Modern Drummer’s Greatest Drummers of All Time Poll

Modern Drummer's greatest drummers of all time
Modern Drummer magazine is assembling a historic list of the fifty greatest drummers of all time. To do that, we’re asking you to tell us who your personal top ten choices are. Once the voting is closed, we’ll tabulate all valid entries, and the top fifty names will comprise our final list, which will be revealed in the magazine early next year.
By the way, your definition of the word greatest might very well be a bit different from that of other voters. And that’s perfectly okay. In fact, it’s one of the things that makes a poll like this such a blast. So have fun compiling your list, and we’ll see you soon with the results!

In order to vote, you must provide a valid email address. One submission per IP address. Voters will be verified using a simplified CAPTCHA (www.captcha.net).

Your list will be counted in order, from number one to number ten. A first-place vote will have more weight than a second-place vote, and so on.

Please list a given drummer only once in your top ten, and please type first name and then last name. (As you type, the entry field will produce a list of well-known drummers that match the name you’re typing.) We will disqualify any submission where a drummer’s name, or a variation thereof, appears more than once. Although we suggest that you complete the full list of ten names, lists containing fewer than ten names will be counted, as long as they meet the other requirements for valid entry.

THE POLLS ARE CLOSED. THANKS TO THOSE WHO VOTED. LOOK FOR THE RESULTS IN A FUTURE ISSUE OF MODERN DRUMMER MAGAZINE.







467 comments

  1. Jared A. Washburn

    Damn this was really hard to narrow it down to only 10. I tried to pick drummers from multiple genres. Here is my top 10 although I will probably change my mind before the night is over (In no particular order):
    John Bonham, Neil Peart, Mike Mangini, Buddy Rich, Bill Bruford, Mike Portnoy, Dave Weckl, Keith Moon, Gene Krupa, and Pete Sandoval.

    • josie

      it’s funny that only three drummers you named are actually modern drummers, and the other 70% were drummers that had their heyday 40 odd years ago

      • Anna Ellis

        The list is… greatest drummers of ALL TIME. Last time I checked, 40 years ago counts as a part of “all time.”

        And besides, those drummers that you think aren’t “modern enough” paved the way for the drummers of today.

      • DrumDrumDrum

        I don’t know if you read what the contest was for before you started trolling, but if you scroll up it says, “The Greatest Drummers of ALL TIME.” If you need further help, that means drummers of ALL TIME, not just modern ones.

      • Jared A. Washburn

        Josie… Good point. I guess I didn’t totally take into account the name of the magazine… I suppose Gene and Buddy, especially, are a little antiquated, but I feel that their impact on modern jazz and rock drumming is undeniably strong. I guess that’s why they made my list.

  2. Dana Wendel

    Modern Drummer,

    i recently voted for your “Greatest Drummers” poll. I’d like to inform you that my list was incomplete. The drummer in the 10 spot’s name wasn’t completely written. I think I got “D” in there, but I submitted early. The name I meant to write was “DAVE GROHL”. I hope you can include this in your decision-making process.

    Thank you,
    Dana Wendel

  3. lmwilliamjr

    I was really kind of bummed out by this. I received an invitation to vote this morning. When I arrived at the site I was told that the readers poll was closed, but not before joining the mailing list.

  4. Ivan Bueno

    Hard to list just 10, but here we go:

    01) Neil Peart
    02) John Bonham
    03) Roger Taylor
    04) Nick Mason
    05) Keith Moon
    06) Steve Gadd
    07) Stewart Coppeland
    08) Bill Bruford
    09) Bob Siebenberg
    10) Ringo Starr

  5. Rick Smith

    1.Neil Peart
    2.Mike Portnoy
    3.Tommy Aldridge
    4.Buddy Rich
    5.Stewart Copeland
    6.Bill Bruford
    7.Steve Smith
    8.John Bonhan
    9.Steve Gadd
    10.Tommy Lee

    • Frameshifter

      Mike Portnoy? Are you mental? Remove him at once and replace with Mark Zonder or Bobby Jarzombek. They don’t steal everything they do and drum circles around him.

  6. Bytor

    Neil Peart
    ……………
    Buddy Rich
    Steve Smith
    John Bonhan
    Mike Portnoy
    Chad Smith
    Bill Bruford
    Keith Moon
    Steve Gadd
    Dave Weckl
    Carter Bruford

  7. DrumminnStrummin

    Buddy Rich not only for longevity but influence and technique. No one comes close to him not even by miles. I’d also think every other drummer still alive who is offered up would admit as much.

    John Bonham is a distant second but again, no one comes close to him. He made drums sound like modern rock drums wayyy back in the late 60s and influenced more drummers from 1968 on than any other drummer. Again, every other drummer knew of his work and many tried to copy him. Also sold more records than any other drummer on this list as well I would think.

    I wouldn’t think you could offer up Dave Grohl, Neil Peart, Travis Barker, Tommy Aldridge unless you are under the age of 30 and don’t have a historical context to put drumming into. I would certainly offer a strong nod of the hat to Keith Moon, Ginger Baker, Mitch Mitchell, Gene Krupa and Elvin Jones though.

