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Mastering the Frame Drum: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Updated: Jul 21, 2023


The frame drum, with its rich history and captivating sound, is a fascinating instrument that has enchanted musicians for centuries and dates back millennia. If you've ever desired to learn this ancient percussion instrument, you're in luck! In this short guide, I’ll walk you through the essential steps to help you embark on your journey to mastering the frame drum. NOTE: Free frame drum tutorial videos are now available from the lessons tab on the menu.


1. Understand the Basics:

To begin your frame drum education, familiarise yourself with its construction, various types, and cultural significance. Explore the unique techniques used to produce different sounds, such as finger taps, open tones, and bass tones.


2. Choose the Right Frame Drum:

Selecting the appropriate frame drum is crucial. Consider factors like size, material, and personal preference. A larger drum provides deeper sounds, while a smaller one offers higher tones. Experiment with different types until you find your ideal match. See the online shop for our complete range of drums to choose from.


3. Learn Proper Grip and Posture:

Developing correct grip and posture is essential for optimal playing. Holding the drum with one hand on the frame and the other on the skin might sound simple, however, there are some important technicalities to consider. Please see tutorials by professional teachers to learn these basics. Maintain a relaxed and upright posture, ensuring proper alignment of your body and arms.


4. Master Basic Techniques:

Begin with simple techniques like finger rolls, High ‘Tak’ and ‘Ka’ tones, and open ‘Dum’ bass tones. Practice them slowly and gradually increase your speed. Pay attention to the clarity and consistency of your sounds, as precision is key to achieving a pleasing sound.


5. Explore Rhythmic Patterns:

Experiment with various rhythmic patterns to expand your repertoire. Start with basic beats like the heartbeat rhythm, two and four-beat rhythms etc. Once you feel comfortable, progress to more complex and challenging rhythms.


6. Seek Guidance and Resources:

Utilise online tutorials, instructional videos, and sheet music to supplement your learning. Additionally, consider joining drumming communities or attending workshops to connect with fellow enthusiasts and experienced drummers who can provide guidance and feedback. For a private online lesson, simply send a message via the contact form.


7. Practice Consistently:

To become proficient in playing the frame drum, consistency is key. Establish a regular practice routine and allocate dedicated time for focused sessions. Practicing daily, even for short intervals, will help you develop muscle memory and improve your skills steadily. You would be surprised at the improvement you will see with just 15 minutes practice a day.


Learning the frame drum can be an enriching and rewarding experience. By understanding the basics, selecting the right drum, practicing proper technique, and exploring various rhythms, you'll gradually build your expertise. Remember, patience and perseverance are essential as you embark on this musical journey to master the mesmerising frame drum.

handcrafted frame drum by Steam and Lumber with synthetic skin
Handcratfed frame drum with synthetic skin

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