drummer fitness

diosdude

Silver Member
here's a great article i copied from the off-set website:

Federation of Drums and Percussion


Article: Submitted by


Link Logen

Benefits of being a drummer

There's more to drumming than you know!

Drumming has physiological effects. It increases heart rate and blood flow just like an aerobic exercise. The process of drumming engages both the linear, (rational left brain) and the creative, (intuitive right brain). The two brain hemispheres often emanate different wave frequencies.

Drumming is like a deep meditation. It brings you into synchronization, which is a state of consciousness. Drumming links humans to the vibrations of the earth by slowing the brain waves to around 8 cycles per second, the exact frequency of the earth. Drumming heals the human energy field, so if your intention is for some healing while you drum, it will.

Improved IQ scores can now officially be added to the ever growing list of benefits from playing drums. A recent study shows that playing the drums or other percussion instruments actually improves IQ scores of children.

While previous studies have hinted that musical training improves a child's literacy and math skills, this is the first time that a study has shown that one's intelligence level can be improved by drumming.

"Playing the drums makes the brain think in a way that very few activities can," said Pat Brown, International Drum Month chairman and Percussion Marketing Council co-executive director. "Being able to understand musical notes and dissect how rhythms work and go together is a very complicated thought process. The most recent study shows that being constantly exposed to this type of brain activity can actually improve one's IQ level."

According to the study by E. Glenn Shallenberg at the University of Toronto, IQ test scores of 6 year old children significantly improved after receiving drum lessons. Shallenberg recruited a group of 144 six (6) year olds and separated them into 4 groups: those receiving drum lessons, voice lessons, drama lessons and no lessons. Children receiving the drum lessons showed significant improvement in their IQ tests, gaining an average of 7 IQ points. Meanwhile, children receiving voice lessons increased 6 points, those receiving drama lessons increased 5 points and children receiving no lessons improved 4 points. In his article in Psychological Science, Shallenberg concluded that musical training, in particular, was responsible for the extra IQ points.
Among the other benefits of playing the drums are improved musical coordination and brain activity; physical therapy, and stress relief; improved social skills such as team work, self esteem and discipline and improved abstract thought processes. The benefits of drumming are just one of the many things the PMC is confident that participants will get out of drumming.

As drumming continues to remain one of the fastest growing segments within the musical instrument industry, the various benefits of drumming and percussion are increasing in visibility and validity. Brown said that in addition to serving as a creative and artistic outlet, drumming is also now gaining recognition among researchers and scientists when it comes to serving as a therapeutic tool. "We all know that percussion is a great outlet for letting off steam and exhibiting creative energy. Recent studies, however, have shown that percussion, and drumming in particular, can boost the immune system, which goes a long way towards reducing stress and improving one's health. This is important information and as International Drum Month approaches, we're pleased to be able to share it."

A USA Today article titled "The Rhythm of Life" noted a study led by neurologist Barry Bittman of the Mind-Body Wellness Center in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The study found that patients who took part in group drumming, or drum circles, experienced increased levels of disease fighting immune system cells, also known as natural killer cells. In an industry sponsored study Bittman tested the blood chemistry of 111 healthy people in a series of experiments. Bittman says participants in all groups experienced a drop in cortisol, an indicator of stress but only the group of active drummers had a significant increase in natural killer cells.

As an explanation, Bittman attributes this difference to the stress reducing benefits of self expression, camaraderie and rhythmic drumming. Sound waves have a profound effect on body cells. As an example, contemporary medical practices such as ultrasound, used for healing scar tissue and reducing inflammation, actually help the immune system produce more disease fighting cells. Thus, drumming or percussion activities can boost the immune system.

Drum therapy is an ancient approach that uses rhythm to promote healing and self-expression. From the Shamans of Mongolia to the Minianka healers of West Africa, therapeutic rhythm techniques have been used for thousands of years to create and maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Current research is now verifying the therapeutic effects of ancient rhythm techniques. Recent research reviews indicate that drumming accelerates physical healing, boosts the immune system and produces feelings of well-being, a release of emotional trauma, and reintegration of self.

Other studies have demonstrated the calming, focusing, and healing effects of drumming on Alzheimer's patients, autistic children, emotionally disturbed teens, recovering addicts, trauma patients, and prison and homeless populations. Study results demonstrate that drumming is a valuable treatment for stress, fatigue, anxiety, hypertension, asthma, chronic pain, arthritis, mental illness, migraines, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke, paralysis, emotional disorders, and a wide range of physical disabilities.

