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The Wall – Pink Floyd

2. Young Lust – Pink Floyd

3. Like a Stone

4. Paradise City


On that note, here are 7 easy songs to play on drums.

• #1: Teenage Dream – Katy Perry. ...

• #2: Billie Jean – Michael Jackson. ...
• #3: Heart Shaped Box – Nirvana. ...
• #4: Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath. ...
• #5: Live Forever – Oasis. ...
• #6: You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC. ...
• #7: Run to the Hills – Iron Maiden.

10 Easy Drum Songs for Beginners

Last Updated: March 5, 2018 by Mike O'Connor

Learning to play new songs is a great way to stretch your skills as a

drummer and have fun. At the beginning, your willpower can easily
depend on the choice of the songs you practice. You want to strike a good
balance between playing easy songs at the start, but also stretching your
abilities a little. Playing songs you enjoy is a great way to maintain your
Here is a list of ten great songs for beginners that won’t be too demanding
for a new drummer and will also keep you motivated.
1) Californication by RHCP
This song from the eponymous RHCP album from 1999 has a perfect
tempo for a beginner drummer. The drumming patterns aren’t too
complex, but they do require your full attention and practice. RHCP
drummer Chad Smith really did a great job on this song.
The great thing about this song, drum-wise, is that the famous intro is
played only by the bass and the guitar. Hence, drummers have some time
to grasp the rhythm and the tempo.
With this video, you can practice how to play “Californication” downtempo
and we believe that you’re going to master it in a jiffy.

2) Back in Black by AC/DC

In 1980 AC/DC released one of their best-selling albums, Back in Black.
The opening track on this album was the eponymous “Back in Black”. Its
catchy, classic-rock 4/4 rhythm makes it one of the most suitable drum
songs for beginners.
Also, the regular repetition of the guitar riff makes it easier to keep the
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd delivered an iconic, yet simple drum pattern
with strong beats and clear fills.

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3) La Grange by ZZ Top
When talking about straightforward drumming patterns, it’s crucial to add
ZZ Top to that list. If you’re a drumming beginner, playing ZZ Top’s “La
Grange” is a must.
Similarly to the abovementioned intro of Californication, the first few bars
of “La Grange” are played by the bass and the guitar. As a drummer, it
gives you some time to prepare for the rhythm of the song. This
resourceful tutorial will help you learn every single bit (and beat) of this

Also, Frank Beard plays the well-known Texas shuffle rhythm in this song.
It’s played in a variety of Southern rock and other popular songs. Learn
more about Texas shuffle here.
4) In My Life by The Beatles
Whatever your view of Ringo Starr is (opinions range from ‘one of the best
drummers ever’ to ‘worst drummer in the Beatles’), he was definitely a
very influential drummer.
His drumming style is best heard in songs like Back in the USSR or Rain,
but beginners should wait with these numbers for a bit.
One of the Beatles’ songs you’ll be able to drum almost from day one is “In
My Life”. The reminiscent lyrics of this song are accompanied by a
perfectly mellow rhythm. You play the bass drum, the snare and the hi-hat
cymbal in the verse, while the chorus is dominated by the ride and hi-hat
In this cover, you can see that “In My Life” is a perfect choice for the
beginning of your drumming life.

5) Blue Orchid by The White Stripes

Meg White, the drummer of The White Stripes, sometimes got a bad rep
over her simplistic drumming. The drum track on the song Seven Nation
Army is extremely basic. However, more intricate drumming might have
ruined the song.
There is a lesson to be learned from great songs with simple beats.
Sometimes less is more. As a drummer you should be working with other
band members to get the best out of your songs.
Sometimes that means sitting back a bit. Therefore you don’t need killer
chops to come out with a solid and tasteful performance.
One of the most notable songs from The White Stripes album Get Behind
Me Satan, released in 2005, “Blue Orchid” is a real treat for every novice
Meg White gives a great performance not only on the studio version, but
on live gigs, as well. Here you can see The White Stripes playing “White
Orchid” at Glastonbury Festival in 2005. The tempos is a bit faster than the
original studio song.
In this cover, you can see that playing this song is nothing to worry about
(don’t feel like you need to learn the stick tricks!). You start with the bass
drum and play it along the guitar intro. Then you add the tom-tom drum to
the bass as the verse starts and move on to play the snare drum, the ride
cymbal and the bass drum.
It’s a pretty straightforward rhythm that only takes some time for practice.

6) Sing in Silence by Sonata Arctica

A mid-paced song released on the Silence album from 2001, “Sing in
Silence” is a wonderful choice for drumming beginners who like
Scandinavian power metal.
Sonata Arctica drummer Tommy Pertimo came up with a convincing, yet
uncomplicated rhythmic pattern for this song.
After the intro that combines the keyboard and the vocals, you start with a
smooth 4/4 rhythm steadily played on the bass drum and the hi-hat
cymbal. See how an amateur drummer easily plays it in this educative

7) Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones

“Gimme Shelter” was released in 1969, on Let It Bleed, one of the most
influential rock albums of the 1960s.
Charlie Watts’ drumming was perfectly incorporated into the intimate
atmosphere of this song.
A newbie drummer should take a look at this performance to get the gist
of what you’re supposed to play here. It’s a basic r’n’r drumming pattern
with a combo of the bass drum, the snare and the ride cymbal. Also, there
are some fills later on in the song. For starters, stick to the verse and then
add those other elements as you’re improving your drumming skills.
8) Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
One of the songs that defined the 1980s, Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer”
was released in 1986, on the Slippery When Wet album.
It has a powerful, but uncomplicated drum line, which put it in the group of
the good songs to drum to.
Tico Torres played the drums on this recording and added a fine pop-rock
drumming touch to an outstanding tune.
The rhythm flows smoothly with the drum bass, the snare and the hi-hat
cymbal, as shown in this detailed tutorial.

