Music Industry How To is supported by readers. When you buy via a link on our site, we’ll possibly earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.
In the digital age of everyone carrying a device around with them, developers have created apps for almost anything you could possibly think of. As drummers, there are dozens of useful apps that we can use to learn how to play, find songs to play with and use to improve.
However, there are more bad apps available than good ones, and sifting through them can take a while. So, here’s a list of drumming apps that you will actually benefit from using.
Drumeo Edge is the subscription membership offered by Drumeo, which is the largest drum lesson company in the world right now. Drumeo has a huge YouTube channel where they upload some highly valuable free content, but all of that is meant to funnel to their membership program.
You can use the Drumeo Edge platform on a browser, but they also have an app that you can use on smartphones and tablets.
There are no other lesson platforms with as much content as Drumeo Edge. The platform has been running for over a decade, and thousands of lessons and courses have been released.
The key drawcard is that they bring in professional working drummers to teach many of the lessons. This allows you to learn directly from drummers that play in your favorite bands.
There’s also a tight-knit community on the platform, as each member gets given access to forums where they can discuss everything drumming-related.
Many drummers find the Edge platform to be a bit overwhelming when they first join, but I quickly figured out how to use all the tools when I tried it out.
If you want to work through an elaborate course that gives you as much guidance as possible, I’d suggest working through the Drumeo Method. It’s a huge course that has hundreds of videos that will help you go from beginner to performer.
A few of the other sections that the Edge app offers are play-along songs, song transcriptions, quick rudiment lessons, student reviews, and plenty of gear discussions.
Drumeo Kids is a side project that the guys at Drumeo worked on a few years back. It’s designed for young children, and it contains interactive videos that expose them to rhythms and different styles of music.
I used to teach a weekly percussion class with dozens of 5-year-olds. The videos that come on this app were always a hit in that class, as they’re cleverly designed to keep kids interested and engaged.
The app has you follow a storyline called The Rhythmic Adventures of Captain Carson. Carson Gant is the frontman, and he takes kids through a different style of music in each video.
They all involve clapping and a bit of beatboxing, which is how the app keeps kids engaged.
I think this app is incredible, and it’s one of the best ones to show a young child before you buy them a drum set. It’s a good way of getting them interested in music and rhythmic patterns before taking the plunge to buy an expensive kit.
Unfortunately, the app hasn’t been updated since it was created. There are about a dozen episodes to go through, and that’s all there is. However, it’s in every child’s nature to watch things repeatedly, so you’ll get plenty of use out of this.
Adam Tuminaro has been one of YouTube’s top drumming teachers for over a decade. While his YouTube channel has dozens of high-quality lesson videos, his website has hundreds. He describes it as the “Netflix” of drum lesson material, which I think is quite accurate.
The platform is called Orlando Drummer, and it works on a similar subscription model to Drumeo Edge. Most people use this platform on a browser, but Adam released a phone app version of the platform a few years ago. It’s called Orlando Drummer TV.
On the platform, you can find lessons for drummers of all levels. There are also highly unique masterclasses on topics that I haven’t seen covered on other platforms like this. This includes microphone and camera courses, as well as tips for growing your social media presence.
Adam Tuminaro is a fantastic videographer, and he has a degree in sound engineering. So, I think his courses on camera work and sound are some of the most valuable ones on the platform.
If Drumeo Edge seems a bit overwhelming, you may prefer watching consistent lessons from a single teacher. ODTV would be my suggested app for you, then.
Groove Scribe is a web browser app that allows you to input drum grooves, fills, and patterns. It was pioneered by Mike Johnston, who is another world-class drum educator.
It’s one of my favorite apps due to how functional it is. It’s mainly intended for drummers to write out short groove or fill ideas.
It’s not capable of writing out entire scores. However, the main feature is that you can insert the grooves without knowing how to read or write drum notation.
Each part of the drum kit has a block that you can color in, and those blocks are divided into whatever subdivision you choose. You can then download the groove as a PDF or audio file.
I’ve also found this to be an excellent practice tool, as you can loop a groove at any speed and play along with it.
The app comes with a range of grooves to look through that have already been written out as well. Those can give you a bit of inspiration, but the true value of the app is the unlimited potential you have with writing out your own grooves.
Drum School is another drum education app, but it’s a lot more affordable than subscribing to Drumeo Edge, as it just has a once-off purchase price.
The app contains a long list of drum lessons that demonstrate different fills, grooves, and patterns. The main section of the app focuses on grooves, including over 300 of them that cover a wide variety of musical styles.
Each groove has a corresponding video that you can watch of the groove being played by Ferenc Nemeth, and those videos can be slowed down to be understood a bit easier. You also get notation to follow.
Every drum lesson that comes on this app is highly practical, making it an excellent option for drummers that are looking to expand on what they can play.
It beats Drumeo Edge in that it’s easy to navigate and find a starting point. However, it only offers a fraction of what Drumeo Edge offers. It’s worth trying both out!
Drumcount is a practice app that was designed to help drummers improve their speed. It tracks how many strokes you play and then lists your progress out on a chart.
It has three main settings, including single strokes, double strokes, and snare drum/kick drum patterns. The app uses your phone’s microphone to record what you’re playing, and then it has hit detection software to track your speed.
This is a fantastic app to use to measure your progress with basic rudiments. Once you know how to play a certain one, you can see how fast you can play it. You’ll get a measurement on the app, and then your new goal will be to beat that measurement over time.
This is one of those apps that you don’t really need, as you could write down your speeds on pieces of paper. However, it puts all of your progress reports into one place, making it a lot easier to keep track of.
The app also has a metronome that you can use, but it’s not the most extensive one out there.
Moises is one of the top part remover apps currently running. It has a highly extensive app, as well as a detailed web browser tool, so it’s great to use on phones and computers.
This app makes it incredibly easy to remove instrument parts from songs. Most drummers will use this app to remove drum parts so they can play to the songs without hearing them. A lot of YouTube drummers do this for their covers that they upload.
I personally use Moises often to isolate drum parts when I want to learn how to play certain songs. You can remove all the other instruments so that you only hear the drums. The app then allows you to slow down the drum parts to hear them clearly. You can also add a click track that recognizes the tempo of the song to keep you in time.
This is an incredibly useful app for all musicians, as it has tools to remove various instrument parts. It even has a built-in tool to help you write lyrics for songs. It brings up rhyming suggestions and other prompts to give you ideas.
You pay a small monthly membership fee. It doesn’t cost much more than a coffee, so it’s highly worth it!
Metronome by Soundbrenner
The Soundbrenner Metronome App is one of the most popular metronome apps available right now. It’s been used by hundreds of thousands of musicians all over the world, and I think it’s one of the most user-friendly options to choose to use.
The base interface that you see is very easy to understand, and it allows you to get everything working quite quickly. If you just need to have simple tempos being played, you won’t have to do any deep menu diving.
However, the app is incredibly powerful, allowing you to create a seriously wide range of rhythms to practice with.
You can create these rhythms by changing subdivisions and assigning accents in different areas. You can also change time signatures.
The app has 20 metronome sounds to pick, which is more than what most apps offer. Some of them sound awful, but most of them are decent sounds that suit the preferences of most musicians.
One of the more interesting features of the app is that you can assign visual cues. This feature will use your phone’s flashlight feature to let you know when something is about to happen. It’s also great for situations where you can’t hear the click clearly. You’ll be able to see the light flickering in time.
This is another app that has a small monthly subscription fee. I’m not a big fan of subscription fees for metronome apps, but this particular one is worth it.
Gap Click by Benny Greb
Gap Click is another metronome app, but this one was designed purely for drummers to use when practicing. It’s not a metronome app that you should use when playing with other musicians.
It was designed by Benny Greb, who is one of the best and most loved drummers in the world. He has an impeccable sense of timing and groove, and this app was created to help drummers get to his level.
