Friday, April 12, 2013

Wasaga Beach Drum Circle

drum circle is any group of people playing (usually) hand-drums and percussion in a 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.
In 1991, during testimony before the United States Senate Special Committee on AgingGrateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart stated:
Typically, people gather to drum in drum "circles" with others from the surrounding community. The drum circle offers equality because there is no head or tail. It includes people of all ages. The main objective is to share rhythm and get in tune with each other and themselves. To form a group consciousness. To entrain and resonate. By entrainment, I mean that a new voice, a collective voice, emerges from the group as they drum together.

The community drum circle

Community drum circles are informal gatherings of people who meet for the purpose of playing drums together. They often take place in public settings such as parks or at the beach, but may also be organized via a community center or similar body. Instrumentation centers around drums and percussion, but may include other instruments, such as flutes, didgeridoos, and other non-percussion instruments. Practically anything that can be banged on to make noise can be used as a percussion instrument such as cans, buckets, pipes, etc. One need not possess or purchase a drum to participate. Community drum circles differ from facilitated or conducted drum circles in that the music is entirely improvised through a process of group interaction. There may be a facilitator or moderator who acts to shape the experience through discrete actions, such as helping to maintain a steady beat, helping those who need it, and generally managing the environment to see that everyone is able to participate fully. The participants make up the music as they go along, using their listening and playing skills to make musical connections and express themselves in any and all ways that feel right. Participation is voluntary and often includes drumming, singing or chanting, dancing, and listening. Community drum circles often attract both regular and drop-in participants of all ages and can take place just about anywhere. Community drum circles are the original and most popular form of improvised community drumming.

Community - free-form drumming, often open to the public and entirely improvised in-the-moment.

Wouldn't that be amazing! An evening once a week. Gather your friends on the beach about an hour before sunset. It's a tribal 'feeling' - everyone welcome to join in. Here is a HOW TO list:

  1. Get some drums and other percussion instruments. such as: Djembes, Dumbeks, Tablas, Congas, Tambores, Shakeres or any other hand drum. Don't forget frame drums! Another good idea is to have some sort of bass drum, such as a sangba or surdo.
  2. 2
    Steer away from electronics. Drum circles are usually tribal in nature, so crazy electronic or technical instruments such as keyboards, drums sets, and electric guitars are not recommended.
  3. 3
    Get enough instruments for one to five people, or more.
  4. 4
    Don't forget the obvious: a "drum circle" is a circle! Set up in a real circle so that everybody may see and hear one another. Irregular blob shapes make for choppy or chaotic environments.
  5. 5
    Create circles within circles once the circle is bigger than 20 participants. If it gets too spread out, you lose connection. For massive circles, create levels with center circle on the floor, next on chairs, outside standing.
  6. 6
    Find a nice outdoor location for your drum circle, like a big backyard, or a nearby park so people from the public can join in.
  7. 7
    Always welcome those who walk in and want to join the fun.
  8. 8
    Go indoors if it is going to be chilly, or wet, or dark.
  9. 9
    Have at least one person who has a little experience so he/she can start the beats and/or maintain a steady motion. This is not really necessary once you have some experience as a facilitator, beginners get the idea very quickly.
  10. 10
    Understand that rhythms are spontaneous, one person starts a beat or a rhythm then someone else adds on to it, so on and so forth.
  11. 11
    Start off with slow beats and vibes, eventually the drum circle will rise with adrenaline but you have to let it happen, don't force it.
  12. 12
    Don't be shy or timid, drum circles are supposed to be fun. start off slow and wait for a good moment for you to come in.
  13. 13
    Be friendly and admire each others' attempts and making music. good vibes = a great drum circle.
  14. 14
    Play friendly and supportive, don't get involved in competitive or aggressive playing. One mutually supportive game is to play a few beats, and let others add beats to that, and keep adding a few beats until a whole new and unpredictable rhythm is created!
  15. 15
    Remember that we all share the space with our neighbors! Playing too loud or too long will not endear your drum circle to the rest of the community. Think about what you REALLY want to accomplish.

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