In the middle part and the chorus you’ll have to include some
sophisticated kicks on the ride cymbal, but don’t worry about it. Start with
the basic rhythm, gradually learn other parts you certainly won’t stop “half
way there”.
9) Come As You Are by Nirvana
Nevermind was the album that introduced grunge to the mainstream. And
“Come As You Are” has ever since been one of the favorite songs of rookie
guitarists, because of its catchy guitar riff.
Apart from being a great pick for guitarists, it’s also a fine choice for
drumming beginners. Dave Grohl didn’t complicate things too much here.
He probably realized that the riff is so lively that drums shouldn’t
overshadow it.
When you watch this “Come As You Are” cover, you’ll see that the verse
mostly revolves around the bass drum, the snare drum and the ride
cymbal, with occasional crash fills.
The chorus is a bit more complex, with some fills on the snare and
transition on tom-toms, but you’ll get there eventually.
10) When the Levee Breaks by Led
A traditional blues number from the 1920s, “When the Levee Breaks” was
covered by Led Zeppelin and released on the Led Zeppelin IV album in
At that time John Bonham was one of the best drummers in the world and
he played this song in his unique, laid-back way.
You begin the song with the bass drum, the hi-hat and the snare.
In this video lesson, you’ll learn how to play “When Levee Breaks” in basic
terms and then you’ll see how to add some additional beats to the bass
drum and the snare.
The numbers we’ve analyzed in this article are good songs to drum to if
you’re only a beginner. You’ve most probably heard them many times,
which means that you’re familiar with them. This makes them easier for
you to drum along with.
When you’re beginning to play drums, it’s great to play songs that match
your musical preference, as well as mixing it up with some other styles.
So, combine the songs we’ve suggested with the ones you like most and
you’ll have a great initiation into the world of drumming.
Also, if you don’t own an electronic drum set, it can be a great way to pick
one up and practice songs like these.
What do you think, do you have any other suggestions for good beginner
drum songs?

Re: 10 Best Drum Songs to Learn as a Beginner

1. Helpless- Neil Young (Slow beat, you never can go wrong, can be creative on chops)
2. Against the wind- Bob Seger- steady tempo
3. Gemme Shelter- Stones, steady but there is straight snare strokes
4. Eminence Front- Kenny Jones, The Who (If Keith were alive,I wouldnt pick this song!!)
4................... AC/DC songs

(well I am a beginner as well) :)


I'd go for some some songs that have some distinct drum fills in them that everyone can identify
by drums alone, stuff like:

Tom Sawyer- Rush

In the Air Tonight- Genesis
Sunday Bloody Sunday- U2
Walk This Way- Aerosmith
Who are You- The Who
50 Ways to Leave your lover- Paul Simon
Warpigs- Black Sabbath
Run to the Hills- Iron Maiden
We're not gonna Take it- Twisted Sister
Higher Love- Peter Gabriel
Back in Black - Ac/Dc
Billie Jean - Micheal Jackson

IMO Them Two Songs are great for a number of reasons:

1. A Real Steady Beat
2. Deep in the Pocket
3. Easy to Pick up and learn
4.Great to get you used to keeping time
5. Fun
i started on

AC/DC(you shook me allnight long)

Ramones(blitzkrieg bop)
black sabbath(iron man and paranoid)
metallica(black album)
white stripes(seven nation army)
cream(sunshine of your love)
nirvana(smells like teen spirit)

there was more but i cant really think, back in the day i was in a "after school rock" program with
some buddies and those really started my chops. but a lot of the songs were simplified, but as i
went along i added to the songs and really helped me in my development.

Yo some great bands for begginers are:

SOME Metallica (DONT do shit like One, do a song like Nothing Else Matters)
Some Offspring
Some Beatles
Rolling Stones
Some Alice in chains
Cheap Trick
Bon Jovi

And ya there u go xD

Forget trying to play stuff like Rush and all that. You'll just get frustrated and be tempted to quit.
When I started playing, I listened to a lot of older music, some of which has already been
mentioned here. Here are some great tunes that rock, but feature relatively simple drum beats
(yet they're drum beats that totally help the song have its feel):

1. "Green River" by CCR.

2. "The End Has No End" by The Strokes
3. "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" by AC/DC
4. "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes
5. "The Weight" by The Band
6. "I Need You" by The Beatles
7. "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young
8. "Sing Sing Sing" by the Benny Goodman Orchestra (featuring Gene Krupa on drums)
9. "Thank You (Falettin' Me Bee Mice Elf Again) by Sly and the Family Stone
10. "Aja" by Steely Dan. That's probably the easiest drum part I could think of. ;)

I'd encourage you to start with early rock and roll like Elvis and Buddy Holly, and even some
early country like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. Also listen to old blues, or even some newer
blues. Don't shy away from the slow, "boring" stuff...learning how to play the boring stuff will
help your chops grow. Listen to the British Invasion, and the stuff that came out before and after
it, like surf music...lots of rockin' tunes with good, basic drum parts all around that time. Listen
to funk...James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, stuff like that. If you dig jazz, I'd encourage
you to listen to the early big-band stuff from the 30s and 40s. A lot of the drum parts to those
songs are fairly straight-forward (and sometimes not as easy as they sound) and will give you
lots of opportunity to learn how to swing.

