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21 Easy Drum Songs for Beginners

Drum Songs for Beginners

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Learning the drums can be challenging but very rewarding. After all, the drums are the heart of a band and help keep everyone in line and in rhythm.

If you’re just starting out learning the drums, you may feel intimidated by the vastness of drumming. Learning to play a beat with your right hand and then playing a different rhythm on the same beat with your left-hand takes time to learn.

But have no fear; there are plenty of songs that are simple enough to help get you started and easy to play. Many of these easy songs can help you get to know your instrument and master drum parts so that you’re no longer a beginner drummer.

Here are 21 easy drum songs for beginners.

21 Best Beginner Drum Songs

This article will go over 21 simple songs that stem from a basic rock beat on sheet music and maybe even a few great songs thrown in that are a little more advanced. It helps to check out what drum sheet music is so you can get to know the grooves before you begin playing.

With a little practice, you can master these simple beats and learn how to play them without feeling overwhelmed.

1. “Yellow” by Coldplay

Half-time songs are more relaxed and tend to be easier to play when you’re a beginner. The song “Yellow” by Coldplay is a great one of these examples since it is looser with a straight beat throughout the entirety of the song.

There are a few changes since the intro is played with loose hi-hats, and the verse is played with closed hi-hats. The chorus provides a change with a more sparse bass drum pattern.

2. “We Will Rock You” by Queen

Less is more when you’re a beginner on drums, which is why “We Will Rock You” by Queen is one of the best songs to learn drums. This song only requires the snare drum and the bass drum played with a simple eighth notes pattern.

It’s also a very recognizable song, so you can quickly pull it out when you’re in the company of other musicians to play along with the simple rock beat. If you’re at a gathering, the audience can also get into it by stomping their feet and clapping their hands to the rhythm.

3. “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

One of the most popular songs by Michael Jackson has a great song structure for new drummers. It’s steady with simple drum beats; you can learn with a slower tempo before jumping into the 8th notes.

You can use a kick drum for the downbeat on one on your drum set for the intro of the song. It’s a great way to utilize your floor tom additive where the ‘and’ of the third beat comes in, which can also be a little tricky to learn, which is why it’s good to start with the slow tempo and after a little practice, move to the full speed.

4. “Back in Black” by AC/DC

If you want to rock out, AC/DC is one of the best bands to listen to for your drums. The song “Back in Black” is easy for beginners because it has a straight rhythm on the hi-hat, kick drum, and snare drum throughout the entirety of the song.

The hi-hat carries the 8th notes, and your kick drum and snare will do the quarter notes. Using all three is one of the best ways to help you get the hang of your instrument.

5. “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty

While this song also rocks a nice guitar solo in the beginning, Tom Petty’s iconic “Free Fallin'” has a great drum fill. If you align the bass drum notes with the bass player, you can easily learn this simple part.

The march style that comes into the fourth verse gives you the same bass drum rhythm but incorporates the hi-hat playing 8th notes. It can be a bit challenging, so you can build yourself up by learning the first few verses of the song before getting to the change in style.

6. “In My Life” by The Beatles

Ringo Starr was a genius who came up with a brilliant pattern to match the lyrics on the drums in this song. The key to nailing down this particular song is counting since the groove changes more in the chorus than in the verses. When you get to the part where the lyrics go, ‘I know I’ll often stop and think about them,’ you drop the snare drum.

Beginners Drum Songs

7. “Levitating” by Dua Lipa

Jump to the music of now – maybe you’re more into the pop of today, and Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” is great for drummers. You may want to utilize a drum machine or play-along tracks to help you get the hang of the hi-hat part found in the verses because it can feel like a lot.

The best part about this song is that you don’t have to play it exactly as it’s written; you can simplify it! The ‘four-on-the-floor’ bass drum and snare backbeat are the main components.

8. “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper

If you want to get into the verse groove with a song, this is an easy one since it has a steady backbeat, which makes it one of the easiest songs to learn. This was originally recorded with a digital drum machine, so it’s very simple to play on the bass drum.

You can practice with dynamics for each part of the song. Play more gently when on the verses, and then when the chorus comes, you can kick up the intensity.

9. “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie

If you’re into learning some drum patterns with faster speeds, “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie is an excellent choice. The drums are played with hi-hat on the 8th notes but with emphasis on the quarter notes on the downbeat.

The snare also plays the four-quarter notes while the bass drum acts like the melody in this classic song. You don’t have to be a great drummer, but it will take you some time and practice with this song, specifically with the stops that occur in the chorus.

10. “Gimme All Your Lovin ‘” by ZZ Top

Everyone loves this great tune by ZZ Top, and you can sing along with this funky groove backbeat on the bass. The ​chorus has a 2-bar tag, or extra interlude portion, that goes into the guitar solo, so you have to be sure you count throughout this one for your drums.

11. “Come As You Are” by Nirvana

​While the well-known beginning of this good song can be done on the bass guitar or piano, the drums in this song are Dave Grohl at his best. The bass drum fits perfectly with the guitar riff, and you can focus on playing with the bassist.

When you get to the interlude before the chorus, you can use the snare drum fills every other measure and it’s a great example of good drum technique. Work on making smooth transitions between the fills and the groove without dragging, and you’ll be a master drummer in no time.

12. “Creep” by Radiohead

If you’re more of an alternative rock fan, the slow tempos make this a perfect song to help you learn. On count three in the second bar of this on the drum fill, there’s a group of 16th-note triplets and then 8th-note triplets. It can easily become one of your favorite songs to drum to because it has a steady, slower tempo before breaking into those triplets.

