Modern Drummer’s 2013 Readers Poll Winners

Modern Drummer’s 2013 Readers Poll Winners
The results are in for the longest-running, most prestigious drummer poll in the world. Without further ado, here are your winners for 2013.


Hall of Fame in the Modern Drummers Readers Poll

 Bernard “Pretty??? Purdie, Modern Drummer Readers Poll Hall of Fame WinnerBernard “Pretty??? Purdie

The renowned stylist continues to set an example of soulfulness and strength for drummers of every age and in countless musical genres.


MVP in the Modern Drummers Readers Poll

Neil Peart, Modern Drummer Readers Poll MVP and Prog WinnerNeil Peart

Peart is one of a number of drummers this year who took top honors in two categories. Besides being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rush’s drummer released a book to accompany his instructional DVD Taking Center Stage, and he collaborated with writer Kevin J. Anderson on a novel based on Rush’s Clockwork Angels album.


Pop and Studio in the Modern Drummers Readers Poll

Vinnie Colaiuta, Modern Drummer Readers Poll Pop and Studio WinnerVinnie Colaiuta

Whether touring with Sting and Herbie Hancock or recording for Paul McCartney, Lee Ritenour, and Wayne Krantz, Vinnie captures the imagination of drum fans in a way no other living player does. He has now won the Studio category fifteen times.


Fusion and Recorded Performance in the Modern Drummer Readers Poll

Jojo Meyer, Modern Drummer Readers Poll Fusion and Recorded Performance WinnerJojo Mayer

Mayer, who has greatly elevated the art of groove playing within a largely electronic setting, toured the States and Japan this year with the band Nerve, which recently released the fourth installment of its EP series, a winner in our poll.


book in the Modern Drummer Readers Poll

Benny Greb, Modern Drummer Readers Poll Clinician/Educator and Educational Book WinnerBenny Greb

The wild popularity of his educational materials, private clinics, and drum camps motivated readers to name Greb as the year’s top educator, and to call specific attention to his Language of Drumming book.


Mainstream Rock in the Modenr Drummer Readers Poll

Travis Barker, Modern Drummer Readers Poll Mainstream Rock WinnerTravis Barker

Upon learning about his win, the popular Blink-182 drummer was moved to thank readers personally: “I’ve read Modern Drummer for over thirty years. I used to dream about even being mentioned in the magazine. The Readers Poll is always such a great honor to be a part of.???


Jazz in the Modenr Drummer Readers Poll

Antonio Sanchez by Justin Bettman, Modern Drummer Readers Poll Jazz WinnerAntonio Sanchez

During this past year Sanchez toured in guitar legend Pat Metheny’s group and released his third album as a leader, New Life, the first consisting solely of his own compositions.


Metal in the Modenr Drummer Readers Poll

Matt Halpern, Modern Drummer Readers Poll Metal WinnerMatt Halpern

Periphery’s drummer joined fellow 2013 Modern Drummer Pro Panelists Antonio Sanchez, Stephen Perkins, and Benny Greb as a category topper this year.


R&B in the Modern Drummer Readers Poll

Tony Royster Jr., Modern Drummer Readers Poll RandB WinnerTony Royster Jr.

Jay-Z’s drummer first appeared in the MD Readers Poll in 2000 as the top Up & Coming drummer. In 2013 he took the R&B category for the second year in a row.


Alternative in the Modern Drummer Readers Poll

Stephen Perkins by Alex Solca, Modern Drummer Readers Poll Alternative WinnerStephen Perkins

Perkins, who continues to tour and record with the alternative glam band Jane’s Addiction, has also become a crowd favorite at the Guitar Center Drum-Off finals, which he hosts.


Country in the Modern Drummer Readers Poll

Jim Riley, Modern Drummer Readers Poll Country WinnerJim Riley

The former MD Pro Panelist, who spent 2012 touring and recording with country superstars Rascal Flatts, took the Country category for the third year in a row.


Percussion in the Modern Drummer Readers Poll

Daniel De Los Reyes by Kathy O'Toole, Modern Drummer Readers Poll Percussionist WinnerDaniel de los Reyes

The veteran Latin-jazz drummer recently became a full member of the Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band, and fans took notice.


Up and Coming in the Modern Drummer Readers Poll

Garrett Goodwin, Modern Drummer Readers Poll Up and Coming WinnerGarrett Goodwin

Carrie Underwood’s powerful nonconformist raises eyebrows with every backbeat.



Check out the the July 2013 issue of Modern Drummer for complete coverage, available now in print and digital.



  1. OceanOfStars

    Once again…it seems no matter what the category the majority of those taking the polls are ignorant of anyone outside the realm of the most blatant of commercial success.

    Peart? Peart? I’m so sick of hearing about Peart. There are so many drummers within the prog ranks that can play circles around him. Of course, this is from the same community that inducted Rush (who is just “barely prog”) into the R&R Hall of Fame.

    • DWdrummer

      Wow. I usually read these kind of asinine comments from guitar players, not from the drumming community. Sure there are better prog drummers. Gavin Harrison comes to mind immediately. But Neil helped take the stigma off prog or intelligent music. Sorry you can’t come to grips with that.

    • Anthony S. Andrews

      I take polls such as this at face value. For myself, they are more of a measure of consensus than anything else. However, when it comes to Neil, he has truly impacted the instrument and how it continues to be approached from a rock and progressive level. Keep in mind, that many of rock and progressive rock drummers sight Neil Peart as an influence. Neil continues to inspire my playing and will always be a driving force in the development of my playing. While there are many who possess chops and technique, it is another talent to play in a manner and way that complements the song and the fellow musicians that accompany him. Neil is a master of this, and I think that this facet alone is what continues to inspire drummers both now and in the future.

      I do agree that Rush does not qualify as progressive. Their last “progressive” album was recorded more than 30 years ago. However, Neil Peart is one of those timeless players who will be judged upon the merits of his musicality, class and understanding of music. They don’t call him “The Professor” for nothing.

  2. Tim

    Congrats to all the winners. As with any contest in which the public votes, there will always be those who complain their person didn’t win. Let’s not take away from those that won by saying it’s undeserved. Style and ability at this level is subjective, you can’t measure it in a quantifiable way. Just applaud those that win and continue to promote those you think are deserving.

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  4. egodistant

    good list, sure, would like to add Marco Minnemann as one who really deserves a nod… watch him with The Aristocrats on the youtubes and, well… he seems as sick as it gets.. and yeah, a lot of faves on this list, well-earned congratulations to all!

  5. Poly Alphonso

    I do agree that he was playing progressive decades ago. Later on, Rush music was not good enough. The only drummer in pop rock that I felt played something like I’ve never heard before was Stewart Copeland of The Police. His drum/percussion sound & playing technique was perfect for immediate recognition. He was 100% precise & wherever sounded out of groove, was intentionally meant to improvise and finally land the beat on the right groove, which creates startling effects. There is always a surprise factor in his drumming unlike any other drummer. One can play forever, speed and everything else, but what’s the use if the drumming does not remain interesting forever. I’m never bored listening to Copeland’s drumming, and I respect Peart for his unique style & sound during the early years. He has good knowledge on drumming. Sad to tell you that I’d prefer Copeland, although Copeland is not as fast as Peart. It’s the beauty of creating beautiful sounding drum patters that matters most to me, and Stewart Copeland leads the band (The Police) instead of anyone else.

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