Download and play these 5 amazing drum patterns from Led Zeppelin’s iconic drummer. Use them as backing tracks for practice or copy/paste them into your own compositions.

John Bonham, Led Zeppelin’s legendary drummer, has inspired thousands of drummers around the globe, including the world’s best. His triplet fills and frenzied footwork have become recognizable elements of his trademark style, and they’re still constantly imitated years later.

To honor his enduring memory, Brian Tichy – known for his work with Foreigner, Billy Idol, Whitesnake and Ozzy Osbourne – organized a tribute night on the 30th anniversary of Bonham’s passing. An industry pro whose playing was heavily shaped by the grooves of Led Zeppelin growing up and who has filled in for his son, Jason Bonham, Brian is the perfect drummer to pay homage to one of the world’s most influential drummers. 

During a visit to the Drumeo studio, he took the time to demonstrate and break down five classic licks that’ll help you get a bit closer to Bonzo.

Whether you’re a drummer, a composer, or a guitarist hoping to write in his style, check out the notation below as well as each lick’s Guitar Pro file:

(click on the picture to download the Guitar Pro 7 files)

1. Crossover Triplets

(click on the picture to download the Guitar Pro 7 file)

The pattern is left hand, right hand, and kick – a basic triplet phrase with a left hand lead. Start with two strokes on the snare followed by the kick drum, then a stroke each on the rack and floor toms, followed again by the kick drum.

Then cross it over – left under right – before going back to the regular sticking. If you’re playing this on a real kit, try to keep time with your left foot.

2. “Fool in the Rain” Groove

This mellow half time groove has the right hand shuffling on the hi-hat, nail the hi-hat ‘scoop’ on the and of 1, place the snare on beat 3, and get the kick drum going. Throw in a couple of ghost notes mid-triplet and you’ll get that cool feel Bonham is known for. 

(click on the picture to download the Guitar Pro 7 file)

3. “Good Times Bad Times” Groove

If you want a flurry of double strokes, look no further than the “Good Times Bad Times” groove. Ride on the cowbell and consider playing this on a 26” kick with no hole and no muffling (or find a sample that recreates this drum) to get the full effect!

(click on the picture to download the Guitar Pro 7 file)

4. “Rock and Roll” Intro

This famous drum intro doesn’t start on beat 1, so it tends to throw people off. Start this groove on the and of 3 to nail it.

(click on the picture to download the Guitar Pro 7 file)

5. Bonzo Live Fury!

Bonham would transition between sections of his solos with these furious tom rolls, and Brian chose to break down this lick with a left hand lead and fast footwork. The sticking is LLRKK and it moves between the rack and floor toms and the kick. Speed it up for maximum fury.

(click on the picture to download the Guitar Pro 7 file)

Long live the grooves of the mighty John Bonham!

This article was written by Samantha Landa from Drumeo.

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