In this free drum lesson I’m going to teach you the Verse Drum Groove that Lars Ulrich plays at 0:53 into the song “Master Of Puppets” by the band Metallica.
This drum groove has a lot of cool ideas and show cases Metallica’s interest and mastery of odd time signatures. The band is able to weave bars of odd time signature into their grooves and riffs effortlessly and to great effect. Lets take a look at the drum beat that Lars Ulrich plays now…
“Master Of Puppets” Famous Verse Drum Beat (Occurs 0:53)
The groove consists of a four bar sequence that gets repeated. The first three bars of each sequence are in the time signature of 4/4. This means that there are four beats to every bar as notated.
The fourth bar in each four bar sequence is in the time signature of 3/4, meaning that this bar contains just three beats. This is what gives the verse riff it’s quirky and unnatural tilt, due to the shorter bar of 3/4 at the end of the sequence.
Lars plays a basic rock/punk drum groove for the bars of 4/4. His right hand is playing quarter notes on the half open Hi-Hat throughout and the Snare Drum is played on Beats 2 and 4. The Bass Drum on the + of Beat 3 is played in between the steady Hi-Hat quarter notes.
A drum fill is played in the second bar of the second four bar sequence. The Hi-Hat is played on Beat 1 on its own and the left hand then starts the drum fill on the + of Beat 2 on the snare drum. The hands are playing s simple single stroke (RLRL) through the whole bar, starting with the right hand hand on the Hi-Hat on Beat 1. The High Tom is played on Beat 3 and the + of Beat 3 and then moves back to the Snare Drum for Beat 4.
Look out for the Crash Cymbals on Beat 1 of the bar after the drum fill as well as on Beat 1 of the first bar.
The two bars of 3/4 are the same as each other and consist of the Hi-Hat and Bass Brum played on Beat 1 as usual. The hands then move to the Crash Cymbal and Snare Drum to play on the + of Beat 1 and then again on Beat 3. The hands have to move quickly to the Crash and Snare Drum on the + of Beat 1 so be ready for that.
So there you go. Hope you find this fun to have a go at and let me know if you have any problems!
Happy drumming 🙂