6 Of The Best Apps For Learning To Play The Drums

Your family members and neighbors may shudder when they first see you bring a drum set into the house, but honestly, it's a worthwhile skill to have. It's great to learn how to play any musical instrument, and the drums, in particular, greatly benefit your sense of rhythm. Plus, if you want to save those around you from always hearing your drum practice, you can always invest in an electronic drum set so you can wear headphones to keep the noise down a bit. 

Regardless of what route you take, there are plenty of apps that can teach you how to play an instrument, and you can download them straight to your iPhone or Android device. Many of them are geared toward teaching people to play guitar or bass, but there are several that can help you with the drums. Each one provides different tools for helping improve your rhythm, and in as little as 15 minutes of practice a day, you can begin seeing some real improvements. 

Of course, apps aren't the end-all-be-all for becoming a superb drummer. There's still something to be said of getting a drumming instructor to walk you through the ins and outs of this instrument. But such lessons can add up fast in terms of cost. Many of these apps are free or relatively inexpensive to get started. It's always good to have as many tools as possible in your wheelhouse so that your new drum kit doesn't just sit in a corner of the garage collecting dust because you weren't awesome at it right away. Give these apps a shot and see what happens. 

Drumeo on Musora

Musora is a one-stop-shop no matter what instrument you're interested in learning. There are verticals for singing, playing the piano and guitar, and learning the drums. The platform's Drumeo app is a fantastic resource for getting access to all kinds of videos and lesson plans to help navigate this instrument, and you can download it straight to your smartphone or tablet.

It does cost some money to access everything. The basic plan will set you back $30 per month, or you can sign up for a year plan at $240, which brings the monthly cost down to just $20. Seeing as how a single drum lesson can start at just $40 for an hour, getting access to a ton of content you can utilize whenever you want is certainly a good deal. MusicRadar raved about Drumeo on Musora in its comprehensive review, writing, "The lessons are taught not only by an expert — but in many cases a well known or even legendary drummer. With over 100 names to choose from currently, if we say Billy Cobham, Dennis Chambers, Stanton Moore, Benny Greb ... you probably get the picture."

It might become overwhelming trying to figure out where to begin with so many options on the platform, but there are lessons and exercises for everyone from beginners to experts. The best decision is to simply get started and see where the app takes you next. 


This may be a bit of a cheat, but the truth is YouTube is a worthwhile resource beyond looking up viral videos. After all, there are numerous instructional channels dedicated to teaching people how to play the drums. And you can watch as many as you want for free, provided you're okay with ads. 

Drumeo, the service mentioned above, has a YouTube channel filled with amazing videos, including a beginner lesson to comprehend the basics. It's a good idea to look through Drumeo's YouTube channel to make sure the vibe is right for you before spending all that money on the app. Just make sure you know how to prevent YouTube from lagging on your phone so you don't get interrupted right when you get in the zone. And Drumeo is just the beginning — there are many other channels dedicated to the art of drumming, such as 180 Drums, Mike Johnston, and Drum Channel, just to name a few. 

Of course, you can always stick with the tried-and-true method of simply typing something like "drum lesson beginner" into the search bar and seeing what you come across. You can really make the most out of having YouTube as a teacher by looping drum instruction chapters, just one of the many things people don't realize they can do on the YouTube app. Just make sure you stick with the drum tutorials and don't get sidetracked watching the latest episode of "Hot Ones."

Drum Coach

The only way you'll get to the level of those speed drummers in metal bands is by mastering the fundamentals first. A lot of apps may flaunt their fancy features, but when you need something simple to get started on your drumming journey, the Drum Coach app is there with solid beginner lessons. It's available for both iOS and Android, and it's free to download. If you want a little more from the app, you can purchase Drum Coach PRO Monthly for $14.99 and Drum Coach PRO Yearly for $44.99, which allow you to create customized practice sessions.

As for the baseline app, it'll begin by asking you your experience level. From there, it'll suggest some practice options suitable for someone at your speed, and there's a litany of tasks to learn the basics of drumming. You don't even need a full kit at your disposal — many of the lessons are only concerned with stick control and working on your rhythm. You can warm up at whatever speed you're comfortable with and gradually start understanding paradiddles, shuffles, and so much more. 

