71 Best Drummers Of All Time

With the drum kit being relatively new compared to other instruments in the world, we’ve seen so many players shape the way drums are played. From the early jazz era to the modern music era, these drummers have turned heads and dominated stages.

Here’s a list of all the best drummers ever. We’ve made sections for the best jazz drummers, rock drummers, funk drummers, metal drummers, Gospel drummers, jazz fusion drummers, and finally modern drummers.

Best Jazz Drummers

Buddy Rich

Buddy Rich

There’s arguably no drummer who is more famous than Buddy Rich. He was a phenomenon in the 20th century, having so much speed and technical ability that he amazed any crowd he played in front of.

He was typically the leader of the big bands he played with, as he was always the center of attention in musical settings. He’s widely regarded as one of the best drummers to ever play the instrument, even outside of the jazz genre. While that’s a bit of a controversial statement for some people, they can’t deny just how good he was.

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Gene Krupa

Gene Krupa, one of the best drummers ever

Gene Krupa was the other big jazz drummer known around the world alongside Buddy Rich. He was more of a showman than a blazing drummer, though. He was in countless movies, and it’s thanks to Gene Krupa that so many young people started playing the instrument back in the day.

Gene Krupa was one of the first drummers to use toms on his drum set. He got Slingerland to make them for him, and every drummer started using them afterward. The “Gene Krupa-style tom solo” is still a very commonly played concept in the modern day.

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Art Blakey

Art Blakey

Art Blakey was one of the leading drummers in the big band era, making his name known while playing for a few popular big bands.

After that, he formed a band called the Jazz Messengers, and that group stayed together and played for decades. His work with the Jazz Messengers is what everyone praises him for, as he pushed boundaries on the drum kit to play some incredible things.

He’s also seen as one of the first pioneers of bebop drumming, as he had an aggressive swing style that drove that music forward.

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Elvin Jones

Elvin Jones

Elvin Jones is undoubtedly one of the most influential drummers in jazz and the wider music industry. He had such an amazing way of playing the drums, and he pathed the way for many after him to play in a similar way.

His most notable role was drumming with John Coltrane, but, like many other jazz drummers of the time, he played with countless other artists and led his own band.

He was known to play the drums very reactively when playing with soloists, and that was a big part of his style that shaped jazz drumming.

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Max Roach

Max Roach

Max Roach has perhaps the most impressive list of musicians that he played drums with. This list includes Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Sonny Rollins. These were all highly acclaimed jazz musicians.

Max Roach mainly played bebop, but he fared well in big band settings too. The reason he became so well-known was that he played the drums melodically. Before that, everyone just saw the drums as a time-keeping instrument. He tastefully used his toms and cymbals to create melodies, and that was mind-blowing at the time. It still is in the modern day.

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Joe Morello

Joe Morello

Joe Morello was Dave Brubeck’s drummer. His claim to fame was the fact that he was so comfortable playing in complicated time signatures.

His most famous drum part was for the song Take Five, which is in 5/4. There’s an official recording of the tune, and Joe Morello rips a solo in 5/4 time that perfectly proves just how good he was.

He did a few solo projects, but he was mostly known for being part of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, which went on for almost 20 years.

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Tony Williams

Tony Williams

Tony Williams is the last jazz drumming great to mention who played a big role in shaping the genre in the 20th century. He was the main drummer for Miles Davis, and he played a big part in the start of fusion music. This was when jazz musicians brought in influences from rock and funk.

Tony Williams was another drummer who played very melodically. His playing style always made it seem like he was a musician before a drummer. He also composed a lot of music himself.

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Nate Smith

Nate Smith

Nate Smith is a modern jazz drummer, and he’s one of the biggest influences on countless drummers around the world. He has an amazing sense of feel and timing. While he can swing very well, it’s his grooves that everyone loves.

He mainly plays in bands that he leads, but he often features with Vulfpeck and The Fearless Flyers. Those bands are more funk-focused, but his tight sense of groove fits in perfectly with them.

Nate Smith is the type of drummer that you can listen to playing solo for hours and remain interested. He has a drum-only album called Pocket Change, which is one of my favorite albums.

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Peter Erskine

Peter Erskine

Peter Erskine is a legend in the jazz drumming world. He was most notably the drummer for Steps Ahead and Weather Report, but he’s played in other groups with several of the jazz musician greats over his career.

