10 Best Drum Songs That Will Blow Your Mind

The groove and the beat that makes us want to dance are driven by the drums.

The drummer may be an unsung hero, but without his or her talents, the song would lack an essential foundation.

In this article, we’ll discuss the best drum songs, those that feature particularly memorable drum fills and grooves.

These tunes will get your blood pumping and your feet tapping whether you play the drums or not. Let’s dive in.

1. Led Zeppelin – “When the Levee Breaks”

This classical rock masterpiece features John Bonham’s legendary drum intro. The song starts with a recognizable drum intro and sets the tone for the rest of the track.

Bohnam’s distinctive style is apparent from the beginning. This gigantic sound of the snare and bass drum will fall over you like a mountain.

An interesting fact about this track is that band used a unique recording technique to get such large-sounding drums.

The band recorded the drum parts in a large stairwell, which gave the drums a vast, booming sound that became a signature element of the song. Drums are at the bottom of the stairs, with mics placed at the top.

Bonham’s masterful drumming, combined with the unique recording technique and the song’s powerful lyrics and instrumentation, makes it one of the most memorable and enduring rock songs ever.

2. Phil Collins – “In the Air Tonight”

Is there a more memorable drum fill than the one from “In the air tonight”? It can easily be played by 8 years old child but will still sound amazing.

The song has a moody arrangement that puts the drums in the spotlight and makes you feel tense and excited.

“In the Air Tonight” drumming is notable for several reasons. First, a memorable drum fill opens the song.

Second, there is a sense of forward motion thanks to the interplay of slamming bass drum, bursting cymbals, and crisp snare hits.

“In the Air Tonight” is also known for the gated reverb used on drums. This effect was produced by placing a microphone in a hallway and recording Phill Collins playing the drums with the hallway door closed.

3. Paul Simon – “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”

Steve Gadd, one of the best drummers in the world, was the man behind this legendary drum part. In this famous song by Paul Simon, Gadd created this unique and catchy linear pattern.

Many claim this is one of the best signature grooves played by Gadd, a highly respected session drummer who has worked with many famous musicians.

The drumming in “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” is characterized by its use of complex rhythms and unusual accents. Finding this kind of rhythm in a pop song is more than unusual.

But Gadd, as the true master he is, made it light and smooth, so you don’t feel the complexity at all. On the first listen, it sounds like an easy pattern but is still highly syncopated, with accents that keep you engaged.

4. Queen – “We Will Rock You”

The famous rhythm with two hits of the bass drum and one snare hit is designed so it can be played by only using your body. Usually, when Queen performs this song, the whole stadium joins them by hitting the floor with their feet and handclapping on the offbeat.

In the song, drums are overdubbed to create a more massive feeling, plus they added sounds of people stomping their feet and handclapping. But, believe it or not, by the half of the song you can hear only drums and vocals.

Roger Taylor, who played drums for Queen and was one of the best percussionists of his time, plays the drums in “We Will Rock You.”

Taylor’s skillful playing and creative use of rhythm give the song a feeling of energy and excitement that goes well with its bold and uplifting message.

The song’s drumbeat has become an iconic part of rock music. Fans all over the world can recognize it right away.

5. Judas Priest – “Painkiller”

This heavy metal classic features powerful and intense drumming throughout. The drummer who played on this track is Scott Travis, who joined the band in 1989 and brought a new level of energy and aggression to their sound.

The song starts with a distinctive and recognizable drum solo, including 32nd and 16th notes on the bass drum.

Travis is known for switching between rhythms and patterns without missing a beat. He goes from fast and furious double-bass drumming to more complicated and dynamic fills with ease while keeping a sense of control and accuracy.

One of the best parts of “Painkiller” is the drum solo. Travis shows off his incredible skill and speed with fast-paced bass drum hits and cymbal crashes that build up to a big finish.

6. Meshuggah – “Bleed”

Meshuggah’s “Bleed” is one of the technically most advanced songs of modern metal music. Tomas Haake plays the song’s complicated rhythms and time signatures. He is known as one of the genre’s most talented and creative drummers.

The drumming in “Bleed” is a polyrhythm known as three over four. Haake plays a pattern that is 3/16 long with his feet, while at the same time playing a pattern known as 4/4 on top that is 4/16 long.

This way, the bass drum pattern “goes over the bar,” meaning it not lands on the first beat after one bar but, in this case, after three bars.

Haake’s skillful playing and new ways of thinking about rhythm give his music depth and complexity unmatched in modern metal.

The song’s drumbeat has become an iconic part of the style, and most people think it shows how talented and skilled Haake is as a drummer.

7. Van Halen – “Hot For Teacher”

This song features an energetic drum performance by Alex Van Halen, one of most talented and influential drummers of 80s..

The song starts with a drum intro and a 16th notes double bass groove. It sounds “odd” because Alex made it “shuffled” and added more triplet feel.

He gives off a feeling of energy and excitement that goes well with the upbeat and lively tone of the song. Alex’s drum solos sounded similar to this drum intro. He keeps his double bass rhythms flowing constantly but enhances them with exciting patterns on top.

“Hot for a teacher” intro is one of the most famous drum intros of all time . Besides this legendary rhythm, the song features the unique drum sound of Alex Van Hallen.

8. Toto – “Rosanna”

Many drummers grew up to this halftime shuffle played by Jeff Porcaro. Thanks to Jeff’s simple fill at the beginning, it takes less than one bar to recognize the song.

This famous rhythm combines Purdie Shuffle and Fool In The Rain inspired foot pattern. Purdie Shuffle is invented by Bernard Purdie. Jeff heard Bernard on a Steely Dan record, Babylon Sisters, and decided to include his rhythm into one of Toto’s songs.

He also heard John Bonham playing this intricate pattern with the foot. That inspired him to combine Purdie shuffle with his foot pattern to create the Rossana Shuffle.

The classic rock sound of the song goes well with Porcaro’s skillful playing and creative approach to rhythm. This creates a sense of groove and energy that will get anyone moving.

9. The Police – “Roxanne”

The Police’s “Roxanne” is a timeless rock song, and it’s all thanks to Stewart Copeland, one of the most forward-thinking and influential drummers of all time.

Stewart achieved this rhythm to sound unusual by removing snare and bass drum hits from where they would usually be. This left room for other instruments, but still, the band decided to keep it simple instead of filling in. The snare lands perfectly with the bass line.

After more than 2 minutes into the song, Stewart goes for a regular rock beat. By removing elements from the standard beat, Copeland could get two things.

One, the listener never knows where to expect a snare drum or a bass drum hit; two, he is building the anticipation right to the moment he lands in with a “full” rhythm.

10. Led Zeppelin – “Moby Dick”

I know I already included the Led Zeppelin song, but I must honor this legendary Rock band that decided to include a whole drums solo in their studio version of the song
This is odd, even for that era. Drum solos are usually left for live performance.

Having a drum solo in the middle of song is extraordinary even for a rock band.. That shows how much they appreciate John and his drumming skills. They wouldn’t want to continue without him, so the band decided to go separate ways after he died.

The name of the song comes from a well-known book by Herman Melville. It’s about a sea captain obsessed with finding a giant white whale.

Final Thoughts

In sum, drums have been an indispensable part of music since the very beginning. Adding the right drumming can elevate a song from good to great, as evidenced by the ten songs listed above.

These tracks have left an indelible mark on the music industry and continue to serve as inspiration for drummers and music fans thanks to elements such as memorable drum fills, signature grooves, and innovative recording techniques.

Take a moment the next time you listen to music to honor the incredible contributions of the drummers who played on some of the most iconic tracks of all time.

Written by Denis Loncaric | drumthat.com