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:

Buddy Rich Trio – If I Were a Bell – Berlin Jazz Festival

Here is one of the few videos I’ve seen of Buddy playing in a trio setting. This one was at the Berlin Jazz Festival from the mid 1980s. It was during a section of the big band concert where they were showcasing the smaller trio. Playing with Buddy are Bill Cunliff on piano and the late Dave Carpenter on bass. They absolutely kill this version of “If I Were a Bell.”

Drumming Analysis: One of the musical attributes I love about Buddy is his superb ability to support as well as solo. During the start of Cunliff’s solo, Buddy lays down a simple yet beautiful swing ride beat with just a cross stick on beat four. On the second chorus of Cunliff’s solo, Buddy adds in the hi-hats on two and four and comps on the snare drum, perfectly supporting and building with the pianist. Buddy supports Carpenter’s bass solo nicely and then he trades some really musical eights with Cunliff.

I really dig how much fun Buddy looks like he is having while playing this tune. There are a few moments where it seems like buddy is channelling his inner-kid–most notably at 0:43. Another notable moment is Buddy’s signautre one handed roll at 5:18. Enjoy!

3-16 Hi-Hat Grooves

I’ve been working on a series of 3-16 grooves drum lesson videos. 3-16 simply refers to a grouping of three 16th notes. So for example, if we play continuous 16th notes in 4/4 time and accent every third sixteenth note we get an underlying pulse or phrase that resolves itself every three measures. This video demonstrates that idea by accenting every third 16th note on the high hat while keeping an underlying basic rock beat. Try counting out loud when practicing these exercises so you can hear the three note pattern in relationship to the time in four. The accents will always fall in this order: “downbeat”, “a”, “&”, “e” creating an over the bar line 3 measure phrase. This video is a great introduction for this type of playing. Download Lesson PDF

Tango Crash – Otra Senata – Drum Cover (Video)

I wanted to work on something unique that brought in my interest in tango music. Tango Crash is a tango, electro fusion outfit that’s based in Berlin and performs mostly in Europe and South America. They have been developing their sound that includes electronics mixed with piano, drums, trumpet, cello and bandoneón since the late 90s. Since dissecting this track I certainly have a greater appreciation for them. Thanks to my drummer friend Tim De Ramos for helping me make this video!

I’ve also posted my performance with only the drums: