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12 Drummers Drumming - A Holiday Tribute

29th Oct 2014

Fulfilling the lifelong drumming dreams for loved ones, friends and family does not have to be a difficult process, even during the holiday season. What better way to treat those closest to your heart than with the gift of music and percussion? Taking a trip through the classics that define this festive time of year, we have developed a little guide to ensure that your leaping lords and calling birds are all happily singing, dancing and, of course, drumming away the holidays.

Twelve Drummers Drumming: While we would certainly like to encourage a dozen people to grab a drum and make some noise, there is a certain beauty in letting an instrument fit the personality. Maybe Uncle George is more of a beaded Shekere man, or Anita in the HR department digs a hot cowbell. The variety available from our Drum Circle Instruments is unsurpassed, and will get those twelve drummers, well, drumming… and more.

Eleven Pipers Piping: Nothing says holiday like a good round of pipers. In the office, on the street or even across the street, the focus and attention of a pipe playing pod is nothing but a joy to behold. Taking it a step further, imagine eleven Didgeridoo players and the holiday cheer brought through the low hum of a well-placed Didge vibe. From bamboo to teak, tie dye to telescopic, the Didgeridoo puts those other pipe players to shame.

Ten Lords-a-Leaping: Who needs carolers or holiday sweaters when there are leaping lords afoot? With all of the end-of-year flurry, the pressure and stress of giving and receiving, and the overall feeling of completion of the year, its time to relax. Gather around a nice fire pit, grab a few drums and some ankle bells and really finish off the year with a bang, or a jingle.

Nine Ladies Dancing: This was pretty obvious, because when we think of dancing ladies and the holidays, we see belly dancers. Glittery, shimmying, unbelievably amazing belly dancers. Tribal, Egyptian, Cabaret, Fusion, we love them all. What’s the perfect complement to a belly dancer? A Doumbek. There is no better way to celebrate the spirit of dance, drumming and sparkly holiday cheer than banging a beautiful Doumbek at a Hafla or in the comfort of your own living room.

Eight Maids-a-Milking: Kickin’ it old school, how many of you have ever taken a clay jug and cut a hole in its side to give it a “watery” tone when tapped and slapped? None of you, that’s right, because the Udu drum already has a strong presence in the drumming community. These drums are especially fun because of the unique history that rivals even the greatest family holiday traditions. Considered a “female” instrument, these drums no longer carry liquids, yet add a spirit and soul to the world as only the Udu can.

Seven Swans-a-Swimming: The holiday season typically invites images of snow falling gently, warm fireplaces, snowmen and ice skating, even for those in warmer climates. The swan reference may seem a little out of place, but much like a rainstick, it’s the element of surprise that can make a holiday even more festive. Disguised as an ordinary stick, the pitter-patter of rain and the hours of fun possible are as much appreciated as the visual of seven swans swimming, in winter, when the rest of the ground is frozen. Rainsticks are also less territorial than swans, and are easily disguised as candy canes.

Six Geese-a-Laying: Geese and holidays go together like peas and carrots, Simon and Garfunkel, or sets of Shakers. That’s right, Shakers. These little rhythmic delights come in all shapes and sizes, but may be best known by their resemblance to eggs. Even the geese are shocked to discover the percussion possibilities so craftily hidden behind an innocent exterior.

Five Gold Rings: The buttery brown finish of a typical set of Congas can only be described as golden, and since Congas come in sets, it only seems fitting to include them in the roster of holiday drum giving. Plus, the pause given to this particular phrase of the song begs for a Conga solo, and maybe a little shake of a tambourine.

Cyndi Lauper - Christmas Conga

Four Calling Birds: There are more birds to this song than meets the eye, which is why the Kalimba can be a perfect way to confuse those fine, feathered holiday friends that just won’t stop, well, calling. Portable and full of potential, the Kalimba has been known to stave off the holiday blues with its nostalgic sound and ability to replicate the same finger movements used while playing with portable electronics. Take that, birds.

Three French Hens: Maybe it’s the resemblance to a quiet resting place for hens, or the fun idea of chickens playing drums that brings the Cajon into the hen spotlight. No holiday is complete without a box, and what better box to have around than one that can be played by young and old alike, especially since it’s easier to wrap than a hen, not to mention three hens, from France.

Two Turtle Doves: The best things in life come in pairs. Two cookies are better than one, those two doves that survive a rocky pelting, and, of course, Bongos. Whether a fan of Latin music, poetry readings or twins, the Bongos can make any holiday more than bearable, they make the holidays fun! These drums fit perfectly under desks, behind the couch or in a backpack, making them the ultimate holiday surprise, especially if everyone is sleepy from overeating or from too much holiday spirit.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree: As the final moment of the song, this holiday classic, the ultimate in celebratory songs about gift-giving, a lone bird wants to recommend one gift above all others. It’s not a pear, or any other fruit, it’s not socks or a treasure chest of gems. The gift of music, of rhythm and of togetherness can only be properly represented by the Djembe. As the standalone percussion instrument in drum circles and other events, the Djembe may be the best gift that can be given this year, especially to a true love that has enough birds, lords, maids and rings. Trust us, we’re professionals.

Happy Holidays from X8 Drums & Percussion!