Drum Circle Rhythms for Beginners

Drum circles are a fun activity and a feeling everyone should experience. If you are new then it is normal for you to feel nervous and intimidated. With the help of this article, you can get ahead of your percussion game and be prepared by learning some drum circle rhythms. We have compiled a list that is easy to learn drum circle rhythms for beginners so that you get to have a great time and be in sync with the group. 

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What is the Purpose of a Drum Circle? 

A drum circle when a group of people of any age plays hand drums and percussion while sitting in a circle. The circle can comprise a handful of people or thousands of participants.

The purpose of this community activity is to bring everyone together by getting in tune with ourselves and everyone. It offers equality as there is no leader or head, you are there to form group consciousness and emerge with a collective voice as you drum together with all sorts of people. 

What are the Benefits of Drumming?

Drumming can be considered as a form of therapy and is recommended by doctors worldwide. It helps boost your immune system and promote physical healing. This is done by releasing inner trauma with the help of physical movement.

When you are moving in beat with the music, not only are you releasing suppressed inner emotions but relieving your stress and calming anxiety. Some are said to go into a meditative state, which allows them to become more aware of themselves.

The drum circle acts as a safe space where the participants are communicating with one another and bonding through their percussion. Once you participate in a drum circle, you become part of a whole and adopt a sense of belonging. 

Do You Have to Be a Musician to Learn Drums?

In order to take part in a drum circle, there is no obligation for you to be a musician. You can have no musical background and still participate. The whole point is to relax, so the stress related to being in tune is diminished. Even if you are off-beat, it does not matter.

The only important thing is to have fun. All you need are hand drums such as bass drums, congas, djembes, and bongos. And yes, you can most definitely teach yourself drums. The rhythms are simple and easy to perfect with practice. Read ahead as we enlighten you about some drum circle rhythms for beginners. 

Drum Circle Rhythms for Beginners
Photo by: liza-pooor

Rhythms for Beginners 

Rhythm is when a beat is repeated in a regular series of movements. The sounds are arranged in time to form a pattern. Basic rhythms are made from 4 even beats where each beat gets equal time. On our list, we will be showing both drum circle rhythms and percussion rhythms with six different types. 

  1. This is a drum rhythm where you will need to use your right hand and a drumstick muffler. With your right hand, you are going to be playing the opening tone firmly; followed by your left hand what is muffling that tone. The rhythm will go as follows, one open, one muffle, two open tones, and another muffle, and repeat. 
  2. For the next rhythm, you will need a medium pitch drum, where you will be playing tone and base. The series will be four tones and two bases that will be repeated. The tone is played on the rim of the medium pitch drum alternating between your two hands while the base tone is played by hitting the drumhead. 
  3. This rhythm is for those who have a high pitch drum. Each hand is assigned when you are playing this drum circle rhythm. Your right hand will be playing the bass while your left hand will be playing tones. Your right hand will become the pulse of the rhythm taking a syncopated turn. Syncopated refers to the placing of an accent on a beat that is normally unaccented.
  4. The next rhythm is on an African djembe. In order to remember this rhythm you can use the phrase “I love apple pie.” You will start on the center and beat it twice using a single hand, then move on to the edge to hit it a total of four times alternating between two hands.

Simply just repeat this pattern to form a rhythm. There are other say and play rhythms including, “I love to play my drum”, “mashed potatoes”, “hot chocolate”, and “the heartbeat.”


Percussions add a dimension and excitement to the music.

  • Shakers. When using a shaker, it plays the pulse so that the tempo of this track has a nice shaker sound. You can change up the why you move the shaker to produce a variety of sounds such as rustling, clacking, ringing, clattering, and rattling. 
  • Aboriginal traditional clapsticks. The beautiful sound of the wood helps solidify the tempo of the music. You can play aboriginal traditional clapsticks in a group of three. 
  • Cowbell. A popular rhythm played using cowbells is called “Club eight.” It is played in a group of three and then a group of two. This rhythm is great because it is a syncopated rhythm and because it is a call and response. So we recommend you to learn this rhythm as it pairs well when played with drums.


If you are hesitating about taking part in a drum circle then we highly recommend that you do not turn this fun opportunity down. These exciting events helps build a community, and lets you get in touch with your creative side. There is several health benefits associated with drum circles as well.

It is important to remember that as it is a cooperative environment every participant’s creative energy will be added to enhance the beat and rhythm. There is no competition or stress to be the best at it, all you need to do is have fun. 

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