Top 10 Best Rock Drummers of All Time

Rock and roll music has been shaped and defined by some of the most iconic musicians in history, and among them are the drummers. The driving force behind some of the biggest hits and live performances in rock history, these percussionists have brought energy, power, and creativity to the stage, making them an essential part of the rock music scene. In this top ten list, we will be exploring the best rock drummers of all time, highlighting their incredible skills, unique styles, and the impact they've had on the genre.

From the hard-hitting rhythms of John Bonham to the technical finesse of Neil Peart, these drummers have influenced generations of musicians and fans alike. They have not only elevated the role of the drummer in rock music but also demonstrated the limitless possibilities of what can be achieved with a pair of drumsticks and a drum kit. So, sit back, turn up the volume, and get ready to witness some of the greatest drumming performances in rock history.
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 him the youngest person ever so honoured. His drumming was renowned for its technical proficiency, and his live performances for their exacting nature and stamina.

Neil Peart is a unique Drummer in many ways. Something I notice about him that few other drummers do, is put his actual talent, his creativity, into his bands music. To most people, it would be the end of the world if you asked them to listen Rush ( Peart's band). However, each song Peart does, it's like they are all drum solos. They are always changing. There are no end to the riffs. And Oh, He is fond of using odd time signatures. Since when does Travis Barker do 7/8 time, and then suddenly change it to 3/4. I could go on, but I won't.
Neil Peart will always be on the top of my list no matter what. And I hope that someday everyone else will see it from my point of view too.

No questions asked, Neil Peart's drumming capabilities far surpass those of any of his counterparts in the music scene. The complexity and insanity of the time signatures and constantly changing styles of La Villa Strangiato stand as a testament to his skill. Most other drummers would be satisfied to get bored with what they do later in life because "hey, it works", but, Peart decided to entirely reinvent his even then remarkably outstanding drumming style just to keep it from getting stale. The mark of skill is being good. The mark of excellence is being good, but seeking to be even better.

Long live The Professor!

There are many art students who can paint just like Rembrandt... There is only one Rembrandt. Sure you hear people of different styles and do some amazing things. Watch the video of drummer tryouts for Dream Theater sometime. Neil Peart has gone far beyond his rock style, traveling the world to learn styles most of the others listed don't even know exist. He has more knowledge and ability on drums than the rest will ever accumulate if they live 5 lifetimes.F.Y.I. being in love with the band they play in, doesn't make them the greatest drummer of all time. Bottom line... Nobody even realized the true potential of the drums until Peart, and everyone since that plays the drums, not just keeps the beat, and treats each part of a kit like an instrument unto itself, even the high hat, has been influenced by this man.

Ask any drummer that has been around a few years and isn't just banging skins or posing... take the time to listen to a few Rush songs and focus on Neil's drumming. Never have you ever heard such a complete and tasteful composer. He covers all the bases more than just well - consummately I believe. His command of rhythm is undeniable... he masters tempo, has immaculate meter and is a professor of syncopation, ritardando, accelerando and polyrhythms. He understands the nuances of dynamics and could consider melody and harmony his best friends.

The texture of his sound seems to come from his very being. It is profound and quite something to discover...

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 tracks "Moby Dick" and "When the Levee Breaks". more.

John Bonham has accomplished more in 12 years than any other rock drummer in history, period. I like Neil, but it's a travesty that he is ranked above Bonzo. He is the inspiration, basis, influence, and blueprint for every hard rock drummer in existence. No one else even comes close.

Kept scrolling thinking "Well surely Bonham's next... " Sixth? Really? I'm about to give up on humanity. It should be Bonham and Neil Peart battling for first and Keith Moon being satisfied with third and by "satisfied" I mean smashing his drums in disappointment.

I've got bad news for everyone who thinks the top 4 are even the best drummers today. They aren't. Mastodon's drummer makes them all look retarded. 32nd notes on one hand? Yeah, he's that good. He was trained as a jazz drummer too, so his technical precision is rediculous. His hands are as fast as Bonham's right foot.

No one can touch Bonzo though.

The title refers to the greatest drummers of all time, but this list is in the Rolling Stone, therefore obviously leaning to "Rock" not the Big Band Era. That being said, we all have an opinion on who the best is. Buddy Guy ridiculously gifted, Peart Technically perfect, Moon-thrilling, others, etc. Whether #1 or not, to make a statement that Bonham is over-rated is simply lacking good judgement. You don't have to look long to find the admiration for Bonham from other respected percussionist... Many are on this list. Including Copeland, Grohl, Ulrich, not to mention that Moon, Starr, and Appice all considered him a friend.

Oh my god, John Bonham is in a completely different class than Neil Peart. All Neil did was making himself look better at the expense of the rest of his band. Whenever I listen to Rush, I am not blown away by Neil but Alex Lifeson. I think the only rock drummer that is remotely close to John is Keith Moon. FOr those of you that think that John is the best just because of Moby Dick think again. The way he kept the band together with his drums is amazing. Listen to the drums in Achilles last stand, it always blows me away. The fact that he was in easily the best band ever also ups his reputation.

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.

