14 Best Drumming Apps That You’ll Actually Use (2024)

Drumeo
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There’s an app for everything, right? It turns out that this is true, even for us drummers. Now many drumming apps available are marketed towards non-drummers and kids. How many of these apps are actually useful? Today I’ll be sharing with you the 14 best and useful drumming apps available.

1) Drumeo (iOS/Android)

If you’re a drummer and haven’t heard of the learning platform Drumeo, you must be living under a rock. Drumeo is by far the biggest and best online lesson platform available to drummers, both new and experienced.

Drumeo App on iPad

The Edge learning system features a step-by-step learning curriculum that includes 1,000+ songs and practice tools. Live support is also provided by some of our favorite drum heros. As I write this, legendary Drum Corps percussionist John Wooton is live and interacting in a members only format.

The Drumeo app syncs with the web version, allowing you to complete lessons either with your computer or your mobile device.

Drumeo App
The Drumeo member’s area

If you’re just starting out on the drums and want a little structured guidance to learning, I can’t recommend the app more. It is a rather hefty annual subscription cost ($290/yr), but if you’re serious, you won’t find anything better online.

Readers of Drumming Review get a free 30-day trial to Drumeo Edge, so be sure to give it a try if you’re serious about learning drums and percussion. If you’re not ready to commit to a subscription yet, be sure to check out their YouTube channel to see TONS of amazing, free content. (We’ve got a review of Drumeo Edge here if you feel inclined to read more).

2) GrooveClix (iOS, Android)

GrooveClix is undoubtedly one of the greatest metronome apps for iOS and Android. Created by musicians, for musicians, the app is perfect for novices or enthusiasts to the most accomplished A-list drummers.

GrooveClix

Not only does GrooveClix offer an enormous library of studio-caliber click sounds, but the Groove EngineTM is the true game-changer. You can practice or perform to actual grooves with a genuine human feel, just like a metronome, for the first time.

Choose your time signature, tempo (between 20 and 300 bpm), and mix settings. Whatever the tempo, the sounds are always the same. No temporal compression, no aliasing, no glitching, and no artifacts. GrooveClix has a human feel that is superior than nearly all loops, soundbite, and samplers. GrooveClix is free to try and is very affordable

3) Drumcount

Drumcount is a tool to track the progress of your speed around the kit. It counts drum hits in real time using the device microphone (or an external one if attached) and it calculates the speed of your drum rolls, tracking results in a chart.

Drumcount

Drumcount shows a different chart for each type of roll (single/double/left/right) on different drums (snare/bass drum). Hit detection works by setting a threshold (that setting can be done automatically pressing the “Auto” button).

Then, you can select “Timer” mode or “Hit Limit.” In “Timer” mode a countdown starts as soon as you bang your first hit, and Drumcount will count each hit until timer reaches zero.

“Hit limit” works by setting the number of strokes that must be achieved to end the session. Detection works best with a clear and distinct sounding drum, such as a practice pad or a dampened snare with snares off. Some trial and error is required to get the perfect threshold for your specific sound.

Other useful features include:

  • WAV recording and download
  • Metronome (headphones required)

No Internet connection and no accounts are needed to run the app. Drumcount is available for Android and iOS.

Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.drumcount.app
iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/drumcount/id6446648426

Visit https://drumcount.com/ for more information.

4) PhonicMind

PhonicMind is an application that allows you to remove drums from any song you have a link to! I wish I could have had this when I was younger and learning the drums! For us drummers, we can easily remove the drums from any song and then play on-top of the track to create videos for social media and YouTube!

PhonicMind is a cutting-edge stem separation software that can be used to isolate individual sounds from a recorded track. This powerful tool can be used to create custom remixes, instrumental versions of songs, and more.

PhonicMind uses advanced artificial intelligence algorithms to achieve results that are impossible with traditional audio editing software. In addition, PhonicMind is incredibly easy to use, and it offers a free trial so you can try it out before you commit to a purchase. Whether you’re a professional DJ or just someone who loves music, PhonicMind is definitely worth checking out.

5) BeatMirror: Track BPM

Have you ever wondered what tempo a specific song is? Maybe you wonder if a specific artist plays to a click in the studio. With BeatMirror, you can detect tempo from any audio source using your phone. BeatMirror is excellent for working your internal clock when practicing. You’ll be able to easily see if you’re slowing down or speeding up while playing. Here’s some of the best features:

  • Wide tempo range (detect between 40bpm and 208bpm)
  • Detects tempo quick and fast
  • Accurate across many time signatures and rhythm styles
  • Easy-to-read interface
  • Visual feedback
  • Custom count in

BeatMirror is by far the best tempo detection app available on the iOS store.

6) Drumeo Kids (iOS/Android)

Drumeo Kids Landing Page

Drumeo Kids, as the name implies, is an app perfect for introducing young ones to the world of drumming through entertaining shows. Drumeo Edge members have full access to Kids, so if you’re already a member, you’re all set.

Any parents reading—I assume a lot of you want to teach your children how to play the drums. This app provides a perfect way to get them excited about music and drumming in addition to your instruction.

Each video episode highlights a different genre of music—everything from hip hop to reggae, disco, rock, salsa, funk, and more.

7) DrumKnee 3D (iOS)

Yes, I am starting the list off with a finger-drum app, but I promise this will be the only one. DrumKnee 3D is unique and revolutionary for an app because it allows you to play the bass drum with your foot.

Best Drum App
DrumKnee 3D is one of the only apps allowing you to play the bass drum with your foot.

I haven’t seen any drumming app prior to this that had this functionality.

Functionality

By placing the phone on your knee, you’re able to kick your foot (as if it was on a bass drum pedal) and the phone will register a kick sound. I have no idea how this works, but it must have something to do with the shake functionality inside of new smartphones.

Every other drumming app I’ve used requires you to play the bass drum with your fingers. Not anymore. Cymbals are also chokable by holding your finger on them when played: a very nice feature.

In the default kit configuration, you have a kick drum, snare drum, three toms, hi-hat, two crashes, a ride, a china, a cowbell, and a tambourine. Now, it’s not a totally useful drumming app, but it is pretty cool.

There is a full version you can download for $4.99 that includes all drum set packs, all skin packs, custom drum sets, and no ads. With the free version of the app, you’ll be served a video advertisement anytime you try to use menus or functions within the app, which is a little annoying.

The sounds

For a drumming app, the default kit sounds surprisingly good. The cymbals sound real and the tone of the drums is not bad at all. Not a bad choice for a free drum app.

DK Music is another feature included in the app. This service is a separate monthly fee that allows you to download drumless tracks directly to the app to play along with. 

See it in action below:

DrumKnee3D is a perfect app for children who may be interested in playing the drums — for those who are, parents, don’t miss my roundup of the best drum sets for kids.

8) Drumtune PRO (iOS / Android)

The best drum tuning application available

Let’s face it, tuning drums isn’t everyone’s favorite activity. While you may insist on using your ear exclusively, I wouldn’t shy away from helpful tools.

Drumtune PRO is an application for iOS and Android that revolutionizes the way we tune our drums. The app can help you tune based off either the center overall tone or individual edge frequencies. Saving presets is no problem, either.

The user interface is sleek, clean, and very easy to use. The $8.99 spent on the app is well worth it, in my opinion, and you shouldn’t struggle with tuning ever again.

9) Soundbrenner Metronome (iOS / Android)

Soundbrenner’s Metronome app is by far the best metronome app I have ever used on my iPhone. It has such a simple design and works so easy.

Best Metronome for iPhone

Every drummer needs to use a metronome when they practice (if they aren’t already playing along to popular music).

Functionality

From the top, we have the ‘Compose’ section. This area is what I would consider to be your basic digital metronome, complete with tempo, time signatures, subdivision variation, song duration, and tap tempo.

Metronome Pitch
Soundbrenner’s Metronome makes it easy to create custom metronome patterns.

