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Get Loud and Get Funky: Bucket Drumming!

29th Oct 2014

Bucket drumming is drumming that utilizes objects such as plastic buckets to create rhythm. It’s common to see people banging away on multiple-sized (and shaped) plastic buckets in many metropolitan cities. No trip to New York City would be quite complete without these awe-inspiring, rhythmic street performances.

Buckets can be played in a variety of ways, with mallets, sticks, the hands or other repurposed objects. Different plastic buckets can be used that vary in size or are made of different types of plastic to create unique sounds. Bucket drums can be played either right-side-up or upside-down; with or without the bucket lid (think: drum head).


Bucket drumming brings drumming to its most basic components; the basic percussion instrument and the drummer. Through the limiting of instrument choice to household plastic object, the drummer is enabled to let personal creativity and style show through. When learning to play the bucket drums it is important to try out different styles and rhythms, such as Latin, hip hop, funk, or rock, or sit in a drum circle (even with your bucket!) and see where the beat leads.

Always remember, however, that bucket drumming can be very loud. This is one reason why it is generally only really profitable in large urban areas or on a stage. Be courteous to those around you and remember that practicing loudly and frequently near residential areas or businesses may not draw many fans.

With a little bit of creativity, performers can make other percussion instruments out of household objects for musical diversity and complexity. Bucket drumming can be a fun way to show off style or technique in a way that is cheap and easy and can open up new and exciting ways to use simple household objects in a groove. While buckets are not necessarily a replacement for a traditional drum set, it can be a great way to discover the roots of drumming through using materials available.

Bucket drummers, tell us how your "kit" is set up, where you play, and how you got into the groove!