17 Easy Snare Drum Songs For Beginners

“Yellow” by Coldplay

Song year: 2000

Coldplay’s breakthrough hit, “Yellow,” features yet another essential modern rock drum groove every drummer should know how to play – and it’s perfect for practicing those notes.

The snare hits primarily happen on the two and four, but you may as well practice the eighth-note hi-hat pattern on your snare as well, to develop and hone your skills.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin revealed in 2011 that the song’s title holds no meaning. He was hunting for words to replace “Yellow,” but ended up keeping it because he never did find another word.

Master the snare drum

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper

Song year: 1983

One of the happiest songs of all time (at least in my opinion), Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” features a relatively straightforward, repetitive beat, typical of new wave and synth-pop.

The drums simply act as the glue to hold everything together and aren’t there to be fancy or to add a rhythmic hook to the song.

To that extent, it makes for a great song for practicing simple beats and keeping time.

“Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie

Song year: 1974

When it comes to songs featuring great snare parts, we certainly can’t forget David Bowie’s rebellious and infectious glam rock classic, “Rebel Rebel.” The snare is played on every beat with some fills and added flare throughout, and as a result, the song is very snare driven.

Bowie would abandon his glam rock style and explore new musical horizons with subsequent releases like Young Americans, which adopted more of a blue-eyed soul aesthetic.

Overall, “Rebel Rebel” is a great song for learning how to keep a steady beat and stay on time.

“Gimme All Your Lovin’” by ZZ Top

Song year: 1983

ZZ Top’s “Gimme All Your Lovin’” is one of the most straightforward songs in existence, at least in terms of lyrical content and the drumbeat. Of course, guitarist Billy Gibbon’s playing was always a spectacle, and that goes for this track too.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the song is its music video, which was created around the time MTV was revolutionizing popular music.

The drumbeat is there to leave Gibbons with plenty of room to solo, jam, and experiment. As such, it’s very much like other drum grooves we’ve already looked at, except for some fills featuring more snare work.

Snare drum drills

“Come as You Are” by Nirvana

Song year: 1992

Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” is considered one of their easier songs to play, and that is the case for every instrument. And that’s one of the great things about drummer Dave Grohl’s approach – he was heavier and busier when he needed to be, and more laid back when called upon.

The snare pattern is basic, and overall, the beat doesn’t introduce anything we haven’t already looked at. That said, adapting it to your snare drum is probably where you’ll have some fun with “Come as You Are.”

“Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Song year: 1970

Creedence Clearwater Revival set the stage for plenty of artists and bands to come. “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” features what most of us would consider a very simplistic rhythmic pattern throughout (something for musicians to fall back on when they don’t know what else to play).

The snare mostly occurs on beats two and four, which means your other hand will be free to play the eighth-note rhythm duplicating the hi-hat.

“Creep” by Radiohead

Song year: 1992

1992 was the perfect time for the release of an alt-rock / grunge song such as Radiohead’s “Creep,” even for a band that was a little ahead of its time.

“Creep” would become Radiohead's most commercially successful single, but refusing to be pigeonholed, the band would deviate from the form with subsequent releases.

The song follows a relatively basic drum groove throughout. A perfect song for honing your snare drum chops.

Snare drum rhythm patterns

“1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins

Song year: 1996

The Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979” almost didn’t appear on the band’s third studio album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Lead singer and songwriter Corgan, though, had a personal message he wanted to get across, and after spending four hours developing the song, producer Flood agreed that it needed to be on the album.

As one of the Pumpkins’ softer tunes, it features a simplistic beat matched to the content of the song.

Easiest Snare Drum Songs, Final Thoughts

You’ve got your work cut out for you. But most importantly, remember to have fun. Don’t sweat it if you can’t figure out certain songs the first time around. Come back to them as you keep improving on the snare drum.

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