13. “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR)

This CCR classic song is a great choice for beginner drummers to learn since it has a longer intro section with bass drums that line up with low notes on the piano part. It takes a lot of listening to lock in when you play.

The hi-hat has more of a closed sound, and you’ll need to tighten them up as well as not play them too loud during the verses.

14. “All I Wanna Do” by Sheryl Crow

One of the best easy songs with a more bouncy and uptempo feel on the drums is Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do.” The groove features a 4-on-the-floor bass drum pattern with a backbeat snare with an easy feel.

The fourth measure of the second verse is a little bit tricky, where there’s sort of an “echo” feel with the vocal line. It might help to work with someone singing along to it while you practice.

Easy Drum Songs for Beginners

15. “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

​This is a great, easy drum song for beginners and can help you learn good technique. There are only about three and a half parts to learn that make up the entire song.

The song is mainly based on the quarter note rhythm and the floor tom, with the riff kicking in and the groove moving to the cymbals. That part of the song goes to match the guitar riff by playing triplets.

16. “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry

Another pop-style song that you may prefer to play is an easy drum song with a few bass drum strokes and snare hits. The beat has an easy rhythm throughout, so you can get the hang of using the bass and snare together as a beginner.

There are quick movements, which are one of the most important elements of the drum part, such as knowing how to master the technique of moving your arms rather than moving your drumsticks. You’ll be able to build up strength and play with more accuracy.

17. “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams

This classic rock song is a favorite that everybody knows, and you can quickly capture the intro groove of the drums right off the first line, where the drums come in and everything picks up. Many great bands use this song as a way to lay the foundation for the drums to play.

This song really pushes your speed and helps you learn the use of double kicks, where you’ll use both your feet instead of one. It’s challenging to keep up with the speed and mastering this particular song on the drums can help you play faster, more complicated beats and fills.

18. “Buddy Holly” by Weezer

The simplicity of this great song by Weezer is a great use of the cymbals, while most of it is played utilizing the bass drum and snare. It sounds more complicated than it is since this has a steady and consistent drum notation throughout.

The trick is the interlude up to the chorus, where you have to use dynamics on the hi-hat, where it gradually gets louder, and you add in the snare. There’s also a bit of a challenging bridge after the second verse that’s played a little differently.

19. “1979” by Smashing Pumpkins

Another great beginner drum song is “1979”, which has the same groove throughout each section. The hi-hat accents are how you ensure you nail down this piece since it’s a two-bar phrase, and you can work one measure at a time.

The hi-hat accents happen on the “and” of beats one and two, and then you can work on the kick drum and snare parts. The bass drum doesn’t happen on beats one and two of the second measure, and then the hi-hats come in with the “and” accents of beats two and four.

20. “Vultures” by John Mayer

The intro pattern of this bluesy tune is a two-measure phrase. The bass drum part in the second bar lines up with the guitar part perfectly. The chorus groove is the same as the intro, and you can open the hi-hats at the end of the section for the transitions.

21. “Beast of Burden” by The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones is an excellent band to learn the drums with since Charlie Watts knew how to do it right. The intro pattern of this song has snare syncopation to match the guitar, so as a beginner, you can practice with just your hands first before you add in your feet. The verses showcase a straight backbeat.

What to Look for in a Beginner Drum Song

It may be helpful as a beginner when learning the drums to search for slower-tempo songs to play with initially. Finding some beginner drum songs can be challenging to help suit your play level.

You’ll want to pick songs where you can hear the drums easily, that have easy grooves, and not a lot of drum fills. Find drum parts that are more in a simple time signature (like 4/4) when you’re just starting out with your instrument.

Picking a good beginner drum song may also involve exploring genres that you may not be interested in learning. However, they can help you learn the necessary skills and techniques for when you dive into a more challenging song that you do want to play.

Advancing Your Drumming Skills

As is when you learn any instrument, including the cello, flute, or violin, the best way to learn about your instrument and how to play properly is by working with an instructor doing private drum lessons.

Your instructor can help you with getting to know your instrument through simple exercises and get you used to where your hands and feet need to be placed. They can also provide you with easy songs that will work for your level and challenge you as you begin to excel with the drums.

Moving Onto Intermediate Level Songs

Once you’ve mastered the simple songs, you can start getting into more complex drum patterns and fills. Most popular songs that you may think sound easy to play on the drums are likely more of an intermediate level.

The professional drummers who recorded those songs have been practicing and playing for years, don’t forget. The simplest and easiest songs can sound better when you play the drums for many years.

Your experience and knowledge of the drums develop over time, so don’t rush into complex songs right away. There’s no shortcut; you just need to be disciplined and practice.

Participating in Live Jam Sessions

Live jam sessions are an excellent way to sharpen your drum skills. One of the best ways to learn where you make mistakes in your drumming and where you can fix them is by recording yourself and listening back.

It is also helpful to work with other musicians if you want to create a network for gigs as a drummer. You can meet new people and develop connections, maybe even start a band together.

The benefits of live jam sessions also help you develop your musical instinct, train your ear, and help you listen and react while creating new music. It’s beneficial to work with others and understand each other’s playing habits so you can learn a lot from your participation.

Taking Drum Lessons

Again, the most important part of learning the drums is setting aside time to practice each day since it’s the only way to get better over time. You can take drum lessons online if you’re more comfortable at home.

Working one-on-one in private drum lessons ensures that you’re getting the right training and learning the proper technique for your playing. Sometimes, when you try and self-teach on an instrument, it’s easy to pick up bad habits.

Expert instructors will be able to help you learn good habits and even learn more quickly by adapting to your learning level and needs. You’ll be playing more confidently and mastering your drum technique in no time!

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