Drumming is an incredible new world of music to explore. There is no other instrument quite like drums! They encompass their own entire category of musical instruments labeled percussion.
Drums are also the oldest musical instrument in the world; and are played in every inhabitable part of the world. They are the heartbeat of every musical style!
Learning to play the drums is an incredibly rewarding activity, with research showing that playing the drums offers a multitude of both physical and psychological health benefits.
Drumming is a fantastic hobby and creative outlet, providing the framework for personal development with practical and fun new skills! I have compiled a list of the health benefits of drumming and the scientific evidence supporting them, to show you exactly why drums are the best musical instrument to learn.
- 1. Drumming is Fun
- 2. Drumming Develops New Skills
- 3. Drumming Lets You Play All Styles of Music
- 4. Drumming is For Everyone
- 5. Drumming Boosts Confidence
- 6. Drumming Finds Your Musical Voice
- 7. Drumming Develops Coordination
- 8. Drumming Encourages Self-Belief and Personal Growth
- 9. Drumming Teaches Discipline
- 10. Drumming Improves Concentration
- 11. Drumming Boosts Brain Power
- 12. Drumming Blocks Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- 13. Drumming Burns Calories
- 14. Drumming Boosts Cardiovascular Fitness
- 15. Drumming Induces Deep Relaxation
- 16. Drumming Strengthens Muscles
- 17. Drumming Releases Endorphins
- 18. Drumming Boosts The Immune System
- 19. Drumming Reduces Stress
- 20. Drumming Lets You to Rest in The Present Moment
- 21. Drumming Trains Your Musical Ear
- 22. Drumming Refines Time Management Skills
- 23. Drumming Allows You to Play a Unique Drum Set
- 24. Drumming Teaches Responsibility
- 25. Drumming Lets You Feel Like a Rock Star
- 26. Drumming Encourages Social development
- 27. Drumming Boosts Popularity
- 28. Drumming Allows you to Play Percussion Too
- 29. Drumming Reinforces a Greater Sense of Self
- 30. Drumming Can Kick-start a New Passion
1. Drumming is Fun
Drumming allows you to tap into the primal instinct of rhythm. It’s a way to connect with the beat, feel the pulse, and create infectious grooves.
No other musical instrument requires as much physical energy to play. It’s exhilarating, exciting and just feels great to play.
The act of striking drums and cymbals with your hands or drumsticks provides a physical outlet for self-expression. It can be exhilarating to experience the power and release that comes from hitting the drums.
Being able to experiment with a combination of sounds and rhythms on a drum kit is incredibly enjoyable and brings out a ‘childlike curiosity’ that can be found within all of us. It’s almost impossible not to have fun behind the drum kit!
2. Drumming Develops New Skills
Drumming provides a framework to learn new skills and develop existing skills like timekeeping, coordination, and rhythm in a fun way. It is a full-body activity that engages the mind to coordinate all four limbs.
Additionally, drumming also develops crucial skills like memory and pattern recognition. As drummers practice and play more music, they develop stronger memory skills and pattern recognition abilities. This can be helpful in many aspects of life, such as learning new information or solving problems.
Drumming also often involves performing in front of an audience. This helps build skills such as confidence, stage presence, and presentation skills, as well as maintaining composure under pressure.
3. Drumming Lets You Play All Styles of Music
Drums are highly valuable to many styles of music due to their ability to create rhythm and enhance the overall musical experience.
As the heartbeat of a song, drums set the tempo and drive the energy, whether it’s the driving force of rock, the intricate patterns of jazz, or the infectious grooves of funk and R&B.
Drums are an incredibly versatile instrument, and the vast sonic palette available means they fulfil a huge variety of musical applications.
4. Drumming is For Everyone
Rhythm is a universal language. It does not matter what age, nationality, gender, or race you are. Everyone has the ability to enjoy the multitude of benefits of drumming provides, and there are no prerequisites to learn!
Drumming bypasses the need for verbal communication and allows individuals to express themselves through rhythm and beats. The drum becomes a medium of expression that can convey emotions, intentions, and messages without the need for words.
The drums are the oldest instrument found on the planet. They are found in every inhabitable country and drums have played a pivotal role in cultures around the world!
5. Drumming Boosts Confidence
The main role of the drummer is to provide the backbone of the music, and he or she is required to play with assertiveness and authority.
Within a band or ensemble, other musicians will look to the drummer for guidance and direction throughout a musical performance. A drummer is depended on by the other band members and therefore has responsibility.
As individuals develop their drumming skills, they gain a sense of mastery and accomplishment. This progress fosters a boost in self-confidence, as individuals see tangible evidence of their growth and improvement.
6. Drumming Finds Your Musical Voice
Drumming is an amazing creative outlet, and provides the opportunity to forge your own musical identity.
Through rhythms, dynamics, and developing their own personal style, drummers can communicate their unique voice to the world.
No two drummers are the same, and every drummer has a completely different musical voice and unique style of playing behind the drum kit.
Musical performance allows an individual to express his thoughts, emotions, and feelings in a way that words may not be able to. The number of ways that the drums can be played to different tempos and dynamics makes them a strong tool for non-verbal self-expression.
7. Drumming Develops Coordination
Coordination is a central aspect of playing the drums. Drumming utilizes all four limbs to be played together in synchronization, and this employs both sides of the brain allowing you to play correctly in time. It’s no easy feat!
This coordination helps improve motor skills, ambidexterity, and overall body control. Drumming can enhance hand-eye coordination and footwork coordination as well.
Improving your coordination behind the drum kit will also enhance your motor coordination across all other areas of life; including your ability to multitask and can even improve your sporting performance!
8. Drumming Encourages Self-Belief and Personal Growth
Drumming challenges individuals to step outside their comfort zones, try new techniques, and explore different musical genres.
Overcoming these challenges leads to personal growth and expanded capabilities. As individuals push their boundaries and achieve new milestones in their drumming journey, their confidence levels naturally increase.
Mastering difficult sections whilst learning a song encourages a sense of self-belief. It is normal for developing musicians to attempt and fail a new piece of music multiple times, and it is a fantastic skill to learn to overcome challenges with hard work and a positive attitude.
The ability to reflect on achievements over time is important for promoting a positive personal identity.
9. Drumming Teaches Discipline
Drumming is a fantastic example of a skill that teaches discipline. It wholly reinforces the truth that the effort put into practice will represent what is obtained as a result. When learning to play a musical instrument, nobody is perfect to begin with.
Drumming requires consistent practice to improve skills and develop muscle memory. Establishing a regular practice routine helps drummers stay disciplined and committed to their craft.
Improving a new skill requires persistence and hard work, and much with anything in life, drums communicate the valuable lesson that the effort you put in reflects what you get out!
10. Drumming Improves Concentration
It is not to be underestimated that drumming is largely a mental feat.
Playing the drums to a consistent rhythmic meter stimulates large areas of the brain and this has been recorded with fRMI imaging in scientific studies.
Rhythm provides comforting structure and stability for students, even those with ADHD, allowing them to plan, anticipate, and react to the music.
Drumming is often used as a tool for music therapy for children with ADHD to regain focus and build new neural pathways in the brain.
“Nothing activates the brain so extensively as music,” said the late Oliver Sacks, M.D., neurologist, and author of Musicophilia. Rhythm boosts brain power!
11. Drumming Boosts Brain Power
Science shows that drumming activates the brain and stimulates it in a more complex way than people may realize.
With fMRI imaging, there is evidence that strong cognitive processes are taking place and auditory information is being translated with motor coordination being planned by the brain to perform consistent metric rhythm.
Professor Frederic Ullen from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm correlates a strong link between timekeeping and the functioning parts of the brain used for problem-solving: “The rhythmic accuracy in brain activity that is observed when a person maintains a steady beat is also important to the problem-solving capacities measured with the intelligence tests.”
And as summarised in his thesis, Logan Deyo found that multiple areas of the brain integrate to facilitate memory and music perception, control sensorimotor function, and subsequently capture accurate timing – all of the elements actively used when drumming!
12. Drumming Blocks Alzheimer’s and Dementia
I have heard many stories of Alzheimer’s patients being brought back to fond and pleasant memories through the power of music.
Whether its a popular song from a person’s childhood or the first dance at a wedding, music has the ability to recall wonderful memories.
Neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley shares his scientific findings and his confidence in the power of rhythm as a tool for repairing the brains of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. He visualizes the brain activity whilst drumming to validate the science behind rhythm as a therapy for Alzheimer’s.
13. Drumming Burns Calories
Drumming is proven to demand physical energy during a performance. The whole body is active with repetitive movements of all four limbs whilst the core abdominal muscles are engaged for balance and stability. Data from the CalorieLab suggests that a drummer weighing 180 pounds will burn 252 calories during solo practice.
The intensity of the workout depends on factors such as the style of drumming, duration of playing, and level of physical exertion. Drumming can elevate heart rate, burn calories, and engage upper body muscles, making it a beneficial form of exercise.
Taking into account individual practice sessions, group rehearsals, and playing shows, the time spent exercising whilst playing the drums adds up to be an effective weight management system, especially for a musical instrument!
