Drum Players Who Raised The Bar. Your Favorites. Your Opinion.


Friend of Leo's
Platinum Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
O'Fallon, MO
Drummers get trashed quite a lot. "I can't find a decent drummer". "Drum machines at least stay on the beat". How many drummer jokes have you heard? I've come to think of drumming as being a heck of a lot harder than most other instrument players give it credit for. I struggled with keyboards just getting both arms / hands doing their own thing. Drummers are using all four appendages to create beats and the best among them seem to be able to divide their brain into four separate yet cognizant parts that each control one appendage while creating an overall beat that provides perfection for any song's requirements. While most drummers excel at one or more specific styles other drummers have shown the ability to master all styles. Suffice it to say excellent drummers are masters of their instrument and deserve a lot more respect than most drummers receive. I have my favorites and I'm sure you have yours. I'll make a list of my favorites in reverse order below. If they're style specific I'll note it. If they can do it all I'll just list them. I'm interested in your opinions. If you want to create your own list have at it. If you just want to name one or a few go right ahead. No rules. This thread is about giving drummers that deserve credit the credit they're due.

12). Neil Peart * Rock / Metal.
11). Ginger Baker * Jazz / Blues / Blues Rock.
10). Alex Van Halen * Hard Rock.
9). Gene Krupa * Big band.
8). Cozy Powell * Hard Rock / Metal.
7). Mike Portnoy * Rock / Metal.
6). Ringo Starr * Pop. I mean .... come on.
5). Keith Moon * Rock Like a caged maniac thinking of their own world.
4). Billy Cobham Billy does it all. Perfectly.
3). John Bonham * Rock. I don't think an explanation is necessary.
2). Buddy Rich * Jazz. No ones ever had faster hands or accuracy
1). Greg Bissonette Greg has mastered every style and can accurately play anything by anybody. His own creations can leave other drummers in the dust. Yet .... He's so darn humble he credits everyone except himself.

So those are mine. What might your's be?
Last edited:


Aug 18, 2015
Seligenstadt, Germany
Some of my favorites have already been named (especally Keith Moon and Stewart Copeland).
Vinnie Colaiuta has to be on the list. He can play anything.
Barriemore Barlow is hugely underrated (as is Martin Barre considering guitarplayers), he did some amazing stuff during his tenure with Jethro Tull and is probably my favourite "progrock" drummer.
Bill Bruford when it comes to exploring different styles.
Hans-Joachim Behrendt from the german Band Ideal, which was probably the best german New Wave act in the early 80s. Probably no-one outside Germany and younger that 45 will know him, but he combined odd patterns with incredible drive. Always been one of my favorites.

New Posts