You can even set a timer for your practice, meaning even if you only have five minutes to spare in a day, you can still work in a quick session. Drum Coach currently only has 25 reviews on the App Store, but it's secured a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, with many of the reviews praising the software for its simplicity and ease of use. It may be worthwhile to use the free features to start out before working up toward any paid apps in the future. 

Real Drum

There are plenty of great apps for making music right on your iPhone or iPad. They're great for practicing your skills while you're away from home (or away from your instrument) or if you want to record a jam session real quick without bothering anyone else in your household. You can add Real Drum to that list, as the app allows you to customize your very own drum set right and play it to your heart's content. 

YouTuber Sitanshu Nandan uploaded a video demonstrating Real Drum's capabilities. While this person recorded via another device, you can record straight from the app, which may come in handy if you want to set something on a loop or record a basic drum rundown without actually investing in a full kit. You can use the app for free, but it comes with ads. Users can upgrade to the ad-free premium version for $3.99/month or get an annual subscription for only $24.99. 

The app is mostly centered on playing the drums in the app rather than providing tutorials for whatever in-person kit you have. However, it can still be useful for developing your sense of rhythm. And it's a good choice if you play other instruments and want to record your own songs with a drum loop you create in the app. Most people seem to like what Real Drum offers, as it has 4.5 stars out of 5 on the App Store. Most complaints in the reviews seem to come down to the ads, but if you can get past that, it's a worthwhile tool. 

Music Rhythm Trainer

A major component of becoming proficient on the drums is developing good rhythm, especially if you plan on playing with other musicians. You may wind up playing songs with different tempos at varying speeds, and you need to be able to acclimate to anything. Music Rhythm Trainer is similar to the Real Drum app — it doesn't necessarily require you to have a full-on drum set at home — but it's more designed to help you master rhythm. 

As soon as you download the app, things get going, as it drops you right in the middle of a session. It'll give you a speed at which to tap your device, and the goal is to stay in rhythm as much as possible. You can see when you're dragging or rushing a little bit, but you're rewarded with a nice "ping" sound when you're right on the dot. It's also good for learning how to read drum sheet music and its various notes. You'll soon know how to play double notes, eighths, and anything else that may come your way as a percussionist. 

Once you get the hang of things, you can even play along to popular songs like "Creep" by Radiohead. While the base, free version is perfectly adequate, there is a paid subscription at $4.99/month. It opens up additional modes, but if you just want to learn rhythm basics before heading over to your own drum set, the free version should be fine. 


To get the full experience out of the Freedrum Studio, you'll need a drum module you can hook up to your phone or tablet via cable or Bluetooth. You'll also need to pay for a subscription up front. While there's a seven-day free trial, you pay $14.99/month after it expires. However, if you plan on sticking with the drums for a while, it may be prudent to opt for the yearly plan at $99.99.

Much like Musora, there are a ton of courses on all different genres of music to learn how to play exactly to your sensibilities. And since your electronic drum kit can sync up directly with the app, you get direct feedback about areas of improvement. There's even a social feature where you can track your progress against other drummers globally, moving your way up the charts to attain musical supremacy. 

Freedrum offers a good middle ground between the free apps and the more expensive Musora. It's a good way to learn the basics of drumming while still having enough leeway to get value out of the app even after you've gotten hours of practice under your belt. 

Why we chose these drum apps

There are many other drum apps out there, so why have we selected these six? For starters, we took a look at overall reviews to make sure users were pleased with what they got out of each one. We also downloaded the apps ourselves to get a feel for what they offered and make sure all of them were, in fact, still working with no major bugs. 

From there, it was a matter of selecting a decent variety of apps that focused on different aspects of learning to play drums. Apps like Musora and Freedrum are specifically designed to help those who have a drum set readily available to take advantage of all of the lessons within each platform. Meanwhile, apps like Music Rhythm Trainer and Real Drum are more meant for people who aren't ready for the full investment of a drum set but still want to work on nailing down some basic rhythm exercises. YouTube is the most nebulous tool, as it really comes down to what channels and videos an aspiring drummer looks toward, but it felt like a decent wild card to throw into the mix. 

At the end of the day, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. And this list doesn't even get into the importance of listening to a wide breadth of music, which you can do on some fantastic local music players outside of Spotify. With a combination of free lessons, online videos, and in-person instruction, you just might be able to give John Bonham a run for his money.