Wednesday Question: Best Drummer Of All Time?

Who is the best drummer of all time? Post your beat-savvy nominations and votes here, and we'll list the results on Friday.

Ultimate Guitar

Our favorite top 10s are where we try and stack up the best musicians of all time. It's always hotly contested, and always proves to be a killer list full of great musicianship.

This time we'll look to the back of the stage, and ask:

Who is the best drummer of all time?

You can vote for any drummer you like, but you don't have to stick to the rock world - it's up to you.

There's so many people and genres to choose from, from progressive metal and hard rock all the way back to reggae and free jazz. Try to recommend drummers from as far and wide as possible if you know them.

YouTube videos are welcome (and probably the best way to encourage votes), and you can make as many separate nominations as you want).

Just remember the usual rules: one nomination per comment, and upvote other posts you agree with.

680 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Steve Moore
    Even if this doesnt come first, it needs some sort of mention. This guy has some sick skills!
    Danny Carey [Tool]
    Danny Carey for sure. His speed, intensity, versatility and the time signatures he pulls off are all crazy good.
    The time signatures he goes into in relation to those of the string section, and making it so very listenable ...Godlike.
    I'm just gonna list my favorites (I realize they won't "count"): Neil Peart (Rush) Danny Carey (Tool) Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson) Terry Bozzio (Zappa) Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) Keith Moon (The Who) Tim Alexander (Primus) Jimmy Chamberlain (Smashing Pumpkins) John Dolmayan (System of a Down) Josh Freese (NIN, A Perfect Circle) Dave Grohl (Nirvana, QOTSA, Them Crooked Vultures) Phil Selway (Radiohead)
    Neil Peart
    neil peart is massively overrated
    Find a drummer who puts more effort into making drum tracks for songs than Peart. Hard to do. And no I'm not talking who can play the fastest blast beats, I'm talking who can show an insane amount of skill while still making the song audibly pleasing.
    You must be thinking of someone else, Neil Peart is awesome.
    yeah, i must be thinking of someone else, thanks for setting me straight. i wasn't thinking of the most overrated drummer ever to grace the world of rock after all. neil peart blows goats.
    But really John Bonham
    Serious talk, CHAD SMITH!!
    absolutely chad smith. the amount of session work he's done on top of rhcp, chickenfoot and bombastic meatbats speaks for itself. the guys amazing. him and dave grohl are the greatest rock drummers of the last 10 years, no doubt. but my vote is for chad smith, all the wah
    Absolutely. My holy trinity of drummers has John Bonham at the top, along with Chad Smith and Dave Grohl. Love those guys.
    Chad Smith? Great drummer. Dave Grohl? Great drummer. The greatest of the last 10 years? That's crazy talk.
    absolutely. i bet i'm proven right on at least one account when the results come in as well.
    You can't be "proven right", its an opinions forum; a popularity contest. That's why Bonham's gonna get #1; doesn't mean he's the best though.
    Honestly, the zeplin drummer could get the 'most influential' drummer award, but the first is not automatically the best. Hendrix is not the best guitarist ... Sabbath is not the best rock band. And john wasn't the greatest drummer.
    I honestly think he's wildly overrated. He seems to play pretty standard beats in most songs, and was sloppy live. Yeah when the levee breaks has a cool drum beat, but it's not terribly technically impressive or anything... and Moby Dick is just uninspired wankery if you ask me. I think people assume since he was in LZ, played long solos, and hit the drums really hard he's some kind of god. I'm not trying to be contrarian, just my opinion.
    If you think Bonzo was sloppy, I wonder what you think of Kieth Moon. Also, his fills are incredible so don't mess.
    I'm gonna hop on the downvote train and agree with you. Not to say he wasn't a great drummer, but he wasn't better than Neil Peart, Danny Carey, Gavin Harrison, Terry Bozzio, Keith Moon, Tim Alexander, Bill Bruford... etc etc
    what about his drumming on trampled under foot, in my time of dying, whole lotta love, kashmir, when the levee breaks...etc Only keith moon and ginger baker come close to anything as good as bonzo
    No one is saying he's a bad drummer, we're just saying his body of work doesn't justify the title of "best drummer ever". It's maybe a bit like calling Hendrix the best guitarist ever, safe choice, excellent body of work, but the best? Come on.
    Moon and Baker? Really? That's it? I can name like 10 off the top of my head. And again, that's not because I don't think he's a great drummer, but #1? Bitch please.
    Terry Bozzio is pretty underrated
    I think he's only underrated by people who don't know him, lol. Every professional drummer knows his name and how crazy good he is.
    yeah He's one of the best drummers of all time, it's not easy to play zappa's black page
    You are entitled to your opinion, but unfortunately in this case it is wrong.
    those beats sound standard because every drummer since then is influenced by him whether they realise it or not!
    Black Paranoia
    Nico McBrain one of the few metal drummer's who doesn't use either two bass drums or a double bass pedal
    Badass UltraMan
    Despite my love for Maiden, McBrain is a drummer that I never really paid any attention to originally. It wasn't until I read an interview with Bruce Dickinson saying his favourite thing about 'A Matter of Life and Death' was the drumming that I started really listening to the drums in Maiden and I'm glad I did. Fantastic drummer!