He’s also a fantastic teacher, and he has a few elaborate jazz drumming courses on offer. If you want to learn the deepest parts of jazz drumming along with all the fundamentals, Peter Erskine is your guy.

I love how Peter Erskine can sound amazing while playing the subtlest swing but then completely rip it up on the kit as well.

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Mark Guiliana

Mark Guiliana

Mark Guiliana is another modern jazz drumming great. He has a very distinct playing style. It’s erratic yet extremely musical.

While he’s primarily a jazz drummer, he’s played for a few notable pop artists throughout his career. The most notable one is David Bowie.

One of the most interesting things about Mark Guiliana’s playing is the sheer amount of control he has over his dynamics. He switches seamlessly between louds and softs in a way that I haven’t seen too many drummers do, and that’s where his sense of musicality shines the most.

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Best Rock Drummers

John Bonham

John Bonham

When it comes to rock drumming, the first name that comes to most people’s minds is John Bonham. He joined Led Zeppelin when he was only a teenager, but he became the face of rock drumming soon after that.

Bonham played the drums with immense power, and he was always known for using very large drums and cymbals. He’s still highly regarded as one of the best drummers to ever live, and his most notable playing technique was when he did “Bonham triplets.” These are combinations around the kit between his hands and right foot.

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Neil Peart

Neil Peart

In the late 20th century, Rush was one of the biggest bands in the world. A lot of their musical success was thanks to Neil Peart, the drummer who made all their tracks so much better with his drum parts.

Neil was known to play some amazing drum solos, and his 360-degree drum set was something special to behold in his final years of playing. Unfortunately, he died in 2020, but it caused most of the drumming industry to appreciate his skills even more. 

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Keith Moon

Keith Moon

Keith Moon has to be one of the craziest drummers to take the stage. He played drums for The Who, and he was always pulling funky faces while drumming. While he became notorious for his on and off-stage antics, his drumming ability was also something to marvel at.

His drumming was powerful and erratic, just like he was. He created drum parts that perfectly suited the music that The Who was making, and that’s what solidifies him as one of the best rock drummers out there. He was also a huge inspiration to younger drummers looking to play rock.

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Ginger Baker

Ginger Baker

Ginger Baker was originally a jazz drummer, but his biggest act was with the rock band called Cream. He had an amazing drumming style where he blended jazz and African influences into his rock playing. It made him very unique compared to other rock drummers, and he was no stranger to playing lengthy drum solos.

I constantly go back and listen to Ginger Baker playing different versions of the drum solo in Toad, which was one of Cream’s best songs.

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Stewart Copeland

Stewart Copeland

Stewart Copeland was another drummer who blended influences from other styles into rock to create something very special. He was able to seamlessly play around with backbeats, and he used reggae drumming as a big inspiration for that.

He was the drummer for The Police, and most of the musicians who love him do so because of the unique way he played. He’s an incredible composer as well, and his musical prowess is what makes his drumming so diverse.

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Ian Paice

Ian Paice

Ian Paice is Deep Purple’s drummer, making him another drummer that gained massive fame for playing in a world-famous rock band in the latter part of the 20th century. The incredible thing about Ian Paice’s drumming is his intention behind every stroke. Everything he plays feels and sounds solid, and he was just someone who never made mistakes.

He played left-handed, which made him a big influence on other left-handed players who hadn’t seen many drummers play the kit that way.

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Roger Taylor

Roger Taylor

Roger Taylor is another drummer who has amazing musicianship, and he brings that out in his drumming. He played drums for Queen, and he played a big role in writing songs for the band as well.

Taylor’s drumming style was very orchestral, and it blended very well with Queen’s operatic style. While he could easily be picked as one of the best drummers just for his work with Queen, he’s worked with countless other groups as a drummer, guitarist, and singer. All of these have planted him firmly on this list.

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Aric Improta

Aric Improta

Aric Improta is a modern rock drummer who’s been pushing the boundaries of creativity in rock drumming. While he doesn’t yet have a long and detailed career like these other rock drummers, he’s become a highly influential player in the modern rock scene.

He’s taken a similar role to Keith Moon, as he’s well-known for his antics on stage. You’ll see him doing backflips, hanging from ceilings above his drums, and doing other wild things, all while smashing the drums in the most incredible way.

