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4 Easy Drum Songs for Beginners

Easy drum songs for beginners

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’re just beginning, one of the best ways to establish a foundation is to learn songs that are good for practicing beginner drum techniques. Learning the easy drum songs for beginners on this list will help you master some rudiments and get used to song structure!

4 Easy Drum Songs for Beginners

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 rudiment, 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 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’s guidance is the best way to polish your technique and increase your speed.

3. “Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry

The Katy Perry hit “Teenage Dream” is another one of the best easy drum songs to learn because of its simple pattern. 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 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 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 low.

Final Tips!

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!

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Photo By: j.sutt

best drum songs

The Best Drum Songs: 10 Songs You Need to Know

best drum songs

With so many music styles and genres, it can be hard to make a list of the absolute best drum songs. Plus, everyone has their own opinions on which songs are the best. Since it’s impossible to make a definitive list of the best drum songs, drum instructor Maegan W. put together this list of 10 must-know songs. Check out the list and let us know what you think…

For this article, when I talk about the best drum songs, I’m referring to the signature songs that every drummer should know how to play. These are the songs you can always go to when you need to play a song at a gig, party, or event. These must-know drum songs also have important grooves or fills that you will use over and over in thousands of other songs. Knowing these types of grooves and fills will make learning any other song that much easier.

So here it goes…. the 10 best drum songs, or the 10 must-know songs for drummers.

*Note: I decided to use newer songs for this list. There are so many must-know classics, but those lists of drum songs are everywhere. So here’s a new-age update for the next generation of drummers.


 

“Lost Without You” – Robin Thicke

This song is pure soul. The groove is tricky and it’s challenging to get the feel just right. If you can master this song, you’re ready to play an R&B gig. Even if you’re a rocker, this song will help you gain dynamic control and tap into some fun, unusual rhythms.

 

“Love Me Like You Do” – Ellie Goulding

This is a great song to learn to add to the music, meaning you don’t have to overplay. Just play to make the song better, not to be heard or standout. This song has several breaks where you can practice your coloring (as I call it) on the different cymbals and practice your timing by coming back in right on time.

Lastly, it has a section with a half-time feel so you can work on that, too.

“Clarity”  – Our Last Night Band (Cover)

The original is great too, but this cover is epic! This drummer is amazing and super clean on his fills and grooves. The band takes it to a whole new level, and you will want to be able to play this way, too.

This song will take you through different levels of intensity and different emotions. Playing with emotion is important to get the audience to vibe with you.

“Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon

This song makes you want to dance, and it’s always good to have a couple of dance songs in your back pocket. It has a disco groove in the chorus, with a nice open hi-hat splash. It also has some nice tom builds. The fills are simple and perfect for this type of music and it also has some hits in unusual places.

“Guns for Hands” – Twenty One Pilots

All of 21 Pilots’ songs have a lot of cool drum parts. In “Guns for Hands”, you will find a simple bass drum “four-on-the-floor“, with perfectly placed hi-hat accents. You will find big half-time grooves, tom grooves, and if you watch the video, you can see a high-energy performance and great visual cues that help the audience hear you.

This song also has an awesome reggae-type breakdown in the bridge.

“Up All Night” – Blink 182

All of Blink 182’s songs have awesome drum parts, thanks to the one-and-only Travis Barker. This song is one of my favorites to play. In the beginning, you have some 32nd-note hi-hat action, with some bell accents in unique places to add to the feel. It gets super heavy and has hits that you can use in many songs to come.

It features 16th-note triplet fills around the kit and nice builds. Learn all the parts to this song and you will expand your drumming vocabulary.

“Save Me” – Gotye

This song has some really cool tom grooves, with a displaced back beat. Hitting the backbeat on the “+ of 4” can be tricky, but otherwise, this song is pretty simple. You can focus on really nailing it, and gaining limb independence and control, while getting into the groove and hypnotic rhythm.

OK, I can’t resist…..the last three are classic, must-know drum songs!

“Fool in the Rain” –  Led Zeppelin

Get your half-time shuffle on; this will teach you how to shuffle with the best and can be applied in any half-time shuffle situation. Also, look out for the Latin breakdown. If you can nail it, you’ve earned your throne!

“War Pigs” – Black Sabbath

Talk about epic drum fills! Also, there are many parts to learn so it will help learn about song structure. This song is popular at any event, well maybe not at a wedding, but at almost any party. You will learn a lot by playing this song, and you can apply these skills to many other songs as you advance as a drummer.

“Grey Street”  –  Dave Matthews Band

This groove is tough to get just right. It’s a little awkward, but when it’s played right, it’s amazing! Pay close attention: there’s more to this song than just a complicated groove. The feel here is essential, so add this song to your setlist.

I hope you enjoy this list. Some of these songs are challenging, but they will make you a better drummer!

Which drum songs are on your must-know list? Let us know in the comments below! 

Maegan-W
Post Author:
 Maegan W.
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!