Also, read about drummers that you admire and find out what their influences were, or even just
songs that they like. Then listen to those artists and learn new things from them.
i would look at some Nirvana...

"come as you are"

"about a girl"
"smells like teen spirit"
"territorial pissings" (great for developing your pedal technique)

I am a beginner too, the first songs I learned so far

-ACDC, Highway to hell

-White Stripes, Seven nation army
I'm working on
-ACDC, You shook me all night long
-Bon Jovi, Livin' on a prayer

you can usually tell if a song is easy by just listening to it, so if you think you found one, search
for the sheet music.

everybody covered all the rock stuff, so I'll hit up the jazz stuff. some of this stuff might be a
little much for beginners, but I put them in order of easy to harder

freddie the freeloader - miles davis

in the mood - glenn miller
take the a train - duke ellington
sing sing sing - benny goodman (gene krupa)
birdland - weather report
cameleon - herbie hancock
night in tunisia - art blakey & the jazz messengers

go to
and listen to all the songs pick out a few you like. all really great stuff here.

As a beginner I'd suggest

1) ACDC - Highway to hell

2) Tom Petty - Learning to Fly
3) RHCP - Scar Tissue
4) Rolling Stones - Jumping Jack Flash
5) The Strokes - Reptilia
6) The Police - every breath you take
7) Herby Hancock - Chameleon (watch out here though, focus on the main groove)
8) Booker T and the MG's - Green Onions
9) Led zeppelin - Kasmir (again, watch out. Some crazy fills in there, substitute those)
10) Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet home Alabama
11) Sixpense none the Richer - Kiss me

4 Easy Drum Songs to Learn for Beginners
May 7, 2014/0 Comments/by Suzy S.

It’s well-known that learning a musical instrument can enhance creativity, coordination, and overall
happiness. The drums are a popular choice for their rhythmic sound and the tempo they give to
group music. But while it might be nice to be able to play like Keith Moon from The Who right
away, you’re going to need to practice first in order to learn how to play the drums that well!
If you are just beginning, one of the best ways to establish a foundation is to learn songs that are
good for practicing beginner drum techniques. Before you start playing, take a look at these four
easy drum songs. Learning these will help you master some rudimentsand get used to song

1. “Run to the Hills” – Iron Maiden

The speed of Clive Burr’s epic drums might make you think that this is a hard song to learn.
However, while learning to play as fast as the great Clive Burr can take time, “Run to the Hills” is
quite simple to play because it features the rudiment that every beginner should first learn: the
single stroke roll. To play this sticking pattern, alternate strokes between the left and right
drumsticks. Start out slowly, then go faster once you start to get the hang of it.
Use a metronome to help with your tempo. Relax your shoulders and wrists. Learning this is fun,
because you’ll sweat as you try to speed up and perfect your single stroke roll.

2. “Beverly Hills” – Weezer

Weezer’s “Beverly Hills” features simple patterns and slow-paced drumming, making it a great
song for new drummers who love alternative rock. This hit from 2005 is a wonderful song for
applying another important rudiments, the double stroke roll (especially on the hi-hat for this song),
which consists of alternating double strokes with the right and left hand.
While learning this song and, in particular, the double stroke rudiment, start out at a manageable
speed, and make sure to watch your stick height. When practicing the double stroke, you may find
that having an instructor guide and critique you is the best way to polish your technique
and increase your speed.

3. “Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry

The Katy Perry hit “Teenage Dream” is one of the most popular pop songs right now, and the
pattern is easy to follow and memorize, which makes it one of the best easy drum songs to learn.
This song is great for practicing the flam on the snare drum, which is yet another rudiment to know.
It’s used to thicken the notes by adding a grace note. To do this, place one drumstick a few inches
higher than the drum and the other one eight to ten inches higher. When you play, these two strokes
should be nearly simultaneous. The higher drum stick thickens the note when it hits. Once you can
play the drum flam right, you’ll feel like a true pop star as you jam to this song!

4. “Cantaloupe Island” – Herbie Hancock

One of jazz great Herbie Hancock’s all-time best songs, “Cantaloupe Island” maintains a slow and
groovy tempo throughout much of the song, which makes it a manageable piece for beginners. Any
jazz aficionado knows about Herbie Hancock’s truly exceptional drummer, Tony Williams. If you
want to be a jazz drummer and play like Williams, there are few better songs to learn than
“Cantaloupe Island”.
With an easy tempo, “Cantaloupe Island” won’t feel like it’s too fast after some practice. This iconic
jazz song calls beginners to learn the buzz roll, something that’s very popular in big band and jazz
music. This multiple bounce technique (usually three) is great for crescendos and is best played at a
smooth, medium-paced tempo. It’s important that the sound stays even between the two drumsticks.
While playing buzz rolls, alternate hands after roughly three strokes and keep the drumsticks very
Are you ready to pick up the drum sticks now? The key is to first study the rudiments and get a
basic grasp of them, as these are the building blocks for playing drums. Once you start getting some
rhythm, you’ll be hooked on playing the drums and improving your skills.
Looking for a few more things to play? Check out our ultimate list of drum songs!
Interested in Private Lessons?
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lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons

Make Practice Fun: Easy Drum Songs For Kids

February 25, 2015/0 Comments/by Suzy S.

