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A song with an interesting drum introduction can grab your attention and pull you into wanting to hear more. Some of these parts are just as iconic as the song’s guitar riff. While there are so many to choose from in different styles, here are some of those songs that start with great drumming intros.

“Song for the Dead” Queens of the Stone Age

Dave Grohl plays the drums on this one. He throws down some tasty drum riffs while the guitar holds it down.  

“Rock and Roll” Led Zeppelin

This offbeat intro, based on Little Richard’s “Keep A Knockin”, can trick your brain as to where the downbeat is when the band comes in. John Bonham on the drums.

“Take The Money and Run” Steve Miller Band

Gary Mallaber came up with this catchy song opener, with spicy off-beat hi-hat barks, drags, and ghost notes.

“Rosanna” Toto

This half time shuffle from Jeff Porcaro is one of the most analyzed drum patterns because it grooves so hard.

“Believer” Imagine Dragons

This groovy tom and hand clap pattern by Daniel Platzman is the perfect part to segue into this song.

“Wipeout” The Surfaris

This is probably the most widely recognizable drum intro, played by Ron Wilson.

“Sunday Bloody Sunday” U2

Larry Mullen, Jr has been known to come up with unique drum patterns like this one. This fits the marching feel and theme of this song without playing an obvious drum part. 

“Middle of the Road” The Pretenders

Martin Chambers plays a couple of short drumming riffs here before counting in the rest of the band.

“Murder By Numbers” The Police

This is another deceptive intro, because of the offbeat cross-stick pattern played by Stewart Copeland. The trick to hearing this is to ground yourself to the bass drum part on 2 and 4.

“When The Levee Breaks” Led Zeppelin

John Bonham plays one of the most sampled drum beats here. Awesome slap echo and great feel.

There are so many more great drumming intros. Check out part 2.

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