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Punk rock was initially developed in the mid 1970s. It’s a fast, hard-edged style of rock music, which albeit having a very simple instrumentation behind it, requires a lot of energy, power, and speed to be played authentically. In this free video drum lesson, Dave Atkinson introduces this style of drumming to you through five basic punk rock drum beats you’re sure to enjoy. Each punk rock beat is displayed at a slow speed, enabling you to see exactly what’s being played. Dave also takes the time to play the patterns with play-along loops, so you can check how they sound when used in context.
Learning these patterns is a great way for you to be introduced to the world of punk drumming. Still, if you really want to learn about a particular style of music, you have to dig into its roots, its players, and listen to a lot of its music. To steer you in the right track, we compiled a list of some of the punk drummers and bands you should give a listen to. You can check them all out below.
Influential Drummers: Travis Barker (The Aquabats, blink-182, Box Car Racer, +44, The Transplants), Tré Cool (Green Day), Nikky “Topper” Headon (The Clash), Pete Finestone (Bad Religion), Jordan Burns (Strung Out), Tommy Ramone (The Ramones), Bill Stevenson (The Descendents/ ALL/ Only Crime/ Black Flag).
Influential Bands: The Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Misfits, blink-182, Black Flag, Green Day, Bad Religion, Minor Threat, Sum 41, Less Than Jake.
Exercise #1 is pretty straight forward. Start by playing it as a quarter note pattern. This means you’ll ignore the 8th note triplet bass drum stroke on count 3. Once that feels comfortable to you, add that bass drum stroke to the mix. As you increase the speed at what you play this exercise, you may have the tendency to play the 8th note triplet bass drum stroke as an 8th note instead. Hence, make sure you soak in on the overall sound and feel of this exercise before you start speeding it up.
Exercise #2 is a very common drum beat in the world of punk rock music. The hi-hat is played on all the 8th notes. The snare drum is hit on counts 2 and 4, while the bass drum sees some action on counts 1 and 3, and on the “and” of count 3. If you want to make this beat more punk, open the hi-hat and increase the speed at what you play it.
Exercise #3 is another very common punk rock drum beat. The snare drum is played on all the up-beats while a steady 8th note pulse is kept on the hi-hat. It’s with the bass drum pattern that you may find yourself struggling the most, because of the consecutive 16th notes on counts 2 and 4. These notes are played as a double stroke by your bass drum foot. As you get to brighter tempos, you’ll not be able to play the double stroke as you were at slower tempos. To do so, you’ll have to learn how to play the heel-toe technique or how to play the slide technique.
Exercise #4 is not only a cool punk rock drum beat to play around with, but also a very cool exercise for developing bass drum strength, speed, and endurance. Stick with this exercise, and you’ll see your bass drum technique increase in the long run.
The hand pattern on exercise #5 is a quarter note unison figure that’s played between the hi-hat and the snare drum. Focus on playing unison strokes instead of flams. Much like exercise #3, the bass drum pattern from this punk rock drum beat is quite challenging to play at higher tempos, due to the 16th notes. To work around this issue, you can learn how to play the heel-toe technique or how to play the slide technique, that is, if you haven’t already.
If you’re not keen on learning any of these bass drum technique on purpose, don’t worry. If you practice this exercise slowly, and work on speeding it up as you get comfortable with the tempos you’re practicing with, you’ll end up by developing a fast double stroke technique of your own that will resemble the slide technique.
Once you’ve mastered these punk rock drum beats, test your new skills with either the MP3 loops provided with this free drum lesson or the MP3 jam tracks from the free punk rock play-along we have here for you at DrumLessons.com. If you’d rather keep learning how to play new punk rock drum beats, check the free drum lesson “Intermediate Punk Rock Drum Beats“. Have fun and don’t forget to listen to a lot of punk rock music.
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