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Taylor Hawkins

Taylor Hawkins

Taylor Hawkins was a very important member of the Foo Fighters. While Dave Grohl brings all the musical creativity, Hawkins brought the energy behind the kit. He played the drums loud and hard, and that’s exactly what was needed from him as a drummer in a rock band.

He tragically died in 2022, but his drumming will live on forever in all the Foo Fighters’ tracks.

The best thing about Taylor Hawkins was the pure energy he brought to the kit. It always looked like he was playing like his life depended on it, and that showed that he always gave it his all at gigs.

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Danny Carey

Danny Carey

Danny Carey is a name that will always come up in conversations about rock drumming greats. He plays drums for Tool, which is a highly unique band that Danny Carey perfectly fits in with.

He’s a master of playing changing time signatures, but he’s also a master of integrating unique kinds of percussion into his drum parts.

Another thing he’s known for is his sheer control over playing complex polyrhythms. You can hear them in almost every Tool song. 

While Danny Carey’s playing style fits well with Tool, he could easily sit in with any rock band.

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Best Funk Drummers

Clyde Stubblefield

Clyde Stubblefield

James Brown was one of the most immense figures in funk music, and Clyde Stubblefield was his drummer. This made Clyde Stubblefield the most popular funk drummer in the world at the time, and his influence still rings heavily throughout the entire music industry.

Countless Clyde Stubblefield grooves have been sampled, and you can hear them being used in a lot of modern pop and hip-hop music.

Clyde Stubblefield was one of the first big groovers in drumming. He played such tight and incredible-sounding grooves that funk drumming essentially started with him.

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David Garibaldi

David Garibaldi

David Garibaldi is a living drumming legend. He plays drum for the Tower of Power, and he’s an immense groover behind the drum kit. He’s created so many iconic grooves with the band, and he’s even written a few educational drum books about funk drumming and grooving.

His drumming style is very disciplined. When you listen to him, you get the impression that he’s playing exactly what he needs to at the right moment. Nothing more and nothing less.

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Stanton Moore

Stanton Moore

Stanton Moore is an amazing funk drummer who specializes particularly in New Orleans drumming. He’s also an incredible educator who regularly teaches around the world.

His most notable band is Galactic, but he works as a very successful session musician as well. He’s recorded a wide variety of albums with different funk and soul bands. When it comes to modern funk drumming, Stanton Moore is a big name to look out for, and you can learn a lot from all his educational resources.

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Steve Jordan

Steve Jordan

Steve Jordan is another drummer who has a clear place on this list, as labeling him as one of the best drummers of all time is something that most drummers and musicians would easily agree with.

While I’ve put him in this funk drummer section, he’s no stranger to playing rock music as well. He even played drums for The Rolling Stones for a short stint while Charlie Watts couldn’t play.

He has a very powerful sense of groove, and that comes out strongly in every setting he plays in.

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Dennis Chambers

Dennis Chambers

Dennis Chambers has been gigging on the drums for his whole life, with his first pub gigs being when he was only six years old. Clyde Stubblefield was one of his biggest inspirations, and that’s where a lot of his funk drumming chops come from.

Dennis Chambers is an incredible drummer, with the most impressive thing about him being how quickly he’s able to get around the kit. His speed is immense, yet it always sounds groovy and musical when he plays fast.

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James Gadson

James Gadson

James Gadson has a massive drum career behind him, playing drums for almost a thousand studio albums. Throughout his career, he’s been one of the most sought-after session musicians in the world. He has such a solid sense of rhythm and feel, and that’s highly regarded in studio settings.

I love how he’s always grooving with a smile on his face. It’s as if he knows exactly how good he sounds, but it’s more like he knows just how well his grooves are serving the music.

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Omar Hakim

Omar Hakim

Omar Hakim has played with a wide range of extremely popular artists throughout his drumming career. These include Weather Report, Dire Straits, Celine Dion, Daft Punk, Miles Davis, and Journey.

While Omar can play some incredibly complex things behind the kit, he also has a solid sense of groove and timing, making him a great funk drummer. He’s layed down solid grooves on countless albums with popular artists.

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Bernard Purdie

Bernard Purdie

I don’t know any drummers that look happier than Bernard Purdie when they play. He’s a monster groover behind the kit, and he even has a popular groove named after him called “The Purdie Shuffle.”

He’s one of the most laidback drummers on this list, but he’s also one of the most influential. The Purdie Shuffle was essentially the first half-time shuffle to be played, and you can hear it being replicated by other drum legends like Stewart Copeland, Jeff Porcaro, and John Bonham.

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Billy Cobham

Billy Cobham

Billy Cobham is an immense groover behind the drum kit. He plays with a unique explosiveness, but he also always lays down the thickest beats.

One of the most interesting things about Billy Cobham is that he was one of the first world-famous drummers to play open-handed. This refers to when you play the hi-hat with your left hand and the snare drum with your right.

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Gerald Heyward

Gerald Heyward

Gerald Heyward is a major name in the world of funk and R&B drumming. He’s played with some incredible artists such as Chris Brown, Janet Jackson, Missy Elliot, and Britney Spears.

While most of those artists are pop artists, Gerald Heyward is an incredible funk drummer. His grooving ability is what put him on the radar and made him one of the most sought-after players in the world at a stage.

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Best Metal Drummers

Mike Portnoy

Mike Portnoy

Mike Portnoy was Dream Theater’s original drummer. He left the band in 2010, but he will always be known for all his work with them. His drum parts on Dream Theater songs were insanely technical.

Portnoy heavily utilizes his toms in his playing, and he’s a master of switching between time signatures.

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Tomas Haake

Tomas Haake

Tomas Haake’s most notable drum part is the herta-filled groove that he plays in Meshuggah’s song, Bleed. This track has become world-famous because of this drum part, and it perfectly demonstrates just how good of a drummer Tomas Haake is. He has a special ability to play hard and fast for hours on end.

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Joey Jordison

Joey Jordison

Joey Jordison is one of the biggest reasons why so many drummers got into playing metal music in the early 2000s. He played drums with Slipknot, and his drumming style was incredibly quick and powerful.

The things he did on stage were immense, and he somehow nailed all his notes while demonstrating plenty of showmanship at the same time.

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Matt Garstka

Matt Garstka

Matt Garstka is a prominent member of Animals as Leaders. While he’s an amazing jazz drummer, his career has seen him become one of the most influential progressive metal drummers of the 21st century.

He’s one of the best players in modern drumming, as he plays things that are completely unfathomable to many people. He combines raw power with lighting speed, and then he turns those into complex drum parts.

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Mario Duplantier

Mario Duplantier

Mario Duplantier is a vital member of the progressive death metal band Gojira. While the band mostly has heavy and fast songs, Mario’s drumming displays plenty of musicality and creativity.

He’s a top-tier drummer and a major influence on many people who love metal music.

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Ray Luzier

Ray Luzier

Ray Luzier has been the drummer for KoRn since 2009. He was most notably the drummer for David Lee Roth before that but playing for Korn is what put his name out there to a wider audience.

He puts plenty of power behind his drumming, but he’s also very technical. He’s another drummer on this list with an impressive level of educational knowledge.

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Matt Greiner

Matt Greiner

Matt Greiner has been a solid member of August Burns Red since the band was created. He’s an immense drummer that plays incredibly complex drum parts in most of August Burns Red’s songs.

The thing that makes Matt Greiner so unique is the way he looks when playing. Everything looks easy to him, even when he plays very technically difficult parts.

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Mike Mangini

Mike Mangini

Mike Mangini filled the role of drummer in Dream Theater after Mike Portnoy left the group. He slotted in perfectly, and he’s recorded a few albums with the band since joining. While his drumming with Dream Theater is fantastic, he was a highly rated metal drummer before joining the band.

He’s one of the fastest drummers in the world, having an amazing ability to blaze patterns around the drums set.

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Eloy Casagrande

Eloy Casagrande

Eloy Casagrande is another relatively young drummer on this list, but he’s been making huge waves in the metal drumming world since he joined the band Sepultra.

He hits the drums really hard, and he always looks fantastic while doing it. He’s a big influence on many young metal drummers learning to play the instrument.

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Lars Ulrich

Lars Ulrich

This is a bit of a controversial pick, considering that many people detest Lars Ulrich’s drumming. However, you can’t understate the impact that Lars had on metal drumming. It was huge, and that makes him one of the best metal drummers.

