"Music expresses that which cannot be said and which it is impossible to be silent." Victor Hugo

According to some recent studies, playing an instrument (cello, electric guitar, saxophone, acoustic drums...) would be equivalent to partaking in a complete physical activity for the brain. Learning the drums and playing on a drum pad activates almost the entire brain at the same time. Both hemispheres are active because playing an instrument requires fine motor skills. Practising an instrument sharpens your critical thinking skills through listening to others and your own self-correction. Drumming allows you to develop your analytical powers and your artistic sense. But playing the drums has many other benefits that we will now look at in this article.

Play the Drums to Improve Your Mental and Physical Coordination

Hand and feet co-ordination is necessary
Drumming requires a great coordination of movements and an important hand/feet independence. (Source: StevenSlateDrums)
Hit your snare drum with your left hand while keeping up the tempo with your right hand on the hi-hat, then add bass drum strikes with your right foot and hi-hat open notes with your left foot... Not to mention the breaks that bring with them a lot of rolls and cymbal strikes (crash cymbal, ride cymbal, cymbal splash...). Playing the drums requires quite impressive coordination and independence of the hands and feet that few musical instruments offer. The drums are the instruments that give the tempo to a song. This is the instrument that will give the groove and energy to the song. Mastery of this instrument requires quick and precise gestures. The movements that drumming requires allows the drummer to acquire better reflexes and perception of physical space. You can also improve your sense of rhythm on the drums!

Drumming As a Way to Express Emotions

Music is often known as the universal language, the language of the soul. It is through music that one can express one's emotions from the mildest to the most extreme, passing by the most sad and melancholic.

"Music is the language of emotions." Kant

All the senses are awakened when playing the drums. When using the drumsticks, a drummer's playing field is strongly linked to touching the skins and their subsequent rebounds. Listening is the sense that comes the most into play when learning an instrument. Without listening, there is no music! But sight also comes into play. You have to be precise when looking where to hit your drums. By being attentive to everything that happens around them, the drummer can let their emotions express themselves. Getting behind a drum set can involve freeing your mind from all the stresses of the day. The drummer lives in the present moment: the mind and body are synchronized and emotions can sometimes come out unexpectedly. The essential thing is to let go and let it flow.

Drumming Improves the Mood and Reduces Stress

Drumming can help to reduce stress
Playing an instrument can help you be more Zen! (Source: 123RF)
But in fact, drumming is also a great way to learn how to manage stress. In front of an audience, it will be necessary to be able to play in the same way as in your garage in rehearsal. If you have to let your emotions flow, it is also important to know how to control them in order to be in control of your performance. In addition, playing the drums requires a lot of energy and as with any physical activity, it helps release negative emotions. Playing the drums improves the mood and reduces stress. Music causes a soothing effect at the psychological level. You need to focus on what you are doing and not think about your daily worries. It almost sounds like we're talking about yoga, right?

Become a Drummer to Develop Your Concentration Skills and Memory

Olivier Sacks, a famous neurologist, tells in his book Musicophilia, the story of Clive Wearing, an English musician, suffering from a cerebral infection. His memory is greatly reduced and he can only memorize 7 seconds. But when Clive gets behind his piano, everything comes back effortlessly. He kept his ability to play the piano and sing. In addition, studies conducted by the University of Oregon have demonstrated the impact of music on the cognitive abilities of people with Alzheimer's disease. Without curing the disease, music can make life easier for them, and some even recognize loved ones and remember moments through listening to music. Drummers have a more developed memory than people who don't practice an instrument. Playing a piece of music over and over until it is known by heart develops one's memorizing abilities. Moreover, to succeed in reproducing a piece of music, it is necessary to be concentrated during a certain period of time. The ability to concentrate will increase progressively along with your musical skills. And after a while, you will not even see the time passing when playing your musical instrument as your concentration will be high and passion will take over!

Playing on an Acoustic Drum to Reinforce Your Relationship Skills

Drumming is a great way to socialize
Playing in a group helps develop your relationship skills! (source: ATI Talents)
Drums percussion, acoustic guitar, djembe, clarinet, trombone... Working away at an instrument on your own is good but taking drum lessons and exchanging with other students and the teacher is even better for improving! Taking classes rather than self-study teaches new skills. Being part of a musical group, where everyone has their own role, can build empathy and facilitate communication with others. Drumming also includes social connections, bonds that are created, friendships that are born. We feel a closeness to people who have the same passion as ours. In addition, playing an instrument within a group means being responsible. You have to know when to start playing and when to stop, make room for everyone to find their place too, don't do too much or too little, follow the plan, be on time... Practising music is a good training ground for tolerance and respect for others: other musicians, partners, but also the audience.

Drumming to Increase Creativity and Grow Your Limits

Playing a percussion instrument also means developing your creativity. This is the #1 skill that develops when you practice an instrument! Because beyond the technique and learning the basics, playing the drums also means inventing your own rhythms, improvising with other musicians, composing original songs and thus expressing your own musical moods.

For the American psychologist Howard Gardner, musical creativity is one of the fundamental functions of the brain, just like language and mathematical logic.

That's why it's important to develop your creativity from an early age. The drums are a demanding instrument that requires enormous coordination and long-term practice to keep the tempo and eventually improvise. When you're first learning it will seem impossible to get good at it. Then little by little, you will get there. You will discover the pleasure of playing and especially to succeed in doing something that you maybe thought was impossible. Exceeding yourself is essential in order to progress towards mastering an instrument. You will gradually learn to appreciate this impulse to keep improving.

Each Style of Music and its Effects on the Body and Mind

Learn to play the drums to gain confidence
Little by little, a drummer will learn to surpass himself and will find more and more pleasure in playing! (Source: Pixabay)
Drums don't really lend themselves to all musical styles. Thus, let us dwell on those who especially involve the use of electronic or acoustic drums:

  • Jazz and blues: these are two musical styles that can evoke the whole range of human emotions, from sad to cheerful. In addition, jazz and blues have a strengthening effect on the body.
  • Pop rock: classic rock stimulates passionate emotions while at the same time helping to release internal tensions.
  • Heavy metal, punk, grunge...: these are musical styles that directly solicit the nervous system and reduce stress. The physical shape of the drummer is all the more important depending on their chosen musical style.
  • Techno: the pulsation and the frequency of the base beats remind us of the heartbeat. The body is forced to adapt to this rhythm, gradually falling into a state of trance. Chinese medicine says that this music disrupts ancestral qi (the energy of our past and future lives). It's up to you if you believe it or not
  • Eastern music, sacred: sacred music has the ability to emit alpha waves to the brain. They allow for spiritual awakening but also relaxation and the reduction of pain.

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Definitions "Psychological Benefits of Drumming"

Drumming and drums have many benefits on the body and mind. But learning an instrument also involves knowing a little of the vocabulary of a new language: that of music. What is a break? It is a term which indicates a break in a piece of music, an interruption. The instruments all stop playing at the same time, causing silence. What is a triplet? It is a rhythm playing three notes in the space of two.

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