Choosing REMO Rhythm Tools - Drum Circles and More!

Group One Questions:

What is a drum circle?  To keep things simple, there are generally two types of drum circles.  There is a community drum circle where small to large groups gather, and a "protocol based drum circle" usually smaller groups.  With a community drum circle, a Facilitator guides the drum circle creating a welcoming inclusive environment.  It is highly recommended to seek reputable training programs to learn how to facilitate a drum circle. REMO endorses Village Music Circles. Click here for detailed info: Community Drum Circle  The protocol type is usually referred to as "group empowerment drumming" offering a series of drumming sessions to focus on certain aspects of life, such as dealing with burnout, illness, social, and, emotional skill building.  The protocol is usually evidence based, requires a facilitator, and the facilitator must be certified for the particular drumming protocol program. *See examples and click for detailed information:  HealthRHYTHMS Group Empowerment Drumming  BEAT the ODDS  Rhythm2Recovery

What are the different types of drum circles?  As noted above there are generally two types of drum circles.  However a drum circle could be a family gathering in the living room or in the backyard bonding together through drumming.  There is the Team Building drum circle where drumming is used to empower one's confidence, strengthen communication, and listening skills; often used in a corporate setting.  There are drum circles devoted to working with adolescents and the elderly. 

What is a drum circle facilitator and can anyone become a facilitator? First and foremost a drum circle facilitator is someone that is passionate about bringing people together. Inspiring them to feel better about themselves, about life,  and to forget their problems, even if is just for that short amount time drumming with others.   Facilitating a drum circle is an art form, and it is available for anyone to try.  Some of the best drum circle facilitators have no background in drumming or playing any instrument.  Others are talented drummers with extensive backgrounds in music.  It takes practice and a willingness to overcome your own fears and doubts.  Facilitator trainings are fun, compassionate events giving everyone a chance to be in safe place to take risks, and overcome challenges. 

What trainings are offered to become a drum circle facilitator? As noted in the questions above, REMO endorses Village Music Circles.  Arthur Hull has established himself as the pioneer and father of the facilitated-drum-circle movement.  Arthur has developed a team of facilitators around the globe offering drum circle facilitator trainings.  Click Here for additional information:  Basic drum circle facilitation.  *Please see links above for information on protocol facilitator training programs.

Do all drum circles require a facilitator?
The quick answer, no.  Most drum circles without a facilitator are exclusive by nature.  Meaning, a specific group of people are aware of the drum circle in their area, the participants have their own drum, and there could be a feeling of intimidation to join.  A facilitated drum circle is almost always family friendly, drums will be provided, and it is a welcoming supportive environment.  The main goal of the facilitator is to make it easy for you to find your voice, feel comfortable, empowered, and free to expressive your voice.  The key to a good facilitator, is after going through the successful steps to empower the group, he or she will take longer and longer breaks from facilitating, now giving the group a sense of belonging, and ownership of their newly discovered improvisational music making.   

Do the different types of drum circles require different types of trainings?
As previously noted, it is highly recommended to take some formal training in drum circle facilitation.  If you are offering a protocol-group-drumming-sessions based on an established evidence-based program, it is required you take the facilitator training for that particular program.  It is plausible that you could acquire some drums and percussion items, and without any training offer your services as a community drum circle facilitator, however your credibility might be questioned, as well as, you are short-changing yourself and your attendees of all the valuable and incredible gifts you could acquire from formal training. 

Is a drum circle and a rhythm-based-event the same thing?
Is most cases, yes.  A rhythm-based-event might offer other things to go along with drums & percussion, such as sound emersion using gongs and singing bowls, or even such things as yoga, movement, and dance.

 Group Two Questions:

Now for the questions we get most often at REMO.  Let's get to the heart of the drum circle--"The Rhythm Tools" - drums and percussion. 

The key word for selecting rhythm tools for your goal, is "practicality".  REMO honors the cultures and source of all drumming instruments.  The most important step REMO has taken is to offer the joy of drumming to others with accessible, great sounding, durable, lightweight, transportable instruments, and keeping them relatively affordable.   


PERCUSSION: For anything non-drum, such as harmony bars, wood blocks, tambourines, shakers, and bells.

TYPES:  REMO makes different types of drums.   For example: Djembes, Timbaus, Bongos, Tubanos, Buffalo Drums

SERIES: With all REMO drums created for practical purposes, we do make different "series" of drums for the above different "types".  For example you could select a djembe or tubano in the VERSA or the FESTIVAL series.  Comparison of product and recommendation is below. The VERSA and FESTIVAL series are "pre-tuned" instruments and extremely popular for drum circles, educational settings, health, and wellness.   The MONDO series, for example, are key-tuned instruments.    

DRUMHEAD: The playable surface of the drum. 

FRAME DRUM:   The diameter of the drumhead (playing surface) is wider than the body (shell) of the drum.  Frame Drums

PRE-TUNE: The drumhead is manufactured to meet a target tension range.  This is designed to offer the player a low maintenance drum without the tuning mechanism. The drum is lighter weight, and less expensive.   On most REMO series pre-tuned drums, the drumhead can be replaced.  Additional info, click here:  Pre-tune

KEY-TUNE:  The drumhead can be tuned to higher and lower pitches.  The advantage here is that the player has control over the pitch by raising or lowering to their liking.  While offering a rich authentic sound, key-tuned drums are heavier and cost a bit more.  If your budget allows and you're not constantly changing locations, here is an example of an entire kit including key-tuned drums:   World Music Drumming

How do I know which REMO drums to use?

The best way to answer this question is to go over the different series of REMO Drums and then offer some advice, along with comparison.

