Difficulty LevelThe drum groove played on the Knights Of Cydonia is one of most driving and fun grooves Dominic Howard has ever played in the band Muse.

It’s upbeat hi-hat part and offbeat bass drum makes it relatively hard to play correctly but well worth any effort and practice. Like always, I’ve also suggested some easier ways to play the groove. I’ve given you three levels of complexity, starting at level 1, which most beginners should be able to play (with a bit of practice of course). You can then go up the levels as and when you like.

This free video drum lesson also includes a variation of the verse drum beat that occurs later in the song.


Knights Of Cydonia” – Free Video Drum Lesson

View the video on YouTube HERE – Learn How To Play Drums Knights Of Cydonia Video Drum Lesson (Muse & Dominic Howard)


Knights Of Cydonia” – Main Drum Beat (0:49)

Knights Of Cydonia Verse Drum Beat

This is is the actual drum beat Dom plays on the recording and you can see the driving bas drum notes and the upbeat hi-hats. If this is too hard for you to play initially then we can move onto Level 1 below…


Knights Of Cydonia” – Main Drum Beat (Level 1)

Knights Of Cydonia Drum Beat Level 1

This is the drum beat in it’s simplest form. We still have the upbeat hi-hat notes but the bass drum part has been simplified to it’s minimum. Mastering this drum beat will allow you to move onto the other levels, such as Level 2 below…


Knights Of Cydonia” – Main Drum Beat (Level 2)

Knights Of Cydonia Drum Beat Level 2

In this version, the bass drum has been added on beats 2 and 4 so that the bass drum is now playing on all four beats of the bar. This gives the groove more of a driving and dance feel. Once you’re comfortable with this we can move onto Level 3…


Knights Of Cydonia” – Main Drum Beat (Level 3)

Knights Of Cydonia Drum Beat Level 3

For Level 3 we finally add the offbeat bass drum notes on the ‘a’ of beats 1 and 4. This is really starting to sound live the actual drum beat now.

** IMPORTANT NOTE: I actually use the wrong drum notation for level 3 in this free video drum lesson. The above notation is correct but the on screen notation in the video is incorrect. I do play Level 3 in the video correctly though, it’s just the notation and explanation in the video is wrong. Sorry about that! **

Let’s finally take a look at a variation of the drum beat that Dom plays first at 1:24 into the song…


Knights Of Cydonia” – Drum Beat Variation (Occurs 1:24)

Knights Of Cydonia Drum Beat Variation

This variation differs with the main drum beat on only one note. The floor tom is played on the ‘a’ of beat 2 instead of the bass drum. This subtle difference really adds emphasis and power to beat 3 and fits the song well. It also adds a moment of interest to the drum part…which is cool 🙂

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


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