A bunch of my friends are into Irish music, including irish punk/rock (like the Pogues), as well as more folky stuff. I play (kit) drums, and would like to be able join in. I've tried, but I'm not really familiar with the style, and I end up just falling back on boring rock beats, or basic 6/4 beats, depending on the song.

Is there anything that characterises drumming in Irish rock, or is the drumming basically the same as in most western rock?

For Irish folk, I know about the Bohdran, but not very familiar with it, and don't have one. Are kits or other drum/percussion ensembles ever used? Are there playing styles that can be (however crudely) emulated on a kit?

  • Irish jigs usually have a triplet feel, so try a 6/8 or 9/8 pattern. Nothing more I can add, really. Sorry.
    – BBking
    Oct 3, 2012 at 5:34
  • 1
    Triplets! The bodhran's double-headed beater is optimized for this rhythm. Oct 3, 2012 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


The drum kit does not feature much in Traditional Irish music. Why not sit down at your kit with headphones and play along with some of the pogues numbers or whatever songs you'd like to be able to play? There are apps and software to slow the tune down so you can figure out what the drummer is doing. But as you say, the style is mostly based on rock and punk music, so make sure you can play that stuff too. Bodhran is a very different instrument, and worth picking up to complement your percussionist status! It might not work well with loud electric instruments.

Some Irish bands to listen to with drums: Moving Hearts are a great example of drums in Irish music


Here's the real deal!

Not sure if it would be your cup of tea though!

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