Let's take a look at some of different REMO Series.

We'll start with the FESTIVAL Series.  

The FESTIVAL series offer a pre-tuned djembe, timbau, doumbek, and tubano.  The djembe, timbua, and doumbek are 10" in diameter with a black suede  Fliptop drumhead.  The tubanos come in sizes 10", 12" and 14".   For easy transportability, the 10", 12" and 14" tubano nest inside of each other.  Festival drums are sold individually and in sets of 3. 

The Black Suede FlipTop drumhead can be replaced when it is time for a new drumhead.  

REMO offers a Drum Riser stand which is recommended for the djembe, timbua, and doumbek.  Click here:  Drum Riser

Click here for more information.  FESTIVAL

The VERSA Series

The Versa series offers a pre-tuned Djembe, Timbau, and Tubano. The Djembe and Timbua come in size 13". The Tubano come in sizes 9", 11", and 13".
The Versa Tubano drums nest inside of each other for easy transportability.   The drumheads come in a variety of pitches including Comfort Sound Technology (for sound-sensitive people and locations).   The VERSA drumheads are easily removable for nesting or stacking the drums.  The drumheads can also be played as frame drums.  The Versa drums are sold individually and in sets of 3.  

More information on the VERSA Series:  VERSA

Key-Tune Drums including the MONDO Series and VALENCIA Series

The REMO MONDO Djembe comes in sizes 10", 12" and 14" and 16" with a Skyndeep drumhead  The Skyndeep Drumhead with unique graphics offer bright lively sounds representing authentic djembe open tones, bass tones, and slap tones.   The Infinity Mondo Djembe comes in size 14", two distinctive color choices, and a Mondo Skyndeep Goat Stripe graphic drumhead.  The Goat Stripe graphic drumhead offers bright yet warmer tones.  

The Valencia 100 Series Tubano drums are popular key-tune drums and come is sizes 10", 12", and 14".  The Valencia 50 Series Tubano are pre-tuned and come in sizes 10", 12", and 14" with a replaceable FlipTop drumhead.   The REMO Tubano is not based on a culturally specific drum.  It was designed by REMO to offer a drum with a built-in-stand, and can be easily played by all ages.  

REMO Kids Percussion
The REMO Kids Percussion series offer a variety of instruments with fun colorful rain-forest graphics.  The Kids Percussion djembe, bongos, floortom, konga, tubanos, and frame drums, make for wonderful rhythm tools for kids.  And, many adults enjoy the Kids Percussion for it's small size, as well as the Kids Percussion Floortom where it is set on their lap and played with mallets.  Click here for more information: Kids Percussion Series.    Click here for interactive play along videos: Kids Drumming   Check out: REMO's Saturday Morning Kids Drum Circle

An incredible innovation by REMO is the REMO RHYTHM LIDS, a drumhead that fits on any five, six, or seven gallon bucket.  Whether the budget is a concern, or just looking for something easy to store and transport, the REMO Rhythm Lids could be your answer.  Buckets are relatively inexpensive.  They can be purchased for Home Depot, Lowes, or in bulk from such online resources as  

The REMO Rhythm Lids come in five different types.  Bright tone - Medium tone - Dark tone - Comfort Sound - Snare Kit
Click here for additional information:  REMO Rhythm Lids

Are different types of REMO drums used in different types of drum circles?

Remo Belli always felt that having any type of sound maker whether "found sounds", home made sounds, or REMO quality crafted drums will make a huge impact on improving the human condition.   As you become more in tune with the types of drum circles you like to facilitate, you will acquire a sense of which REMO rhythm tools work best for you.   However, as mentioned above with Remo's philosophy, most, if not all, drum circles could be a success with any type of drums and percussion.     

Full body drums almost always offer the most excitement and inspiration, however you might be doing a drumming session where bringing full body drums is too much.  In this case, you could have a wonderful drum circle with hand held items such as buffalo drums, harmony bars, frame drums, tambourines, and shakers.  This might require just filling a bag or box and you're ready to go; still able to provide an engaging creative experience.   (Some hand-held instruments)

As mentioned in the very top of the article, this is a general article about REMO products.   We recommend you explore our website for a variety of drums, percussion, and accessories.  All REMO drums can be sanitized and you may want to check out our GREEN and CLEAN series for rhythm tools which can be sanitized as well as disinfected.   

The General Differences Between VERSA and FESTIVAL-
VERSA offers a wider range of sizes. The shell of the drum is a bit thicker than the FESTIVAL making for more resonance and volume.  The drumheads are easily removable for stacking and the drumhead can be used as a Frame Drum.   The FESTIVAL drum has a thinner shell and all  drums come in a 10" diameter, except for the Tubano which comes in 10", 12" and 14".   The REMO Fliptop Black Suede drumhead is also a bit muted, however still provides a nice sound with a low and high pitch.    Many Facilitators use a combination of both the VERSA and the FESTIVAL.  

The Key-Tune drums offer wonderful sound, usually ideal for stationary locations, and if your budget is able to accommodate.  

Is there someone I could speak with to help me decide which REMO drums I need, and to learn more about drum circle facilitation?

Yes.  Please send your email to and we will able to set up a date and time to speak with you.   

We hope this general  information is useful.  Our website is filled with all kinds of detailed information.  To help you navigate further, at anytime go to  our home page, click on "Experience", then select such topics as RECREATION or HEALTH and WELLNESS, then click on "Articles" or "Resources". You could also go to our home page, scroll down and look for the "SUPPORT" button and type in your question.    See link below for additional information on the REMO products mentioned above.  

Portable and Affordable Instruments for Education and Family and Online Drumming Fun!