According to the Drumming System (affiliate link), punk rock began in the late 1960’s and carried on through the 1970’s. The movement was popularized by bands, such as the Descendants, the Black Flags, the Ramones, and the Sex Pistols. Drummers such as Bill Stevenson paved the way for many of today’s top punk drummers.
Contemporary bands like Green Day and Blink 182 keep punk alive today. Green Day’s drummer, Tre’ Cool and Blink 182’s drummer, Travis Barker are highly regarded in the world of drumming. Punk music has become more popular than ever. In fact, the Broadway musical, American Idiot, is an adaptation of Green Day’s album, American Idiot.
Although I’m in no way an expert on punk drumming, I have spent a good amount of time teaching private lessons to punk drummers in New York. Some argue that the style is very simple and not worthy of mentioning. In terms of complexity, most punk beats are simple. Regardless, you need to understand the feel of these beats to play them well. Like any style of music, I suggested you do a good amount of listening. The previous paragraph provides an outline for finding good discography of material to listen to.
The Drumming System (affiliate link) does a very thorough job of teaching punk beats. It teaches beginner, intermediate, and advanced beats.
- Beginner beats include quarter notes, eighth notes and some open hi hat.
- Intermediate beats include sixteenth notes, toms, and fancier open hi hat patterns.
- Advanced beats get faster and a little more syncopated.
- Punk fills can be very challenging. The fills are usually very busy and comprised of sixteenth notes, sixteenth note triplets, and open hi hat. An effective way to practice them is to do a beat for one bar and then a fill.
- The Drumming System (affiliate link) also has play along songs (music minus drums) for you to practice with.
One of the challenges that I have regularly encountered with teaching many aspiring punk drummers is lack of technique. I’ve witnessed many drummers WORKING TOO HARD to try to play as fast as they can. Speed is very important in punk drumming! It’s also important to prevent yourself from getting an injury. The Drumming System (affiliate link) has an incredible amount of material on developing good technique and speed.