14. Drumming Boosts Cardiovascular Fitness
Drumming is a good form of exercise that can be performed from home. The incredible heart rate recorded and calories burned in the study are higher than that of participants in sports including hiking, skiing, swimming, and rowing.
A study undertaken by Dr Marcus Smith from Chichester University confirms that professional drummers demonstrate “extraordinary stamina”. Smith’s research shows that a rock drummer burns 400-600 calories per concert. The heart rate of drummers during the study averages at 140-150 beats per minute, and peaks at 190 beats per minute. This is comparable to those of top-flight athletes!
15. Drumming Induces Deep Relaxation
The etymology of the word rhythm originates from the Greek word ‘rhuthmós’ which means to flow. The communication between the brain and the body whilst drumming generates an on-going stream of rhythmic consciousness.
The mental state achieved through drumming to a consistent tempo and meter can induce a meditative quality of mind, and arouse sensations of lightness and freedom, promoting positive mental health.
The powerful, punctuated sounds of drums provide an excellent focus for the mind into a meditative and relaxed state, free from worry and fear.
16. Drumming Strengthens Muscles
Whilst drumming remains a cardiovascular workout, the repetitive motions involving various muscle groups will strengthen areas like calves, wrists, forearms, and biceps.
Drumming requires repetitive movements that engages the muscles in the arms and legs. The act of striking the drums and manipulating the drumsticks helps build strength and endurance in these muscle groups.
The activity of drumming will also increase muscle endurance over time, enabling you to play faster and with greater control of your hands and feet.
17. Drumming Releases Endorphins
One of the main health benefits of drumming is that it is shown to boost endorphins, which is excellent for positive mental health.
Newly published research undertaken at the University of Oxford shows that performing music produces mood-enhancing endorphins, which encourage a positive psychological effect, similar to that of a runner’s high.
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that act as natural painkillers and mood enhancers, promoting feelings of happiness and euphoria. Engaging in drumming, especially participatory and therapeutic drumming, has been shown to induce the release of these feel-good chemicals. This can contribute to the overall well-being and positive mental state of drummers.
Psychologist Robert Dunbar concludes in the online journal Evolutionary Psychology that it is through the activity of drumming endorphins are released: “The active performance of music generates the endorphin high, not the music itself.” Dunbar conducted four experiments, one of which showed that drummers demonstrated a significantly higher pain threshold after performing when compared to the non-drumming subjects. They also reported higher levels of positive emotions.
18. Drumming Boosts The Immune System
Dr Bittman, neurologist and President of the Yamaha Music & Wellness Institute discovered that the activity of drumming increases the production of natural T-Cells in the body.
These T-Cells are specialized white cells that seek out and fight cancer cells and other virally infected cells.
The objective of the study was to determine if drumming as a music therapy had the potential for altering stress-related hormones. The research findings concluded that drumming is a complex composite intervention with huge potential to counter the classic stress response. Results showed: “Group drumming resulted in increased dehydroepiandrosterone-to-cortisol ratios, increased natural killer cell activity, and increased lymphokine-activated killer cell activity.”
19. Drumming Reduces Stress
Psychology and science have both identified drumming as a helpful therapy for stress. The therapeutic qualities within drumming focus on the consistency and stability of rhythm, the combination of sonic qualities, and being able to alleviate stress by working the muscles in a safe and controlled way.
In Psychology Today, therapist Gary Diggins claims: “The act of drumming contains a therapeutic potential to relax the tense, energize the tired, and soothe the emotionally wounded.”
Drumming involves rhythmic patterns and repetitive movements, and the constant movement of rhythm can have a calming effect on the mind and body. This rhythmic energy can help synchronize brain waves and induce a state of relaxation.
20. Drumming Lets You to Rest in The Present Moment
Mindfulness and drumming may not appear to be activities that link into one other, but the truth is that the drum has been used in the East for over 2500 years as one of the most important components for meditative practice.
Even today most Buddhist temples and monasteries use drums in daily practice.
When drumming, individuals often enter a state of focused attention and mindfulness. This allows them to shift their focus away from stressors and immerse themselves in the present moment, promoting a sense of calm and reducing stress.
The constant movement and flow of drumming is an incredible tool of focus for the racing ‘monkey mind’ and allows the body to be at ease with all the present sensations, thoughts, and feelings. The all-body experience of drumming allows an excellent opportunity to perform body scans and focus on each passing breath.
