AfroBeats Drum Patterns: Building Block Patterns for AfroBeats [AUDIO]

AfroBeats Drum Patterns: Building Block Patterns for AfroBeats [AUDIO]


Afrobeats is becoming more and more popular.

The founder/CEO of Spotify Daniel Ek recently tweeted about the global rise of music out of Africa, in particular Afrobeats.

So, I thought I should do a post on afrobeat drum patterns. Let's get into it.

Afrobeats drum patterns.

I'll go through a base afrobeats drum pattern.

It will be a building block for you to create your own afrobeats.

I'll break down this core afrobeats drum pattern and build some basic afrobeats drum patterns off of that.

These will be core afrobeats drum patterns that will get you started making afrobeats music.

They're not intended to be exhaustive or complete.

Just a nice framework for you to build your own afrobeats drum patterns.

Afrobeats Core Drum Pattern

Let's start with a core pattern you'll hear in Afrobeats music. This is the pattern:

Core Afrobeats Drum Pattern


Let's take a listen with snares:

Let's take another listen, this time with just kicks:

 You can already tell it has that afrobeats feel. But above, it's just with kicks, or snares. Let's put it together with kicks AND snares in a few variations:

Afrobeats Drum Pattern Variations

Now that we have our core afrobeats pattern, let's hear a number of variations of this.

We'll take the same pattern and just change whether each note is a kick or snare. Let's start with three different variations

Pattern 01

Afrobeats core pattern 01

Pattern 02

Afrobeats drum pattern 02

Pattern 03

Afrobeats Drum Pattern 03


Kick x Snare x Percussion

Let's again take the core afrobeats pattern and space the notes over kicks, snares, and this time we'll add in percussion. Spacing the core pattern out over kicks, snares, and percussion is a great way to create more chill and relaxed afrobeats.

Core Afrobeats drum pattern with kicks, snares, and percussion

With a Four On The Floor Pattern

Now we'll take the afrobeats drum pattern for the snare, and use it with a Four On The Floor kick drum pattern. This is good if you want afrobeats with more energy to them.

Afrobeats drum pattern with four on the floor kicks

The four on the floor gives a nice energetic feel for an upbeat song. It feels good. To add more energy and excitement, throw in some snare rolls.

Kicks and Snares Layered

Now let's listen when we layer in kicks and snares.

core afrobeats drum pattern with kicks and snares layered

Make MIDI Drums Sound Real:When working with MIDI, it can sound a bit cold. Here's a post packed with actionable tips to make your MIDI drums sound real.

More Than The Core

The above are several variations based off the core afrobeats drum pattern. It's a nice building block for you to build your own afrobeats drum patterns

Not all afrobeats drum patterns use the above formula. Many deviate from it or uses pieces of it.

This is just one way to go about making afrobeats.

Here's a few examples of other afrobeats drum patterns:

Afrobeats Pattern A

afrobeats drum pattern A

Afrobeats Pattern B

afrobeats drum pattern B


Afrobeats Pattern C


afrobeats drum pattern C

Afrobeats Pattern D

afrobeats drum pattern D 


In this one I added drum fills in place of the two snares at the end of each bar.

Ten Simple Drum Fills: Here's 10 simple drum fills you can add to your beat. Simple MIDI drum fill patterns you can follow along and add in. 

Afrobeats Pattern E


afrobeats drum pattern E


Afrobeats MIDI Files

If you're looking for a ton of Afrobeats Drum Patterns, check out the Afrobeats MIDI Drums and Guide.

It includes the patterns from this post plus tons more. Drum guides and MIDI stems included.


Sum It Up

Afrobeats is exploding and for good reason. The music is great to listen to.

If you're getting started making Afrobeats, start with the core drum pattern above.

Build from there.

Experiment with different placements and have fun!

Oh and if you're looking for how to make hip hop drums, I got you here: 4 essential hiphop drum patterns.



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