Category Archives: Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention (REI)

Exploring How Slight Variations in Drumming Tempos Produce Very Different Calming Experiences

In this video, I talk about the approach I take to create neurological calm in the REI Custom Program versus the approach I use in Brain Shift Radio. I demonstrate how slight variations in tempo can produce significant differences in how a listener experiences calm. I play at 7.4 beats-per-second for a deep, centered calm and 8.6 beats-per second for a focused calm.

Learn how to play the drum for healing at: http://www.drumhealing.com

Find calm with Brain Shift Radio. Sign up for free at: https://brainshiftradio.com

Jeff Strong on How I Create REI Rhythms from Ceremonial Polyrhythms

In this video, I show you how a create a composite rhythm from a ceremonial rhythm composed of 4 drum parts. I also describe why it is important to vary a rhythm, no matter how complex it is, to influence the brain and behavior within the alpha state of consciousness.

learn more about REI at: https://www.stronginstitute.com/
Learn to play the drum for healing at: http://www.drumhealing.com/
Listen to my music for free at: https://brainshiftradio.com/

How I Use REI Drumming for Sensory Processing

In this video I show how I approach the three types of sensory processing issues – hyper-sensitivity, hypo-sensitivity, and sensory discrimination.

I play examples of various drumming rhythms to influence these sensory responses and describes how hyper and hypo sensitivity fits into an REI Custom Program.

Learn more about the REI Custom Program

Explore my music for free at brainshiftradio.com

How to Boost Your Brain with Fast, Complex Drumming Rhythms

Activating the brain for memory and cognitive enhancement can be done two ways:

1. Play pleasingly variable patterns with an unpredictable, yet musical quality at 8 beats per second. This has an immediate activating effect and, coupled with progressively more complex patterns over a series of recordings, can provide long-term cognitive enhancements. This is the approach we use for the REI Custom Programs.

2. Play various tempos all within the alpha range of 8-12 beats per second (bps). Musically, 8-12 bps is 120-180 beats per minute when playing 16th notes and one beat of the metronome is a 1/4 note. This means that you are playing 4 drumming beats for each click of the metronome. This approach is the key to the Brain Boost category on brainshiftradio.com.

I end this video with a cognitive enhancement drumming session. Let it play quietly in the background and see how mentally clear you feel afterward.

Check out a free 14-day trial on https://www.brainshiftradio.com to explore more music to boost your brain.

Learn to play the drums for healing at http://www.drumhealing.com

Explore the REI Custom Program at: https://www.stronginstitute.com/rei-custom-program/

Jeff Strong on How I Sustain My Passion in My Practice

I’ve been playing for people with neurological disorders for 25 years and everyday I still wake up passionate about the work I do. It wasn’t always this way. As I was building my business, I received a lot of advice to delegate and be a manager. I tried this and quickly found myself losing interest. So, I resumed doing the one task that I loved: customer support.

If you’ve ever called or emailed us, chances are you talked to (or heard from) me. I answer the phone because I love talking to clients, prospective clients, and providers. This is what gets me up in the morning; yet this is what the business “experts” told me I shouldn’t be doing. The secret is that this task gives me joy, and my clients can sense my passion for the work and their well-being.

My advice: Focus on the aspects of your work you love, even if they are the “lowly” tasks that most people hire out.

Get on the waitlist for my coaching program here

How I use Fast, Complex Drumming to Reduce Sound Sensitivity

This video shows how I use fast, complex drumming rhythms to reduce sound sensitivities.

Sound sensitivity falls into two categories:

1. General overwhelm. Too much auditory input and competing sounds, such as those at a restaurant or school cafeteria, often result in shutting down or lashing out due to the inability to filter for important sounds.

2. Aversion to specific sounds. Certain sounds, such as that of a vacuum cleaner or blender, often elicit negative responses due to their specific frequency, intensity or volume.

Both require a progressive set of rhythms, tones, and levels of intensity and volume to help the nervous system learn to process and tolerate them.

You can read more about the studies I talk about in this video here:

Child with super-human hearing and aversion to vacuum cleaner sound: https://www.stronginstitute.com/article-resources/dd-book-excerpts/sound-sensitive.html

School Study: https://www.stronginstitute.com/article-resources/dd-book-excerpts/otter-lake-study.html

Autism Daily Newscast Reviews My Different Drummer Book

Autism Daily Newscast reviewMy book about the development and practice of REI, Different Drummer: One Man’s Music and Its Impact on ADD, Anxiety, and Autism, was recently reviewed by Autism Daily Newscast.

Here is an excerpt:

For anyone with an interest in the therapeutic aspect of music this is a gem of a book.  For parents wanting to explore different approaches to help their children it will make interesting reading.   As a lay person who just enjoys playing the odd CD I found myself a little overloaded with music and technology theory and was more interested in reading about how following a lifelong passion such as drumming can lead to the most unexpected places and discoveries.

