The best reason to play the drums is that you really want to and also the sounds you can make with them. Some drummers make legendary sounds with the drum kit in rock and roll, punk, and jazz! If you are looking for drummers that are inspiring, look no further. We list the 5 most inspiring drummers in the world in our opinion.
5. Ginger Baker
Ginger Baker passed away in 2019, at age 80, not before giving us some of the best drum performances as rock’s first and most revered power trio Cream. The British rock group was formed in 1966 and consisted of Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, and Eric Clapton.
Baker was the first rock-era timekeeper to seek out and become fluent in the nuances of African drumming. He even collaborated with Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti in performances captured on a landmark 1971 live album. Baker was the first superstar drummer due to his exceptional skills in blending jazz and African rhythms.
4. Dave Grohl
From Nirvana to the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl made his mark on the 80s punk rock and grunge scene early on. Grohl began learning the drums in Washington D.C. suburbs, beating his drum sticks on pillows. He was known for his incredibly loud and relentless sound that attracted Nirvana front-man Kurt Cobain.
Grohl’s impressive drumming helped propel Nirvana into the fore of the grunge rock scene from an independent band to a multi-platinum success. After Nirvana disbanded due to Cobain’s death, Grohl went on to climb the music scene as a lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for the Foo Fighters,
3. Keith Moon
Keith Moon is widely acclaimed as the greatest drummer in the history of rock. He played differently from his peers and turned his drum kit into a lead instrument. His upfront technique helped establish The Who’s passionate style. His style brought in an era where drums were more than simply keeping the beat and timing of the music.
Moon still receives praise from critics today. His drumming style inspired the character Animal in the Muppets - often seen smashing drum kits and trashing hotel rooms. He was famous for refusing drum solos and instead attempted to play with everyone in the band at once.
2. Neil Peart
Neil Peart was one of the most influential drummers who passed away in January 2020 at age 67. He was famous for drumming for the Canadian rock band Rush. Peart gained his drumming inspiration from other hard rock drummers and started to incorporate jazz elements into his drumming style. He even studied under famous jazz musician Freddie Gruber.
Peart, who famously eschewed the spotlight and rarely gave interviews, wrote the bulk of the band’s lyrics and maintained a steely and rock-solid presence behind the drum kit. In 1983, Peart became the youngest person ever inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame, one of the most prestigious honors in the field.
1. John Bonham
John Bonham was the legendary drummer of the English rock band Led Zeppelin. He was influential for his speed, power, and fast single-footed kick drumming producing a distinct sound for the band.