HI! I’m Ed Hofer from the band Punk Fiction. I have been playing hand drums for the last 15 years, more so in the last 6. Drumming gives me a sense of ecstasy that I can't get anywhere else.
I normally just play with acoustic acts and sometimes sit in with full bands until i heard about Jim Donovan's drum class at Saint Francis University in Lorretto, PA. I started taking his class last semester and it has changed my life for the better. Jim has taught us how to, aside from play djembe, interact with people in a positive way. I've also learned that I am not the only person impacted this way by drumming.
When I leave my drum class I feel cleansed of all stress and a feeling of happiness stays with me for the rest of my day. Being part of a drum circle has also honed my skill as a hand percussionist and it shows when I play with any of the acts I jam with. I find myself adding African beats to songs that are usually blander, making them more upbeat and fun to play and listen to for everyone else.
I often suggest to friends that drumming is a great stress reliever and a lot of fun, and it shows when I let them play my drums... NEVER have I seen ANYONE play my drums without a big smile on their face. This warms my heart and keeps me drumming for years to come!
My drum collection includes a 14" Toca freestyle key tuned djembe.. beside that i have 11" Remo Tubano drum that I customized by adding a Toca brass/steel tambourine to the bottom of which can be engaged if you hit the drum a little harder. My throne is my oldest drum and it is an LP burlwood front snare cajon. I also customized it by adding foam to the back of the playing surface. This is to keep the rattle out of the bass hits. Finally, I use a steel jingle tambourine on my left serving like a hi-hat and a brass jingle tambourine on the right serving like a splash cymbal. I sit in with many area musicians and they all seem to love it and want more. I've become so popular with area musicians that they gave me a nickname that I now use as a stage name: Evil Monkey. I have an absolute blast playing with everyone and plan to do it for some time to come!
Drumming is music, rhythm, stress relief and a lifelong passion, and we know you get the vibe, Mr. Monkey! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Drummers, tell us why YOU love drumming and drum circles! We'd love to share your story, too!