Drum circle!

So my musical adventure for the day became the drum circle!  I have gone off and on for many years but last summer I went fairly often.  It takes me on a trip out of the city.  The park is beautiful, the people are relaxed and its nice to hang out in the grass with the drums beating and everyone dancing.

I would like to record the drumming for others to hear but I don’t feel its appropriate somehow.  In any case, I love playing percussion.  I have some good quality shakers but by the end of the evening my wrists are tired!  Hopefully, I’ll get a djembe to play.  Folks that play djembe well are amazing and are one of the main sections of the drum circle.

If you are a guitar player or any music lover, imagine a drum circle with 50+ people playing mostly african-based percussion and maybe even more people dancing.  All around are people hanging out, doing capoeira, slackline, hulahoops, yoga, soccer, football and whatever else.  It’s like a festival.  I feel like I am transported to another dimension.  The music does soothe the soul.

Important lessons

I learn many things about music when I go, too.  I can listen to hear so many interlinking parts.  Most of the time, the whole group is not synchronized.  But you realize when everyone is playing together.  You can feel the energy like a wave.  You can’t help but smile and you look around and see others smiling and dancing, too.

Certain parts are more important than others, but each part does contribute to the whole.  When you interlock your part with those around you and are respectful of the rhythm, the music flourishes.  This true in any ensemble.  No one needs to do anything fancy, you just let the music breath and that breath gives the music life!  Sure, having more people playing allows for less weight to be carried by individual participants but it still is true in small groups.  The melody is queen but the groove is king!

Once your hands and ears warm up, you notice the difference between well-placed beats and very well-placed beats! Remember this next time you pick up your guitar!  Also, you may be playing in good time, but are sending out good energy and opening yourself to all the sounds and musical energy around you?  And are putting a good sauce on the beat so it melds with what other folks are doing?

Spring means drum circle!  All those happy feet dancing and hands playing drums! Hope you make it to a circle too!

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