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Survey: What are the 5 greatest guitarists and drummers?


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 years later...


1. John Bonham

2. Ginger Baker

3. Mitch Mitchell

4. Carl Palmer

5. Neil Pearl



1a. Jimmy Page

1b. Jimi Hendrix

3. Stevie Ray Vaughn

4. Michael Schenker

5. Alvin Lee

Edited by Amstel
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My favourites at the moment:-


1. John Mclaughlin

2. Jimi Hendrix

3. Jimmy Page

4. Allan Holdsworth

5. Joe Walsh (pre-Eagles)



1. John Bonham

2. Elvin Jones

3. Tony Williams

4. Bill Bruford

5. Bernard Purdie

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In no particular order...


Jimmy Page

Dave Mustaine

Devin Townsend

Mikael Akerfeldt/Peter Lindgren - maybe it's cheating to sneak two in, but I don't know offhand who plays what solo, I just know I love their work together.

Jack White


John Bonham

Keith Moon

Dave Lombardo

Martin Lopez

Bill Ward

Edit: I suppose these are more my favorites than who I consider the greatest.

Edited by Balthazor
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John Bonham

Buddy Rich  (of course, once we delve into jazz there are many others such as Max Roach, Gene Krupa, Philly Joe Jones, etc.)

Bill Bruford

Barriemore Barlow (of Jethro Tull)

Alan White or Nick Mason    A note about Alan White.  When he joined Yes in 1972 he had a very short time to learn their set list up through Close to the Edge.  That is amazing.  Then he went on to create his own work in their subsequent albums like Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going for the One.

This list does not include but should include other amazing drummers like the Motown session players, the Funk Brothers, and Clyde Stubblefield who revolutionized drumming with James Brown.

And what about Alphonse Mouzon who Bonzo listened to?  That is what is so difficult about these types of lists. 


Too many to list and too subjective to list a top five.  Depends on what I am listening to.  More difficult that choosing 5 drummers.  The only thing for sure is that Page is my favorite guitarist.  Whenever I get into someone else like Blackmore, Steve Howe, David Gilmour, Leo Kottke, Martin Barre, Santana, Django, etc etc etc I always realize Page is my favorite when I get back to Zeppelin 

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  • 11 months later...

5 guitarists? That's a hard choice because there's a lot of great musicians.

The most impressive guitarist I ever saw was a Stevie Ray Vaughn show that was played on a local broadcaster in another state I lived in at the time. I never saw a virtuoso since who could play a 20 minute improvised solo, never hit one bad note and all the while craft endless melodies like a pro. I was really impressed with this show. Never heard his recordings though. I'll get to that later...

My only comparison to Stevie Ray Vaughn would be Angus Young, whose own lead style sounds similar because they play the same blues based scales. Over the years my favorites change but Angus Young would always be in my top 5. AC/DC rocks.

You got Jimmy Page, which is a no-brainer. I always liked Led Zeppelin since I heard them on the radio in the 1980s. Jimmy Page is versatile, classically trained and classically driven. He's got that Crowley thing going on and really, doesn't record much garbage like a lot of musicians these days. I think they can learn something from him.

There's a lot of classical shredders who started in the 80s and quite frankly I think a lot of them are great but if I had to pick just one of them I would go with Steve Vai who has the best pop-sensibilities and gears music towards a casual audience as opposed to being a for-musicians kind of player. His playing is phenomenal, well crafted and respected by many orchestral musicians.

Thats 4... good enough.

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  • 1 month later...

1. Jimmy Page

2. Jimi Hendrix

3. Eric Clapton 

4. Keith Richards

5. Angus Young

Drummers (this is coming from someone who studies drums and drum techniques)

1. John Bonham

2. Buddy Rich

3. Charlie Antolini 

4. Ginger Baker 

5. Mitch Mitchells 



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Here's a list of my (rock music) FAVORITES (because trying to pick the "best" is a fool's game...):

Rock guitar players I want to listen to:

Hendrix, Garcia, Page, Allman, and Howe. (with Zappa, SRV, Clapton, Fripp and...)


