album when I was 14 and listened to it over and over. I loved two things about it - the drumming and the lead singer. Since then, I have not heard another drummer match the work on this album - it is both technically outstanding and creatively powerful. I know this is a very subjective business, ranking performers, but that's my take.

If you look at th transcribed drum score, you understand why this man deserves so much better than this placement. He has both technical skill and inalienable instinct. He's a great drummer.

A very gifted percussionist. Inventive. Showy. A huge contributor to the Chicago band during his stint with them.

Of course, he should be top 10!

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97 Carter Anthony Beauford

82, really? Easily top 20 of all time. Makes Phil Collin look like a nobody. He plays for Dave Matthews band so maybe people don't know him enough but this ranking is absurd.

Carter's style is versatile and his groove relentless. His presence in the ensemble's sound is both essential and completely natural.

Such an underrated drummer. One of the few drummers I have ever been truly blown away by and can carry on a solo like nobody's business!

The best!

V 13 Comments
98 Jan Axel Hellhammer Blomberg

People that put this legendary drummer on 95th, for sure never heard he playing. And I mean on every bands he is in or played with on some album/songs.

99 Gil Moore

Gil Moore should be 2. None could hold their own against him live besides Pert and I can't stand Canadians.

V 1 Comment
100 Frank Beard
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List StatsUpdated 25 May 2017

31,000 votes
375 listings
9 years, 189 days old

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