8 More Iconic Drum Songs

Mar 11, 2020

Over the last couple of months, we’ve been exploring some of the musical world’s most iconic parts for the guitarpiano, and bass. We kept that ball rolling last week with 8 of our favourite drum songs. We’re going to keep this going with a few more of our favourite iconic drums songs!

The drums are often considered the most physical of the instruments, and they can turn any ordinary song into a powerhouse of a tune. With such a huge variety of modern musical genres, all of which utilize the drums, narrowing the list down to the best is no easy task.

Here’s 8 more of our favourites!

Welcome to the Black Parade – My Chemical Romance

Starting off our list this week is a song that is arguably a little over-reaching from the “emo-punk” band – but it does have one amazing thing going for it – an incredible military cadence thanks to drummer Bob Bryer.

The drum-corps-style work on his snare fits perfectly with the “Parade”-theme, and when he starts bringing in other parts of the kit and thumping around on the toms, it brings to mind some of Roger Taylor’s best work with Queen,. All before returning to a more familiar punk beat for the man body of the track.

Rope – Foo Fighters

When your band was formed by a drummer – who wrote and played every song and instrument on the first album – who then plays lead guitar and adds another talented drummer, your tracks are bound to regularly feature some interesting rhythmic ideas. One of the Foo Fighters songs where this is most apparent is “Rope’s” introduction, with Taylor Hawkins smashing out the unison 16th-note snare drum figures into the main groom with it all landing on the “&” of beat “1.”

Add in some incredible work on the ride cymbal bell and a few beautiful drum brakes, and you’ve got one of the Foo Fighter’s very best.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday – U2

Modern U2 may not enjoy the same insane level of popularity among fans today, but their 1983 hit “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” is a powerfully emotional track. For this iconic song, it’s all about that simple drumbeat. The music is an ode to the Bloody Sunday massacre, so to stir up emotion about the event, drummer Larry Mullen Jr. sticks to a march that is similar to a military beat. The march is thrown in throughout the song, used as the hook, and it has gone on to become one of the most recognizable parts of this hugely popular and memorable track.

No One Knows – Queens of the Stone Age

Stepping up to the drum kit for Queen of the Stone Age’s 2002 album Songs For The Deaf, Dave Grohl provides one of the most memorable drum tracks of all time on the lead-off single “No One Knows.”

The opening and closing use of the hi-hat on the main groove fills in the holes conveniently left by the rhythm guitar, while the snare hits just before the fourth beat in bar four helps to give the primarily quarter-note groove a great swinging feel. Then add in the amazing triplet-based licks as Grohl shows off his single-stroke control and power. What a rock drum beat!

American Idiot – Green Day

Green Day’s “American Idiot,” the title track from their 2004 album, is a pretty good example of Tre Cool’s style. The insistent four-on-the-floor tom beat during the first half of each verse turnaround creates the signature beat, while all of Tre’s other trademarks are thrown into the mix – fast single stroke rolls, syncopated swinging kick drums and rising on the floor toms in the breakdown, and crashing like a lunatic on the chorus.

He may not have the same technical finesse as a Neal Peart, but Tre’s style of hard-hitting yet musical playing has helped propel the punk trio to the heights of success.

Fire – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

This band is, of course, most well-known for Jimi Hendrix’s insane guitar work. But the Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell was as much a reason for the band’s success as Jimi, providing much of the power and energy behind their music. “Fire” is a psychedelic rock song with wonderfully soulful polyrhythmic jazz-like drumming. Originally released in 1967, Mitchell provides non-stop rhythms and fills throughout the entire 4 minute + run-time. The driving drumbeat allows Jimi to weave his guitar in and out of the notes, creating a stunning and impactful tune.

Toad – Cream

As one of rock’s very first supergroups, Cream was made up of the undeniable talents of Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, and Ginger Baker. Drummer Ginger Backer shows off his rare abilities in the solo on “Toad.” It’s chalk full of his brilliantly layered tracks, making it unusual for today’s drummers to even attempt, let alone replicate. Baker’s drumming is exacting, and the solo intricately and seamlessly extends across the vast majority of the song, transitioning from snare-heavy to a rode cymbal-centric area that carries listeners through the entire song with a winding percussion.

Sing, Sing, Sing – Benny Goodman and his Orchestra

And now for something completely different! When it comes to drum intros, nothing quite matches the big band tom pattern of Gene Krupa’s opening to this Benny Goodman classic. The beat is so enduring that Goodman’s version of Louis Prima’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” remains the archetypal big band tom pattern nearly 80 years later.

The alternating accents march the tune along, making this iconic song a must-learn for aspiring jazzers!

With so many incredible drummers throughout history, and so many iconic drumbeats to choose from, there’s no way this could ever be considered a complete list. There’s still AC/DC, Metallica, Van Halen, Nirvana, Dave Matthews Band, and so many more! Did we miss your favourite drum song? Tell us about it in the comment!

And if it’s drum lessons you’re looking for, check out our programs here!