I went to my first drumming circle tonight. It was three hours long, although there were plenty of breaks between jams.
When I first got there, I felt a little awkward, but after a little while, I loosened up and started to get into it.
How this works is that someone starts a rhythm and everyone just begins to fill in with their own rhythms. It is quite unstructured. There is a huge range of skills, from folks who have never taken a drumming class in their lives to people who are really proficient.
I think I managed to keep a pretty steady rhythm, even when we played for as much as 20 or 30 minutes at a time.
It was good practice for me to play in front of people, and to loosen up and try new things. When one guy asked me to start a rhythm I went for one of the Sidiyasa ones and I think it threw people that it wasn't a basic 4/4. Later I did one of the Dansa rhythms and that seemed to work better.
And boy is my drum loud. Maybe too loud for something like this. But people were very interested in it. A couple guys asked to play it. In fact, I swapped drums with one guy for a little while. He had a brand spanking new Malian djembe from the Guitar Center and it sounded great.
The next one of these is in January. I am going to try and make it back.
Blackstone River Theatre
549 Broad Street
Third Thursday of the month
7-10pm. Drop in at any point and stay as long as you like.
It won't meet in December, but will resume in January.