The Soothing Sounds of TaKeTiNa

It may surprise you that rhythm can be soothing. People usually associate rhythm with loud drums. That was my first experience with rhythm. I banged my first drum kit until my ears rang. Later when I played in an African drumming ensemble, my ears rang after every session. The energy was high, but the experience was certainly not soothing.

When I first encountered TaKeTiNa, I was shocked by how relaxing it was. There was a lot of energy in the room, but the sounds were rich, pleasant, and soothing.

A large drum in the center produced deep, velvety vibrations. It was softly played, and I could feel its low frequencies in my hands and feet. It felt like a sonic massage. The leader’s instrument was full of rich and bright overtones. It was a Brazilian instrument called a berimbau. The sound of the berimbau instantly carries people into deep relaxation.

The in-tune-ness of the instruments and their rich overtones enhanced the voices of the group. We sang rhythmic phrases, in call-and-response with the leader. I had never sung before, but it somehow felt natural and effortless. The group was full of beginners, but somehow sounded like a relaxed, groovy choir. It was one of the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard.

Even during the high energy moments, I could relax. Each rhythm we explored would crescendo to an apex and then gradually fade into a deep silence, creating space for personal reflection and meditation.

Today as a TaKeTiNa teacher, I love that this process is both energetic and relaxing. It literally guides our brain waves while soothing our nervous systems. One rhythm at a time, it heals us with the soothing sounds of TaKeTiNa.

One Response to The Soothing Sounds of TaKeTiNa
  1. Thank you for these well formulated words James. I look forward to being in your circle again!

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