Rock Drumming System

Learn How To Be A Heavy Metal Drummer

Heavy Metal Drumming is a very popular drumming style of music that is sometimes misunderstood. Learning how to play this style of drums in heavy rock can be very rewarding and technical. There are many types of metal music to learn, and whether its death metal, thrasher metal, or heavy metal, they all have the same techniques about them. A lot of people will think you need to play your drums extra loud, and have long hair in order to play heavy metal. Although this genre has taken on those characteristics, it is not necessary to have. So let’s dive in and learn how to play your drums to heavy metal rock!

When you hear the term metal, the first band that may come to your mind is Metallica, which is not a bad thing. Metallica was one of the first bands to frontier the style of “Heavy Metal”. In fact, a lot of Metallica’s drum beats are perfect examples of basic metal grooves for you drum kit. Heavy metal music is driven by powerful guitar riffs with distortion and very full drum beats. Now by full drum beats I do not mean technical and fast, what I mean is loud, and constant. To get this feel, you want to use a lot of cymbals, with open hi hats to give it a sloshy sound. Like I said before, there are many sub-genres under metal music; in this article I will show you how to play a basic metal drum beat.

You basic metal groove is not very technical at all as a matter of fact. It is played in common time, and is designed to accent the rhythm guitar. With most metal songs, you want to accent the quarter notes to give it that head banging feel to it. Now if you add too much to your drum beat, you will lose the attention on those notes, and the feeling will leave. So let’s start out by playing a basic quarter note drum beat, similar to “the money beat”.

Drum Notation

Notice how this does not sound very “heavy” at all? In fact, it sounds very boring. All we have to do from this point, is simply take your foot off the hi hat pedal, and play that same beat with the hi hats open. This would look like this:

Drum Notation

This is a very basic metal drum beat that is very similar to other beats. So then why is it metal you may ask? Well in most cases, the beat does not define the song so much as the other instruments. You can play this same groove to a rock song, and have a totally different feel then if you were to play this to a metal song. The beat I just taught you is the same beat for Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”. Adding your crash cymbal in is always a good idea.  Remember the heavier that your drum beat is, the better.

Your basic metal drum beat will drive the band, and your song forward, giving the band a strong quarter note accent. This allows the guitarists to provide heavy distortion, and riffs that will compliment your beat. There is a lot to learn about playing heavy metal music, so do not just stop here. A popular technique for heavy metal music is adding some double bass beats. To learn how to develop your double bass drum, check out Jared Falk’s Bass Drum Secrets. This will explain how to incorporate your double bass drum into all types of music, metal included!

By: Dave Atkinson

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