Got Drum Machine fired up in Studio, but struggling with crafting drum patterns for your song? This guide is for you. You may already know, but different music genres have distinct drum rhythms, and dropping a trap drum pattern into a funk beat, for example, will stick out like a sore thumb. That’s why the trick to acing your drum parts every time involves getting to know the various drum patterns used in each genre. 

Stick around as we go over some easy drum patterns to experiment with and incorporate into your next track.


8 drum patterns every producer should know


1. Trap drum pattern

trap drum pattern

The trap drum pattern is characterized by its rhythmic complexity, heavy use of hi-hats, deep 808 kicks, and snappy snares. Start with a booming kick on beats 1 and 4, layer it with a tight snare on beats 3, and then introduce intricate hi-hat patterns. You can even experiment with quick hi-hat rolls and variations to create a sense of urgency and excitement.

2. Rock drum pattern

rock drum pattern

On the other hand, rock drum patterns are known for their straightforward yet dynamic structure. Begin with a solid kick and snare pattern, focusing on accentuating beats 2 and 4. Once you’ve got it down pat, introduce fills between phrases for added energy. 

3. Funk drum pattern

funk drum pattern

Funk drum patterns rely heavily on syncopation and groove. Craft a funky drum pattern by emphasizing the 1 and adding ghost notes for a rhythmic bounce. Finish off the rhythm by sliding in some offbeat hi-hats, syncopated kicks, and snare hits on the 2 and 4 for that signature funk feel.

4. Jazz drum pattern

jazz drum pattern

Jazz drumming is known for its improvisational nature. Create a jazz drum pattern by incorporating swing, varied dynamics, and cymbal work. For example, you can play a ride cymbal with swung 8th notes, experiment with dynamic kicks and snares, and use varied snare and tom fills for expressive flair.

5. Afrobeat drum pattern

afrobeat drum pattern

Afrobeat drum patterns are characterized by their intricate polyrhythms and layered percussion, placing a strong emphasis on interlocking rhythms. To start, try creating depth and groove through the introduction of syncopated kick and snare patterns, emphasizing the offbeats. The addition of a shaker can fill in the spaces between the beats and enhance the overall groove of the rhythm. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with heightened complexity by incorporating percussion instruments such as congas and bongos.

6. Hip hop drum pattern

hip hop drum pattern

Punchy kicks, crisp snares, and creative hi-hat usage make up the foundation of the hip hop drum pattern. You’ll want to infuse some tight rhythmic elements. For example, have kicks on 1, 3 and 4, and snares on 2 and 4. Experiment with open hi-hats on the offbeats, punctuating with closed hi-hats for added emphasis, and adding 16th-note rolls for variation. Introduce quick snare rolls for additional dynamics.

7. House drum pattern

house drum pattern

House music relies on a steady four-on-the-floor kick. Add dynamic hi-hats and snappy snares to create a compelling pattern. For instance, maintain a kick on every beat, place snares on 2 and 4, and incorporate consistent 8th or 16th notes on hi-hats, occasionally adding open hats for variation.

8. Reggae drum pattern

reggae drum pattern

Reggae drum patterns focus on the offbeat, creating a laid-back feel. Start with a “one-drop” kick and snare emphasis. For example, place a kick on 3 for the one-drop effect, snares on 2 and 4, and hi-hats playing on the offbeat while emphasizing the upbeat. Finish off by introducing rim shots on the snare for added texture.

Remember, these are just foundational rhythms! As you experiment, feel free to infuse your unique style to tailor these patterns according to the particular vibe and style of your track. 


How to build drum patterns in BandLab


Itching to craft your own drum pattern now that you’ve got the basics down? Here are three ways to dive into rhythm creation from the ground up.

1. Drum Machine

BandLab’s Drum Machine tool is the most straightforward way to start building easy drum patterns for your song. Access it either through the Create tab on your phone or by selecting it from the New Track menu in Studio. Upon launching, you’ll find yourself greeted with a ready-to-go drum pattern featuring the 808 drum kit. Feel free to experiment with various drum kits and pads, tweaking the pattern to your liking by adding or removing elements with a simple tap on the grid. Peep our quick guide on how to use Drum Machine for more details.

2. MIDI

MIDI provides a flexible approach to crafting drum patterns. To get started, create a new track in Studio and explore our selection of drum kits. Once you’ve made your choice, use the MIDI editor grid to input individual drum hits. From here, the creative possibilities are endless – you can turn a snare into a tom, or a clap into a snare. Fine-tune your pattern with features like quantization to lock in the timing of your beats perfectly. Wanna spice things up? Play around with the velocity settings to add some real oomph.

3. Samples

You can also use samples to build intricate drum patterns in Studio. Access the sample library by clicking on New Track and tapping on BandLab Sounds. Here, you’ll find a plethora of drum loops and one-shots ranging from kicks and snares to various percussion instruments. Drag and drop your chosen drum samples onto a track within your project. Then, fine-tune each sample using controls such as volume, panning, and effects to achieve your desired sound. Experiment with layering multiple drum samples to create depth and texture in your rhythm. Once you’re confident, you can even explore automation to modulate parameters and add movement and interest to your drum patterns.

Try out any of these methods on their own, or mix and match them to craft intricate and unique drum patterns for your mix. Ready to get creative in Studio? Launch Drum Machine and put your newfound knowledge to the test!