The Origins - Drumming for Mother Earth
Frame drums have many names: From the delicate Daf drum to the powerful Powwow drum, countless cultures around the world use their very own individual membranophones. Whether as an accompanying instrument, for ceremonies and rituals or for classical music pieces - the settings and playing styles are very different.
We would like to give you a small overview of the musical and spiritual possibilities of drums with the following overview.
Get in touch with each other and with yourself - thanks to drums from feeltone
The ritual drums made in our workshop are similar to the North American, Mongolian and Lappish models. In addition to handy models, you will also find large powwow dr ums for your ceremonies. We use only natural materials: the frame is made of wood, while the membrane and cord are made of animal skin. Our skins come from a tanner who works exclusively with small farms and hunters. Through him we source cattle, horse, boar and deer hides.
The feeltone ritual drums are played trance-like with a mallet during personal or group rituals. They are also ideal for full moon drumming. And in adverse weather conditions? We have drums especially for outdoor use from the famous drumhead manufacturer Remo in our program. They are water resistant because their skins are made of plastic. This is very practical when the weather is too humid for natural drums.
In addition, you will find accessories for drums in the feeltone range, such as our high-quality drum bags in all sizes - for the best storage and safe transport of your drum.
Self-made drums - frames and skins for your unique drum
You want to build your own individual ritual drum? Then you will find at feeltone both individual parts and drum kits for an instrument according to your ideas.
The ritual drums consist of:
- round or square frames
- skin cords
- leather strips
- mallets (accessories)
Cattle and horses have about 5 m2 of skin area, wild boar and deer rather only 1 to 1.5 m2 of skin. For drum skins, you have to look at holes from bullet holes, through barbed wire, or ticks (in the case of deer). Holes can be punched in these four skin types to pull the drum skin cord through and pre-tension it. The skin cord is usually cut from the remains of the whole hide. Goat, sheep and fish skin must be tensioned differently as the holes would tear out. They are also not suitable for use as skin cord.
To wrap the handle of the hard skin cord, leather strips are needed. At feeltone we add an extra strip in case the skin cords rub against each other and rattle with it. Then you can pull the leather in between and the rattling will stop.
Traditionally, you look for your mallet stick in the forest. The lower branches of conifers are best suited, as they are already dry. Freshly cut branches must first be dried. The soft mallet head is sewn from leather. Wrap sheep's wool around the front end of the stick, then pull the beater head over it and stuff it with wool until it has reached the desired hardness. Then tie and glue the head at the bottom.
How to care for your drum lovingly
To ensure that you have a lifetime of joy and happiness with your drum, it is very important that you take good care of it. Because your drum is your companion in turbulent times. Use it to connect you worldwide, to play for you and your ancestors and to align yourself again and again.
Pay attention to the right humidity
How tightly a drum is stretched and how it sounds depends on various circumstances. First and foremost, drum skins react to humidity - they don't care about differences in heat.
What does this mean?
- In winter, in northern regions, all drums tend to be tightly tensioned and high in sound because of the heating air.
- In summer (without heating) the drum skin is rather slack and low - depending on the humidity. In continuous rain, it does not vibrate at all.
Too dry and high:
- If your drum is too high and tight, you can hold your hands under water and rub the water on the drum. It soaks into the drumhead and softens it within minutes - making the sound deeper.
- It is advisable not to store the drum openly in the heating air, but rather airtight in a bag.
- If you want to hang and look at your ritual drum, you should treat it like a dear roommate or like your own skin: Give it enough humidity, for example by placing plants, humidifiers and water bowls. Your room should always have a relative humidity of between 40% and 60%.
- Is your drum too low and/or too floppy? Then hold it up to a heat source - anything from a heater to a hair dryer to a fire is possible.
- If you have a real animal skin on the drum, you can hold it very close (20 to 30 cm) to the fire. But be careful and test the firmness again and again, then you can achieve a good result very quickly. The thicker a skin is, the more robust it is - a cow skin is almost indestructible. You have to be careful with thin skins and fire. These can also crack if drying is too fast.
- If you have a plastic drum, for example from Remo, avoid fire and direct sunlight. Plastic is made from crude oil and shrinks when exposed to heat. This damage is hardly repairable.
Give your drum the right protection
Is the winter once again very dry and you have difficulty keeping the humidity above 40%? Then rub your drum from time to time with a simple oil very thin, so that the skin does not dry out so quickly.
When transporting your drum, you should always protect it from direct sunlight, regardless of whether it is made of animal skin or plastic. If the drum is perfectly tuned at home and you want to take it with you in wet weather, wrap it in a plastic bag. Then the correct tension will be maintained.
Would you like to learn more about our drums and other instruments from feeltone? Then visit us on YouTube!