Bang! Rhythm Game

On Pinterest, I saw an idea for a sight-word game called BANG and decided it would make an excellent music game.  Here is my musical version:

I tried it out with my students at our Piano Party last Saturday, and it was a hit.  The BANG! cards add an element of fun to an otherwise ordinary flashcard drill.

Gameplay: Each student draws a card from the box on their turn.  If they answer the card correctly, they get to the keep the card.  If they draw a BANG! card, they must return all their cards to the box.  The student with the most cards at the end is the winner.

I created my BANG! box using an empty Kleenex box, which I “decorated” by covering it with duct tape.  Now, it is both cool-looking and durable.  :)

For the cards, I used the same set of rhythm cards that I used at my camps last summer (the pdf download is available here in my ColorInMyPiano shop, if you are interested).  I printed my Level 1 cards so that one side has the rhythms with eighth notes, and the other side does not — which was perfect, because I was working with a group of students that were beginners through late elementary.  I told the older students to clap the side with the eighth notes.

Next, you will need to create some BANG! cards that are the same size/shape as the rhythm cards you are using.  I made a pdf of BANG! cards that you can download for free, designed to match the size of the three levels of rhythm cards available in my shop.  Visit the Printables > Games page, and scroll down to the B’s for “BANG! Rhythm Game.”

That’s it!  Now you are ready to play.  This game is best for groups of 4-6 students.  If you have a larger group of students, I would suggest splitting the students into two groups to prevent students from having to wait too long between turns.

This game doesn’t have to be for rhythm cards.  You can throw ANY kind of flashcard in the BANG! box, like note-naming flashcards or my free Piano Key Naming Flashcards (click here and scroll down halfway).  Just make sure the BANG! cards don’t feel or look too different from your flashcards — or your students might be able to avoid them!  :)

Joy Morin is a piano teacher in northwest Ohio (United States) who enjoys keeping her teaching fresh with new ideas and resources. serves as a journal of her adventures in piano teaching as well as a place to exchange ideas and resources.

Joy has blogged 1142 posts here.

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  1. Posted 6 December 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this. I printed a Faber Primer level version posted by D’net on Layton a few years ago, but when I was organizing my games, I couldn’t remember instructions for play.

  2. Posted 7 December 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi Joy! I had just pulled out a box to make the very same game when I saw your post! Thank you or saving me the work!! Love Pinterest!

  3. Posted 28 December 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I love this idea! I pinned it on my music studio board:

  4. Whitney
    Posted 30 December 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Just loved this idea and wanted to use it for our Christmas group lesson. So, I found a small picture of The Grinch and made some Grinch cards instead of Bang to add to the hats. I cut them out the same size as the flash cards and before I laminated them, I put a number 1-4 on the Grinch’s chest. If the player got Grinched, he had to put back the number of cards Mr. Grinch requested. This made the game go much faster. We also left the Grinch cards out once they had been drawn to make the game go quickly.

    I am planning to make a Bang box just as soon as the current box of tissues is empty! They last a lot longer when I am not teaching.

    Thank you for maintaining this amazing site!

    • Posted 1 January 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      I love the Grinch idea — how fun!! Thanks for sharing, Whitney!

  5. Tricia
    Posted 13 April 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this! Im a MUED student at Bowling Green State and Im the music director for a camp this year for K-12, so this is going to be really helpful for the workshops!

  6. Heather
    Posted 21 August 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Shouldn’t the size of the Rhythm Cards match the size of the Bang! cards? If so, what size(s) of Rhythm Cards match the size of the Bang! cards: the Jumbo set(s) 1 or 2, and/or the Regular set(s) 1, 2, and/or 3?

    • Posted 25 January 2015 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      The BANG! cards match the size of the regular sets 1, 2, and 3 — not the Jumbo cards. Thanks for asking!

  7. Posted 12 August 2015 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I’m a cello teacher, and my students love the games we do from your website. This game is a favorite of my students! One of my creative students came up with another idea called “Big Bang!” If you get a “Big Bang” card, you can select 2 people to lose three cards. I guess it is a little like UNO in that regard. Thank you for sharing these wonderful ideas!

    • Posted 20 August 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      I absolutely LOVE that twist on the game! I can’t wait to try that next time. Thanks so much for sharing, Marla.

  8. Sonja
    Posted 9 February 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    What do you mean when you say they “answer the card”? Do they just read out the rhythm to their group? Do you check to make sure they are correct or does the group self-evaluate?

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