Drum Articles

Easy Drum Playalong Songs for Beginners

Playing along to songs is an essential part of learning the drums. It’s great for developing your time keeping and above all it’s fun! I always recommend playing along to a couple of your favourite tunes as part of your practice session. But where do you start? How do you know what you can and can’t play along to when you’re at beginner level? Well here’s a list of classic songs to get you started – there’s a wide range of song speeds (tempo / BPM) to cover most abilities at beginner level. Start slowly and work your way up.

Most of these will work with a bog standard Straight 8’s beat – feel free to throw some variations in as your playing advances. Please also have a read of the extra information under this song list, for now have fun and happy drumming!

Beginner Level Songs to Play on Drums

Speed in BPMTitlePerformed byBeat type
59Purple RainPrinceStraight
64Comfortably NumbPink FloydStraight
67Knockin on Heaven’s DoorGuns n’ RosesStraight
69Rocket ManElton JohnStraight
75Hey JudeThe BeatlesStraight
77Don’t SpeakNo DoubtStraight
78Blaze of GloryBon JoviStraight
81KashmirLed ZeppelinStraight
86Bitter Sweet SymphonyThe VerveStraight
88EpicFaith No MoreStraight
90Back in BlackAC/DCStraight
95CreepRadioheadStraight
98Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd SkynyrdStraight
110Another One Bites the DustQueenStraight
110Walk This WayAerosmithStraight
115Highway to HellAC/DCStraight
117Billy JeanMichael JacksonStraight
118Every Breath You TakeThe PoliceStraight
120Born in the USABruce SpringsteenStraight
120It’s My LifeBon JoviStraight
122Enter SandmanMetallicaStraight
123Livin’ On a PrayerBon JoviStraight
123You Give Love a Bad NameBon JoviStraight
125Sweet CarolineNeil DiamondSwung
126Light my FireThe DoorsStraight
128Jean GenieDavid BowieSwung
132JumpVan HalenStraight
133Don’t Go Breaking My HeartElton JohnStraight
136Go Your Own WayFleetwood MacStraight
136ParadiseDavid Lee RothStraight
140American PieDon McLeanStraight
145Born to be WildSteppenwolfStraight
164ParanoidBlack SabbathStraight

Playalong Notes

As briefly mentioned earlier, a bog standard Straight 8’s beat should work over the core parts of each song. Even songs like Enter Sandman, which starts off with a classic driving tom-based rhythm, will still work with a simple Straight 8’s beat played over the top. Little tip on this one, switch from the hi-hat to the low top with your right hand and the intro beat will sound closer to the original. Then switch to a slightly open hi-hat for the main parts of the song.

There’s a couple of swung songs in there. Swung songs WON’T WORK with your normal Straight 8’s beat. However they will work fine with a quarter note based beat – so quarter notes on the hi-hat instead of eighth notes. You’ll see what I mean when you play them. We’ll talk more about swung rhythms as your playing advances.

It’s important to remember that all of the above songs are played by professional drummers who are mostly at the peak of their game. As such don’t expect to be able to play every single beat and fill exactly as per the original. Start off by just ignoring the fills and keep the beat going – this should work for most songs. Over time you can try to play some of the fills and more advanced beats but don’t be surprised if this takes a lot of practice. If you spot any mistakes in the above or have problems do get in touch. For now, take things one step at a time and have fun!

Scroll to Top