My relationship with drums goes back a long way. When I was in the 8th grade some other boys and I discovered some old band instruments in a closet at school. So of course we started a band. I decided to be the drummer, even though I had taken piano lessons and was the only one in the “band” who could read music.
In high school we had an official band, band teacher, and uniforms. I stayed with the drums and marched in a few parades.
At Oregon State I was in the marching band, and paid for much of my college expenses working in a small band. We played for fraternities and sororities, in private clubs and bars, and I even had the pleasure of playing drums for a professional stripper.
After college there was one evening in a “country and western” band in a local bar. That experience more or less ended my career as a drummer in bands but I came back to drums when I began practicing shamanism in the early 1980′s.
At that time it was not easy to find a good rawhide drum for sale. My first drum was a commercially made drum with a mylar head and fiberboard hoop. The sound was okay and it was cheap. I still recommend those drums for people who want to work shamanically but cannot afford a hand made rawhide drum. If the intention and discipline are there, the drum will work.