Group drumming offers many people from all lifestyles with a popular form of entertainment. Lovers of music have the opportunity to explore the pleasures of some of the best drums through group drumming. Granted, there are many ways of engaging in this popular form of making music. It can be categorized based on the goals of the participants, the method of drumming and the type of instruments being used. However, none of the forms is unique. Most forms of group drumming have overlapping features.
Nonetheless, we can still create a distinction amongst them based on the following parameters:
i. The training, experience, and qualification of the leader
ii. What is the goal of the group drumming exercise? Is it for therapy, team building, ritual, recreation or education?
iii. The chemistry and cohesiveness that exists between the various participants
This article classifies group drumming based on names, even where there are similarities between them. The various types often have similar features as they are used concurrently. In spite of this, each type has a level of independent dynamics.
Here is a look at the key types of group drumming:
1. Drum Class
In this category, a teacher takes charge of a group of learners to train them in the art of drumming. The teacher conducts regular, timetabled lessons. The classes are tiered in several levels. There could be a class for beginners, intermediate level, and the advanced class. Rarely do the classes mix as they are at different levels of learning. There could also be restrictions on drop-ins.
The essence of the classes is to help the learners acquire the following skills:
i. How to handle the drums
ii. How to play given rhythms on the best drums
iii. How to create musical harmony from a number of instruments
iv. How to play as part of a musical team
2. Drumming Ensemble
This type of drumming group requires people to meet and help hone each other’s drumming skills. The main goal of the group is to enhance performance. The group may practice playing either the more traditional pieces or the contemporary ones. The group has a leader who is usually the more skilled person in the entire team. To form the group, participants audition and participate in rehearsals.
3. Ritual Drumming
Drumming is a way of life, a manifestation of a people’s culture. When used for ceremonial purposes, the team fits together to enhance the textual and temporal aspects of a given program. The best drums can be used to organize people around an idea. Leaders at a meeting may use the dynamics and structures upon which group drumming hinges to enhance the ritual of a program.
4. Music Therapy
The best drums can be used in medical practice to enhance therapy. Therapists may do this with individuals or groups. They employ a variety of ways to achieve therapy. The therapist may opt for a drumming class, an ensemble or a drum circle. The choice will be dependent on what the therapist feels is best suited for his/her clients.
Drumming in music therapy is unique as it is used in a clinical setup. However, it borrows heavily from other types of drumming.
5. The Drum Circle
A drum circle is geared towards two things: music improvisation and inclusion. As such, a number of participants create a music on the spot. The participants do not have to be at the same level of competence in drumming. However, each of them contributes some element to the music produced by the entire team.
A drum circle is loosely structured. It does not have a leader or a discernible agenda. The music is made on the go, with the main goal being to have fun. Some platforms are ad-hoc and open for anybody to participate in. Others have a host or a conductor.
6. Interactive Drumming
This is done for a particular occasion. The participants are not drumming experts per se. They take part in the exercise for the purpose of a given program. A percussionist leads the program and the drummers follow his/her cue.
A number of dancers and singers are usually incorporated into the music-based program. The purpose of the program is to instill certain values, communicate themes and support a given cause. Interactive drumming is common at corporate events.
7. Drum Play
When drums and other instruments are used to create an effect in a non-musical way, this is described as drum play. For example, they can be used in a teambuilding session to create an obstacle course. Similarly, drums and other percussion instruments can be used as props to enhance a narrative. Drum play is very similar to drumming games, and the two often go hand in hand.
8. Drumming Games
This is the use of drums and other percussion instruments in some kind of a play. It is also referred to as Rhythm Games. A set of rules that the players should observe are stipulated before the games begin. The rules are meant to guide the players and enhance their interaction in the course of the game. Drumming Games is meant to create fun as opposed to creating music.
Apart from the above 8 forms of group drumming, there are many others that use the best drums. In case of comments regarding the above or any other type of group drumming, do not hesitate to contact us.