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The Shamanic Drum: A Guide To Sacred Drumming [Paperback]

Michael Drake
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

9 July 2009
Shamanic drumming is an ancient approach that uses rhythm to promote healing and self-expression. Trained as a ceremonial drummer in the Mongolian shamanic tradition, Michael presents the first practical guide to applying this ancient healing art to our modern lives. Through a series of simple exercises and lessons, he teaches the basic shamanic methods of drumming. The focus is on creating sacred space, journeying, power practice, power animals, drum therapy, drum circles and the therapeutic effects of drumming. Whether you are an accomplished percussionist or a total beginner, this user-friendly book will help you harness the power of drumming. Recent studies demonstrate that drumming is a valuable treatment for stress, chronic pain, cancer, stroke, trauma, addictions, mental illness, emotional disorders and a wide range of physical disabilities. The benefits include relaxation, healing, more energy, greater mental clarity, enhanced creativity and deeper self-awareness.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Talking Drum Publications; 4th Revised edition (9 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0962900206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0962900204
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 0.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Michael Drake is an internationally respected writer and recording artist. He is the author of Shamanic Drumming: Calling the Spirits, The Shamanic Drum: A Guide to Sacred Drumming and I Ching: The Tao of Drumming. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Awareness, Sacred Hoop, and Mother Earth News. Raised in a conservative Southern Baptist Church, Michael had his first ecstatic experience as a youth at a church revival, an evangelistic meeting intended to reawaken interest in religion. This state of rapture and trancelike elation inspired his spiritual quest. Michael spent more than thirty years of his life seeking answers to some of life's most perplexing mysteries: Why am I here? What happens when you die? What is life's purpose? He explored the world's great religions, considered the philosophies of humanity, and studied the theories of modern science.

At a crucial point in his search, Michael came in touch with the transforming power of shamanic drumming and of an ancient shamanic way of self-knowledge. Under the tutelage of Mongolian shaman Jade Wah'oo Grigori, he learned the healing rhythms and drum ways of an ancient shamanic lineage. He discovered that therapeutic rhythm techniques have been used for thousands of years to create and maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health. Inspired by his studies, research, and experiences, Michael founded Talking Drum Publications in 1991 in order to share the healing power of rhythm with the global drumming community. For the past twenty years he has been facilitating drum circles and hands-on experiential workshops nationwide. To learn more, visit Michael's website at

Product Description


"Michael Drake has provided a textbook on shamanic drumming that should be an enduring classic." --Jim PathFinder Ewing, author of Reiki Shamanism

"A clear and practical work." --Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way and The Vein of Gold

"The Shamanic Drum expresses things as they are, and it's indeed true that the drum and the proper ceremonies are the way in which we balance and harmonize the energies of the Earth, its creatures, and our relationship with all realms." --Dhyani Ywahoo, author of Voices of Our Ancestors

"Apprenticeship would be the ideal way to learn shamanic drumming, however most of us will never be fortunate enough to have this experience. This book is definitely the next best thing." --Lisa DiPlacido, Friend's Review

"This book is a valuable, well-researched, and well-written treatment of all aspects of shamanic drumming. The author weaves together both ancient and modern lore, from oral shamanic chants to modern physics and biology, along with personal experiences to illuminate the practice of sacred drumming. Included are step-by-step exercises, analysis of different beats and tempos, and chapters on cosmology, journeying, power practice, and healing the earth. Recommended to anyone seeking to connect deeply with the drum as a tool for personal, interpersonal, or group spiritual and healing work."
--Nowick Gray, Alternative Culture Magazine

From the Author

In Western culture, there is a great renewal of interest in the practice of shamanism. This surge of interest can, in large part, be attributed to the purity of shamanic cosmology as well as the freedom and individuality of the shamanic experience. No intermediary such as the church or priesthood is needed to access personal revelation and spiritual experience. All dimensions of reality and the mystical knowledge and powers they contain are available to one who practices shamanism. Every shamanic practitioner becomes his or her own teacher, priest, and prophet. Shamanic practice brings one ultimate power over one's own life and the power to help others do the same.

Most people will never have the opportunity to meet a shaman, let alone learn from one. Though no substitute for an apprenticeship situation, a handbook can convey the fundamental methodological information. The information presented here is the culmination of my quest to understand the power of rhythm. It is a synthesis, a blending of drum ways I learned under the tutelage of Mongolian shaman Jade Wah'oo Grigori with rhythmic knowledge from many of the world's shamanic traditions. Truly significant shamanic knowledge can only be acquired through individual experience; however, one must first acquire the methods in order to utilize them.

Shamanic drum ways provide the opportunity to acquire shamanic experiences. The techniques are simple and effective. The resurgence of shamanism nationwide can, in large part, be attributed to the fact that shamanic drumming offers a relatively easy means of controlled transcendence. When a drum is played at an even tempo of some 180 beats per minute (or about three beats per second) for at least fifteen minutes, most novices report that they can journey successfully even on their first attempt. This ease of induction of altered states and related experiences contrasts dramatically with the months or years of practice usually required by most meditative disciplines to induce significant effects. Today's drummers are rediscovering the trance or ecstatic aspects of drumming. This new rhythm consciousness is oriented not toward performance and musical virtuosity, but toward personal transformation, consciousness expansion, and community building. By employing the drum ways described in this book, you will have an opportunity to personally experience shamanic states, power, and healing. These ways do not require faith or changes in your definition of reality. No change in your subconscious mind is required either, for the drum only awakens what is already there. It will awaken the shaman that lies dormant within you.

The most effective way to learn shamanism is to adopt the same basic concepts shamans do. For example, when I speak of "power," it is primarily because the term is basic to shamanism. Power can represent many different things. To some shamans, power is understanding energy and how to utilize it. To others, it is a measure of one's ability to manifest a vision in the material world. However, it is best to avoid any preoccupation with seeking a scientific understanding of what power may really represent or why shamanism works. I practice shamanism myself, not because I understand why it works, but simply because it does work.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide 2 Aug 2014
By Flick-M
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this on Kindle initially, but it turned out to be so useful that I returned the Kindle version for a refund and bought the paperback instead - a better bet for reference books where you want to flip back and forth. I am a drummer but had given away my shamanic drum some years ago, playing only the bodhran, and I wanted a refresher to get back into shamanic work, so the clear, step by step explanations and beautiful writing were just what was needed. I think this really is the best guide I've come across. So many other books tell you how to journey but don't go into detail about the drum, seeming to assume you will use Youtube clips or CDs instead, but I like to control my own drumming. He gives useful, step by step exercises, small preparatory rituals and very evocative but uncomplicated details of where you can journey to. Playing techniques are given and guides on choosing and looking after yor drum - along with other appendices. All this is woven together with spiritual wisdom, reasons for journeying, power animals, spirit guides, the three worlds, and also drumming to attain things you need in your life, like solutions to life situations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shamanic Drum 30 Dec 2012
By Andy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book that provides a very workable manual, packed with practical knowledge, information and exercises. I was looking for good, authentic shamanic information to incorporate into my own shamanic practices plus ways of weaving this into my drum birthing workshops, I found all I was searching for and more in this book. Definitley recommend to others as a must have book. Thank you :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must if you like shamanic drums 26 Jun 2014
By Pam
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recently bought an Indian shamanic drum and wanted to know the benefits of drumming, this is a very insightful book and thought provoking while being easy to follow..many interesting aspects to tribal drums we all could do with knowing about and also how we can help the planet in a gentle way
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5.0 out of 5 stars About the best book on the subject 14 Jun 2013
By Rich
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When reading this book, you will not want to miss a word. It is so well written, will everything covered within this wide subject.
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