Gankogui Shekere Guiro

Instruments anyone can play!
No musical experience necessary

Have you tried learning an instrument, become bored, frustrated and given up or are you new to music - making? Well, why not try hand - drumming? We specialise in providing hand - drumming & percussion workshops for absolute beginners - no need to read music or own a hand - drum. We can provide 1:1 sessions, ‘one - off’ workshops or mini courses. Want to know more?. Then read on…

What are hand drums?

Hand drums are drums you play with your bare hands rather than with sticks. Some of the most common hand - drums include the congas and bongos from Cuba, the Middle Eastern doumbek and the narrow - shelled frame drums which come from a variety of places around the world. One of the most popular hand- drums is the goblet shaped djembe.

What is a djembe?

The djembe (pronounced jembe) originally came from Mali and continues to be a large part of daily life there and in other West African nations including Guinea, Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. Drummers play a major role in social occasions accompanying storytellers and dancers, with the master drummer or soloist leading the pace of the dance. Djembes and other drums are used in work songs, rituals and ceremonies.

Traditional West African djembes are rope - tuned and the shells are hand- carved from hardwood. Contemporary ‘western style’ djembes include rope -tuned djembes but also key - tuned or mechanical - tuned, djembes. The drum head can be goatskin or synthetic.

What is hand percussion?

Hand percussion instruments can be made from wood, metal or plastic and are usually shaken, scraped or tapped with fingers or a stick. They include bells, rattles and woodblocks and many other varieties and can be found all over the world. Although they are one of the first instruments given to children they are also used by professional musicians and singers to add texture and excitement to their music. In hand - drumming workshops they are used as timekeepers or can match or complement the rhythms played by the drums. Double bells can introduce a melodic element to the sound of hand – drums

What are the benefits of learning hand- drums?

Hand - drums are accessible. There is no need to read music and you can feel a great sense of achievement after just one session!
Learning any new skill can boost your confidence. But hand - drumming in particular can benefit the body & mind in the following ways:

1. Induces a state of relaxation

The effects of hand - drumming are very similar to those experienced by athletes. The regular beat can put us in a state that athletes call the "Zone", where we become very alert, relaxed and focused all at the same time (a bit like meditation).

2. Keeps you focused in the 'here & now'

The act of concentrating on rhythm means you're living 'in the moment,' not worrying about the past or future. This is sometimes called "mindfulness".

3. Uplifts your mood

People 'feel better' after a hand - drumming session. Energising and exhilarating rhythms can really help to change your mood for the better.

4. Connects you with others

Making music together by sharing the same rhythm or playing different rhythm parts which interlock together can create feelings of unity and togetherness.