Rock drummers that make me smile:

Bonham, Bruford (in Yes, King Crimson, and Genesis!), Peart, and Ringo (most underrated rock drummer ever, if you don't believe me, just try to "drum along" with Tomorrow Never Knows!). (plus: Baker, Moon, and anyone who drummed for Zappa.)

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  • 3 months later...

1.  Jimmy Page

2.  EVH

3.  Angus/Malcom

4.  David Gilmour

5.  Billy Duffy


1.  John Henry Bonham

2.   Eric Kretz

3.   Mick Tucker

4.   Steven Adler

5.  Jimmy Chamberlin


I just made this my favs:)

Edited by Bozoso73
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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...
On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2008 at 5:24 PM, LedZep1969 said:

My top 5 Guitarists:

1.Jimmy Page

2.Eddie Van Halen

3.Kirk Hammet

4.Eric Clapton

5.Yngwie Malmsteen

*NOTE*Hendrix is good but I don't like his style and he is overrated he would be #6

My top 5 drummers:

1.John Bonham

2.Neil Pert (Sorry Rush fans I just plain think Bonzo is better, John doesnt need a giant set to sound big)

3.Danny Carey

4.Ian Pace

5.Lars Ulrich

Where is moon and Mitch? 2 of the best, but I would heve to agree with top 2 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

1. JIMMY PAGE (by a country mile, nobody close, that book is closed, no one has  ever come near in terms of sheer breath, diversity and creativity - did it all - did it without wall to wall effects - every solo a unique stand alone reimagined piece - patented the Guitar God Role/Pose/Benchmark - stunning virtuosity when he felt like it  between cigarette puffs, deep reservoirs of soul, emotion and intensity when he felt like that).

Some way down:

2. Robert Johnson (They still can figure out how he played some of those two part tunes - Defo most improved guitar player!!!)

3. Jimmy HENDRIX - (Godlike sounds, presence, class, cool.) 


And much further down.


4. Paul Gilbert (Does everything EVH does with consummate ease but with actual creative note patterns, constructions and melodies that are related to the song)

5. Eddie Van Halen (One trick pony but really invented that trick and did that one trick absolutely brilliantly). 






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  • 4 months later...

It's difficult to narrow down a top 5 because the guitar is such a versatile instrument.


1. Jimmy Page

2. Jimi Hendrix

3. Eric Clapton

4. Thurston Moore

5. J Mascis



1. Bonzo 

2. Peart (He just doesn't have the same hit as Bonzo)

3. Moon

4. Baker

5. Redding

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  • 2 years later...

Going more on feel vs technical ability:

1. Jimmy Page

2. Jimi Hendrix

3. Jeff Cotton

4. Stephen Malkmus - I would never in a million years call the King of Slacker Rock technical but man when he sucker punches you, it knocks your ass right down. You hear the song, and it's like "ok whatever" type playing and then BAM, he knocks your ass out. He's the only guitarist I've heard that has actually made me tear up. "Animal Midnight" has a devastating section that gets me every time. Same with "Church on White".

1. John Bonham

2. Keith Moon

3. Art Tripp

4. Daren Garratt


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before Hendrix because “composing” has to COUNT BIG!

& Blackmore ,Iommi & Alex Lifeson should be on everybodys list.

at liest the top 10 list come on!!!!


i ALSO add this , I really like how “PRINCE !!!” Played!!!!!




Bonham first!

but Niel Pert should make the list ! or in my opinion Someone’s just not being honest with themselves! 

Edited by z1inspector
Forgot Prince
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Assuming these are rock guitarists and drummers you are looking for, my picks would have to be:

Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, David Gilmour, and Eddie Van Halen. All but EVH have tremendous feel and emotion to their playing, which is more important to me than technical ability, which EVH definitely had. Plus he was an innovator that changed guitar playing when he hit the scene. Honorable mention to Keith Richards for his rhythm guitar ability and Clapton, who is very talented, but bores me.


John Bonham, Keith Moon, Mitch Mitchell, Ian Paice, and Neil Peart. Again, players with more feel make up most of the list, with Peart the exception. He is phenomenal, but I don't like the way his drums sound or are tuned sometimes. Honorable mention to Bill Ward, Cozy Powell, and Nicko McBrain.

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