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How To Play “Chop Suey” On Drums How To Play “Chop Suey” On Drums


How To Play “Chop Suey” On Drums

Written by: Lonee Morton

Learn how to play "Chop Suey" on drums with our step-by-step tutorial. Master the drum beats and impress your audience with your drumming skills. Start drumming today!

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Table of Contents


So, you've been jamming out to "Chop Suey" by System of a Down and you can't get that iconic drum beat out of your head. You've got the rhythm pulsing through your veins, and you're ready to jump behind the drum kit and unleash your inner rockstar. Well, you're in the right place because I'm about to guide you through the exhilarating journey of learning how to play "Chop Suey" on drums.

This powerhouse of a song, with its explosive energy and intricate drum patterns, is a favorite among drummers and rock enthusiasts alike. As you dive into mastering this track, you'll not only elevate your drumming skills but also gain a deeper appreciation for the artistry behind this timeless classic.

In this step-by-step guide, we'll break down the song into its fundamental components, from the main riff to the electrifying bridge, allowing you to build your proficiency gradually. Whether you're a novice drummer or a seasoned pro looking to add this crowd-pleaser to your repertoire, this tutorial will equip you with the tools and techniques to conquer "Chop Suey" with finesse.

So, grab your drumsticks, warm up those wrists, and get ready to embark on an exhilarating musical odyssey as we unravel the secrets of playing "Chop Suey" on drums. Get ready to unleash your passion, feel the adrenaline rush, and make those drums sing with the infectious energy of this iconic track. Let's dive in and unleash the inner rockstar within you!


Getting Started

Before diving into the intricate drum patterns of "Chop Suey," it's essential to set the stage for your practice session. Find a comfortable and well-lit space where you can set up your drum kit without any distractions. Ensure that your drums are properly tuned and your drumsticks are within reach. It's also helpful to have a copy of the song to follow along, whether it's a digital track or sheet music.

As you prepare to tackle this dynamic piece, take a moment to listen to the song attentively. Pay close attention to the nuances of the drumming, the transitions between sections, and the overall feel of the track. This initial listening session will provide you with a solid foundation and a sense of familiarity with the song.

Next, familiarize yourself with the drum notation for "Chop Suey." Whether you prefer traditional sheet music or drum tablature, having a visual reference will greatly aid your learning process. You can find drum notation for the song in music books, online resources, or through instructional videos.

Before delving into the specific drum patterns, it's beneficial to practice your basic drumming techniques. Spend some time warming up with rudiments, such as single strokes, double strokes, and paradiddles, to ensure that your hands and feet are limber and ready for the challenges ahead.

Finally, adopt a patient and determined mindset. Learning a complex song like "Chop Suey" requires perseverance and dedication. Embrace the process, celebrate small victories, and don't be discouraged by initial difficulties. With the right mindset and preparation, you're primed to embark on an exhilarating drumming journey with "Chop Suey" as your thrilling soundtrack.


Learning the Main Riff

The main riff of "Chop Suey" sets the tone for the entire song, delivering a powerful and unmistakable rhythm that drives the music forward. As a drummer, capturing the essence of this iconic riff is pivotal to master the song. Let’s break down the essential elements of the main riff and explore how to tackle it with finesse.

Begin by focusing on the kick drum pattern, which forms the backbone of the main riff. The kick drum accents are strategically placed to synchronize with the guitar and bass, creating a pulsating foundation for the song. Practice the kick drum pattern diligently, ensuring that each hit resonates with precision and intensity.

Next, hone in on the snare drum accents that complement the kick drum. The interplay between the kick and snare drum is integral to capturing the rhythmic complexity of the main riff. Pay close attention to the timing and dynamics of the snare hits, as they intertwine with the guitar riff to generate a compelling rhythmic tapestry.

As you familiarize yourself with the kick and snare components, integrate the hi-hat pattern to complete the main riff. The hi-hat adds a layer of texture and groove, elevating the overall feel of the rhythm. Focus on maintaining a steady and controlled motion with your hi-hat foot while synchronizing it with the kick and snare drum accents.

While mastering the main riff, strive for cohesion between your limbs, ensuring that the kick, snare, and hi-hat work in harmony to produce a cohesive and powerful rhythm. Practice at a moderate tempo initially, gradually increasing the speed as you gain confidence and fluency with the pattern.

Remember, precision and consistency are key when learning the main riff. Approach each component methodically, and don’t hesitate to isolate specific sections for focused practice. By dissecting the main riff into its fundamental elements and refining each aspect with dedication, you’ll steadily conquer this pivotal segment of "Chop Suey".


Adding in the Verse

As you progress in your journey to master "Chop Suey" on drums, transitioning into the verse section introduces a dynamic shift in the rhythmic landscape. The verse provides an opportunity to infuse subtlety and finesse into your drumming while maintaining the song’s underlying intensity. Let’s delve into the nuances of the verse and explore how to seamlessly integrate it into your drumming repertoire.