Metronome pitch

There are four square icons that are fractioned into three parts. Depending on which level (0, 1, 2, or 3) is set determines what pitch the count will beep at.

For example, If you set them all to position 1, the click track will be one constant low tone. Here’s the break down of each position:

  • 0: no click will be played
  • 1: a low-pitched click sound is played
  • 2: a medium-pitched click sound is played
  • 3: a high-pitched click sound is played

This feature is useful in situations where you only want the metronome on certain beats or if you want different accents throughout the bar.

Now, this feature is not only limited to 4/4, as you can change the time signature underneath the Soundbrenner logo in the middle.

Integration with the Soundbrenner Pulse

For those into futuristic tech, look no further than the Pulse.

It’s a wearable metronome that vibrates (aka pulse) to the beat. The device also connects with the app, making it easy to change tempotime signature, and more.

It reminds me of the Apple Watch, but round (I wonder if this thing has a clock, would be nice).

I don’t have too much knowledge on it, other than the connectivity is supposed to be great.

Of course, you don’t actually have to use the Pulse, the app works perfectly without the device.

10) TouchOSC (iOS / Android)

Many drummers these days play along to backing tracks with their respective bands. One of the biggest issues of these setups is starting the show.

If the band happens to use a digital audio workstation (like Ableton Live) to run their tracks, the show can be started off-stage using a handy app known as TouchOSC.

TouchOSC Review
TouchOSC is a fantastic app for anyone looking control a DAW remotely.

TouchOSC is a MIDI control surface that connects to your digital audio workstation via WiFi.

I’ve been touring for about six years. In that time, we decided to add a playback system to help reinforce the music we play live.

Certain things like auxiliary percussion and extra synthesizer parts are just some of the things backing tracks can help with. In that time, I haven’t found any app that is more reliable than TouchOSC.

Not only does it control the start of the show, but it also is used by our keyboard player to change patches during the show.

Despite your thoughts on backing tracks, this is a great app to use if you are in this situation.

I can tell you from experience that if you’re hired as a touring drummer for a pop or rock group these days, chances are you will be working with backing tracks.

TouchOSC is also great for those using drum VST software. The app functions as a wireless MIDI controller, allowing you to control any MIDI-compatible software.

While most will control virtual instruments, it is possible to control hardware instruments like drum machines with the correct routing.

Functionality

TouchOSC does many things, but the concept is simple: control a DAW remotely over WiFi. Here are some things you can do:

  • Create a custom MIDI control surface
  • Use pre-made templates to send MIDI data wirelessly
  • Control any MIDI parameter inside your DAW of choice

While this app isn’t specific to drummers, I see the utility in using this app for many drummers as we are the ones primarily who control a playback setup.

11) Steve Reich’s ClappingMusic (iOS)

Clapping Music Game Reich
Play along with Reich’s seminal work, “Clapping Music”

One of my favorite composers of all time happens to be Steve Reich. Whether it’s Electric Counterpoint or Music For 18 Musicians, I can’t get enough of it. In fact, I’m listening to Octet as I write this right now. I recently saw there was a Steve Reich app, and I had to try it.

ClappingMusic is a very challenging and fun take on Reich’s piece, Clapping Music.

This is one of his more well-known pieces and despite is familiarity, I don’t think I can listen to this piece for fun. That being said, playing it is a different story.

The idea behind Clapping Music is simple: two performers play the same pattern, while one player slowly offsets it one beat at a time. It’s similar to Piano Phase, without the phasing.

The app teaches the player how to play along to the piece. My best score was 6872. The app is not forgiving on hard mode.

12) Mike Johnston’s Groove Freedom (iPad)

Mike Johnston is one of my favorite drummers and his videos were some of the first resources I watched on YouTube. His goal with Groove Freedom was to create an app that was very interactive for those learning drums, and it is.

Unfortunately, the app is only available for iPad but it still is an extremely valuable resource. Mike created this resource not only for his students but for himself. It’s a fantastic resource for drummers of all skill levels. Some groove topics covered include:

  • Bass drum freedom chapter
  • Snare drum freedom chapter
  • Three-way ostinato patterns
  • Bonus “dense” ostinato chapter

The app is very interactive, and you can slow down each phrase you’re working on to internalize it and build up the necessary muscle memory to conquer it. You can isolate each part of the groove, as well.

13) StagePlot Guru (iOS)

While, not necessarily an app targeted specifically at drummers, StagePlot Guru is useful for drummers in bands. The app lets you create a plot of your bands gear with ease.

StagePlot Guru logo

Most venues will request a stage plot before you show up for a gig. Stage plots give the venue a basic layout of what your band needs, so they can be prepared before the show date.

StagePlot Guru makes the process of creating a stage plot simple, allowing you to store unlimited plots, add your logo, add tech info for each prop, create input and equipment lists, and more. There’s no subscription and there is a demo available for free.

Before using StagePlot Guru, I used to use Photoshop on my desktop, and while I got good results because of my knowledge of design software, this app make it far easier to create and later on, edit my band’s stage plots when we upgrade gear or adjust the stage setup.

14) Drum School (iOS and Android)

Drum School is an advanced drum learning app that walks you through the basics of drumming. Those who have less experience with reading music notation will have no problems adapting to using Drum School.

The app is just $9 and features tons of genres like rock, jazz, swing, bluegrass, heavy metal, blues, and more.

What are your favorite drumming apps? Did we miss any of your go tos? Let us know in the comments down below. We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading.

Drumeo
24 Comments
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  1. Hey, DrumKnee’s developer here! Thanks for reviewing the app! If you have any suggestion please reach out.
    Paulo

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    • Hi Paulo! Thanks for commenting. I think DrumKnee is an awesome app! The bass drum functionality is great! Cheers!

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  2. Hey guys, great article, I would like to ask for some help. I have an Alesis DM Dock module and I know the Alesis DM touch app is not longer available, and it seems that I can’t find any alternative, can you guys help me to find something similar, Thanks in advance

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    • Hi Pablo! Thanks for the nice words. 🙂

      It’s sure a shame that the dock module app is discontinued. I think this may render the Dock useless unless it can transfer information to other apps.

      First, I’d start off by trying Garage Band.

      If your kit can send MIDI information to this app, you might be able to play drum kits included with Garage Band. If not, you may need to pick up the iRig MIDI 2. iConnect also makes something similar.

      This device converts the MIDI out signal to something your iPad will understand. I haven’t used the iRig MIDI 2 before, but it seems like it would be the perfect solution to the issue. I think you may be able to use other apps too, depending on how the connections line up. Unfortunately, MIDI is a trial and error game, at least from my experience.

      Let me know if this helps! Cheers!

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  3. Hi Nick! I’ve developed an iOS app called DrumToolz. Can you review this one? It’s fairly new, and it’s got a decent number of users. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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  4. Hi there
    Just bought my 9 year old son an alesis nitro kit and can connect this up to the iPad via the lightening to USB (camera) connection.

    What lesson app would you recommend to use live electronic drums with… ideally having some fun games included as part of the tutorial. Thanks. Doug

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    • Hi Doug,

      I know that it is possible to control Garage Band, and other drum instrument apps with the camera connection kit, but I am unaware of any lesson apps that interface with an electronic drum kit (maybe they’re out there).

      Standard lesson apps that are decent are Drum School, Teach Yourself Drums, and Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer.

      That said, if you want to skip the iPad for now, Alesis does recommend using a new software called Melodics to learn the drums. It’s a really cool software that connects to the electronic kit (need a computer to use).

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  5. Hi there
    Just bought my 9 year old son an alesis nitro kit and can connect this up to the iPad via the lightening to USB (camera) connection.

    What lesson app would you recommend to use live electronic drums with… ideally having some fun games included as part of the tutorial. Thanks. Doug

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  6. Hi Nick! I’ve developed an iOS app called DrumToolz. Can you review this one? It’s fairly new, and it’s got a decent number of users. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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  7. Hi Paulo…I was hoping to find an app that could help me learn beats/patterns in songs quickly.

