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13 Easy Drum Beats For Beginners

Rob Mitzner  /  UPDATED Jul 14, 2023

Here are the top 13 easiest drum beats in different styles to get you – a beginner drummer – started on the path to drumming greatness

Each groove has sheet music and an audio track so you can hear how it’s supposed to sound. (If you don’t know how to read drum music, click here)

We’ve also included two examples of popular songs that feature each beat. Even if the song is too difficult right now, you can listen to how that part sounds in the context of a real track.

Drumeo students can find sheet music for most of these songs (and 5000+ more) in the members area. Try Drumeo for 7 days free!

What makes a drum beat beginner-friendly?

These beats are considered ‘easy’ because they fit one or more of the following criteria:

  • They sound good played slowly
  • They typically only require three limbs rather than four
  • They have less syncopation/subdivisions

Have a good time with these! Play them exactly as written at first, then try moving them around the kit or adding some fills. Once you’re feeling good, grab your headphones, crank up your favorite jams and play along.

1. Bread ‘n Butter (92 BPM)

For Sam 1

Start with the bass drum and snare, then add the closed hi-hat part. Focus on playing a solid backbeat and keeping the tempo steady. Every note counts!

Here are two songs that use this simple drum beat:

2. Big Bell Bounce (98 BPM)

For Sam 2

This one has the ride cymbal bell on the “and” of each beat (also called the “upbeats”). Try to hit the same spot on the bell every single time so you get a consistent sound.

Check out these songs to hear the beat in practice:

3. Hi-Hat Hotness (100 BPM)

For Sam 3

Follow the written sticking by playing both hands on the hi-hat and bringing your right hand down to the snare for beats 2 and 4. It’s a challenge to keep this one from getting too messy, so start slowly and build the tempo. Keep the bass drum solid on every quarter note (which is called “four-on-the-floor”).

You can hear this beat in these songs:

4. Terrific 2-Beat (105 BPM)

For Sam 4

This might look easy as pie, but it’s harder to get “in the pocket” than you think! This one should feel laid back and relaxed. Keep your hi-hat loose and really focus on the metronome.

Try out these songs (and simplify if you have to):

5. Tom-Tom Time (88 BPM)

For Sam 5

Play this groove with your right hand on the floor tom and your left on the snare. Using the toms instead of the hi-hat or ride gives the pattern a different tone color.

You can hear this type of tom beat in the following songs:

6. Useful Upbeats (95 BPM)

For Sam 6

This one is a workout for your hi-hat foot. Open the hi-hats slightly on the upbeats, and close them on the downbeats.

Check it out in these tracks:

7. Beatle Bits (100 BPM)

For Sam 7

This is the groove Ringo played on the Beatles’ hit “In My Life.” Your right hand hits only the one note on the closed hi-hat. Once you get it, try playing along with the song!

You can hear the beat in this song, too:

8. Stir the Sauce (80 BPM)

For Sam 8

The 16th note interaction between the ride and snare on the second and third beats makes this groove a little bit funky. Try to keep it clean and smooth.

This is the beat a lot of new drummers learn so they can show off to their friends. Listen to it in context here:

9. Quirky Quarters (85 BPM)

For Sam 9

This one has a simple quarter note pulse on the snare while the bass drum is a little more active. Accent the downbeats on your hi-hat to give the pattern shape and definition.

10. Jazz Jam (95 BPM)

For Sam 10

Try to make the ride cymbal swing pattern feel laid-back and relaxed. While most of this pattern is based around the cymbals, drop in a snare hit on the third triplet of beat 3.

11. Twirl ‘n Twist (100 BPM)

For Sam 11

This is a 2-measure phrase with a lot going on in the bass drum and snare part. Work on those alone at first, then add the ride cymbal and crash. Play one measure at a time, then combine them.

12. Spacey Stuff (105 BPM)

For Sam 12

The key to this one is keeping a steady pulse with your bass drum on every quarter note (four-on-the-floor). Really crack those flams on the toms.

13. Waltzy World (105 BPM)

For Sam 13

This pattern is in a 3/4 time signature, which means there are 3 beats per measure and each is worth one quarter note. Begin practicing this pattern with your hands alone, then add the bass drum.

Drum beat tips for beginners

  • Isolate your limbs when you first begin to practice. You can play the hands by themselves, and when you’ve got that, add the feet. You can also work on the bass drum and snare alone.
  • Start slowly and gradually build speed, repeating as many times as necessary. You don’t need to play these at full tempo right away. The BPM (beats-per-minute) markings are just helpful suggestions. These grooves will work at faster or slower tempos too. However…
  • It’s important to practice with a metronome. It will improve your natural timekeeping and help you stay on track.
  • Play with dynamics. Everything should not be the same volume, so practice these loud, medium, quiet and everywhere in-between. If you see an accented note, try to create a big difference between it and the non-accented notes.
Looking for more drumming tips? Read: The Most Common Drumming Questions (Solved)

That’s it! Enjoy these 13 patterns, play them along with music and make them your own.

Rob Mitzner is a New York-based session drummer who has recorded for Billboard Top-10 charting albums, films and Broadway shows, performing live at Lincoln Center, The Smithsonian, Caesar’s Palace, The Blue Note, Boston Symphony Hall and for President Obama in his hometown of Washington D.C. He is currently working on a drum book with Hudson Music and has also been featured in Downbeat Magazine and Modern Drummer, and on the national TV show “Trending Today” on Vice. Rob holds a B.A. in Music and Political Science from Brown University, and is a proud endorser of Paiste Cymbals, Remo drum heads, Hendrix Drums, and Drumdots.

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