The main premise of the metronome is that it provides gap clicks. This is when the metronome stops producing click sounds for a while, and it’s the drummer’s job to keep the time until the click comes back.
You can choose how big the gaps are, giving you a progressive platform to practice with. I’d suggest starting with a small gap and then moving to bigger ones as you get better at keeping time.
The metronome also has a syncopated pattern feature. This lets you create click tracks with arbitrary rhythms. You can choose how many bars you want, and then you can alter how the click sounds in each bar.
I’m a huge fan of this app. It works so well for improving your sense of timing and groove. It has a once-off fee, and it’s very affordable.
Drumtrax App is a play-along app that was created by Damani Rhodes. The app has a wide range of drumless tracks for drummers to practice and perform with.
I was originally hesitant to use this app, as I thought that most of the tracks were based on Gospel music and instrumentation. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety on offer. There are drumless tracks for most styles that you can think of.
New tracks get added weekly, so you’ll never run out of songs to play with. All of them have very high production value, so it often feels like you’re playing with studio recordings.
The Shed Loops are a personal favorite. These loops are created to encourage you to work on your drumming chops. They’re very open, so you’re free to express different ideas on the kit.
Many of the tracks on the app are free to use. However, there are mostly paid tunes. Each one can be purchased separately, or you can buy a bundle of tracks for a discounted fee.
The guys that run the app are also excellent teachers, so there are a few educational resources that you can purchase too.
Drumtune PRO is a digital tuner for drummers. It works by measuring the pitch of a drum at each lug, and it can help you get all the lugs to be tightened to the same tension.
It essentially works the same way as a Tune-Bot, but it’s a lot more affordable. It’s not quite as reliable as using a Tune-Bot, as it can sometimes give you wrong readings depending on your drum’s overtones.
However, it’s better to use an app like this than not using any tool at all. While all drummers should have a bit of skill with tuning their drums by ear, a tuning app will help you fine-tune things to get the best sounds possible.
The interface is very simple to use. There aren’t too many features that you need to learn about. The only one that can be really helpful is the preset saver. This lets you save what frequencies you want to have for your drums, and then you can tune them to those frequencies every time you do a new tuning process.
Having this feature is incredibly useful for gigging drummers. Your drums typically go out of tune easily when you move them around, so having this app with you when setting up on stage is a lifesaver.
DrumKnee 3D is one of the only virtual drumming apps that I will ever recommend to someone. Most virtual drum kits sound terrible, and they have so much latency that playing drums on them gets frustrating very quickly.
The latency is barely noticeable on this app, and the drum kit sounds are surprisingly realistic. They sound like they came from a high-end electronic drum kit module.
Another big selling point of this app is that you can play the bass drum with your foot. It works by placing your phone on your leg, and then the app recognizes when you lift it, and it triggers a bass drum sound.
The base version of the app is free, but they have a subscription service called DK Music where you can download drumless tracks to play along to. Due to the low latency, this is the only virtual drumming app I know of that makes it feel comfortable to play the drums along with music.
Just don’t expect it to be a replacement for an actual drum kit. While it’s a lot better than all the other apps, it’s still very gimmicky in its premise. It’s more of a fun app to use when you’re bored. It’s also great for non-drummers to try out to see if they like how drum kits work and are played.
TouchOSC is a controller app that allows you to run certain commands once it has been connected to a Digital Audio Workstation. It’s a fantastic app for musicians that run backing tracks to use.
Since drummers are typically the ones that are put in charge of controlling backing tracks, this was an easy app to place on this list.
The app essentially gives you wireless control over functions that you have on a DAW. It’s highly customizable, and it connects to the DAW through a Wi-Fi connection.
It’s very complicated to use at first, but it becomes easier once you watch a few YouTube tutorials. I know many drummers that can’t live without this app, as they use it to run their whole live show with.
I recommend using it with a large tablet, though. That’s always a lot more reliable to use when performing on stage, as the larger screen makes controlling the app much easier.
This app is aimed at very specific drummers, so it’s not something you need to worry about if you don’t perform live with tracks in your band.
Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer
Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer is an excellent app for drummers to work on their reading skills. It’s designed for all musicians, but the rhythmic exercises are easy to play on a snare drum or practice pad.
The app comes with 200 fixed exercises that contain various rhythmic patterns. They range in difficulty, so drummers of all levels can benefit from working through them. It’s also an amazing app for drum teachers to use with their students.
If you get the iPad version of the app, you’ll get 100 more fixed exercises to work through.
The app also has a randomizer feature that groups different rhythmic patterns together. This feature offers unlimited potential, making this an app that you’ll never stop using.
The idea is that you place it on a music stand and then sight-read all the rhythms that it gives you to play. You can choose whether it audibly plays the rhythms or not, so you’ll know if you played them correctly.
The app also lets you tap the rhythms on the screen as you see them, and it has a response feature that recognizes if you play them correctly or not.
This is something that every drummer can benefit from, as sight-reading is a skill that many drummers struggle with.
GarageBand is the free digital audio workstation that everyone with an Apple device can use. You can do so much with this app to create music from scratch. However, I’m mainly suggesting it as an app to use to record your drumming.
If you have this downloaded on your phone, you can record yourself playing drums and then mix and master your drum parts. I’ve done it with my phone microphone many times, but you’ll get the best audio if you purchase a decent phone condenser to use with the app.
You can then match that audio with a video that you took of yourself playing, and you’ll get much better audio quality in your drum videos.
Unfortunately, you can only do this with Apple devices.
Types of Drumming Apps to Check Out
Educational drum apps are my personal favorite type. These help you get better on the drums, as they provide resources to learn from to help you improve.
There are a bunch of different ones, and all of them are structured slightly differently. Some of them offer full drum lessons in the form of videos, while others give you drum lessons in transcription and blog format.
Learning how to play the drums from an app can be used as an alternative to getting in-person drum lessons. I think it’s an excellent alternative, as it can often save you a lot of money.
A single in-person drum lesson will cost you between $15 and $100. You’ll need at least two of those a month to keep you progressing.
Most educational apps don’t cost more than $30 a month, and they include huge libraries of educational resources.
I wouldn’t recommend using a learning app as a complete replacement, but they work well to get you started or offer extra material separate from your drum lessons.
Some apps have been created to help you in the process of practicing. Unlike educational apps, these ones don’t give you material to work on. Rather, they help you optimize the way you work on material that you’ve already been given.
Throughout my drumming journey, I’ve often struggled to stay focused when practicing different things. Almost every practice session turns into me ripping chops on the kit. This is mainly due to my poor attention span.
I can already play those chops, so they’re not something I ever need to practice. Having an app that keeps me in check with things I’m working on is a highly appealing idea. I’m sure I’m not the only drummer who struggles with this.
There are some great apps available that help you write down what you’re working on, and then they keep you accountable. Some of them will track how much you’ve improved over time as well.
It really helps to write things down, and drumming and music practice apps will take it a step further by encouraging you to organize your practice sessions.
Part remover apps are created to separate instrument parts from songs that have been professionally recorded. For the sake of drumming, you can use these apps to remove the drum parts.
There are two major benefits to doing this. Firstly, a part remover app can help you isolate drum parts so that you can hear them clearly. This will help in learning how to play them. Drum parts are often hard to hear when they’re mixed with all the other instruments.
The other reason for using a part removing app is to remove the drum parts so that you can play with the song without hearing the drums. This is fantastic for making it sound as though you’re the only drummer.
There are plenty of drumless tracks available, but these apps will allow you to turn any song into a drumless track.
This is what YouTube cover drummers use to make their videos so that you only hear their drum parts and not the original ones.
Metronomes aren’t exactly drummer-only apps, but they’re arguably apps that are more important for drummers to use than most other musicians. With timekeeping being one of the main aspects of every drummer’s list of skills, all drummers should have a good timekeeping app.
There are thousands of metronome apps available. You can get a few good free ones, but I’ve found that all the best options need to be purchased. Thankfully, most of them just have once-off payments, unlike educational apps that have subscription models.
