Learn the Basics

There are two styles of rhythm bones playing, Traditional and Percussive, though many play a bit of both. Traditional is built on the Triplet and Percussive is built on the Tap.  Basic instruction consists of how to hold rhythm bones and how to play the tap and the triplet.

Percy Danforth “How to Play the Bones” Booklet

One of the first instruction materials edited by Sue Barber and produced by Andy and Bill Spence of Andy’s Front Hall.  NOTE: You may have to change your browser’s PDF reader to Adobe Reader to listen to the audio files.

Read the Booklet


Nicholas Driver’s Bodhran and Bones Tutor

The rhythm bones part of Nick’s instruction book with an alternate way of holding rhythm bones

Read the Extract

After The Basics


Traditional Style by Percy Danforth

One of the first rhythm bones instruction videos was by legend Percy Danforth. Because it is copyrighted, we cannot include it on our website, however, its producer, Lark in the Morning, allowed us to put the non-instruction parts of the video on our website.

Preview: Non-Instruction Parts

Purchase: Lark in the Morning

View: Percy’s Memorabilia

Bones From The Beginning by Aaron Plunkett

Aaron Plunkett plays many percussion instruments and is a master with rhythm bones. His instruction video is a bit expensive, but he is a good teacher and his exercises are well thought out.

Preview: The Video

Purchase: The Video

Percussive Style by Fred Edmunds

Dr. Fred Edmunds wrote a book and made a video titled ‘Bones Unlimited.’ His complete course that emphasizes the percussive style of play. The original book and video and the on-line version are copyright 2007-2011 by the Rhythm Bones Society. All rights reserved.

Take the “Bones Unlimited” Course

Instruction on YouTube

There are several good instruction videos on YouTube.  Check out these:

Abe Doran

Graham Hargrove

Barry Patton


Hans Weehuizen

James Yoshizawa

Who Else Do We Include?


Online Personal Instruction

With people spread out over the world. we are interested in exploring online instruction using some teleconferencing technology.  We were recently contacted for this and provided an instructor who will soon report on this in the newsletter.


Ryan Thomson Experience

Bones Fest Workshops

Workshops are part of annual Bones Fests and have great instruction. Check out these:

Newsletter Tips & Techniques

Early issues of the Rhythm Bones Player had a ‘Tips & Techniques’ column.  Below are a few of the best.

Playing Eight Rhythm Bones by Yirdy Machar
Care and Maintenance by Walt Watkins
How to Hold by Walt Watkins
Rhythm Bones Etiquette by Walt Watkins
Dutch Penny Bones by Dutch Kopp
Quadruplet Roll by Bill Vits
Learn a Lick by Steve Wixson