When you’re getting started as a drummer, one of the best ways to build confidence is by learning easy songs. This will improve every area of your drumming ability, including technique, timing, dynamics, and your ability to follow structures.
Most drummers get frustrated at first because they want to be able to more complex songs than they are capable of. I’ve been in this position before and found that the best way to improve my skills was by learning songs that matched my current ability level and gradually increasing the difficulty.
Below you can find the definitive list of easy drum songs for beginners, in various genres and styles.
List of Beginner Drum Songs
1. Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
Meg White’s primitive drumming style may not have been very technical, but it suited The White Stripes’ music perfectly. Seven Nation Army is one of the band’s best-known compositions, and features a simple beat on the floor tom and kick with straight fills played one the snare leading into the choruses.
For beginner drummers, The White Stripes are the perfect starting point. This two-piece band was known for using minimalistic production techniques, so you can hear the percussion in this classic track from their 2003 album, Elephant.
2. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson’s music in the early 1980s was best known for his unique singing style, but the iconic pop star drafted in some of the world’s best musicians at the time to play on his tracks. Billie Jean features Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffett on the drums, who played a pulsating straight rhythm on the hi-hat, kick and snare to underpin the brilliant bass line.
Moffett kept the drums simple on Billie Jean, which allowed the rest of the instruments and Jackson’s powerful vocals to have more space in the mix. This is great news for beginner drummers, as it means that even with limited experience; you can jam along to one of the best pop songs of all time and learn each part of the song accurately.
3. Back in Black by ACDC
In my opinion, along with the White Stripes and The Black Keys, ACDC is one of the best band’s for beginner drummers to play along to. The Australian heavy rock outfit rose to prominence in the 1970s and early 1980s, with incredibly catchy guitar licks, pounding drum rhythms, and sing-along choruses.
Back in Black is a very enjoyable song for drummers to learn, because it doesn’t deviate from the straight rhythm on the hi-hat, kick and snare throughout. Phil Rudd doesn’t hold back and smashes the drums into oblivion to match the intensity of his bandmate’s distorted guitars, screaming vocals, and rumbling bass.
4. We Will Rock You by Queen
We Will Rock You by Queen is one of the rare songs that are recognizable purely from its drumbeat. The track starts with a kick-kick-snare rhythm, which is very fun for beginners to play along to. As the song progresses, the drums change slightly, but the pulse remains the same.
Many Queen tracks featured countless overdubs and complex arrangements, but We Will Rock You is proof that sometimes, keeping things simple is the best option. Drummer Roger Taylor’s iconic beat in this track is universally known, and the best thing about it is that you don’t need any experience to master it!
5. Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix’s music is of course heavily focused on his exceptional, unique brand of guitar playing. However, many of his tracks have brilliant drum sections, thanks to the solid playing of Mitch Mitchell, who alongside Noel Redding, formed the rhythm section of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Foxy Lady is a great Hendrix track for beginners to learn. The drums remain fairly straight throughout, with the odd fill coming in now and then. The fills played by Mitchell aren’t too advanced, and if you master them, I guarantee you’ll see significant improvements in your technique and timing, particularly on the snare and toms.
6. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns n’ Roses
When you’re just starting on the drums, learning how to play solid 8th notes is essential if you want to develop further. The consistency of your hi-hat playing will form the foundation for your skillset. This legendary 1987 track by Guns n’ Roses features a relatively fast-paced, straight rhythm with constant 8th notes being played on the hat, and the kick and snare played on the first and third beats of every bar.
Slash’s syncopated guitar playing is afforded the space it needs by the simple, straight drums. There are some fills and variations throughout the song, but I would recommend starting by learning the basic rhythm until you can play it to the tempo of the recording.
7. Yellow by Cold Play
While they may not be a band I often listen to, I can appreciate Coldplay’s songwriting. The track Yellow cemented them in the pop-rock scene at the turn of the millennium, and they continue to be popular today. This song is incredibly easy to play on drums, thanks to its half-time, straight beat that continues throughout. You can experiment with the dynamics when jamming along to this track, trying to stay consistent with the piano, bass, and vocals.
8. You Really Got Me by The Kinks
I’m a huge fan of the analog drum sounds that bands like The Kinks used in the 1960s. One of the leading groups in the “British invasion”, where UK bands brought their unique versions of rock n’ roll across the pond to the States, The Kinks are regarded as legends today. The track “You Really Got Me” is one of their most famous compositions, with its instantly recognizable chord sequence and catchy vocals.
