Drumming, one of the oldest form of musical activity, can be found in almost all traditional culture from around the world.
Barrel shaped drums are played to provide anchor beats for the festive lion and dragon dances of Chinese people. Hand held frame drums are commonly seen in prayer and community gatherings in Central Asian countries. Goblet shaped drums known as doumbek or darbuka are used widely in festive events and belly dances within Middle Eastern and East European countries. In Europe, drums were essential items in battles as they were used to drum up courage as well as signal to coordinate military movements. And Africa, need we say more about this continent ? Looking over to the Americas, Native Americans in Northern hemisphere typically use frame drums with beaters for their chants. Finally, Latin American countries probably have the most variety of drumming culture as a result of European colonisations and slaves from Africa in the 19th century.
This interesting phenomenon is due to the fact that as humans, we are inclined to rhythm of any form. From hearing our mothers’ heartbeat in their womb to innately experiencing a lifetime of universal rhythms of our planet’s daily rotation and the hustle and bustle of our living environment, all humans are naturally attracted to rhythm.
The only difference among us is if we choose to respond to rhythm. By rhythm we are referring to the rhythm that’s innately in us. These are times when we naturally want to tap a long to a melody or groove that we like, when we feel uplifted and charged up at the sound of drums beating away, and even when seeing anything that’s in synchronised motion i.e: marching footsteps, machines parts working together, movement choreographies etc
Growing up, most of us were conditioned to behave in a certain way so as to be accepted by society at large. While none of us should be dancing and banging around like barbarians, it is however beneficial for our well being if we answer to the ‘rhythmic urges’ that’s always in us.
With a thousand and one thoughts going through our mind every day, drumming provides a way for us to calm our mind. By playing a consistent rhythm, drumming helps us to converge our subconsciousness into a state of flow. According to world renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, people are happiest when they are in a state of flow.
Whether you are using a drum or any other surface which you can play on, below are notation of 5 simple rhythms to help you get into a state of rhythmic flow :
- / Bom – Pa Ta Pa Ta Pa – / Bom – Pa Ta Pa Ta Pa – /
- / Pa Ta Pa Ta Bom – Bom – / Pa Ta Pa Ta Bom – Bom – /
- / Pa Ta Pa – Pa Ta Pa – Bom – Bom – Bom – Bom – / Pa Ta Pa – Pa Ta Pa – Bom – Bom – Bom – Bom – /
- / Bom – Bom – Pa Ta Pa – / Bom – Bom – Pa Ta Pa – /
- / Bom – Pa Ta Bom – Pa Ta Bom – Pa Ta Pa Ta Bom – / Bom – Pa Ta Bom – Pa Ta Bom – Pa Ta Pa Ta Bom – /
Interested to explore more rhythms?
Feel free to click on the link below to access our free pdf file where we have a list of rhythms for you to explore with ☺️🎶!
And for those of you who are already using drumming to help you get into your state of flow, how about organising your own retreat with a couple of drumming friends? Check out “Reason for Being” (https://reason-for-being.mystrikingly.com/), a start up by my friend Nick who has been organising all my drum retreats. He has deep and established networks in the South East Asian eco-resort network and has organises many successful retreats for yoga, meditation and music practitioners.