His drum parts for Metallica are extremely tasteful, and the band just wouldn’t be the same without him.

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Best Gospel Drummers

Calvin Rodgers

Calvin Rodgers

Calvin Rodgers is one of the biggest names in the Gospel music industry. Many people see him as one of the most influential drummers in the style, as well as one of the most influential music directors.

He has an amazing sense of feel, timing, and musicality behind the kit. Everything he plays is highly tasteful.

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Eric Moore

Eric Moore

Eric Moore’s claim to fame was when he won the Guitar Center Drum-Off in 2003. His career skyrocketed after that, and he’s been an in-demand drummer ever since. He’s one of those drummers that can fit what seems like thousands of notes into different drum fills.

While he’s played with several Gospel and pop acts, he’s also played with a few rock artists over the years.

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Aaron Spears

Aaron Spears

Aaron Spears is an in-demand drummer in the world of touring pop and hip-hop artists. He’s played with Ariana Grande, Usher, Carrie Underwood, and Jordin Sparks. However, his roots are deep in Gospel music, and he’s played with Israel Houghton and a few other popular Gospel artists.

His drumming is similar to Eric Moore’s in that he somehow manages to fit thousands of notes while playing in the most tasteful way.

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Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman was most notably known for his role as the drummer for Israel and The New Breed. However, he’s played with dozens of popular Gospel artists throughout his career.

He’s also an amazing drum clinician who regularly travels the world to teach people how to get better at the instrument. Out of all the drummers on this list, I also think Chris Coleman is one of the happiest!

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Rashid Williams

Rashid Williams

The Gospel Chops scene started when a group of Gospel drummers started posting their sheds on social media. Sheds are when drummers jam together and rip it up on their kits. Rashid Williams is one of the biggest drummers to come out of this scene, and he’s another drummer with Gospel influences that is highly in demand.

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Larnell Lewis

Larnell Lewis

Larnell Lewis has firmly staked his claim as one of the best working drummers in the world. The story of him learning an entire Snarky Puppy album on his flight to the session recording is one that will live on for many years.

He’s a Gospel drummer by origin, but he’s also an incredible jazz drummer.

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Thomas Pridgen

Thomas Pridgen

Thomas Pridgen is a monster drummer. His roots are in Gospel music, so a lot of that influence comes out in his playing. However, he mainly plays in rock and hardcore bands.

He was the youngest drummer to ever win the Guitar Center Drum-Off. He was nine years old. He was also one of the youngest drummers to get a Zildjian endorsement, getting it when he was just ten.

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Tony Royster Jr.

Tony Royster Jr.

Tony Royster Jr. was regarded as the best drummer in the world for a while, and he’s undoubtedly one of the best drummers of all time. Like Thomas Pridgen, Tony Royster Jr. gained major fame at a young age for his skills behind the kit.

He’s played drums for Katy Perry, Joe Jonas, Jay-Z, and Mac Miller.

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John Blackwell

John Blackwell

John Blackwell was highly influential in the early 2000s, and his most notable gig was with Prince. He had a very tasteful drumming style, and he could groove just as well as he could play crazy patterns around the kit.

He was also an excellent drum teacher.

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Nikki Glaspie

Nikki Glaspie

Nikkie Glaspie’s biggest gig was with Beyoncé, but she has several other notable gigs behind her name. These include Maceo Parker, GRiz, and Dumpstaphunk.

She’s an incredible music producer as well, but it’s her skills behind the drums that make her so highly regarded in modern music circles.

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Best Jazz Fusion Drummers

Dave Weckl

Dave Weckl

Dave Weckl is the first name that comes to mind when thinking of great jazz fusion drummers. He was one of the biggest names in the world during the early 2000s, and he’s graduated to legendary status since then.

He’s played with some huge names like Chick Corea, Mike Stern, and Robert Plant.

Dave Weckl has often been regarded as one of the best drummers in the world. He’s also a top-tier educator, having released several educational drum books.

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Steve Gadd

Steve Gadd

If you were to pick one studio drummer to put at the top of a list, it would undoubtedly be Steve Gadd. He’s worked with too many world-class musicians to count, and his drumming abilities have firmly planted him as one of the best groove drummers of all time.

He’s played with artists of all musical styles, but his drumming with jazz fusion groups is arguably where he shines the most.

