“When The Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin is an iconic rock tune that has arguably one of the most well-known drum beats in history by the legendary John Bonham.
Let’s start by establishing the meat of this groove – the kick and snare drum.
Once you’re comfortable with that pattern, add in a straight 8th note pattern on the hi hats. Dig into them a little!
Up to this point this just looks like your average rock ‘n roll drum beat. What makes it so special? How do you obtain that signature sound that makes this the iconic groove that everyone’s come to love?
Ghost notes give the groove the giant, echoey sound that makes it seem like you’re playing in a concert hall. We’re going to start by placing one soft kick drum right after the very first hit, then add two snare drum ghost notes – each after the snare hits on counts 2 and 4.
Before we put it all together, let’s try isolating the two hands. Make the ghost notes as quiet as you can! We want there to be a big contrast between the back beat and soft hits.
All good with that? Alright – let’s put it all together!
Don’t worry if you don’t sound exactly like John Bonham when playing this groove. Every drummer sounds different, so add your own flair to it! Make it sound good to you.
* FREE VIDEO SERIES *
Fastest Way To Get Faster
The Fastest Way To Get Faster is a 10-Day routine that will help you rapidly improve your speed around the kit. You will need to practice hard, stick with it, and push yourself.
Larnell Lewis /
Larnell Lewis “What About Me” Drum Playthrough
Larnell Lewis plays through "What About Me" by Snarky Puppy, a song he had 24 hours to learn before recording the album.
Domino Santantonio /
The 21st Century Pop Drummer
Domino Santantonio has blown up on social media with her catchy covers. Learn how to be a modern pop drummer in this full lesson!
Top 10 Matt McGuire Drum Covers
Matt McGuire, drummer of The Chainsmokers and DrumeoCOACH is a prolific YouTuber. Here are some of his coolest covers!
Ash Pearson /
5 Iconic Neil Peart Licks
Ash Pearson teaches you how to play 5 of Neil Peart's most epic licks.