Hardest Songs to Play On Drums

ANY SONGS THAT YOU JUST CAN'T PLAY ON DRUMS? CHECK MAYBE THEY AREN'T ON THE LIST ADD SOME THEN OR VOTE.

The Top Ten

Dance of Eternity - Dream Theater Dance of Eternity - Dream Theater Cover Art

Easily the most challenging song I have come across. I have seen multiple transcripts of this song and it is mind blowing. While Neil Peart's parts for various Rush songs are amazing, my hat goes off to Mike Portnoy for this masterpiece. I'm actually surprised to see that Pull Me Under is this far up on the list. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence should at least be in the top 25 as well as A Change of Seasons. Let me know when Avenged Sevenfold writes a song with some 7/16 measures as well as 5/8 and some 11/4.

I have played the drums for years but this drummer is great. I listen to this while doing the dishes, mowing the lawn and even on the toilet. I get in trouble for using the bathroom for hours!

This tune is the best instrumental ever, and has hardest drums, but Under a GM has nicer drums

It is quite difficult since I am just 12 played drums for over 5 years so for the song I picked it is very hard this song I needed like 5 months so when I did this I never screwed up since I can tell when the fills and the song itself I have all instrument (except guitar etc.) I managed to do the dual kick since I practiced double kick last 2 years ago for beginners don't try and do this song because it is confusing

Bleed - Meshuggah

How is it possible that this is not top? Polyrhythms on the hat, with the bass drum playing cross rhythms and triplets in different time signatures, for 7 minutes... If you can play this, you are not human. If you can even get the god damned first pattern, you are not human.

This needs to be #1. Only reason dream theater is above it is that more people are familiar with their music. Their fans think it has to be the hardest thing out there because they do odd signatures like 7/16 and 11/4 time sometimes, meanwhile Tom Haake is playing both of those at the same time along with a 25/8 for good measure. Notice that comments on Dance are along the lines of "it took me so long to learn this! " while comments on Bleed go "is this even possible to play? "

The fact that this isn't #1 is a hate crime. Dream Theatre is good like no disrespect but if we put the 2 songs against each other and the respective drummers I highly doubt dream theatres drummer could learn this song within a timely manner

Hardest double bass song ever, along with difficult syncopated beats on the hands as well. Most difficult in my opinion.

Moby Dick - Led Zeppelin Moby Dick - Led Zeppelin Cover Art

Now when I'm talking about Moby Dick here, I'm talking about the live version of it (Live at Royal Albert Hall, 1970). In that case, the song needs to be number one, the hard time signatures, the insanely fast triplets, the bongo style playing (with your hands), all of these factors make the song difficult as hell to play. Now, when it comes to the studio version of it, it deserves to be around number 6 or so.

There are a lot of songs harder than this one, but it should be way higher on this list.

How is this so far down the list? Should be top 5 at least!

This is much harder than almost all songs in the top 10

Hot for Teacher - Van Halen Hot for Teacher - Van Halen Cover Art

I'll make it short and simple hot for teacher best, funnest, hardest drums I've ever heard van Halen one of the best old bands ever there music will live forever

Note to the people saying it's average. Note it has an incredibly fast double bass part that will drain the blood out of your legs the entire way through.

... Not sure it's the hardest, but hella fun to play!

This should not be this high on the list

La Villa Strangiato - Rush

So much going on here - the Professor of drumming put on a class with La Villa.

I honestly don't understand at all why there are so many Avenged Sevenfold songs on this list. Yes, the Rev is dead, but let's be honest, he is nowhere near the magnitude of Neil Peart or Mike Portnoy. I know people that play fast, hell I can play fast, it's not that hard. The hard part of drumming is being technical and composition, not repeating the same exact thing through verses and choruses, or little fills, but being able to tell a story with your drumming. The Rev should not be on this list.

As for Rush songs, La Villa Strangiato is easily their hardest song. Tom Sawyer is difficult yes, but it also has a lot of fills. To quote Neil, "There are no mistakes, only new additions".

If you don't believe me, ask any REAL drummer out there about this song. They'll tell you for themselves.

Neil Peart himself couldn't get this on one take. That says something.
As Mike Portnoy once said in an interview, if you can play La Villa Strangiato, you can play anything.

This song is by far the most technically demanding song on the planet. Trying to tackle it in one take without messing up in the insanely odd time signatures and the fact that they change literally instantly and that this song is 9 minutes of just pure endurance (mental and physical) and has literally been the bar for technicality on the drums since 1978.

