Transcriptions

The following songs were transcribed by myself and are intended for educational purposes by my students only*. The drum parts are rated by difficulty/experience needed to play them. Try to learn songs from Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced to suit your level and avoid frustration, but feel free to try to push yourself.

Some of these a selection of my favourite drumming songs, while others were requested by students.  I add more from time to time so come back and see what’s new, or join the facebook group to receive updates. If you’re looking for exercises to help you develop more grooves, technique etc. you’ll find them at the practice materials page.

 

Instagram Grooves

CNTRL (RnB/Crunk) Intermediate/Advanced
My own groove video uploaded to  Instagram (username: mr_moneypants). I was stoked to get this
one featured by Vic Firth. More info about that here

Jazz / Funk / Latin / Fusion

Permiso Que Van Van (intro) – Los Van Van (Cuban/Latin) Intermediate/Advanced
Samuel Formel mixes up the subdivisions while keeping things extremely musical. The final abanico
of the intro is so so tasty!

Return of the Space Cowboy – Jamiroquai (Acid Jazz) Intermediate/Advanced
Derrick Mckenzie usually keeps things pretty simple with Jamiroquai. Here is an exception to that.
Alternating 16th note perfection, flowing fills and a killer disco/funk bridge all feature in this 1994
classic.

Message in a Bottle – The Police (Reggae/Rock Fusion) Intermediate
Sneaking a syncopated Reggae part into one of the all time great pop songs of our era is no mean
feat. Copeland does exactly that in this totally tasty drum part

Driven to Tears – The Police (Reggae/Rock Fusion) Intermediate
It’s tough to pick a favourite Police song. Drum wise however,  “Driven to Tears” has to be one of
my all time favourites. Stewart Copeland uses a Latin inspired bell part in the verses and
a deep reggae ‘1 drop’ in the choruses to make this song groove hard.

Seven Days – Sting  (Fusion) Advanced
Vinnie Colaiuta shows the perfect example of playing for the song by making this piece in 5/8 totally
accessible to the masses.

Cold Sweat, Pt.1 – James Brown  (Funk) Intermediate
The 1967 James Brown Classic with Clyde Stubblefield on drums. The track blew musicians away
when it was released mainly due to Stubblefield’s groove displacement. Check it out

Funky Monks – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Funk) Intermediate
This 1991 Chili Peppers Gem baffled me as a beginner. Plenty of hihat & ride off beat accenting and
some very tasty sextuplet fills will definitely take your drumming to the next level.

Man with the Movie Camera – Cinematic Orchestra (Jazz/Funk Fusion) Advanced
Mixed Time Signatures, Syncopation and some heavy Independence all come together
beautifully in this cinematic epic.

Shiver – Maroon 5 (Pop/Funk) Intermediate
Hard to categorise this one. Ryan Dusick manages to sneak some syncopated funk into
this pop tune while still completely serving the song.

 

Hip Hop / Rnb

Doin it Again – The Roots (Hip Hop/RnB) Intermediate/Advanced
The Roots’ ?uestlove laying it down in this one. Not much to say other than true genius

Comin Through – Chali 2na (Hip Hop) Beginner/Intermediate
Fresh from the dome of “your friendly neighbourhood baritone”, this is pure grooving.

 

Rock

Subterranean Homesick Alien – Radiohead (6/8 Ballad) Intermediate
Phil Selway isn’t the flashiest drummer, but when it comes to playing the perfect part for the song,
he’s the man. Not your typical rock groove, this 6/8 ballad from Radiohead’s critically acclaimed OK Computer
is the perfect introduction for drummers new to this beautiful time feel.

One Way ticket to Hell … and Back – The Darkness (Rock) Beginner/Intermediate
Is it a parody? Ed Graham of the Darkness tips his hat to the Rock Gods in this straight rock gem

Aeroplane – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Funk/Rock) Beginner/Intermediate
Chad Smith is the master of playing the perfect groove for the song. See how it’s done

America’s Suitehearts – Fallout Boy (Pop/Rock) Intermediate
Quite simply a brilliantly crafted drum part by Andy Hurley

Toxicity – System of a Down (Alternative Rock) Intermediate/Advanced
John Dalmayan delivers effortlessly brilliant fills  and raw grooving power in this 6/8 classic

Rope – Foo Fighters (Hard Rock) Intermediate/Advanced
Great syncopation and a mid-song poly-rhythmic drum solo from the Grammy award winning Foos

Killing In The Name Of – Rage Against The Machine (Rock/Hip Hop) Intermediate
Purely powerful, funk infused drum part by the one and only Brad Wilk

Wake Up – Rage Against The Machine (Rock/Hip Hop) Intermediate
Syncopation, brilliant groove construction and crazy technique are all on display with the Matrix
Soundtrack Classic

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (Alternative Rock/Grunge) Intermediate
An all time classic by one of the best Rock Drummers alive today, Dave Grohl

Song for the Dead (intro) – Queens of the Stoneage (Rock/ Drum Solo) Intermediate
An amazing solo by Dave Grohl. Not as difficult as it sounds

Prayer for the Refugee – Rise Against (Punk/Rock) Beginner/Intermediate
Text book, Solid, Punk Rock drumming by Brandon Barnes

 

Indy / Pop

Banquet – Bloc Party (Indy Rock/Pop) Intermediate
Brilliant fills and a fantastic variety of different parts at a blistering pace

This Heart Attack- Faker (Indy/Pop) Beginner/Intermediate
Aussie born Pop at it’s finest

 

*Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to these songs. The transcriptions on this page represent my own interpretations of these songs and no copyright
infringement is intended. They are intended for educational purposes and no profit of any kind is derived from these transcriptions whatsoever.