One of the biggest milestones for beginner drummers is that great moment when you can play along with a song. Furthermore, if you approach this the right way, it may not be as far off as you might think. At Drumstars, all of the beats and fills that we give you in our lessons prepare you for this goal. After all, playing drums on their own is awesome, but playing along to music, and playing with other musicians is next-level fun!
The trick is finding songs that are not too fast, or overly distracting with frequent complex drum fills. Let’s take three-song examples that we think fit the bill: “Yellow” by Coldplay, “High Hopes” by Panic at the Disco, and “You Need to Calm Down” by Taylor Swift. We can’t embed the songs due to copyright restrictions, but you’ll easily find them on your favorite online streaming service. “Yellow” is always a favorite of mine in my teaching studio because it is mid-tempo, and literally has no drum fills at all. That is actually very unusual, but musically perfect for this particular song. It just allows you to focus on the beat, and play along with no distractions. The Panic at the Disco and Taylor Swift songs were chosen for their current popularity and relaxed tempos. These are good examples, but there’s nothing stopping you from picking your own. Just try and find ones that tick the boxes on tempo and lack of distractions.
If you listen to all three of our examples, you will hear that they all have different things going on in terms of the hi-hat, snare, and bass drum pattern. There is nothing wrong with simplifying apart so that you can play along and have fun. In fact, we always say that in this case, simplification is a skill, not a short cut.
As you become more experienced later down the line, you can source the sheet music to your favorite songs and set yourself the challenge of reading the part, and playing closer to the original track. This in itself is a fun exercise because you are putting to use music notation.
TIP: Remember the points made on simplification in this article. The first step is to just play a comfortable drum beat with some of these songs. Don’t get too concerned with drum fills, stops and starts, and other distractions that prevent you from the Number 1 goal: having fun!
- Coldplay – Yellow.
- Queen – Another One Bites The Dust.
- Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk.
- Panic at the Disco – High Hopes.
- Taylor Swift – You Need to Calm Down.
- Lady Antebellum – Get to Me.
- Jason Aldean – Crazy Town.
- Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar.
- No Doubt – Hella Good.
- AC/DC – Back In Black.