  8. Caitlyn

    1.Jen Ledger
    2.Jen Ledger
    3.Jen Ledger
    4.Jen Ledger
    5.Jen Ledger
    6.Jen Ledger
    7. Jen Ledger
    8. Jen Ledger
    9. Jen Ledger
    10.Jen Ledger

  9. Spencer Harris

    Tough to narrow down to just 10 but my favorites…
    1. Neil Peart
    2. Stewart Copeland
    3. Buddy Rich
    4. Carter Beuford
    5. Dave Weckl
    6. Steve Gadd
    7. Bill Bruford
    8. Manu Katche’
    9. Vinny Caliuta
    10. Dave Weckl

  10. Jason Paquette

    Neil Peart, Stewart Copeland, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Steve Gadd, Omar Hakim, Manu Katché, Dave Weckl, Carter Beauford, Simon Phillips

  11. Bill Martin

    1.Neil Peart
    2.Buddy Rich
    3.Bill Bruford
    4.John Bonham
    5.Keith Moon
    6.Ian Anderson Paice
    7.Dave Weckl
    8.Ginger Baker
    9.Mike Portnoy
    10.Dave Lombardo

  12. brookse32

    1. Neil Peart
    2. Buddy Rich
    3. John Bonham
    4. Pat Torpey
    5. Brad Wilk
    6. Stewart Copeland
    7. Lars Ulrich
    8. Mick Fleetwood
    9. Keith Moon
    10. Jeff Porcaro

  13. David Witz

    01) Neil Peart
    02) Terry Bozzio
    03) Keith Moon
    04) Bill Bruford
    05) John Bonham
    06) Phil Collins
    07) Carl Palmer

  14. Tammarie L.

    1. Neil Peart 2. Nick Mason 3. Alex Van Halen 4. Bill Ward 5. Todd Sucherman 6. John Bonham 7. Deen Castronova 8. Mick Fleetwood 9. Terry Bozzio 10. Brad Wilk

  15. Heather & Steve

    No one kicked the crap out of a drum kit like Keith Moon…but Neil is still doing it and doing new and is non-stop phenomenal.

  16. ya_edge

    1 .Buddy Rcih,
    2. Neil Peart
    3. Billy Cobham
    4. Dave Weckl
    5. Simon Phillips
    6. Dennis Chambers
    7. Robbie Ameen
    8. John Bonham
    9. Stewart Copeland
    10. Manu Katche

  17. AJ

    Top 10 drummers…let me attempt this one…here they come (not necessarily in the same order) –

    1. Neil Peart
    2. Gene Krupa
    3. Buddy Rich
    4. Nick Mason
    5. Phil Collins
    6. Roger Taylor
    7. Mick Fleetwood
    8. Billy Cobham
    9. Alex Van Halen
    10. Ginger Baker

  18. William Weber

    My list 1-10 Buddy Rich, Ginger Baker, Bill Kruetzmann, Micky Hart, Nick Mason, Neil Peart, Bill Ward, Mick Fleetwood, Phil Collins and Roger Taylor….levon helm, bill buford, mitch mitchell, carl Palmer, simon pillips, keith moon, joey covington all did not make my list as I already had filled in my 10

  19. N8tiveTexan

    Agree with Ivan.. Hard to list just 10.. and even harder to rate them… Here’s my opinion:

    1.Neil Peart
    2.Buddy Rich
    3.Stewart Copeland
    4.Carmine Appice
    5.Bill Bruford
    6.John Bonham
    7.Keith Moon
    8.Steve Jordan
    9.Ed Shaughnessy
    10.Vic Firth

  20. Mark Xavier

    John Bonham, Neil Pert, Brian Downing, Steve Gadd, Max Roach, Vinnie colaiuta, Billy Cobham, Louie Bellson, Simon Phillips, Benny Greb.

  21. Kaneda2112

    1 Neil Peart
    2 Bill Bruford
    3 Keith Moon
    4 Nick Mason
    5 Chad Wackerman
    6 Stewart Copeland
    7 Carl Palmer
    8 Phil Collins
    9 Simon Phillips
    10 Mike Portnoy

  22. Billy Brandenburg

    I like Ginger Baker as one of the top ten let’s say #8. He could keep a beat and still throw sticks at Jack Bruce while playing.

  23. Steve

    Mine went
    1. Neil Peart
    2. Buddy Rich
    3. Keith Moon
    4. Travis Barker
    5. John Bonham
    6. Carter Beauford
    7. Lars Ulrich
    8. Chad Smith
    9. Stuart Copeland
    10. Ginger Baker

    My honorable mentions:
    Dave Grohl, Pete Best, Ringo Starr, Bill Ward, Mick Fleetwood, Brad Wilk, Nicko McBrain, Joey Jordison.

  24. Mike Rago

    1. Neil
    2. Phil Collins (check out OLD Genesis and Brand X; he was a badass before he became a pop singer…)
    3. Mike Mangini
    4. Bruford
    5. Keith Moon
    5. Terry Bozzio
    6. Rod Morgenstein
    7. Marco Minnemann
    8. Lenny White

    9. Mike Portnoy
    10. Carter Beauford

  25. David Moore

    1.Neil Peart
    2.Mike Portnoy
    3.Dave Weckl
    4.John Bonham
    5.Steve Gadd
    6.Buddy Rich
    7.Keith Moon
    8.Marco Minnemann
    9.Alex Van Halen
    10.Vinnie Colaiuta

  26. Alden

    1. Neil Peart
    2. Keith Moon
    3. Phil Collins
    4. Stewart Copeland
    5. John Bonham
    6. Bill Bruford
    7. Buddy Rich
    8. Mike Portnoy
    9. Roger Taylor
    10. Alex Van Halen

  27. Pingback: For Rush fans only - Singers, bands, songs, rock, hip-hop, dance music, pop... - Page 24 - City-Data Forum

  28. Shawn McGregor

    1. Buddy Rich
    2. Vinnie Colaiuta
    3. Steve Gadd
    4. John Bonham
    5. Tony Williams
    6. Elvin Jones
    7. Dave Weckl
    8. Stewart Copeland
    9. Jeff Porcaro
    10. Clyde + Jabo