Kids are much more likely to practice drums when they’re having fun, and that
starts with song selection. Here, San Diego, CA drum teacher Maegan
W. shares some easy drum songs that are kid tested and parent approved…
If you want to keep your child interested in playing drums and motivated to practice, you have to
make sure they’re having fun. So many music teachers are stuck in the past when it comes to
choosing practice songs, but that’s boring for kids.
Here are some easy drum songs that your child will love.
First, we need to make sure that your son or daughter knows how to play a basic drum beat. Here’s
a quick overview:
1. Count to four over and over again
2. Play the hi-hat on all four counts
3. Add the bass drum to the one and the three
4. Add the snare drum to the two and the four
5. Listen to these songs and groove along
6. Have fun!
Now that we’ve got that settled, let’s get to the drum songs for kids. Remember, the beat above is a
basic beginner beat. Feel free to add to it. The nice thing about that beat is that it will fit with most
of the songs below. The only changes you will see are the tempos and the fills.

Theme Songs
In my experience teaching kids, I have noticed that many of them really love show and movie
theme songs. So here are a few of the most popular ones.
Parents, remember to always listen to the songs first. Only you can decide what is appropriate for
your child.
1. Pokemon. Kids love pretty much anything Pokemon. Some of the most popular songs are
the “Pokemon Theme Song,” “Pokemon World,” Pokemon Moves Like Jagger,” and “Pokemon
2. The Lego Movie theme song “Everything is Awesome.” This song is a bit quick, and has a half-
time feel in certain parts, but it’s great to practice going between speeds.
3. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Theme” This is a cool song with a hip hop feel.

Cover Songs
Moving on from movie and show songs, a lot of students really like the Pentatonix covers. This
band does an incredible job with popular songs, and kids love them.
Here are the top two drum songs for kids:
1. “Daft Punk”
2. “Winter Wonderland/Don’t Worry Be Happy”

More Fun Songs for Kids

Finally, here are my top five picks for easy drum songs for kids. I usually search for the “clean
version” to avoid any videos with inappropriate lyrics.
1. Maroon 5 “Maps”
2. Taylor Swift “Shake It Off”
3. Pharrell Williams “Happy”
4. Ylvis “What Does the Fox Say?”
5. One Direction “Best Song Ever”
These are just a few of the many songs kids can have fun with when they’re learning drums. I tend
to stick to songs with positive vibes, but you can explore and see what your child likes to play.
Usually, if kids aren’t excited about the song, they won’t be as excited about practicing.
Looking for more drum songs for your kids? Find more options in
our ultimate list of drum songs!
Maegan W. teaches drums, songwriting, and more in San Diego, CA. She
earned a degree in Percussion from the Musician’s Institute, and has been
teaching private lessons since 2004. Learn more about Maegan here!
Interested in Private Lessons?
Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online
lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons
Search for Your Teacher

Photo by Stefan.

The Ten Best Drum Songs For

by Maximus

August 31, 2015 10:00 am

What’s up plebs? Whether you are a guitarist looking to build up your drum skills, or a complete
newcomer to the skins who wants to get involved in heavy music, we’ve compiled a list of ten
quintessential drum beats that will help up your stick game. If you can master the techniques used in
these songs, then you will be well on your way to mastering the fundamentals of hard rock and
metal drumming.
1. AC/DC – “You Shook Me All
Night Long”
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd is infamous for never, ever playing a drum fill (I challenge you to find
one that isn’t technically an “accent”), which is partly what makes him a great drummer for newbies
to study. He’s also a great model to aspire to because his simple grooves really made AC/DC’s
classic albums cook.

“You Shook Me All Night Long” is a great song to learn because although the drum beat itself is
simple, it has one tricky, but fundamental aspect to it: the kick drums land on the 1 and the “and”
offbeat of 3. If you can master this bit of coordination, you’re well on your way to improving your
understanding of rhythm.

2. Nirvana – “Heart Shaped

Dave Grohl is one of the great drummers of the last few decades, and a pretty important drummer to
study. Everywhere in his catalogue that you look – whether its his work with Them Crooked
Vultures, Queens of the Stone Age, Scream, the drumming on the early Foo Fighters albums, or
with Nirvana – there is a creatively refreshing and energetic take on classic drum tropes.

“Heart Shaped Box” is one of my favorite Grohl performances, and it’s also one of his simplest.
This is a great song not only to practice little technical things – like rim clicks and hitting cymbals
in tandem with the guitar – but also to work out your dynamics. Pay attention in particular to the
ways that Grohl moves from the quiet verse sections to the heavy choruses and bridge. All of those
dynamics are achieved the way classic jazz drummers achieved their dynamics – not by punching in
or recording sections separately, but by Grohl’s control of his own dynamics.

3. Iron Maiden – “Hallowed Be

Thy Name”
Many of Iron Maiden’s songs can be tricky (particularly on the Nicko McBrain records), but this
song is one of their simplest – and best. It’s a great song to learn for so many reasons, as it will help
you practice hitting fills on accents with guitar riffs, it will teach you endurance (it’s nearly 8
minutes long!), and it will also help you escape from playing the hi-hat with just your right hand
(the beat is based around a two-handed hi-hat groove).

4. Metallica – “Sad but True”

I know Lars Ulrich isn’t exactly the poster-boy for modern metal drumming, but his playing on the
first five Metallica albums are pretty important for beginners who are just beginning how to
compose and groove on heavy metal songs.

“Sad but True” is a pretty simple song on the surface, but what makes it a perfect song to learn is
that it’s deceptively tricky, namely in its dragging groove, it’s off-beat fills, and it’s mixture of
straight rolls with triplets. Lars is also a case study in cymbal accent placement; in fact, he is one of
the great accent-drummers in metal history. Few drummers of Metallica’s peak era knew how to
play to a song (and make a song better) than Lars.