Drumming reduces tension, anxiety, and stress

Drumming induces deep relaxation, lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress. Stress, according to current medical research, contributes to nearly all disease and is a primary cause of such life-threatening illnesses as heart attacks, strokes, and immune system breakdowns. A recent study found that a program of group drumming helped reduce stress and employee turnover in the long-term care industry and might help other high-stress occupations as well.

Drumming helps control chronic pain

Chronic pain has a progressively draining effect on the quality of life. Researchers suggest that drumming serves as a distraction from pain and grief. Moreover, drumming promotes the production of endorphins and endogenous opiates, the bodies own morphine-like painkillers, and can thereby help in the control of pain.

Drumming produces deeper self-awareness by inducing synchronous brain activity

Research has demonstrated that the physical transmission of rhythmic energy to the brain synchronizes the two cerebral hemispheres. When the logical left hemisphere and the intuitive right hemisphere begin to pulsate in harmony, the inner guidance of intuitive knowing can then flow unimpeded into conscious awareness. The ability to access unconscious information through symbols and imagery facilitates psychological integration and a reintegration of self.

Drumming also synchronizes the frontal and lower areas of the brain, integrating nonverbal information from lower brain structures into the frontal cortex, producing "feelings of insight, understanding, integration, certainty, conviction, and truth, which surpass ordinary understandings and tend to persist long after the experience, often providing foundational insights for religious and cultural traditions."

Drumming accesses the entire brain

The reason rhythm is such a powerful tool is that it permeates the entire brain. Vision for example is in one part of the brain, speech another, but drumming accesses the whole brain. The sound of drumming generates dynamic neuronal connections in all parts of the brain even where there is significant damage or impairment such as in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). According to Michael Thaut, director of Colorado State University's Center for Biomedical Research in Music, "Rhythmic cues can help retrain the brain after a stroke or other neurological impairment, as with Parkinson's patients..." The more connections that can be made within the brain, the more integrated our experiences become.

Drumming induces natural altered states of consciousness

Rhythmic drumming induces altered states, which have a wide range of therapeutic applications. A recent study by Barry Quinn, Ph.D. demonstrates that even a brief drumming session can double alpha brain wave activity, dramatically reducing stress. The brain changes from Beta waves (focused concentration and activity) to Alpha waves (calm and relaxed), producing feelings of euphoria and well-being.

Alpha activity is associated with meditation, shamanic trance, and integrative modes of consciousness. This ease of induction contrasts significantly with the long periods of isolation and practice required by most meditative disciplines before inducing significant effects. Rhythmic stimulation is a simple yet effective technique for affecting states of mind.

Drumming creates a sense of connectedness with self and others

In a society in which traditional family and community-based systems of support have become increasingly fragmented, drumming circles provide a sense of connectedness with others and interpersonal support. A drum circle provides an opportunity to connect with your own spirit at a deeper level, and also to connect with a group of other like minded people.

Group drumming alleviates self-centeredness, isolation, and alienation.

Music educator Ed Mikenas finds that drumming provides "an authentic experience of unity and physiological synchronicity. If we put people together who are out of sync with themselves (i.e., diseased, addicted) and help them experience the phenomenon of entrainment, it is possible for them to feel with and through others what it is like to be synchronous in a state of preverbal connectedness."

Drumming helps us to experience being in resonance with the natural rhythms of life

Rhythm and resonance order the natural world. Dissonance and disharmony arise only when we limit our capacity to resonate totally and completely with the rhythms of life. The origin of the word rhythm is Greek meaning "to flow." We can learn "to flow" with the rhythms of life by simply learning to feel the beat, pulse, or groove while drumming. It is a way of bringing the essential self into accord with the flow of a dynamic, interrelated universe, helping us feel connected rather than isolated and estranged.

Drumming provides a secular approach to accessing a higher power

Shamanic drumming directly supports the introduction of spiritual factors found significant in the healing process. Drumming and Shamanic activities produce a sense of connectedness and community, integrating body, mind and spirit. According to a recent study, "Shamanic activities bring people efficiently and directly into immediate encounters with spiritual forces, focusing the client on the whole body and integrating healing at physical and spiritual levels. This process allows them to connect with the power of the universe, to externalize their own knowledge, and to internalize their answers; it also enhances their sense of empowerment and responsibility. These experiences are healing, bringing the restorative powers of nature to clinical settings." Drumming releases negative feelings, blockages, and emotional trauma

Drumming can help people express and address emotional issues. Unexpressed feelings and emotions can form energy blockages. The physical stimulation of drumming removes blockages and produces emotional release. Sound vibrations resonate through every cell in the body, stimulating the release of negative cellular memories. "Drumming emphasizes self-expression, teaches how to rebuild emotional health, and addresses issues of violence and conflict through expression and integration of emotions," says Music educator Ed Mikenas. Drumming can also address the needs of addicted populations by helping them learn to deal with their emotions in a therapeutic way without the use of drugs.

