Instructor Tips: How to Lead a Drum Circle

drum circle training drumming circle drumming circles Feb 09, 2023
women playing in a drum circle

Drumming circles are a great way for people to come together, both musically and socially. But drumming circles don't just happen - someone has to lead them.

Here's how you can become the drum circle leader of your own group with these expert tips and guidance.

Learn a few simple rhythms.

As a drum circle leader, it's important to know the fundamentals. Familiarizing yourself with basic rhythms is essential.

A few good ones to start with are the heartbeat rhythm and the clave rhythm. Spend some time practicing these basic elements until you have a good feel for them before using them with your group.

You can get 30 drum circle starter rhythms here.

Set up your space to be comfortable and inviting.

Before leading your first drum circle, consider setting up the space to be as comfortable and inviting as possible.

This includes distributing drums evenly around the circle, making sure everyone feels included and at ease with one another.

Establishing a safe welcoming and comforting atmosphere will help ensure a successful experience for all participants.

Be sure to let your participants know that the drumming circle is beginner friendly and that they don’t need to be perfect! 

Encourage everyone to join in the music-making and invite improvisation.

Improvisation is an important part of drum circle experience. Now it's time to start a rhythm to get the drum circle going!

Start a repeating rhythm that feels fun to play-along to.

Ask participants to hear the rhythm, relax into it and respond by playing along.

Make sure everyone knows that there isn’t a right or wrong way to make music within the drum circle – and to just do their best to help the group sound good together.

Invite them to experiment with different rhythms and to have fun. As they become more comfortable in the rhythm, people will start to find their unique voice in the larger group soundscape.

Drum Circle Training?

If you’re looking for a way to become the drum circle leader of your own group, I offer expert tips and guidance. It’s called The Drum Circle Leadership Mini Course and you can get it right now for just $4.99!

There I’ll show you: 

  • The Secret to Making “Fail-Proof” Drum Circles for individuals and groups.
  • An Easy, Step by Step Method for leading your first drum circle – including how to start, sustain and stop the group. Plus a complete video tutorial you can watch again and again for easy reference.
  • Proven, Pre-Tested Scripts so you’ll always know exactly what to say when setting up the activity.
  • A Path to Immediate Implementation - My goal is to prepare you to lead a beginner friendly rhythmic music making activity for the people you serve right away.
  • Valuable Tips to consider before leading your first drum circle.
  • How to Utilize Drum Circle Starter Rhythms to get and keep your participants engaged.
  • Clear Drumming Technique Tutorials to help you and your participants to sound great and keep your hands safe!

You’ll also receive:

✅ Downloadable scripts for each activity – so you know what to say.

✅ 15 lessons, 3 video tutorials,  2 Downloadable Scripts, 2 Downloadable practice session

Plus these valuable BONUSES:

🎁 10 Key Questions to Consider Before Leading Your First Drum Circle

🎁 A Downloadable list of 30 Rhythm Seeds – Drum Circle Starter Rhythms

🎁 14 Point Drum Circle Check List

🎁 Research Citations Supporting the Health Benefits of Drum Circles

🎁 34 Easy Ways To Improve Your Drum Circle

Get the mini-course now for $4.99


If you're serious about creating your own transformational drum circles, you'll want the Complete Drum Circle Leadership Training for $97 —Includes a personalized Certificate of Completion and everything you need to begin leading your own transformational drum circles! Here's everything you get...


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About Jim Donovan M.Ed.

Jim is a professional musician, trainer, Assistant Professor and Director of Music and Wellness at Saint Francis University and TEDx speaker.

His mission is to share the healing power of music through education and performance. He specializes in placing music and wellness programs in organizations who focus on people with disabilities and people recovering from addiction.

Having presented over 3000+ rhythm and sound based programs since 1999, Donovan works internationally facilitating music and wellness events with a wide variety of populations including corporate, university, people with disabilities, and people recovering from addiction.