Drummers are often dismissed as not having a lot of acumen, and they even end up at the receiving end of not-so-nice jokes.
In the music world, drummers always bear the brunt of the joke. Most have the same punchline: Drummers are idiots. Take, for example, the following: “How do you tell if the stage is level? The drummer is drooling from both sides of his mouth.” Via Music Mic
Fortunately for them, drummers now have scientific research proving they are intelligent – they might even be smarter than their band mates whose musicianship is less rhythmically-focused.
One of the first scientists to explore the drummer’s brain was David Eagleman, who has been referred to as a man that is obsessed with time. He conducted an experiment involving professional drummers to prove or disprove Brian Eno’s theory that the mental makeup of drummers was unique.
“Eno was right: drummers do have different brains from the rest.” Eagleman’s test showed “a huge statistical difference between the drummers’ timing and that of test subjects.” Says Eagleman, “Now we know that there is something anatomically different about them.” Their ability to keep time gives them an intuitive understanding of the rhythmic patterns they perceive all around them. That difference can be annoying—like the pain of having perfect pitch in a perpetually off-key world. Via Open Culture
A study by the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm revealed a link between intelligence, problem-solving and good time. In the study, volunteers were asked to keep time with a drumstick before they took intelligence tests. Those with t
he best sense of rhythm also happened to score highest in the mental assessments.
Prof Frederic Ullen, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, concluded that there was a link between intelligence, good timing and the part of the brain used for problem-solving.
He said: “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.” Via The Telegraph
Prof Ullen also found that participants with high levels of general intelligence were also more stable when performing a timing task, and their brains held larger volumes of white matter which are responsible for connecting different regions of the brain.
In addition to being geniuses in their own right, drummers also have a significant effect on those around them. One is the transfer of their natural intelligence.
In studies on the effects of rhythm on brains, researchers showed that experiencing a steady rhythm actually improves cognitive function. One psychology professor at the University of Washington used rhythmic light and sound therapy on his students and discovered that their grades improved. Similarly, one researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch used that method on a group of elementary and middle school boys with ADD. The therapies had a similar effect to Ritalin, eventually making lasting increases to the boys’ IQ scores. Via Music Mic
Research has also shown that when they play together, the levels of happiness and tolerance in drummers increases – an observation that has also been made among Olympic runners. Drummer’s high – as it’s called is an endorphin rush that is only stimulated when you play (not just listen to) music.
The rush has been found to increase a person’s threshold for pain and even increase positive emotions, leading to people working together more cooperatively. In fact, researchers hypothesized that because of this effect, drumming plays a major role in community-building, and that the evolution of human society may depend on shared rhythms.
So there you have it!
So the stereotypes about drummers aren’t just baseless, they’re also plain wrong. Drummers are people tapped into a fundamental undercurrent of what it means to be human, people around whom bands and communities form.
And admit it, sometimes they even write great songs. Via Music Mic
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8 Ways to Be a Better Drummer
So you’re taking drum lessons and learning some new skills, but now you’re wondering how you can progress and take your drumming to the next level. Here, music teacher James W. shares his tips to help you sharpen your technique and improve your skills…
As a drummer, you have the most important job in the band, besides songwriting. You show the guitar player and the bass player where the groove should be, hold the band together, and drive the band forward. You have to keep time in your head and listen at the same time. Good drummers are always in demand, so it’s important to practice consistently and continue to work hard to improve. Here are eight tips to help you develop your technique and take your drumming to the next level. Via TakeLessons
The Top Ten Most Important Instruments to a Band
I have been in band for many years and I can conclude that drums are the most important instrument, and I don’t even play the drums! I don’t know why guitars are at the top. I don’t know if it was some biased guitar fans or what. Guitars are mainly for rock and country. If you take away the drums in a song…well its hard to know what your even listening to. Now, I have been in concert and jazz band. Whenever the drummer was away for practice, it was so hard to carry on! The drum provides the rhythm for us, and drums help you follow the song and also fill in gaps. Without drums it just sounds odd and even messy at times. I don’t know one song where we didn’t require some time of drum. This is coming from a trumpet player, so no biased thoughts here – dragonfly99 Via The Top Tens
It’s official: drummers are smarter than you (and everybody else)
Far too often, drummers have been given the shaft. Second to only, maybe, bassists, they’re the member in the band considered most replaceable: you can just pull some chump off the street, sit him behind a kit, and on with the show. According to science, however, drummers aren’t the mouth-breathing neanderthals humorists have made them out to be. News and analytics site PolyMic compiled a group of studies that indicate drummers are not only generally smarter than their bandmates, they actually make everyone around them smarter too. Via Consequences of Sound