Every great rock band has a steady-handed drummer controlling the rhythm and pace of the song. Without them, there is no music, just a mess of sounds from a variety of instruments.
That’s why we’ve looked at some of the best drummers in rock and roll history and ranked them. From heavy-metal juggernauts Led Zeppelin to pop-punk band Blink-182, we’ve found the best of the best.
These drummers have demonstrated their technical proficiency as well as influenced generations of drummers to come. While we recognize there are other drummers that should be on this list, we restricted it to just rock and roll, because they deserve their own line of recognition. Here are the top 25 rock and roll drummers of all time.
Travis Barker – Blink-182 1992 – Present
Travis Barker is one of those drummers that is still in his prime so it’s difficult to see just how much of an impact he will have on the music industry. Born in Fontana California, Barker started drumming at a young age and quickly became infatuated with punk music.
He participated as the jazz drummer at Fontana High School as well as played snare drum in the marching band, which would later serve as a foundation for his style. After high school, Barker started playing in a ska-punk band called The Aquabats. That band would open for Blink-182 in 1997, and Scott Raynor would depart from the band the following year, leaving Barker as a suitable replacement.
Barker learned the band’s entire 20-song setlist in 45 minutes, proving his extreme ability to quickly grasp music. Blink-182 would go on to become one of today’s biggest bands to emerge from the modern-day punk/ pop-punk scene.
Barker hasn’t stopped there. In addition to Blink-182, Barker has contributed to several punk bands, including +44 and Box Car Racers as well as rap group Transplants.
Finally, he recently joined as a member of Antemasque and Goldfinger. Barker has gained quite some success from his versatility on the drums, being able to play hip-hop, pop, country, or alternative.
Not only has his drumming kept punk music alive in the 21st century but Rolling Stone Magazine also dubbed him “punk’s first superstar drummer.” Today, Baker continues to play with numerous bands and has also founded a clothing line and a music/ tattoo festival called Musink Music Festival.