Keith Moon as #16, now come on this is a joke! Keith Moon, John Bonham, Gene Krupa, in no particular order, that's the given top 3. Keith Moon being my favorite though as he was an amazing personality, a true madman. Pete invented smashing the guitar on stage. Keith though followed swift and regularly blew (literally! ) up his drum set on stage. Now that's mad if anything. Not to mention his habit of blowing up hotel toilets. The Who, they were pretty much first with everything, there's not a trick any band can do that The Who did not already do. Young voters of this list, do some research. Go look up Keith Moon on Youtube, see and feel the magic. The Who, out-punking punk before punk was invented.

The Who... Roger's tonsils bled, Townsend's fingers bled, John played lead guitar on the bass, Moon thought he was playing all the instruments. Bonham was great, but Moon amazingly went beyond drumming. Moon was an orchestra unto himself with all the woven effects and making the drums a primary instrument. His drumming was equally in the forefront of the Who's performances. All Moon on the Who is outstanding. Quadrophenia is a good example of Moon's fully integrated performance. Moony was the best, even without taking himself seriously at all.

Keith Moon had more raw energy and talent than others. Seems like he's not "#1" because he was around the shortest amount of time. Maybe Neil Pert got better with experience, but I heard them all in the 1970's, and I honestly can't recall ANYONE who would argue that Keith Moon was the best. At the time, Rush was a great live band... but Pert was basically an unknown (except perhaps to drum enthusiasts? ) I only knew a very few decent, serious drummers then, and Keith Moon was always their "hero"...the challenge being to get through songs like "Won't get Fooled Again" without a break (or having the sticks fly out of your hands from too much sweat! Tennis wrist sweatbands were very popular.) Whatever. Kids today. Huh.

Yeah kieth may not be the most complex drummer ever but what he lacks in complexity more than makes up for in power and endurance. Kieths drums
Needed to be buffered so not to diminish his bandmates. He played a drumstick so thick they called them trees when playing in concert cannot be controlled I was just kind a drummer he was his riffs ran together so much on recordings it would seem like one long drum solo. Unless I'm mistaken animal from the Muppets I think was portrayed to be Keith Moon. Do I need to mention I'll powerful and long his drum solo was the song my generation. You must remember rock represents power and emotion first and foremostnot over rehearsed songs like the band from Canada. Rock shouldn't have poise. it's raw that's the way it was and that's the way should always be. If you want complicated call on buddy rich he would put Neil Peart to Shame. Keith Moon first followed by Ian pace and John Bonham and Mitch Mitchell

4 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 drums for many bands and artists, most notably: Queens of the Stone Age, Tenacious D, Ghost B.C, Them Crooked Vultures, Tom Petty, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, David Bowie, Scream, Probot and many, many more.

Dave Grohl isn't only one of nicest guys in the industry, he's also one of rocks greatest when it comes to drumming. His power and presence are huge on almost every song he plays in but he never tries to upstage his bandmates. He can play extremely complicated fills with ease and he never misses a beat. He's the best drummer after Bonzo in my opinion and should be higher than guys like Ulrich. For the Ulrich fans who disagree, check out Grohl's work on Probot and Nirvana songs like Scentless Apprentice. Otherwise, listening to Them Crooked Vultures (best live) is the perfect way to see Grohl's greatness.

Next to Neil Peart, Dave Grohl is the best drummer alive today. Of course, nobody hears him much anymore because he is the lead guitarist for the FF's. But we did get a good opportunity to see him on drums during his stint with Queens of the Stone Age. He was of course awesome! Certainly a lot of these other guys deserve to be on this list. But in my opinion, Dave Grohl falls just under the best rock drummer of all time, Neil Peart as the best living today.

How can this absolute legend not be in the top ten? He was 1/3 of the band that popularised grunge let alone alternative rock, he played every instrument on the Foo Fighters debit album, he was in the epic punk band Scream, played for Queens of the Stone Age, played drums for Tenacious D's albums, started Them Crooked Vultures AND has a kick-ass beard.

Dave is a true master at what he does. If you listen to songs he played with Them Crooked Vultures, you'd be blown away by his sheer versatility and skill. Dave's drumming is a perfect mixture of punk rock angst, heavy metal weight and rock n' roll speed, accuracy, complexity and groove. He's definitely amongst the most influential drummers for me.

5 Ginger Baker Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (19 August 1939 – 6 October 2019) was 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.

I can hardly believe the position of these two in this list (Bonham 8, Baker 52? ) Drumming is very peculiar to say the least... Some sound very rehearsed and predictable, some sound very much on target timing wise as we think they "should sound" well timed, pronounced and profound exactly the moment that is anticipated with creative impulse conspicuous and impressive - all which deserve credit for the hard work and effort expended to get on this list... But nil are they to the unreasonable creativity of these two Rock Drummers. Always a millisecond off expected tempo, they paint beat the way Van Gough painted "Starry Night" - they decide the next moment and we arrive... These guys determine things the other guys realize but only worship in their quiet moments... These two are truly the the different drummers that most of will never march to... Because our ears are closed... These two never do what is expected... They create the great that "is" the sound of Led Zeppelin and Cream and ...more

It's silly to talk about techniques and style. Let's talk SOUND.
Ginger gives real spine to a band that bends, stretches, pulls tight or walks under heavy load. He paints you a MURAL, not a picture. And with every other performance ads a detail that he forgot to put there before. He doesn't play a song or a number if you will. His musical life is His piece. Most of drummers above are just studio drummers, repeating themselves all the time, a door to door salesmen, pushing their lame ass product. While Ginger CREATED, they were "producing".

