Are you a school teacher, music teacher or community leader looking for simple rhythms for your classroom, community drum circle or for your kids drumming classes?
Keep it simple
If you're a trained percussionist and drum teacher you know many complex rhythms, phrases and odd times. I have to admit when I’m listening to music that’s really cool, sitting in-the-pocket and funky, such as Joss Stone and I hear the drummer play the simplest fill, I get goose bumps. Sometimes the simplest rhythms can make you feel really good.
Start by creating small successes within the group by developing their ear and nurture listening. Small successes such as easy rhythms for your music class or community drum circle gets kids engaged and quickly builds self-confidence and inspires on-going participation in your drum circle.
Are you looking to develop and build your facilitator skills and confidence in leading a drum circle, either in your school or community? You might be interested in Positive Music Drum Circle Facilitator Training. For more information please contact Peta.
Start with simple rhythms for your drum circle
#1: Shave and a haircut
There are universal rhythms that you can implement in your sessions with call-response rhythms. Such as the rhythm "Shave and a Haircut": This rhythm is slightly swung. Look at this rhythm closely - it's basically the son clave - take out the beats on 2 and 3.
#2: Popular culture
Even this rhythm, which was used in a TV commercial many years ago and clapped by many soccer fans. This rhythm is clapped all around the world at many sporting events.
Look at what's popular on YouTube, like TV commercials or music videos. Simple and common rhythms are played throughout movies, music and popular culture.
#3: In the navy
Once everyone is comfortable with the above rhythms in the drum circle start making longer phrases. Such as the song “In the Navy” by 70's band The Village People, which you will be able to find easily on youtube. The band sing and clap this part after every chorus of the song.
#4: The common rock beat
Rhythm 1 below is very common, it's the good old rock beat. This rhythm is played throughout many 60’s, 70’s and 80’s popular music.
Let’s have a look at putting two parts together, keep the rock beat as the foundation rhythm (that steadies the ship) and add another rhythm to compliment it. You can play rhythm 1 and 2 on two drums such as the West African djembe and conga.
The two parts work so beautifully together, they compliment each other. I use the two rhythms, and some variations of them, in many of Positive Music drumming workshops.
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