Celtic Rhythms for Drum Kit: The Reel

In order to make use of this article you should:

1.Know what a reel is
2.Be able to read drumming notation


A basic reel rhythm on the bodhrán normally utilizes a strong bass note on the first and/or second beats of the measure, which serves to 'drive the tune'. On the kit, this is accomplished with the bass drum followed by ornamentation on the snare, toms and hi-hat in beats three and four.

The Exercises

These exercises follow that framework in that they employ a bass note in beats one and two and ornaments with the other drums thereafter. Unlike the jig exercises, the sheet music below is not divided into foot and hand work. Rather, it progresses from rudiments in the first exercise to more complex rhythms in the second. An intermediate bodhrán and kit drummer should be able to improvise from there to create exercises that cultivate skill in more complex Celtic kit rhythms.