Embrace the verse as a canvas to showcase your control and sensitivity as a drummer. The subdued yet compelling rhythm of the verse demands a delicate balance between restraint and expression. Begin by internalizing the guitar and vocal melodies, allowing them to guide your rhythmic interpretation and infuse the verse with emotive depth.

Transitioning from the main riff, focus on the nuanced variations in the kick drum pattern within the verse. The subtle alterations in the kick drum accents add dimension to the rhythm, accentuating the lyrical content and contributing to the song’s evocative storytelling. Pay meticulous attention to the timing and placement of each kick drum note, ensuring that they resonate with clarity and purpose.

Complement the evolving kick drum pattern with understated snare and hi-hat embellishments, embellishing the verse with tasteful rhythmic flourishes. The snare drum, in particular, serves as a poignant punctuation, punctuating the lyrical phrasing and enhancing the emotive cadence of the verse.

Throughout the verse, maintain a keen awareness of the song’s dynamics, allowing your drumming to ebb and flow in tandem with the evolving musical landscape. Emphasize restraint and subtlety, harnessing the power of well-placed ghost notes and nuanced hi-hat articulations to imbue the verse with a captivating rhythmic allure.

Approach the verse as an opportunity to showcase your musicality and sensitivity, infusing each rhythmic element with intention and emotional resonance. By embracing the subtleties of the verse and integrating them into your drumming with finesse, you’ll elevate your performance of "Chop Suey" to new heights, captivating listeners with the artful interplay of rhythm and emotion.


Incorporating the Chorus

The chorus of “Chop Suey” ignites with an infectious energy that propels the song into a soaring crescendo, demanding a dynamic and commanding drum performance. As a drummer, mastering the rhythmic intricacies of the chorus is essential to harness the song’s explosive momentum and captivate listeners. Let’s explore the essential elements of the chorus and delve into how to infuse it with power and precision through your drumming.

Embrace the chorus as a platform to unleash your rhythmic prowess, infusing each beat with unbridled energy and fervor. The driving force of the chorus lies in the intensified kick drum pattern, propelling the song forward with relentless momentum. Focus on delivering the kick drum accents with unwavering power and precision, driving the rhythm with palpable intensity.

Complement the commanding kick drum pattern with thunderous snare accents, punctuating each rhythmic phrase with emphatic precision. The interplay between the kick and snare drum creates a propulsive rhythmic foundation, amplifying the chorus’s electrifying impact and driving the song to exhilarating heights.

Integrate the hi-hat into the chorus with a heightened sense of urgency, infusing the rhythm with pulsating energy and driving the song’s momentum. Emphasize the crisp articulation of the hi-hat, ensuring that each strike contributes to the chorus’s dynamic fervor while maintaining a steady and unwavering pulse.

As you immerse yourself in the chorus’s exhilarating rhythm, embrace the opportunity to inject your drumming with unrestrained passion and vigor. Channel the song’s infectious energy through your playing, allowing each beat to resonate with unyielding power and conviction, captivating listeners with the sheer force of your rhythmic delivery.

Approach the chorus with unwavering confidence and unrelenting drive, infusing each drumbeat with the uncontainable spirit of the song. By harnessing the explosive energy of the chorus and infusing it into your drumming with precision and passion, you’ll elevate your performance of “Chop Suey” to electrifying heights, leaving an indelible impression with your exhilarating rhythmic prowess.


Mastering the Bridge

The bridge section of “Chop Suey” introduces a captivating shift in dynamics and rhythm, serving as a pivotal juncture that demands a nuanced and evocative drum performance. As you navigate the intricate landscape of the bridge, embracing its emotive depth and rhythmic complexity is essential to capturing the song’s arresting narrative. Let’s delve into the intricacies of the bridge and explore how to master its compelling rhythm with finesse and artistry.

Embrace the bridge as a canvas for emotive expression, infusing each drumbeat with poignant storytelling and evocative resonance. The subdued yet profound rhythm of the bridge calls for a delicate balance between restraint and emotive intensity, inviting you to channel the song’s introspective depth through your drumming.

Focusing on the kick drum pattern within the bridge, navigate the subtle shifts in dynamics and accents that underpin the emotive cadence of this section. Each kick drum note serves as a poignant heartbeat, infusing the bridge with a sense of introspection and emotional gravitas. Pay meticulous attention to the nuanced variations in the kick drum pattern, allowing each note to reverberate with emotive depth and purpose.

Complement the evocative kick drum accents with understated yet expressive snare and hi-hat embellishments, weaving a tapestry of rhythmic nuance that mirrors the bridge’s introspective narrative. Emphasize the artful interplay between the snare and hi-hat, punctuating the rhythmic landscape with subtle yet profound rhythmic textures that resonate with emotive allure.