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Vinnie Colaiuta

Vinnie Colaiuta

While Steve Gadd is known as the session drummer who will play in the pocket and sound amazing while doing it, Vinnie Colaiuta is known as the session drummer who will completely rip it up on the kit with whoever he plays with.

He has a very technical style of drumming, and he elevates any group he plays with because of it. Colaiuta, Gadd, and Weckl are regarded as the top three drummers in fusion drumming, and many people rate Vinnie Colaiuta as their favorite.

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Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Steve Smith played drums in the rock band Journey for most of their time in the 90s. However, his drumming abilities truly shine whenever he plays with jazz fusion groups. He’s an incredible jazz drummer, and he always pulls out the most technically advanced concepts in the most relaxed way.

His rock and jazz influences combine together to make him one of the most highly regarded drummers of all time.

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Virgil Donati

Virgil Donati

Virgil Donati is a drummer who’s often been regarded along the same lines as Dave Weckl. However, Virgil’s playing style is a bit heavier, along with the music he plays to.

He’s another drummer on this list who is well-known for having technical proficiency and control over odd time signatures and polyrhythms. If you want to listen to some very complex drum parts, Virgil Donati is the guy to listen to.

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Jojo Mayer

Jojo Mayer

Jojo Mayer is one of the most innovative drummers of the modern age. While he started as a pure jazz drummer, he switched to playing electronic and drum ‘n’ bass music at a later stage in his career.

He has an impressive ability to create electronic sounds on his acoustic kit, and he’s one of the most notable drummers to show people that acoustic drums can fit perfectly within electronic music.

He also has an amazing sense of technique, and he’s a big advocator of the push-pull technique, teaching it wherever he can.

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Gary Novak

Gary Novak

Gary Novak doesn’t get as much credit as most of the other drummers on this list, purely due to his playing not being seen as much on social media and television. However, most musicians in the fusion world know exactly who Gary Novak is, as he’s one of the best players out there.

He’s tracked drums for artists like David Crosby, Chick Corea, George Benson, and Alanis Morisette.

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Simon Phillips

Simon Phillips

Simon Phillips is an amazingly versatile drummer. He played drums for Toto after Jeff Porcaro died, but he’s also played for other jazz, rock, and pop groups.

He’s another drummer on this list who’s notable for playing with an open-handed stance at the kit. He has an amazing ability to switch between styles and sound like he’s been playing all of them professionally for his whole life.

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Cindy Blackman

Cindy Blackman

Cindy Blackman started off as a prominent jazz drummer, playing and leading multiple jazz groups. She transitioned to rock drumming later in her career, and she smashed it with artists like Prince and Lenny Kravitz.

She’s very creative behind the kit, but she shares the same explosive nature as so many other jazz fusion drummers do.

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Antonio Sanchez

Antonio Sanchez

Antonio Sanchez is another living legend in the music industry. He’s the regular drummer for Pat Metheny, who’s an incredibly famous jazz guitarist.

Antonio Sanchez is also a fantastic composer, and he’s created music for multiple successful projects over the years.

His playing style is very technically proficient, but he adds so much heart and soul behind everything he plays as well. Whenever I watch him play, I always just think about how he’s a drummer who’s reached the absolute peak of his craft.

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Best Modern Drummers

JD Beck

JD Beck

JD Beck is incredibly young, but his playing has influenced so many drummers over the past while. He became a favorite of many when he was only 16, purely due to how complex and interesting the grooves he plays are.

His playing style shows him heavily utilizing 32nd notes in his grooves, and he’s a master of subtle time signature changes.

He does most of his playing with Domi, another young musician who’s amazing on the keys. The duo has made waves in the music industry, with dozens of famous drummers taking their hats off to JD and his playing abilities.

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Gavin Harrison

Gavin Harrison

Gavin Harrison is a legend in the drumming industry, but I’ve put him here in the modern drummer section as the music he plays is quite unique. His main band is Porcupine Tree, and they’ve put out a few top-quality albums over the years.

If I were to describe Gavin Harrison’s drumming with a single word, it would be musical. He has so much musicality behind what he plays, and it always seems like he’s playing melodies on the toms. Combine that with his finesse, and you have a winning combination.

