Top 5 Rock and Roll Drummers

Iconic Rush drummer Neil Peart celebrates a birthday this week, and in his honor, we’ve come up with a list of five of Rock and Roll's greatest sticksmen!  Check out our list of Top 5 Rock and Roll Drummers and let us know what you think!

1.  Neil Peart

This Canadian rocker is widely regarded as one of the most talented drummers of all time.  Neil Peart is so good, in fact, his abilities are often showcased on Rush live albums with separate tracks dedicated to his drum solos.  He released the DVD Anatomy of a Drum Solo in 2005 where he reveals his technique and approach to soloing.  Check out his performance on a 360o set during Drum Week on The Late Show with David Letterman.

2.  John Bonham

There would be no Led Zeppelin without John Bonham.  This heavy-hitting percussionist left us too soon but he didn’t fail to leave his mark on Rock and Roll.  His style has influenced drummers for generations and he ranked No. 1 on Rolling Stone’s list of Top 10 Drummers of All Time as voted by readers.  Here’s John in 1979 playing the Led Zeppelin classic, “Rock and Roll”.

3.  Keith Moon

The legendary drummer for The Who was more than a just the band prankster, Keith Moon played the drums in such a way, his sound became one of the most identifiable ever. Treating the drums as if they were the lead instrument, Moon was extremely passionate about his craft.  Listen for yourself!  

4.  Ginger Baker

Ginger Baker is perhaps best known as the superb drummer for the supergroup Cream, also featuring Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce.  He found his beginnings in jazz music while growing up in London but progressed to blues music in the early 1960s and eventually to rock with the formation of Cream in 1966.  Baker has been a member of nearly a dozen different bands and proved to be a versatile drummer across multiple genres.  Here’s Baker live at Hyde Park.

5.  Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr began his career as a drummer early in his life when he would play percussion house hold objects as impromptu drums.  As a Beatle, Ringo always kept a solid backbeat for the band, and his abilities to play ambidextrously contributed to his unique sound.  Following the Fab Four’s breakup, Starr created his own “All-Starr Band” which features a new crop of members every few years. Take a listen rocking out during his infamous Abbey Road drum solo!

Honorable Mentions

  • Stewart Copeland
    • Drummer, The Police
  • Phil Collins
    • Drummer, Genesis
  • Bill Ward
    • Drummer, Black Sabbath