A drum circle is any group of people typically playing hand drums and percussion in a circle. It is a rhythm-based event where a diverse group of individuals and instruments are gathered for the common purpose of empowering a community with creative self-expression in a group music making experience. Rhythmical expression is as ancient and unique as man and found throughout the world, represented in art, celebration, meditation, and wellness situations. Drum Circles are commonly used for social gatherings or to promote wellness in populations such as nursing homes, assisted living, at risk youth, mentally or physically challenged, and various community situations. Other instruments and dance can also be incorporated into the drum circle. They are distinct from a drumming group or troupe in that the drum circle is an end in itself rather than preparation for a performance. They can range in size from a handful of players to circles with thousands of participants.
A Community Drum Circle is a place for individuals to express themselves through the use of drums and percussion instruments. These instruments are accessible to a multi-generational and multicultural community. An individual can express himself or herself through the instrument without much skill or technique, becoming a part in the group song. The use of different instruments (drums, shakers, bells, etc.) allows the group to experience a metaphoric relation of the unique individuals involved in creating a diverse spontaneous rhythmic song, fun for the whole group. As the groups' sounds evolve, participants begin to hear the rhythmic interdependent relationships creating the songs. Conversations through rhythmic pulses emerge as the community becomes connected beyond the music produced.
Types of Drum and percussion instruments typically found in a drum circle include: