The point of playing in a drum circle is to have fun. You are coming together as a drumming community to socialize through your instrument. The drum circle should be a comfortable, supportive place for you to play and grow as a drummer and a person. You should approach the Drum Circle with an attitude of collaboration.
There are two basic types of drum circles, freestyle and facilitated. Both of these types of drum circles can play either ethnically specific rhythms or take a more freestyle “jamming” approach. It’s quite easy to fit in with either of these circles once you know a few tips for drumming in circles. Before we get to the tips for playing in a drum circles, it’s important to be introduce to the different roles within the circle.
The Heartbeat role sets up the foundation. This is a very critical role and always a good place to start if you are a beginning drummer. It is my opinion this role provides much of the power behind the drumming event. Some people love this role, become really good at it and never venture out to the lead or embellishing roles.
The Embellishing role provides the color or punctuation. They embellish the heartbeat with accents and syncopation. The embellisher finds spaces between the core heartbeat rhythms.
The Lead role plays more on top of the other roles. They are more melodic in nature.
Tips for playing in a drum circle: