10 weeks of body percussion ideas - Week 5

7th May 2019
Drumming birthday party

This week we've got our variation of a classic clapping game. We'll often play this as a warm up to a school drumming workshop, or drumming birthday party. It works well as a one-off game, or you can play it regularly with your class, gradually building up the difficulty level over time. It's great for creativity, recognising musical phrases, and repeating rhythms. 

Week 5 - Don’t clap this one back (with variations)

Ok, so you might have come across this before, but we’ve added a variation that people love!

Let’s start with the classic version:

1 person leads and the rest of the group follows.

The leader claps a simple phrase and then the group repeats it back. However, if the leader claps the pattern “don’t clap this one back” - the group should not repeat it. Anyone who does accidentally clap is out! Here are all the recorded examples to go with this article:


Set up a circle of chairs, with one less chair for the size of the group. i.e. 10 people would use 9 chairs. 

The leader stands in the middle of the circle and claps out rhythms in the same way. However, rather than “don’t clap this one back”, we’ve added some further trigger phrases

1 - Everybody change your seat

Everyone has to move to a different seat. It can’t be the seat directly on either side of them. The leader also finds a seat. As there are only 9 seats for 10 people, someone will be left standing and they then become the leader.

We sometimes use this game just as a way of mixing up the students and getting them to sit next to someone new.

Further extension

You could keep adding more phrases to the game over time. Here’s some suggestions

1 - Don’t clap this one back - Don’t clap anything back!

2 - Everybody change your seat - Change seats

3 - Put your finger on your nose - Put your finger on your nose

4 - Achoo! - Class shouts “bless you!”