    Honorable Mentions:
    Ringo
    Steve Jordan
    Jim Keltner
    Gene Krupa
    Louis Bellison
    Bernard Purdie

  29. J Middleton

    1 john bonham
    2 Neil peart
    3 buddy rich
    4 peter erskine
    5 billy cobham
    6 danny Carey
    7 mike portnoy
    8 tony Williams
    9 Steve smith
    10 Steve gadd

  30. Steve Ward

    Jon Bonham
    Keith Moon
    Artimus Pyle
    Ian Peice
    Buddy Miles
    Johny Barbata
    Uncle John Turner
    Chris Layton
    Edgar Winter
    Bill Ward

  31. Brett Phelps

    Gene Krupa
    Ginger Baker
    Max Roach
    Buddy Rich
    Russ Kunkle
    Philly Joe Jones
    Art Blakey
    Neil Peart
    Bun E Carlos
    Bernard Purdie

  32. Mario

    In no particular order, I had a hard time just naming ten.

    1. Neil Peart
    2. Gene Kupra
    3. Keith Moon
    4. Buddy Rich
    5. Stewart Copeland
    6. Bill Bruford
    7. Ginger Baker
    8. John Bonhan
    9. Steve Gadd
    10. Manu Katché

  33. Brian J. Berkemeier

    01. Buddy Rich/Animal from The Muppets
    02. Gene Kruppa
    03. Roy Burns – Aquarian Drumheads
    04. Bobby Rock – Vinnie Vincent Invasion/Nelson
    05. Mark Zonder – Fates Warning
    06. Jason Bonham – Son of the great John Bonham
    07. Scott Rockenfield – Queensryche
    08. Tommy Aldridge -Ozzy Osbourne/White Snake/Many Others…
    09. Pat Torpey -Mr.Big/Impellitteri
    10. Eric Carr – KISS
    Number one is a tie because of the drum battle between Buddy Rich and Animal of the Muppet Show. It is the reason why I play drums today. I saw the show and told my folks that I just had to do that.

  34. Shabba

    1. Stewart Copeland
    2. Stewart Copeland
    3. Stewart Copeland
    4. Stewart Copeland
    5. Stewart Copeland
    6. Stewart Copeland
    7. Stewart Copeland
    8. Stewart Copeland
    9. Stewart Copeland
    10. Stewart Copeland

  35. Jay Graham

    Neil Peart
    John Bonham
    Danny Carey
    Matt Cameron
    Mike Portnoy
    Ray Luzier
    Stewart Copeland
    Kieth Moon
    Stephen Perkins
    Chad Sexton

    Just 10, huh?

    So no
    Ginger Baker
    Chad Smith
    Buddy Rich
    Kenny Arnoff
    Will Calhoun
    Anton Figg
    Steve Gadd
    Taylor Hawkins
    Bill Bruford
    Mitch Mitchell
    or Josh Freese?

    Too bad…

  36. Freddy S

    1. Buddy Rich
    2. Danny Seraphine
    3. Carmine Appice
    4. Neil Peart
    5. Bill Bruford
    6. Don Brewer
    7. John Bonham
    8. Keith Moon
    9. Gene Krupa
    10. Ringo Starr

  37. Jazzjocke

    1. Elvin Jones
    2. Brian Blade
    3. Jack de johnette
    4. Steve Gadd
    5. Roy Haynes
    6. Tony Williams
    7. Jorge Rossy
    8. Art Blakey
    9. Vinnie Colauita
    10. Lenny White

  38. Roger Perron

    Neil peart
    Dave Weckl
    Mike portnoy
    mike mangini
    virgil donati
    john bonham
    bill bruford
    rene creemers
    carl palmer
    chris adler

  39. schredder66

    1. Simon Phillips
    2. Neil Peart
    3. Bobby Jarzombek
    4. Nicko McBrain
    5. Manuel Reyes
    6. Mike Portnoy
    7. Jason Bonham

    8. Mikkey Dee

    9. Cozy Powell
    10. Keith Moon

  40. Leonardo Taddei

    1 Carter Beauford
    2 Matt Cameron
    3 Dave weckl
    4 Steve Gadd
    5 Vinnie Colaiuta
    6 Tony Royster jr.
    7 Jojo Mayer
    8 Gene Hoglan
    9 Marco Minneman
    10 Thomas Lang

  41. Mike Nelson

    What is this based on? Popularity? Talent? Originality? T-shirt sales??

    Anyway, I don’t know who I would vote for. I know who I *wouldn’t* vote for, but why bother naming any of this names…

    Of drummers I would consider to be among the most influential on me, and my drumming might be something like this (and in no particular order):

    – Billy Cobham
    – Neil Peart
    – Steve Smith
    – Dennis Chambers
    – Bill Bruford
    – Stewart Copeland
    – Dave Weckl
    – Terry Bozzio
    – Herb Alexander
    – Paul Brochu
    – Phil Collins
    – Charlie Watts
    …and many more.

    Now…ask me to put them in order, and I don’t know that I could.

    But, if I had to pick one, it would probably be between Billy Cobham, Neil Peart, Terry Bozzio, and probably Bill Bruford. Of those four, I wouldn’t want to have to pick one, but if I did have to, I would have to go with Neil Peart.

