If you’re ready to advance from novice to intermediate, you’ll probably want some solid reference songs to begin with. Finding appropriate intermediate-level songs to learn and perform can be a bit difficult, so you’ll find 15 of them right here.
These songs are all very accessible for those that have a good foundation in drumming. We class these songs on a medium level of difficulty to play with good groove and technique.
If you are just starting out on drums, then we recommend that you check out our easy drum songs for beginners article first.
- 1. Queens Of The Stone Age – No One Knows
- 2. Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water
- 3. Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song
- 4. Daft Punk – Get Lucky
- 5. Metallica – Master of Puppets
- 6. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
- 7. Muse – Hysteria
- 8. Fallout Boy – Centuries
- 9. Led Zeppelin – Fool In The Rain
- 10. Blink 182 – Up All Night
- 11. Twenty One Pilots – Guns For Hands
- 12. Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
- 13. Michael Jackson ft. Justin Timberlake – Love Never Felt So Good
- 14. Paramore – Misery Business
- 15. Dave Mathews Band – Grey Street
1. Queens Of The Stone Age – No One Knows
One of the best-known songs from QOTSA, No One Knows is not that hard to play. And it’s played by the mighty Dave Grohl.
Given Its basic rock beat, you will be able to follow it easily in the beginning, but still get to do a lot of surprisingly easy rolls during the chorus.
If you’ve got your single stroke rolls to a pretty decent speed then you shouldn’t have a problem with this one.
2. Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water
One of the most iconic rock bands of all time and probably the most iconic rock song of all time.
The legendary main riff is probably the first thing everybody learned when they took the guitar in their hands in the past 50 years.
But apart from that, this song gives something for drummers. It has a basic rhythm, but still, there is some really nice hi-hat work and fills you need to get right if you want it to sound perfect.
And that will always come in handy when you’re playing your own songs.
3. Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song
With drumming from John Bonham, one of the greatest drummers of all time, the Immigrant song is another iconic rock anthem.
It has a stable rhythm, perfect for intermediate players, but overall, some sections require a bit of practice. Nothing too overwhelming don’t worry, with good quality practice sessions you got this.
This song is a whole lot of fun to play too!
4. Daft Punk – Get Lucky
One of the biggest hits of the previous decade, it might be a surprise to see an electronic duo band on this list.
Legendary drummer Omar Hakim played drums for this record. Even though this is a generally simple song, there are a lot of nice little ghost-notes and hi-hat work that promote this song to the intermediate list.
This song comes from the album Random Access Memories, which differed from many other Daft Punk releases that came before it because it makes heavy use of live drums as opposed to drum samples.
5. Metallica – Master of Puppets
Lars Ulrich from Metallica is one of the most recognizable drummers in the world and there’s a good reason for that.
Learning some Metallica songs is necessary if you’re into metal drumming. Their drumming is usually fun and at an intermediate level, so you’ll get to play songs you love without too much of a hassle.
The title track from the Master of Puppets album is an incredibly fun song to play. It’s not too fast and has drum beats and fills that are easy to learn.
If you want to play the drums exactly as it is in the album or live performances, then you will need a double bass drum pedal (or two bass drums!), but since it’s not a defining part of the drums in this song, you can get away with using a single kick pedal for this one.
If you want to explore songs with some great double bass drumming, then check out our article 10 Great Songs with Double Bass Drumming.
6. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Another iconic song and another one from Dave Grohl on this list. Smells Like Teen Spirit is an anthem of an era, with its iconic simple guitar riff.
But if you’re a drummer, you’re also going to love this song. It’s not that hard to master, but that raw grunge sound will be pouring out of your veins once you master it.
You’ve most certainly heard of the song before so you have it in your mind already. That will only make it easier for you since you already know what it sounds like without even trying it.
7. Muse – Hysteria
Muse is a British band famous for their futuristic sound and fantastic drumming.
Hysteria is one of their best-known songs, and it’s a really nice song for intermediate players to practice on.