Lateralus - Tool

I've been drumming for 21 years, 17 on a kit, and I have more respect and reverence for Danny Carey than any other drummer, by an astronomical margin. My top 3 influences in drumming have been Kodo (a drumming group), Blue Man Group (a drumming group) and Danny Carey at #1. It's no coincidence that I put him, a single person, on the same level as drum groups with as many as 20 drummers playing concurrently. His internal clock is unassailable. His limb control is out of this world, and his sense of rhythm and musicality is a thing of legend. He is the only drummer in the world that could add what he has added to Tool for so long. No other drummer could match the level of innovation that we find with MJK, Jones, Chancellor, and D'Amour without stealing the show.

The best drummers are the ones that fill the space in the music they accompany. No one, and I mean NO ONE could do Tool the way Carey does. Such innovative music, and he fills the space without EVER overpowering the other ...more

Mike from Dream Theater is great... But lets be real here. He is NO Carey... "peart" is great.. But just like Jimmy Hendrix... He was only an innovator.. Danny Carey (tool) is the greatest drummer I have heard... I drum.. Have for 20+ years..4 bands and even a few records under my belt
The time stamps and just all out craziness of tools music.. Would make MOST (all other) drummers cry... Sure I can play "the pot".. HWAP.. The grudge.. And a few other tools songs... But its crazy hard to learn.. And even when you KNOW it ALL... The same song will keep surprising you.
Danny Carey = Drum God

Ok let's be completely honest here.. Danny is king. I still to this day have only seen like 3 people successfully cover his hard songs. Triad? Ticks & Leeches? Have any of you even tried to play some of these songs? You really have no idea what your voting on if you haven't tried to play some of these songs. All those other drummers come and go. Drummers like Danny Carey only exist once in a trillion years.

I've been playing for years and years and have studied the greats. I can play almost all of the top song on this list.. Well except Bleed.. still tightening that one up.. damn you Tomas! Anyway.. Try playing Triad.. Danny overlaps polyrhythms like a drum machine with a swing knob. I have never met more challenging technique, patterns, polyrhythmic structure, and swift dynamics then any Tool song. Danny Carey is probably the best drummer in the universe right now.. I'm just happy he's here on earth!

Danny Carey is an unmatched monster when it comes to different irregular patterns on both hands. That individualization can't be replicated without complete mastery of the art.

Ticks and Leeches - Tool

This song is insane! I am 13 years old and I am learning it right now, just playing it in 4/4 would be hard, but 7/4?! The intro is hard but fun to play, and if you you get it, your in for a tough ride

simply amazing, the raw energy and emotion put into this song just blows everything else out of the water. also a huge strain on the vocals. there's a reason this song is rarely played live

This song is the craziest song that was ever made on drums. The song is loaded with polyrhythms and is extremely hard to play danny is the drum God. Neil part Tom Sawyer is good and all but Tom sawyer doesn't compare to the complexity of any tool song

Wow. Does anyone know why tom sawyer is up so high? I mean there are plenty of much harder songs than that one. This song is absolutely one of them. And one more thing I don't understand is why hells kitchen and metropolis part 1 by dream theater are not even on this list.

The Violation - Fleshgod Apocalypse The Violation - Fleshgod Apocalypse Cover Art

First of all, I want to say that I agree with this being really hard to play. This kind of speed takes years to develop. But why this song? The drumming isn't really harder than a lot of technical death metal or blackened death metal like this, but this is the only song like this I see on the list. So I'm just wondering why is this one considered harder than the rest.

The speed in this songs drumming must leave the drummer exhausted.. Its SUPER fast

Why the hell is tom sawyer ahead of this song? How is tom sawyer any kind of difficult?

Should be at the top. This song is by far one of the hardest songs ever.

21st Century Schizoid Man - King Crimson

A combination of progressive rock and jazz, with absurd fills dancing between unbelievably technical and fast-paced percussion.

Insanity and brilliance often come together hey!

From the list they have this is probably the best. A lot on this list are easy, some are actually a joke. They do not even list Cream with Baker, the list is really a joke to pro drummers.

