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How To Play AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” On Drums How To Play AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” On Drums


How To Play AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” On Drums

Written by: Malissia Tejeda

Learn how to play AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" on drums with step-by-step instructions and tips. Master the drumming technique and rock out to this iconic song!

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Table of Contents


So, you’ve decided to take on one of the most electrifying and iconic rock drumming performances of all time – AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.” This adrenaline-pumping anthem is a favorite among drummers and fans alike, known for its high-energy beats and infectious rhythm. As you embark on this musical journey, you’re about to dive into the heart-pounding world of rock drumming, and there’s no better place to start than with this legendary track.

Playing “Thunderstruck” on drums is not just about replicating the beats; it’s about channeling the raw power and intensity that AC/DC is renowned for. From the thunderous opening to the explosive crescendo, every beat is a testament to the sheer force of rock and roll. By mastering this song, you’ll not only hone your drumming skills but also tap into the electrifying essence of one of the greatest rock bands in history.

Get ready to unleash your inner rock star as we break down the steps to mastering “Thunderstruck” on drums. Whether you’re a seasoned drummer looking to add some thunder to your repertoire or a passionate beginner eager to take on a thrilling challenge, this guide will equip you with the tools and techniques to tackle this iconic track with confidence and flair. So, grab your drumsticks, crank up the volume, and let’s dive into the exhilarating world of “Thunderstruck” drumming!


Getting Started

Before diving into the intricate details of “Thunderstruck,” it’s essential to set the stage for your drumming journey. Familiarizing yourself with the song’s structure, tempo, and signature elements will lay a solid foundation for your practice sessions. Here’s how to kick off your “Thunderstruck” drumming adventure:

1. Listen and Internalize: Start by immersing yourself in the song. Listen to the original track attentively, paying close attention to the drum patterns, fills, and overall groove. Internalizing the rhythm and dynamics of “Thunderstruck” will provide invaluable insight into the nuances that make this song a timeless classic.

2. Understand the Structure: Take note of the song’s structure, including the intro, verses, choruses, and instrumental sections. Understanding how the different parts flow together will guide your approach to learning and mastering each segment of the song.

3. Set the Tempo: “Thunderstruck” is known for its pulsating tempo, driving the song with relentless energy. Before picking up your drumsticks, establish the tempo that suits your skill level. Whether you start at a slower pace to grasp the nuances or dive straight into the full speed, finding the right tempo for your practice sessions is crucial.

4. Gather Your Gear: Ensure that your drum kit is set up for optimal performance. Check the positioning of your drums, cymbals, and pedals to ensure comfort and accessibility while playing. Having your gear ready and tailored to your preferences will enhance your playing experience and facilitate seamless practice sessions.

By laying this groundwork, you’ll approach “Thunderstruck” with a clear understanding of its dynamics and structure, setting the stage for a productive and fulfilling drumming experience. Now that you’re primed and ready, it’s time to delve into the exhilarating world of “Thunderstruck” drumming!


Learning the Main Riff

The main riff of “Thunderstruck” sets the electrifying tone of the song, serving as the backbone of the drumming performance. Mastering this iconic riff will infuse your playing with the unmistakable energy that defines the track. Here’s how to tackle the main riff with precision and finesse:

1. Break it Down: Start by dissecting the main riff into smaller, manageable segments. Identify the specific drum patterns and accents that align with the guitar riff, paying attention to the subtle variations within the rhythm.

2. Focus on Dynamics: Emphasize the dynamics of the main riff, capturing the ebb and flow of the guitar-driven melody. Varying your stick control and touch will bring out the nuances of the riff, adding depth and authenticity to your performance.

3. Coordinate with the Guitar: Sync up with the guitarist or the recorded track to ensure that your drumming complements the main riff seamlessly. Maintaining a tight rhythmic connection with the guitar will elevate the overall impact of the riff, creating a cohesive sonic experience.

4. Refine Your Timing: Pay meticulous attention to your timing and precision as you execute the main riff. Practice with a metronome to hone your rhythmic accuracy, gradually building up your speed while maintaining a consistent and steady tempo.

By immersing yourself in the intricacies of the main riff, you’ll lay the groundwork for a captivating and authentic rendition of “Thunderstruck.” With each practice session, focus on internalizing the nuances of the riff, allowing its electrifying energy to flow through your drumming performance. Now, as you gear up to infuse the main riff with your own flair, let’s delve into the essential drum beats that drive the pulse of “Thunderstruck.”


