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8 drums pieces for beginners (with sheet music)

Written By
Gwenn Daniel
About the author
Passionate about music from her childhood, Gwenn Daniel studied the piano at the conservatoire while also maintaining a steady stream of musical activities beyond this. This young piano teacher's constant lively curiosity encourages us to discover music from all eras and in all styles. She is now putting her literary and musical talents to the service of Tomplay and enjoys helping you discover the history of the great classics and guiding you through the vast choice of scores offered by Tomplay.
Date published
12/11/2020
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8 drums pieces for beginners (with sheet music)

Discover or re-discover eight hits and take a look at the background to their composition. For each piece, we have included a link to the drums sheet music arranged for beginner level so even the greatest hits can be accessible for beginner drummers. Each arrangement contains two modes: a sheet music mode with the written notes and an improvisation mode. In both modes, you will have the opportunity to play the drums part accompanied by a professional backing-track recording of the rest of the group.

1. Toto - Rosanna

 ▶️ Play "Rosanna" on the drums with backing tracks 

Let's start with the story behind a hit, a love song which became a divisive subject, however. Written by David Paich, songwriter of the American Rock group Toto, "Rosanna" comes from their 1982 album Toto IV.

The story goes that this song was composed for the actress Rosanna Arquette, who at the time was going out with the group's keyboard player, Steve Porcaro. In reality, David Paich refers to his former girlfriends in the lyrics. He chose the title "Rosanna" at his friend Steve's request and because it sounded good in the song.

"Rosanna" was hugely successful and has since remained one of the group's most popular songs. Unfortunately, its success ended up dividing this little group of people. Rosanna Arquette, in her twenties at the time, was starting out in her career and enjoyed saying on TV platforms that the song had been written for her.

Wishing to re-establish the truth, the members of the group refuted this information every time they had the chance, sometimes in a playful tone and sometimes rather less so. The actress ended up saying that she had never really liked the song...

But that's not what Toto fans around the world will tell you, who expect to hear "Rosanna" at each concert; some even confide that this song has accompanied some of the best times of their life!

The Toto drummer, Jeff Porcaro, was the son of a musician and collaborated with a plethora of other groups on dozens of albums. Artists have recognized his great talent as a musician, demonstrated once again around the shuffle in "Rosanna" which several generations of drummers have felt compelled to try to reproduce.

Thanks to Tomplay, this piece is now accessible to you! Explore the sheet music of "Rosanna" for the drums arranged for beginner level and play accompanied by a high-quality play-along recording, as if you were part of the group!

2. Eagles - Hotel California

▶️ Play "Hotel California" by The Eagles with backing tracks

Released in 1976, "Hotel California" propelled The Eagles to the forefront of the international music scene. The title, which is particularly long owing to its now-mythical guitar solo, features at 49th place in the list of the 500 greatest songs of all time according to Rolling Stone magazine. 

The song was directly inspired by their many stays in Los Angeles, in particular at the Beverly Hills Hotel, a luxury hotel at which the group stayed. Not originating from California, the members of The Eagles got together there often and the location quickly became a central point during their travels through California and, more generally, of their lives at the time. A photo of this hotel also features on the album sleeve.

Although the lyrics appear to describe an idyllic location ("Such a lovely place / Such a lovely face"), several interpretations suggest a hidden meaning. The text paints a picture of the American dream and the dangers of celebrity. According to Don Henley, the group's singer and drummer, "Hotel California" symbolises the voyage from innocence to experience.

On this piece, the group's drummer Don Henley sings at the same time as playing his instrument, an admirable performance when you realize the complexity of both parts.

With Tomplay, you don't need to be Don Henley to be able to play "Hotel California"! Play the drums part of this title arranged for beginner level with a multi-track accompaniment and take advantage of the many Tomplay features. 

3. Muse - Starlight

▶️ Play "Starlight" by Muse  on the drums with backing tracks

Taken from their fourth studio album Black Holes & Revelations, released in 2006, "Starlight" is one of the hit songs from the British rock group Muse.

We are already aware of the ability of the members of Muse to pay homage to other groups while remaining loyal to their own "stamp". They demonstrate this to us once again in "Starlight".

As far as drumming is concerned, the rhythm is close to that of Larry Mullen Junior, U2's drummer, and on the piano, we can hear harmonies similar to those used by U2 and Oasis, which they particularly like. Globally, the members of the group agree that "Starlight" sounds like a piece by The Strokes.

As for the text, it is a declaration of love to the loved ones we miss when we are far away from them. According to Matthew Bellamy, the group's singer and front man, the lyrics were inspired by their concert tours, "those long periods where you're constantly on the road, where we have the feeling of losing contact with our loved ones and who we really are." 

Explore the Tomplay sheet music of "Starlight" for the drums at beginner level and play with the high-quality backing tracks recorded by professional musicians.

4. U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday

▶️ Play "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2 on the drums with backing tracks 

Released in 1983, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is the most overtly political song by the Irish Rock group U2, known for its military rhythm, its guitar riff and its melodic harmonies. It is also without doubt their most well-known title.

