Playlists of Basic Beats for a Beginning Drummer
March 26, 2015 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I bought a set of Roland V-drums recently and I'd like to put together some playlists that focus on basic beats I should be learning as a beginner. The idea is to have each playlist focus on a specific type of beat, starting easier and building in complexity/tempo. I'm mostly into rock music, and my goal right now is to be able to keep a solid groove - nothing fancy.
posted by InfidelZombie to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I think the phrase "drum rudiments" might be what you're looking for. Vic Firth has a nice page with the basics, with playalong videos
posted by goHermGO at 11:50 AM on March 26, 2015

First, a beat is not a drum rudiment. A drum rudiment is an element of a beat. So that Vic Firth page isn't where you want to start. A good book to start out with is Basic Rock Beats by Joel Rothman.

The basic rock beat is hi hat on every eighth note, bass drum on the 1 and the 3 and snare on the 2 and the 4.

So it works like this:
Beat: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4
Hi Hat: x x x x x x x
Bass: x x
Snare: x x
It will take time, because you have to learn independence, which is the ability of one limb to play one thing while the other one plays something else. Go slow and practice a lot. It will be frustrating at first, but then you'll suddenly get it!
posted by Ironmouth at 1:20 PM on March 26, 2015

That came out poorly. Type in basic rock beat to a google image search and you'll see what I'm talking about.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:22 PM on March 26, 2015

You want the Drummer's Cookbook.
posted by cocoagirl at 5:49 PM on March 26, 2015

Best answer: (reformatted Ironmouth's bit with pre tags for the sake of completeness)

The first beat every drummer learns:
Beat:   1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Hi Hat: x x x x x x x x
Snare:      o       o
Bass:   o       o
Basically, this.
(Assuming a right-handed player on right-handed kit, HiHats are hit with right hand, left hand lower down for snare , Bass is right foot. Just keep your left foot down flat for now.)

Here's an example of it in use as a solid rock groove.

Your next step is usually to syncopate the bass a little, so something like
Beat:   1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Hi Hat: x x x x x x x x
Snare:      o       o
Bass:   o         o
Where you play the 2nd bass note off the '3', and on the 'and'. Here some G'nR using that beat for a couple bars. Some other basic variations to practice here are:
Beat:    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 

Hi Hat:  x x x x x x x x
Snare:       o       o
Bass:    o       o o
Beatbox: b-t-k-t-b-b-k-t

Hi Hat:  x x x x x x x x
Snare:       o       o
Bass:    o     o o 
Beatbox: b-t-k-b-b-t-k-t

Hi Hat:  x x x x x x x x
Snare:       o       o
Bass:    o     o   o
Beatbox: b-t-k-b-t-b-k-t
(invented beatbox notation because I'm too lazy to find more videos, and it might help you visualise [auralise?] the beats.)
Combining variations of those 5 patterns gives you 99% of basic rock beats. This video is a decent introductory treatment of similar concepts.

At this point in your career, you'll probably find the rudiments mentioned above more useful when you start wanting to incorporate rolls and fills - when you're a bit more confident with the beats (but the Vic Firth link looks like a good start)

I might've gotten carried away there - you wanted playlists! This YT playlist and this thread both look relevant to your interests. Good luck!
posted by quinndexter at 10:21 PM on March 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: gah. This thread
posted by quinndexter at 10:28 PM on March 26, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses so far everyone. A little more background on where I am skills-wise: been playing guitar fairly seriously for a decade now, so I have a decent sense of rhythm and some limb independence. I've fooled around on friends' kits before, so the basic beat Ironmouth describes came pretty quickly.

Learned to play guitar by playing along with the Ramones, but keeping up with Tommy just wasn't happening. So I've been playing along with early Stones and Beatles albums, which I can keep time with but I just know I'm missing important stuff, those guys are too good. Plus I have to skip a lot because some of what they are playing I just can't get the groove to yet.

So I'm looking to string together songs to form a good 30 minutes or so of practice without having to skip around tracks. The links quinndexter posted are just the sort of thing I'm looking for.
posted by InfidelZombie at 10:32 AM on March 27, 2015

I learned to play the drums by air drumming to Led Zeppelin.

There's no better place to begin in my opinion. Download the whole catalog and put it on shuffle.
posted by j03 at 12:20 PM on March 27, 2015

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