Group Bucket Drumming Lesson Plan

If your looking for an easy lesson plan for a group drumming class I recommend buckets. Bucket drumming is easy to pickup and you can easily buy 5-gallon buckets in bulk at places like Lowes or Amazon.

We can easily get different tones out of a bucket by turning the bucket upside down and hitting it with a drum stick. If we strike the bucket towards the center we get a lower pitch. If we hit the rim and the bucket simultaneously, we get a higher pitch–closer to a snare drum. Drummers call this a rim shot. Striking only the rim of the bucket is another option for the higher pitch–which might be easier for beginners.

I created a simple lesson plan with three parts that segments the students into three groups:

  1. Pulse
  2. Bass
  3. Snare

The pulse part can be played on the rim or on the sides of the buckets. The snare part is played utilizing rim shots and the bass part is played by striking towards the center of the bucket. Here are the parts:


 

Download the Bucket-Drumming-Lesson PDF




Note: In case you don’t read notation I included the number counts that correspond to the notes. The rhythms repeat indefinitely. The video below demonstrates a class playing the three parts together:

Building Grooves Using 3-16 Hi-Hats (FREE PDF)

These exercises, which utilize 3-16 hi-hat accents, will help build your polymetric groove vocabulary. We’ll start with playing the hi-hat accents against a quarter note to get familiar with the three measure phrase–notice the 4 against 3 pattern. Then we’ll mix in the measure positions with 16th notes on the hats and snare drum backbeats in order to create more usable grooves. Enjoy!

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3-16 kick drum grooves

Building 3-16 Kick Drum Grooves

These exercises, which utilize 3-16 kick drum patterns (dotted 8ths), will help build your polymetric groove vocabulary. We’ll start with playing just the kick drum pattern against a quarter note to get familiar with the three measure phrase–notice the 4 against 3 polyrhythm. Then we’ll mix in the measure positions with 8th notes on the hats and snare drum backbeats in order to create more usable grooves. Enjoy!
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Dotted 8th Note Over Paradiddle Exercise (video)

Here’s a challenging drumming independence exercise that also sounds musical. It’s a sixteenth note paradiddle between the snare and kick drum where the right hand is replaced by the kick drum – KLKKLKLL – That frees the right hand–which is playing every third sixteenth note on the cymbal stack. The icing on the cake is adding eighth notes with the hi-hat pedal. However, since the pattern is rather busy I decided not to include the hi-hat foot in the notation.