Advice For Beginners
Along with the standard Arthurian drum circle etiquette suggestions, I have some advice for beginning beginners who are joining a drum circle event for the first time.
Enjoy the Journey
In all the excitement don’t forget to have fun. Although it will help you to follow the simple drum circle etiquette guide lines, you don’t really have to be an experienced drummer to fully participate and have a good time.
First of all it is very important to go to a drum circle with both of your drums (ear drums!) and an instrument! When in doubt just listen.
Don’t worry even if you might think that you are rhythmically challenged.
Just get started and you will find rhythms inside of you that you didn’t know you had.
All you have to do is actively participate in the Drumatic Drum Circle event, and the excitement and rhythms that will surround you will pull out of you exactly what you need to fully contribute to the group song.
You don’t even need to play a drum
You can bring a simple percussion instrument, like a shaker, a bell or a wood block. They are a lot easier to play than a hand drum. (note: Be careful if you choose a loud instrument like a bell or woodblock because if you have not practiced timing you can seriously disrupt the timing of the circle. When in doubt just ask!)
Support the drum community experience
If you are participating in a drum circle event for the first time, the best way to play is with an attitude of humility and support. Be very observant of the actions and reactions of the more advanced drummers who are playing in the circle and you will learn a lot quickly.
Keep It Simple – Less Is More!
Listen for, then play along with, and around the pulse that will always be somewhere in the music. It is like keeping the side of the pool within reach as you are learning how to swim. The simple pulse will always be there for you to “grab on to” if you ever get rhythmically lost while playing. Once you are comfortable with what you are playing, you can explore deeper rhythmical waters. Just keep the pulse in site.
Every rhythm event is different, and has it’s own particular variations of drum circle etiquette. If you’re not sure what’s appropriate, just ask somebody. They usually will respond with supportive suggestions. There is a basic agreement in these kind of events that each person in the circle is there to share their rhythmical spirit and personal energy with the community that is present. With this kind of group consciousness, a drum circle can be a very powerful, yet intimate experience for everybody as they create unity in their community by drumming together.
Your drumming skill level is less important than how much of yourself you contribute to the experience. If every player is there to share and have fun, the musical part of any drum circle it will take care of itself.
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