Difficulty LevelThe bass drum sound that Dave Grohl has on the recording of the song Scumbag Blues is simply amazing! It’s one of my favourite drum tracks on the whole album by Them Crooked Vultures and definitely has one of the coolest sounding drum tracks.

In this free drum lesson I’m going to show you how to play the main verse drum beat and then two more variations that occur later in the song.

It’s Dave Grohl’s bass drum foot that does the majority of the fancy work while his snare drum supplies the pulse. Lets take a look at the main verse drum beat now.


Scumbag Blues” – Video Drum Lesson

View the video on YouTube HERE – Learn How To Play Drums Scumbag Blues Video Drum Lesson (Them Crooked Vultures & Dave Grohl)


Scumbag Blues” – Main Verse Drum Beat (0:00)

ScumBag Blues Verse Drum Beat

As you can see, Dave supplies a steady pulse on the snare drum for both bars, the only variation occurs on beat 3 of bar two where he plays a flam on the snare with both hands. The hi-hat is playing steady eighth notes throughout both bars.

There’s a crash on beat 1 of the bar at the same time as the snare drum and, when the bar is looped, this is where the hi-hat closes also.

Beat 4 of bar 1 is where Grohl’s bass drum foot starts to become a bit syncopated. He plays the bass drum notes on the ‘e’ and ‘a’ of beat 4 in between the steady hi-hat notes. A hi-hat is then opened on beat 1 of bar 2 for just a single sixteenth note. It closes again on the ‘e’ of beat 1 of bar two, in between the the right hand hi-hat notes.

A bass drum is played just before the snare drum flam in bar 2 and then the hi-hat is struck open on the ‘+’ of beat 3 and beat 4 (at the same time as the snare drum for beat 4). The hi-hat remains open and is left to ring out until beat 1 of the following bar.

Lets now take a look at the next variation to occur at around 0:22 into the song…


Scumbag Blues” – Verse Drum Beat Variation 1 (0:22)

Scum Bag Blues Drum Beat Them Crooked Vultures

Dave changes the pattern slightly at this point in the song by not playing a crash cymbal on beat 1 of the bar but an open hi-hat note instead. This closes on the ‘e’ of beat 1, in between the right hand hi-hat eighth notes.

The only other difference is that there is now no open hi-hat played on beat 1 of bar 2. The hi-hat remains closed instead.

The final variation I’m going to look at now in this free drum lesson occurs right after the variation above, at 0:26 into the song…


Scumbag Blues” – Verse Drum Beat Variation 2 (0:26)

Scum Bag Blues Drum Beat Them Crooked Vultures

The first bar is played the same as the first bar in Variation 1 but bar 2 involves slightly more bass drum notes. Two bass drums are played, starting on the + of beat 2, pushing into the snare drum on beat 3. Note that this snare drum is not a flam but is played at the same time as the hi-hat instead. The hi-hat actually plays steady eighth notes all the way through in fact.

Two more bass drum notes are played on the ‘e’ and ‘a’ of beat 3, in between the hi-hats, and a final bass drum on the + of beat 4. With Daves great sounding bass drum this variation drum beat really is a beauty to play.

As always, let me know what you think of the lesson and thanks for reading!

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