Throughout the bridge, maintain a keen awareness of the song’s evolving dynamics, allowing your drumming to mirror the ebb and flow of the music’s emotive journey. Harness the power of nuanced ghost notes, delicate cymbal swells, and expressive dynamics to imbue the bridge with a captivating rhythmic narrative that captivates listeners with its emotive depth.

Approach the bridge as an opportunity to showcase your musical sensitivity and emotive storytelling through your drumming. By infusing each rhythmic element with intention and emotional resonance, you’ll elevate your performance of “Chop Suey,” imbuing the bridge with a compelling rhythmic allure that leaves a lasting impression on all who listen.


Bringing It All Together

As you embark on the exhilarating journey of mastering “Chop Suey” on drums, the culmination of your efforts lies in seamlessly weaving together the song’s diverse elements into a cohesive and electrifying performance. Bringing it all together demands a comprehensive understanding of the song’s rhythmic intricacies and a steadfast commitment to infusing each section with passion and precision. Let’s explore the art of unifying the song’s diverse segments and elevating your drumming to an awe-inspiring crescendo.

Embrace the song’s overarching narrative and emotional trajectory, allowing it to guide your rhythmic interpretation as you transition between the main riff, verse, chorus, and bridge. Each section carries its own distinct energy and emotive essence, and it’s essential to internalize these nuances, infusing your drumming with a deep understanding of the song’s emotional landscape.

Seamlessly transition between the song’s diverse sections, ensuring that each shift in rhythm and dynamics is executed with fluidity and precision. Emphasize the seamless flow of the drum patterns, allowing the transitions to unfold organically and propel the song’s narrative forward with unwavering momentum.

As you synthesize the main riff’s pulsating energy, the verse’s emotive subtlety, the chorus’s explosive fervor, and the bridge’s introspective depth, strive to maintain a cohesive rhythmic thread that unites the song’s diverse elements into a captivating tapestry of sound. Embrace the interplay between the kick drum, snare, and hi-hat, allowing each rhythmic component to complement and enhance the others, creating a symphonic fusion of rhythm and emotion.

Infuse each section with your unique musical expression, allowing your drumming to resonate with the song’s infectious energy and emotive resonance. Channel the song’s spirit through your playing, immersing yourself in its pulsating rhythms and captivating melodies, and infusing each beat with unyielding passion and precision.

Ultimately, bringing it all together is a testament to your dedication, artistry, and unwavering commitment to mastering “Chop Suey” on drums. By uniting the song’s diverse elements into a seamless and electrifying performance, you’ll not only captivate listeners with your rhythmic prowess but also pay homage to the timeless brilliance of this iconic track.



Congratulations on embarking on the exhilarating journey of mastering “Chop Suey” on drums. Throughout this musical odyssey, you’ve delved into the song’s intricate rhythms, explored its emotive depths, and honed your drumming skills to capture the essence of this iconic track. As you reflect on this transformative experience, it’s evident that the journey to conquer “Chop Suey” extends far beyond technical proficiency—it’s a testament to the power of music to inspire, challenge, and elevate our artistry.

By immersing yourself in the main riff’s pulsating energy, infusing the verse with emotive subtlety, igniting the chorus with explosive fervor, and navigating the bridge’s introspective depth, you’ve embraced the song’s diverse elements with unwavering passion and precision. Each rhythmic nuance and emotive cadence has become a part of your musical expression, resonating through your drumming with captivating resonance.

As you’ve navigated the transitions between sections, seamlessly weaving together the song’s diverse elements into a cohesive and electrifying performance, you’ve exemplified the artistry and dedication that define a true musician. Your commitment to infusing each beat with unyielding passion and precision has not only elevated your drumming but also honored the timeless brilliance of “Chop Suey.”

Remember that this journey is not solely about mastering a song; it’s about embracing the transformative power of music and allowing it to shape and elevate your artistry. Whether you’re a novice drummer or a seasoned pro, the lessons learned from mastering “Chop Suey” extend beyond this single track, enriching your musical journey and inspiring you to tackle new challenges with unwavering determination.

As you continue to hone your craft and explore the boundless horizons of drumming, carry the spirit of “Chop Suey” within you—the infectious energy, the emotive storytelling, and the unbridled passion. Let it serve as a reminder of the transformative power of music and the limitless potential that resides within your rhythmic expression.

So, as you embark on future musical endeavors, may the rhythmic tapestry of “Chop Suey” continue to inspire and embolden you, propelling you to new heights of artistry and musical excellence. With each beat, each rhythm, and each performance, may you continue to channel the spirit of this iconic track, captivating listeners and leaving an indelible mark on the world of drumming.

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