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drum songs

8 Party-Rocking Drum Songs

drum songs

Want to get the crowd moving at the next party you play? Besides your drum skills, it also helps to have a killer set list. Get everyone on the dance floor with this list of awesome party songs from San Diego, CA drum instructor Maegan W

You gotta fight…..for your right….to PARTY!

Drummers definitely hold the rep for being the biggest partiers in any band. We’re wild and crazy, and we like to make a lot of noise, so I guess the shoe fits. Speaking of parties, no event is complete without amazing music, and no song is complete without driving, rocking, grooving, thrashing drums!

In this ultimate list of party drum songs, we’ll take a look at some classics, and then move into some of the new party rocking anthems. This list could have 100 songs, but for the sake of time, let’s stick to the top eight songs from my party playing experience.

These songs are great to add to your set list when you play a party or gig, or just to play along to when you need a pick me up.

“(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)”

– Beastie Boys


You guessed it…well, maybe I already gave it away.

This song is solid, in your face, and gives you, the drummer, a chance to play your drums like you mean it. This song has a rebellious tone and means business!

The hits in the chorus give you a chance to stand up, spin your sticks, or throw something, then it’s back to thunderous fours on the floor groove.

“You Shook Me All Night Long” – AC/DC


This song is great because everyone knows it, so the crowd can sing along. When people can join in and get loud, they party even harder!

This AC/DC classic is an essential addition to the party drum songs list. In true AC/DC fashion, the drums are solid, driving, and straight forward.

“Raise Your Glass” – Pink


This song is upbeat, fun to sing and dance to, and full of party rocking spirit. It’s all about being yourself and celebrating who you are.

Play this song at your next big event, and watch the crowd go crazy.

 “Sugar” – Maroon 5

This is my guilty pleasure song of the year. It’s simple, but not easy. To get the right feel and lock in the groove, you have to keep the music moving forward, even though it has a displaced feeling with the accented bass hits.

A crowd favorite when played well, this song will get the party going!

“Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars


When this song came out, cover bands across the world felt like they won the golden ticket. It’s a sure-fire way to get the crowd moving. It’s also very fun to play, and a great song to add drum solos.

You can try to leave this one out of your set, but chances are, someone will request it, so you might as well learn it now.

6. “Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson


Yes, we’re taking it back again. This song grooves so hard, when people hear it, they find it physically impossible not to dance.

This song is one of the most underrated, as far as challenging songs go, in my opinion. Is it a hard beat to play? No. But with this song, it’s not what you play, it’s how you play it.

Give this simple beat the respect it deserves, and you’ll be amazed how much people get into it.

7. “Kiss” – Prince


The bass line in this song is ridiculously infectious. Even though it’s an older song, it’s a party favorite for all ages.

This song is great to try out your hi-hat variations. If you keep a solid bass and snare groove, you can throw in some tasty hi-hat tricks.

For ideas, check out what cover bands do with this song on YouTube.

8. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams


Everyone loves to get up and dance to this song. It really does make people happy, especially at a party. It’s a fun, funky song to play, and it has a hypnotic rhythm.

Thanks for checking out my top eight party drum songs. These are songs that I have personally played at many parties and events, and they win the crowd over every time.

Enjoy and party on!

Looking for more songs to play? You will never run out of options with this ultimate list of drum songs

Maegan-W
Post Author:
 Maegan W.
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!

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10 Drum Songs for Intermediate Drummers

10 Intermediate Drum Songs

As you progress in your drum lessons, you will want to learn some more challenging drum songs. Here, San Diego drum instructor Maegan W. shares her list of songs that will take you beyond the beginner stage and help you advance to an intermediate drummer…

Are you tired of playing drum songs for beginners? Are you looking for some songs to play that aren’t too easy, but aren’t super challenging, either? Well, look no further. If you’re a drummer trying to boost your skills, here are my top 10 picks for fun, drum songs to play for intermediate drummers.

These songs all have only two or three different grooves, and they contain basic, easy-to-learn drum fills. The form for each song is pretty standard. Most of the songs follow a pattern similar to this:

    • Intro
    • Verse 1
    • Pre-chorus 1
    • Chorus 1
    • Verse 2
    • Pre-chorus 2
    • Chorus 2
    • Bridge
    • Pre-chorus 3
    • Chorus 3
    • End

If this seems confusing, take some time to learn and identify different sections in a song. Let me take you through a brief explanation of a song’s structure.

Structure Breakdown

Intro

The intro will typically be a short instrumental section or vocal intro that only happens once.

Verse

The first verse begins after the intro.

The verse tells the story of the song.

Generally, a verse does not repeat itself.

Pre-Chorus

After a verse, the pre-chorus sets up the chorus.

The pre-chorus usually stays the same throughout the song.

Chorus

The chorus is the catchy part that of the song that everyone sings along with.

The chorus is the part of the song that repeats the most.

Bridge

After another verse, pre-chorus, and chorus, we get to the song’s bridge. The bridge generally only happens once and it stands out as the climax of the song.

