Paradigme "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana | Drum Lesson | Simpledrummer®

Are you ready to learn one of modern rock’s most iconic songs? Let’s tackle “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. This song was released in 1992 as a single from their album Nevermind. It very quickly became the unspoken anthem of teenage angst and rebellion in the 1990s. Dave Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana and unknowingly, he changed the way drummers approached rock music.

Dave Grohl recalled to Mojo magazine March 2011: “‘Teen Spirit’ definitely established that quiet/loud dynamic thing that we fell back on a lot of the time. It did become that one song that personifies the band. But the video was probably the key element in that song becoming a hit. People heard the song on the radio and they thought, ‘This is great,’ but when kids saw the video on MTV they thought, ‘This is cool. These guys are kinda ugly and they’re tearing up their f–king high school.’ So I think that had a lot to do with what happened with the song.”

This song is super fun to learn and play but it is challenging. You will need a good grasp of 1/16th note beat patterns and drum fills using Flams. In the lesson I will break down each part of the song: the main Chorus groove, Intro fill, Verse/Pre-Chorus, the Chorus endings and the Outro of the song. We will practice each part together in the play-alongs until you’re confident enough to put them to the music.


Download the PDF: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

The PDF is the complete notation for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. You can learn follow the notation to learn some of the parts or follow the notes for the whole song to work on your reading skills.

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Watch Nirvana Perform “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Live

Live at The Paramount in Seattle, WA, 1991. Watch it here.


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The recommended tempo range is 60 and 117
Tempo: 60 bpm

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