Bruce Gary's instantly recognisable drum intro lays the foundation for My Sharona – The Knack's debut single, which became a worldwide hit in 1979. While there is plenty of variation, this core rhythm is heard throughout much of the song.

This hypnotic tom-based groove underpins Adele's new song 'I Miss You'. The end of the 8th measure cycle is marked with a 5 stroke roll and fill played on the snare drum. Adele is credited for playing some of the drums on this song.

This beat is heard throughout the second verse (0:57), then again in the third verse – embellished with crash cymbals and fills (3:22). Notice how the syncopation in beat 4 perfectly matches the guitar riff. This is a great groove for developing your ghost notes and displaced back beat skills.

This microscopically complex beat, played by Damion Reid, sets the tone for Robert Glasper's tune, F.T.B. It features rapid 32nd note paradiddle-diddles played between the hi-hat and snare (beginning on the 'e' of beats 2 and 4). Meanwhile, the bass drum anchors the feel, sounding on beats 1 and 3. The drum part evolves organically throughout the piece while maintaining a relaxed vibe.

Slipknot's Psychosocial was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009 and is one of their most popular songs to date. This repeated two-measure phrase heard in the bridge section (2:44) features the guitars and snare drum being played in rhythmic unison. A similar rhythmic pattern is used in the outro, about which percussionist, Shawn Crahan, said " [the song] is capped off with a time-signature shattering guitar/drum breakdown that will leave the best air-instrumentalists stumped".

Centuries was one the best-loved pop/rock songs of the last year and Fall Out Boy's biggest hit to date. This two-measure pattern is heard throughout most of the song with plenty of variation to keep things interesting. As you can see, the second measure is identical to the first except for an extra bass drum note placed on the 'e of 3'. This small variation gives the pattern a longer cycle, making it seem less repetitive.

This inventive groove was played by Vinnie Colaiuta throughout the verses of Sting's 1993 song, Seven Days. The core rhythm is based on eighth notes grouped in 3s and 2s - marked with a bass drum hit on beat 1 and cross stick (rim knock) on beat 4. The hi-hat is accented on the odd numbered beats: 1, 3 and 5 in the first measure and the even numbered beats: 2 and 4 in the second. This creates an alternative 'slow 5' pulse spanning 2 measures, evening out the odd meter and making it more relatable to the listener.

This simple, yet effective pattern is heard in the introduction section of Indians, one of Anthrax's most popular songs. It features the mid and floor toms being struck in unison followed by rapid double strokes played on the bass drum.

Homer Steinwiss played this fun, up-beat soul groove throughout most of the song. The lightly swung off-beat eighth notes played on the bass drum give the groove a nice bounce. The 2/2 time signature suggests that the pulse be felt on the first and third beats of the measure (when played at full speed).

Dave Lombardo's drum break preceeding the final chorus in Slayer's 'Angel of Death' is one of the most revered moments in heavy metal music (4:23). 6 evenly spaced flams we played on the toms over a rapid 16th note roll played with the bass drums. The two measure lead in has been included to give the fill context. Which voicing do you prefer?

We Work the Black Seam was the sixth single from Sting's debut solo album, Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985). The two measure pattern is heard throughout the song with only minor variations. The unconventional bass/bass drum rhythm (3 consecutive eighth notes beginning on the 'and of 1') teamed with the off-beat ride is typical of Sting's writing style from that time.

This example was taken from Fred, a classic track from Tony William's 1975 album, Lifetime. In this section (0:07-1:07), the hi-hat ostinato was played consistently, while the bass and snare drums were played using variations of this basic beat. Which voicing do you prefer?

This simple, but effective 2 measure pattern was played with only minor variation throughout the song.

This phrase was played at the beginning of the drum solo (3:04) over an eighth note pulse on the bass drum. Which voicing do you prefer?

Daniel Platzman plays this groove throughout the intro section of the song, then moves the off-beat 8th note part to the rim of the tom for the verse. The drum part gradually evolves throughout the song.


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