A Drum Circle Can Be Fun And Therapeutic
There are very few activities that have the ability to bring people together, let them have some good clean fun and help to relieve stress at the same time. Drum circles have been doing this in communities both tribal and modern forever. There's just something indescribable that happens when people get together to make rhythmic sounds. It helps to unify them and trandscends just hitting skins with sticks. It can be magical.
But I'm Not A Drummer
That's not an issue if you have the desire to learn and at least have somebody who can lead the group in the sessions. You don't need a Julliard grad either. We'll lay down the basics in a second but suffice it to say that if you create the right group for your level you'll be fine. Chances are you'll attract others with more or less ability than you which increases the opportunity for growth.
Here are some basic pointers.
Get A Drum
Any sort of hand drumming or percussion instrument will do. It doesn't have to be expensive. You can get a Djembe for around 30 bucks.
Decide On A Theme
Do you want the group for just releasing hostilities and getting out your anger or are you interested in exploring a particular culture's rhythmic heritage? These are the questions you need to ask. Do you want it open or only for experienced drummers? Experience shows the more open your drum circle is the better chance you have for successs.
Find Fellow Drummers
Start out by asking your friends to spread the word. If that doesn't bring much traffic then consider posting notes at your local coffee shops or gyms or even Craigslist.
Choose A Time And A Place
This is probably the most crucial consideration to get right. Obviously, you want to have a location that's both easily accessible to all members while giving serious consideration to the amount of noise you'll be making. Doing this in an apartment is sure to bring the police. Maybe your city has an outdoor amphitheater it shows movies in during the summer and you can rent a practice room from your local college. Party rooms might be a good choice too. The time should accomodate the 9-5 routine since most people still work jobs away from the home.
As soon as people start arriving you should get playing. Set up a basic rhythm for people to join in with or play counterpoint to. Whatever feels right. If you're not the drummer in the group, have somebody experienced set up the rhythm for you. Just go with it and it should evolve on its own.
Have fun with it!
The primary inspiration for this post came from a Megan Romer article on About.com which you can find here:
And this post wouldn't be complete without the Wikipedia page about drum circles.