9 Influential Drummers you Need to Start Following

If you are learning an instrument or practically anything you are pursuing in life, one of the best decisions you can take is finding a mentor. Someone who will inspire you and fill your mind with creativity and new ideas.

That’s why we create this article in order to show you from our point of view some super talented drum musicians and why you need to start following them.

We encourage you to not only go over the different players but start watching their work as well. Without further ado, let’s start our list. Enjoy!


Starting the list we have Tony Royster JR considered one of the best drummers in the world. This US drummer started his path as a child prodigy at the age of 3 and made an impressive career playing with artists like Jay-Z, Joss Stone, Hikaru Utada among others.

The combination of both his talents with perseverance and hard work put him on the best of the best when we talk about modern drummers. Be sure to check several videos with lessons and great advice about rudiments and different drumming techniques:

And off course you can delight yourself with his brilliant playing. There’s no doubt that Tony is a beast from another planet.


The first thing that comes to our minds when we hear Carter Beauford playing is groove and feeling. Known for being one of the founders of Dave Mathews Band is an insanely talented musician and combines technique with super unique drum beats.

Following his work, you can appreciate how he adapts to a wide variety of genres. Like this amazing performance.

Beeing ambidextrous you can tell how he plays with a set up of a mix of right and left-handed set. Besides the really unique way to play gives him the ability to do some incredible combination between the ride and the hi-hat.

3. Bill Bruford

If we are talking creativity no one can match up with Bill Bruford, know for being the drummer of the legendary progressive band Yes as well as being part of King Crimson with those bizarre and unique drum rhythms and patterns.

Bill is a unique drummer full of technique and some interesting twists when drumming.

A natural explorer of both different styles and new sounds you can see the combination of his playing with experimental drum sets for the moment.

Take a look at this performance and  you’ll know what we mean:

4. Dennis Chamber

The superb Dennis Chambers is a remarkably well know drummer recognised for playing with talented musicians like John Scofield, Carlos Santana, Victor Wooten and many others.

Super eclectic you can hear Dennis playing from Jazz, Funk and going all the way to Latin music.

In his powerful way of performing, the speed he achieves is just unbelievable, and you can appreciate how improvisation is a cornerstone of his art.

Definitely, a well-deserved member of the Modern Drummer Hall of fame.

5.  aaron Spears

With some clear gospel roots, Aaron Spears is a modern drummer known for playing with Usher with his R&B style full of soul. 

Just listen Aaron performing and you’ll find yourself waving your head to the sound of the beat. 

Powerful playing full of technique and speed with perfect tempo. Just a machine. 

But with those qualities he also includes a ridiculous flow just hear this incredible performance:

6.  vinnie colaiuta

If playing for guys like Herbie Hancock isn’t enough just check a couple of videos with his magic. The combination of technique with groove will just hypnotise you.

With an impressive record of playing with the most talented and diverse musicians in the world like Sting, Frank Zappa and Megadeth you now you are talking about a well-rounded artist. 

He’s an excellent example of a perfect modern drummer with unusual and well-defined voice on the drum set.


It’s time to present the tempo master, Jojo Mayer, this modern drummer opens a path of originality with its truly unprecedented style of playing. 

Having his first encounter with a drum set at the age of two from that moment on he made an impressive career in the Jazz world. 

His style is a mixture of jazz, drum n bass and jungle. You can listen to Nerve, a live electronica band that he founded on 1997.

8.  neil peart

This Canadian drummer is a clear point of reference on the symphonic or progressive rock. 

As the main drummer of rush his style of playing was more hard rock at the beginning, influenced by drummers like Bonzo and Keith Moon. But as he evolved he took interest in jazz techniques from drummers like Buddy Rich and Gene Kupra making his style rich and different.

Well known and respect for his technical abilities, his influence made him a very famous drummer in the music history.

8. john bonham

A true rock legend, John “Bonzo” Boham was one of the fundamentals cores of Led Zeppelin. No doubt, one of the best rock drummers of all times.

With his first drum set made of tins and old containers, he was influenced deeply by the great Buddy Rich and Gene Kupra.

Bonzo was known for playing with “trees” the heaviest drumsticks available at the moment. 

This gives you an idea of the true powerful drum beats he usually played in Led Zeppelin. 

Though his true core was rock & roll you can find some funk and latin musical arrangements in some of the songs. 

A true Myth on the drumming history. 

We leave you with his masterpiece Moby Dick.


Well, there you have it 9 drummers that are legends and pioneers in a lot of aspects in music history.

Of course, we are aware that we left behind big names like Terry Bozzio, Buddy Rich, Phil Collins, Stewart Copeland just to name a few.

But this is not a list of the best drummers.

Instead, our aim is to present you a list of musicians that complement and cover lots musical styles.

This will give a super boost to your creativity making pay attention on sometimes rare or uncommon ways of playing the drums.

If you are learning be sure to check our different articles about rudiments like, single paradiddle and how to play a double stroke roll.

We also have valuable buying guides to help you decide wich is the best drum set for you.

Hope you find our list useful and please don’t forget to share with your friends.

Keep the beat up!

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