How to Do the Cup Song (with Pictures) (2024)

Co-authored bywikiHow Staff

Last Updated: August 19, 2023

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Beginning the Cup Song|Moving the Cup|Tackling the Cup Flip|Video||Tips|Warnings|Beginning the Cup Song|Moving the Cup|Tackling the Cup Flip|Video||Tips|Warnings|

The beat of The Cup Song is based on "The Cup Game," which is an old child's game. The Cup Song was created by Lulu and the Lampshades and popularized by Pitch Perfect. The Cup Song can be broken down into three, easy to learn parts.

Part 1

Part 1 of 3:

Beginning the Cup Song

  1. 1

    Set the cup on the table. Prepare to do the Cup Song by setting a cup down on a table. The cup should be rim down. Give yourself some space on either side of the cup.

    • A plastic cup is best. Avoid using a glass or heavy cup until you have perfected the Cup Song.
  2. 2

    Clap twice. Clap your hands together directly above the cup two times. Your hands should be above the cup.

    • If your hands are too far from the cup, it will be more difficult to increase your speed.
  3. 3

    Tap the top of the cup three times. Alternate your hands during this step. Start with your right hand, then left hand, the right hand. You will use primarily your fingertips to tap the cup.

    • Alternatively, you could tap the table on either side of the cup three times. You would still alternate right hand, left hand, right hand.

Part 2

Part 2 of 3:

Moving the Cup

  1. 1

    Clap once. Clap above the cup again. Make sure you are still about six inches above the cup. However, this time, just clap once.[1]

  2. 2

    Pick up the cup. Grasp the bottom of the cup with your right hand. Pick the cup up to hover about two to three inches above the table. Try to make an audible sound when grasping the cup.[2]

  3. 3

    Move the cup to the right and set it down. Move the cup about three inches to the right. Set the cup down, making another audible noise. The cup should still be rim down.[3]

  1. 1

    Clap once. Clap once again above the cup. Continue to keep your hands about six inches above the cup.

  2. 2

    Grasp the cup with your right hand. Turn your right hand so that your thumb is pointing down and your palm is facing the right. Grasp the cup with your hand.

  3. 3

    Rotate the cup. Naturally rotate the cup ninety degrees clockwise. The rim, or opening, of the cup should be facing the left.

  4. 4

    Hit the rim of the cup. Use the palm of your hand to hit the opening of the cup. Be sure that your hand connects with the rim to make another audible noise.

  5. 5

    Continue to rotate the cup about forty-five degrees. Turn the cup a little further in a fluid motion. The cup just almost be straight up and down with the rim up.

  6. 6

    Tap the edge of the cup on the table. Before the cup reaches the straight up and down position, tap the bottom edge of the cup to the table.

  7. 7

    Pass the cup the your left hand. Continue to turn the cup clockwise. Grasp the bottom of the cup with your left hand. Try to make another audible noise when your left hand touches the cup. These noises maintain the beat of the Cup Song.

  8. 8

    Hit your right hand on the table. Cross your right arm to hit the table near the left side of your body.

  9. 9

    Set the cup back down. Cross your left arm over you right and firmly place the cup back down on the table. The cup should land back down on its rim near the right side of your body.

  10. 10

    Repeat. Continue to practice the Cup Song until you get faster. Once you feel comfortable with the movements, try putting it to the song “When I’m Gone.” The movements repeat throughout the song.

Community Q&A

  • Question

    Do you think I should be quick or slow?

    Community Answer

    When you go faster, it sounds better.

  • Question

    How do you do it fast?

    Follow the steps and keep practicing. The more you do it, the faster you'll be!

  • Question

    How do you keep in time with the music?

    Community Answer

    Listen to the song, try to pick up the beat and the rhythm, and remember that beat and rhythm. Then, when you add a cup, it will help to keep you in time.

See more answers



  • Perform the Cup Song on a table or other hard surface for best results.

  • Add the movements to the song “When I’m Gone.”

  • Use a plastic cup. This is especially important when practicing. Only graduate to a glass cup once you feel very comfortable with the movements.


  • Do not slap, slam, or grasp the cup too hard to avoid damage.

  • The cup song takes a lot of practice.

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About This Article

Co-authored by:

wikiHow Staff

wikiHow Staff Writer

This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 1,278,661 times.

Co-authors: 196

Updated: August 19, 2023


Article Rating:66% - 158 votes

Categories: Featured Articles | Music | Songs

Article SummaryX

To do the cup song, start by placing a cup rim-side down in front of you. Then, clap your hands twice and tap the top of the cup 3 times. Next, clap your hands again, pick the cup up, and move the cup over to the right. After you've moved the cup over, clap once, flip the cup over, and tap the rim with your hand. Then, tap the bottom edge of the cup on the table, pass it to your other hand, and hit the table with your free hand. Finally, set the cup back down and repeat. To learn how to do the cup song with the help of some pictures, read on!

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