The best way to learn drums is to actually play along to real music; learning from the greatest drummers by copying their drum parts note-for-note. Playing along to your favorite songs is not only great fun, but it will help train your ‘internal metronome’ as well as develop your musical ear. Getting started with some easy drum songs will improve your confidence and technical ability.
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Its drum beat pattern is easy to understand and learn, making it amongst the most popular songs to play with drums. It’s light and catchy, and once you learn it, you will feel like a true celebrity as you jam along to the song.
The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
Seven Nation Army features a catchy chorus hook that is quite the institution around the world. The drums in this song are straightforward but keep the song moving. The verse utilises floor tom crotchets (4th notes) and the chorus swaps out to crash cymbals for a lot more energy.
Bon Jovi – ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’
Here’s another classic 80s jam. While the part is a little more intricate overall, it’s a great tune to learn for any beginning drummer. Like many on this list, ‘Livin’ An A Prayer’ features heavy use of the “money beat.” Tico Torres crushes the beat on this album and it’s no wonder why this album became so successful.
Nirvana – “Come As You Are”
In the 90s, grunge music was all the rage. The album Nevermind would introduce the world to a new style of rock music, very different from its hairband predecessors. In Nirvana’s tune, ‘Come As You Are’, Dave Grohl lays down a fantastically simple groove, especially in the verses.
Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
“Another one Bites the Dust” is an amazing song in so many ways. It is one of the grooviest rock songs of all time and the best thing about it is that everything is so simple. It’s not just about that stupendous bass riff, which is at the same time very simple, but the drumming is also very easy to play.
The Beatles – Let It Be
We can talk about Ringo Starr in this way or another, but there is no doubt that he had a lot of influence in the world of drumming. His drumming chops were never spectacular, but there are some songs, like “Back to USSR” or “Rain”, where you can see a lot of interesting concepts, but there are also numerous Beatles songs that are super easy when it comes to drumming. “Let It Be” is definitely one of them. Steady tempo and extremely easy beat and fills make it perfect for beginners.
Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day
Green Day was in full swing in the 90’s as they catered to the edgier punk scene. Boulevard of Broken Dreams is fairly easy for drumming beginning who want to develop a style more in line with “poppier” music. Throughout the song, the rhythm is fairly uniform, but be warned that the licks during the chorus do present a little bit of a challenge for you to master.
Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses
Paradise City is arguably one of Guns N’ Roses greatest tracks due to its memorable chorus and upbeat sound. Making brilliant use of the crash cymbals throughout the track accompanied by his on point kick-snare beat that catered to carrying the weight of legendary guitar riffs is what put him on the map as one of the greatest drummers of his time.
Coldplay – Yellow
Coldplay are a highly popular British band that have slowly evolved their sound through their discography. The song ‘Yellow’ is a perfect one for for beginner drummers. It’s played at a slow tempo and with an easy beat. It definitely won’t take too much time for you to learn to play it right!
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
One of the most iconic and influential songs in metal, Black Sabbath has inspired and will continue to do so to the generations ahead. This song is famous for its tempo, creeping slowness, and awesome room for loads of drum fills. There is a drastic tempo change towards the end. You will also get a triplet ride pattern that might pose a challenge but will be hugely rewarding once you’ve mastered it.
You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
AC/DC’s drummer, Phil Rudd is a great model to follow in drum playing. His performances are often studied by even advanced drummers in the community. His simple and trendy grooves made AC/DC’s albums classics. This particular song is actually quite tricky to play on drums, but would become easier if you know the basic techniques. I suggest learning this song after you learn the first six songs mentioned earlier.
Queen – We Will Rock You
The classic ‘boom boom clap’ is a beat that has cemented itself as one of the most iconic beats of all time! It’s a simple yet effective beginner drum song that we can play using ‘kick kick snare’ in order to match the rhythm of the stamps and claps. Once you have nailed that, you can try incorporating hi hat quaver notes into the beat.