0424 082 024 megan@dindindi.com.au

WHY DRUM IN A CIRCLE?

WHY DRUM IN CIRCLES? People are always surprised when we set up our workshops in a circle. They expect rows of chairs like a lecture auditorium, ready to be instructed by the facilitator. But drumming doesn’t work like that right? Or does it? First of all, we need to understand what a drum circle is. There are any number of resources on this, but it’s basically a group of people, who have met together, to create a musical experience with drums. (See our firs in this series on ‘what is a drum circle’). There are no set rules on size, or types of drums, although mostly we expect to see hand drums. Drum circles can include percussion and sometimes they evolve more into ‘music’ circles and we see many other instruments as well. A Circle. Without beginning, without end. A circle is a symbol of being in the present. In a circle we remain in a place of awareness, in the moment, without future or past, it is a place for us to listen and experience without agenda or map, Where the mind can rest…. Since ancient times the circle has been revered as a sacred place of safety and wholeness where healing can take place. -Author unknown- Our top four objectives of working in a circle: 1. We make connection without end with everyone we are creating music with because we can see everyone in the circle. “It permits everyone to hear each other in a balanced setting” Kalani. It has no beginning, it has no end, simply connection. 2. There is no hierarchy. It creates an equal...

WHY WOULD I WANT TO DRUM…OR JOIN A DRUM CIRCLE?

WHY WOULD I WANT TO DRUM… OR JOIN A DRUM CIRCLE? A drum circle is a group of people who’ve gathered together, using drums and percussive instruments to create a musical experience. BUT… …the experience isn’t always about the drum or the music per se. Depending on what type of drum circle you have chosen to attend, may determine the outcome of the participation. See our article ‘How do I choose a drum circle?’ for details on the different types of drum circles. In the course of facilitating many workshops and drum circles, I can honestly say, no two are ever the same. And no amount of planning can ever make them the same – that’s the joy of music. And therefore no ‘outcome’ is ever the same, even for the same participant. As a participant, some of my most enjoyable experiences have been in the circles of the ‘community open jam’ style, where there is limited if any facilitation, and rhythms can simply be started by any participant, and everyone simply joins in with their own jam. But lot’s of people like to be facilitated; told what to do and when to do it, and sometimes that’s easier when you’re new to drumming. Drum circles can be lots of fun, and the outcomes are varied: • Maybe as a participant who’s drummed before, you might find you can practice your technique. Looking at how your hands use the space on your drum, better varying the tones and slaps that you’re achieving on your drum. • As a new participant, there are no rules, so you can start to...

HOW DO I CHOOSE A DRUM CIRCLE – WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF DRUM CIRCLES?

Choosing a drum circle, may depend on the outcome you’re looking for from your drum circle, so first you might want to consider what outcome you’d like first. Or consider the different types and then work out which one best suits you. Drum circles are generally quite different from attending a ‘drum class’ for example. At Dindindi Drums we provide regular community classes that take a number of weeks to learn and create a multipart African based rhythm. This would be quite different from what we might create at a drum circle, and whilst look a little more like the ethno specific drum circle below, focus more on the learning and technique improvement. There are many sources of information on the various types of drum circles, and they come under many varied names, but they mostly look like the following: COMMUNITY DRUM CIRCLES: These tend to be held in a public space (we like to hold ours at the beach over summer) and are more of an open jam style. Instruments are either supplied, or you can bring your own, and the group aims to be about connection and fun. They are often more of an entertainment value in that it’s a wonderful way to spend some time with other participants, creating something collaboratively that requires no experience or musical ability. Within this category, the level of facilitation (i.e. the person out the front leading the group), may be high or low in nature. Where it’s high, the group is generally pushed along on a direction that is fed by the facilitator. The facilitation is important, because they need...

WHAT IS A DRUM CIRCLE?

Good question right? I mean we in the drumming world talk about drum circles all the time, but really what on earth is that? Don’t be scared or intimidated. A drum circle is just a group of people, who have gathered together, usually but not always on an informal basis to create a musical experience with drums. The experience itself may not have anything to do with music, it can often be more social or spiritual, but the drum is the tool of the group. What kids of instruments can I bring? There are no set rules on group size, or types of drums, although mostly we expect to see hand drums. And whilst the predominant instrument is usually the Djembe, you might also see bongos, congas, talking drums, douns, frame drums, dombuk and so on. Depending on the group, really anything goes. We’ve had kids bring along ‘junk music’ drums, and adults with home made drums. Additionally, we love to see lot’s of percussion. And home made stuff is awesome. Having percussion in your drum circle can really change it up a level. It adds different shades to the group and can really change the feel of the rhythms played. They create a background of texture to the music and make it really interesting. It also creates somewhere people can go but still join in when their hands get sore!  Not to mention accessible for kids. So who can join a drum circle? Well anyone really. Most drum circles don’t require any specific experience, either musically, drumming, or otherwise. In most cases, they create a safe place for...

The Biological Benefits of Drumming.

Anyone who’s ever drummed can tell you it’s good for you.  And like anything in life, unless you give it a go, you’ll never know what they mean by “meditative”, “increased energy flow”, “had me mesmerised”, “I just forgot about everything else”, “reduced my stress”, “feels like I’m healing from the inside out”, and so on and on.   But for us drummers and facilitators, we hear it all the time…and always with an element of surprise attached.  And it may even sound like mind altering mumbo jumbo!   But what’s great is that all this talk of feelings and healing is now being considered in neurological research.  We love this article discussing the health benefits and why drumming and music is so great for everyone, young and old. ...

African Drumming Workshops with BREC’s ‘Out of Africa’ Series

  Dindindi Drums has completed a series of 4 FREE workshops at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre throughout August. The participants performed at the BREC Alcoa Out of Africa concert Saturday September 7th and rocked their socks off.  Thankyou so much to those of you that attended, we hope the experience was as amazing for you as it was for us.  And to the BREC we are so grateful for this opportunity; we are better teachers and performers as a result of every event like this that we do. “You were a wonderful drum leader in so many ways. Kind generous and calm all the time…that’s what you gave to us….it was just enough to challenge me and not overwhelm...

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY DRUM

  I received an email this week with a request on tips and advice for caring for a djembe.  It’s a worthy question.  Your drum is an investment.  So looking after it is important.  I’ve had skins that have lasted for years, and some just a few months.  Sometimes it’s luck of the draw HOWEVER, looking after it can mean a longer life and fewer dollars on repairs.  Here’s a few things to get you started. If you have a gorgeous drum like this bad boy from Drum maker Heath at Circle of Life in Gosford NSW, you’ve likely spent between $450-900 on your drum, so why wouldn’t you spend a little more on a bag to protect your drum.  There are all kinds of bags, from the basic African cloth bag, which is fine if you’re not moving your drum around much, to the padded, backpack style bags which are great for carting it around & getting it in and out of vehicles. Keep your drum in it’s bag at home when you’re not playing and store your drum in the part of the house with the most consistent temperature.  The extreme temperatures are what causes the problems as your skin expands and contracts with temp changes.  So don’t leave it in the car or out in the shed! Remove all finger rings when you play your drum.  Your watch too if this will hit the side of the drum.  These can damage your drum and damage your hands. Don’t use any kind of creams on your drum, although rubbing your own hands with shea butter or similar (not hand creams), will not only look...