5. Guns N’ Roses – “Paradise

This song, one of GNR’s greatest, also features one of the most iconic drum openings of all time.
Steven Adler’s kick-snare beat is a call to arms, building the tension up before sounding the alarm
(whistle) and dropping the beat on one of the sickest riffs off Appetite for Destruction.

There’s little flash in this song – the focus of the drums is entirely on playing to the riffs.

6. Led Zeppelin –
Beginner drummers should basically consider John Bonham to be the bible of rock drumming.
Every single Zeppelin song is worth studying for his performances alone, and on “Heartbreaker,” he
laid down one of the simplest, most effective drum beats he ever played (which is echoed later in
“Kashmir” – another great song to study).
Pay particular attention to Bonham’s hi-hat and kick drum feel on this song, as well as the way he
transitions between sections of the song, and how he accents the downbeat each time the main riff is

7. Motorhead – “The Ace of

Motorhead, along with Discharge (and, some people will argue, the Buzzcocks – I’d argue it
actually goes further back to various eras of jazz) were pioneers of the “d-beat,” a swinging drum
beat that has become one of the fundamental techniques in hardcore, thrash, and basically every
kind of hard drumming in bands that play really fast songs.

This is a tough beat to master, but practice slowly, and pay particular attention to drummer Phil
Taylor’s bass drum. The d-beat is all about the off-beat placement of the kick drum on the “and” of
the third beat of each measure. When you slow it down, it should sound straighter than it does on
this recording. The slower you practice this technique, the more feel that you will be able to achieve
when you begin to speed it up.

8. Manowar – “Warriors of the World”

Not only does it not get any easier than this, it also might not get any more troo. Kick and hi-hat
together on one, snare and hi-hat together on three – for the whole song. There are some crash
cymbals and little things here and there, but the hardest part is going to be just keeping in time with
the massive space between each hit. Who says metal has to be fast and insane?

9. Judas Priest – “Breaking the Law”

I realize it may seem like a bit of a cop-out since we also had this song on our 25 Greatest Metal
Riffs for Beginners list, but it would be criminal to leave this one off the drum list as well. It’s just
the perfect speed for learning, the drum parts are all very clearly heard, and it’s just more
complicated enough than a typical rock song that it should be the perfect one to learn as a gateway.
It’ll get your hi-hat arm in good shape for all the harder stuff you’ll eventually graduate to (blast
beats, D-beats, skank beats, etc.).

10. Black Sabbath – “Black Sabbath”

One of the most iconic songs in metal as far as I’m concerned, Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath”
from the album Black Sabbath inspired generations of doom heads to overuse the tritone interval
and slow tempos for sure. This song is great for drums, because of both its creeping slowness and
awesome room for loads of improvised fills.

There’s also a big tempo change towards the end, with a triplet ride part that will have you feeling
the burn in your forearms like none other.

post tags
Written by Max
Max is managing editor of Gear Gods.

How To Play the Drums for Beginners

By Yann, published on 04/07/2018Blog > Music > Drums > Easy Drum Songs for Beginners
• Jazz Songs to Practice Along To
• Easy Classic Rock Songs to Play Along to
• Easy Drum Songs From Your Favourite Rock Bands to Play Along To
• How To Practice Well-Known Songs Outside of Drum Lessons

This is it. You have always wanted to learn to play the drums. Now you have finally bought your
first drum set, taken your first drum lessons and know the difference between the snare drum,
toms, bass drum and know which cymbals are the hi-hat and which the crash or ride.
Now, of course, any beginner drum lessons, including drum lessons for kids will include not
just instruction in drum notation, but also pieces for practising your strokes, fills and drum rolls.
And this is all very nice, but of course, you want to learn how to play the drums so you can
groove with the best bands out there, not spend all your time listening to a metronome and counting
Naturally, it’s important for beginners to learn the rudiments of the craft. And that means doing
the drudgework. Without a good technique, you won’t get the most out of your drum
sets. Rolls need to be practised until they flow smoothly. You need to know stick control, how
hitting with the butt or the head of your drum sticks changes the sound, what brushes can do and
how to make the best of them. Improving your craft means practising, it means discipline.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use actual songs to practice your technique. Learning to integrate your
drumwork into a musical piece is an essential part of being a musician.
So here are some easy drum songs you can play as a beginner, from some of your favourite bands.

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Jazz Songs to Practice Along To

Want to learn how to drum like Buddy Rich? Play jazz like Max Roach? Though learning to
improvise is part of jazz music culture, you first need to understand the tempos of jazz,
the rhythms used and the colour and tone of the music.
Drumming along to jazz numbers will help you in mastering your technique so you can move on
to the more complicated and challenging music and improv that will eventually let you land your
first gigs.
So here are some simple jazz numbers to play along to.

actise your jazz drumming with these easy songs. Photo credit: Deseronto Archives on Visual Hunt
Cantaloupe Island by Herbie Hancock
You might find your drum teacher giving you Cantaloupe Island to help you with the concept
of beat displacement. Usually associated with the backbeat, the snare drums don’t fall exactly on
the count, but slightly before or after it. It can be a full eighth note but is generally more around a
16th note. Original drummer Tony Williams also sometimes added buzz fillson these displaced

It’s Only a Paper Moon

Salvaged from the oddly-named musical “The Great Magoo”, enough people had their hands in
writing and composing this song, originally titled “If You Believed in Me” that it’s hard to tell
exactly how it came about. It has been performed by a lot of different artists including Art
Blakey. The latter’s interpretation is well worth listening to for any percussion student.

Bye Bye Blackbird

Your drum teacher might have you play this jazz song. It has a lengthy drum solo that will help
boost your confidence and give you plenty of experience in learning how to play the drum.

