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Solstice Drum Making Playshop

  • The Sacred Well 536 Grand Avenue Oakland, CA, 94610 United States (map)

with Don Schulz from The Different Drum

2.00p ~ 5.00p

Contact Don Schulz
Register soon! HARD cutoff is Monday, June 6th

Cost varies, see below

Bay Area Dwellers! Here's your chance! 

Come make a drum and let it acclimate to the environment in which you live.

FAQ answers for (hopefully) all of the questions you have.

If there isn't an answer to a question you have, contact Don Schulz at or 916.835.1863

"Are these Native American drums?"
Yes and no. Yes, Native Americans make similar drums, but so do a lot of other cultures around the world. These are, essentially, the same kind of drums any of our ancestors might have made thousands of years ago when they were still working with stone tools - only better, thanks to a little modern technology that help longevity (I'll show you how in the class). They're truly Pan-cultural and practically part of our DNA - no matter what your background.

"What are my hide selections?"
Buffalo, Elk, Deer, or Horse. These first three are all hunted animals - no farm slaughters - and are all blessed and all the parts used long before I ever see the hides. The Horse comes from natural deaths. This is a great choice for those of you that mihgt be a little squeamish about where they came from. 

"What are the differences?"
Tough question to answer, as every drum is utterly different than every other one (the beauty of this particular medium), but IN GENERAL:

Buffalo - deeper pitch, less resonant, more grounding, heavier.
Elk - Medium to higher pitch, most versatile, longer resonance, energy varies. Elk is my "go to" hide for almost everything.
Deer - light weight, higher pitched, simple, clean resonance, very "air"/"Higher chakra" kind of feeling.
Horse - generally on the thinner side, but can REALLY be all over the place. Avoid pre-conceived notions.

Again, remember, these are generalizations (really, I can't stress this enough) and what your drum becomes is also DIRECTLY related to your personal energy resonance.

"What size can I make?"
14", 16", 18" and 20" Yes, generally, bigger is deeper and louder. If you want to wake the dead, do a 20" Buffalo. For ceremonial/divining work, a 16" Elk or deer might be a better choice. You get the idea. 

"OK... How much...?"

14" - $100
16" - $120
18" - $150
20" - $200

14" - $130
16" - $150
18" - $180

14" - $140
16" - $160
18" - $190
20" - $240

16" - $200
18" - $240
20" - $290

Note that not all hides come in all sizes. Why? Simply, I've discovered which ones work best at what range over the last dozen or so years, and this represents the best set of choices. 

"What if I want to make something bigger?"
Great! At that point, they get pretty time consuming and aren't group class friendly. Talk to me about what you'd like to do and we'll make some time for a 1-on-1 session. This works REALLY well for mother drums if you're so inclined.

"When do I have to let you know?"
Well, the first best answer is always, "The sooner the better". However, the HARD cutoff is Monday, June 6th. Remember, I'm customizing this to you, so I don't order anything until it's all paid for. This isn't a "one size fits all" like so many others are.

"What kind of payments do you take?"
Easiest - PayPal
Next easiest - Credit Card by phone
Yes, a check is fine if it's in my hand by the deadline.
(Cash is cool too, if you find The Different Drum at a Festival)

"OK, now that that's out of the way, what do I have to bring?"
A sunny disposition, a sense of adventure, and two hands (or a friend with two hands). I supply all the hide, hoops, tools, and materials for drum sticks. Of course, drum sticks!!

"Will we be decorating our drums?"
Nope, not this time, but I'll happily answer all your questions as to how to personalize your new baby. Look for a future "Drum decorating workshop" in the late summer/early fall.

"How long does it take?"
About 2-3 hours, depending on the group. About 3-7 days before the drum is ready to play.

“Do we get to take them home?”
Of course! What would be the fun, otherwise?

"How do we get a hold of you?"
E-mail Don Schulz at
or call Don at (916) 835-1863