Drum Patterns for Electronic Music

I love using my Launchpad Pro and Push 2 for step sequencing. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a fast way to lay down a new beat. The only problem when you are first starting is figuring out some basic patterns to play with. I made The Drum Pattern cheat sheet to help me draw out some quick drum patterns.  The idea was I wanted to print them off to have next to my push while jamming with friends as a reference. It really helped me get started.

Here is an example page from the collection. At the top, it says the style and BPM. To make this pattern you would set your Push, Launchpad, or any other MIDI step sequencer to 1/16th note. You would then program the Open hats on the 3rd and 6th pad of step sequencer on the first row and the 3rd and 6th pad on the second row. Your closed hats are on every 1/16th note and so on.

With this sheet, you can have it next to you, or loaded on a screen, and quickly set up a beat. This is a simple place to start and from here you can start experimenting and making it more unique. 

Free Drum Pattern E-Book

You can also make these drum patterns directly in Ableton Live. This short video shows how you would take the sheet and set it up in Live. I also showed this example so you can set up the sequence on your push and look at this video to see if it looks correct as a clip in Ableton Live.

The Drum Pattern Cheat Sheet comes with 14 different sequences to get you started. The collection of genres includes:

Chicago House, Riddim, Trap, Dubstep

Hip Hop, Drum & Bass, and More

Grab the Free Cheat Sheet
By |2019-01-04T15:35:03-07:00July 15th, 2014|Music Theory, Producers Blog|28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Fred July 15, 2014 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the post, this is great! I used your house pattern to throw together the below in about 10 minutes:
    https://soundcloud.com/joecacti/house1

    W00t! Music!

    • Subaqueous July 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      That is fantastic Fred. Glad to see this helped you make a new track so quickly. Thank is what I am talking about!

  2. No Rush July 16, 2014 at 1:48 am - Reply

    This is super helpful and might inspire me to actually use my Launchpad as a drum sequencer instead of dragging around MIDI notes. One request: I would LOVE to see a hip-hop template, both because I make some hip hop stuff and because the basic beat is transferable to a lot of other genres.

    Come to think of it, though, a lot of hip hop is basically just slowed down funk, so maybe what I’m asking for is a funk pattern? Either would be very much appreciated!

    • Subaqueous July 17, 2014 at 9:44 am - Reply

      Funk huh… I got some funky rhythms made up. I will tray and transpose them soon and post them up.

      Thanks for the suggestion No Rush.

    • Subaqueous August 5, 2014 at 11:13 am - Reply

      Just added a new pattern for you No Rush.

  3. ThomasN July 19, 2014 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Awesome post! Thank you for it! I’m not so familiar with different subgenres so what about tech house pattern?

    • Subaqueous July 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm - Reply

      Funk and Tech house… Got it… I will try and make something up soon.

      • ThomasN July 30, 2014 at 2:57 pm - Reply

        Great!

  4. Matt August 13, 2014 at 1:23 am - Reply

    Brilliant article! Thanks. Any chance you could do a 2 step uk garage one please? Much appreciated

    • Subaqueous August 13, 2014 at 10:17 am - Reply

      The problem with 2 Step is it’s WAY off the grid. Anything broken beat wouldn’t really work in a step sequencer. I would have to do 32nd or even 64th for that.

    • Subaqueous August 13, 2014 at 10:18 am - Reply

      The problem with 2 Step is it’s WAY off the grid. Anything broken beat wouldn’t really work in a step sequencer. I would have to do 32nd or even 64th for that.

      I do have this collection of 2 step midi patterns though: http://subaqueousmusic.classtrack.org/shop/drum-racks/aq-future-step-alp/

  5. Hugo February 6, 2015 at 8:04 am - Reply

    Can you do a G-House? Something similar to destructo.

  6. khen November 22, 2015 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    can this be use in fl studio ?

    • Reprouman December 22, 2015 at 4:09 am - Reply

      Of course

  7. Sam Van Horne December 23, 2015 at 8:05 am - Reply

    this is great! very easy to understand, any chance we can get a tech house one?

    • Daniel January 14, 2016 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      same as house with random snares thrown in.

  8. Rich Bass November 10, 2016 at 5:34 am - Reply

    Very cool, and very useful. Thanks for posting this.
    I’m gonna be using some (all?) of these on my Novation Circuit.

    Re: the question about 2 step UK garage… I have no idea how to create that beat, but on the Circuit you can link together up to 8 x 16 step patterns, so I guess if you need 64 steps then use four patterns and up the tempo.

  9. Art February 4, 2017 at 12:38 am - Reply

    THANK YOU!!

  10. Tejaswi April 19, 2017 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Which beat would you call in this track of mine
    http://tejax.bandcamp.com

    I am unable to figure out the genre of my track.
    thabks

  11. Richard August 14, 2017 at 11:48 am - Reply

    think this is great, but whats the use of the double lines?? every instrument has 2 line`s of steps..

    • Subaqueous August 14, 2017 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      It’s 8 beats x2… so over 16 beats per measure.

  12. Abel August 24, 2017 at 2:22 am - Reply

    Excellent stuff, what’s the meaning of the yellow steps?

  13. Gaia Tree November 18, 2017 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Super helpful! I just got an Octatrack and am learning to make hip hop beats on the step sequencer. Coming from a pad banging, quantized live record background im scratching my head alot. Thanks a million for this epic chart!

  14. Simon December 21, 2017 at 1:21 am - Reply

    Very nice Article. I am looking for a book or website, that provides a collection of many possible Techno patterns. Does anyone know?

  15. F£RG MON£Y February 26, 2018 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Hey I used your house pattern to make this … https://soundcloud.com/fergmoney/hi-rulers…..

    Thanks for sharing really helpful!

    • Subaqueous February 27, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

      Rad! Nice track man. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Mike Diaz March 28, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

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  17. Irvin June 23, 2018 at 7:04 am - Reply

    This is for anybody that can share some light are drum patterns protected by copyright because my understanding is that drum patterns are not protected and one can use the pattern

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