Just look at Eric Clapton's reaction in the fantastic Ginger Baker documentary when the journalist says that people compare John Bonham or Keith Moon to Ginger Baker...

Ginger has "battled" the best jazz drummers in the world. What he did none of the people above him in this list could ever dream of doing.

Flat out drum machine. Many people think he was the best, especially Ginger himself. He would have had a much better life if he was a little more like Neil Peart! If you haven't seen the documentary "Fear Mr. Baker" you should, he was absolutely maniacal!

6 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.

15? Considering he made progressive drummer of the year 13 consecutive years straight he should at least be in the top ten. There have been drummers such as Mike Mangini, also known as the fastest drummer in the world, tell the media that there is no way he could compare to Portnoy. Portnoy elevated the level of difficulty for progressive metal consistently. But as the poster before me mentioned, it's obvious that there are some that comment only on the drummer in their favorite band. There are so many genres out that it would only be safe to do a "progressive" top ten or "metal" top ten or "thrash" top ten, since portnoy would be classified as the obvious, Lars Ulrich would be classified under thrash, (his words) etc... I mean, come on. What about Chris from Lamb of God... at this point in time he's listed as 43... that's shameful... He's much better than that. I am quite fond of the voting system you've got going on here.

Nobody integrates cymbals into the story like Mike does. Those are the details that set him apart from all other drummers over time and genres. I am also a big Neil Peart fan. I almost put Neil no 1 because of his talent but his humility is unequaled in his trade. I believe Mike also edited the Dream Theater "Live at Budokan" which is the best edit and sound (not even close) of any concert dvd I have ever seen. I have given away countless copies just so people can see a true masterpiece. I could only notice ONE edit, just for a moment, that didn't match the sound track. Any other concert dvd I will stop counting after 20.

MP is like a near perfect blend of Neil Peart and Terry Bozzio. He has the powerful attack and ingenious musical intuition of Neil and the polydexterous mesh of hands and feet and bombastic performance style of Terry. Similar to both in his complete mastery of odd time signatures, Only "shortcoming" (which may be more of a matter of his personal preferences) is his lack of standout soloing. Which judging by a lot of solos I here is not necessarily a bad thing. His playing in Dream Theater made everyone around him the ability to be at their best, which to me is what a drummer should be first and foremost.

People who rate this list are not drummers, travis barker is and always will be nothing compared to MP, ya Danny bonham and neil are the only ones in the top 10 that deserve to be there (personally they should be higher up, but what are you gonna do? )Buddy is 22! 22! Mp is 12! Keith moon could own 75% of the top 10. Lars is good, Metallica has been holding back a bit but not top ten more like 15. Shannon can't do crap, and I've never even heard of the Japanese guy so ya...

7 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 is by far better than any of these drummers. Travis Barker 5? Really? Just because he can play an average snare solo doesn't mean he can sum up to the career of a man who has been playing the drums his whole life without lessons. Let's start off by saying he has more technique, style, and flair than any of these drummers. Sure he didn't have an enormous drum kit like Neil Peart, but Buddy could make it sound like a whole coliseum of drum kits. Buddy not only played with technique but he also play with speed, which almost all the drummers above him on this list couldn't do. Buddy was also a genius, being able to invent technical beats on the fly. I mean come on, even Neil Peart said it himself that Buddy is the best. I think that's enough' said.

Let us face reality. No drummer will ever play drums like Mr. Buddy Rich. I had the privilege of seeing this phenomenon play live on over thirty separate occasions and no drummer on this planet will ever match the raw power and delicate finesse let alone speed, control and leadership as well as adapting to the changing styles of the music world that this one individual was able to execute as if it were child's play.

Who the hell else commanded respect and admiration like Buddy did. Anyone that doubts this let's see you try and imitate what he could do. Thirty two years after his passing and no challenge exists. Throughout all the adverse health conditions that Buddy endured from back surgeries to quadruple by pass on his heart then five weeks later on the road again...kicking ass!

Research Buddy and believe me you will be most humbled and inspired!

First of all, how is Lars even on this list. Second of all why is he ahead of one of the greatest drummers of all time? People just assume a drummer is good because of how fast or intricate they can play. But that is not what makes a drummer good. Buddy, not only led his band but he played with confidence and style. Not just being the backbeat but being a rhythmic and harmonic instrument along with his band. He was always tempo perfect even live (and I see Lars struggle to play live period). So that's my two cents not as a fan but as a fellow jazz and metal drummer.

Buddy Rich #1 and my favorite drummer today is Jeff Beck and sometimes Luke's drummer Vinnie Coliuta! S/c on his last name! Listen to him on YouTube at the Buddy Rich drum-off vs Dave Weckl and Steve Gadd (Clapton last 10 yrs, Steely Dan and 1,000 other bands! And you'll be blown away actually by all 3, or Jeff Beck Group Live 2007 @ "Ronnie Scotts in London (On YouTube, whole show w/ Vinnie on drums, Clapton and others as guests! Amazing show! Every drummer I've mentioned here smoke your Top 10! If your gonna say "Bonzo" then why not Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith) or Michael Schrieve (s/c) (Santana! )I think all the greatest drummers are the schooled jazz/jazz-fusion players! Hands down! Right all you Pro drummers?

