The Power of Drumming
Drumming opens our hearts to let healing occur. Every culture holds the energy of the heartbeat that lives in the drum, giving all people the ability to share in the language of the universe, the sound of life.
In fact people who have previously felt blocked in learning a musical instrument can use the Reiki Drumming techniques to help relieve fear of creating sound.
Reiki Drumming affects the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies simultaneously, helping to bring them into harmony while raising the vibratory rate to levels which may allow the body to accelerate its innate healing abilities. Drumming reminds our body of its ideal vibratory rate, which is in harmony with the pulse of the earth and the Universal flow of creation..
Reiki Drumming introduces methods to enhance the power to send Reiki at a distance, as well as to strengthen the vibration of the peace ray on the planet, while assisting in harmonizing our human consciousness with the Earth.
We connect directly with the Heart and the Mind of the Divine when we access Reiki energy. Drumming is also a way to align with the Divine, as has been experienced since ancient times, through native spiritual, and shamanic healing practices.
Biofeedback research indicates that even brief heartbeat drumming can double light meditative brainwaves (alpha) and reduce stress. We now know that stress depresses the immune system and has been linked to nearly all diseases.
Care & Feeding
of Your DrumDrums and Drumming 101
Think of your drum as being alive! It is made out of rawhide which is dried skin from an animal. Ours are chiefly made from elk, steer, horse, goat, buffalo and bear stretched on round maple wood frames. In some areas of the world, drums are even made out of fish skin! But a drum can be made from any skin that is large enough to be stretched over some kind of frame. Frames the world over come in varying shapes and sizes including, but not exclusive to, ones made from wood, metal or stone. Humans have been drumming on something including their own bodies since the dawn of time. So the list of ingredients to make a drum is open to all possibilities!
Storage: We keep our personal drums hanging on a pegboard in our workshop or on the walls in our home. Be sure not to hang your drum or keep it in direct, hot sunlight or over heaters. Depending upon what kind of climate you are in, the dramatic change in temperature can be hard on it. Never leave your drum in a damp room for long periods of time without using it. Mold can actually grow on both the rawhide and the wooden frame. If you do keep your drum in a cold damp room, you will want to get it warm before you use it by one of a variety of methods mentioned below. There are no really quick good ways to warm a drum that is truly “dead” ~ hide warped and not taunt. But, don't despair, there are ways to bring it back to life once again. So be aware that you will have to plan ahead to make sure that your drum is taunt and playable again.
Travel: When we travel with our drums we carry them in bags. If we are just carrying 2-4 drums, we use bags that we buy from Cedar Mountain Drums in Oregon. Call 503-235-6345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We suggest that you check out their website first.http://www.cedarmtndrums.com/Accessories/accessories.htm These are the best we've found for the money. If we are carrying a lot of drums for circles or sales, we use large, heavy duffle bags. Drums do travel well in airplanes. We take them as carry-on luggage in the cabin. Usually 13" - 15" drums fit the easiest. You might want to call the airlines and ask if an 18" diameter would fit in the same space. Always treat your drum with respect and take care of it as you travel.
Temperature and humidity changes: Like your skin, drums will become slack or taunt with varying temperature and humidity changes. For example, when it is very wet and cold a drum has the tendency to literally soak up the moisture in the air and lose tension in the head. This makes it go “dead.” In other words, it sometimes becomes so loose that when it is struck with the beater or hand there is no resonance to the sound. It is dull and lifeless. This is a typical scenario for the Pacific Northwest in the United States or any humid climate. In this case the drum then needs to be warmed up and dried out. The best way to achieve this is to get it into a warm dry room and let it acclimate itself once again. Do not put it too close to any heat source (heaters, hair dryers, stoves, candles, etc.) as it will cause it to dry out too fast and could do damage to the skin. Think of how your own skin reacts to such conditions. Ouch! A friend of ours on Maui, HI found that just by keeping her drum in a sunnier room, but not in direct sunlight, her drum always had a good, playable voice. Even a friend in Ireland moved her drum into the warmer kitchen rather than a bedroom and it now sings with a beautiful voice with no bother of warm up time. If your drum is not completely “dead,” you can warm it up by simply holding it against your heart for a period of time and your body heat will help it to sing. Plus, what a wonderful way to make a heart connection with your sacred friend and helper.
Here in the Southeast, drums deal with the high humidity pretty much at all times. But the worst times are in the spring and fall when we are not so prone to turning on our air conditioners or heaters which dehumidify the air inside our dwelling. You might try letting your drum sit in the sun just for a short period of time to dry it out. We never recommend it sitting in direct sunlight too long because it can dry out the skin. But in the short term, this may be a viable way to dry out your drum. It will love the fresh air, but don’t forget about it. If your drum’s voice becomes very high, than you’ve left it out in the sun too long. Get it back to shelter and it will be fine. Of course, playing your drum in the sun is fine, though. It will usually love that!
