We humans have been banging drums ever since we lived in caves. But once in a while a new drummer is so amazing that we’re in awe. As this video shows, this guy plays on plastic buckets, but makes incredible music. His right hand mostly plays speedy eighth notes, while his left hand plays all kinds of crazy rhythms. As he plays he makes faster and wilder beats, then twirls the sticks WHILE playing. If you do the math, the beats add up fast!
Wee ones: What shape is the top of one of those buckets?
Little kids: If 1 of the 5 buckets is right side up, how many are upside-down? Bonus: If the drummer hits drums 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in that order, then starts over with 1 and keeps repeating, what drum does he hit on the 9th beat?
Big kids: At 1 minute, he plays the 1st of every set of 8 beats on the edge of the big bucket, then the rest on the sidewalk, then the 9th beat up on the edge, then the 17th…if he kept doing that, what would be the next 3 beats on the edge? Bonus: At around 1:23 he twirls a stick for the first time. If he twirls it for 4 sets of 8 beats minus 2 beats, how long does he twirl it?
The sky’s the limit: The drummer’s right hand plays about 40 measures, or sets of 8 eighth notes, in each minute. If for the 4 minutes his right hand plays at that speed, and his other hand plays along for 5 out of every 8 eighths, how many times does he hit the drums in total?
Wee ones: A circle.
Little kids: 4 buckets. Bonus: Drum # 4.
Big kids: The 25th, 33rd and 41st…all 1 more than a multiple of 8. Bonus: 30 beats.
The sky’s the limit: 2,080 beats. He plays 320 per minute on the right hand, or 1,280 beats for the 4 minutes. 1/8 of that is 160, so the left hand plays 5 times that, or 800 beats, That makes 2,080 beats in total!
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.