Whether you’re already a drummer or you’re simply interested in picking up the sticks, there are a variety of resources at your disposal! Drumming apps can teach new techniques, work as a metronome, or give you backing tracks for your rehearsals.
The best drumming apps have a particular set of features that helps the user accomplish a unique goal. For example, if you want to work on developing timekeeping and rhythm, a metronome app is best for you. There are drumming apps for beginners, intermediate players, and experts.
In this article, I will review 10 of the best drumming apps, both free and paid. Keep reading to see which one is best for you.
Drumeo is one of the most popular drumming apps with around 2 million subscribers and is available for both iOS and Android. They offer thousands of drum lessons that you can unlock once you subscribe to a Drumeo Edge membership.
You get access to the Drumeo Method which is one of the most comprehensive and elaborate drum lesson courses you can find. As well as unique courses, live lessons, a play-along library, and the Drumeo Coaches program.
On top of all that, there’s a large library of notated songs for you to learn, ranging from beginner right through to expert, and for all drumming styles.
- Package includes Drumeo Edge 10-level drum curriculum
- Hundreds of courses and thousands of lessons taught by top drumming pros
- Personalized experience (rather than being left to figure out the content)
- Learn from experienced professional drummers
- Covers every style of music and drumming technique imaginable
- Can be costly to enroll in lessons but annual plans offer better value for money
2. X Drummer
X Drummer creates drum tracks for you based on your own original ideas. It uses music recognition technology to identify a drum track that’s similar to your own tempo and play style, just like a real professional drummer would. You can choose what genre you’re playing in, then play a sample for a plethora of new drumming ideas.
It pulls from a huge library of drum tracks, including real ones by professional musicians. If you’re looking to create a drum track but aren’t confident in your own expertise, X Drummer will act as another person to bounce your ideas off of.
- Expansive library of drum sounds and tracks
- “Play to Find” locates a matching drum track based on what you play
- Customized smart features
- Pre-recorded drum tracks included
- Costs around $20 to download
- Only available on iOS
This iOS app is one of the most well-known music recording apps for amateur and professional musicians alike. Almost every Mac user is familiar with GarageBand, so for people who don’t want to deal with the logistics of learning how to use another app, this is your best bet.
There are several instrument presets, including ones for drums. You can choose between several different genres, each of which has multiple drumming track options. And considering that this app isn’t tailored specifically to drumming, you’ll be surprised at the sophistication of the available options.
If you want to create professional-sounding beats but don’t have the proper equipment, GarageBand will likely have the sound effect that you need.
- Digital Audio Workstation with a library of pre-recorded tracks for use
- Abilities to mix audio and overlay tracks at home as one would in a studio
- Free to use for Mac users
- User-friendly and gives guidance on how to use the app’s many features
- Wide range of sounds and intuitive to use
- Only available on Apple devices
- Not specifically tailored to drummers
4. Drumtune PRO
This app will be great for those who already know how to play the drums and just need an easy app to help keep them in tune. It’s a helpful resource that assists with tuning various drums, whether a timpani or a set of snares.
Tuning drums can be tricky, which is why Drumtune PRO is easy to use and read. There’s no guessing whether or not you’ve made it to the right note when you’re using this app, as it will tell you exactly what pitch your drums are tuned to and light up when you get to your target.
In the app, you can either use the regular tuning feature or use the lug pitch tuning, which will allow you to also detect the lug pitch on your drums.
- Lug pitch tuning technology is utilized when you hit the head of your drum near a lug
- Fundamental tone tuning detects the fundamental tone of your drum when you hit the drumhead in its center
- Drum pitch detection with up to a 0.5 Hz accuracy
- Includes both regular pitch detection and lug pitch detection
- Costs money
- Limited features outside of drum tuning
5. DrumKnee 3D
While the other apps in this list focus on mainly educational features for drummers, this app is a drumming simulation that allows you to play virtual drums. It’s surprisingly close to the real thing, as you even play the kick drum with your actual foot!
This app is 3D and simple to use, and is designed to respond like a real drum kit. By resting your phone or tablet on your knee and “kicking,” you can make the sounds of a kick drum just like you would in real life. Plus, they have a relatively large song library that you can play along with.
