Dumbarton's Drums

Traditional song
First published in 1724
Unknown originator

First verse:
Dumbarton's drums they sound so bonny
And they remind me o my Johnny.
What fond delight can steal upon me
When Johnny kneels and kisses me.


Dumbarton's Drums guitar tab and notes (pdf)

tabs tabs & notes


Dumbarton's Drums instrumental guitar (mp3)

Dumbarton's Drums - guitar tab, notes, chords and lyrics

“Dumbarton's Drums” is a traditional Scottish dance tune and was published with lyrics in 1724, but otherwise with uncertain origin. The lyrics tell about a soldier from a woman's perspective of which she is remembered when she hears drums of his regiment. It has been recorded by various artists such as the Scottish folk group The Corries.

The music transcriptions of the song with tabs and notes are available for download as PDFs. It's free for personal use only.

Dumbarton's Drums (full accompaniment)

"Dumbarton's Drums" for guitar with full accompaniment. Free download in pdf-file and audio.

Dumbarton's Drums guitar accompaniment

Dumbarton's Drums (only melody)

“Dumbarton's Drums” standard and tablature notation for guitar presented as an image.

Dumbarton's Drums notes and tabs

Tips on how to learn this song

The “Dumbarton's Drums” version above contains only eight measures, the pickup bar excluded. To learn the song, it helps to notice the rhythmic similarities between measures one, three, five and seventh as well as between measures two, four and eight.

Key, time, tuning and tempo

Information about "Dumbarton's Drums" considering musical key, time signature, tuning and bpm.

Key signature music symbol


The presented version of Dumbarton's Drums is played in the key of A.

Time signature music symbol

Time signature

The song is played in 4/4 tempo (counted one, two, three, four for each measure).

Tuning overview


The song is normally played in standard tuning (EADGBE).

BPM symbol and numbers

Tempo (BPM)

The tempo in beats per minute is 120 for the presented version.