Drumming places one in the present moment

Drumming helps alleviate stress that is created from hanging on to the past or worrying about the future. When one plays a drum, one is placed squarely in the here and now. One of the paradoxes of rhythm is that it has both the capacity to move your awareness out of your body into realms beyond time and space, and to ground you firmly in the present moment.

Drumming provides a medium for individual self-realization

Drumming helps reconnect us to our core, enhancing our sense of empowerment and stimulating our creative expression. "The advantage of participating in a drumming group is that you develop an auditory feedback loop within yourself and among group members—a channel for self-expression and positive feedback—that is pre-verbal, emotion-based, and sound-mediated."

Each person in a drum circle is expressing themselves through his or her drum and listening to the other drums at the same time. "Everyone is speaking, everyone is heard, and each person's sound is an essential part of the whole." 10 Each person can drum out their feelings without saying a word, without having to reveal their issues. Group drumming complements traditional talk therapy methods. It provides a means of exploring and developing the inner self. It serves as a vehicle for personal transformation, consciousness expansion, and community building. The primitive drumming circle is emerging as a significant therapeutic tool in the modern technological age.
 
T

trkdrmr

Guest
Something I am tacking on to this. It speaks to the fitness in general of young drummers.
As anyone can attest, metal drumming, and drumming in general takes stamina and a degree of strength.

I am reading too many complaints about people that can't lug a kit, the snare or rack is too heavy. I am not talking about a 55 year old working drummer, or someone with back problems. I am talking about the average individual under 45.

The military requires me to maintain a certain level of fitness, both strength and endurance. Even still, I find myself lapsing at times and need to refocus on the gym, and cut the drinking out.

I have been doing the split gym routine, lifting and feeling muscles that aren't called into play that much in daily life. I will be 44 soon, and am only increasing my fitness and strength.

IMO, there are a number of drummers that REALLY need to get to the gym. At the very least, cut out drinking/smoking/recreational self-medication. If you are the average 30 year old (not injured or with back problems) you should not be complaining about lugging the average 7-pc drum kit around. I am not referring to pearl reference, stave or the unusually heavy drums. I hate to hear a 20-something whine about a 12-lb snare drum. I say...hit the weightroom aleady!
 

Chazz

Senior Member
A very interesting article, which I do agree with
especially the part which stated drummers scored a higher IQ
than singers! I believe us DRUMMERS always knew
we were smarter than the singer in he band.... :^)
 

Wavelength

Platinum Member
Heh, where did that thought come from Wavelength?
This paragraph:

According to the study by E. Glenn Shallenberg at the University of Toronto, IQ test scores of 6 year old children significantly improved after receiving drum lessons. Shallenberg recruited a group of 144 six (6) year olds and separated them into 4 groups: those receiving drum lessons, voice lessons, drama lessons and no lessons. Children receiving the drum lessons showed significant improvement in their IQ tests, gaining an average of 7 IQ points. Meanwhile, children receiving voice lessons increased 6 points, those receiving drama lessons increased 5 points and children receiving no lessons improved 4 points. In his article in Psychological Science, Shallenberg concluded that musical training, in particular, was responsible for the extra IQ points.
I've been under the impression that regular singing lessons and vocal exercises can be hazardous to children's vocal cords. Then again, I have no idea what sort of voice lessons the participants were given...
 
M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
This paragraph:



I've been under the impression that regular singing lessons and vocal exercises can be hazardous to children's vocal cords. Then again, I have no idea what sort of voice lessons the participants were given...
Musical training certainly isn't. Actually, unless too much training is done when the voice is breaking, damage is unlikely provided it is not forced and not for extended periods of time. My girlfriend is a singer and has been on stage since she was eight years old with no obvious ill-effects. I'm a singer as well and the general perception is that the voice of a male will take longer to develop for obvious reasons, as well as for it to finally develop into the 'final' form (although the voice is always, always changing). For this reason, if I wanted to be a singer (for instance) I would finish University, spending a few years out and then start training at a music college to pursue a career. The same is true of the female voice, but without the breaking process.

