Best Rock Drummers

I've seen most of them and by far the two that stand out are Neil Peart of Rush and Ceasar Z. of Golden Earring. For non-rock I would say it's a no brainer with Buddy Rich.

No one is more satisfying to listen to than Bonham.  Not even close.  His drum tracks are songs unto themselves.

Similar to Hendrix.  We could name many with greater technical proficiency, but none who sound as good.

Tre Cool of Green Day - I'm not a fan of the band, but he is a great drummer. Fast and clean with great taste and instincts to drive the music forward and always do just the right thing at just the right time while also surprising the listener sometimes.

Gilson Lavis, formerly the drummer for Squeeze for many years. Love the band, and he was the perfect drummer for them. Again, original, never intrusive but full of quirky little ideas that were the perfect accompaniment to their brilliant songs. 

Haha best drummer thread...classic!

They all start with Neil Peart or John Bonham with a non-rock tip of the hat to Buddy Ruch. There’s also Keith Moon up there as well.

Better to ask professional drummers who they admire most and I guarantee Neil Peart won’t hit the top ten.

I have a ’crieria’ which I ’judge’ drummers but I use it to quantify every type of artist: it’s a countdown from ’facility/skill’ to creativity to something a bit rarer...something the best artist strive to have but is something that cannot be taught. It is fearlessness.

If it was fearlessness alone, Elvin Jones, Steve Gadd or Keith Moon would be at the top of the list.

If it was creativity alone, Max Roach, Steve Gadd, Steve Smith, Vinnie Colaiutta are up there. I’m sure I’m missing a few.

If it was musicality alone, Jeff Porcaro, Hal Blaine, John Bonham

My criteria:

5. Facility

4.Influential contribution





This is why Neil Peart would never crack the top 20 in my list and why I rate John Bonham in the top 5.


I’m a huge Steve Smith fan. His solo on Journey Captured Live is the best recorded rock solo in my book. But he is not fearless like Max Roach or Elvin Jones or Keith Moon.

I think Neil Peart is a great drummer and I’m a huge Rush fan.

I think the best living drummers are still Steve Gadd and Vinnie Colaiutta.