15 Basic Drum Beats for Beginners
Easy Drum Beats
As daunting as drumming may seem at first, there are plenty of drum beats that are easy to learn. The great thing about these beats is that they tend to work well with many different songs, especially in pop and rock.
If you’re a beginner drummer who’s looking for some beats to play, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to show you 15 of them that will get you grooving to tunes like a pro. Let’s get started.
What Makes a Basic Drum Beat for Beginners:
There are a few things that make a beat easier to learn than others. One of the biggest things is that a basic beat doesn’t require a hectic amount of limb coordination. If you can play a basic rock beat confidently, you’ll most probably be able to play these beats as well. You’re not going to have too many limbs moving at one time.
Another thing that makes a basic beat is the fact that it’s easy to remember. All these beats are going to be one bar long and they’ll repeat over and over. They’ll be hard to forget once you learn them.
Table of Contents
15 Basic Drum Beats for Beginners
1. 2 Kicks and a Snare
Starting off the list is the easiest drum beat you can play. Queen made this groove extremely famous with their tune ‘We Will Rock You’. You simply play two bass drums and then a snare drum. Simple, yet effective!
This groove is very easy to learn as it only requires the use of one hand and one foot. You don’t need to worry about playing the hi-hat.
2. Basic Rock Beat
You may have thought this beat would be first on the list, but it’s a bit more tricky to learn thanks to the added hi-hat. Once you get the basic rock beat down, you’ll be able to play along with so many songs. It’s the most popular beat in the world.
Make sure to practice playing it at different tempos. That will make playing along to songs much easier in the future.
3. Adding a Kick
This next groove combines grooves 1 and 2 together. It adds a bit of flair to the basic rock beat with the added kick drums. It’s fairly simple to play as the kick drums match up with the hi-hat notes.
4. Adding a Snare
If you add an extra snare drum to the basic rock beat, you get a groove that sounds like you’re at a beach party. This beat was made popular by bands like The Bee Gees and The Beach Boys. Total surfer groove.
5. Popular Pop Beat
This groove is used in so many pop songs nowadays that you could probably spot it in 40% of the songs on the top charts. It’s similar to a basic rock beat, but it has one extra kick just before the second snare drum.
6. Four On The Floor
Four on the floor is another classic beat that every drummer should know how to play. It means playing bass drums on all 4 counts in a bar. It’s very effective in funk tunes!
7. 16ths on the Hi-Hat
If playing steady 8th notes on the hi-hat is starting to become easy for you, try doubling them up. You’ll need to try your best to play each hand evenly with this groove. It adds intensity to a song when being played.
8. Cross Sticks
Drummers sometimes have to play quietly in certain sections of songs. This is where the cross stick comes in. Instead of hitting the snare drum head-on, you need to hit it with the shaft of the stick to get a clicking sound.
9. Reggae One Drop
This groove is played almost exclusively in reggae tunes. Sit back and let the vibes take over. Make sure you make the bass drum and cross stick accent strongly together to make the groove sound as vibey as possible.
The disco is a common groove that drummers need to play in dance tracks. While it may seem complicated to play at first, it will get easier when you realize that both legs lift and drop at the same time to play the hi-hat and kick drum.
11. Slow Blues
The slow blues groove is similar to the basic rock beat, except it has two hi-hats between the kick and snare instead of one. This creates a completely different feel that is felt in 3s instead of 4s.
12. Slow Swing
While jazz drumming tends to be one of the harder styles to learn and master, a basic swing groove isn’t too difficult to play. In fact, you only need to play the ride cymbal and hi-hat with your foot and it will be good enough for many songs. Make sure to swing!
The shuffle stays in the vibe of playing swing, except it adds a strong backbeat on top of the swinging pattern. While most shuffles can be difficult to play, a basic shuffle just requires you to play a steady swinging pattern with the hands while playing a backbeat on beats 2 and 4.
14. 16ths on the Snare
This groove sounds like it would be difficult to learn. However, it’s actually quite simple once you master playing the snare drum note on its own. Most beginner drummers learn how to play this beat. You’ll commonly hear people playing it on drums in music stores.
15. Motown Beat
The last beat on the list is an iconic one. It’s arguably the most difficult beat to learn on this list, but a beginner would be able to play it after some good practicing. We’ve put it on the list because Motown is incredibly fun music to play along with.
What is the basic drum beat?
The basic drum beat is the classic beat that every drummer learns when they first start playing. It involves playing 8th notes on the hi-hat, kicks on beats 1 and 3, and snares on beats 2 and 4.
Although this beat is relatively easy to learn, it’s one of the most used beats in music. It fits in most songs that have straightforward structures. Another name for it is the money beat.
What are the 4 most commonly used drum sounds?
Drums are centered around playing grooves. This means the 4 most commonly used drum sounds will be the drums used to play those grooves. The most used sound would arguably be the snare drum. Snare drums provide the backbeat to grooves and keep them moving.
The next most used sound would be the bass drum. Bass drums act as the heartbeats of grooves and provide thuddy low-end sounds.
The hi-hat is the next popular sound. The high-pitched chick tone is great for driving grooves. Finally, the crash cymbal is the last popular sound. Crash cymbals have an effective crashing sound to end off phrases of grooves.
How do you make a simple drum beat?
To make a simple drum beat, you just need to play something on the drums that is easy to remember and play. It needs to be repetitive for the listener to latch onto. Most simple drum beats have the drummer playing the snare, bass, and hi-hat.
What is the easiest song to play on drums?
The easiest song to play on the drums is undoubtedly We Will Rock You by Queen. It just has two kicks and then a snare. It doesn’t require a huge amount of coordination to play and most non-drummers can play it as well.
Queen created the iconic motion of stomping twice and then clapping once. You just need to do the same thing on the drums to play this beat.
While some of the grooves on this list may seem tricky, they are very attainable for beginners. You just need to sit and practice and play them over and over. The more you play a groove, the more your muscle memory will take over and help you feel it out.
We’ve included some basic grooves from different styles of music to play. It’s a great thing to learn how to play all of them. Good luck with these grooves!