Although male drummers dominate the drumming world, this doesn’t diminish the fact women can play drums equally well as men. All the women from our list are renowned world-class drummers who can play almost any type of music. So who are the best female drummers in the world right now?

Some of them are Instagram or YouTube sensations, but some are session musicians who played with artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Beyonce, and many more.

Here’s a list of the best female drummers of today.

Best female drummers list

Anika Niles

Anikka, considered the world’s best female drummer today by many drummers. She has a personal life that is as interesting and creative as her drumming style.

She started playing drums when she was just nine years old; since then, it’s been nothing but success for this German native.

From rankings in the top 10 to viral fame with over 8 million views on YouTube alone – Anikka deserves our admiration and respect! She made a breakthrough after her first video went viral.

The track is named “Wild Boy” and although the crowd remarkably accepted it, her second video, “Alter Ego” brought endorsements and the well-deserved place among drummers.

Sarah Thawer

Sarah Thawer
Photo from Drumeo

Sarah’s father, a well-known musician himself, introduced her to the drums, and she never looked back.

At just 16 years old, Sarah Thawer has already played in big festivals like Calcutta Jazz Festival, where she performed among names such as Benny Greb.

She is one of few female drummers that have this much talent but also an equally creative personality.

In 2021 Sarah was nominated for Juno Awards! She worked with artists such as George Watsky, Jon Batiste, Sheila E., AR Rahman, Steve Weingart, Mark Lettieri, to name a few.

Thanks to her incredible drumming style, Sarah got endorsements from Yamaha, Remo, Istanbul, Gruv Gear, and 64 Audio.

Cindy Blackman

Cindy Blackman
Photo from Cindy Blackman

Some of you may know Cindy Blackman as a drummer for Lenny Kravitz, some as the wife of legendary guitarist Carlos Santana. Still, in the drumming community, she is widely popular as one of the best female drummers worldwide.

Cindy Blackman made a name playing with artists such as Buckethead and Joss Stone before branching out to work with artists like Pharoah Sanders, Sonny Simmons, Ron Carter (who’s also her husband), Sam Rivers, and Cassandra Wilson, among others.

Even though Art Blakey was an idol when it came to jazz drums, he didn’t make much impact on how she plays rock music

Sheila E

Sheila E
Photo from NYPost

Sheila E. is an icon in the music industry and one of the most famous female drummers.

She started playing drums at 17, working with Prince, who was impressed by her drumming skills, so he gave Sheila a chance to perform on his award show for their Eighties category back when this was still relatively new territory.

Since then, we have seen many different phases in Sheila’s career, including singing which has given us plenty of opportunities to hear some gems that never made it onto The Glamorous Life but are worth checking out if you’re into R&B/Jazz vibes from the ’80s era!

Cora Coleman Dunham

Cora Coleman Dunham
Photo from Sabian

Cora Coleman is an accomplished female drummer and entrepreneur. As a child, she played with her drum line from the time she was five years old until North Texas State University when it became clear to everyone around her just how talented this woman is!

She has performed with many well-known artists like Prince, Roger Nelson, Beyoncé Knowles, and Zucchero during their career peaks.

In 2013 Cora founded The VIVO Club, which provides “educational opportunities for girls 8 – 18.” Cora’s first introduction to music came at age five as part of the school rock band in San Antonio, where he grew up before playing on stage professionally by age 16.

Senri Kawaguchi

Senri Kawaguchi
Photo from DrummerWorld

Senri Kawaguchi was born in Tokyo, Japan. She began playing the drums at age 13 after encouragement from her father, and by 15, she had been accepted to the High School of Music & Art in New York City, where she was a member of the school’s top drumline for four years.

In Japan, she is known as a pioneer in the all-girl band movement.

Senri Kawaguchi has performed at various venues throughout New York City and was also invited to play with The Brand New Heavies. In addition, Senry’s talents have been featured in numerous magazines, including Modern Drummer.

Madden Klass

Maden Klass is a drumming sensation whose popularity was catapulted when she released her first video on Instagram. She is very popular,  with a following of over 100k and has drummed for bands like The Flaming Lips.

When she isn’t practicing drums or attending classes at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Maden’s main influences include John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Steve Ferrone, Joey Waronker.

Maden is currently working as a touring drummer for Mike Doughty (of Soul Coughing).

Nikkie Glaspie

Nikkie Glaspie
Photo from Flickr

After her appearance on Zildjian Live, people were amazed by her incredible skill. For some musicians she was unknown, but for musicians in the RnB world, she is a widely known drummer.

She has been touring with Janelle Monae since 2010 and had the pleasure of playing with Prince, Erykah Badu, M83.

In 2014 she was featured in a video by DigiTech, which captured her drumming skills from multiple angles so everyone could see what fantastic talent this woman possesses!

