BeatBucket® FAQs

At last! A simple percussion instrument everyone can play easily and joyfully, even all of you who insist “But I have no rhythm!” If you’ve got a heartbeat (and we figure if you’re reading this, it’s likely you do), then you’ve got rhythm. Time to get down to that funky lub-dub, lub-dub!

But is the world ready for BeatBucket® drums?

Are you kidding? The world’s long overdue for the arrival of BeatBucket® drums! You be the judge:

  1. They were developed by a life-long percussionist/board-certified music therapist (who knows a thing or two about the joy of drumming).

  2. They’re easy and fun to learn for kids and grown-ups of all ages.

  3. They help improve the playing skills of aspiring drummers and seasoned percussionists alike.

  4. They produce a variety of tones by playing the top, the bottom, and the edges of each.

  5. They’re ear-friendly (thanks to the included soft-covered mallets) and super durable.

  6. They can be played sitting down or standing up (with an optional shoulder strap).

  7. They’re stackable, lightweight, recyclable, AND gluten-free!

Playing Tips:

  1. Make sure the lid is snapped on tightly. If you hear a rattling sound, the lid is probably loose somewhere along the edge.

  2. When playing a BeatBucket® drum on the floor, the sound is significantly better if it’s placed on a carpet rather than a hard surface.

  3. Keep your hand relaxed while holding the mallet as close to the end of the stick as is comfortable. Let the mallet almost bounce off the surface of the bucket for the best sound.

  4. Get creative! Hit the mallets on the top and the bottom of the bucket (hear the difference in tones?) or strike the edge of the lid or the rim of the bottom with the mallet sticks to get that clackity sound we mentioned.

  5. Give your mallets a rest and just let your hands do the drumming (yes, that’s perfectly legal).

  6. If you use another BeatBucket® drum as a stool (the perfect playing height!), remember to turn it upside down and sit bottom to bottom (so to speak). It’s best not to sit on the lid side – chances are good your boom lakalaka may start to sag.


Who should play a BeatBucket® drum?

During our test marketing phase, we performed a foolproof scientific study in which we asked people from all walks of life to try them out – a wide range of pre- and school-aged kids, music teachers, music therapists, a professional symphonic percussionist, friends (one of whom gave us the “But I have no rhythm” line and ended up not being able to resist the call of the drum, which she played with a huge smile on her face), and for a truly objective opinion, our moms. Everyone, to a person, gave us a big thumbs up. So we firmly believe everyone should play a BeatBucket® drum! Our ultimate goal (other than world peace, of course) is a BeatBucket® drum in every home. So turn off your iPod and put down your iPhone, folks – friends and families who bucket drum together, stay together!


So what exactly IS a BeatBucket® drum?

Our highly-trained R&D department did exhaustive research to find the best combination of a five-gallon plastic bucket, an acoustically-matched plastic lid, and mallets that produced the most organic drum-like sound. Voila! The BeatBucket® drum was born!

Ear-friendly mallets!

The sticks we use with BeatBucket® drums are actually soft-covered mallets rather than hard wooden drumsticks, so the sound is much easier on the ears (moms, you can thank us later). We’ve also added a sound enhancer to the lid to prevent it from rattling.


Why were BeatBucket® drums created?

BeatBucket® drums were initially inspired by the increasing number of bucket drummers seen and heard on street corners these days, along with the popularity of world music and the touring show “Stomp.” It’s clear that rhythm is on the rise!

    Ted Owen, a board-certified music therapist and long-time professional drummer and percussionist with a bachelor’s degree in music performance, thought a bucket drum would be a fun, durable, and easy instrument to use in his music therapy practice. He began experimenting with many different types of plastic buckets, plastic lids, and drumsticks/mallets, which eventually led him to finding the perfect BeatBucket® combination. The drums have indeed been a big hit with his clients (bad pun intended), and other music therapists are now asking where they can get their own BeatBucket® drum.


So how does one play a BeatBucket® drum?

Grab the ear-friendly, soft-covered mallets and let ‘er rip! BeatBucket® drums are the essence of versatility – the top and bottom have very different tones, and by hitting the mallet sticks against the edges of the bucket, you’ll get a clackity sound. So let your inner bucket run wild! 

    You can play your BeatBucket® drum sitting down (not to push our luck, but using another BeatBucket® drum as a stool is optimal – they’re just the right height) or by laying the drum on its side on the floor, which allows you to play both the top and the bottom at the same time. You can also throw on a shoulder strap (we just happen to sell those, too) and play it standing up or doing your favorite dance moves – again, that way you can hit both the top and the bottom of the bucket simultaneously. We just ask that you don’t kick the bucket while playing it (sorry – we had to throw that pun in somewhere).


Play it just because . . .

  1. Play it whenever the mood strikes, either with or without background music, and let your groove-thing groove on.

  2. Play it on the nearest street corner and amaze all the passers-by (don’t forget a hat for all the spare change you’ll be raking in).

  3. Play it for friends who love to dance (and stand back!).

  4. Take it to the next drum circle you play in, but be careful – our experience has shown that you’ll need to keep it in sight at all times or it might get snatched while your back’s turned (hard as they try, the BeatBucket® Police can’t be everywhere at once)

Take it to school!

  1. Play it during lunch and impress your friends.

  2. Start a conga line in the cafeteria.

  3. Add some pizzazz to your school’s pep band.

  4. Start a drum line (you’ll have a veritable BeatBucket® Brigade!).

  5. Invite your school music teacher to play it (soon everyone in your class could become a BeatBucketeer!).

  6. Choreograph a BeatBucket® drum routine for your cheerleading squad or dance team.

Take it to work!

  1. Take it to your office to use as a stress reliever.

  2. Play it to bond with your fellow cubemates (but promise you won’t use the mallets on your boss’s head if you don’t get that raise you thought was in the bag).

  3. Hold a drum circle at your next company retreat (sure beats all those dumb ice-breaker games).

“We trialed the BeatBucket drums at our Adolescent Psychiatry Unit and found that the teens loved playing them.  They were quite creative in eliciting different sounds and tones with the bucket drums. One at a time, participants each layered on their unique rhythm. By the end, everyone played what sounded like a well-orchestrated piece, together.”

Heather Keller, MA, CT Therapeutic Specialist
Music Rx Program
Children's Cancer Association