Finally, there’s a record button installed. If you have a great idea for a drum track but happen to be at school or work, simply plug your headphones in and mark your track. When you get back home, you can work it out on your real drum set.
- Easy to use drum kit game
- Record button to save the songs you’ve played
- Low latency response for drums
- Professionally recorded drum sounds
- Some of the best features require a monthly subscription
- App really only functions as a simulation for one drum set
Unlike the previous apps, Noteflight is an excellent resource for drummers looking to practice drum notation. Noteflight allows you to share your own notation and view notations from others. You can even sell your own compositions!
You can create a free account and write, edit, and play back written music to your heart’s content. There’s also a paid option that will open up a number of other features to you, which is particularly helpful to people learning how to notate.
This app is handy if you have an idea for a drum beat but want to get it down in writing. It’s also helpful if you are a teacher, as it functions as a learning platform for students.
- Comprehensive music composition software
- A playback feature that reads and plays students’ sheet music
- Ability to sell your own notations
- Allows users to both learn how to write sheet music and play sheet music
- Promotes collaboration through discussion forums and other features
- Full version requires a monthly subscription
- Not tailored to individual learners but rather students in a class
7. Drumate Free
This app is the perfect solution for those looking to learn drum rudiments. One of the app’s main features is its rudiment library that you can play along with. These rudiments will help you enhance your knowledge of drum patterns without having to go to several different apps, books, or teachers.
You can mark rudiments you want to learn later and adjust the tempo of each one. You can even set up a different number of sets at different tempos, to go faster or slower each time.
This lightweight rudiment app can help you become a better drummer.
- Comprehensive rudiment library
- Options to change the speed of the rudiments you’re playing
- Uses very little space on your phone
- Provides a variety of rudiments to practice via the app’s library
- Poor sound quality with the snare and metronome
- Not available for Apple devices
Although there are numerous metronome apps, this particular app (available on iOS and Android) gives you more options and features as a drummer. You get over 500 rhythms from all of your favorite genres, and it goes far beyond just choosing a tempo. These rhythms include fills and rolls, so you’re not married to a simple beat.
The metronome is extremely accurate and includes a visual animation for drummers who play louder than the metronome. Plus, it works offline, so you can work on your rhythms even when you’re not in service!
- More than 500 grooves from a variety of genres
- Accurate metronome with animations
- The Pro version is ad-free
- Create playlists of your favorite grooves and drum beats in the app
- Pro version costs over $5
- Free version includes frequent ads that disrupt seamless practice sessions
While other drum set simulation apps tend to be limited in the features that they provide, this app includes features to help new drummers learn how to play without needing to invest in a drum set. You get access to a number of teaching videos that will help you up your drumming game without shelling out hundreds of dollars on drum tuition.
There’s a recording option if you want to save an idea, and it rolls out new training content every week. You can also customize your drum kit in the app, so you can stretch your training muscles even further.
Overall, this app is great for those who want to get a feel for playing the drums without having to invest in the real thing.
- Library of 60 guiding videos plus tutorials for new drummers
- 60 Rhythm Samples
- Work can be recorded in the app and exported to an MP3 file
- New kits to play on available weekly
- Needs higher-than-average RAM to run effectively
- Free version is interrupted by ads
10. Drum School
This app is a great tool for beginner drummers. It includes a variety of drumming resources, helping new drummers with practice methods and techniques. There are over a hundred drum exercises written in standard notation included too.
The app was developed by drummer Ferenc Nemeth, a Hungarian jazz player and composer. There’s also a guide for general drum techniques for hands and feet, which will be helpful for those who have never drummed before. With a single purchase price of around $10, this is a great low-risk investment that will get you started on the drums!
- 12 videos demonstrating proper drum techniques for new drummers
- 133 drum exercises in standard drum notation
- Collect your favorite drum grooves in the app to go back to them later
- Good value at only $10 – offering exercises and technique tips from a drumming professional
- Relatively static, set number of exercises and videos that don’t change over time
In summary, the 10 apps listed above are some of the best and most well-known drumming apps out there.
Before downloading an app, check to make sure it’s tailored to your skillset and experience, and make sure that it provides the features you’re looking for.