What is a Drum Circle?


Remo Percussion Center, North Hollywood, CA.
Photo courtesy of Helene Barbara

The drum circle brings people together in a unique rhythmic experience that transcends language and cultural barriers. It is energizing, spontaneous, fun, creative, and synergizing for body, mind, and spirit.


How does a drum circle work?
A drum circle works because of the principle of "entrainment" - when a strong rhythm exists, the other rhythms around it fall in sync. Everyone can feel the pull of a strong beat, and can easily play along, provided they dont try too hard, essentially interfering in what is natural. The result is an experience in collaborative creativity that is accessible, inclusive and sounds really great!

Why do people go to drum circles?
People are drumming for a lot of great reasons. Not to become the next famous rock drummer, but because they want to feel good, reduce stress and reconnect with community. It becomes part of their recreational routine. We now have scientific evidence that group drumming may improve our health through boosting our immune system. (see Should Drums Be Sold in Pharmacies?).

What if I don't have any musical talent?
It is a law of life that everyone is rhythmical. Beginning with our heartbeat, rhythm is something that all people have inside them. Because of that, everyone can participate in the drum circle. Even if you've never played an instrument before, you can contribute to the drum circle and discover the music inside you. (see You ARE Musical!)

What is the role of the drum circle facilitator?
The drum circle facilitator weaves together two main tasks - building the group cohesiveness while bringing out the musical potential. Drum circles are "facilitated" by individuals who have a good knowledge of drumming, rhythm, and music, and can empower a community of people to have fun and be connected. Today, there are training programs for people who want to facilitate drum circles and even a list-serve of e-mail dialogues across the world between drum circle facilitators.

Are there different types of drum circles?
There are many different types of drum circles for specific purposes. · Recreational drum circles - in community parks for playing together. · Corporate drum circles - to build teamwork and morale, using the metaphor to improve corporate functioning. · Diversity drum circles - to educate and demonstrate using music to build unity and appreciate differences. · Conference drum circles - as an general session or keynote. · Health and Wellness drum circles - at medical and wellness centers and senior living facilities, often facilitated by music therapists. · Music Store drum circles -for recreational drumming enthusiasts.

How can I buy a drum?
Choosing your drum is an important decision. Go to a music store and explore various drums and hand percussion. We recommend Remo products because they're weather proof, durable, lightweight, and sound great. Go to www.remo.com and type in your zip code to locate your nearest Remo dealer.

How can I join a drum circle?
You can find a local drum circle by contacting the nearest music store, searching the web, or go to www.drumcircle.org and rhythmweb.com/circle/.

More online resources