Read the entire review here

You can learn more about the book here

Free REI / Brain Shift Radio Holiday Audio Downloads

Every year I offer some free audio downloads of my music. These downloads are from Brain Shift Radio based on mixes created by the BSR member community. Click the image to download.

I hope you enjoy them.


Big Round Calm Audio DownloadBig Round Calm. This track couples a big, round ambient track with a 7.8 beat-per-second Gonga to calm your nervous system.

Warm Calm > Focus Audio Download

Warm Calmed Focus. This track uses a warm ambient pad mixed with an Udu drum accelerating from 8 to 10 beats-per-second to calm your brain then dial in focus.

Deep Sleep Audio DownloadDeep Sleep. This mix pairs our deepest, richest ambient track with a Gonga, played at 7.6 beats-per-second, to transition you to sleep quickly.

Instructions for downloading to mobile devices:

Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod)

Download Documents by Readdle from the Apple App store (it’s free).

Once you download the app, please follow these steps:

  1. Open the Documents app
  2. Choose Settings (the little gear icon in the upper left of the app).
  3. Choose Browser from the options.
  4. Under User Agent choose Google Chrome.
  5. Close the settings window (tap Close in the upper left of the window).
  6. Choose Browser from the main menu on the left
  7. Click the download file images above (one at a time). A Save File window will appear.
  8. Tap Done when the Save File window opens. You can monitor the download by tapping on the Documents button to the right of the web address window (this is the down-pointing arrow).
  9. When file is downloaded it will appear in the Documents folder located in Documents option from the main menu. This menu is accessed by tapping the icon with the three horizontal lines in the upper left of the app window.
  10. If you want to put your track on iCloud simply drag the file into the iCloud Menu option. It is now on your iCloud account. Please note: if you want the file to go to iCloud by default choose this option from the Setting menu when you are changing the User Agent in the Browser options menu described in Step 3 above).choose View File. Again, a new browser tab will open and the track will play.

Android devices (phones and tablets)

Go to Google play and download ES File Explorerhttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.estrongs.android.pop

To download the audio files:

  1. Click the download file images above (one at a time).
  2. Tap Download. The track may begin playing. If it is Tap Pause to Stop playback.
  3. Let it download.
  4. Once it is downloaded, open the ES File Exporter app.
  5. Choose Search from the menu and type in Download.
  6. Click the Download folder to expand and you’ll see the track.
  7. Click the track and then select the ES media player to play the track. I suggest checking the box that says “Set as default” so you won’t get this screen again.
  8. Open the ES File Exporter app and click the track name each time you want to listen.

REI and Self-Stimulatory Behaviors: An excerpt from my Different Drummer book

This is an excerpt from a chapter in my book, Different Drummer, exploring the use of drumming to help with self-stimulatory behaviors.

You can find other excerpts in the list to the right.

Kylie watched as I set up my gear, her face blank while she repetitively zipped and unzipped her sweater.

“She stims like this a lot,” explained her mother. “I can’t get her to focus when she does this. She just stares off into space and plays with her zipper or button. She can do this for hours and when I try to stop her she has a meltdown. She’ll pull away and scream.”

I nodded as I began to play. Simple, quiet rhythms at first. Just testing the waters.

The slightest smile appeared on Kylie’s face. It was gone as quickly as it came.

I settled into a groove with syncopated muted tones, creating a pulsing patter to try to engage Kylie. For about one minute she looked down toward the floor while zipping and unzipping her sweater.

I stopped for a couple of seconds, looking for a response. Kylie looked up at me. I started playing again, figuring that she was listening. She opened her eyes wide a few times as though she was trying to wake herself up.

I kept my syncopated patter going, interjecting a couple of rhythms I had found useful for stopping self-stimming. At about two-and-a-half minutes into this session, Kylie looked at her mom, who was sitting next to her on the couch. Over the next minute or so, Kylie looked at her mom and then away several times.

I switched to a 9-beat pattern and Kylie moved over to her mom and leaned into her and closed her eyes. The stimming stopped.

I played for another minute and noticed that Kylie was asleep. I stopped and left the room. 

Kylie had autism. She engaged in a fairly typical behavior of self-regulation through repetitive motor movements. For Kylie, zipping and unzipping her sweater was soothing. Hers was a relatively subtle, innocuous behavior, one that didn’t seem to coincide with any outward stimulus or event.

This behavior was upsetting to her mother because when Kylie was stimming she was unreachable, having retreated into her own world. This is common among people with autism, though the stimming isn’t always present, because being unresponsive is a defining characteristic of the condition.

From my perspective, repetitive and self-stimulatory behaviors like this take two forms. They are either internally driven, possibly as a desire to retreat from the world, or they are in response to a disagreeable external stimulus. The stimming is a way to tune-out or modulate the stimulus.