If you dig a little deeper into this classic song, you’ll notice that the drums are also an integral part of its overall feel. They’re placed quite low in the mix, so you’ll need to study them before attempting to play along. Once you master the delayed snare, this will improve your ability to switch between straight and syncopated rhythms.
9. Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones
I often recommend that people who want to learn the electric guitar begin by playing along to The Ramones’ back catalog. Additionally, they’re also a great place for beginner drummers to start their journey. Punk rock is essentially a rebellion against technical musicianship, which had dominated throughout the early 70s in the form of prog-rock. The Ramones didn’t try to be technical in any way, but rather learned the basics, and started working with the tools they had at their disposal.
The track “Blitzkrieg Bop” is widely regarded as a blueprint for punk. It’s played at a fast tempo, but the drumbeat is very straight and doesn’t require any hi-hat control. This song is a great tool for improving the coordination between your hands and feet, and you can play it as loud as you like because, simply put, there are no rules in punk rock!
10. Last Nite by The Strokes
The Strokes’ debut album “Is This It?” is credited with kickstarting the indie-rock revolution in 2001. Their track “Last Nite” features the band’s signature guitar melodies, but it’s also a song that I believe beginner drummers will benefit greatly from learning. The kick and snare pattern played by Fabio Moretti is slightly syncopated, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll notice that it is used in many other songs in the indie genre.
One of the main reasons I recommend learning this song on drums is because it constantly switches between the hi-hat and the ride cymbal, with the same basic kick and snare pattern throughout. This will get you accustomed to using the ride for 8th notes, which is a valuable skill to have moving forward.
11. Where Is My Mind by The Pixies
I’ve included The Pixies 1988 hit “Where Is My Mind” in this list of easy songs for drummers because it starts very simply, then progresses to a more advanced beat later in the track. I’d recommend mastering the kick, snare, and hat pattern used in the first verse and chorus, before moving onto the more complex rhythms and fills that come later in the song.
This track utilizes open and closed hi-hats, which will help you to develop control over the foot pedal. Furthermore, there is plenty of space within the track for you to add your fills so that you can work on your improvisational skills.
12. Do I Wanna Know by Arctic Monkeys
|Genre/Style||Indie Rock/Alternative Rock|
When you compare Arctic Monkeys’ early compositions with the likes of “Do I Wanna Know” from their 2013 album “AM”, the change is quite remarkable. Alex Turner’s lyrics are undeniably a huge factor in the band’s prolonged success over the years, but Matt Helders has blossomed into one of the most accomplished rock drummers of our time.
This track is amongst the easiest in Arctic Monkeys’ catalog for drummers to learn. It mainly features a straight kick and snare pattern, which is accompanied by a quarter-note-ride cymbal in the choruses. You can practice increasing the intensity of your dynamics as the track reaches its pinnacle, and more layers of guitars and backing vocals are added to the mix.
13. Kashmir by Led Zeppelin
|Genre/Style||Classic Rock/Blues Rock|
The vast majority of John Bonham’s drum tracks are too advanced for beginners, but Led Zeppelin’s 1975 classic, “Kashmir” is uncharacteristically simple. The most difficult part of this beat to master is the use of double kicks, which occur sporadically throughout the track. Other than that, the hi-hat and snare patterns are very easy to play.
If you listen carefully to the drums in this track, you’ll notice that a phaser has been applied to the kit. This gives the cymbals a swirling sound, which fits perfectly with Bonham’s powerful playing. There are some simple fills that come in around the middle of the track, and if you can learn these you’ll be able to use them when jamming or composing your material.
14. Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine
Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine is known as one of the hardest-hitting drummers in the heavy rock genre. The iconic track, “Killing In the Name”, is pretty easy to play, but doing so with the intensity that Wilk conveys is the difficult part. He uses his hi-hat pedal to accent the guitar beats, whilst retaining a straight rhythm throughout the song.
This track gives you the opportunity to hit the drums with all of your might, which is very enjoyable when you’re just starting. However, make sure you’ve got adequate soundproofing as playing along to Rage Against the Machine might just get you in trouble with your neighbors!
15. Lonely Boy by The Black Keys
Like The White Stripes, The Black Keys are a two-piece blues-rock outfit consisting only of guitar, vocals, and drums. Patrick Carney is renowned for his sturdy backbeats which accompany the red-hot licks and raspy singing of Dan Auerbach. The track “Lonely Boy” from their popular 2011 album, “El Camino”, is in my opinion ideal for beginner drummers looking to increase their rhythmic capabilities.
Don’t be disheartened if the main groove of this track takes you a little while to master. It features syncopated snare beats, with a shuffle-like feel, which may be challenging if you’re only used to playing straight rhythms. However, by memorizing this groove, you will improve your ability to use the snare to decorate simple drum beats, which is invaluable for your progress. This is one of my personal favorite easy drum songs for beginners.
