17 Hardest Songs To Play On Drums

Playing the drums is no easy feat. It takes years of practice and dedication to master the technical skills and musicality required to create a great rhythm section.

And while there are countless challenging songs for drummers to tackle, there are some tracks that stand out as particularly difficult to play.

From complex rhythms and fast tempos to intricate fills and dynamic shifts, these songs push even the most skilled drummers to their limits.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 17 of the hardest songs to play on drums, exploring what makes each track so challenging and why they continue to inspire drummers around the world.

1. “YYZ” by Rush (1981):

This instrumental track features complex rhythms, intricate fills, and quick footwork on the bass drum, making it a challenging song for any drummer.

2. “Moby Dick” by Led Zeppelin (1969):

John Bonham’s legendary drum solo in this song features dynamic shifts, fast double-bass work, and intricate patterns, making it a test of stamina and technical ability for any drummer.

3. “Bleed” by Meshuggah (2008):

This song is known for its complex and constantly shifting time signatures, making it a difficult song for even the most experienced drummers to play accurately.

4. “One” by Metallica (1988):

Lars Ulrich’s rapid-fire double-bass work and complex fills in this song make it difficult for any drummer to master.

5. “Tom Sawyer” by Rush (1981):

Another Rush classic, this song features intricate drum patterns and fills, as well as a challenging solo section.

6. “The Dance of Eternity” by Dream Theater (1999):

This song has over 100-time signature changes, making it a technical tour de force for any drummer.

7. “La Villa Strangiato” by Rush (1978):

With its intricate rhythms, odd time signatures, and extended solo section, this Rush track is a challenge for any drummer.

8. “Bark at the Moon” by Ozzy Osbourne (1983):

Tommy Aldridge’s powerful drumming on this track features fast double-bass work and complex fills, making it a challenging song.

9. “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen (1984):

Alex Van Halen’s iconic drum intro and solo on this song are known for their technical prowess and challenging nature.

10. “The Spirit of Radio” by Rush (1980):

This song features complex rhythms and intricate fills, as well as a challenging solo section, making it a test of technical ability for any drummer.

11. “Soul Sacrifice” by Santana (1969):

Michael Shrieve’s powerful and polyrhythmic drumming in this classic track makes it a challenging song to play with precision and feel.

12. “Achilles Last Stand” by Led Zeppelin (1976):

John Bonham’s drumming on this song features rapid-fire fills, complex patterns, and a powerful double-bass section, making it a test of both technical ability and stamina.

13. “Good Times Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin (1969):

This track is known for its iconic drum intro and powerful groove, as well as its challenging fills and dynamic shifts.

14. “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin (1971):

John Bonham’s inventive drumming on this song features complex patterns, odd time signatures, and a challenging solo section, making it a difficult piece to play accurately.

15. “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin (1975):

With its powerful, driving rhythm and complex patterns, this song is a challenge for any drummer to play with precision and feel.

16. “Eruption” by Van Halen (1978):

While this song is famous for Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo, it also features challenging drumming from Alex Van Halen, including fast fills and intricate patterns.

17. “Rosanna” by Toto (1982):

Jeff Porcaro’s drumming on this song features complex rhythms, dynamic shifts, and intricate

What are the factors that make a song hard to play on drums?

There are several factors that can make a song difficult to play on drums. Here are some of the most common:

  1. Complex rhythms: Songs with unusual time signatures or complex rhythms can be difficult to play, as they require the drummer to keep track of multiple beats and patterns simultaneously.
  2. Fast tempos: Songs with fast tempos can be physically challenging to play, as the drummer must maintain speed and accuracy throughout the entire track.
  3. Intricate fills: Songs with intricate fills or drum solos can be challenging, as the drummer must be able to execute these sections with precision and creativity.
  4. Dynamic shifts: Songs with dynamic shifts in volume or tempo can be challenging to play, as the drummer must be able to adjust their playing accordingly.
  5. Technical demands: Some songs require advanced drumming techniques such as double bass, polyrhythms, or advanced stick control, which can be difficult to master.
  6. Interplay with other instruments: Some songs require the drummer to work closely with other musicians, requiring a high level of communication and coordination.
  7. Endurance: Playing drums can be physically demanding, and some songs require a high level of endurance to play for an extended period of time.

FAQ: Hardest Drum Songs

What makes a song difficult to play on drums?

There are several factors that can make a song challenging for drummers, including complex rhythms, fast tempos, intricate fills, dynamic shifts, technical demands, interplay with other instruments, and endurance.

How do I improve my drumming skills to tackle difficult songs?

Improving your drumming skills takes time and practice. You can start by working on your technical skills, such as stick control, footwork, and timing. You can also work on your musicality by listening to a wide range of music and experimenting with different styles and rhythms.

Can I learn to play these songs as a beginner drummer?

Many of the hardest songs to play on drums require advanced skills and technique, so they may be challenging for beginner drummers. However, with dedication and practice, you can work your way up to playing these songs.

What are some tips for learning difficult songs on drums?

Some tips for learning difficult songs on drums include breaking the song down into smaller sections, practicing slowly and gradually building up speed, and working on the most challenging parts of the song first. You can also watch drum covers and tutorials online to get ideas and inspiration.

How do I stay motivated when learning difficult songs on drums?

Learning difficult songs on drums can be a long and challenging process, so it’s important to stay motivated and focused. You can set goals for yourself, track your progress, and celebrate your achievements along the way. You can also connect with other drummers and seek out support and inspiration from online communities and forums.




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