This is a list of various drum circle rhythms I like to play. It's my interpretation of them. A few posts below I wrote about various ways to notate drum rhythms. Enjoy!
KC & The Sunshine Band inspired drum circle rhythm: "That's The way, Uh Huh, Uh Huh, I like It, Uh Huh Uh Huh" ♫♫ Doum ka-tek, ka-DoumDoum Tek, KaDoum ka-tek, ka-DoumDoum Tek ♫♫♫ (I guess that disco era helped me out after all!)
Try drumming out "Morse Code" rhythms. Ask someone to suggest 2 letters, or numbers, & put them together to make a new drum circle rhythm. ♫♫ _ _...._ _ ♫♫ A dot is a tone, & a dash, is a bass note. Sometimes they work, & sometimes they don't, that's part of the fun. There’s a Morse Code alphabet chart on my site drumcircles.net
"Little Drummer Boy" Christmas drum rhythm, if you can say it, you can play it! ♫♫♫ Let's Play Our Drum...Pa - Rum Pa PumPum...Rum Pa PumPum ♫♫♫
Good start up drum circle rhythm: ♫♫ "Yum Yum Tastes Like Ckic-Ken" ♫♫ (Just like it sounds) - doum doum tek-ka tekka, doum doum tek-ka tekka ♫♫
♫♫ An easy way to get a Clave drum rhythm jamming is to remind people of the beat to songs like "Mockingbird" or "Hand Jive" ♫♫♫
Sly & The Family Stone inspired beat. Boom sha-ka la ka, Boom sha-ka-la-ka
Word association is a great way to get a 6/8 drum circle rhythm going. ♫♫♫ Fol-low-the-yel-low-brick-road-go-do-pa-ta-pa ♫♫♫
The "conga line" rhythm usually turns into a good drum jam. On the Doumbek: ♫♫ doum-ka, doum-ka, tek--tek. ♫♫ Or on the Djembe: gun-pa, gun-pa, go--do ♫♫ or just feel the rhythm vamp to MJ's “Thriller".
Variation of an African drum rhythm Gunazi. ♫♫ Boom sha-ka Boom Boom, shakala, Slap!, Boom sha-ka Boom Boom, shakala, Slap! (or some accented tone at the end) ♫♫
♫♫ Cuckoo! ♫♫ Common commercial jingles make fun drum circle rhythms: Cuckoo for cocoa Puffs - Shaka-sha-lakaBoom, Shaka-sha-lakaBoom
Drum circle rhythm with a Brazilian flair to it: ♫♫♫ Doum--ka-tekka--Doum--ka-tek-ka,- Doum--ka-tekka--Doum--ka-tek-ka ♫♫
♫ Boom-Boom chakachaka ping ping ping! ♫♫ (gun dun patapata slap slap Slap)
Masmuudii 316 - A fun drum circle rhythm that rolls like a freight train ♫♫ D---D---t-k-T-k-D-tktkt-TktkT-t (repeat 4/4 time) ♫♫
Balloon Boy Drum Circle Rhythm (in beta test) ♫ oom-pah---oom-pah---oom-pahpah__oom-pah---oom-pah---oom-pah-barf ♫ (start with dominant hand, RL,RL,RLR__LR,LR,LRL) Bass, tones, & etc. (Alternate to balance both sides of the body.)
"Bambii" Another fun drum circle rhythm - Doum-tekka-katek-tekka-kaDoum-Doum_Doum-tekka-katek-tekka-kaDoum-Doum Doum ♫♫♫ (It's in 4/4 time, the 3 Doums at the end is what makes this one really groove.)
(Or, try it filled: Dk kT kk Tk kT kk D D)
Nice support rhythm to start at the drum circle: ♫♫ Boom sha La-ka Boom Boom-Cha__Boom sha La-ka Boom Boom-Cha ♫♫
♫♫ Cool drum circle rhythm Karsilama 3, it has a triplet at the end: D-kkT-kkD-kkT-T-T (2+2+2+3) (Shorthand notation on this one.) ♫♫♫
Interesting Jewish drum rhythm that's similar to the rhythm Ayyub ( D k-D t ) On the Doumbek: ♫♫ Doum tek-keh Doum tek (repeats and builds) Or on the Djembe: Gun go-do Gun go ♫
Tootie Fruitie Drum Circle Jam - ♫ Wop-baba-lou-bop__a-wop-Bam-Boom, Wop-baba-lou-bop__a-wop-Bam-Boom ♫♫ (I think Little Richard might dig us drumming to this.)
Sweet drum circle rhythm: ♫♫ Boom - che-boom_che-boom-a-choc_o_late__choc_o_late, (dramatic pause) Boom - che-boom_che-boom-a-choc_o_late__choc_o_late ♫♫♫
Drum to rhymes or phrases to start a 6/8 drum circle rhythm rolling: ♫ You-huff-and-you-puff-and-you-blow-the-Gun-Dun-go-do ♫
♫♫ Saiidi Drum Circle Rhythm - Doum tekka tekka doum doum tekka-Tek ♫♫
Beledi - Zaffah variation, Boom chick-a chick, Boom Boom _ chick-a-chick-a boom.
Gawazi - a great drum circle rhythm for dancers ♫♫ D tkD D tkt tktk, D tkD D tkt tktk ♫
Slower grooving drum rhythm. Usually a hit with beginners & pros - ♫ Boom, sha-La-Ka-Boom-Boom (pause) Boom, sha-La-Ka-Boom-Boom ♫
♫♫ A fun variation of the Chifitelli rhythm (played nice & slow) Doum, tek-ka tek-ka doum doum Tek (pause) Doum, tek-ka tek-ka doum doum Doum. ♫
Slow drum circle rhythm in "7". There's a triplet at the end. Boom boom, Boom boom, tek-ka-tek. Boom boom, Boom boom, tek-ka-tek. (1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3)
Thanks to Steve B for these two. Boom che-boom, che-boom-boom-boom. Boom che-boom, che-boom-boom-boom.
And this rhythm in 5/4 : tek a-tek tek, boom boom, tek a-tek tek, boom boom.
Zaffah drum rhythm (As far as I know it's an Egyptian wedding processional in 4/4 time.) D-tkt-t-D-t-t-tt (repeat)
The last time we played that Zaffah rhythm, one of the bellydancers said it sounds like Beledi on steroids. LoL. (Beledi= D D tkT, D tkT)
One of my favorite drum rhythms: Doum tek a tek tek-ka, Doum tek a tek tek-ka, Doum tek a tek tek-ka, Doum Doum Tek. (pause, & repeat)