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Drum Rhythm Game

This model of a 2-piece drum set lets you tap out bass (kick) drum and snare drum patterns with your fingers using the bass drum "pedal" lever and the two "drumstick" snare drum levers. 

You can start with the simple free play program to play whatever you want, then try the much more complex game program, which challenges you to copy a series of rhythm patterns that it sounds out for you and rates your accuracy at copying them.

Two variations of each program are provided, using either the hub's internal speaker to make simple high and low beep sounds, or using the Music extension in the MINDSTORMS software to send realistic drum sounds to your connected smart device. Make sure you see the instructions at the bottom of this page to get the realistic drum sounds to work, since there is something you need to do before just running the downloaded program.

Building Instructions

Drum Rhythm Game


See the instructions below to get the Music extension audio to work and a description of how to use the game program.

Getting drum sounds to work on a connected device

The "Drum Play Music" and "Drum Game Music" programs use the Music extension of the MINDSTORMS software to play realistic bass and snare drum sounds on a connected smart device (phone, tablet, or computer connected via Bluetooth or USB). When this project was posted (July 1, 2022), there is a bug in the software that keeps the sounds from working unless you do the following workaround. Instead of just opening the program to run it, you must:

  1. Quit or force-quit the MINDSTORMS software if it is running on your computer/device.

  2. Start the MINDSTORMS software directly on the device (not by opening a program).

  3. Start a new blank program (using Word Blocks) in the software.

  4. Use the icon at the bottom of the blocks category sidebar to add the Music extension.

  5. Now open the drum program that you plan to use and run it.

Also note that there is a slight delay and accuracy error in the drum sounds when played through a connected device compared to hub beep sounds. This will be noticeable especially in the Drum Game Music program, where the accuracy of the rhythms is sometimes a little off. To get the best accuracy when playing the game program, use the "Drum Game Beep" program.

Using the Drum Game programs

The "Drum Game Beep" and "Drum Game Music" programs play a series of drum rhythm patterns and challenge to you to try to copy them as accurately as possible. The game progresses through three levels as follows:

Level 1 (Snare): The Snare level (displays two dots in center of the display) plays through a sequence of 10 different snare drum patterns for you to copy. Try using two hands with both of the snare drum triggers to copy the patterns.

Level 2: (Rock): The Rock level (displays a low dot and a high dot) plays through a sequence of 18 rock beats using both the bass and snare drums. Use the bass trigger and one snare trigger to copy them.

Level 3 (Challenge): The Challenge level (displays 3 dots) chooses random snare or rock patterns for you to copy, and the tempo gradually speeds up after each one.

In all of the levels, after each pattern that you copy, if you get the count or sequence of drums wrong, you will get a red light and an error sound. If you get the count and sequence correct, you will get a green light and a numeric rating of your timing accuracy from 0-10 on the display. The note spacings and overall tempo both matter in your rating. Getting a perfect 10 is difficult, requiring that your notes average only 1/100 second of error from the ideal timing. 

In the challenge level, the timing rating (0-10) of each challenge round is added up to make your total score (starting from 0 at the beginning of the challenge level), and the game ends the first time you get a sequence wrong (red light). When the game ends, your score will be repeatedly scrolled by on the display. Press the hub center button to end the program, then you can run it again to try again.

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