Her influences are Tony Williams (who also plays drums), Clyde Stubblefield (famous James Brown’s band member who played on “Funky Drummer”), Al Jackson Jr., Arto Lindsay

Hanah Welton

Hanah Welton
Photo from Ziljan

Prince loved girl drummers; that’s why they’re a couple of drummers on our list who played with him. Hannah is one of them.

She played for Bellevue Suite when she got a call to join Prince’s band 3rdeyegirl.

That’s where she met her husband Joshua, who co-produced 3 of Prince’s albums and played live with him.

First professional experience as a drummer was at the age of 12 with her father’s band. She studied at the Chicago College of Performing Arts.

Terry Lyne Carrington

Terry Lyne Carrington
Photo from London Jazz News

Terry was always interested in music as a child. She first discovered jazz when she and her family attended the Monterey Jazz Festival, which inspired Terry to start studying piano at age 8.

Though it took several years of hard work for Terry to become proficient on the instrument, by high school, she had begun playing professionally with Dizzy Gillespie’s band; this experience led to an invitation from Wayne Shorter that helped launch her career into international fame.

Terry is best known for working with legendary pianist Herbie Hancock during the 1997-2007 time period.

Camellia Akhami Kies

Camellia Akhami Kies
Photo from Beings of Rythm

Camelia is one of the top female drummers on Instagram and an entrepreneur. She is known for her drum covers on Instagram that feature various musical styles, from acoustic to electronic sounds with percussion incorporated into each song.

Camelia’s most recent project has been Akhamie Music, where she offers classes for children and adults who are interested in learning how to play drums or other instruments such as guitar or piano!

She uses Roland samplers – which allows you “to manipulate digital audio files beyond standard editing functions.

Emanuelle Caplete

Emanuelle is a percussionist, drummer, sound artist, and composer born in 1981. She holds an honors degree from the “Conservatorio di Musica” of Pesaro (Italy), where she studied with Massimo Minini.

In 2013 Andy Summers’s band Circa Zero hired Emanuelle as their musical director and drummer after hearing her play live at The Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. After that, they toured America together for three weeks before heading to Europe on November 8 that same year.

Since then, Emanuelle has played drums alongside Stephane Rousseau (2013-2015), Giorgio Gaslini (2014), Fernanda Abbate (2012).

Taylor Gordon, aka Pocket queen

Taylor Gordon, aka Pocket queen
Photo from AfroPunk

Taylor Gordon is a young and successful drummer from Virginia. At age 10, she picked up her first drum set for the very first time after practicing drums on pots in her kitchen with rubber gloves for months before that.

She took some years off to finish school but never lost sight of music as an essential part of life!

At only 16, Taylor went on tour with several artists, including Andrea Bocelli, and opened his Boston show.

This experience led to many more incredible opportunities like sharing stages alongside Beyonce, Musiq Soulchild, or Robert Glasper, to name a few.

Kimberly Thompson

Kimberly Thompson
Photo from Nord Keyboards

Most of you might not know, but hardly any girl in the history of music made as much a mark on drums as Kimberly Thompson.

In her early days, Thompson used to play with Mike Stern (jazz guitarist) and became widely known for playing alongside Beyonce, Jay Z, and Kanye West.

She is currently president of KTMUSICPRODUCTIONS (music label company) based in New York City. She graduated from Manhattan School for Music’s prestigious Jazz Composition & Education program with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Arts.

Bianca Richardson

Bianca Richardson
Photo from Reverb

If you are not familiar with Bianca Richardson, you are missing out. The drumming community first heard about Bianca after she won Stanley Clarke’s contest.

After that, she won 2nd place in the “Hit like a girl” contest which opened many doors. She was on a cover of Drum Mag, Top Tom Mag, featured on a Drum Channel by DW.

She performed with artists such as Selena Gomez, James David (Davie), Art Menezes, Prime Writez, Genevieve Artadi, Nick Walker, Marcus Miller, and many more!

Wiktoria Bialic

Wiktoria Bialic

Wiktoria is a polish female drummer who started with classical music before she got into jazz and rock. She was the champion in the “Rock for people” contest, finalist in many other contests such as the “Erica Dallmann trophy” “New drums generation Poland.”

Bialic won the “Hit like a girl” contest in 2021. A year before, she was a finalist of the same contest. She had the opportunity to record single Dark Dark Days alongside Ash Soan.

The Polish drummer also recorded for Grammy-winning musicians such as Ondre J. Pavic.


Ranging from jazz to rock, the best female drummers in music are as diverse as their musical influences.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite musicians who have made significant contributions to the world of drums and percussion through not only their talent but also by being trailblazers for other women looking for careers in this male-dominated industry.

Who is your favorite female drummer?

Let us know in the comments!