On the verse, there’s a nice, steady beat, but on the chorus, you’ll find some really nice rolls, fills as well as great hi-hat work.
You might already know this song if you’ve seen other lists of “best of” articles since this song has much quality and fits in almost all lists.
8. Fallout Boy – Centuries
Punk-rock is not dead! At least not with Fallout Boys and Centuries.
One of the last punk-rock bands to rule the scene, Fallout Boys always had catchy, groovy songs in the classic punk-rock sound.
If you’re a drummer, Centuries will allow you to master drum rolls on your snare and how to use them in the middle of the song in breaks.
Apart from that, this is a pretty straightforward song, with a basic beat so it’s not too hard to learn properly.
9. Led Zeppelin – Fool In The Rain
As the arguably best drummer ever, John Bonham is sure to have two spots on this list. Even though his specific sound which you can hear on tracks with loads of reverb and echo is quite hard to replicate live, you can still learn a lot from his technique.
Fool In The Rain is not a classic Led Zeppelin sound song, with its light, almost reggae beat and sound.
But exactly that sound is what you’ll get to learn from the master himself. Light and nice, this song has some interesting fills and breaks you can master.
Travis Barker is one of the most famous drummers today and not without a reason. Blink 182 marked an era with their music and his drumming was the backbone of that sound.
Up All Night is a really nice example of that and how to achieve it without too much of a hassle. With this song, you’ll learn how to get that iconic Travis Barker sound that so many people try to imitate these days, as well as some really nice hi-hat grooves.
And all of that while playing a pretty straightforward beat for this song.
11. Twenty One Pilots – Guns For Hands
In this day and age who doesn’t know Twenty One Pilots, am I right?
Coming from the very capable and energetic hands of Josh Dun.
Guns For Hands is a really catchy song that will fit right in your repertoire for practice. It has a simple yet interesting beat to it, with a little surprise on the end just to spice things up.
In a nutshell, you will have fun learning and playing this song and it’s perfect for intermediate-level players.
12. Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
We all know Uptown Funk.
At one point in time, this song was practically everywhere. You couldn’t go a mile without hearing this song. From Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk makes the list as an intermediate and fun song to learn and play.
It has a very straightforward beat that is easy to follow, with a few interesting twists and turns along the way, perfectly suited for an intermediate-level drummer to learn. No doubt you will have fun with this one.
13. Michael Jackson ft. Justin Timberlake – Love Never Felt So Good
When it comes to interesting and fun rhythms to play, we can say hands-down that Michael Jackson has one of the best.
If you want to play a real groove beat then this song is perfect for you.
Love Never Felt So Good has a really fun structure to learn and fills that are very well suited for intermediate players. There is not a doubt in my mind that this song is tons of fun to master.
With the feeling of keeping that rhythm, accompanied by electrifying fills that will make your day. Feel free to check it out.
14. Paramore – Misery Business
The gloves are coming off on this one for sure.
We’re done taking it easy, if you want more of a challenge the try out Misery Business by Paramore. This one will surely peak your interest and you might not get it right the first time around.
But, with practice, we all know anything is possible.
This is a stepping stone to further heights, believe it or not, it will surely propel you to a new level so you can actually feel progress. Try it out and see if you’re up for the challenge.
15. Dave Mathews Band – Grey Street
To top of the list, you have one song that will definitely stick to you like glue. From the Dave Mathews Band, Grey Street is a really exciting and fun-sounding song to learn and master.
You will test your fundamentals on this one, as well as keep a rhythm all the way through.
It is a really testing song to take up but I’m sure you will master it in no time, due to the song’s fun nature and catchy drum beat.
We hope that this article has helped you find some new intermediate drum songs which you can master.
Once you master these ones, check out our guide on 10 of the most difficult songs to play on drums, which will stretch your abilities even further!
All of them will help you improve your drumming in one way or another and you can find different genres on here, so no matter what music you are into, you will find something.