Usually after that, the pre-chorus and chorus come back in before the song ends. The ending may fade out, it may be instrumental, or it may just be the chorus repeating itself.

MO - You, the Drummer

It’s very common and effective (in most popular music) for the drums to be consistent and complementary to the music. In the songs listed below, the drums play a dedicated “verse groove,” “pre-chorus groove,” and “chorus groove.” They will also often have a different groove or drop out completely in the bridge.

Before you try to play the songs, listen to them several times through. Map out the form and the grooves, this will save you time in the long run.

Once I’ve mapped out the rest of the song, I try to figure out the fills. Drum fills can be simplified without compromising the integrity of the song. Never sacrifice the groove for a drum fill! It’s way more important to keep good time than it is to play an awesome fill that throws off the time for the band.

My Song Picks

Now that we’ve gone over form, let’s get to the songs! I’ve added songs from different music styles so take what you like, and leave the rest..or challenge yourself to learn the songs that are a different style from what you normally play.

Check them out:

1. Muse – “Mercy”

2. Twenty One Pilots – “Guns For Hands”

3. Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake – “Love Never Felt so Good”

4. Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”

5) Paramore – “Misery Business”

6) Fall Out Boy – “Centuries”

7) Pharrell Williams – “Marilyn Monroe”

8) Led Zeppelin – “Fool in the Rain”

9) Dave Matthews Band – “Grey Street”

10) Blink 182 – “Up All Night”

Let us know what you think of these songs in the comments below.

Remember, everyone has a different idea of what intermediate means. To me, these songs are challenging, but an experienced drummer can typically learn them within two to four weeks.

Some people will nail these in a day, and some in a couple of months. Go at your own pace and have fun!

Looking for more songs to play? Check out our ultimate list of drum songs

 

Maegan-WPost Author: Maegan W.
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!

Photo by Markus Thorsen

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The 5 Hardest Drum Songs: Are You Up to the Challenge?

The Five Hardest Drum Songs- are you up for the challenge-

Everyone learns drums at a different pace, and it’s important to determine the right pace for you. Sometimes, however, you want to challenge yourself and see what you can do. Take a break from your normal practice routine and try your hand at these challenging drum songs, chosen by San Diego, CA drum instructor Maegan W

Calling all drummers! If you’re ready for a challenge, here are some of the hardest drum songs (in my humble opinion) for you to tackle on your drum kit.

These songs are the most challenging because they include several, if not all, of the following criteria:

  • Precise dynamic control and execution: Every level of every note is intended and complimentary to the music.
  • Technicality: Most, if not all, of these songs contain very unique and challenging grooves and fills. They may seem simple at first, but they are much more difficult than they appear.
  • Speed: Many of these songs have grooves and fills played at high speeds for the amount of notes being played. They include complex beats played at top speeds.
  • Polyrhythms: Hard drum songs usually contain poly rhythms, or the simultaneous use of two or more conflicting rhythms.
  • Odd meter: Many of these songs are in odd time or odd meter. Common time is 4/4 and anything else is considered odd. Challenging drum songs will often incorporate several different time signatures in one song.

If you’re still up to the challenge, let’s get to the list!

Drum roll please…..

1. “La Villa Strangiato” – Rush


This song contains almost all of the criteria on our list, along with other aspects that make it extremely challenging.

Not only are there a ton of different parts to learn, but the technicality, speed, and precision put it on another level.

2. “Moby Dick” – Led Zeppelin


This song features some crazy footwork by John Bonham and great bass dynamics. There is a world of difference between playing these hand-foot combinations, and playing them with dynamics.

If you want to nail this song, you need to play with complete control and finesse.

3. “Ticks and Leeches” – Tool


This song can be described in one word: insane! But seriously, the polyrhythms are hard enough to figure out, let alone play all at once.

Watch the video, and pay close attention to Danny Carey’s precision.

This song is also physically demanding and requires a good deal of endurance.

4. “Goliath” – The Mars Volta

(or anything from The Mars Volta, really)


Start with a nasty groove in multiple time signatures, then add a blazing fast double bass beat, crazy fills, and blast beats (and that’s all before the breakdown).

Try this song, if you dare!

5. “Sedation Deprivation” – Nerve (Jojo Mayer)

Let’s compare this one to our list of criteria for the hardest drum songs:

Odd meter? Check!
Blazing speed? Check!
Insane Poly rhythms? Double check!
Complete dynamic control? Check!
Funky breakbeats? Check!

The list goes on…

This one may take a while, but will be well worth it once you’ve got it down; it has a hypnotizing groove and a smooth feel.

Of course, there are millions of songs that could be included in a list of the hardest drum songs, but these are my top five. My list may vary from other peoples’, but I wanted to include different types of music.

I hope you have fun with these songs, go ahead and have try to play some, or all of them. If you’re not quite ready to tackle the hardest drum songs, we’ve got some more options for you in our ultimate list of drum songs.

Want to improve your drum skills? Search here for a drum instructor near you! 

 

Maegan-W
Post Author:
 Maegan W.
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!

 

Photo by Sean Molin

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