  42. SKULL

    1. Neil peart
    2. Mike portnoy
    3. Stewart Copeland
    4. Carter Beaufort
    5. Buddy rich
    6. Nico Mcbrain
    7. Roy Mayorga
    8. John Bonham
    9. Keith Moon
    10. Joey Jordison

  43. plamenski

    Dave Weckl
    Vinnie Colaiuta
    Dennis Chambers
    Steve Gadd
    Tony Williams
    Buddy Rich
    Steve Smith
    Jojo Mayer
    David Garibaldi
    Gavin Harrison

  44. Bill Thomas

    Gavin Harrison Bill Thomas
    Buddy Rich. Thomas Lang
    Dave Weckl John Bonham
    Barrymore Barlow. Steve Gadd
    Neal Peart Bill Bruford
    Mike Portnoy

  45. David Killough

    1-Buddy Rich
    2-Gene Krupa
    3-Ian Paice
    4-Bill Bruford
    5-Max Roach
    6-Carl Palmer
    7-Joe Morello
    8-Charlie Watts
    9-Cozy Powell
    10-Hal Blaine

  46. 1bestdog

    Is this where we vote? Okay, here is mine:
    1 Mike Clark
    2 Tony Williams
    3 Elvin Jones
    4 Lenny White
    5 Lewis Nash
    6 Billy Hart
    7 Art Blakey
    8 Philly Joe Jones
    9 Buddy Rich
    10 Sid Catlett

  47. Mike K

    Ginger Baker, John Bonham, Carl Palmer, Neil Peart, Buddy Rich, Terry Bozzio, Steve Gadd, Tony Williams, Vinnie Colaiuta, Simon Phillips

  48. marvin

    Neil Peart, Chris Coleman, Eric Moore, Benny Greb, Buddy Rich, jojo mayer, carter beuford, Alex Acuna, Aaron Spears, and Travis Barker.

  49. Oscar Balza

    01 Neil Peart.
    02 John Bonham.
    03 Tony Williams.
    04 Vinnie Volaiuta.
    05 Simon Phillips.
    06 Terry Bozzio.
    07 Buddy Rich.
    08 Steve Smith.
    09 Gregg Bissonette.
    10 Rod Morgenstein.

    too many great drummers out there!

    • mikeybbdrummin

      This is a great list…….well accomplished versatile and/or trend setting drummers……..Neil, Simon, Steve, Gregg and Rod are in my top ten favorite drummers……no offence to anyone, but Dave Grohl, James Kottak and Gina Shock from the Go Go’s………..I just don’t get it.

  50. essar1

    In no particular order:
    Bun E. Carlos
    Neal Peart
    Tom Cook – Minneapolis drummer extrordinaire, currently with awesome new band The Oddfathers
    Alex Van Halen
    Ringo Starr
    Keith Moon
    Simon Phillips
    Mark Brezcicki (sp? Drummer in Big Country)
    Dave Grohl
    Eric Singer
    Tommy Lee
    MIke Portnoy
    John Bonham

    • ejdmoderndrummer

      Hello Dan. Please feel free to email your list to our digital media director from our contact page with your full list. Thanks.

  51. ejdmoderndrummer

    The voting happens in the form above after you submit an email address (to verify that you are a human and not a bot). Thanks.

  52. Me

    Best of the best:
    1. Aric Improta – Night Verses ( Nobody know him, everyone should )
    2. Mike Portnoy – Adrenaline Mob
    3. Merlin Sutter – Eluveitie
    4. Chris Adler – Lamb of God
    5. Simon Phillips – Toto
    6. Thomas Lang – solo
    7. Jojo Mayer – solo
    8. Benny Greb – solo
    9. Carter Beauford – Dave Matthews Band
    10. John Dolmayan – System of a Down

    And other good guys:

    1. Buddy Rich
    2. John Bonham
    3. Bill Ward
    4. Steve Smith
    5. George Kollias
    6. Juan Carlos Mendoza
    7. Matt Sorum
    8. Joey Jordison
    9. Frank Beard

  53. Hugo Oliveira

    MIke Portnoy
    Peter Wildoer
    Marcos Minnemann
    Mario Duplantier
    Alex Rudinger
    Chris Adler
    Krimh Lechner
    Grant McFarland
    Jay Postones
    Stef Brooks

  54. Rhetro Zenberg

    1 Bill Bruford

    2 Terry Bozio

    3 Pat Mastelotto

    4 Carl Palmer

    5 Nick Overhauser

    6 Trevor Hope

    7 Eric Slick

    8 Gregory James Wesenfeld

    9 Tobias Ralph

    10 Mike (room for a ghost)

  55. Dave DeMeat

    1) Ringo
    2) Keith Moon
    3)Bun E. Carlos
    4)Charlie Watts
    5)Gene Krupa
    6)Stewart Copeland
    7)Bill Kreutzmann & Mickey Hart
    8)Dusty Watson
    9)Gina Schock
    10) Tony Kol (Tony Columbia)

  56. Michael Bednarz

    I am no expert but I know enough to tell that Ringo Starr was in no way a “greatest” drummer or even a really good drummer, just a famous one. I watched Michael Shrieve this past weekend at the Moon Fest 2013 music festival. He was Santana’s pounder at Woodstock at the tender age of 20.
    http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/michaelshrievewood.html
    Surprised nobody listed this legendary drummer. Shrieve has a Band called
    SpellBinder now and is still rocking it!

