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How To Play “Superstition” On Drums How To Play “Superstition” On Drums


How To Play “Superstition” On Drums

Written by: Evita Quan

Learn how to play "Superstition" on drums with our step-by-step tutorial. Master the drumming techniques and impress your audience. Perfect for drummers of all skill levels.

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Table of Contents


Playing the drums is an exhilarating experience, and mastering iconic drum grooves adds to the thrill. "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder features a captivating drum pattern that has become a classic in the world of drumming. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of playing "Superstition" on the drums, breaking down the main groove, exploring fills and variations, and offering tips for delivering a stellar performance.

Learning to play "Superstition" not only allows drummers to hone their skills but also provides a deeper understanding of funk and groove-based drumming. The song's infectious rhythm and dynamic drum pattern make it an essential piece for any drummer's repertoire. Whether you're a beginner eager to tackle this legendary groove or a seasoned drummer looking to refine your technique, this guide will help you navigate the nuances of playing "Superstition" on the drums.

As we embark on this rhythmic journey, it's essential to set up your drum kit for optimal performance and comfort. Once your drums are ready, we'll dive into learning the main groove of "Superstition," deciphering its unique elements and syncopated feel. Additionally, we'll explore ways to infuse fills and variations into the groove, allowing you to add your personal flair while staying true to the song's essence.

By the end of this guide, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to play "Superstition" with confidence and finesse. So, grab your drumsticks, set up your kit, and let's unlock the infectious rhythm of "Superstition" on the drums.


Setting Up Your Drums

Before delving into the intricacies of playing the iconic groove of "Superstition," it’s crucial to ensure that your drum kit is set up for optimal performance. Proper drum setup not only enhances your playing experience but also contributes to your overall comfort and posture, allowing you to play with ease and precision.

Start by positioning your bass drum, snare drum, toms, and cymbals according to your preference and ergonomic considerations. The bass drum, often placed on the floor, provides the foundation of the groove, while the snare drum, positioned between the legs, delivers crisp backbeats essential for funk rhythms.

Next, arrange your toms within comfortable reach, ensuring that you can seamlessly transition between them during fills and dynamic sections. Additionally, position your hi-hat and cymbals within easy striking distance, enabling fluid and effortless movement around the drum kit.

As you fine-tune the placement of your drums and cymbals, consider the height and angle of your drum throne to maintain a balanced and comfortable playing posture. Proper posture not only prevents fatigue and potential injuries but also allows for unrestricted movement and control over your playing dynamics.

Furthermore, take a moment to ensure that your drums are properly tuned, as well-tuned drums produce a clear and resonant sound. Tuning your drums involves adjusting the tension of the drumheads to achieve the desired pitch and tone. A well-tuned drum kit not only enhances the overall sound but also facilitates a more enjoyable and responsive playing experience.

Once your drum kit is set up to your satisfaction, take a moment to check your drumsticks and drumheads. Ensure that your drumsticks are comfortably gripped and free from any defects that may hinder your performance. Additionally, inspect your drumheads for any signs of wear and tear, replacing them if necessary to maintain optimal sound quality.

With your drum kit meticulously arranged and fine-tuned, you’re now ready to embark on the rhythmic journey of learning and mastering the captivating groove of "Superstition." By setting up your drums with care and attention to detail, you’ve laid the foundation for a rewarding and immersive drumming experience.


Learning the Main Groove

The main groove of "Superstition" embodies the essence of funk drumming, characterized by its infectious syncopation and dynamic interplay between the bass drum, snare drum, and hi-hat. Mastering this iconic groove requires a keen understanding of rhythmic nuances and a solid command of coordination and dynamics.

Begin by familiarizing yourself with the foundational pattern of the groove, which revolves around a syncopated rhythm that propels the song’s irresistible energy. The bass drum serves as the driving force, delivering punchy accents on offbeats, while the snare drum interlocks with precise backbeats to create a compelling rhythmic foundation.

As you delve into the main groove, pay close attention to the nuanced ghost notes on the snare drum, adding depth and groove to the rhythm. These subtle embellishments contribute to the infectious feel of the groove, infusing it with a sense of spontaneity and funk-driven flair.

Furthermore, the hi-hat plays a pivotal role in maintaining the groove’s momentum, providing crisp and consistent articulation throughout the song. Embrace the dynamic interplay between the hi-hat, bass drum, and snare drum, ensuring that each element synergizes to form a cohesive and irresistible rhythmic tapestry.

Practice the main groove at a moderate tempo, focusing on precision, dynamics, and the interlocking relationship between the bass drum, snare drum, and hi-hat. As you internalize the groove, gradually increase the tempo, allowing the infectious rhythm of "Superstition" to come alive with unwavering groove and vitality.

Remember to maintain a relaxed posture and fluid motion as you navigate the intricacies of the groove, allowing for effortless execution and a natural feel. Embrace the inherent funkiness of the groove, infusing it with your unique style while staying true to its foundational elements.

By immersing yourself in the main groove of "Superstition" and honing its rhythmic intricacies, you’ll unlock the infectious spirit of funk drumming and gain valuable insights into groove-based playing. As you internalize the syncopated rhythm and dynamic interplay, you’ll pave the way for a compelling and captivating rendition of this timeless classic.


Adding Fills and Variations

Infusing fills and variations into the groove of "Superstition" elevates the dynamism and expressiveness of your drumming, adding depth and excitement to your performance. These embellishments provide opportunities to showcase your creativity while embellishing the song’s infectious rhythm with tasteful nuances.

