7 Best Drummers Of All Time

best drummers of all time

Throughout history, there have been numerous professional drummers in the music industry, but only some have made their way to the list of the best drummers of all time. And, in this article, we are going to discuss the same. 

Drummers have always played a crucial role in the music industry. They assist musicians making amazing song transitions, provide rhythm and intensity, and increase overall energy of the music. If you are also interested in drumming and want to know about the finest drummers of all time to get some inspiration, don’t worry, we’ve got you. Keep reading.

7 Best Drummers Of All Time 

1. Keith Moon

best drummers of all time


Keith Moon was definitely one of the exceptional drummers in the rock music industry. He created fabulous music during his career and had a very unique and chaotic style of drumming. Keith joined a rock band named, The Who in 1964. Before that he used to play for a local band, Beachcombers.

Keith got involved in drumming at a very young age. It is known that he joined the local Sea Cadet Corps and played bugle. However, he developed an interest in drumming and decided to trade his position in order to become a drummer.

When Keith turned 14, his father, Alfred Charles Moon bought him his very first drumming kit. He received drumming lessons from Carlo Little, who was one of the best and loudest drummers ever.

Keith was not only the best but also one of the wildest drummers of all time as he portrayed his destructive behavior during his performances. He used to smash his kit on the stage and also destroy hotel rooms on the tour.

However, the drummer died at a young age due to the overuse of a drug called Heminevrin, which was prescribed to him to control alcohol addiction.

Here are some of the best performances of Keith Moon:

  • Won’t Get Fooled Again 
  • Behind Blue Eyes 
  • I Can See More Miles
  • My Generation 
  • Baba O’Riley 
  • I Can’t Explain

2. John Bonham

John Bonham


John Bonham was another one of the amazing drummers who was loved by a significant number of people. He is mainly known for his fantastic, fast, single-footed kick drumming, high speed, power, unique sound, and intense feel for the groove.

John began drumming at a very young age and received his first snare drum at the age of 10. Before that, he practiced drumming using a homemade drum kit that he created using household items like coffee and food containers, knives and forks.

At that time, he had numerous idols whom he used to imitate, such as Buddy Rich, Max Roach, and Gene Krupa. However, as John grew up, he received his first complete drum set at 15. Due to his dedication and passion for drumming, John became one of the greatest and most influential drummers ever.

The Best of performances of John Bonham includes the following:

  • Good Times Bad Times
  • Fool In The Rain
  • Rock And Roll
  • In My Time Of Dying 
  • When The Levee Breaks
  • Moby Dick

3. Buddy Rich

Buddy Rich

Buddy Rich is very well known for his unique and fast drumming style. You may be surprised to know that Rich started drumming at the age of two after discovering his liking for Jazz music. Rich started playing Jazz music in 1937 as he associated with other musicians like Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, Bunny Berigan, etc.

After working with many musicians, Rich decided to form his band named, Buddy Rich Big Band. He is considered one of the most influential and best drummers of all time due to his virtuoso technique, outstanding and powerful music.

However, besides that, you should also know that Rich had a very short temper, and due to that, many musicians never liked him.

There were many tracks that Buddy Rich produced during his career, here are some of the best ones:

  • The Beat Goes On 
  • Love For Sale
  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
  • Channel One Suit
  • Big Swing Face
  • Ya Gotta Try

4. Max Weinberg

Max Weinberg

Max Weinberg has been associated with great drummers like Gene Krupa, Ringo Star and Buddy Rich. He was introduced to music very early, probably at age two when he used to attend Broadway shows every week and loved the sound put forth by the orchestras.

From the age of five, Max always knew that he wanted to become a drummer. He was mainly inspired when he saw the performance of Elvis Presley and his D.J. drummer.  

Max is quite well known for his work with Bruce Springsteen and the top-notch quality of music he brings to the table. It is also worth knowing that he helped the E Street Band in fixing a lot of the instabilities and issues they were facing in their performances.

Here are some of the best songs that Max worked on throughout his career:

  • Road Runner
  • Mahzel
  • Metronome
  • There’s Nobody Home
  • I Wanna Rock n Roll
  • Monopoly Woman 
  • Walk Right In

5. Bill Bruford

Bill Bruford cv

Bill Bruford is a master of progressive rock music. He started drumming as a kid when he was thirteen when he saw American Jazz drummers on BBC2 television. He got inspired and began practicing drumming in the attic of his home. He mentioned that as a young drummer, he was influenced by numerous drummers like Joe Morelle, Ginger Baker, Art Blakey and Max Roach.

Bruford primarily contributed his unique work to the band called Yes. However, he left it in 1972, and after that, he spent the next few years working with other artists like Roy Harper, King Crimson, UK, Genesis, and many more. In 1978, he created another band named Bruford but it lasted only till 1980. However, overall, Bruford was a great drummer who strongly influenced many aspiring drummers.

The Best of performances of Bill Bruford includes the following:

  • Beelzebub
  • The Sahara Of Show
  • Hell’s Bell
  • Joe Fraiser
  • Stromboli Kicks
  • Bridge Of Inhibition

6. Gene Krupa

Gene Krupa

Gene Krupa is known to be one of the greatest Drummers of all time for a reason. He was the one who made the solo drum a thing. 

Krupa was born in Chicago and started playing and drumming at the age of 12. Firstly, he joined Frivolians, a group of young musicians, while working his summer jobs. Then, at the age of sixteen, Krupa started to study Priesthood at St. Joseph’s College but quit it soon as he wanted to pursue his passion for drumming. 

During the mid-1920s, he professionally started playing drums. Because of his dedication and love for the instrument, he achieved great success as a drummer, especially during the 1930s when he started to work with various bands and associated with great personalities like Benny Goodman.

The Best of performances of Gene Krupa includes the following:

  • It All Comes Back To Me Now
  • Let Me Off Uptown 
  • High On Windy Hill
  • Brum Boogie
  • Sing, Sing, Sing
  • Wire Brush Stom

7. Stewart Copeland

Stewart Copland - best drummers of all time

Last but not least on the list of best drummers of all time is – Stewart Copland. Copland started drumming at 12, and within a year, he began playing drums for school dances. After completing his schooling, Copland attended the California Institute of the Arts, where he continued developing as a drummer and created his unique drumming style. 

Copland is primarily known for being the drummer of the rock band The Police, which was originally founded by him. Copland played numerous drumming styles but was mainly interested in playing snare, and his signatures generally included intricate high-hat patterns. Fans were able to recognize him just by listening to his music. 

Besides working with The Police, Steward also released numerous soundtracks and albums along with other musicians and also created music for many T.V. shows, and movies. 

Here are some of the best songs of Steward Copland:

  • Synchronicity
  • Stalin’s Sultry Serenade
  • Red Rain 
  • Little Faces
  • Driven To Tears
  • Stone In My Shoe


So, these were some of the best and greatest drummers ever. All of them had their uniqueness that they brought to the table and won the hearts of many people through their music. However, please know that this was not an exhaustive list of the best drummers of all time. The ones mentioned here were just some of them, and there are many more other drummers who are considered to be the finest.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who Is The Loudest Drummer?

According to the sources, Hatchman made the Guinness World Record for being the Loudest Drummer In The World. 

2. Who Was the Most Technically Skilled Drummer?

There have been numerous drummers who were considered to be highly skilled, which includes Keith Moon, Buddy Rich, Niel Peart, John Bonham, and many more. 

3. Who Is The Best Drummer Alive Today?

There are many fantabulous drummers that you can find nowadays, for instance, Cris Coleman, Steve Gadd, Kaz Radrguez, Travis Barker, etc.

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