Easy Classic Rock Songs to Play Along to

In My Life by the Beatles
This song has a mellow rhythm that’s perfect for beginners. The verse uses the bass drum,
snare and hi-hat; then switches to the cymbals – both ride and hi-hat – for the chorus. The slow
drumming makes switching the instrument constellation on your drum kit easy on you. It’s almost
as though the Beatles had designed this song for teaching someone how to play the drums.
atles songs often have a simple but very atmospheric drum part. Photo credit: alex.bretado on

Ticket to Ride by the Beatles

Another Beatles song for learning to play the drums is Ticket to Ride. It’s a bit
more upbeat and rhythmic than In My Life, but that’s all the better for improving your timing. It
doesn’t have any tricks. It begins with the bass,adding some colour with the toms and snare: bass-
snare-bass-bass-snare-tom. You can practise double-handed strokes for a crisper tone.

Sunshine of Your Love by Cream

This song was first played by drumming legend Ginger Baker. It’s a wonderful song for practising
your drum patterns and fills. It also teaches you how to use percussion instruments to create
atmosphere in a song.

Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones

From the 1969 album “Let It Bleed”, this song is wonderful for beginners because it has a very
classical rock’n’roll pattern using the bass drum, snare and ride cymbal. The start of the song is
fairly stark, but has some drum fills later on. You can start by leaving them out, slowly adding
them as you grow familiar with it.
Easy Drum Songs From Your Favourite Rock Bands to Play
Along To
Whether you want to learn how to play funk or heavy metal, you will need to know the typical
drum beats, how to use that drum pedal and play drum rolls and fills.

How to play Billie Jean by Michael Jackson on drums

When you learn how to play the drums, you might want to try the percussion part of Michael
Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. “Billie Jean” uses a common drumbeat often called the “money beat” that
is very easy to learn.
The snare drum will land on the counts of two and four – commonly referred to as
a backbeat. The bass drum comes down on one and three.
When you learn how to play this piece, learn the drum part first until you have the switch
between snare and bass down pat.
Then you can add work with the pedal for the hi-hat. It is played as a one-eighth note – when
counting, tap the cymbal pedal twice for each count. This will improve your hand-foot

How to play Teenage Dream by Katie Perry on drums

For a lighter tune with a catchy rhythm, try “Teenage Dream” by Katie Perry. It’s a mid-tempo
song with a simple, unassuming drum part that will teach you rudimental drumming techniques

AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long

A characteristic part of rock band AC/DC’s drummer Phil Rudd’s style is the absolute absence of
fills. This makes his songs a good way to learn how to play the drum. “You Shook Me All Night
Long” does have a few particularities that will challenge you to bring your drumming up to another
level. It’s mostly in the rhythm: the kick drums fall on the count of one and the OFFBEAT of
three – that little hitch while you say “…three AND four”.

Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana

First played by legendary drummer Dave Grohl, “Heart-Shaped Box” has a very simple drum
melody, but is perfect for learning the little technical points, frills and rim clicks that liven up a
drum solo. It’s also great for becoming well-rounded and working on your dynamics. Dave
Grohl’s switch between the quiet verses to the heavier choruses is a wonderful example of the
kind of control that makes drumming an art form.
Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” is good beginner piece for the drums. Photo credit: Oldtasty on
Visual hunt

Live Forever by Oasis

This song is well known for its drum intro. It’s a rewarding piece for beginner drum practice as
it slowly moves up from the floor tom to the snare to increase the volume, setting up the guitar’s
entrance. The ridecymbal gives the beat in eighth notes; the bass drum comes in once on the
count of one and twice on three, with the floor tom coming in on two and four. Since these also
correspond with cymbals, it will help you learn to synchronise cymbals and drums.

Black Sabbath’s Black Sabbath

An interesting song for the modern drummer – a slow song that still has a lot of tempo to it. Its
perfect for experimenting with drum fills; it also has a triplet ride pattern that
will challenge you as a beginner percussionist without being too hard to master at that skill level.

How To Practice Well-Known Songs Outside of Drum Lessons

If you are truly passionate about playing the drums, you will want to practice during every spare
minute. But you may be finding yourself frustrated by your usual drumming lessons and want
something a little different to learn that kick technique or master the ride cymbal.
Play along with your favourite artists
Put your favourite music-video DVDs or band CDs into the player, check out your playlist or
simply switch on YouTube and watch and listen to the drummer. Don’t try to follow the melody,
simply tune in to the drumming voice or look exclusively at the drummer in a video. Listen to it
a few times like that, then start drumming in time with the band’s lead drummer. If you’re
unsure of the way it goes, the drum line for most pop and rock songs are available as sheet
music through an online music shop. Learning how to read music is an essential skill in classic
drum lessons.

Learning how to use your drum kit can be approached from several different angles. Photo credit:
nikolaymarushchak on

Play along without your favourite artists

If you don’t have an ear for music that lets you keep up with the most famous drummers of all time,
you can instead take online drum lessons. This YouTube channel walks you through how to play a
great number of modern songs.
Or you can download a drum and bass track of the songs you want to master – basically, only the
drum grooves from the song, without the guitar player or bass guitar or vocals.
Another option is to download a backing track that will have all the parts EXCEPT the drum, so
you can play along with a virtual band without another drum set confusing you.
Get a tutor
Obviously, if regular drum lessons are not cutting it, you might not want to deal with yet another
drum course with a teacher taking care of several different students at once. The best is to go for
a private tutor. Though it can be more expensive, it might be a good idea to have the teacher come
to your home and give a private lesson. He or she can work more intensely, as well as
to motivate you to stick with drums with interesting pieces to practice on.
Superprof has a wide selection of drum tutors near you to help you improve your drumming. Why
not check out our drum lessons Edinburgh, or London?

