Da Forli - Frame drum player

Da Forli – Frame drum player (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is a frame drum

A frame drum is a drum traditional for many Middle Eastern, Central Asian, North African, Indian and Native American cultures. The depth of its frame is much smaller than the diameter of the head (where you beat it with your hands or a beater). Tar, Tambourine, Daf, Bodhran, and Shamanic drum are all examples of frame drums. They can be played with hands or with a beater.

Do I bring my own frame drum?

If you have a frame drum and would like to bring it along, please do so. The style that will be taught in the group will be playing a frame drum using our hands. If you play a frame drum with jingles or you use a beater, you are welcome, but teaching for those will not be provided.

If you do not have a frame drum, come along – a number of frame drums will be available. You might want to purchase a frame drum of your own, in order to practice at home. Before doing this it is always a good idea to feel the frame drum in your hands and to hear it sound.

Where to buy a frame drum?TodFrameDrums-SideBar

Basic frame drums are very affordable, with prices starting at £10. You might want to visit a specialist shop such as Knock On Wood, or try different frame drums at the group. At Layne Redmond’s online store the drums come much cheaper, sometimes even after delivery costs are added. Maybe we can organise ourselves, order some drums and split the postage.

Why play frame drum?

As with any musical instrument, playing frame drums gives you the pleasure of creating music. While playing a frame drum, you find yourself in the moment, as you cannot possibly think about anything else. It is thus a liberating and a relaxing experience. It is physical, too, as you use you whole body to play, swinging at the rhythm and sensing the waves going through you. Playing with other people creates a sense of connection. Mastering patterns brings satisfaction and self-esteem.

Frame drums have traditionally been used in spiritual practices, such as Shamanic journeying, healing, rituals of passage and celebrating the seasons.

What will we do as a group?

At our sessions, 1. we will start each one with a short and simple “Present Moment” exercise.

2. Then we will review and learn new patterns for frame drums, following Layne Redmond‘s training programme.

3. We will do improvisational frame drumming.

Once we are good, we will be able to perform as a group – if we want to.

Is this a drop-in group or a course?

You can drop in any session. Just keep in mind that we will be learning and practicing patterns on frame drums, so when you drop in other people might be slightly ahead of you. Not to worry, though, as there will be plenty of time for catch-up.

Playing the drum


Do I have to buy materials for practice?

If you want to practice at home, you are advised to buy Layne Redmond’s Intensive Training Programme practising materials from her website. These are available in CD and DVD format. Both formats come with text files, which contain all the patterns and explanatory notes.

Who are the guest teachers?

Two great teachers will be giving us a session each – see the Guest Teachers page on this website.

I am not a musician

Practice makes perfect. Everyone can tap their foot. Everyone can beat with their palms on the table. We will just do special tapping and beating – over and over again, until we get it.

Photo credit (unless marked otherwise): Duncan Thomas


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