  57. Octavio

    I don’t know if Mr Ehart is one of the beat in a top 50, there is some dudes ! Bill Bruford, Barrimore Barlow, Neil P, Keith Moon for example. What i know is Phil Ehart Style reach my feelings more than other

  58. Fogglehammer

    Carl Palmer
    Bill Bruford
    Bobby Jarzombek
    Vinny Colaiuta
    Manu Katche
    Mark Zonder
    Neal Peart
    Phil Collins
    Billy Cobham
    Mike Portnoy

  59. Jim Keane

    1) Neil Peart
    2) John Bonham
    3)Keith Moon
    4)Carl Palmer
    5)Dave Grohl
    6)Stewart Copeland
    7)Mike Portnoy
    8)Gene Krupa
    9)Phil Ehart
    10) Ringo

  60. Michael Nababan

    My opinion (based on the contribution in the project of thea artist, technic excluded):

    John Bonham
    Keith Moon
    Neil Peart
    Buddy Rich
    Dave Grohl
    Mike Portnoy
    Yoshiki Hayashi (X Japan)
    Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan
    Mitch Mitchell (Hendrix experience)
    Lars Ulrich

  61. Nelson Alberti Rosa

    Elegance, innovation and sophistication in playing drums, William Bruford The Drummer that invented a different way in to put the rythm into the songs

  62. samsiefert

    1 Dennis Chambers
    2 philly Joe Jones
    3 elvin Jones
    4 Omar Hakim
    5 vinnie colaiuta
    6 Joe morello
    7 max Roach
    8 Pete laroca
    9 Thomas pridgen
    10 Dave weckl

  63. GeddyFreakinLee

    1. Buddy Rich
    2. Buddy Rich
    3. Buddy Rich
    4. Neil Peart
    5. Mike Portnoy
    6. John Bonham
    7. Keith Moon
    8. Stewart Copeland
    9. Phil Collins
    10. Bill Bruford.
    As a bass player, I`d be tickled **itless to follow any of these rhythm keepers.

  64. Rich Schwiing Bendall

    1. Danny Carey
    2. Martin Lopez
    3. Gene Hoglan
    4. John Bonham
    5. George Kolias
    6. George Harrisson
    7. Marco Minneman
    8. Clive Burr
    9. Buddy Rich
    10. Mike Portnoy

  65. Napalmhippie

    1.Gavin Harrison
    2.Benny Greb
    3.Chris Adler
    4.Mike Mangini
    5.Thomas Pridgen
    6.Matt Halpern
    7.Mario Duplantier
    8.Matt Garstka
    9.Jojo Mayer
    10.John Bonham

  66. Rosio Reynoso

    Chris Adler
    Thomas Pridgen
    Deantoni Parks
    Tim Alexander
    Mike Portnoy
    Neil Pert
    Jon Theodore
    Keith Moon
    Rick Allen
    Shannon Leto

  67. Rosio Reynoso

    Chris Adler
    Thomas Pridgen
    Deantoni Parks
    Tim Alexander
    Mike Portnoy
    Neil Pert
    Danny Carey
    John Teodore
    Shannon Leto
    Rick Allen

  68. Nick

    1. Neil Peart
    2. Buddy Rich
    3. Keith Moon
    4. Jeff Porcaro
    5. Greg Bissonette
    6. Manu Katche
    7. Matt Sorum
    8. Nikko McBrain
    9. Nick Mason
    10. Animal (The Muppets)

  69. Scott Lewis

    John Bonham
    JoJo Mayer
    Neal Peart
    Buddy Rich
    Chester Thompson
    Simon Phillips
    Vinnie Colaiuta
    Omar Hakim
    Terry Bozzio
    Phil Collins

  70. Harold King

    1. Steve Smith
    2. Dennis Chambers
    3. Gavin Harrison
    4. Jojo Mayer
    5. Tomas Haake
    6. Benny Greb
    7. Danny Carey
    8. Mike Portnoy
    9. Buddy Rich
    10. Neil Peart

  71. Joe Jordan

    Tommy Aldridge
    John Bonham
    Alex Van Halen
    Terry Bozzio
    Steve Smith
    Randy Castillo
    Nicko McBrain
    Tommy Lee
    Dave Holland
    Shannon Larkin

  72. BklynMarc

    1. Buddy Rich
    2. Neil Peart
    3. Philly Joe Jones
    4. Vinnie Colaiuta
    5. Peter Erskine
    6. Jack DeJohnette
    7. Bill Bruford
    8. Dave Weckl
    9. Tomas Haake
    10. Clyde Stubblefield

  73. Nick C

    My Top 10

    1. Neil Peart
    2. Buddy Rich
    3. Keith Moon
    4. Jeff Porcaro
    5. Greg Bissonette
    6. Manu Katche
    7. Matt Sorum
    8. Nikko McBrain
    9. Nick Mason
    10. Animal (The Muppets)

  74. sugarstick

    1.) Animal 2.) Ricky Ricardo 3.) That little monkey with a vest 4.) John Phillip Souza’s guy 5.) Native American’s 6.) Native African’s 7.) Pick any Latin American percussionist 8.) Any guy that drums the “Striptease” theme and gets his woman to strip to it 9.) You 10.) Me

  75. Scott

    Neil Peart (Rush)
    John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
    Keith Moon (The Who)
    Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater)
    Dave Lombardo (Slayer)
    Carl Palmer (ELP)
    Phil Collins (Genesis)
    Steve Smith (Journey)
    Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge)
    Scott Travis (Judas Priest)

  76. r2u1s1h2

    Can not believe with all the drummers out there people are telling others how to vote or who is best. Just thought MD had that in mind that EVERYONE has their own individual taste in style / technical / approach / and personal approach to how they serve their particular music. That is what makes this format work….it is just an average of what we all think. There are things Buddy Rich did that only a handful of players can do, does not make him better overall than everyone because of it. Just better at those things. I love this format and after checking the lists from everyone……you are ALL right on your picks. ALL of the drummers are GREAT in their own ways. I have learned and come to appreciate the different styles that people have out there. Thanks to some of you for introducing me to drummers I never knew were out there. ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!

