Difficulty LevelIn this free drum lessons I’m going to show you how to play the Intro Drum Stabs and the main Verse Drum Beat from the song Cherub Rock by The Smashing Pumpkins.

Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin is often overlooked when compiling lists of top rock drummers, which is a tragedy as he’s one of the best. His style is so unique, laid back and greasy. Strangely for a rock drummer. he has always had a passion for Jazz and this shows in his playing, with lots of cymbal work, subtle ghost notes and hi-hat foot independence. Jimmy wouldn’t be seen playing a drum groove without his hi-hat foot tapping away.

In the song Cherub rock, Jimmy Chamberlin treats us to an interesting snare and bass drum intro stab section and then moves on to a really cool laid back drum groove with lots of pushes and pulls. Lets  take a look at them now.


Cherub Rock” – Intro Drum Stabs

Cherub Rock Intro Drum Stabs

Jimmy plays the snare drum and ride cymbal together at the same time and either moves to a crash cymbal towards the end or just increases the power he uses to strike the ride cymbal. Either way, the cymbal part gets louder as the section repeats.

Notice the bass drum on the end of the bar which then loops round to the bass drum at the beginning of the bar. These two bass drum notes are played together when the bar is looped.

Lets now take a look at the verse drum beat Jimmy moves into for the fist verse.


Cherub Rock” – Verse Drum Beat (Occurs 0:25)

Cherub Rock Verse Drum Beat

You can see that Jimmy’s hi-hat foot is  stomping out eighth notes all the way through this groove and that Jimmy is up on the ride cymbal with his right hand.

Jimmy pushes the groove forward with the bass drum notes before each snare drum backbeat, on the ‘a’ of beats 1 and 3. Jimmy then plays with the listeners ears and places a bass drum note just after the snare drum on beat 4, on the ‘e’ of beat 4. This has the effect of dragging the groove back again. This push and pull effect continues throughout the song.

The snare drum drag on the ‘a’ of beat  4 is played very quietly and it involves playing a quick double with the left hand just before beat 1 of the next bar.

For those drummers finding this a bit tricky I’ve also written out a simplified version of the drum beat just below that can be played without loosing too much of the original feel.


Cherub Rock” – Simplified Verse Drum Beat

Cherub Rock Verse Drum Beat

So in this version of the simplified drum beat I’ve taken out Jimmy’s hi-hat foot and some of the double strokes on the bass drum. I think in order to keep the original feel that the bass drum notes on the ‘a’ of beat 1 and 3 need to be kept in to add forward momentum to the drum beat.

As you get more confident with this beat, feel free to add and take away notes from the actual drum beat as you see fit.

Please let me know what you think of this lesson on my Facebook page and happy drumming to you!

You can DOWNLOAD the FREE PDF drum notation by clicking HERE.


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