Drum Circles Book

drum circle book

My 300 page book, “A Practical Guide To Hand Drumming And Drum Circles”, is $8 on Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook. You can read the first few chapters free with the look inside feature. It covers just about everything about drum circles & hand drumming. If you don’t have a Kindle reader, the App is free, then the book can be read on most laptops, PC’s, phones, and tablets with any OS. Check the Kindle store for more info. ISBN 13: 9780615274102 – Here’s the Kindle link, or search on the title:

Here’s the Link to My Drum Circles Book On Amazon Kindle

drum circle book 2

This book is jam packed with practical information, suggestions, and ideas for people who love hand drumming. If you’re interested in starting up a drum circle, an interactive drumming program for your group, or facilitating drum circles for a living, this read will help you along your drumming path. The focus is on sharing as much information about hand drumming and drum circles as I possibly could. Introducing people to drumming is what I love to do.

I include six different ways to quickly jot down, or quickly transcribe drum rhythm notations. I cover vocalizing rhythms and how to get a rhythm going quickly no matter how large your group is. There is my sample set list of various rhythms that I use for a 90 minute facilitated drum circle. It’s sort of an outline I use and then improvise from as needed. It gives you an easy to follow guideline for almost any form of drum circle.

I cover facilitating drum circles, working with specialty groups, hosting drum circles, rhythmic drumming events, and programs for all ages. There are two chapters on open freestyle community drum circles, which are often misunderstood or even misrepresented. They are discussed in great detail. Everything from having a rockin’ drum circle – to a healing drum circle, plus the many different ways to approach them. I cover a wide variety of topics and questions I frequently get asked. For example:

How do I start up a drum circle? What kind of drum(s) should I get? How should I approach working with this group, or that group? And many other hand drumming, or drum circle related topics. Drumming with special needs groups, health and wellness, with kids, teens, adults, elders, and mixed age groups. Drum circles in night clubs, cafe’s, and pubs.

Team building, conventions, businesses, corporations, and events. Drum circles with at risk populations, at spiritual gatherings, and community events. Working with music directors, educational teachers, in schools, music therapists, and medical professionals. My drum circle blog, (link below) has a sample of about 40 pages from my book, if you would like to read a couple chapters from it use the “Look Inside feature on Amazon Kindle. Here’s the Table Of Contents:

Chapter 1 – Prelude to Drum Circles
Chapter 2 – Preparations for A Drum Circle
Chapter 3 – My Set List & Writing Drum Rhythm Notations
Chapter 4 – What Kind of Drum(s) Should I Get?

Chapter 5 – Learning Drumming and Music
Chapter 6 – Open Freestyle Community Drum Circles
Chapter 7 – My Hosting & Facilitation Style

Chapter 8 – Starting A Public Drum Circle. Clubs, Cafés, Corporate, & Publicizing it
Chapter 9 – Drumming With Kids
Chapter 10 – Special Needs Drum Circles & Elders
Chapter 11 – At Risk Teens & Adults in Prisons

Chapter 12 – Drum Circles in Churches, Spiritual Gatherings, & Weddings
Chapter 13 – Drumming With Injuries & the Elements
Chapter 14 – Working as a Performing Artist
Chapter 15 – Those Big Name Facilitators

Chapter 16 – Some History on Hand Drums
Chapter 17 – The Schumann Resonance, the Golden Ratio, & Healing Drum Circles
Chapter 18 – Politics – Save the wailing drum circles!
Chapter 19 – Humor, Stats, Insurance, & Fees

Whether you only need a few musician pointers, or if you are someone who wants to get a weekly drum circle started, my book will help you along. I discuss how to go about building a drum circle or drumming program in almost every setting. I also cover the business side of drum circles. Are you wanting to start one just for fun? Or only cover your expenses? Want to earn a full time living from it? I cover all that, and lots more. I hope to help you along your drumming journey.


Hand drumming and drum circles enriched my life, and I think it will for you as well. I hope you can benefit from some of the things I’ve done right, as well as the things I’ve done wrong. It doesn’t matter if you are new to hand drumming, have been drumming for a while, or you are a professional musician, this book is filled with good information on getting more enjoyment out of hand drumming, and from drum circles. The proceeds from it help me to fund work in our community. Just trying to put some good out there in the world. You are buying direct from the author. (me) Thanks for helping out. Also, I’m happy to answer any follow up questions you may have after you read it, or brainstorm a little bit with you.


Here’s a few book reviews on “A Practical Guide To Hand Drumming And Drum Circles” from some readers:

“I was looking for a book on drum circles that was not all psycho-babble. I want to be able to create my own unique style and not follow someone else’s formula. This book was the answer for me. It provided a ton of information without ever hinting that one way was the only way. Just gave me the tools I needed, plus lots of suggestions on things I hadn’t even thought of. Plus, the writing style is so upbeat that it was actually fun to read. I can’t wait to start implementing some of his ideas.” — Marti F.

“If you are looking for a book that will give you practical information about any aspect of hand drumming this book is for you. The author shares his experience and knowledge in an open and generous way. I have read several books about hand drumming and drum circles and I have found this book to be the best. You can’t go wrong with this one, and the author may include something extra in the package, you never know…” — Peter M.