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

Well, in my opinion, Lars Ulrich is by far the best. He may not be the fastest drummer, but he can play amazing drum beats without even trying, and, he is pretty fast. Being fast isn't what it takes to be a good drummer, it takes being able to play complicated beats, staying on tempo throughout the entire song, and being able to smoothly change beats. Lars Ulrich does all of these in all of Metallica's songs. He is actually one of the biggest inspirations in the world. He inspired Joey Jordison, John Dolmayan, Jimmy The Rev Sullivan, Tre Cool, Alex Lopez, myself, and many others, if it wasn't for him, this list would be missing half the people on it. By the way, Tre Cool seriously sucks, he can't go above 16th notes, he has terrible beats, and has absolutely no right to be in the same list as Lars Ulrich, Joey Jordison, The Rev, Yoshiki Hayashi, or Neil Peart. P.S. who the heck are Gustav Schafer and Shannon Leto?

I mean...he's good at simple beats that don't get in the way of the guitars and bass. He's a great live drummer as well, certainly one of the best. He's just good at the simple things. But he's not like Phil Rudd where he's extremely good at the simple. Lars has make constant errors on stage playing simple songs. About that, everything is simple from Lars. The most difficult song in his catalog is probably One because of that double bass breakdown. Aside from that, nothing special. Compared to a John Bonham who does more complex stuff consistently, he's blown away. Compared to a Neil Peart who writes rock's most complex drum that is just a crime to compare Ulrich to Peart. Lets just say, he's not a top-10 drummer. He's not even a top-20 drummer in metal in my opinion.

Some might not approve of his manic style (just see this profile picture of him), but it suits me (and every Metallica fan ever). It might not look it but his drumming, though as fast as heck, is highly technical, but still retains a musical quality that puts Metallica as one of the best metal bands of all time. I am astounded that Urich is not higher on this list. Few drummers can cope with 200bpm. I know I can't (yet). For a masterclass in concert drumming from Ulrich, check out the film 'Metallica: Through The Never,' which will not disappoint. If you just want a taster, Ulrich's drumming is fully displayed in all its glory in the song,'Welcome Home (Sanitarium),' with a gentle, clean guitar groove and drum backbeat that builds up to a fast, yet melodic section filled with riffs, fast fills and half time changes to boot. Lars Ulrich is the best., and everyone should at least respect him as an outstanding, almost unparalleled drummer.

Last time I checked, Lars was in the top ten. It is my opinion quality drumming as just blasting away at all the drum equipments laying in front of you at high speed, but it is about staying in sync with the other band members and producing the most melodious of patterns, which is what Lars has been doing for years. I like the way he mixes up the bass, the double bass, the cymbals and the snare. His play in St. Anger isn't bad, it's just different. Respect for that. Lars, as for my opinion deserves to be in the top ten.

9 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.

I saw Alex in concert in 1980. He speed was incredible. He keeps a cup of drum sticks in the center of his set in case he loses one. He did lose one or tossed it to a fan and quickly grabbed another one and did not lose a beat. That was at the Cape Call of Duty Coliseum in 1980

There's no other way to describe Alex Van Halen other than a technical, phenomenal, legendary beast of the drums. Check his solo on Live Without A Net. It is absolutely insane, showcasing his crazy abilities and technicality.

A monster can play slow, fast, heavy or with jazz improvisation, and does it all with feel. Always overshadowed by playing in a band with the greatest guitarist also his brother. Check out his work on a great track called Out of Love. Perfect

Oh my god why isn't Al higher. Listen to Pleasure Dome, As Is, even Everybody wants some, or a live version of Panama. His playing is unmatchable. Al + Ed + Mike + Dave/Sam=Best Band in the world.

10 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 Puppy, Adrian Belew of King Crimson, Carole King, Collide, The Wild Blue Yonder, Lusk, and the Melvins. more.

This guy deserves the name of possibly the best drummer in history, maybe even ahead of Neil Peart, who's incredibly overrated. And Travis Barker?!? No competition there. Danny has incredible speed and creativity, especially in The Pot, Sober, Schism and Lateralus, but also the craziest time sigs, far better than Mike Portnoy. It's difficult to compare all these drummers because their genres differ from alt. metal to deathcore to progressive rock. But there's no question that Danny's playing is incredibly more versatile than several of today's metal drummers. Obviously better than Joey Jordison and whoever those Japanese guys are. Best drummer hands down. None of you guys know drums at all!

ANYONE who thinks that Travis Barker and Danny Carey should be not only compared to each other, but Travis Barker should not even be on the list at all. Danny Carey is one of the greatest drummers of all time. His drumming is so technical that most drummers won't even think to touch his music. I'm disgusted that Travis Barker could be higher ranked, but at least we know who put Travis Barker in the rank that he is, are those people who watched him on MTV (guaranteed most would not even know who he is if he wasn't on that show), yet have no real knowledge of music.

This list gave me a lot of new perspective into what some people think about drummers, their ability, and their overall skill compared to others. Personally, having been a drummer for 10 years, I can easily say that Danny Carrey is one of the greatest drummers of our generation. His technicality is unbelievable, though never intruding on the spirituality of Tool's music which you can tell is the band's, and Danny's, main focus. If you think there is a drummer in our day and age that can surpass Mr. Carrey, I suggest you listen to one of Tool's albums. Retards.

