10 Punk Drum Beats and Rhythms (With Sheet Music)

Punk Drum Beats and Rhythms

Punk is one of the most drum-heavy musical styles out there. You’d never have a good punk song without a driving and energetic drum part, and learning to play punk beats is essential for any drummer wanting to play in punk rock bands. 

I’ve written out ten drum beats that regularly get used in punk rock music. They cover a few different techniques needed for the style, including quick bass drum patterns and aggressive cymbal strokes. 

The first few basic drum beats are quite simple, and the last few are much trickier. However, they all get difficult to play once you boost the speed, which is normally what you need to do for punk music.

Punk Drum Beat 1

Punk Beat 1

This first groove is one of the most popular patterns used in punk drumming. You’re going to play straight quarter notes on the hi-hat, and you’re going to play snare drums on beats 2 and 4. 

On beat 1, you’re going to play the bass drum on the downbeat. On beat 3, you’re going to play the bass drum on the offbeat. That offbeat bass drum is the only note in the groove that falls on its own. 

This beat truly starts to sound like a good punk beat once you speed it up. You can also loosen your hi-hats slightly to get a bit more aggression out of the groove. 

Punk Drum Beat 2

Punk Beat 2

This groove is another variation of the first one we looked at, but you’re going to alter the rhythm of the bass drum note that gets played on the offbeat. 

Instead of counting it as straight, you’re going to subdivide beat 3 into triplets. This means that there will be three counts between beat 3 and beat 4. You’ll then play the offbeat bass drum on the final count, leaving the middle count as a rest. 

This is one of those punk beats that sounds a lot better played at a medium tempo. It’s the kind of beat that makes you think of Green Day when you hear it, as many of the band’s songs have a beat like this. 

Punk Drum Beat 3

Punk Beat 3

For this next groove, you’re going to play two bass drum notes in a row at beat 3. Double kick patterns like this are incredibly popular in punk drumming, so this is a good easy groove to start working on developing the skill of playing them. 

It may feel difficult to separate your hands and feet for this one at first, but focus on isolating your bass drum for the second note. 

The goal would be to speed this up to around 160 BPM. Playing a short double kick pattern with a single pedal at that speed is quite tough, but it’s a skill you need to have to play punk beats. 

Punk Drum Beat 4

Punk Beat 4

This groove has all the same rhythms as the last one, so make sure to nail Punk Drum Beat 3 before trying this one. 

The only difference here is that you’re going to keep your hi-hat cymbals open when you play the groove. This gives you a really aggressive sound that fits right in within a punk drumming setting. 

Just make sure that you don’t open your hi-hats too wide, as that never sounds too good. 

Again, try to play this beat as fast as you can, utilizing either the heel-toe or slide technique to play those double kicks. You could also use a double bass drum pedal, considering that you’re leaving your hi-hats open. 

Punk Drum Beat 5

Punk Beat 5

This groove will get you playing snare drums on all the onbeats, which is something that is very common in punk not but other styles. 

You’re going to stick to playing quarter notes on the hi-hat, and then you’re going to play snare drum strokes on beats 1, 2, 3, and 4. 

For the first beat, you’re going to play the bass drum on the “and” count. For the second beat, you’re going to let the bass drum hang a bit longer and only play it on the “a” count. You’ll then repeat the same patterns for beats 3 and 4. 

Punk Drum Beat 6

Punk Beat 6

For this groove, we’re going to play the same type of idea as the last one, but we’re going to add double bass drum patterns to make it sound a bit more exciting. 

You’re going to play consecutive bass drum notes on the “ands” of beats 1 and 3. 

Playing a double kick pattern and then letting the single kick hang in the following group is one of the biggest concepts that make a punk drum beat sound like a punk drum beat. So, this particular groove is a very important one to learn! 

Punk Drum Beat 7

Punk Beat 7

This groove could technically be considered a funk drum pattern. However, you can play it in a way that makes it fit better in a punk context.

The groove is based around straight 16th notes. You’re going to play all of those on the hi-hat while keeping a backbeat on the snare on beats 2 and 4. 

Lastly, you’re going to fill in with a few bass drum notes to get a bouncy feel. The best way of making this beat sound more punk than funk is to make those hi-hats as loud as you can when you play them. 

Punk Drum Beat 8

Punk Beat 8

This groove is also based around 16th notes on the hi-hat, but it’s a lot busier with snare drums and bass drums. 

The snare drum is going to be played on all the eighth note counts in the bar, and the kick drum is going to be played as doubles at the beginning and then triples in the middle.

This one sounds very busy, and it’s one of the punk beats on this list that requires good control over your limbs. 

Punk Drum Beat 9

Punk Beat 9

This next groove is a bit more simplistic, but it’s incredibly powerful. You’re going to play quarter notes on the hi-hat, leaving them quite open to get a more aggressive sound. 

You’re then going to have a bit of interplay between your bass drum and snare drum to create a bouncy feel. 

Most drummers would call this a classic rock drum beat, but it starts to sound more punk when you play it very quickly. 

You can either play all the snare drum notes with the same velocity, or you can throw a few quiet snare drum hits in there to add some dynamic variety.

Punk Drum Beat 10

Punk Beat 10

This last beat is the loudest and proudest punk drum beat on this list. You’re going to be bashing the crash cymbal on all the quarter note counts to make a big statement. 

You’re then going to play snare drums every time you hit a crash cymbal. The combination of snares and crashes gives you a seriously powerful and punchy group of notes that drive the groove. 

The final step is to play a bass drum pattern on all the offbeats, but you’re going to play two consecutive bass drums on the final one to lead you into the next bar.

Tips for Learning Punk Drum Beats

Work on Stamina

Most punk drum beats are played hard and fast, and keeping the energy up for those grooves can be taxing on the body. 

If you want to play in a punk band, you need to make sure that you’re working on your drumming stamina. It’s common for newer punk drummers to play just fine at the start of a gig, but they get tired and sloppy toward the end. 

The best way to work on your stamina is to play different grooves at high tempos for long periods. Constantly doing this will train your body to keep up the pace. 

Focus on Healthy Playing Techniques

With punk drumming being hard and fast, it can often lead to getting injured. To give yourself the best chance of living injury-free as a drummer, you need to solidify your playing technique right from the beginning of your playing journey. 

There are ways of holding sticks and striking drums that are much better for your body than others. If you don’t learn those ways, there’s a much higher chance of developing back and wrist injuries. 

Practice Bass Drum Techniques

Most punk rock drum beats incorporate very fast kick drums. While you can use a double bass drum pedal to play those, it’s better to learn how to play them with a single pedal so that you can still use your hi-hats properly.

Learning a bass drum technique like the heel-toe or slide method is the best way of being able to play complicated grooves with relative ease. 


If you learn all the punk drum beats that we went through above, you should have a solid playing foundation to prepare you for most punk rock songs. 

Just make sure that you’re pushing your limits when it comes to tempos, as punk music is often faster than you may expect. Also, make sure you have plenty of drum sticks!

Drumeo Banner
Drumeo Banner Desktop
Scroll to Top