Calling all beginners! Here are 13 easy beats in different styles to get you 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.
But first, a few rules of the road:
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.
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!
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.
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”).
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.
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.
This one is a workout for your hi-hat foot. Open the hi-hats slightly on the upbeats, and close them on the downbeats.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That’s it! Enjoy these 13 patterns, play them along with music and make them your own.
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