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  8. @Clinton odhiambo
    Roland DT-1 is my favorite for MIDI drums. It will help anyone learn beats and patterns in songs if they can be downloaded as midi from sites like Bitmidi, Midisfree, Free Midi, Midi World. It’s tricky to extract drum tracks generally, at least for people like me who are still learning, but something simple may emerge in a few years.

    Once you have the midi track, and managed to connect a computer with Roland DT-1 on it to a Midi drum kit, you play the track, watch notes on a Karaoke screen, and if you it the right note it doesn’t go red on the screen. A quick way to learn, if not to learn how to play with other people or to see where other drummers put their hands; you just follow blobs on a screen and can speed them up, slow them down, or make a loop round a difficult bit.

    Rather than link to Roland (who keep their DT-1 software quiet because they make more on Melodics), I’ll link to the list. There are related links for fredboard / strings, and for keyboard

    https://musonix.co.uk/blog/drum-practice-software-learn-drums-online

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  9. After reading the article, decided to go for groove freedom, although Mike Johnston’s website subscription looks great too. Downloaded app and opened it to find End of Service announcement. The app is no longer in use as of Feb 15, 2022.
    And are there any female drummers teaching online these days? I am still surprised it is such a male dominated instrument…

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    • Thanks for bringing that to my attention. It’s a shame that it’s no longer in use.

      I don’t know of any courses that are specifically taught by female drummers. That said, Drumeo has lots of female coaches available to learn from on their platform including Domino Santantonio, Dorothea Taylor, Hannah Welton, Sharon Ransom, Julia Geaman, Samantha Landa, and Taylor Gordon.

      I’ve got some more info about on it if you want to check out my review of Drumeo.

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  10. Hi there, I’ve just discovered your site: seems great though. 🙂 I’m an autistic amateur drummer I was hoping to find an app that would help me to notate drum parts and have this for reference in some form. It’s because I really struggle to keep song structure in my head. Kind of like just a digital version of sheet music that I can fill in. I guess I don’t need to spell out too much the sort of functionality that would be useful: i.e. export as a file to put on different devices and/or print out. Doesn’t have to be free but I am only an amateur so I’d be thinking about that. Would be great if you could point me in the right direction at all? 🙂
    (possibly you’ve already posted about something along these lines on your site? If so sorry I just haven’t found it yet. 🙂 Thanks

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    • Hi Luke!

      I haven’t used any iOS/Android apps for music notation specifically, but you could try Notation Pad, Flat: Music Score & Tab Editor, or Symphony Pro. Zero experience on my end with these, but I just looked up ‘music notation app’ on Google to see what was out there.

      I’ve used the Flat desktop version and have liked it (I think there’s a free version IIRC).

      Hope that helps!
      Nick

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      • I’ve used Beat Note (https://beat-note.app/ref.html) for this. I know the developer. He’s constantly updating the app, adding new features, and there’s a helpful drummer community that gives feedback and feature requests. What I like is that it’s specifically made to notate drums rather than generic music notation. Hope that helps!
        Cheers, Michael

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  11. I was thinking I’d find info about the Melodics app here as it is recommended on the Roland V-Drums website as I’m wondering how it compares to something like Drumeo. Does it just not make the grade to be in the top 12? Thanks!

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  12. What is the best app for a drummer to improve his time/tempo??

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  13. Hi, is there an app that gives you the music scores for drum by uploading a song? Thanks.

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  14. Hi, Drumcount developer here, would you like to try my app too?

    Thanks!

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  15. Anybody know if there’s an app which will chase a tempo live, OTHER than Ableton? It’s desperately needed.

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  16. Reply
    Drum sound modification February 3, 2024 at 3:28 pm

    Is there an ios/android app to edit the sound of drums recorded on a mobile phone? Surprisingly, the iPhone can clearly record the sound of drums. The resulting sound is a bit tinny, I would like to modify it more into an acoustic space form.

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