Best drummers of all time?


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I know who mine are:

Buddy Rich, Art Blakey, Joe Morello, Gene Krupa, Steve White, David Garibaldi, Gregg Bissonette... the list goes on.
I`ve seen these lists too many times. It seems that a lot of people truly don`t understand drumming and just lok up the name of the drummer in a band that hey like or pick someone because they can fly at 1000MPH.

Maybe I`ve jumped the gun, cuz you do have some great players listed there.


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tabbott23":12c7a6li said:
I know who mine are:

Buddy Rich, Art Blakey, Joe Morello, Gene Krupa, Steve White, David Garibaldi, Gregg Bissonette... the list goes on.
There have been so many great drummers. I find it impossible to list them all. Both time and space are insufficient. There have been so many advances made on this wonderful instrument of ours that rating people out of time, as it were, is virtually impossible.

The lineage and history of drumming is very deep. So deep as to be impossible for any of us to truly realise not only who it is among the many greats, but also the time frame that this 'greatness' took place. The drumset is one instrument, but it is also so much more. Each individual drum within the drum kit, as well as the other instruments that have made their way to this instrument have a history all their own. Which then owe their ancestry to the instruments that inspired them. Not to mention the many rhythms that have also found another voice through which to be heard.

I feel that some of the true greats, who fought within the bonds of slavery to preserve their rhythmic culture and heritage, will never be known. But their legacy and heroism survives to this day. Whether passed on through the blues or other forms, we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude. We drummers are to a great extent children of these unknown but dedicated drummers. We drummers are all children of a worldwide culture and love of drumming, a love of rhythm.

Every great drummer, whether it be Buddy Rich or Elvin Jones, Dave Lombardo or Mongo Satamaria, every one of them represents a passage in rhythm. Of a universal language that is larger than any one individual. Rhythm contains no racism, no boundaries and no hatred. It is a coming together in peace and dance, and joy.

So it is impossible for me to list any single individual. I'd rather list as a whole the entire drumming and percussive community. No matter the skill level of each player. The fact that one has decided to enter this community is great in itself.

At least that is how I feel.


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If anyone actually mentions The Term Barker or Travis. I will kill..

I'd go with Gene Hoglan or Aaron Gillespie. Aaron is just one of my favs. Not the best but good.


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Travis Barker IS an accomplished drummer, and an exceptional rudimentalist. I have to give credit for that. Do I like him? God no. However, I must honor that he does have some chops.

Heck, even Jerry Lewis had a small amount of playing ability. Small, but there.



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You people ever heard of Neil Peart? or maybe John Bonham? so far you have named Weiner drummers that didnt know how to pound a drum kit.
wickerman":3fzgbp10 said:
You people ever heard of Neil Peart? or maybe John Bonham? so far you have named Weiner drummers that didnt know how to pound a drum kit.
Good man yourself. Finally someone shares my passion for Neil Peart. Then, there's Virgil Donati, Gene Hoglan, Mike Portnoy, Aaron Comess, Thomas Lang, Terry Bozzio and countless others.


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Ian Paice, anyone?!
and Phil Collins.

Both are great in the respect that they both obviously have great skills and technique, but even more important:

They know how to drive the songs forward, and always play something that suits the song.

That's good drummers in my book.

I agree on most of the drummers mentioned above, but I am really surprised that no one has mentioned Louie Bellson. Besides Buddy Rich, no one comes close to him from the "old school" drummers.


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can i just say, in response to 'demented drummer', i was just interested to see who everyone's into at the moment. i don't care the slightest bit whether someone can play 1000bpm and i know there is no such thing as 'the best drummer in the world' because everyone likes different stuff


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It's almost impossible to judge who the "greatest" drummers out there are, but most drummers have their favorites for different reasons. There are some incredible drummers listed, so I'm just gonna name my top 3:

1. Neil Peart (Rush) - This guy is so creative and with the nice "bag o' tricks" that Rush always has in all their songs, his parts are perfect. There is a fine line between doing just what a song needs and overdoing it. He nails it on every song and does things I try (too hard sometimes) to recreate.

2. Brandon Saller (Atreyu) - This dude can really play. Nowadays it seems harder and harder to find metal drummers that don't just "whacka whacka" non stop. Saller accents every little guitar rhythm and keeps the groove going exceptionally well. The fact that he's also an incredible singer/songwriter for the band doesn't hurt his standing with me either...

3. Tre Cool (Green Day) - He's been a favorite of mine for a long time, mainly from growing up learning drums to Green Day and Blink 182, but personal nostalgia aside, he's one of the best in my opinion. With Mike Dirnt laying down fat bass lines on top of punk style guitar and singing, that requires a certain blend of styles that Tre Cool just nails. He's fast, precise, and entertaining. What's not to love, honestly?

It was hard to just pick 3, but I stand firm!


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wickerman":bqeu9p3n said:
You people ever heard of Neil Peart? or maybe John Bonham? so far you have named Weiner drummers that didnt know how to pound a drum kit.
yer... you clearly havn't heard of steve white then
there is, and never will be, a greatest drummer, because no dingle drummer can successfully master EVERY style of drumming, and be the BEST at it. this question should be "best drummer of a certain genre"


New member
There are so many great drummers, some of them have been mentioned already and a lot of them haven't, here are a few that come to mind:

Steve Gadd
Vinnie Colaiuta
Dennis Chambers
David Garibaldi
Alex Acuna
Ignacio Berroa
Cliff Almond
Peter Erskine
Horacio Hernandez
Dave Weckl
Akira Jimbo
Antonio Sanchez
Carter Beauford
Buddy Rich
Louie Bellson
Gene Krupa
Art Blakey
Tony Williams
Paul Motian
Jeff Ballard
Jeff Hamilton
Stewart Copeland
Elvin Jones
Jack DeJohnette
Steve Smith
John Bonham
Billy Higgins
Brian Blades
Max Roach


New member
Are you serious?!! The guy from Atreyu?!! I saw that dude drop sticks three times, lose his tempo AND f*ck up his vocals the last time I saw that sorry excuse for a band... Seriously man, f*cking atreyu?!!

It just sucks because people like Derek Roddy and Nick Barker go unmentioned because everyone is so obsessed with drumming I've heard fifty million different people immitate. What about Tomas Haake?! Tomas Haake can play circles around a lot of people, hes not the quickest though... George Kollias was mentioned and hes arguably the best on the planet right now. What about Reno Killerich from Panzer Christ/Hate Eternal? I know these are all death metal/black metal drummers, but God dammit, they dont just play death metal and they dont constantly blast.

Seriously man, it f*cking sucks that Derek isn't playing professionally any more... People like overratted Niel Pert get sh*tloads of credit while REAL talent like Roddy can't continue to play because he makes jack sh*t for money. Its a shame how much of a lack of respect all of us show for the artists that influence us the most... ESPECIALLY Chuck Schuldiner... I'm not even going to go on...

Hail Satan
The TrunJun


New member
:idea: Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dennis Chambers, Buddy Rich, Omar Hakim, & Akira Jimbo. But the 1st two have the styles I most emulate.