A free metronome app will only offer a few click sounds with a limited number of subdivisions. Most of them only offer quarter note pulses.
When you pay for a metronome app, you’ll unlock a whole list of features. My favorite feature on some is the ability to use a ghost click. This is when the metronome cuts out for a few bars and then comes back in at a random time.
Using a ghost click is a fantastic way for drummers to practice their timekeeping skills.
A virtual drumming app is one that has a drum kit placed in front of you. You can tap all the drums and cymbals and then you’ll hear the corresponding sounds.
These apps are typically quite gimmicky, so they’re not ones that I’d recommend using to help you improve or add to your drumming career.
However, they can be quite fun at times, and there are certain virtual drumming apps that are far better than others.
I’ve often recommended virtual drumming apps to parents that have shown interest in drum lessons for their kids. While playing a drum kit on an iPad doesn’t feel close to playing an actual kit, it’s the sounds that bring familiarity.
Some kids hate how the drums sound, which means they most likely won’t like how the drums and cymbals sound in person.
You can also use virtual drumming apps to lay down demo grooves for songs you’re working on. While it’s tricky to play complex drum parts, it is possible. There is a whole demographic of YouTubers that play drum covers on these apps that prove it to be possible.
Tuning apps are far more popular for guitar players, but there are a few decent ones that can help you tune your drum set.
Drums are rarely tuned to notes. You tighten the tension rods on each shell as evenly as possible so that the sounds produced are pleasant. If those tension rods aren’t even, you’re going to get a few harsher sounds known as overtones.
However, some drummers like to tune their drum kits to match certain frequencies. You can use a drum tuning app to help you with this. The microphone that is built into your phone will record your drums being played, and then the app will tell you how close to certain notes you are.
You can then adjust your tension rods accordingly to get even closer to those notes. This isn’t something that I do much, but I know a lot of jazz drummers that do it to make their toms sound more musical.
Beat makers are another type of app that allows you to create drum beats. However, these ones are easier to use, and they’re far more practical compared to virtual drum kits.
Many of them also have an interface with buttons to press that give you corresponding sounds. But it’s the sequencer tools that offer the most value.
Some apps work as virtual drum machines. You can insert different patterns and rhythms that will play repeatedly. As a drummer, you can use these apps to inspire you with new groove ideas.
As a musician, you can use these apps to lay down drum beats that you can play along with.
Most of them give you electronic drum kit sounds. Not as many of them offer authentic acoustic drum kit sounds, so you’ll need to sift through them to find ones that do.
Transcription apps give you sheet music that you can play along with. Some apps have a long list of song transcriptions that you can look through, while others work on a service basis. You can send through requests and then get those transcriptions for a fee.
Other transcription apps allow you to write drum notation out yourself. These can be incredibly useful when you want to write down ideas that you’ve been working on.
The one downside of transcription apps is that they don’t work too well on small screens. So, you’ll get the best out of them when using them on tablets or computers.
I’ve used a transcription app every day of my life for the past five years. I couldn’t live without it, and I’ve gotten very good at writing out drum parts on the fly.
Drumless track apps offer you long lists of songs that have no drum parts in them. While part removers are great for playing personally selected songs, drumless track apps typically offer you dozens of songs in specific styles of music.
If you want to work on your rock drumming, you can easily find thousands of rock songs to play with on different drumless track apps.
Some apps give you difficulty ratings, allowing you to pick songs that are easy to play if you’re still a beginner.
You need to play drums with music to get better at the instrument, so I strongly recommend that every drummer downloads a drumless track app to use as regularly as possible.
Top Drumming Apps, Final Thoughts
All the apps that I suggested above cover the app types that I explained. Every drummer can find plenty of use in most of them, so I highly suggest checking them out.
If you find other drumming apps that look enticing, make sure to read all the user reviews first to see if they’re worth downloading. That’s always the best way to know if an app is good or not.
If you download any of the apps I mentioned, you’re sure to find plenty of use for them. Just note that you may need to pay for a few. They’re well worth it!