10 Songs For Beginner Drummers


Here is a selection of 10 songs to start to play drums. They are available on the website for free.
To start to play drums, you must find slow songs, between 50 and 120 bpm (Beats per minute) and a
drum beat using essentially eight notes.
You may be also interested by some posts about drums like How To Read A Drum Sheet, Position
On Drums or Drum Installation.

Lenny Kravitz – I Love The Rain

Tempo: 61 bpm
Signature: 4/4
I do my first year students work on this song from the 3rd class. The pulsation is slow and the song
is very understandable even without knowing how to read a score.
Free Drum Sheet – Free Drum Lesson

Object 1
Object 2

Lenny Kravitz – I’ll Be Waiting

Tempo: 73 bpm
Signature: 4/4
The easiest song.
Free Drum Sheet – Free Drum Lesson

Object 3
Object 4

Passenger – Let Her Go

Tempo: 76 bpm
Signature: 4/4
This pop folk song has a very simple structure: 3 measures of beat + 1 measure of fill. The fill is a
slight variation of the drum beat.
Free Drum Sheet – Free Drum Lesson

Object 5
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John Lennon – Imagine

Tempo: 76 bpm
Signature: 4/4
This legendary John Lennon ballad make you play simple beats, silence measures (very important
to feel the vacuum and work its inner pulse) and easy fills.
Free Drum Sheet – Free Drum Lesson

Object 7
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Coldplay – The Scientist

Tempo: 72 bpm
Signature: 4/4
This Coldplay’s song is ideal for working eighth notes to the bass drum. The beat is on 2 measures,
good to start feeling the cycles.
Free Drum Sheet – Free Drum Lesson

Object 9
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Kool And The Gang – Fresh

Tempo: 118 bpm
Signature: 4/4
This typical funk song has only one beat and practically no fills. You can work a simple beat at a
slightly faster tempo.
Free Drum Sheet

Object 11
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Eels – That Look You Give That Guy

Tempo: 94 bpm
Signature: 4/4
In this song, we can begin to integrate the rhythmic figure “dotted eight note – sixteenth note”, That
is to say that there is a snare drum that does not fall at the same time as the hi-hat.
Free Drum Sheet – Free Drum Lesson

Object 13
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Avril Lavigne – Let Me Go

Tempo: 55 bpm
Signature: 12/8
This song of Avril Lavigne is in 12/8, so it’s a triplet feeling. As it is slow it is interesting to be able
to work on this style of drum beat.
Free Drum Sheet

Object 15
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Green Day – 21 Guns

Tempo: 80 bpm
Signature: 4/4
A typical rock ballad pulling a bit on the metal. Simple rhythmic figures, use of the fla in a beat.
Free Drum Sheet – Free Drum Lesson

Object 17
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AC/DC – Highway To Hell

Tempo : 120 bpm
Signature rythmique : 4/4
Great classic rock, this song have a drum beat very easy to play. Fills can easily be simplified.
Free Drum Sheet – Free Drum Lesson

Object 19
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Sebastien POITEVIN

Top 7 Easy Drum Songs to Learn as

a Beginner
May 17, 2017 By Barking Drum

Updated on March 2nd, 2018

If you‟ve just picked up your first set of sticks and are looking for a good place to start
with learning songs, then this is the place for you.

It can be a daunting experience to try to figure out what is happening on the drums in many
songs so this list will be structured in order of difficulty, from easy to not so easy.
We will assume that you are familiar with the names of each drum, the snare, the bass
drum as well as the toms and floor toms including any array of cymbals you might have
from hihat to ride cymbal and crash.

Most of the songs listed here use a fairly minimal setup so you can rest assured that you
should have the equipment to play them in their entirety.

Contents [show]


Throughout the article we will often refer to different beats of the bar. Each bar is in 4/4
timing which means each bar will have a count of 4 pulses.

Get familiar with counting along with each song and say each count „1, 2, 3, 4‟ as they are
happening. Complex musical terms will be kept to a minimum so as to make this list as
accessible as possible to all comers.
Queen – ‘We Will Rock You’
First up is the infamous anthem by the British rock band „Queen‟. You‟ll be happy to know
that this is by far one of the easiest beats to pull of on the drums.

Interestingly enough the original of this song was played at a far higher tempo, namely
double time, and has a completely different feel.

This beat is made up of two bass drum strokes and a snare hit, as well as the addition of
many, many hand claps. We are only concerned with the drums for now. Play two hits on
the bass drum with your bass pedal. These hits should land on the first word which is

Next the snare should be played on the word „Will‟. This beat continues in this fashion for
the remainder of the song. An important note is to try to play this beat steady so that it
sounds like three powerful beats – bass drum, bass drum, snare.

The Beatles – ‘Ticket To Ride’

Ringo‟s playing on „Ticket To Ride‟ is simple but very effective and you can play the main
pattern with just a bit of practise.

The beat begins on the bass drum and uses snare and tom for colour. Use two hands on
the snare and tom for each stroke to produce a crisp and powerful hit.
The pattern goes: bass drum, snare, bass drum, bass drum, snare, tom. And that‟s it!
Of course there is a lot more to Ringo‟s playing than that simple pattern but this is the bulk
of the song. Take a listen to the original to hear how Ringo phrases each drum hit.