The other extreme in conditions is dry and hot, such as the weather that exists in the Southwestern parts of the U.S. or similar climates. With these types of conditions your drum will become very taunt and have a much higher voice to it. Worse case scenarios are the skin actually becoming too tight and splits (We actually have some friends that this happened to.) or the skin becomes so tight that the frame twists out of shape or even “tacos.” (Picture a taco shell in your mind and you will know what we mean. This happened to us in Tucson once!) These worse case scenarios normally can be avoided with some special care. In this case you want to cool the drum down. Get it in some shade or a cool place inside. We carry a small plastic spritzer bottle with us filled with water when we travel to hot areas. We use it to lightly spray the dry tight drum head to help it cool down. Don't leave it in the car exposed. You want to be careful not to leave your drum in a hot car uncovered or directly in the sun for a long time. We bury our drums in sleeping bags under blankets and pillows to help keep them cool. Always treat your drum with respect and according to the climate conditions.
Although we fully guarantee our drums, we can’t be responsible for Mother Nature or your neglect to take care of it. Remember though, drumheads and frames can be replaced. Obviously, we’ve had to do this several times for ourselves and others. Maybe your drum could be telling you it’s time to replace a part or make another because you are now on a different step in the upward spiral of your soul’s journey.
Respect: Let us add here that you don't want to lay your drum on its face on rough gravel or anything that could damage it. This only stands to reason and is the natural way to treat anything that you love and care for. Remember that your drum came into your life as a guide and helpmate. Once again, give it the respect it is due.
Cleaning and moisturizing: To clean your drum just wipe it with a damp cloth. To moisturize, just rub your hands over the face. The oil from your skin will help it to stay beautiful and lustrous. Plus, its just such a wonderful feeling and sound! If, perchance, the rawhide of your drum happens to dry out far too much, you can use a product called Lexol PH that is available through dry cleaners, Tandy and various other retail outlets. Lexol is a leather cleaner and moisturizer. We suggest that you use a half water/half Lexol solution and just wipe your drum with a soft rag that's been soaked in it and then wrung out. Most of you will never have to do this. It only seems to be at all necessary if you are in a very dry climate and then only every couple of years. If done too often, it can soften the hide too much.
Drumming: We like to open a relationship with each drum we play before we use it. Holding it against your heart, as we mentioned above, and just melding with its energy is a good start. Also, rubbing your hand across its face in whatever way feels best to you (clockwise, counter-clockwise, outside to inside, inside to out, etc.) is a good way to warm your drum up and get to know it. When you feel you and the drum are ready, just begin. That is the beauty of a frame drum. You really can't do anything wrong. So you think you can't carry a beat or don't know anything about drumming. You might find out that as you allow yourself to meld and melt into the energy of the drum, it will help you to play the most heartfelt and spontaneous of beats.
If you are playing with a group, after you have melded with your drum then allow yourself to meld with the group energy. Listen with your heart and then begin to play. There's nothing less powerful about playing softly. If you're feeling timid, that's OK. Just let go and let your body/Soul do the “talking.” Drumming is one of the most wonderful ways to form community. We've been doing this since the beginning. Let yourself remember. And most of all have fun!
Journeying: Don't forget like we learned in the DrumMaking and Journeying Workshop, you too can play the journeying beat for your friends, your family and even for yourself. Start with the walking beat ~ slow even rhythm. It settles you down and gets you ready for the journeying beat. Then move to the Journeying beat ~ much faster beat with no syncopation. Play as long as you like, until you're done or whatever specified amount of time you all have agreed upon. Remember the arm movements that you used at the end of each journey? Spread your arms out at shoulder level and then bring your hands together at your heart as if you are embracing your information and owning it for yourself, thus, owning your journey. You can ask people that you are drumming for to use that movement when they are complete so you will know when everyone is finished. As far as playing the journeying beat for yourself, this comes with a bit of practice. You literally forget that you are playing and just get into the journey. Don't forget the callback. It is the very loud, very quick wake up beat that you heard when we were done with our journeys. I play a 7 beat callback. But I have heard others do different styles. The intent is to bring you back to present time/space. I believe no matter how the call back is played it is meant to sound pretty obnoxious. It startles you out of your journey. If you are not comfortable with playing for yourself, you can always buy Journeying tapes or CD's but they never sound as good as the real thing. Here's a good one from the Master himself, Michael Harner
Just remember, if you open to all possibilities, the results can be limitless.
Building your own drums: If you are confident enough to build your own drums on your own or are interested in purchasing rawhide, frames, leather, fur and much , much more, we suggest that you check out the people whom we buy our supplies from. Go towww.furandhide.com They are located in Centralia, WA. They are true angels walking on The Mother! If you get the chance, go down and visit their shop.