This list is disappointing. It looks like of all the voters, that only a few know what good drumming really is. I was late to the Danny Carey bandwagon. I heard "Sober" and "46 & 2, " but the first full album I heard of Tool was Lateralus. And it blew me away. Literally every track off that album took hours upon hours to break down and even attempt to play it myself. Polyrhythms... Yeah. All other drummers pale in comparison to Mr. Carey. Should be #1. The only others that even belong in the conversation of top 5 are Peart, Bonham, Moon, and Portnoy.

The Newcomers

? Matt Brann
The Contenders
11 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.

Blues, jazz and rock infused into one great sound. Always one of my favorites. I could not believe spiteful little Ozzy squeezed him out of their "reunion " tour. What a joke and travesty, but Ozzy has always been below board, I believe due to his wife.

Amazing-he cuts loose, gets aggressive and hits hard but with a positive, jazzy motion and feel to it and the interaction and chemistry he has with the whole band just makes the Sabbath sound-dark, dirty and ass kicking-I have his drumstick and I will never let it go!

Bill Ward was recognized with black sabbath, you people who believe some unknown japanese loser is better than neil peart, john bonham, and keith moon, etc. but you should listen to rat salad on the album paranoid and you'll comprehend that bill ward is one of the best drummers ever

Bill Ward should be easily be #1. He set the standard of percussion with so much energy and versatility while playing with Black Sabbath. His sound is what others try and copy but never will.

12 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.

It's notable that Copeland has a very tasteful, yet masterful approach to the drums, much in the way that jazz drummers play. His technique is grounded in jazz and as such he drums in a way that is technically very difficult to play, but is not flashy, adding to the music in which he's playing instead of mugging for attention. He worked tremendously well as a counterpoint to Sting's bass playing, as well as actually contributing to the reggae stunning style as opposed to just conforming to it. One of Copeland's greatest strengths though was knowing when to take a backseat and let the other musicians do their thing

Name me one other drummer that sounds like Stewart Copeland. that's all that is needed to say to prove that he is the best drummer. He created his own unique style of drumming based on beats he had picked up in his childhood listening to Arabic music while he was growing up in Lebanon. The talent it takes to take Arabic music and Jazz music from his dad and take what he liked out of all music and put them together for his drumming is just incredible. His use of missed/added beats (Spirits in a Material World) are what propelled him to be one of the best drummers ever. He is not know for being a soloist but he is an amazing drummer that no one has been able to emulate and his contribution with songwriting in the band was also a major point in his legacy that he left with The Police.

The truth is that the best drummers are from jazz (Rich, Roach, Blakley etc... ). So, the best rock drummers are probably those who are influenced by jazz drummers. Copeland is a great example of this. He is skilled at syncopated beats and his cymbal work is stellar and interesting. He also can keep a great straitfoward rock beat.

Who cares what one thinks is the best... this is one of the best. If your a drummer, you know that many of these dudes are amazing and deserve to be on here but there are some that are in another league altogether, Copeland is in that league and near the top!

13 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.

Ringo is the best drummer ever period. People say he isn't technically proficient, which isn't true. He isn't the most, he's more unorthodox than untechinical, being a lefty using a righty kit. But what really shines is his creativity. He's probably the most creative drummer ever with his fills. His versatility is unmatchable as he drums every beagles song perfectly. He serves the song good instead of himself. Even when he does a drum solo, it's one of the beat ever like he did in the end. Just because he isn't flashy, doesn't mean he isn't good. Also, the three other Beatles and George Martin all thought he was he best drummer ever. The other Beatles wouldn't complement each other like that, but they knew that ringo was the best.

Ringo is a drummer's drummer, in many ways, but he is also the greatest ensemble drummer. Even his solo in "The end" is more of a duet between himself and the listener. That's a concept many drummers including the great Buddy Rich only begin to comprehend beginning late in their life. may not notice him, constantly, that wasn't his intention. He knew that exactly what to do for every song, impressive considering The Beatles' range, and did it without wasting a single stroke. People harp on his speed, but you only need a few strokes, if you know how to use them. The rest is noise.

I am happy to see that, over the past several years, Ringo is finally getting the credit he is due. I always hugely respected the fact that he hated drum solos and saw them for what they were, a display of ego, and what they not: a substantive display of any kind of musicianship. A drummer, especially a rock and roll drummer, should be judged on two things: how well he keeps time and his fills. There may be some who equal Ringo in these categories. You will have to do some serious talking if you want to convince me that there is one who was or is better.

People often mock Ringo's simple drum beats, but the fact is they are perfect for Lennon and McCartney's songs. He could play obscure timings and was able to compromise John's psychedelic material, Paul's pop stuff and George's Indian inspired music. He is humble and the best darn drummer of them all. He was the first real drummer who didn't play in the style of jazz or RnB to appear on television and inspire the British invasion drummers to play. No Ringo. No rock music. Besides, the Beatles wouldn't have been the Beatles if one member was missing and, love them or hate them, none of the bands we know and love would've existed without the Beatles, making Ringo the most important drummer of all time. :) x

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

Only 38th? What?

Dave Lombardo is the undisputed king of double bass, he should be higher than most of the drummers on this list! In fact he should have been top of the leaderboard. Shannon Leto is simply the wrong genre, Tre Cool doesn't have flashy fill-ins, and Lars Ulrich, while good with composing music, is not what you'd say was the best drummer.

Only The Rev and Dave Mackintosh might come close, but Rev is dead and gets a lot of sympathy votes here, while Mackintosh's fill-ins get a bit repetitive after a while.

