Before coming to a drum circle, drum lesson or class please leave your personal baggage at home. The music scene or drum jam is not the place to bring your personal issues. Please resolve your issues or complaints outside and away from the drums or drum scene.
Many beginners unaware of how beginning they are feel it is their unalienable right to discuss their needs or feelings in the middle of a music session or drum circle. Often it is to complain about their needs not getting met or something such as they want to solo, or be heard. Often these people are not ready to be heard and do not have the basic techniques to make the most basic sounds on their drums.
A complaint I often people get is a beginner being bored playing repetitive parts, which as you may or may not know is the “mantra” and the basis and a part of the basics of all African drumming. They no longer want to play their part and just start playing whatever they want. This can crash the rhythm and make for an unpleasent experience for all involved.
Most classical and traditional hand drumming from the African diaspora consists of ensembles that play repetitive parts. Thre is one soloist at a time and other people hold their parts. Of course there are conversations that happen between players holding basic parts in some drumming cultures. But, that is for advanced players.
If a beginning player tries to converse on his basic part before he can even make correct sounds, it simply does not work. Drumming is a mantra, and the foundation of drumming is parts being played in a repetitive manner. If you do not resonate with this, drumming might not be for you. Or at least group drumming.
I understand that for many people, drumming is about expressing their inner rhythm and creativity. This is perfectly understandable to me and I feel the same way. But it is also a group experience, a shared experience and that means there are specific roles you play and parts.
To express creative inner rhythm, you have to have it. You also have to have a vehicle to get that creativity out. That vehicle is technique and knowledge. It takes practice to develope technique, and knowledge to learn technique. just like anything else in life. Simply having a desire to be creative and a fantasy is not enough. Coming to a drum circle , party or dance class and expecting to be ‘heard’ when you can not even make the basic slap, tone and bass sounds on your drum is not a great idea. Drums speak drum language and this is something that is not only learned, but also developed over time. If you want to be heard make sure you have something to say!
People like to bring their “stuff”, their personal baggage and problems to the drum class, drum jam or drum circle and I believe the best place to leave your baggage is at home.