If you strain a voice whilst it is breaking, you could do some damage. Which is why classical competitions for teenagers almost always have a higher age limit for males than females. For instance, the age limit might be sixteen for girls and eighteen for boys. I was very fortunate that my voice broke in the course of a month when I was eleven but has since done interesting things. I went from being a bass to a first tenor (definitely a first tenor) and a couple of weeks ago hit a top 'B' during a short lesson. Before that, my top was an 'A' but I think a 'C' is certainly on the cards with a bit more training. My falsetto extends to the mezzo-soprano range.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Something I am tacking on to this. It speaks to the fitness in general of young drummers.
As anyone can attest, metal drumming, and drumming in general takes stamina and a degree of strength.

I am reading too many complaints about people that can't lug a kit, the snare or rack is too heavy. I am not talking about a 55 year old working drummer, or someone with back problems. I am talking about the average individual under 45.

The military requires me to maintain a certain level of fitness, both strength and endurance. Even still, I find myself lapsing at times and need to refocus on the gym, and cut the drinking out.

I have been doing the split gym routine, lifting and feeling muscles that aren't called into play that much in daily life. I will be 44 soon, and am only increasing my fitness and strength.

IMO, there are a number of drummers that REALLY need to get to the gym. At the very least, cut out drinking/smoking/recreational self-medication. If you are the average 30 year old (not injured or with back problems) you should not be complaining about lugging the average 7-pc drum kit around. I am not referring to pearl reference, stave or the unusually heavy drums. I hate to hear a 20-something whine about a 12-lb snare drum. I say...hit the weightroom aleady!

Ha, some of us twenty-somthings are delicate flowers, who's creative sensitivities need to be protected from heavy lifting ;)
 
Briefly: Drumming is healthy.

Check: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7518888.stm

"Rock drumming in particular is very energetic, and to add to this, these guys are playing in a hot environment - you'll see them literally dripping with sweat."

I do sweat a lot, for 1 hour of practise...Remember to keep up your body fluids, prudently.

Also, balance your eating habits.
 

Crazy+Hands

Senior Member
my fav:
"drumming induces a natural state of altered consciousness"

(hint)
Warning: drumming is addictive.

As far as working out and drumming goes, its not really that important unless your doing extreme music, but fitness improves almost every part of your life to some degree.

Exercise can be a double edged sword...When i was lifting weights 2x a week and taking protein and what not, i would tense up much easier than now because my muscles were already strained and the extra protein in your blood slows blood flow and raises your heart rate even more than drumming already does. But after i eased off the workouts, drumming became more enjoyable and my endurance improved immensely.
 
T

trkdrmr

Guest
Exercise can be a double edged sword...When i was lifting weights 2x a week and taking protein and what not, i would tense up much easier than now because my muscles were already strained and the extra protein in your blood slows blood flow and raises your heart rate even more than drumming already does. But after i eased off the workouts, drumming became more enjoyable and my endurance improved immensely.
Were you power lifting or doing lots of reps? There is no way that moderate exercise is a detriment...look at Thomas Lang. I also include running and cardio in the mix if energy level is an issue. I don't lift heavy anymore, I am doing concentrated reps to failure, and no...I am not going to blast weights before I play the drums. I couldn't play correctly on torn muscle fiber. Protein and Creatine enhance strength and promote mass, but at the cost of bloating and dehydration.

I don't advocate people try to be hard core, but when 20lbs becomes heavy, they need to do something about being a flabby and weak adult.
 

DroDrum

Junior Member
Do you guys think drumming for 1-2 hours a day is a valid daily exercise, assuming that I am playing pretty much constantly with no rest and am playing "fast" rock songs? (I am usually sweating after).

With a lack of structured sports in college I haven't been exercising enough I don't feel like, and I was just wondering if drumming for 2 hours is a valid alternative for say, playing a pick-up game of b-ball for 45 minutes to one-hour.
 

rjvsmb

Senior Member
Do you guys think drumming for 1-2 hours a day is a valid daily exercise, assuming that I am playing pretty much constantly with no rest and am playing "fast" rock songs? (I am usually sweating after).

With a lack of structured sports in college I haven't been exercising enough I don't feel like, and I was just wondering if drumming for 2 hours is a valid alternative for say, playing a pick-up game of b-ball for 45 minutes to one-hour.
Hey Dro,

In general, I would say that being physically active for 1 to 2 hours is definitely beneficial, but it does not compare to playing a sport (basketball in this case) in which you are quickly starting/stopping/jumping and pushing against other bodies - that's a lot of work.