  77. TCM1970

    All the lists on here are 100% correct. Everyone has their own tastes and thoughts on what makes someone great or not. I loved reading the lists and want to thank some of you for giving me new drummers to watch and check out that I never knew existed.

    Not sure why people are trying to push their views on others when it is their own opinion. There are things Buddy Rich did that only a handful of players today could even scratch the surface on. Does that make him the greatest drummer?? NOPE. He is better than people in those certain techniques, not in everything.

    My own humble top 10.

    1. Neil Peart
    2. Dylan Elise
    3. Steve Gadd
    4. Buddy Rich
    5. Keith Moon
    6. Steve Smith
    7. Danny Carey
    8. Milton Banana
    9. Dave Weckl
    10. Virgil Donati

    TONS of honorable mentions that could on any given be in the top 10 for me. Just how I feel today. 🙂
    10.

  78. Taff Mace

    Like the lists everyone has…..you are ALL 100% correct. Everyone of the drummers that people listed are great in their own ways. That is what makes this poll work, MD knew it would be a law of averages…nothing more…nothing less. Buddy could do things on a kit that a small handful of players could do today. Does this make him the best…not even close. Just means he is awesome in those certain techniques, there are players out there today doing things that Buddy Rich could’ve only dreamed about.

    I want to thank the people that posted drummers I never knew existed, they now have a new fan because of your post.

    Here is my humble top 10.

    1. Neil Peart
    2. Danny Carey
    3. Buddy Rich
    4. Steve Gadd
    5. Keith Moon
    6. Steve Smith
    7. Dylan Elise
    8. Virgil Donati
    9. Dave Weckl
    10. Stewart Copeland

    There are 50 more honorable mentions that could EASILY make my top 10 on any given day. Just what I was feeling at this exact moment.

  79. Mikhail

    Lars Ulrich
    Billy Cobham
    Nico Mcbrain
    Dave Weckl
    Ian Paice
    John Bonham
    Dennis Chambers
    Terry Bozzio
    Mike Portnoy
    Александр Манякин

  80. CjGroove

    Narada Michael Walden
    James Gadson
    Steve Gadd
    Stewart Copland
    Mitch Mitchell
    Jeff Pecaro
    Carmine Appice
    Shiela E.
    Stokley of Mint Condition
    Billy Cobham

  81. JJ

    These list are stupid! Pitting drummers against each other, just appreciate them all for what they contributed to the world of drumming!

  82. Destry Prysiazny

    my brother nikki prysiazny is a drummer for 25 years he loves your magazine and would like to get it again thanx for listening

  83. Irina Riddle

    1) Shannon Leto

    2) John Bonham

    3) Ian Paice

    4) Tre Cool

    5) Nick Mason

    6) Phillip Rudd

    7) Lairs Ulrich

    8) Chad Smith

    9) Ringo Starr

    10) David Grohl

  84. Muttersbester

    Jeff Porcaro, Simon Phillips, Carlton Barret, Mick Tucker, JoJo Mayer, Benny Greb, John Bonham, Curt Cress, Bertram Engel & BUDDY RICH!

  85. HammerHead

    Some interesting comments from his peers:
    Cozy Powell
    “I’m not really impressed by a lot these days but, personally, I like John Bonham. There’s long gap between him and all the others as far as I’m concerned. Some people may like Carl Palmer and some may like Billy Cobham but I’m talking about rock and roll drummers and he’s the best. It’s not that he does much that’s particularly flash, he’s just always there keeping the whole thing going.”
    “John and I are good friends anyway but I’m after his crown!”
    Matt Cameron ( Soundgarden/ Pearl Jam) described Bonzo in exactly those terms, calling him “the king of creating almost a weather system of a drum part. He has storm clouds that you can see on the horizon that are coming to just murder you.
    Stewart Copeland, “I don’t use the double bass pedal a lot – just for the occasional flash and effect – but there is one particular thing that it can do; it works like a paradiddle: If you’ve landed on your foot but you need to get back up to your snare drum, but you need two beats to get your there, you can do go, ‘ba-da-bahh!’ It’s ergonomics. “Now, John Bonham would have just done that with one foot because he was John Bonham. Because he was… the mountain.”
    “John Henry Bonham, in my humble opinion,” states Chad Smith emphatically, “is hands down the greatest rock drummer of all time. His sound, technique, musicianship, groove, and feel have never been duplicated. No-one comes close today and probably nobody ever will.”

  86. James

    1) John Bonham
    2) Keith Moon
    3) Neil Peart
    4) Dave Grohl
    5) Ginger Baker
    6) Tre Cool
    7) Taylor Hawkins
    8) Buddy Rich
    9) Ringo
    10) Steve Jocz (incredibly underrated)
    11) Travis Barker (quite overrated)

    12) Animal

  87. Erlendur Svavarsson

    1) James Black
    2) Joe Morello
    3) Louis Bellson
    4) Steve Gadd
    5) Shelley Manne
    6) Mel Lewis
    7) Larry Bunker
    8) Philly Jo Jones
    9) Max Roach
    10) Jake Hanna
    11) Gulli Briem
    12) Billy Cobham

  88. ratamacue76

    In no particular order and each for different reasons …

    Jon Fishman, Billy Martin, Billy Cobham, Neil Peart, Buddy Rich, Tony Williams, John Bonham, Dave Grohl, Vinnie Colaiuta, JoJo Mayer