Seriously... Just because you like Metallica and Green Day doesn't mean their drummers are the best drummers. I love Metallica but Ulrich isn't that good. I like Green Day too but Tré isn't the best drummer in the world either. Tré is very good at what he's doing. He's tight and and does not do more than he need to do. Dave Lombardo on the other hand is extremely fast and he's kicking the crap out of the bassdrums. He's very tight too and that's not very easy when you're playing that fast.

I like Metallica and Green Day more than Slayer but we're voting for who is playing the best drums right?

Lombardo isn't the best because you have Neil peart. This is being from a man who doesn't like rush. But second place definitely needs to be Dave Lombardo. I mean seriously, Shannon leto!? That guy is decent at best. and I've heard high school marching band drummers that were better than tre cool. The list should read 1. Neil peart, 2. Dave Lombardo, 3. John Bonham, 4. Alex van halen, 5. Brann dailor. The rev was an awesome drummer, but not top 5.

Dave Lombardo, the drummer of Slayer, one of the fastest bands out there, is number 38? That's ridiculous! Dave Lombardo double base is one the fastest in the industry, and he has one of the largest drum kits too. His drumming is pure talent and if not number 1 he should at least be in the top 10. If you don't believe me just watch Dave Lombardo drum videos on YouTube.

15 Joey Jordison Joey Jordison, was 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 and a Heavy Metal side project VIMIC.

Can't believe that only 4% of people have voted for Joey. He is an amazing drummer with unbelievable speed and power. Without Joey, Slipknot wouldn't be half the band they are and nowhere near as successful. Just a combination of everything makes Joey the best drummer to ever live. Although, he is closely followed by Bullet For My Valentine's Michael "Moose" Thomas.

This list is a joke. Neil Peart, John Bonham, and Keith Moon. They are all great players, some of the best of all time. But Jordison stands atop the foundations they built, and adds his own great style. It's sad that he's so underrated, because he definitely is the best drummer of all time. And he gets no. 9 spot? No, Jordison is no. 1, the best of them all.

Without question the most amazing drummer on the planet today. You know it from the first moment you watch him. There are so many other great drummers on this list, but it isn't even a contest anymore when Joey Jordison walks in.

There's no discussion, he IS the best drummer in the world. That's not just my opinion, it's a fact. He plays both super technical and fast as hell, and without mistakes even upside down! Shannon Leto is a good drummer but compared to gods like The Rev, Joey Jordison and Lars Ulrich he kind of sucks, he's just number one because a lot of 30STM fans voted for him.

16 Jimmy The Rev Sullivan James Owen Sullivan, professionally known by his stage name The Rev, was an American musician, composer and songwriter, best known as the drummer, composer, songwriter, co-lead vocalist and founding member for the American alternative metal/ metalcore band Avenged Sevenfold.

I have been looking at a number of "Best Drummer" lists and sadly, the Rev isn't listed on any of them. This is a tragedy! His drumming, in my humble opinion is pure genius, easily as good as Neil Peart (who is usually listed as the number one best drummer) and I feel that is only because of the Rev's untimely death that his talent and genius will never be fully appreciated, particularly by those who have no taste for A7X's music. The Rev is, indeed one of the best, if not THE best drummer I have ever heard and listening to his rhythms, solos and the complexity of his playing is music in itself even without the rest of the band's accompaniment.


An all-around talented musician. Backed-up M. Shadows on vocals in Avenged, and also was the lead singer in Pinkly Smooth. He played piano in a number of songs as well. And I'm not even to his main instrument yet! One of the most skilled drummers I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. He knew what he was doing, and loved doing it, and he only did it because he loved it. That's pure talent right there. Stacked up against some of the greats of all-time, I'm not sure he deserves the number 1 spot (he idolized Mike Portnoy for a reason, guys) but he has definitely earned a right to be in the discussion.

The Rev and Mike Portnoy are two of my favorite drummers. 1 thing I don't like about this site is how many people are just picking favorite bands and not knowing anything about the actual drummer. If Shannon Leto was so good why didn't he get A SINGLE award for any of their albums? No cymbals named after him? No signature snares? Really? That must mean that he hasn't done anything ground breaking or really amazing. Mike Portnoy has won DOZENS of awards, and Jimmy has won several awards himself. I have seen Shannon Leto and his drum style is so boring and exactly the same every concert. He's a decent drummer but no where near the best. His stage presence is pitiful and people above are giving some ridiculously easy songs I used to cover right when I started drumming a while back. Its been several years and I still can't touch half of Mike Portnoys drumming or 50% of Jimmy's. People need to stop picking favorites, its really starting to piss me off

Honestly no one can play like The Rev. And to tell you the truth I can't listen to any other music besides A7x 's first albums, and that's just to listen to the Rev because his style amazes me and one day HOPEFULLY (along with long hours/years of practice) some of that amazingness will rub off on me. Jimmy is my inspiration to always keep practicing the drums. I listen to him play everyday on my way to work, lunch, and way back home blasting some Sounding the seventh trumpet songs or anything with the Rev, Just to hear how awesome he makes the band sound. I don't know I know everyone has their personal opinion but you don't need to be a A7x fan to say the rev is a great drummer/singer (his voice is flippin amazing! )/pianist, that just shines out naturally from him when he performs. All in all I do believe James Sullivan is number 1 on this list and I will always regret not ever getting to meet the one drummer I fell in love with.

