Drum circles are a great way for people to express their inner rhythm while benefiting from a sense of community.

types of drum circle

Culturally Specific drum circles focus on learning, practicing, and preserving the rhythms of a particular culture, such as Western Africa, Cuba, or Brazil. The rhythms and instruments they use are constrained within that context, and so there is a sense of the "correct" way to play.

Anarchist drum circles are at the opposite end of the spectrum, meaning that there are no rules (this does not imply chaos, as the term anarchy is often misunderstood). The rhythms are improvised (though they may be derived from universal or common ethnic rhythms) so everyone is pretty much free to play however their spirit moves them.

Facilitated drum circles are somewhere in between. There is a facilitator who helps the circle focus by leading them in certain actions. For example, "sculpting" different parts of the circle to play at different times, using "call and response" techniques, or changing volumes and tempos. These methods are useful for beginning drummers, team building excersises, or for very large circles.

benefits of drum circles

Anyone can participate regardless of age, musical skills, ethnic background, economic status, etc. Even those who think they have no "sense of rhythm." Everyone has natural rhythms they use to breath, walk, and do everyday repetitive actions. In a drum circle you can learn to tap into these inner rhythms.

Healing powers are often felt by drum circle participants. Studies have shown that drumming can help you relax, reduce stress, and improve your sense of well-being.

Connect with other people, develop a sense of community. Express yourself in an open, interactive environment. Meet interesting people.

It's FUN!

drum circle etiquette
The drum circle is a place for sharing and self-expression. The positive energy you bring to it will be multiplied and reflected back to you. Don't show off your drumming abilities by playing over everyone. Listen to others and leave them some space. Contribute to the groove!

drum circle links
drumcircles mailing list

updated June 27, 2010