Published on 05/07/2012
If you want to improve your health, you might just want to take up drumming. Studies show that drumming can aid health by inducing a deep sense of relaxation, reducing stress, and lowering blood pressure and even boost the immune system. Drums are accessible - anyone regardless of handicap can sit and beat out a rhythm on a drum.
Its a physical activity, it stimulates parts of the brain keeping the four limbs doing something different, and it is primeval as well - drums were the first instrument: before music, people were banging things together.
Group drumming and drum therapy is used for people with brain injuries, addictions, physical injuries and arthritis.
Clem Burke, drummer with the band Blondie, took part in an eight year study where researchers measured his health while drumming. It was found that the physical demands of drumming during a performance are equivalent to those experienced by a premiership footballer during a match.
Burke’s heart rate averaged between 140/150 beats per minute and he burnt between 400 and 600 calories per hour during trials.
Physiological tests included the measurement of heart rate, oxygen uptake and blood lactate in rehearsal tests and monitoring heart rate and blood lactate during live stage performances.
It was found that there is a clear link between fitness and performance. Musicians need exceptional stamina to sustain optimum output especially when on tour.
Footballers can normally expect to play 40 to 50 games a year. In one 12 month period, Clem played 90-minute sets at 100 concerts. When you consider the implications of touring on top of the performance requirements for high-profile drummers, it is clear that their fitness levels need to be outstanding.