Greetings to all,
I have a drum that after several years as decoration, has started calling me. Where does one begin? Should I let it lead the way or is there a right or wrong way? I would appreciate any input...thank you.......Ladyhawk
My names Amy and after several years I too started drumming. I have found that just picking up your drum and holding it let it speak to you. The best way to start drumming is to just drum! If you find a group that is doing drumming circles feel free to join and you can also learn that way as well. I started off drumming 4 years ago in a drumming circle. Now I find its a huge part of my spiritually. Happy drumming!
Hi, My name is Marci, and I agree with Amy. Like you, I had my drum for years before I actually started to play it. I would drag it with me anytime I knew Pagans were getting together in hopes that there would be others there that would want to drum. It started out slow. I eventually went to a drum circle, and just listened to the beat, and started to try to find a simple rhythm for myself to play that would blend in with what the others were playing. The group energy allowed for me to become swept in and play with them for hours. I don't know if I was playing good or not, it didn't really matter-I was playing along, and the others there seemed to be alright with it. There is no right or wrong way to express yourself with your drum, for when you play it, it conveys your essence and allows you to contribute your energy into the whole. I have been playing for a couple years, and I consider myself a total hack, because I couldn't tell you the name of one rhythm or another, my technique is pretty sloppy, I've had no formal training, and I basically just follow along-but when I play, my spirit is in it-I just take a deep breath, listen to what is going on around me, and let go and find a rhythm that fits. I am learning, I have found a teacher-it is very informal, but I am learning. We mostly improvise, but we blend well and we let the drums speak our spirits-as if they were talking to each other.
If there are drum circles being held in your area, find out when they are and show up. Most of the time, they are open to anyone who wishes to attend. Drum folk and their community are generally loving and encouraging types of folks who are welcoming to all comers. They usually very accepting of anyone who comes in with a genuine interest in playing and are pretty helpful to those who are just learning. With time, you will pick up experience and take with it your own sense of spirit and kinship with the drum and with the drumming community. If there are no regular drum circles in your area from which to learn, you could even start one yourself. One does not have to be a master percussionist to get a circle started and continue its growth, one only has to be good at getting people together.
I've been drumming and teking lessons for quite some time now, and one of the first instructional CDs I ever received has been a "standard" for most budding drummers. Seek out the CD "Rhythm Rides for Dumbek", by Billy Woods and Daveed Korup, or, you can find it here: http://www.billywoods.com/ordering.html
Another instructional CD which would be good in your library is this: http://www.raquy.com/book.htm
This also contains a book that follows along with the CD.
With these three items, you'll be on your way to self-learning. To receive input from others, seek out Bellydance troupes in your area, often times they might conduct a workshop where a drummer will come in and give lessons. Start collecting music that fits your drumming lifestyle. Since I'm involved with the bellydance/tribal community, at home, that music is all I listen to. From classics like Hossam Ramsey to more fusion music like Djinn, with "goth" style like Mosovo and Solace.
Once you start learning the patterns, keep playing the same patterns until you "own it", once you do, then you could start "cowboy up" the patterns with rolls, snaps, grabs, paws, pops, taps, and really embellish it limited to your imagination.
While I encourage you to go as the drum leads you, t may be in your best interest to learn some proper playing techniques as they will help avoid personal injury. Remember, as wonderful as any pathway can be, there are still things in them that can harm you if not addressed appropriately! Carpal tunnel is not a fun.