Poor drummers. We always seem to be the butt of bad jokes that say we’re dumb, unreliable, or downright obnoxious. And sure, maybe at times some of us are. But come on…we think we’re just as cool as the rest of the band. Right? Right?
Say no more. If you’re tired of coming up short when defending drumming’s good name, send this article to the naysayers. There are some interesting studies about drummers out there, and these ones rise to the top when it comes to proving drummers are, in fact, the best.
In one Swedish study, researchers found that people with high natural intellect are better at keeping time. Subjects were asked to keep steady time with a drumstick before taking an intelligence test. The results not only suggested that those who scored high for intelligence have better rhythm, but there was also evidence of a link between rhythmic accuracy and problem-solving abilities.
While drumming itself doesn’t necessarily make you smarter, smart people might be more likely to become drummers. Take that, doubters.
Most people can’t deny that drumming is an intense physical activity. Sometimes just watching an energetic player is enough to tire you out, but drummers aren’t considered athletes. Well, think again.
In a long-term study on drumming’s effects on the body, Blondie’s drummer Clem Burke would lose about two liters of fluid in a 90-minute set (equivalent to a runner after 10,000 meters) and have his heart rate reach 190 (comparable to an elite athlete). The results of the study led researchers to conclude that rock/pop drumming is as physically demanding as cycling, running, ice/field hockey, and competitive volleyball.
The next time someone is looking for a good cardio workout – or says drummers “sit down too much” – tell them to check out this research.
If a drummer really needs to say “no” to a second piece of cake, chances are they’ll find it easier than the average person. According to research, developing rhythm skills strengthens your ability to control your behavior.
One study found that people who performed well on rhythm tests could also better understand speech in noisy settings. When it comes to dealing with conflicting thoughts and actions (like blocking out distractions and controlling your response), drummers come out on top.
Drummers are smart, athletic, and may be conditioned to have better self-control. That doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions, but those who have a good sense of rhythm – or those who are actively working on this skill – are definitely seeing some major benefits.
If you aren’t a drummer yet, maybe you should start. Who knows – it might improve your life in multiple ways!
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