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How To Play “Seven Nation Army” On Drums How To Play “Seven Nation Army” On Drums


How To Play “Seven Nation Army” On Drums

Written by: Ricca Heilman

Learn how to play "Seven Nation Army" on drums with step-by-step instructions. Master the drum beats and impress your audience. Start drumming today!

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Are you a drummer looking to learn a classic and catchy rock riff? Look no further than "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes. This iconic song features a distinctive bass line that has become synonymous with rock and roll. Playing this riff on the drums can add a powerful and driving rhythm to the song, making it a must-learn for any aspiring drummer.

"Seven Nation Army" is a timeless hit that has captivated audiences around the world since its release. The driving force behind the song is its infectious bass line, which has inspired countless musicians and continues to be a crowd-pleaser at live performances. As a drummer, mastering this riff will not only expand your repertoire but also enhance your rhythmic skills and musicality.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of playing "Seven Nation Army" on the drums. From breaking down the main riff to incorporating the backbeat and ultimately playing the full song, you will gain valuable insights and techniques to bring this iconic track to life through your drumming. Whether you're a seasoned drummer or just starting out, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills to master one of rock music's most recognizable rhythms.

So, grab your drumsticks and get ready to unleash the infectious energy of "Seven Nation Army" as we embark on this rhythmic journey together. Let's dive in and explore the steps to mastering this timeless classic on the drums.


Getting Started

Getting Started

Before diving into the intricacies of playing "Seven Nation Army" on the drums, it's essential to ensure that you have the necessary equipment and a basic understanding of drumming techniques. Here are the initial steps to set the stage for your rhythmic journey:

  • Drum Kit Setup: Position your drum kit in a comfortable and ergonomic arrangement. Ensure that your snare, bass drum, hi-hat, and cymbals are well-adjusted to facilitate smooth and unhindered movement during your drumming sessions.
  • Drumsticks: Select a pair of drumsticks that are well-suited to your playing style and provide a balanced feel. The right drumsticks can significantly impact your control and precision while playing the drums.
  • Rhythmic Foundation: Familiarize yourself with fundamental drumming techniques, including proper grip, stick control, and basic rudiments. Building a strong rhythmic foundation will set the stage for effectively learning and mastering the "Seven Nation Army" rhythm.

Once you have your drum kit set up and feel comfortable with your drumsticks, it's time to delve into the core elements of the "Seven Nation Army" rhythm. This iconic riff is characterized by its driving pulse and infectious energy, making it a captivating addition to your drumming repertoire. As we progress, you will discover the nuances of this rhythm and learn how to infuse it with your unique style and flair.

With the stage set and your drumming essentials in place, let's embark on this rhythmic journey and unlock the power of the "Seven Nation Army" rhythm on the drums.


Learning the Main Riff

Learning the Main Riff

The main riff of "Seven Nation Army" is the heartbeat of the song, driving its infectious energy and setting the stage for the entire track. As a drummer, capturing the essence of this iconic riff involves understanding its rhythmic structure and translating it into a compelling drumming pattern. Here are the key steps to mastering the main riff:

  • Embracing the Signature Bass Line: The main riff of "Seven Nation Army" revolves around a distinctive bass line that forms the foundation of the song. As a drummer, internalize the rhythmic pulse of this bass line, as it will guide your drumming throughout the track.
  • Translating the Riff to the Drums: Identify the key accents and rhythmic motifs within the bass line and experiment with translating them to your drum kit. This may involve utilizing the kick drum, snare, and hi-hat to mimic the rhythmic nuances of the riff.
  • Dynamic Expression: Infuse the main riff with dynamic expression by varying your drumming intensity and incorporating subtle nuances to mirror the ebb and flow of the bass line. This dynamic approach will add depth and dimension to your rendition of the main riff.

Mastering the main riff of "Seven Nation Army" on the drums requires attentive listening and a keen understanding of rhythmic interplay. By immersing yourself in the essence of the bass line and skillfully translating its nuances to the drum kit, you will breathe life into this iconic riff through your rhythmic interpretation.

As you delve into the intricacies of the main riff, embrace the opportunity to infuse it with your personal touch, adding a unique flair that resonates with your individual drumming style. With the main riff under your rhythmic command, you are poised to elevate your drumming prowess and embark on the journey to mastering "Seven Nation Army" on the drums.


Adding the Backbeat

Adding the Backbeat

Once you have internalized the main riff of "Seven Nation Army" and honed your rhythmic interpretation, it’s time to elevate the rhythmic dynamics by incorporating the backbeat. The backbeat serves as a foundational element in rock and roll drumming, adding drive and emphasis to the rhythm. Here’s how you can integrate the backbeat into your rendition of the song:

  • Snare Drum Emphasis: Utilize the snare drum to punctuate the rhythmic structure of the main riff, emphasizing the backbeat on beats two and four. This accentuated snare drum pattern will inject a powerful and driving pulse into the rhythm, enhancing its infectious energy.
  • Dynamic Contrast: Experiment with dynamic contrast by juxtaposing the intensity of the backbeat with the subtlety of the main riff. This interplay of dynamics will create a compelling rhythmic narrative, capturing the essence of the song’s rhythmic progression.
  • Rhythmic Precision: Maintain rhythmic precision as you integrate the backbeat, ensuring that it complements the main riff seamlessly. The rhythmic interplay between the bass line, backbeat, and additional drum accents will contribute to a cohesive and captivating rhythmic tapestry.

