Being a drummer is not as easy as coming up with fresh beats while you are tapping your desk at work. A great drummer has to be able to keep up with all types of different progressions and bars. The drummer in the band can come in all shapes and sizes. Nothing matters more for the drummer than to lead the band to victory on stage, without missing a beat. So that’s just the basics. These five drummers have made our list because they do way more than just hold the beat. They also harnessed the power of rock and roll in their hands and feet and gifted it to the world. Let us know what you think about our top five list of the best drummers in the world.
Dennis Chambers is an independent drummer that has made the rounds around the globe drumming with the like of John Mclaughlin, John Scofield, the Brecker Brothers, and even Santana! His current band is called CAB. His most notable style is his jazz-fusion, funk, and Latin style drumming. His fast hands and triplets on the bass drum are among the best in the world. If you haven’t heard him play, yet you’re in for a treat. Chambers began playing at just the age of four years old, and by the age of six was drumming in Baltimore night clubs. In 2001 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Neil Pert is one of the most accomplished drummers in the history of rock. The Canadian born author and retired musician began his career in the band Rush and has received numerous awards for his musical performances. His drumming is best recognized for its technical proficiency, and the energy he has on stage in live performances.
The story of James Owen Sullivan, known as The Rev by his fans, is a story of tragedy just as much as it is a story of fame. The Rev was more than a well-seasoned drummer. He is also a composer. Unlike most drummers who take the back seat when it comes to composing music, The Rev led the way writing Avenged Sevenfold’s most notable song of all time “Afterlife.” Tragically Sullivan had also ended up struggling greatly with substance abuse, ultimately taking his like in 2009. Three days before dying The Rev handed in his last song for the upcoming album that year. The song was called “Fiction,” and the eeriest part about it all is that the lyric “Death.”
Mickey Hart and Bill Kretzmann are the most loved dynamic duo to ever come out of the 60s rock generation. Not just because they belong to one of the most beloved bands in rock (The Grateful Dead) but more so because they have some of the most unique drumming styles on stage. While the rest of the band took a break from their sometimes 5-hour concert sets, Mickey and Bill would still be on that stage doing their own Psychedelic set called Drums & Space. You can only imagine by the name how far into space you may go listening to it. Today they are rocking it out with John Mayer in for the late Gerry Garcia in “Dead & Co.”
No list of top drummers, is complete or credible without the inclusion of Keith Moon from the iconic British invasion rock band The Who. Moon had an energy about him that is unmatched, and in my opinion un-mimicable. He was fast, incredibly original and took ownership of stage when he played. He introduced iconic moves into rock-like throwing your sticks up in the air or pulling out a backup pair from the back of your shirt. He also brought in the counter culture in drumming by destroying his kit at the end of almost every concert and throwing drum sticks into the crowd. Moon suffered from personality disorders, and ADD which subsequentially led him to not get along too well with his bandmates. After experimenting with tons of alcohol and substance abuse to try and dull his personality, Moon became very sick and died of overdose without intention in 1978.