16. Fell In Love With a Girl by The White Stripes
|Genre/Style||Garage Rock/Indie Rock|
“Fell In Love With A Girl” is perhaps the perfect example of technical drumming not being necessary for the garage rock genre. This track is intentionally messy, and you can tell that there was no click track involved in the recording, as the tempo fluctuates slightly throughout. This is why I recommend learning the drums for this track, as it doesn’t require perfect timing, but rather allows you to feel your way through the song.
Meg White uses the crash cymbal extensively in this song, and switches between straight and slightly swung rhythms. Her unique drumming style is very hard to imitate, despite its seeming simplicity. If you’re still getting accustomed to moving around the various drums in your kit, this 2001 track is a great tool for improving coordination.
17. You Shook Me All Night Long by ACDC
|Genre/Style||Classic Rock/Heavy Rock|
Another ACDC song that I believe beginner drummers will have a lot of fun learning is their 1980 classic, “You Shook Me All Night Long”. This track features a stomping backbeat that is played on the snare, kick, and hi-hats, which remains the same throughout the entirety of the composition.
If you’re still getting used to using your four limbs simultaneously, this song is the perfect place to start. The tempo isn’t too fast, so you should be able to comfortably keep up with the rhythm of the crunchy guitars and powerful bass. ACDC in general is a great starting point for any beginner drummer as they’re often very straightforward to learn and don’t deviate from straight rhythms. This is one of the funniest beginner drum songs to play hands down.
18. Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day
Green Day first burst onto the alternative rock scene in the 1980s, but their popularity peaked with the release of their classic album, “American Idiot”, in 2004. The album is littered with great songs for beginner drummers, with “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” being a fine example of this.
Drummer Tre Cool plays a powerful beat throughout this track and uses his cymbals to punctuate the melodies and vocal lines. Once you’ve got the basic pattern played on the kick and snare down, you can start to add in the crash cymbals and fills that he plays as the song reaches its pinnacle. The song also uses brief periods of silence effectively, which will teach you to count the beats when you’re not playing.
19. Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana
Dave Grohl is one of my drumming heroes, mostly because of his incredible work on Nirvana’s classic album, “Nevermind”. That album features some complex and innovative rock drumming, but the band’s third and final album, “In Utero”, has some great songs for novice drummers to learn.
“Heart-Shaped Box” is perhaps the most accessible Nirvana song for beginner drummers. On the track, Grohl plays a primitive beat on the kick and snare, adding his hi-hat periodically using the foot pedal. In the chorus, he plays a heavier rhythm that includes more floor tom and crash cymbal. You can follow the rhythm of the guitar and bass to hear where the cymbals should be placed.
20. Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
With its powerful, straight backbeat, Bon Jovi’s hit “Livin’ On a Prayer” is another great option for beginner drummers looking to improve their skills and confidence. The tempo is fast enough to challenge you, but if you learn the song at a slower pace you can gradually build your way up to playing it at full speed.
If there was a blueprint for classic rock drumming, this song would be a prime candidate. The huge snare sound is typical of the 80s, and the drummer switches to the bell on his ride cymbal in the choruses which change the feel. The fills used in this song are also very easy to play, and therefore you can add your variations once you’ve become accustomed to the structure and rhythm of the track.
21. Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty
As a beginner drummer, playing along to heavy rock songs is incredibly fun. However, sometimes it’s good to practice playing more quietly, as this improves your feel and dynamic control. Tom Petty was, in my opinion, one of the greatest songwriters in history, and his 1989 track “Free Fallin” includes a very enjoyable drum beat that encourages you to pay attention to the slight nuances of your playing.
The great thing about learning this song is that it essentially stays the same throughout, allowing you to master the basic rhythm. In the final verse, the drummer switches to playing 16th notes on the snare whilst keeping his hi-hat pedal playing. This skill is highly valuable for beginners, as it makes your hands and feet more independent from one another.
22. Another One Bites The Dust by Queen
Queen’s 1980 hit “Another One Bites The Dust” features one of the most iconic bass lines of all time, but the drums on this track are also an integral part of its groove. This song is one of the best options for absolute beginners, as it features the simplest of drum beats that don’t change much throughout the duration of the track.
Roger Taylor is a master at knowing when a song requires flashy drums, and when it’s better to keep things simple. The tempo of this track is in the sweet spot between slow and fast, and you can get into the groove once you’ve mastered the kick, snare, and hat beats. Again, due to the simplicity of this song, you can use it to practice improvising drum fills once you’ve built up enough confidence to do so.
23. Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
|Genre/Style||Punk Rock/Alternative Rock|
Inspired by the likes of The Ramones, English punk rockers The Clash developed the genre further with their rhythmic guitar parts and bass lines. The drums in their 1982 single, “Should I Stay or Go” start very basic, with a simple pattern played on the hats, kick and snare. When the chorus comes in, the drums switch to double time with a syncopated beat.
I’d recommend practicing the verse rhythm at first if the chorus is a little too advanced. Once you’ve got that down, you can practice the more complex rhythm played in the chorus at a slower tempo, then gradually increase the speed until you can play along with the track at full speed. Don’t get confused by the tambourine, as this was recorded separately from the drums so you don’t need to attempt to play that too!
24. Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers
R&B drumming requires a lot of feel and technique, but as a beginner, it’s definitely worth attempting to learn some of the basic beats used in this genre. Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers is a perfect example of 16th note hi-hat rhythms, which is a staple of funk, soul, and rhythm and blues drumming.
Initially, you’ll likely struggle to play the drums to the original tempo of this track. The technique of 16th notes on the hi-hat has to be cultivated gradually, starting at a slow speed and building up as your wrist and arm muscles get used to the back and forth motion. Therefore, this song should be integrated into your practice routine as a marker of your development, but don’t expect to play it perfectly straight away.
25. Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones
The late Charlie Watts is one of my favorite rock drummers of all time, and I believe he was criminally underrated. While Mick Jagger and Keith Richards stole much of the limelight in the Rolling Stones, Watts’ solid, groovy backbeats formed the foundations for the other instruments to flourish. “Start Me Up” is a great track to learn when you’re starting out as a drummer, because it’s relatively straight throughout.
Legend has it that the fill at the very beginning of the song was actually a mistake by Watts, but upon hearing it back the band decided to keep it in. It feels like the drums enter on the off-beat, which seems unnatural, but if you can master that part then it will help you to count more effectively and deviate from the straight rhythm featured in the rest of the track.
26. Reptilia by The Strokes
Learning to maintain speed on the hi-hats without swaying from the tempo of a song is very important. One of the things that beginner drummers often struggle with is consistently keeping the hi-hat going while focusing on the kick and snare patterns that punctuate certain beats. The Strokes’ track, “Reptilia” is a great choice if you want to develop this skill further.
In this track, the drummer makes great use of his hi-hat pedal. He opens it slightly to make the cymbal ring out a little, which adds to the atmosphere of the song. The kick and snare pattern is a departure from the straight rhythms we’ve mostly covered so far, so you may need to count the beats to ensure that you stay on time when playing it.
27. Enter Sandman by Metallica
Metallica is one of the most successful metal bands of all time, and the majority of their tracks are probably too difficult for beginner drummers to attempt until they have developed their skills to an advanced level. However, their classic song, “Enter Sandman” is quite accessible to inexperienced drummers, especially if you learn the parts individually then combine them.
Lars Ulrich is the backbone of Metallica, known for his powerful style of drumming and ability to provide exactly what the song needs. If you study his use of cymbals in this track, and the way that his drum fills interact with the bass guitar, you’ll gain a lot of knowledge.
28. Starlight by Muse
“Starlight” by Muse is one of the standout tracks from their 2006 album entitled “Black Holes and Revelations”. Drummer Dominic Howard is known for his technical, powerful playing, and this is certainly evident in this song. The beat itself is not that complex, and beginner drummers should be able to master it with some practice.
The drums play a pattern that emphasizes the double snare hit, in addition to a straight kick and hi hat groove. Learning to play the double snare is something that will increase the independence of your hands, and allow you to play more complex pieces in the future.
29. Let it Be by The Beatles
Ringo Starr’s drumming is very underrated in my opinion. Perhaps people don’t appreciate his importance to The Beatles simply because the other band members were such accomplished musicians and songwriters, but “Let It Be” is an example of how his simple style really added to the Liverpool band’s songs. While many of The Beatles’ early recordings featured very basic drum beats that were placed in the background of the mixes, Starr was able to showcase his ability more on their later albums.
This song is ideal for beginner drummers, in my opinion, because it leaves plenty of room for feeling the groove. Played in half time, the drum beat sits underneath the piano, bass, guitar, and vocals. While it is played pretty straight, you can hear off-beat snare drums accenting the notes, which is a signature of Ringo Starr’s style.
30. Say It Ain’t So by Weezer
|Genre/Style||Emo Rock/Alternative Rock|
Weezer is another band that has many songs that beginner drummers can enjoy playing. Perhaps the most famous is their 1995 track “Say It Ain’t So”. With a very basic yet effective drum beat, this song is perfect for those who are looking to improve their timing and coordination.
Drummer Patrick Wilson plays a lazy, half-time beat on this track which perfectly complements the melodic guitars and spoken-word style vocals. He predominantly sticks to the ride cymbal, but the drums become heavier towards the end of the song when he utilizes the crash more and increases the velocity of his playing. The combination of simplicity and dynamic range makes this track highly suitable for beginner drummers.
31. Live Forever by Oasis
Oasis’ debut album “Definitely Maybe” spearheaded the Britpop movement in the early ‘90s. “Live Forever” was the third single from that classic LP, with a unique blend of vintage rock n’roll and modern sounds making the track a favorite amongst Oasis fans. The drum intro sets the tone for the song, and this slightly syncopated beat using the snare, ride cymbal, and kick is ideal for novice drummers.
The rhythm of this song may feel a little unnatural at first, but when you break it down to the core elements it becomes easier to understand. If you listen to the original recording, you’ll notice the different velocities the drummer uses when hitting the various drums. You can try to emulate this to improve your control of dynamics.
32. Creep by Radiohead
Radiohead’s songs are often very complex and advanced in terms of their musicianship and songwriting. Nevertheless, they have written some beautifully simple compositions over the years, with the most famous arguably being “Creep”, released in 1992.
In this song, drummer Philip Selway plays with an understated style that fits the mood of the composition perfectly. The verses are very easy to play, so I would recommend starting by learning them. Once you’ve mastered the verse beat, you can move on to the heavier choruses, which include more cymbal hits and more flair in general.
33. Common People by Pulp
Hailing from Sheffield, England, Pulp is another band from the revered Britpop era. Their most famous song, “Common People”, is heralded as a lyrical masterpiece, describing a woman’s desire to live like the poorer people despite her wealthy background.
The percussion in “Common People” is a great choice for beginners to play, as it starts off very primitive with a simple hi hat, and develops into a straight rock rhythm with the snare and kick included as the song progresses.
34. Song 2 by Blur
“Song 2” by English rockers Blue is one of the more advanced beginner drum tracks on our list, but I’ve included it because if you’re willing to invest some time into learning the beat, it will dramatically improve your ability in all areas. The song begins with the main drum loop, which features fast 8th notes on the hi hat, a kick and snare pattern, and an off-beat hit on the tom every bar.
It may be easier to slow this song down to a manageable tempo so that you can memorize the kick drum placements and the off-beat tom hit. Even if it seems difficult at first, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can master this beat and use it to inspire your own original drum loops.
35. The Less I Know The Better by Tame Impala
I’ve been a huge fan of Tame Impala since the release of “Innerspeaker” in 2010. It’s been a privilege to witness sole-composer Kevin Parker’s progress as a songwriter from those early days. Parker is a brilliant drummer and showcased this with John Bonham-like beats on his early records.
“The Less I Know The Better” is a more simplified drum track that beginners can enjoy jamming along to. The bass riff in this song is incredibly catchy, and once you get into the groove of the straight kick, snare, and hat rhythm that accompanies it, you can start to add your own fills in if you wish. I’d also recommend checking out more of Tame Impala’s back catalog if you’re a drum enthusiast, as it is likely to inspire you.
When you’re first starting out as a drummer, it’s important to learn material that you like and enjoy listening to. If you’re forcing yourself to practice, playing along to songs that don’t get you excited, you’re much less likely to push through the initial stages of learning the instrument.
This extensive list of easy drum songs for beginners includes options for all tastes, so no matter what style of music you enjoy, you can find some material that suits you.
The key is to monitor your progress closely, and understand that with every new song that you learn, you’ll gain new skills that will make you a more accomplished drummer. If you stick at it, eventually you will reap the benefits of learning these songs.
Let us know if you have any questions or comments below.
My name is Chris and I’ve had a passion for music and guitars for as long as I can remember. I started this website with some of my friends who are musicians, music teachers, gear heads, and music enthusiasts so we could provide high-quality guitar and music-related content.
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13 years old and am an avid collector. Amps, pedals, guitars, bass, drums, microphones, studio, and recording gear, I love it all.
I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. My background is in Electrical Engineering, earning a Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University. With my engineering experience, I’ve developed as a designer of guitar amplifiers and effects. A true passion of mine, I’ve designed, built, and repaired a wide range of guitar amps and electronics. Here at the Guitar Lobby, our aim is to share our passion for Music and gear with the rest of the music community.