After growing tired of several years playing in guitar bands I spent quite a while looking for a new musical project to involve myself with. I needed something different to what I had previously done, something which would keep me interested, be fun, sociable and also fun for all involved. On a family shopping trip in the UK last summer, I came across a group of street musicians playing many different types of hand drums/percussion. They caught my attention right away, and I spent the next couple of hours watching them perform while the family went off shopping.
The vibe given off by these musicians was amazing, and you could see how much they, too, were enjoying playing to an appreciative crowd of people. Eventually I plucked up courage to ask one of the drummers about the group, and that was my first knowledge of what a Drum Circle was. I searched the web for a drum circle closer to my home town, but could not find anything at that time, but I did discover a samba band not far from home so I joined them in August 2013.
Through meeting and playing with people in the samba band I recently discovered a new drum circle had been recently set up in the area, so I also joined them just last month. After just three sessions, the group is playing well together. The facilitator teaches us three different rhythms and then splits us into three groups, each group playing a different rhythm, then we change around so eventually all the groups have played all three rhythms. Most of the group play Djembe drums of varying sizes, ranging from very small to extra large! But, we all make an equal contribution to the overall sound of the circle.
I also play a small drum which I purchased from a second hand shop which I believe is of Ugandan origin. I feel that since I became involved in hand drumming, I am more relaxed about life, I look forward to my sessions every week, always come away feeling happy, and also I have met some really nice people in the process.
I would recommend drum circles to anyone who wishes to unwind after a day’s work, or just wishes to meet people and make new friends while doing something fun and enjoyable at the same time. Also, do not be afraid to get involved if you have no drumming experience as most drum circles have a facilitator who can show you the basics needed to get you started in very little time.