Updated: Nov 15
Having delivered drums and rattles to people who want to own their own drums, healers and practicing shamans, as well as people who live a shamanistic lifestyle, I have felt the urge to guide people to make their own drums. There have been several who have requested these courses, and now we are finally up and running.
To hear the drum
Recognizing a call to own your own shaman's drum is not always easy to explain. These drums were virtually wiped out through persecution, forced christening and colonization, and its practice was largely lost. This applies not only in Norway, but most places in the world where the developed world required its entry.
In other parts of the world, drums as a tool have survived to a greater extent than in Norway. It is therefore difficult to explain why we want to get the drum back in our everyday lives. But, by being guided by curiosity and desire to seek, one may have had some experiences that have made it very clear - I want a shaman's drum.
By participating in a drum making workshop, we get the opportunity to meet like-minded people, who through their unique journey, have found their desire to make their own drum. Together we will bring to life an ancient ritual, which is drumming. Circle is a key word here. Starting the drumming course in a circle, sitting in a circle, making the drum in a circle and then initiating it in a circle emphasizes an equality between all participants, and creates a powerful experience for all of us. It also symbolizes how everything goes again, without end. In the same way that we bring back knowledge from those who have lived before us, in a modern setting.
What is included in the workshop?
In the drum making workshop, you will get everything you need from material to make your drum and drumstick. In addition to this, you will also have the opportunity to buy decorations for the drum, consisting of leather laces, wooden beads and feathers. Many people also want to invest in a drum bag, which will keep the drum safe both during travel and storage. You can read more about these here.
Through the creation process of the drum, we find a calm flow, so that the drum is created in a nice way. The participants feel that they are part of the craft, and that they were mentally and emotionally to the place. My role as a instructor is to first explain and demonstrate, and then assist where needed. When the course is over, we all feel that we have been through a powerful and nice experience together.
What makes a drum powerful?
Many people have the opinion that as long as they make the drum themselves, it will be a powerful drum. This is only partially correct. Yes, by helping to make the drum, the drum has got your feel and your energy. You also feel the drum more intimately. However, a drum never becomes powerful only through conception itself. It is the continuous use of the drum that makes it powerful. This is because drumming is a team game between the drum and you. If you use the drum you will get to know it. But, in the same way, the drum will also teach you a lot about yourself. You will be able to feel that it invites to song, sound, movement, more intensity, less intensity. If it invites you to something, that you do not dare or can not go there, then maybe it has given you an insight into something worth working on? Why do I not dare to move freely while drumming? Why do I find it difficult to take big breaths to sing out, and instead get a thin, strained whistling voice? These are not unusual obstacles, or blockages if you will, that we encounter today. I think a lot of what the drum has to teach us about ourselves is about restrictions we have imposed on ourselves, through life in modern society.
After the workshop
When the drum making course is finished, the drum will come home with you. Then it should dry. It is recommended to hang it on the wall or place it on top of some supports with the leather side up, so that the air flow reaches all sides of the drum. Give it 5-7 days to dry completely. It will be worth it!
When you try the drum for the first time, you will get an impression of the sound in the drum. Has the drum a deep voice, medium deep voice or a light voice. What is important to bear in mind here is that the voice of your drum today is largely dependent on the weather outside. If it is cloudy, rainy or high humidity, the skin will be looser and the voice will be deeper. If it is full sun and warm, the skin will tighten and the voice will be lighter. Your indoor climate also affects this in the same way. Warm and dry indoor climate - tight leather and lighter voice.
None of this is wrong. It's just worth knowing that the voice of the drum will move in line with the surrounding climate.
If it feels like the leather is too tight, you can follow the instructions in this video
On the other hand, if the skin on the drum is very limp, even after 7 days and that the drum is not exposed to high humidity, low temperature, etc. then please contact me and I will guide you.
Cut out the air valve
If you think there is too much leather over the air valve, so that it is difficult to reach with the air pump, you can always remove some leather. Follow the instructions at the bottom of this blog post on how to fix it.
Best wishes, Axel