21. Drumming Trains Your Musical Ear
Studying music develops your listening skills as you train yourself to discern rhythm, timbre, and meter found in all styles of music. From performing a wide variety of music you will also begin to recognize melody, harmony, and tonality as a listener.
Being well equipped with a discerning musical ear will allow you to judge and appreciate the music you listen to more thoroughly.
Drummers also often need to listen attentively to other musicians in an ensemble or band to stay in sync. This develops active listening skills.
22. Drumming Refines Time Management Skills
Learning to play the drums teaches an individual how to be effective with time management and how to improve organizational skills.
The loud nature of drums means that they cannot be played at any time around the clock. A drummer may have to learn to manage time wisely in order to practice without potentially disturbing others.
In order for a drummer to progress fast, it is important to prioritize practice time over other leisure activities. It will also be important to structure and schedule rehearsals around life and adapt to new challenges by planning ahead and making efficient use of time.
23. Drumming Allows You to Play a Unique Drum Set
The possibilities are endless for drum sets; with hundreds of manufacturers all offering hundreds of drum woods and sizes as well as limitless color options. Everyone is familiar with the huge double bass drum sets that appear on stage!
There are thousands of different types of cymbal models, and no two cymbals produced ever have identical sound properties. The sheer abundance on offer makes drums the most customizable instrument in the world.
Drummers, of course, have the freedom to customize their drum set configuration according to their preferences and musical style. This includes choices such as the number and size of drums, cymbals, and percussion instruments they use.
The arrangement and positioning of these elements on the drum kit can also vary, allowing for individualized setups.
24. Drumming Teaches Responsibility
Drummers are responsible for taking care of their drum set and equipment. This includes proper storage, regular cleaning, and maintenance of drums, cymbals, and accessories.
By learning to care for their instruments, drummers develop a sense of responsibility for the longevity and performance of their equipment.
Of course, when it comes to performances and gigs, drummers understand the responsibility of being well-prepared and delivering their best performance when it counts.
25. Drumming Lets You Feel Like a Rock Star
Everyone can appreciate how good a drum set looks on stage, as the chrome hardware and polished cymbals shine and reflect the light back at the crowd. A drummer on stage is able to capture the attention of everyone in the room.
At a concert when you’re behind a drum set, you have a prominent position on the stage. Your movements and performance become a focal point for the audience, giving you a sense of presence and attention, just like a rock star commanding the stage.
Whether you’re just starting out or you are a professional drummer, there is no better feeling than rocking out to your favorite songs and losing yourself in the moment!
Playing the drums is the perfect opportunity to form relationships with other musicians and to share creative ideas! Performing in a group will also improve interpersonal skills as you learn to work with other individuals and combine your efforts.
Drummers learn to listen to others, follow cues, and synchronize their playing with the rest of the group. This promotes communication, cooperation, and the ability to work effectively as part of a team.
For an aspiring young drummer in a school, drumming may provide opportunities to join school bands and perform at concerts. Young musicians at school may also find themselves meeting other young musicians with similar shared interests.
27. Drumming Boosts Popularity
Drums are undoubtedly the most awesome instrument to play. Possessing musical ability and having a passion for the drums contributes to a person’s unique character and differentiates an individual from others in a friendship group.
Pursuing musical endeavours could well result in success. Growing in popularity online as well as within a local scene through performing concerts. With the increase in popularity of a musical project, you will likely receive attention from not only friends but also people from around the world!
28. Drumming Allows you to Play Percussion Too
Playing the drums means you possess a transferable set of skills that you can use to play other varieties of percussion such as hand drums.
Just because you are in a rock band doesn’t mean you can’t participate in an orchestra to play the timpani or play the Cajon for an acoustic guitarist.
As you expand your musical horizons you may discover new drumming opportunities you may not have found before!
29. Drumming Reinforces a Greater Sense of Self
Drumming allows a person to begin not only a musical journey but also a journey of self-discovery.
Through the medium of drumming, a progressing musician is able to learn more about himself; developing personal tastes in music, maturing as an individual, learning the strength of one’s character whilst instilling a positive identity.
This self-expression fosters self-awareness and helps individuals develop a stronger connection with their inner selves.
30. Drumming Can Kick-start a New Passion
It’s easy to fall in love with drumming! The full-body sensations experienced whilst playing the drums are incomparable, and how mesmerizing they are to look at are you simply cannot capture from any other musical instrument.
There is no other feeling like the enjoyment of driving the beat to a song and laying down the foundation of the music. The aural explosion of sonic information leaves you wanting more from the drums!
Drumming is a fantastic passion to pursue; it is a gift that keeps on giving – through exciting musical pursuits as well as reaping the multitude of benefits of drumming through playing!