Adding in the Drum Beats

As you delve into the heart of “Thunderstruck,” the drum beats serve as the driving force behind the song’s relentless energy. Infusing the main riff with powerful, precision-crafted beats will elevate your performance to new heights. Here’s how to integrate the drum beats seamlessly into the fabric of “Thunderstruck”:

1. Establish the Foundation: Begin by laying down the foundational beats that underpin the main riff. Focus on creating a solid rhythmic framework that complements the guitar-driven melody, providing a sturdy backbone for the song’s momentum.

2. Embrace the Power of Accents: Inject the beats with impactful accents, mirroring the dynamic shifts in the main riff. Emphasize the climactic moments with assertive and precise accents, heightening the dramatic impact of the song.

3. Explore Variations and Fills: Experiment with subtle variations and fills to add depth and character to the drum beats. Introduce tasteful embellishments that enhance the overall groove, infusing your performance with a personalized touch while staying true to the song’s essence.

4. Syncopation and Drive: Embrace the driving force of syncopated rhythms to infuse the beats with an infectious pulse. Explore syncopated patterns that interweave seamlessly with the main riff, propelling the song forward with unwavering intensity.

By melding the main riff with commanding drum beats, you’ll harness the electrifying essence of “Thunderstruck,” channeling its raw power through your drumming prowess. As you immerse yourself in this rhythmic tapestry, the time has come to bring it all together into a cohesive and exhilarating performance.


Putting it All Together

Now that you’ve mastered the main riff and infused it with commanding drum beats, it’s time to unite these elements into a seamless and electrifying performance of “Thunderstruck.” As you bring together the intricacies of the riff and the driving force of the beats, focus on creating a cohesive and dynamic rendition that captures the essence of this iconic track. Here’s how to synthesize the components into a compelling drumming showcase:

1. Seamless Transitions: Ensure smooth transitions between the main riff and the accompanying drum beats. Seamlessly weave the rhythmic elements together, maintaining a fluid and uninterrupted flow that propels the song forward with unwavering momentum.

2. Embody the Energy: Infuse your performance with the raw, unbridled energy that defines “Thunderstruck.” Channel the electrifying spirit of the song, unleashing your passion and intensity through each beat and riff, creating a captivating sonic experience.

3. Precision and Finesse: Execute each element with precision and finesse, paying meticulous attention to the subtle nuances and accents within the main riff and drum beats. Strive for a flawless and dynamic performance that reflects your dedication to mastering this iconic track.

4. Personalized Flourishes: Introduce personalized flourishes and embellishments that showcase your individual style while honoring the integrity of the song. Infuse the performance with tasteful improvisations and creative touches that highlight your artistry as a drummer.

As you unite the main riff and drum beats into a cohesive whole, embrace the exhilarating journey of bringing “Thunderstruck” to life through your drumming prowess. With each resounding beat and electrifying riff, you’ll pay homage to the timeless legacy of AC/DC while leaving your own indelible mark on this iconic rock anthem.



Congratulations on embarking on the exhilarating journey of mastering AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” on drums. As you’ve delved into the heart-pounding world of rock drumming, you’ve not only honed your technical skills but also tapped into the electrifying essence of one of the greatest rock anthems of all time. By dissecting the main riff, infusing it with commanding drum beats, and uniting these elements into a seamless performance, you’ve embraced the raw power and intensity that define this iconic track.

Throughout this musical odyssey, you’ve channeled the unbridled energy of “Thunderstruck,” embodying the spirit of rock and roll with each resounding beat and electrifying riff. As you’ve honed your rhythmic precision and unleashed your passion on the drum kit, you’ve paid homage to the timeless legacy of AC/DC while leaving your own indelible mark on this legendary song.

Remember, mastering “Thunderstruck” on drums is not just about replicating the beats; it’s about capturing the essence of a rock masterpiece and infusing it with your own artistry and flair. Whether you’re performing for an audience or reveling in the thrill of a personal practice session, let the electrifying spirit of “Thunderstruck” resonate through your drumming, unleashing a sonic experience that captivates and inspires.

As you continue to hone your craft and explore the boundless world of drumming, carry the electrifying energy of “Thunderstruck” with you, infusing every beat and rhythm with the unyielding passion and intensity that define rock and roll. With each thunderous strike of the drumsticks, you’ll keep the legacy of “Thunderstruck” alive while forging your own unforgettable musical journey.

Now, armed with the techniques and insights to conquer this iconic track, let the thunderous rhythm of “Thunderstruck” propel you to new heights of drumming excellence. Embrace the power, embrace the passion, and let the thunder roll!

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