Drums and where to find them
Drums and where to find them!
I highly recommend buying a drum, or going on a workshop to make your own so that you can practice as much as possible with the drum in all aspects of your life. It is great fun drumming in the garden too as well as in the treatment space. While you can practice the shamanic journey by listening to a drumming recording, it’s quite a different experience when you work with your own drum. I recommend practising both ways. You can always record yourself drumming a journey for yourself.
As with all spiritual tools there are those that are factory made and seem quite generic but are good value and a good place to start and those that are handmade, unique and sometimes quite beautiful with a price tag to match, as well as everything in between.
You will need to consider your budget and also what feels right for you.
These are known these days as vegan drums and are a great starting point.
What you need to know about synthetic drums:
· Maintain their sound quality no matter what! Ie. You can play them in the rain, the cold and damp do not affect them.
· Available in many sizes and styles ie. Ocean drum.
· Can be painted and personalised with acrylic paints.
· Easy to obtain
· Offer value for money and quality sound
I recommend those that are produced by musical instrument producers rather than those that might be produced by children’s toy companies. For example a synthetic Remo Buffalo drum like this here on amazon is a great place to start and usually carry beautiful tones. If you have a local music store – ask them what they have.
These drums are often handmade by a shamanic practitioner so will be imbued with the energy of the maker as well as the energetic vibration of the animal whose hide has been used as the skin of the drum and of the tree whose wood has been used in the frame.
What you need to know about hide drums:
· Carry the sprit (energies) of the maker’s intention, the animal and the plants that were used in their production.
· Often made from deer, cow or goat skin.
· Unique, often beautiful and can be made to a design of your choice with specific crystals or talismans included
· Sensitive to damp and cold so will have poor sound quality unless heated by the fire/heater, so can be unreliable if working outside or in damp conditions
· Available from specialist shamanic crafters so may have limited availability and quality will vary widely – get a recommendation if possible.
· Prices can vary and can be expensive
Where to find a drum
There are many handmade shamanic hide drums on sale via ebay and etsy but these get very expensive – you have been warned! The following have been recommended to me:
http://www.herondrums.co.uk/ make very good drums in the UK and also run workshops in which you can make your own.
I highly recommend making your own it’s a deep process that really connects you in a unique way to your drum. Look out for drum making workshops in your area.
Drum sizing and sound
You can get any size that you wish, the larger the drum diameter, the deeper the sound it carries and the more variation in tone you will experience.
Smaller drums that you hold by the rim (like a tambourine) can be very handy if you travel a lot, however they don’t have the depth of sound that you will experience with a larger diameter such as 14 – 18 inch.
Holding a drum: Most larger drums that are used in shamanic reiki practice are held at the back with ropes or strips of animal hide pulled tight and they are played with a drum beater or the palm of your hand.
This gives you more flexibility than holding the drum by its rim so make sure the drum you purchase can be held at the back.
Drum beaters: Often drums come with a beater, but do check. You can make your own by selecting a piece of wood from nature, allowing it to fully dry and then covering one end with foam or rags and securing it.
Drum bags or carriers: If you will be travelling a lot with your drum, you may feel the need to protect it by purchasing a special padded and shaped drum bag or carrier. This is not necessary but can give you piece of mind. We do become very attached to our drums! Producers of the synthetic factory made drums also offer drum bags with sizes that match the drums they sell. These can also fit handmade drums so make sure you know the diameter size that you have.
You may find that once you get started with working with sound and the drum, all sorts of other instruments and sound makers start “talking to you” and you feel called to gather them into your practice. Allow yourself to be guided and always try before you buy if you can. Common instruments used in practice are:
· Steel drums and gongs
· Bells and whistles
· Ocean drums
· Rattles and clappers
· Tuning forks and chimes
· Anything that makes a sound that appeals to you ie. Seeds, dried leaves, seashells, items from nature, cowbells etc.
With all new tools, spend time getting to know them and a sense of their energy. Let them know your intention and ask them what their power is and how they can help you in your practice. You may find that you have specific drums, rattles, bells or other instruments for specific client symptoms or healing patterns and techniques. Allow yourself to be guided.
The video below shows you my drums and what to look for when choosing a drum.