One of the best things about playing the drums is having the ability to turn on any song and jam along with it. Whether you’re into rock, jazz, blues, or country, there are so many songs out there that are fun to play and beneficial for improving your abilities.
Jamming along to any song may not be that easy for beginners. So, here is the perfect list of songs that are easy to play for drummers who recently started playing.
Table of Contents
- We Will Rock You – Queen
- Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day
- Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
- Back in Black – AC/DC
- Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
- Feel Good Inc – Gorillaz
- Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson
- Freddy Freeloader – Miles Davis
- I Love Rock ’n’ Roll – Joan Jett
- Hold The Line – Toto
- Keys to Learning Songs
We Will Rock You – Queen
Queen was one of the biggest bands on the planet in the late 20th century. They produced so many classic songs that are still famous today with ‘We Will Rock You’ being of them. Thankfully, this world-famous song has one of the easiest drum parts to play.
Two kicks on the bass drum and then one hit on the snare. That’s it. It’s so simple yet so effective that Queen had entire stadiums playing this beat with their hands and feet. A lot of drum teachers get their beginner students to play this groove in their very first lesson. It sounds great and it’s a lot of fun to play.
Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day
Green Day’s popularity in the early 2000s is no secret. Their pop-punk sound was loved by so many angsty teens back in the day. Each one of their songs has great drum parts to learn and ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ caters well to beginners.
It’s a straightforward 8th note groove with one kick before the first snare and two kicks before the second. The chorus gets heavier and the drummer moves from the hi-hat to the crash cymbal. This will give beginners a bit of variety when playing to the song.
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
‘Billie Jean’ has one of the most recognizable bass lines in the music industry. Along with that is a basic straight eighth groove that carries the whole track. What makes this song so good for beginners is the fact that the groove doesn’t change at any point.
You can sit and jam the same groove over and over and you’ll be perfectly supporting the track. The tricky part is how fast it is. It really drives, so you’ll need to practice your endurance and try not to slow down at any point.
Back in Black – AC/DC
Here’s a song for all the rock drummers out there. If you’d love to play something a bit heavier and grungier, ‘Back in Black’ is a classic. It has a solid straight eighth groove that drives it with a tricky fill at the end of every 4th bar that matches the guitar pattern.
When learning that fill, just memorize what the guitar plays and you should be able to match the rhythms with your hi-hat and snare drum.
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
‘Seven Nation Army’ is a great track for stretching your orchestration abilities as a drummer. This basically means that it will help you play grooves on the toms as well as the hi-hat. It’s easy to play because you just need to play straight quarter notes throughout most of the song.
It starts with the bass drum and floor tom driving along with the bass line. When the electric guitar starts playing in the chorus, you move your right hand over the crash cymbal and play a heavy quarter note groove.
One tricky part that the drummer does is she matches some offbeat patterns that the guitarist plays. You could try to do the same thing, but it wouldn’t make too much of a difference if you didn’t.
Feel Good Inc – Gorillaz
Here’s a song that is seriously fun to play along with. The high tempo groove along with the rap in the track just makes it such a vibrant experience. The groove is a basic eighth-note beat with an offbeat bass drum just before the second snare.
The song has the same drum beat throughout, meaning you only have to worry about keeping up with the fast tempo.
Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson
If the previous songs on the list are a bit easy for you, ‘Uptown Funk’ is a great step up. This track was one of the biggest songs of 2015 and it continues to be an absolute classic today. It has some varying drum parts in the verses, pre-choruses, and choruses.
The verse has a straightforward eighth-note groove. The pre-chorus has a driving kick pattern followed by a build-up between the snare and floor tom. The chorus goes back to the driving eighth-note groove.
Freddy Freeloader – Miles Davis
As a beginner, you may want to start learning how to play some jazz. It’s a common assumption that jazz drumming is very difficult. Although that’s partly true, there are some tracks such as ‘Freddy Freeloader’ that are easy to simply swing along to.
If you can play the basic jazz swing pattern on the ride cymbal and close your hi-hat foot on beats 2 and 4, you can sit and play along to this track all day. It has a basic 12 bar pattern which makes it easy to follow along with, even when the solos are playing.
I Love Rock ’n’ Roll – Joan Jett
This track is very similar to Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’. It has the same two kicks and one snare groove that is so effective. The one difference is that ‘I Love Rock ’n’ Roll’ has an odd time bar at the end of every phrase that can be a bit tricky.
As a beginner, odd time signatures are a great thing to start learning about. Most music is in 4/4 time, so it will feel a bit weird playing something different to that.
Hold The Line – Toto
‘Hold The Line’ is undoubtedly the trickiest song to play on this list. However, the level of drumming is still attainable for beginners. It has a 12/8 groove with some varying bass drum patterns.
It’s a great track to develop the 12/8 shuffling feel on the drums. It’s quite a fast tune, so you’ll need to build up your endurance to keep the beat going.
Keys to Learning Songs
The most important skill for any musician is having the ability to listen well. Before you play music, you need to listen to it. When you have great listening skills, you’ll notice how songs are easier to play along to. This is because you’ve listened to the track and you will know exactly what you need to add to it to make it better.
When learning a song, listen to it as much as possible before trying to play along with it. It will make the whole process a lot smoother. This is advice that drummers of all levels should follow.
Muscle memory is one of the biggest aspects of drumming. When you watch a pro drummer play, you’ll see that their hands just move and it doesn’t look like they’re even thinking about what they’re playing. This is because they’ve taken the time to develop their muscle memory with patterns on the drums.
You need to play parts of songs very slowly at first to develop that muscle memory that will help you later. Once you’ve played it slow, it will be easier to speed up the grooves and concentrate on supporting the songs.
Learning drum parts for songs can be frustrating at times. If you struggle with one thing and start getting frustrated, move onto something else, and then come back to it later. Drumming is one of the most fun things to do, so make sure to have fun while doing it.
It will be really rewarding once you’ve learned to play a song and you’re jamming it out. So, just remember to enjoy every part of the process.
There are a lot more songs out there than the ones on this list. Once you can play these, go find some more that you think you may enjoy. If they’re all easy for you to play, you may just be stepping into the intermediate category of drumming. It won’t get easier from there!
The best thing you can do as a beginner is to vary the types of songs that you play to. So, try to play some jazz, rock, and even country songs. You won’t regret it in the long run.