A handmade and unique drum can have many names and different purposes. Shaman drum, power drum, Indian drum, witch drum. Some our drums may also be called “kannus”, which refers to Finno-Ugric samanism. However all drums have few things in common that can improve quality of life and relieve stress, among other things.
1. Relaxation. A hundred and one things are spinning in the head and the whole body is overspeeding; does that sound familiar? The sound of drum and drumming may silence these mind-built strollers that no one would always be able to listen to. The drum’s vibrating sound soothes and relaxes the inner state, for example after a hectic work day. Drumming can unravel all kinds of emotions out of the body and mind. Even the more annoying ones like anger, bitterness or sadness. Similarly, drumming itself can as well be a relaxed joy.
The volume of the drum is most affected by its size. The bigger the drum, the better and lower it will sound. However, even with a small drum, you can get off to a great start. Also, remember to tune the membrane of your drum if necessary to get the best possible sound.
2. Treatment of wholeness. The body & mind awareness is an exciting thing. Human is one entity in which the body is an integral part of the mind and the mind is an integral part of the body. From this perspective, drumming can also be physically treatable. When the sound of the drum calms the mind, it can even help with various pain states or pains in the body.
3. Meditation. Meditation is known to alleviate for example depression or anxiety, as well as lead to other magic of being in the present moment and to a better quality of life. Meditation combines relaxation and concentration so the mind is emptied of unnecessary burdens. Both the human body and mind resonate with sound, and even only drumming can allow a deep meditative state to be achieved (by focusing on the sound of the drum). Ancient shamans also fell into a trance with the help of a drum.
4. Nature connection. The best drum is made of genuine natural materials and bring a connection to nature and the earth. What’s more wonderful than walking or staying in the woods while still drumming quietly? It lets the soul rest with all its senses. When drumming in nature, you can also deepen your own nature connection. It may be that the invisible forces of the forest are answering the questions that are open in your life or giving ideas to the next steps.
5. Creating with own hands. If you make the drum by yourself, either independently or with a guided drum course, you may get a deeper connection to it. Even the instrument making process is part of the journey between you and your drum. You will also get plenty of joy from success with your own handprint.
6. The power of colors and patterns. The drum´s hide can be dyed and / or painted with various patterns. Choose colors with your own intuition and you will continue to gain spiritual strength from the drum. If you’re not sure if you want patterns (or dyeing at all) on your drum, leave it open. Your intuition will tell you if the time to decorate your drumhead comes later.
7. Community and body movement. You can play the drum either independently or participate in drum circles. A shared session and sharing the “stream” with others can be a truly empowering experience. Depending on the drum circle, body movement can also be included, making drumming more holistic. Why not start even a drum band with like-minded people, for example.
However, there is no one and only right way to use the drum. You can drum freely, according to your own rhythm and feelings – also along very different paths.
Original text (in Finnish) by Saaga Saarnisola