“I’ve been hand drumming for almost 20 years, and I’ve hosted a number of drum circles myself, and this book is a must for anyone that wants to learn more about drum circles and/or for anyone that wants to know how to go about starting a drum circle and doing it the right way. There are a few other drum circle books out there but this is the only one that covers so many different aspects of it. Do yourself a favor and get this book!” — Josh R.

“Shannon Ratigan is a master drum circle facilitator. His passion for the art is clearly expressed is this book. Reading it is like having a conversation with him. His approach to drum circle facilitation is natural & organic – just the way it should be. While other books cover just the nuts and bolts, Shannon’s book is complete. If you just look at the table of contents and you’ll see what I mean. His philosophy is to create the best possible experience for everyone. And that means not following a standard cookie cutter format. It has to flow. I’ve read lot of books on this subject and this one is by far my favorite. If you want to do it right – get this book!” — Ted M.

“I have purchased several drum circle books since discovering my interest in the subject. Shannon’s was the first book that I bought. The others remain on my shelf as I keep reading this one. He grabs you with his honest, down to earth style…and the amount of information he offers is amazing. Really unique, and also practical. I recommend it to everyone.” — Brady O.

“I am reading your book with laughs and tears in my eyes. I’m almost 50, but have only been loving, playing, teaching and sharing the drum for 6 years. It is my whole being right now. Reading your book is like visiting with a friend.” — Carolyn F.

“Your practical guide is a treasure. Experience Wisdom and Love are given in a very simple way…making Drum Circles approachable to all. Thank You.” — Nikolas P.

“This book is really just the thing I’ve been looking for. I have practically the full collection of all the other drum circle books now, yet I find Ratigan’s approach quite easygoing and fun to get behind.” — Peter V.

“When you think about it, it comes as no surprise that the drum is mankind’s oldest musical instrument. You can readily see from S.L. Ratigan’s Practical Guide to Hand Drumming that we’re actually not that far removed from ancestors who sat around rapping out sounds eons ago. This is just some of the information in this very well crafted book, which covers the spectrum of drumming, ranging from technical notation to how to tailor a drum circle to meet the needs of differing groups. It contains a wealth of information, told in a relaxed, entertaining manner. No baloney. Should be the definitive work on the subject.” — Larry Smith – Parade Magazine Managing Editor (Ret.)

“I read your wonderful book, not because I want to facilitate a drum circle, but because I wanted to know if it was true that there are no protocols to be aware of in a drum circle as everyone has told me. I suspected that there were some basic “band rules” which might be the difference between making a real contribution or actually detracting from the music making, even in what appears to be a spontaneous setting. Your book revealed and confirmed some basic protocols which are simple to follow and good to know. Thank you for that, it was very helpful, & thanks for moving the drum circle movement forward in a thoughtful and sensitive way.” — Rich and Natalie R.

Check Out My Hand Drumming & Drum Circle World Blog

Some of the topics include: Picking that first djembe drum. Improving your drum circle facilitating or hosting style on a budget. Ways to get the word out and promote your drum circle. Trying to earn a living hosting drum circles. What that first drum circle was really like. Various ways to notate, vocalize, and start a drum circle rhythm. Reading written drum music. A long list of notated rhythms to try out in different styles. Drumming Via Webcam, And With Special Needs Kids. The 3 lyric Version Of Fanga. How to start up a drum circle. The social, physical & mental benefits of drum circles. Choosing a first drum for your child, various ways to get free drum circle facilitation experience. Drumming in the Winter, and Summer. Tuning a lug tuned djembe, conga, or doumbek, and replacing a drum head. Ways to mark your drum. Finding a good doumbek drum on a budget, and ways to tell the quality of them. My latest post is on sitting in with bands – drumming groups, and learning to play by ear. Plus lots more.

Drum Circle Blog at blogspot.com

drumcircles.net shannon ratigan

To email me with any questions, I respect your privacy, & never share emails with anyone.

Contact Email: drumcircles_net(at)hotmail.com

For more info on my “101 Drum Circle Rhythms” 2 hour DVD & Drum Circle CD ($15), Or the 2 rhythms CD’s for $10, click below: A great way to keep a drum circle fresh and interesting, is to have a large body of rhythms at the ready.

101 Drum Circle Rhythms DVD, Full Description Page & Video Sample

“An Actor’s Face” Breaking into Acting, Working Actor Book – $6

I’m not a book machine. I have 2 passions, hand drumming and acting. I wrote one book on each. I have no plans to write any more, everything I know, and all my experiences are in them.

No doubt you know that many musicians, singers, dancers, and other artists cross over into the acting business. My other book titled, “An Actor’s Face, Audition, Casting Advice, And Anecdotes From A Working Actor” (240 pages) is available for $6 at the Amazon Kindle book store. Maybe have a look at my actor page, and see if the acting is something you might want to explore. I worked as both a musician and an actor to survive. It might be a good way to possibly supplement your income. Check it out, here’s my actor page link:

Acting, Auditioning, Casting Advice, And Anecdotes Book Link

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