The Strokes - "Is This It"

This song is a great way for beginning students to start applying beats and fills in the context of a song. The chart is written out note for note, so you can read your way through until you start to memorize the song structure. Keep an eye out for section repeats, as well as the right hand moving between the hi-hats and the ride cymbal.

Tip: Practice the chart on it's own, slowly with no music, until you're comfortable with the material. 

Tip: Listen to the song quite a bit outside of your practicing. If you know the song by heart, it will be much easier to play, and eventually you won't even need the chart!

Bat for Lashes - "Glass"

Bat For Lashes Glass Live at Glastonbury 2009

If you're an intermediate to advanced player, this song is a great way to explore more complex grooves in the context of a song. While the live version features mostly programmed drums, this transcription is based on the amazing live version performed by Sarah Jones. See below for the PDF download, as well as video tutorials and footage of Sarah Jones performing live with Bat for Lashes!


Note: "Verse" refers to the acoustic drums that come in halfway through the verse, after the sampled sounds.

Note: On the verse, you can also try filling in the space between accents with ghost notes to make it sound more full.


The Roots - "You Got Me"

Here's a transcription of Questlove's drum part at the end of "You Got Me". This one's for more advanced players who want to work on their double-time feel, drum n' bass grooves, and overall chops. 

Listen for the last chorus (around three minutes in) when the drums transition from the main groove into a double-time feel. There's a ton of great ideas to mess around with, and the material is also a great way to get comfortable playing a fast double time groove without losing the pocket.

As always, take your time internalizing each phrase at a SLOW TEMPO and then work your way up to speed. 

Be sure to spend equal time improvising in the double-time feel once you've got the material itself down...the value in transcribing other drummer's work is in absorbing the vocabulary enough to improvise and come up with your own ideas!

Check out some of the live versions! Here's my favorite version from "The Roots Come Alive":