By infusing the main riff with the driving force of the backbeat, you will elevate the rhythmic intensity of your drumming, creating a dynamic and engaging rendition of "Seven Nation Army." The backbeat serves as a rhythmic anchor, propelling the song forward and inviting listeners to groove to its infectious pulse.

As you master the incorporation of the backbeat, embrace the opportunity to infuse your rhythmic interpretation with creativity and individuality. Your unique expression and rhythmic nuances will imbue the song with a compelling rhythmic identity, showcasing your prowess as a drummer.

With the backbeat seamlessly integrated into your rhythmic repertoire, you are poised to unleash the full rhythmic potential of "Seven Nation Army" on the drums, captivating audiences with its infectious energy and driving rhythm.


Playing the Full Song

Playing the Full Song

Having mastered the main riff and integrated the backbeat into your rhythmic arsenal, it’s time to embark on the exhilarating journey of playing the full song "Seven Nation Army" on the drums. As you approach the complete rendition of this iconic track, consider the following essential elements to bring the song to life through your drumming:

  • Rhythmic Consistency: Maintain rhythmic consistency throughout the song, ensuring that the main riff and backbeat align seamlessly to drive the song’s pulse. Consistency in your drumming will anchor the rhythm and provide a solid foundation for the entire track.
  • Dynamics and Expression: Infuse the song with dynamic expression, utilizing subtle variations in intensity and drumming techniques to convey the song’s evolving energy. Emphasize the song’s climactic moments and transitions with nuanced drumming dynamics.
  • Collaborative Listening: Listen attentively to the song’s original recording and internalize the interplay between the drums and other instruments. This collaborative listening approach will guide your rhythmic interpretation and enhance your ability to synchronize with the song’s musical elements.

As you immerse yourself in the complete rendition of "Seven Nation Army," embrace the opportunity to infuse the song with your unique rhythmic flair while remaining true to its iconic essence. Your rhythmic interpretation will capture the infectious energy and driving force of the song, inviting listeners to engage with its compelling rhythm.

Playing the full song on the drums offers a dynamic and immersive experience, allowing you to showcase your rhythmic prowess and musicality. As you navigate the song’s rhythmic landscape, channel your passion for drumming into a captivating rendition that pays homage to the timeless appeal of "Seven Nation Army."

With each resounding beat and driving rhythm, you will bring the song to life, captivating audiences with the infectious energy and enduring allure of this iconic track. As you master the complete rendition of "Seven Nation Army," revel in the rhythmic journey that has empowered you to unleash the song’s full rhythmic potential on the drums.




Congratulations on embarking on the rhythmic journey of mastering "Seven Nation Army" on the drums. Throughout this comprehensive guide, you have delved into the intricacies of the song’s iconic rhythm, honed your drumming techniques, and infused the music with your unique rhythmic expression. As you conclude this rhythmic exploration, reflect on the following key takeaways:

  • Rhythmic Mastery: By learning the main riff, integrating the backbeat, and playing the full song, you have expanded your rhythmic repertoire and elevated your drumming prowess. Embrace the rhythmic mastery you have achieved through your dedicated practice and commitment to musical excellence.
  • Artistic Interpretation: Infusing the song with dynamic expression and collaborative listening has empowered you to approach drumming as a form of artistic interpretation. Your unique rhythmic nuances and creative flair have enriched the song’s rhythmic tapestry, showcasing your individuality as a drummer.
  • Musical Resonance: As you master "Seven Nation Army" on the drums, recognize the profound impact of music in resonating with audiences on a visceral level. Your rhythmic rendition of this iconic track has the power to captivate and inspire, forging a rhythmic connection that transcends boundaries.

As you continue your rhythmic pursuits, remember that each beat of the drum carries the potential to ignite passion, evoke emotion, and unite listeners through the universal language of music. Whether you’re performing for a live audience, collaborating with fellow musicians, or honing your craft in personal practice sessions, your rhythmic journey as a drummer is a testament to the enduring allure of musical expression.

As the driving force behind the rhythm, you wield the power to infuse every note with energy, every beat with purpose, and every rhythm with resonance. Embrace this rhythmic journey with a spirit of curiosity, creativity, and unwavering dedication, knowing that your rhythmic voice carries the potential to leave an indelible mark on the musical landscape.

With the rhythmic pulse of "Seven Nation Army" echoing in your drumming repertoire, you are poised to embark on further rhythmic explorations, expand your musical horizons, and continue captivating audiences with the infectious energy of your drumming. As the rhythmic journey unfolds, let the timeless allure of music guide your path, and may your rhythmic voice resound with the unbridled passion of a true musical artisan.

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