It is insanely hard some on the list are very easy less your just starting

I'm glad this is on the list. No one knows this song. It's insane on drums

Good Times Bad Times - Led Zeppelin Good Times Bad Times - Led Zeppelin Cover Art

One of the finest drum parts ever. I like the 16th notes on the bass drum. I never fail to enjoy the drums on this song. I have been lucky enough to cover this in bands too and I must add it is my favourite drum part to cover. Often non drummers do not understand why as it is all in the feet. If you listen closely especially towards the end when it is easier to hear clearly he plays rapid triplet notes with his bass drum. These notes are more difficult to get right than Tom Sawyer and they are also very easy to mistime too. There is also more feel than a lot of other drummers in this song too. On top of that John Henry Bonham was 19 when he recorded this song.

Simply the best

Best

A

I'm 15 and I have been playing drums for almost 5 years now, I've been taking lessons for that time too and still am. I know that's not a very long time, but I have wanted to learn this song ever since I started playing drums. Every year my drum teacher has a recital sometime in the summer, and am definitely going to ask him if I can learn this song when that time comes.

Allright, I think we all need to know that bonzo used ONE kick on this song. pull off those triplet bass drums is near impossble with 2, so how would you do this on 1? I would like to see anyone pull off any of the songs above this with one kick, you probably can't. bonzo is the best drummer ever, created a million heavy hitting, loud bass drum clones, and this is some of his finest work.

A lot of the songs on this list are highlighted by their confusing bass patterns. The difference between this song and those is that those were played on double bass, meanwhile this was played on single and that's what makes it so difficult. Heck, it's even challenging on double bass!

The Newcomers

? Resistance - Muse Resistance - Muse Cover Art

The Contenders

Beast and the Harlot - Avenged Sevenfold Beast and the Harlot - Avenged Sevenfold Cover Art

Oh geez. I've been playing metal drums for roughly 2 and a half years, and this is just one of those songs, where the first time I heard it, it was so catchy I said "man, this song is probably insanely difficult to play", and yes, yes it is. I mean, double kick drums at 155 BPM sporadically throughout 5 and a half minutes, crazy fast drum solo, a tricky hand/foot pattern at the chorus to master, it's got everything a standard metal sing should have, but raises the bar. It's one of those things where it is easy to learn, hard to master. In fact, I still am trying to get it down, but take note: this song takes some serious stamina. But fun as hell, and that's what matters

This should be higher in my opinion. The Rev is one of the best drummers I’ve had the pleasure to meet. His work needs to be respected. Even though many including myself can play this song, NO ONE can play it like the Rev

After about two minutes of playing the song, your legs start to die. While beast and the harlot are harder songs to play, they produced even harder songs like Nightmare, Save me (multiple time signatures going at once), A little piece of heaven (kick beat changes constantly), blinded in chains (192 bpm while having the kick changing beats).

Is this truly the only song by Avenged Sevenfold you could find? I would have chosen their song Streets or A little piece of heaven, at least you mentioned them.

I'm pretty sure you don't know what you're talking about when you say A Little Piece of Heaven is harder than this. I don't care whether or not this belongs in the top ten but there is no way A Little Piece of Heaven is harder. No way. - Haqulea

A Little Piece of Heaven - Avenged Sevenfold A Little Piece of Heaven - Avenged Sevenfold Cover Art

Why? It's not even the hardest avenged sevenfold song, I agree it's harder than the average song but definitely not worth 3rd place. The beast and the Harlot is so much more difficult than this. I could name about 40 dream theater songs that are more difficult than this song.

I think this song is not that hard but after must have stabbed her fifty times after the rev sings then it's hard the part when they sing she was never this good in bed that part is hard

This song is pretty easy for me but I play a lot of drums all the time but I think that nightmare or beast and the harlot is harder-

Nightmare is definitely not harder, but beast and the harlot? Yeah!

This song is so easy, I can play the whole thing by heart. There's at least 20 to 30 songs I can think of that are much harder than this song

Kascade - Animals As Leaders Kascade - Animals As Leaders Cover Art

One of the hardest ones I've tried!

Top 10 material

Animals as Leaders are stupid posers.

Lippincott or The Women Web seems harder than Kascade. In my humble opinion of course.

Tom Sawyer - Rush Tom Sawyer - Rush Cover Art

Great stick work here from your favourite drummers favourite drummer - the Professor Neil Peart!

As a drummer, I can say that of all the Rush songs, this is the least difficult song in terms of the fancy fills and drum knowledge required to play (but there still is a ton of this in the song). It's more of a test of endurance. You have to play fairly fast 16th notes with one arm, or else the song doesn't really work. It is simple at first, but once you're about 1/4 through the song, the fills kick in, and then your arms really start to get strained. It took me a while as a young drummer to really master this song, and to this day it remains one of the most difficult songs to play in my repertoire of songs.