17 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.

Ian can do more with his small kit than most drummers with their outrageous kits. Ian Paice should definitely be in the top ten. Lars shouldn't even be near the top ten. Most people that vote just like certain bands and have no idea about playing drums. These list are always ridiculous!

Ian is extremely talented as a drummer. He is able to perform a single handed drum roll which he in fact made famous/invented. Able to make brilliant drum solos even back in the day it surprises me on how talented he is. He is a major part to the success of Deep Purple.

I saw Deep Purple in the 2016 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony. They got inducted by Lars Ulrich, a huge fan of the band. When I heard Ian, I was amazed and I never really heard how good he was until that moment. He is very underrated and should be near Top 10.

He can be top ten drummer. One of my favourite one. Watch his drum solo "Live in California". He ever played drum solo with London Philharmonic Ochestra in early 80s. But one think funny is that when look at "animal"who play drum in the "muppet show" has the same syle as Ian Paice.

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

Mitch Mitchell is very underrated. That probably has to do with the fact that he played with Jimi Hendrix, which is understandable, but still. His drumming was very good on songs like Fire, Little Wing, and many more. One of the most iconic and influential drummers that ever lived.

Mitch is my number 4 pick. He had a great style. I loved the experience one of the most creative bands ever and so was his drumming. As my choice he falls just under John bonham, Keith Moon and ginger baker. All of these guys were great. Saw the experience live first tour Kansas City municipal auditorium sold out to 10000 1970.

As part of the trio he was dynamite with his kit.
Was able to compliment Hendrix and still maintain
His part of the rhythm section. He should be up
Much higher in the polls.

Agreed. He's certainly not the best, but this is the ONE name I kept scrolling to see. Hendrix switched bands, but he didn't switch drummers.

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

Without a doubt one of the most underestimated drummers in the world. Just listen to the early Genesis albums. He is incredible on every single song, always bringing something new to the table. He is not only an amazing drummer technically, being able to play songs in the weirdest time signatures not to mention his incredible speed, but he has so much feeling in his playing that it's almost disgusting. I am confident that this man is able to play just about anything.

I am very disappointed to see him this far down on the list. I recommend everyone that doubts me to check out the early Genesis albums, or just the song "Nuclear burn" with Brand-X, I am 100% confident that no one can disagree with how much of a monster-drummer this man is.

And oh yeah, when he started singing in Genesis instead of drumming he had both Bill Bruford and Chester Thompson playing drums when they toured instead of him, if that doesn't tell people anything... I don't know what will

He's not necessarily underrated as a music performer but he certainly is as a drummer. Most don't know of his early years in Genesis with Peter Gabriel as the frontman, and he's incredibly talented when it comes to the complex and quick rhythms he has to play (just listen to the Colony of Slippermen, Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, The Cinema Show, and tons of other songs and you'll know what I mean). In addition to that, he's done great drum work in Genesis's later years, is responsible for one of the most iconic drum licks from "In the Air Tonight", and is a phenomenal lead singer WHILE playing drums as he sings. I'd say only Bill Bruford and Neil Peart can compare when it comes to skill, but I prefer Phil's work regardless, and I'd be hesitant to say that he's any less proficient than them anyway. Truly one of the greats both technically and iconically.

Phil Collins has always been modest about his drumming skills, and he has never been an elitist musician. And, maybe unluckily, has become a larger-than-life pop star in the 80s, which seems to have eclipsed all the rest. And he's never been "cool". BUT. His style, energy and down-to-earth approach have inspired many. Music is not about how fast you can beat on a drum, how complicate patterns you can execute. It's about the feeling. Phil Collins is the master, up there with the greatest stars.

Only the fact that you can listen to a phil collins song on the radio and instantly figure out that it's him playing the drums only by his unique says a lot about his ability on that instrument. I don't if he's the best drummer regarding the technique since I'm not an expert myself, but he was able to make his playing to stand out, which rarely happens for a drummer, and I think that's worth a lot. and also the fact that besides all the physical issues he had over the years he kept playing and that's really significant

20 Bill Bruford William Scott "Bill" Bruford is an English retired drummer, percussionist, composer, producer, and record label owner.

A shame how such a great drummer can be this far down on this list. I love drummers like Dave Grohl, Danny Carey etc. but they have nothing on this man. He is a genius. Very few drummers have impressed me as much as Bruford. Maybe one of the best drummers in the world technically and he has so much feeling in his playing. Always coming up with new things and sounds. Not to mention, how many drummers can say that they have played on all the good albums with artists such as Yes and King Crimson? Un-believable.

The fact that Bill is now in retirement hurts in gathering votes but there is no more identifiable voice on the drums than Bill. His jazz approach to rock benefited each and every band he played with from Yes -> King Crimson -> Genesis to his own jazz band Earthworks. He is also a brilliant composer as well.

Mr. Bruford is the most creative drummer in rock. Throughout his career, he invented new rhythmic and percussive combinations. All with extreem taste. As proof he ( rightly) got payed for NOT playing on a song! How many of us who call ourselves drummers have that much restraint? Also a shout out to Max Roach (rock drum God before rock existed! )

The most unique, creative and adventurous drummer ever: rock to prog to jazz to world, Bill explored the potential of the electronic/synthesized world like no other. His recorded performances are still jaw-dropping and mind-blowing to this day.

21 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.