  89. 052ek

    1-Buddy Rich
    2-Dave Weckl
    3-Dennis Chambers
    4-Jojo Mayer
    5-Akira Jimbo
    6-Virgil Donati
    7.-Marco Minnemann
    8-Sean Reinert
    9-Travis Orbin
    10-Tony Williams

  90. Paul Hill

    Gavin Harrison
    Neal Peart
    Bill Bruford
    Carl Palmer
    Terry Bozzio
    Mike Portnoy
    Danny Carey
    Martin Lopez
    John Bonham

    Anyone who says Lars should be banned from voting,

  91. Sune Schack

    1) Jeffrey Thomas Porcaro
    2) Per Lindvall
    3) Jim Keltner
    4) Steve Gadd
    5) Mike Baird
    6) Keith Carlock
    7) Manu Katche
    8) Omar Hakim
    9) Klaus Menzer
    10) Carlos Vega

  92. Alessio Reggi

    1) Mike Portnoy
    2) Neil Peart
    3) Simon Philips
    4) Virgil Donati
    5) Dennis Chambers
    6) Thomas Lang
    7) Vinnie Colaiuta
    8) Mike Mangini
    9) Terrie Bozzio
    10) Aquiles Priester

  93. Metaler

    1 Keith Moon
    2 John Bonham
    3 Neil Peart
    4 Nicko Mc Brain
    5 Scott Travis
    6 Vinnie Paul
    7 Tommy Aldridge
    8 Tommy Lee
    9 Mike Portnoy
    10 Ringo Starr

  94. TOPKAT

    NEIL PEART AT THE TOP OF THE LIST???? HES OK BUT HE COULDNT HOLD BUDDY RICHES SWEATY TOEWL!!! BUDDY RICH PLAYED MORE COMPLICATED AND RUDIMENTARY SOLOS ON A 4 PIECE KIT THAN MOST DRUMMERS PLAY WITH 14 DRUMS.. WAKE UP YOU IDIOTS AND LISTEN TO A GOOD RICH/BELLSON DRUM BATTLE.. OR LISTEN TO THE COMPLEXITY OF A STEVE SMITH SOLO OR JO JO MAYER. EVEN DAVE WECKL , MIKE MANGINI AND SIMON PHILLIPS DESERVE TOP SPOTS. NEIL PEART? GIMME A BREAK!!!

  95. TOPKAT

    NEIL PEART AT THE TOP OF THE LIST???? YOU KIDDIN ME? HES OK BUT HE COULDNT HOLD BUDDY
    RICHES SWEATY TOWEL!!! BUDDY RICH PLAYED MORE COMPLICATED AND
    RUDIMENTARY SOLOS ON A 4 PIECE KIT THAN MOST DRUMMERS PLAY SURROUNDED BY A MILLION DRUMS.. WAKE UP YOU IDIOTS AND LISTEN TO A GOOD RICH/BELLSON DRUM
    BATTLE.. OR LISTEN TO THE COMPLEXITY OF A STEVE SMITH SOLO OR JO JO
    MAYER. EVEN DAVE WECKL , MIKE MANGINI AND SIMON PHILLIPS DESERVE TOP
    SPOTS. NEIL PEART? GIMME A BREAK!!!

  96. Joe

    Keith Moon
    Buddy Rich
    Neil Peart
    Carter Beaufort
    Danny Seraphine
    Liberty DeVitto
    John Bonham
    Louie Bellson
    Gene Krupa
    Stewart Copeland

  97. doug

    1 Danny Seraphine.
    2 Don Brewer
    3 Bill Ward
    4 Karen Carpenter
    5 Mick Fleetwood
    6 Buddy Rich.
    7 Gary Burghoff….yes the dude from MASH
    8 Mick Tucker
    9 Sandy West
    10. Rob Hendrit

  98. Nickelz

    Compiling this list was one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever had to do. I used INNOVATION as my road map. I chose ten names that in my humble opinion CHANGED the drumming world and left us with a NEW outlook on our craft. When choosing “the BEST of all time”… I believe that should be the bench mark.
    1.Virgil Donati
    2.Vinnie Colaiuta
    3.Buddy Rich
    4.Mike Portnoy
    5.Neil Peart
    6.Dave Weckl
    7.JoJo Mayer
    8.Jeff Porcaro
    9.Sheila E
    10.John Bonham
    Just outside this list would be Steve Gadd, Peter Erskine, Terry Bozzio and “Pre-Genesis” Phil Collins. I know there is 4 Prog Rock drummers on this list… but like I said in my opinion i used INNOVATION as my benchmark. The prog genre is all about that.

  99. Howardtheduck

    1 meg white
    2 Dana carvey
    3 kid rock
    4 robert fishman
    5 bobby brady
    6 Bart Simpson
    7 the guy who delivers pizza
    8 the iatola of rock and rolla
    9 drummer bride on YouTube
    10 John bonham

  100. The Ripper

    1) John Bonham
    2) Keith Moon
    3) Mitch Mitchell
    4) Bill Ward
    5) Charlie Watts
    6) John Densmore
    7) Michael Lee
    8) Neil Peart
    9) Patrick Keeler
    10) Carla Azar

  101. RoadDawgBlues

    What about Chick Webb, band leader and drummer for the house band at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom in the 1930s? Buddy Rich acknowledged having been heavily influenced by Chick Webb and referred to him as “The Daddy of Them All.” Another title often used to refer to Webb is “The King of Swing.”

