15 Best Drummers of All Time

15 Best Drummers of All Time

In spite of all the jokes about drummers being dumb, it's no secret that being a drummer is really hard work. Regardless of the genre of the music, th

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In spite of all the jokes about drummers being dumb, it’s no secret that being a drummer is really hard work. Regardless of the genre of the music, the beat of a song or any other musical piece is the backbone of the song, and that is what drummers provide. However, drummers are rarely given the credit that they deserve. This list is an attempt to shed some light on 15 of the greatest drummers in history.


1.Travis Barker – Blink-182

Blink 182’s well-loved drummer Travis Barker is known for his talent at creating beats and remixes. His heavily tattooed body and the song ‘I Miss You’ are the first things that come to mind about him.

2. Lars Ulrich – Metallica

Also the co-founder of Metallica, Swedish drummer Lars Ulrich had his own distinct style of playing the drums that several artists attempt to imitate and debate about to this day.

3. Matt Helders – Arctic Monkeys

He is a founding member of the band and is popularly known not only for his drumming skills, but for his backing vocals as well. In fact, he provided lead vocals in a few of the songs as well.

4. Neil Peart – Rush

The sixty-six-year-old Canadian-American has a technical proficiency and musical imagination that continue to impress audiences of all ages.

5. John Bonham – Led Zeppelin

John Bonham is a professional hard rock drummer whose steady playing is known worldwide and featured in some of the band’s most popular songs, including Stairway to Heaven, Moby Dick and When the Levee Breaks.

6. Danny Carey – Tool

Carey has been described as a drummer who creates diverse sounds and has a comprehensive knowledge of the technicalities that surround the art of drumming. His jazz influence is said to have shaken him into the artist he is today.

7. Mike Portnoy – Dream Theater

Said to have talent and technical expertise to rival those of Danny Carey and Neil Peart, Portnoy is also co-founder and backing vocalist for his band.

8. Ringo Starr – The Beatles

Now aged seventy eight, this man was once drummer for the iconic four member group that led a musical revolution during their time. Starr was instrumental in creating a new kind of beat that set the stage for newer rhythms to surface.

9. Ginger Baker – Cream

Baker is best known for his distinctive style of drumming that drew inspiration from music of several different countries, most notably his fusion of jazz and African themes.

10. Keith Moon – The Who

Keith Moon is best remembered for his eccentricities, both while playing and otherwise. His destructive tendencies were felt in nearly every hotel room he checked into, including, hilariously, the bathrooms, which he often blew up with cherry bombs or dynamite

11. Dave Grohl

Although best known for being the drummer for the highly popular grunge band from the nineties, Nirvana, Dave Grohl has many other talents, including singing, songwriting and film directing and producing.

12. Buddy Rich

Bernard Rich was a jazz drummer and leader of his band. Along with Ringo Starr, he too is considered to be a drum playing trailblazer of his time. He has played with the likes of Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey and Harry James.

13. Alex Van Halen – Van Halen

During a time when slow music was considered the norm, and anything that even came close to Rick was considering tasteless and even, to some, blasphemous, the van Halen brothers were one of the few who dared to introduce something new. It goes without saying that the beat had a lot to do with it.

14. Stewart Copeland – The Police

Drummer for the legendary British-American band The Police, Stewart Copeland is also a multi-instrumentalist and composer, and he has also written scores for games and has a few movies to his credit as well.

15. Phil Collins

Now a fully-fledged solo artist, Collins was once drummer as well as singer for the rock band Genesis. He is well known for his innovative drumming styles and different time signatures that served as an influence for scores of aspiring drummers after him. Check here for reviews on different drum kits and find out whether you have it in you to follow in his footsteps.


It is important to note that this list, though not listed in any particular order, is far from complete. There are several drummers who, although either equally or even more talented, are not on this list. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. Music is not a universally uniform thing, even though it is a universal language. That’s what makes it beautiful.

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