I think this song and ticks and leeches should switch spots because pretty much the only really hard part of this song is the drum solo. while on the other hand, ticks and leeches is like a long 8 minute drum solo. Sorry Peart, still a great song though.

It is a great song but dang it's hard to play on the drums same with limelight by rush

Through the Fire and Flames - DragonForce Through the Fire and Flames - DragonForce Cover Art

There’s harder dragonforce songs, soldiers of the wasteland is longer and three hammers is more technical than this song.

When its DragonForce, it involves Rapid Firing Double bass drums and very fast hands, it looks impossible (unless you are highly experienced drummer)

The thing about this song isn't that it's technically hard, it's just blast beats, but those blasts are at 300 bpm so it's very tiring and it requires an inhuman amount of stamina. I know that I wouldn't be able to go through the whole song.

Guys just listen to this...

Endeavor - T.R.A.M. Endeavor - T.R.A.M. Cover Art
Adam's Song - Blink 182 Adam's Song - Blink 182 Cover Art

This is nothing compared to stuff even Lars Ulrich can do. Even Lars doesn't belong on songs that are hardest to play on drums. Travis Barker is overrated. I have a feeling people are just voting their favorite bands, and the drummer happened to be a part of it, so they assume the drummer makes songs difficult to play on drums. Travis barker doesn't belong on this list

Really? I'm 11 and I learnt to play this when I was 10. Maybe Feeling This by Blink.

This isn't really top 20 material, maybe top 30, because I learned this song in 20 minutes

Not top 20 material

Inamorata - Animals as Leaders Inamorata - Animals as Leaders Cover Art

One does not simply think that other songs can be as difficult as this.

Cafo - Animals as Leaders Cafo - Animals as Leaders Cover Art

Although a lot of these songs are known for their speed, technicality and odd time signatures, it doesn't compare to this song, which combines this, and extreme alternating polyrhythms, with odd timing on every single drum played at one point. By far the most challenging AAL song to play on any instrument.

I don't know about the other drums but I try to play the intro with double stroke rolls on the left hand, makes it nearly impossible to do it very clean. Rest of the song might not be as funky with timing as 'tempting time' in my opinion, but still really challenging.

Difficult combination between double bass en the changing time signatures. Also you will need some great stamina to play the whole song. I learned the song in 6 weeks but have had problems with being too tired to finish it. technically I have mastered it though

Alternating poly-rhythms and irregular time signatures. Even counting when the snare hits are is a challenge.

The Enemy Inside - Dream Theater The Enemy Inside - Dream Theater Cover Art

Tool and dream theater should be all over this countdown

Lol what is wrong with people a Blink 182 song in front of a Dream Theater song. Also who the hell said Lars Ulrich can actually play drums, (Metallica fanboys).

so true

The Carbon Stampede - Cattle Decapitation The Carbon Stampede - Cattle Decapitation Cover Art

I don't know why people call this "noise", I could just as easily call the music that's very popular now noise, but that's just opinion, this song requires more musical skill than 100% of songs now days.

I was going to put Mammals in Babylon on here! One of my favorite death metal bands, and Dave McGraw is one of the best current drummers out there!

Awesome

This song sounds terrible its just noise and screaming. whoever thinks this is good music, then you need your ears checked!

Whoever thinks this is good music has a different opinion than you. - Fiend

The Betrayal - Fleshgod Apocalypse The Betrayal - Fleshgod Apocalypse Cover Art

One of my favorite songs... a little plain at beginning, but at the 3 minute, its just hell! very powerful!

Silent Flight Parliament - Between the Buried and Me Silent Flight Parliament - Between the Buried and Me Cover Art

Uhh, this should be in the top 5 if not the top spot. And for that matter where is Melting City?

YYZ - Rush YYZ - Rush Cover Art

From the indisputable #1 drummer of all time, the Professor Neil Peart excels here with the range of drumming elements lifting the difficulty beyond just speedwork as exhibited by some song higher on the list.

Definitely takes the cake for hardest rush song. They straight up play the songs title in Morse Code as a beat.

Awesome with difficult time signature

A load more difficult than Tom Sawyer, this song changes time signature nearly every bar and it makes it really confusing to play

Beyond Bludgeoned - Brain Drill Beyond Bludgeoned - Brain Drill Cover Art

This sounds almost like George Kollias of Nile which is a huge compliment.

How can the drummer do this? This song must leave the drummers hands broken! This should be at least in the top 3! This is way harder than Dance of Eternity.

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