When you are comfortable with the basic pattern, then you can add frills like tom rolls and
crash hits.

Primal Scream – ‘Rocks’

The drum beat in Primal Scream‟s infamous song „Rocks‟ is a very common and widely
used beat. It‟s also extremely easy to master with a bit of time and concentration.

The main thrust of this beat is to play the snare on each beat. This means that when you
count along to it with „1, 2, 3, 4‟ you should play the snare on each count too.

Next add the hihat along with each snare beat. You‟ll want to place your foot on the hihat
pedal so as to control the hihat cymbals just enough to produce a nice sound. Pay
attention to the sound on the recordand try to imitate it.

When you are comfortable playing both snare and hihat on each count you can then add in
the bass drum on each count too.

This gives the beat a full and rounded sound that compliments the other instruments in
the band such as the bass and electric guitars.

Michael Jackson – ‘Billie Jean’

Michael Jackson‟s iconic tune „Billie Jean‟ features some of the most famous drumming
of all time. The beat played in this song was performed by award winning drummer Leon
“Ndugu” Chancler.

It is sometimes humorously referred to as the „money beat‟ as it is generally regarded as

the beat that pays the bills for many drummers.

The makeup of this beat may be simple but to perform it as well as the original takes time
and patience. Let‟s examine the beat in more detail.
As you count along with „Billie Jean‟ you
should notice that the snare drum lands on
counts „2‟ and „4‟. This is quite a common
feature and is often referred to as a
„backbeat‟. The bass drum lands on count
„1‟ and count „3‟. On first attempt it is a
good idea to try to play along with the song
using just bass drum and snare.

Try to lock in to the rhythm and focus on

accurate placement of each hit.

When you are comfortable with this rhythm

you can add the final ingredient, which is the hihat. The hihat is played as „1/8th notes‟.

This simply means that they will be played evenly twice for every one count.

It‟s important that you play the hihat clean and evenly here. Use your foot to control the
pedal and tighten the hihat cymbals together.

You can hear that in the original song the hihats are nice and tight but not too tight!

Work on this beat and spend hours if you have to as it will form the basis for many other
beats you will encounter on your journey as a drummer.

ZZ Top – ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’

The drummer on this track, Frank Beard, is known as the only member of ZZ Top for not
having a beard!He‟s also known for his tasteful and complimentary drumming and this
song is no exception.

The basic beat is similar in nature to the previous example in Michael Jackson‟s „Billie
Jean‟. One major difference here though is that Frank plays the bass drum on all four
counts of the bar.
This is sometimes called „four to the floor‟ which was originally an old jazz term for
adding the bass drum to each downbeat.

A key element of this beat is the straight and consistent hihat sound. This beat sounds like
a drum machine in that it is quite rigid dynamically. This is a huge component of the ZZ
Top sound.

You can play the hihat closer to the edge of the cymbal in order to get a more harsh and
cutting sound.

Later on in the song Frank plays some simple but tasteful fills on the toms. You can keep
the bass drum pulse on all four counts going throughout these fills so as to keep the time.

Oasis – ‘Live Forever’

From Oasis‟ debut album „Definitely Maybe‟ this song is known for its iconic drum intro.
It‟s also quite an easy one to play for beginners so let‟s get into it.

The beat is centred around the ride cymbal playing 1/8th notes. The concept of playing
1/8th notes is the same as in the previous two examples only in this case, instead of
playing the hihat, we will play the ride cymbal.

Also instead of playing the snare on count 2 we will play a tom, preferably the floor tom.

Already this sounds like a completely different feel. Don‟t play the bass drum on each
count here as the original pattern is a small bit more complex.

Take a listen to the song and you will hear that it is comprised of one bass drum on beat
„1‟ and then two bass drums on beat „3‟. Each bass drum will land on a ride cymbal so use
that to judge your timing. When you have the basics down you can add the additional floor
tom hit just after the last ride cymbal.
Bearing in mind there are 8 ride cymbals to each bar, this would mean that this final floor
tom hit will land just after the 8th ride cymbal.

As the song develops the drummer moves from playing the backbeat on the floor tom to
the snare. This is because the volume increases as the guitars come in.

The White Stripes – ‘Seven Nation Army’

The drumming on „Seven Nation Army‟ by The White Stripes is ideally suited to someone
new to the instrument. The song has three main sections and each section has a different
drum part to be played too.

The first section is the verse and the drums come in eventually with a simple bass drum
pulse. The bass drum is to be played on each count, „1, 2, 3, 4‟.
The second section is a simple build into the chorus. You can play this build using bass
drum, tom and floor tom.

The rhythm is 1/8th notes so you will be playing at double the rate of the previous bass
drum pulse in the verse.

This build is only short and eventually crashed into the chorus.

Listen to the guitar riff on the chorus and also to how the drum beat compliments it.
The drums play a basic beat with snare on 2 and 4 and bass drum on 1 and 3.

At the end of each riff there is a tricky rhythmic pattern which is made up of two bass
drums and one snare.

You can play each drum in this passage along with the crash cymbal. If you are having
trouble with this beat,always take some time out to listen to the original.

Learning to play the drums is no different to any other instrument in that it requires some
time and patience.The benefit from other instruments though is that it‟s way more fun!

Learning your favourite songs is a great way to build up your vocabulary on the kit and in
time you won‟t have to think too much about the coordination side of things – it will
become second nature to you.

Keep practising and remember, have fun!

Article Name

Top 7 Easy Drum Songs to Learn as a Beginner


Most of the songs listed here use a fairly minimal setup so you can rest assured that you should
have the equipment to play them in their entirety.



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