Absolutely wrong.

Nicko McBrain is one of the greatest drummers in metal. I'm not sure about other genres taken into account in this list, but Nicko McBrain is easily one of if not the greatest metal drummer. He should be at least in the top 5, McBrain is a god of drums. Listen to the albums Piece of Mind, Brave New World, and A Matter of Life and Death, and if you know much about drumming, you'll realize Nicko is unbelievable.

I'm very disappointed he's below Joey Jordison, and even Lars Ulrich. Nicko blows those two out of the water, no competition for him at all.

One of the best metal drummers in history. Listen to Where Eagles dare and Alexander THe Great. He mixes everything sounding just perfect. Besides the speed of his feet is just astonishing. He plays faster than other metal drummers using one foot, rather than two. People get yourself informated and learn about real music.

I am always thinking about this, why don't mcbrain be the first... Just listen to where eagles dare, deja-vu, the evil that man do or even face in sand. He was playing pedal by just one foot... In the face in sand song, mcbrain playing only one pedal, one foot, but the sound just like two pedal and two foot...

Incredibly underrated just like Iron Maiden itself. Easily a top 10 selection, and far, far above the likes of Lars Ulrich.

As with most things Maiden, we must accept a low ranking while knowing the truth behind his/their greatness. In the end, those truths are all that matter.

22 Tré 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.

Tre is the epitome of a drummer: he's funny, he's energetic, and he sure as hell can crank out some major beats! He's is THE most talented drummer out there, and I believe that he deserves the title of Best Rock Drummer a whole lot more than Shannon Leto does. As for people like Neil Pert and John Bonham, I agree that they are amazing drummers, but lets face it: their place in music history has been established. They were the best of their time, and today is a new day in a new time. So let the drummers of this time establish their place in history and not let the dug-up spirits of the past hinder them from their rightful place. Long live Tre Cool and long live GREEN DAY!

The best drummer ever! I love him and his band - Green Day. BJ, for me, is the best vocalist which can ever been. Ok, I know that there are also great bands, like 30seconds to mars, Red hot chilli peppers, Nirvana, Evanescence and many like that, but Green Day has wonderful songs, about teenagers and our life, maybe in some funny style. But let's back to Tre. Tre has amazing play on drums! I read that he hasn't one of his whorl, because it has been grind up! So that says that he is the best drumer ever!

He is well the best drummer in the world he plays some of the best beats ever and he is so... Lucky to be in a band with 2 of the other best people ever rock on Green Day, hope they start doing so more tours and I hope if they do they come to sunderland to me tre cool is the best drummer in the world. It would be a dream come true to meet him. Never mind a drumming lesson. Wow rock on tre cool and Green Day!

My favorite thing about Tre is that he also plays guitar. He knows the dynamics of just about every instrument in Green Day's songs. That way, he can actually compose drum lines that not only fit the song, but grow, move, and fluctuate with every change in the guitar playing, not just to change with chords or steps, but with elements of pretty complex pieces.

23 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 is my inspiration for my drumming. Ever since I heard the chili peppers songs I instantly loved them. As my taste in music matured and I began to actually listen to the drums I researched the name of the drummer, have done some research, and realized he inspires me and is my favorite drummer of all time so far...

When Chad first auditioned for a spot within the legendary RHCP, his agent promptly noted the likes of Anthony Kiedis and John Frusciante that his client "ate drums for breakfast." After much doubt regarding such a lofty claim, I think its safe to say that Chad has proven to both his band and to millions of fans that he does indeed eat drums for breakfast."

Chad Smith is amazing, versatile and has longevity. RHCP jams to write music and Chad is an intricate part of that. Being able to adapt to any new style of song is not natural for every drummer. I can't believe he is so high on the list. I figured the top 10 at least.

Very underrated drummer, extremely talented. Can keep a great beat and one of the few people would can keep up with Flea and John Frusciante (at least before. ) Also seems like a really nice guy with a great sense of humour

24 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 was a great drummer before he lost his arm and inspirational after the accident! I saw him play live at his first 'one-armed show' at Wembley. It was incredible to see how he used both feet to make up for the lost arm. Anyone who's tried to drum will know how difficult that would be. My number 1!

Are you kidding me? This guy rocked hard, with one arm? Give the guy some props. 41 is a joke.. Show Rick Allen some love, for perserverence, and the love for music he had to continue, at least. Who else would have felt sorry for themselves and quit music? Not this guy. He was a boss. Top 10, if not top 5 material.

Maybe his songs aren't too difficult to play, his beats aren't that complex, but what he did after the accident is amazing. Rather than giving up he created his own drumset to keep playing that is something to consider. He should be in top 20.

How is a one-armed drummer not in the top 10? Especially as seing how he can still play complex beats. Whether it's electronic or acoustic, Rick Allen should be at least in the top 20, let alone the top 10. What is this?

25 Alan White

The best drummer is not Alan White of Yes, it is Alan White of Oasis. Just listen to his amazing drumming in the All Around the World reprise! Truly amazing drumming.

It is Shameful to be adding this Guys Name at the bottom of this list. But he can not go unmentioned. He Most Certainly should be in the top ten.

Check out the drumming to Sound Chaser by Yes, its phenomenal. Then there's the likes of Instant Karma where the drumming makes the song.

Great drummer fabulous rhythm don't know why he's not up there when drummers like ul rich are up there, why?

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