4 of the Best Female Drummers of All Time

Drummers don’t get enough love. Mastering the art of drumming in any genre or style of music is no easy feat. Still, these four female drummers managed to become some of the best of all time; and they make it look so easy. 

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This isn’t an exhaustive list, but we do think these four drummers deserve more recognition for their talents.

1. Cindy Blackman Santana

Not only is Cindy Blackman Santana one of the greatest female drummers of all time, but she’s also one of the best drummers of all time, bar none. She’s got the kind of creative energy and imagination that one rarely sees in any musician, and she channels it all into her drumming beautifully. She’s known for her work with Lenny Kravitz and Carlos Santana, who also happens to be her husband.

2. Moe Tucker

Maureen Ann “Moe” Tucker was part of what made The Velvet Underground so groundbreaking and addicting to listen to. She was ahead of the game and showed that minimalist drummers can do something incredible with their talents without all of the showboating of their rock contemporaries. Her process was interesting, too; she played standing up and didn’t use a bass drum. Any drummer who watches her closely would be impressed with her timing, too.

3. Bobbye Hall

Latin percussion had a distinct sound in the 1970s. And if you’ve got a record of this genre of music, chances are the drummer behind it is the incomparable Bobbye Hall. 

Hall delivered quite a few chart-topping hits during her career. She played with Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, Pink Floyd, Carole King, and many others. There’s no drummer alive that’s quite like her.

4. Terri Lyne Carrington

Terri Lyne Carrington came from a long lineage of jazz instrumentalists. She played with legendary artists like Clark Terry when she was still a kid. Her career has been notably impressive in the jazz and soul world. The Mosaic Project from 2011 is essential listening.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives

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