  102. Tim Schrum

    1 Mike Mangini
    2 Mike Portnoy
    3 Tommy Aldrich
    4 Dave Lombardo
    5 Charlie Benante
    6 Neil Peart
    7 Wild Mick Brown
    8 Alex Van Halen
    9 Vinnie Paul
    10 Barry Brandt

  103. modvox

    1. Brad Elvis
    2. Keith Moon
    3. Ginger Baker
    4. Gene Krupa
    5. Joe Morello
    6. Bun E. Carlos
    7. Art Blakey
    8. Elvin Jones
    9. Louis Bellson
    10. Karen Carpenter

  104. Titty-fish

    1. Danny Carey
    2. Marco Minneman
    3. Mike Portnoy
    4. Gene Hoglan
    5. Vinnie Colaiuta
    6. Roger Taylor
    7. Tommy Aldridge
    8. Mike Mangini
    9. Matt Halpern
    10. Will Calhoun

  105. Jeff Stapleton

    This list is more in order of discovery/influence:
    Buddy Rich
    John Bonham
    Tony Williams
    Bill Bruford
    Billy Cobham
    Terry Bozzio
    Simon Phillips
    Rod Morgenstein
    Mike Mangini
    Marco Minnemann

  106. NESTOR

    1. NEIL PEART
    2. ERIC CARR
    3. CARL PALMER
    4. ERIC SINGER
    5. PETER CRISS
    6. JOY JORDINSON
    7. IAN PAICE
    8. SHANONN LARKIN
    9 MEYTAL COHEN
    10. JOHN BONHAN

  107. Tim Schrum

    mike mangini, mike portnoy, mark zonder, tommy aldridge, eric singer, charlie benante, neil peart, phil ehart, wild mick brown, and barry brandt. oh yeah

  108. Funk It Blog

    Tony Williams
    Clyde Stubblefield
    Questlove
    Johnny Vidacivich
    Billy Martin
    Mike Clark
    Tony Allen
    Billy Cobham
    Adam Deitch
    Chris Dave

  109. Randal Mitros

    Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Gene Krupa, Neil Peart, Billy Cobham, Elvin Jones, Terry Bozzio, Dave Weckl, Horacio Hernandez, Steve Gadd.

  110. mike

    neil peart, john bonham, keith carlock, stanton moore, adam deitch, stuart copeland, jojo mayer, carter beauford, dave weckl, dennis chambers

  111. trivialAccapella

    Thomas Pridgen, John Bonham, Abe Cunningham, Dave Grohl, Brad Wilk, Matt Helders, Mick Fleetwood, Jon Theodore, Jimmy Macbride, Jake Kissner.

  112. Yahet Mahemet

    Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Gene Krupa, John Bonham, Joey Jordison, Peter Criss, Eric Carr, Carl Palmer, Neil Peart, Wild Mick Brown, Doug Clifford, Stuart Copeland, Vinnie Paul….

  113. Dan

    Buddy Rich, Tony Wiiliams, Billy Cobham, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Elvin, Krupa, Earl Palmer, Hal Blaine, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, Weckl, JoJo Mayer, Joe Morello, Thomas Lang, Dylan Elise, John Robinson, Stewart Copeland, Chic Webb

  114. Steven

    From a long time drummer here is the definitive list. This was a more difficult process than I thought it would be. It is very subjective considering style and musicianship, then you have to try to back off and be as objective as possible. In this order: Buddy Rich, Dave Weckl, Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, John Bonham, Lenny White, Stewart Copeland, Bill Burford, Mike Wengren, Keith Moon, Michael Giles. Notably, Mike Wengren will likely be on few lists, but I believe him to be one of the most underrated drummers of our time.

  115. Lara

    1.Shannon Leto
    2.dennis chambers
    3.dave weckl
    4.carter beauford
    5.jojo mayer
    6.stuart copeland
    7.adam deitch
    8.stanton moore
    9.keith carlock
    10.neil peart

  116. Little drummer girl

    Buddy Rich, Neil Peart, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Carl Palmer, Mike Portnoy, Stewart Copeland, Matt Sorum, Karen Carpenter, Phil Collins…honorable mention goes to James Sullivan. Why? Because we will never know how astronomically great he was to become. He already was fantastic, such a tragic loss, such a great talent.

  117. Ray Lobo

    Max Roach, Peter Erskine, Bill Bruford, Tony Wiiliams, Billy Cobham, Billy Higgins, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, Dave Weckl, John Bonham, Philly Joe Jones, Stewart
    Copeland, Vinnie Colaiuta, Buddy Rich, Manu Katché

  118. Takcsi Drummer És Kacija

    1. Mike Mangini, 2. Thomas Lang, 3. Virgil Donati, 4. Marco Minnemann, 5. Aquiles Priester, 6. Peter Wildoer, 7. Mike Portnoy, 8. Mike Bordin, 9. Horatio Hernandez 10. Borlai Gergő (Hungary).

  119. Aron

    Really surprised not seeing anyone naming Danny Carey. He’s not only a bad ass drummer, but he also contributed and wrote some of the greatest songs of all time with Tool! Number one on my list.

  120. Kenneth Lanning

    Richard Christie, Gene Hoglan, Charlie Benante, Dave Lombardo, Buddy Rich, Thomas Lang, Neil Peart, Ginger Baker, John Bonham, Steve Copeland…no particular order-even if not all the best, they were my biggest influences (though I could not put Lars on here-sorry man, you need to get your shit back together)

  121. DW65

    As Modern Drummer wrote a few years back, and I quote “There’s Vinnie Colaiuta and then there’s everybody else” enough said.

  122. Pingback: Indie Air Radio » Bang a Drum

  123. david95

    The only one I see through the first 10 pages that even belongs in a best drummer list is John Bonham AND Kenneth Lanning’s post. Who are these other people?

Leave a Reply