Try to find 30 to 60 minutes 2 to 3 times a week to strengthen your cardiovascular and muscular systems and maintain (or improve) your range of motion. It will help with all physical activities you pursue.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I will not argue any part of that report other than to say, I do not feel that drumming puts you, the average drummer, anywhere near an aeorbic state that is taxing your body for oxygen. I'm sure someone will quote the often seen article that said that some guy did a study with one drummer, and found that he burned the same O2 as a soccer player. Bunk. I played drums and soccer at the college level and never left the stage feeling the same way as I did leaving the pitch. Drumming does wonders for us both mebntally and physically but not to the point of O2 overload. And there will be others that say have you ever seen such and such druumer leave the stage sweating profusely?? Yes I have. Sweating out the excess booze and from playing under the hot stage lights but not from over excersion.
 

TheGroceryman

Silver Member
here's a great article i copied from the off-set website:



Drumming has physiological effects. It increases heart rate and blood flow just like an aerobic exercise.

Drumming induces deep relaxation, lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress. Stress, according to current medical research, contributes to nearly all disease and is a primary cause of such life-threatening illnesses as heart attacks, strokes, and immune system breakdowns
WOW! now thats some activity! it increases AND decreases blood pressure at the same time!! gets you exhausted AND relaxes you!

well that's the only loophole i found in that article.

other than that, very interesting read. Didnt know drumming did all that, but somehow explains the inexplicable feeling you get when your drumming.
 

Anne Beeche

Senior Member
Hmm, reminds me of the healing dances you'll find in ancient cultures like the Native Americans and Africans. I'll bet you they actually worked for the people who believed in them.

It also reminds me of the effectiveness of placebo treatments. It actually works, too, even though it's not real medicine.



See, this is what I've been trying to tell people. The human mind is an amazing thing.
 

Crazy+Hands

Senior Member
Were you power lifting or doing lots of reps? There is no way that moderate exercise is a detriment...look at Thomas Lang. I also include running and cardio in the mix if energy level is an issue. I don't lift heavy anymore, I am doing concentrated reps to failure, and no...I am not going to blast weights before I play the drums. I couldn't play correctly on torn muscle fiber. Protein and Creatine enhance strength and promote mass, but at the cost of bloating and dehydration.

I don't advocate people try to be hard core, but when 20lbs becomes heavy, they need to do something about being a flabby and weak adult.
It was more power lifting and trying to bench my body weight...not very conducive to drumming endurance at all. I have now moved on to doing 50-100 push ups per day (in sets of 20 or 30) instead, sometimes using one of those "perfect pushup" type things. This really helps strengthen your tendons and your hand muscles as well. Cardio is definitely the most beneficial exercise when it comes to improving drumming, especially running. Treadmills and elipticals are nice, but I think trail running helps use your ankles more which if your going to do fast double bass, this will benefit your drumming. It keeps you mentally focused as well because your not just running on autopilot around a track, you have to plan your moves as the terrain and elevation changes.,

The only kind of drumming that might count as actual exercise is extreme metal i.e. lots of blast beats and double bass. Try drumming along to a Nile or Origin album, hell even some slayer albums, and tell me thats not going to tax your body for oxygen. What really makes drumming exercise is when you don't stop hardly at all between songs and just keep rocking for a few hours....gets you in that trance state we all know and love.

Drumming in air tight, sound proofed studios with 4 other dudes during the summer is like jogging in a sauna! Last summer we would practice for hours like that playing thrash metal, and I had to bring a change of clothes because i sweat that much! There was so little air to breath in there it felt like I had asthma!
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Were you power lifting or doing lots of reps? There is no way that moderate exercise is a detriment...look at Thomas Lang. I also include running and cardio in the mix if energy level is an issue. I don't lift heavy anymore, I am doing concentrated reps to failure, and no...I am not going to blast weights before I play the drums. I couldn't play correctly on torn muscle fiber. Protein and Creatine enhance strength and promote mass, but at the cost of bloating and dehydration.

I don't advocate people try to be hard core, but when 20lbs becomes heavy, they need to do something about being a flabby and weak adult.
I totally agree with you on the benefits of exercise. I have found kettlebell training to be the best overall fitness developer for drummers, martial artists, gymnasts and the like. The cardio workout you get from swinging a 53 lb kettlebell around would make most people lose a lung. I can play crazy metal double bass for hours at a time thanks to these babies.

I used to train like a bodybuilder and that definitely helped but kettlebells make you nastier and more flexible. They're really popular with the UFC guys now.

Google "kettlebells" and check them out.
 
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