Overheating / effect on control


Junior Member
This is perhaps a strange question, but bear with me.

I have been drumming for twenty years, but have made some significant changes to my technique over the last few years, for the better, partly due to encountering some physical problems like irritated nerves in the ride arm. I play mostly improvised music and jazz.

Technically, now, when I start to play in good conditions, things are generally fine. My control / touch feels good, I'm playing freely and with a minimum of tension. I can achive what I want to musically and play / practice for an ample amount of time.

However, good conditions equate to a reasonably cool room. If I start to play when the room is very hot, or I have been quite active beforehand, my arms feel tense, almost as if the blood flowing through them is constricting movement (my veins are up). I have to make a much more conscious effort to relax and even then it is hard to find the control that I have in the above conditions. I feel like I'm using the wrong muscles. It is also much more likely that I'll encounter pain, maybe after forty-five minutes of repetitive action on the ride.

I find these physiological changes exceptionally frustrating because they really have a dramatic effect on my playing. It feels like an obstacle to fight against, which probably increases my tension, and detracts my attention from the music. I don't know whether it has anything to do with my build. I'm slight.

Does anyone have any similar experience and / or suggestions for ways to counteract this? To recap, it's when the body feels like it's overheating prior to playing, with resulting tension and lack of control. I try to keep activity beforehand to a minimum but usually transporting bits of kit and setting it up has to be done, and I can't always help the room / climate temperature. I do make a conscious effort to relax / breath / drink water, and the music I mostly do gives me a chance to ease myself in.




Junior Member
I'm no expert on the physical aspect of your problem, it might be an actual physical problem for all I know, but to me it sounds like there might be a mental side of things that has a great effect. I personally hate playing in a hot room, and feel that my focus tends to slip and my playing gets worse, resulting in me tightening up to compensate for the loss of focus. This tension might ultimately lead to physical pain if I don't correct it soon enough. Have you considered that it might be the way your mind reacts to an uncomfortable climate, rather than your body, that is the real problem?

I have to make a much more conscious effort to relax and even then it is hard to find the control that I have in the above conditions.
This might be some of the problem. When you sense that the room is too hot, you trigger a mechanism that forces you to relax and thus create an evil circle - by focusing on relaxing completely, you do the exact opposite and get tense.

Alright, that sounded way too Dr. Phil for my taste, but I think the concept is worth a thought anyway.


Platinum Member
As you get older the temp and humidity affect you more.
Example, my back almost always goes out in mid to late August for some reason.
The weather in Ct causes swelling to occur and the discs in my lower back slip during that time.
I don't fully understand why this happens.

You may just be a person whom doesn't do well in warm conditions.
It may be related to the medical condition that you have.
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Administrator - Mayor
Are you overweight, have high blood pressure or do you know if you have high blood pressure? Do you drink alcohol? Are there other factors in your health that have recently changed.? I would try a doctor for a check up. Much better diagnosis than from the suggestions you get here, although we care, we aren't trained.


Junior Member
Thanks for all the replies so far, I have to rush out now but will reply at more length later. Cheers.


"Uncle Larry"
Sounds mostly psychological, the heat affects your mood, but if it is truly a physical problem, ouch. Hopefully a good doctor can help. I bring a fan, maybe you need one of those bigger box fans. Heat shouldn't affect your playing, assuming good health, as far as I know. I can work in 110 degree attics in the summer (after I down about a quart of water) so heat, even though it's uncomfortable, shouldn't affect you physically. Do you perspire? (a good thing)