For the most part inspired by the events which took place in Londonderry on Sunday, 30 January 1972 - sadly baptised Bloody Sunday - the song condemns the atrocities committed following a march demanding the respect of civil rights in Northern Ireland and peace between Protestants and Catholics. Fourteen Northern Irish people were killed by the British army that day. Half of the victims were younger than 19 years old.

The Edge, the group's guitarist and pianist, composed the song in 1982, before it was reworked by Bono. Some phrases were taken out of the original version, which was more vehement in tone, in order to avoid potential problems for the group. In addition, Bono didn't want the song to appear political or sectarian. He wanted it to be a message of global indignation relating to crimes committed against minorities.

To date, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" has been performed by U2 more than 600 times and they have taken the habit of erecting a white flag on stage during their performance. The group has also dedicated this title to the victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the attacks in Bali in 2002 and, more recently, those of 13 November 2015 in Paris.

Explore the sheet music of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" arranged at beginner level for the drums, use the Tomplay features to help you work on the piece in the best conditions and play accompanied by the high-quality, multi-track recording.

5. Linkin Park - Numb

▶️ Play "Numb" by the group Linkin Park on the drums with backing tracks 

"Numb" is one of the most well-known and most acclaimed songs by the American Rock group Linkin Park.

This song has become a hymn for an entire generation. It's a call for help for anyone who can't find their place, who feels excluded and alone. More generally, it illustrates the malaise of young people.

The video deals with bullying at school, self-mutilation and the problems of integrating into a group, themes which are unfortunately still current. It also refers to the pressure young people feel from their parents.

In 2004, a collaboration between Linkin Park and Jay-Z gave rise to the piece "Numb/Encore", a mash-up of the artists' respective titles. This cover won a Grammy Award in 2006 for the best Song/Rap collaboration.

Explore the Tomplay sheet music of "Numb" for the drums at beginner level, annotate your sheet music, play accompanied by the high-quality recording and slow down the tempo to suit you.

6. Dire Straits - Walk of Life

▶️ Play "Walk of Life" by Dire Straits on the drums with backing tracks 

Let's have a look now at "Walk of Life", one of the greatest hits by the group Dire Straits, released in 1985 on their fifth album and characterized by its impressive melody on the synthesizer.

Although this song became a hit, it nearly didn't see the light of day! In fact, the producer didn't want to include it on the album Brothers in Arms. At the group members' insistence, the song ended up as the third track on the album.

The lyrics describe a busker earning a living by performing in the underground and who particularly likes old songs or "oldies".

Emblematic of Rock'n'roll style, this song refers to other famous titles - the famous "oldies" - such as "Be Bop A Lula" by Gene Vincent, "What'd I Say" and "I Got A Woman" by Ray Charles and even "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin.

There is a theory that "Walk of Life" would be the perfect song to end any film! In order to be clear about it in his own mind, the video-maker Peter Salomone has taken up the challenge of putting the song at the end of many feature films...

Explore the Tomplay sheet music of "Walk of Life" for the drums at beginner level, annotate your score, work in a loop and play accompanied by the high-quality, multi-track recording. 

7. Kool and the Gang - Celebration

▶️ Play "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang on the drums with backing tracks 

Composed in 1980, "Celebration" has been a hit all over the world and still features today in our festive playlists to celebrate our daily successes!

If the rhythm of the piece leads us irresistibly onto the dance floor and the notes of the brass instruments make us lift our arms to the beat of the music, the roots of the title are no less surprising! It was indeed... a Surah from the Koran which was the inspiration for Ronald Bell, the group's saxophonist, for the text of "Celebration"!

Another surprising fact: in January 1981, the liberation of the American hostages took place in Iran, the result of wide-reaching international conflict. After 444 days in detention, the first music they heard on the tarmac at the airport was "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang. The radio stations then played it in a loop to celebrate this historical event.

Explore the drums sheet music of "Celebration" at beginner level, play accompanied by the high-quality, multi-track recording and take advantages of the features offered by Tomplay.

8. Ed Sheeran - Perfect

▶️ Play "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran on the drums with backing tracks 

To finish, we wanted to introduce you to "Perfect", another love song, dedicated to the fiancée of the artist Ed Sheeran.

Careful not to allow his career to be defined by his first hits, the singer was sure he had found a solid follow-up to his first hits in this romantic ballad, of which he is very proud.

Ed Sheeran has revealed that the lyrics came to him at James Blunt's home in Ibiza, where the two singers were listening to the piece "March Madness" by Future at 6 o'clock in the morning. He said: "Barefoot on the grass, we were dancing to our favourite song; I booked the studio for the day and finished "Perfect" that day. I knew it was special."

His brother Matthew Sheeran created the song's orchestration. It was the first time that they had collaborated on a piece of music, thus realizing their grandmother's wish to see the two brothers working together before she died.

Start the Tomplay backing tracks, play "Perfect" accompanied by the professional musicians studio-recorded by us and use the many Tomplay features to help you learn the piece effectively.

We hope we have been able to help you find the piece you need in this article! Don't hesitate to browse the Tomplay catalogue for beginner drummers for sheet music with backing tracks: we offer a large choice of styles and our scores include two modes: a sheet music mode with the written notes and an improvisation mode. With both modes, you will have the opportunity to play the drums part accompanied by a professional recording of the rest of the group, so grab your sticks!

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