What is a drum machine?

A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument that can imitate drum kits and percussion instruments. Some can also produce artificial sound effects. Most drum machines allow users to create their own rhythms.

A drum machine is commonly used for recording electronic music, often used in house, dance, and hip hop genres. It may also be used as a metronome, as a backing track for practice or as a way to explore a variety of drum rhythms.

Using the drum machine

Click the squares to create your drum rhythm. Double click the squares to toggle between the hi-hat and open hi-hat, snare drum and cross stick, and high tom-tom and low tom-tom. Click the instrument names on the left to mute the sound.

Select tempo, time signature and swing at the top. Click "Presets" to see the most common drum rhythms. You can vary drum rhythms easily. For example, you can choose the ride cymbal instead of the hi-hat, and cross stick instead of the regular snare drum.

Save your drum rhythm by copying the web address in your browser. This also allows you to share your markings with others. For example, here is a funk rhythm and a crisp drum fill.