When incorporating fills, consider the song’s structure and dynamics, strategically placing fills at opportune moments to accentuate transitions and build anticipation. Experiment with a variety of fill patterns, incorporating combinations of tom rolls, snare accents, and cymbal crashes to create engaging and seamless transitions within the groove.

Furthermore, explore the art of linear drumming, where each drum or cymbal is struck individually in a continuous and flowing sequence. Linear fills add a sense of fluidity and motion to your drumming, enhancing the overall groove and maintaining a seamless connection with the song’s rhythmic pulse.

While adding fills, it’s essential to preserve the underlying feel and groove of the main pattern, ensuring that the fills complement the rhythm without overshadowing its essence. Strive to maintain a balanced approach, seamlessly integrating fills to enhance the song’s dynamics while preserving its infectious groove.

Additionally, consider incorporating variations in your hi-hat and ride cymbal patterns to introduce subtle yet impactful shifts in the groove. Experiment with opening and closing the hi-hat to modulate the intensity and articulation, infusing the groove with captivating textures and rhythmic intricacies.

Explore the use of ghost notes and accent patterns on the snare drum to add depth and dimension to the groove, creating a compelling interplay between subtle embellishments and pronounced accents. These variations contribute to the overall dynamic range of the groove, allowing for expressive and nuanced drumming.

As you integrate fills and variations, embrace a sense of spontaneity and creativity, allowing your drumming to reflect your individuality while honoring the song’s timeless appeal. By infusing the groove of "Superstition" with tasteful fills and captivating variations, you’ll elevate your performance, captivating listeners with a compelling and dynamic rendition of this iconic classic.


Tips for Playing “Superstition” Well

Mastering the art of playing “Superstition” on the drums requires attention to detail, rhythmic finesse, and a deep understanding of funk drumming principles. Here are valuable tips to help you deliver a stellar performance of this iconic groove:

  • Internalize the Groove: Prioritize internalizing the syncopated groove of “Superstition,” immersing yourself in its infectious rhythm and dynamic interplay between the bass drum, snare drum, and hi-hat. Develop a keen sense of the groove’s feel and nuances, allowing it to become second nature as you play.
  • Focus on Dynamics: Embrace the dynamic range of the groove, seamlessly transitioning between subtle ghost notes and pronounced accents. Pay attention to the interplay of soft and loud dynamics, infusing the groove with depth and expressiveness.
  • Maintain Consistent Timing: Uphold precise timing and rhythmic consistency throughout the song, ensuring that each note and accent aligns with the song’s pulse. Practice with a metronome to refine your sense of timing and solidify your rhythmic foundation.
  • Embellish with Taste: When incorporating fills and variations, exercise restraint and tastefulness, ensuring that your embellishments enhance the groove without overshadowing its core rhythm. Strive for seamless integration, adding embellishments that complement the song’s structure and dynamics.
  • Stay Relaxed and Fluid: Maintain a relaxed posture and fluid motion while playing, allowing for effortless execution and a natural feel. Relax your grip on the drumsticks and embrace a fluid wrist motion to achieve optimal control and finesse.
  • Engage with the Song: Immerse yourself in the song’s overall feel and energy, allowing your drumming to resonate with the soulful essence of “Superstition.” Connect with the song on a deeper level, infusing your performance with passion and authenticity.
  • Emulate Feel and Groove: Study live performances and recordings of “Superstition” to grasp the subtle nuances and feel of the groove. Emulate the expressive nuances and groove of the original recording while infusing your unique style and personality into the performance.

By embracing these tips and incorporating them into your practice and performance, you’ll elevate your rendition of “Superstition,” delivering a captivating and authentic portrayal of this timeless funk classic.



Congratulations on embarking on the rhythmic journey of learning and mastering the iconic groove of “Superstition” on the drums. As you’ve delved into the intricacies of this timeless classic, you’ve gained valuable insights into the art of funk drumming and the nuances of groove-based playing.

By setting up your drums with care and attention to detail, you’ve established a solid foundation for a rewarding and immersive drumming experience. Your meticulous arrangement and fine-tuning have paved the way for a seamless and comfortable playing environment, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the captivating rhythm of “Superstition.”

As you’ve learned the main groove and explored the art of infusing fills and variations, you’ve honed your rhythmic finesse and creativity, adding depth and excitement to your performance. Embracing the dynamic interplay between the bass drum, snare drum, and hi-hat, you’ve internalized the infectious feel of the groove, allowing it to come alive with unwavering vitality and groove.

Furthermore, the valuable tips provided have equipped you with essential strategies for delivering a stellar performance of “Superstition.” By prioritizing dynamics, timing, tasteful embellishments, and a deep connection with the song, you’re poised to deliver a compelling and authentic rendition of this iconic classic.

As you continue to practice and refine your interpretation of “Superstition,” remember to infuse your performance with passion, authenticity, and a deep connection to the soulful essence of the song. Emulate the expressive nuances and groove of the original recording while adding your unique style and personality into the mix.

With each beat and fill, immerse yourself in the infectious rhythm of “Superstition,” allowing your drumming to resonate with its timeless allure. Whether you’re performing for an audience or enjoying a personal jam session, let the groove of “Superstition” ignite your passion for drumming and inspire your musical journey.

As you continue to explore the rich tapestry of drumming, may the rhythmic spirit of “Superstition” serve as a source of inspiration and creative expression, propelling your drumming prowess to new heights and leaving an indelible mark on your musical odyssey.

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