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Robert ‘Sput’ Searight

Robert ‘Sput’ Searight

Robert Searight was Snarky Puppy’s original drummer. The band has started utilizing a roster of different drummers, but Sput will always be one of the founders and most integral members.

He’s part of a few different band projects, with the most notable one being Ghost-Note, which is a band he formed that contains mostly percussionists.

While he’s not drumming, he’s also making and arranging music. He’s an amazing musician outside of drumming, and that comes through very clearly in the way he approaches playing the drum kit.

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Anika Nilles

Anika Nilles

Anika Nilles is one of the best female drummers to ever play the instrument. If I think of all the female drummers that have become well-known in the 21st century, she undoubtedly tops the list.

She’s a master at playing complex subdivisions on the drums, and most of the music she writes focuses on those ideas. She’s also a regular clinician, traveling the world to give lessons in the form of drum clinics.

She’s stated that she’s not the biggest fan of playing drum solos, so all the performances you see of her are typically accompanied by music that she’s written.

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Yussef Dayes

Yussef Dayes

Yussef Dayes is one of the most well-known drummers in the UK jazz scene. He’s an amazing groove drummer, pulling out high tempo grooves that not many other drummers can. However, his creativity is also something that makes so many drummers look up to him.

He does a lot of work with musicians like Tom Misch, Alfa Mist, and Rocco Palladino. If you want to listen to some groundbreaking jazz music that is fairly different from standard swing charts, Yussef Dayes is one of the best drummers to check out.

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Benny Greb

Benny Greb

Benny Greb is another drummer that is famous for his sense of groove and timing. He’s so in tune with playing amazing grooves that he’s even written multiple books about it. He’s the kind of drummer that will play the same thing as you, but he’ll somehow make it sound so much better.

Something interesting about Benny Greb is that he was one of the first drummers to bring Meinl cymbals to the spotlight. The brand is now one of the big four cymbal brands in the industry, but they weren’t as well-known until Benny Greb gained huge traction outside of Germany.

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Travis Barker

Travis Barker

Travis Barker is an easy choice for any best drummer list. His time with Blink-182 made him one of the most loved drummers in the world at a stage. When it comes to drummers with high levels of fame, Travis Barker is undoubtedly who most people think of.

While he used to be a pure punk drummer, he’s done so much work with modern hip-hop artists in recent years that it’s only appropriate to place him in this modern drummer section.

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Matt McGuire

Matt McGuire

Matt McGuire plays drum for The Chainsmokers. Before he got that gig, he was killing it in the online world with his YouTube drum covers. He has impressive abilities behind the kit, but it’s his performance skills that make him such an incredible drummer.

He’s the drummer that will get a crowd feeling pumped, as he puts so much energy behind what he’s playing, and he somehow pulls off the most incredible things while doing so.

His gig with The Chainsmokers seems to be the perfect fit, as they use his ability to hype out crowds of thousands.

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Lenny ‘The Ox’ Reece

Lenny ‘The Ox’ Reece

Lenny Reece was seen as an underground drummer for the longest time. His drumming skills have gotten more attention in recent years, and rightfully so. His signature playing style is very laidback yet aggressive. He has a unique ability to push and pull his timing within songs to add an interesting feel.

Since no other drummer sounds quite like Lenny Reece, he’s another easy choice to add to this section of incredible modern drummers. His band, The Lesson GK, regularly performs in different music venues in New York.

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Questlove

Questlove

Questlove is a drummer that has become incredibly influential in the modern music world. He plays drums for The Roots, which is the house band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Millions of people have seen him playing drums because of that show.

However, he’s also a top-tier producer, so he’s worked with dozens of high-performance artists over the years.

He mainly plays funk styles behind the kit, and he has an amazing sense of groove and timing.

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El Estepario Siberiano

El Estepario Siberiano

El Estepario Siberiano is another drummer who’s gained fame on YouTube. While he hasn’t been known for as long as the rest of the drummers on this list, his immense skills behind the drum kit have rightfully blown up all his social media pages.

One of the most impressive things he does is play highly complex songs with one hand. While that seems a bit gimmicky, it’s an incredible sight to see. When he plays drums normally, he has unreal speed and control.

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Top Drummers Ever, Final Thoughts

So those, to us, are the best drummers of all time. While some on this list are undeniable, I’m sure there are a few some would change. If you’ve any to add, let us know in the comments.

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