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How To Develop Yourself Through Drumming

By Yann, published on 19/09/2018 Blog > Music > Drums > Why Learn To Play The Drums?

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato

Drumming represents 8% of the total overall sales for musical instruments.

Learning to play the drums is not just so that you can show off, performing 45-minute solos while the band goes to get a drink, spinning your drumsticks in the air or going “one, two, three, four” at the beginning of the song.

Like all musical instruments (bass guitar, electric guitar, saxophone, cello…), acoustic drums or electronic drums have many virtues to be gained while learning.

Let’s check out what those might be now!

Drumming as a Way to Develop Creativity

African drums are fun to practice on Taking drum lessons just might make you more creative! (source: Pixabay)

Starting drumming involves going through a learning phase of the basics which is not necessarily very fun, but still necessary.

The traits of a creative person

Artists are undeniably creative. It’s not science that creates a piece of music, a painting, a ballet or a literary masterpiece.

Thus, a professional drummer will have several qualities in common with other artists. They will be:

  • Persevering: no matter the failure, they will try again and again until they succeed
  • Open-minded: curiosity is certainly the most important character trait to have when embarking on the journey of learning an instrument
  • Able to think differently: artists are often misunderstood! They must be able to think outside the box to create original music
  • Confident: to let creativity flow, one must have self-confidence. Self-censoring doesn’t help!
  • Gather and summarize experiences: to create original songs and music

Customize your exercises to develop your creativity

Before jumping into getting creative, it is better to first acquire some technical background with your drums and percussion.

However, once you’ve learned a few basics, it is possible to start working on your creativeness while at the same time developing a solid enough background with your drumming lessons.

While working on basic independent and synchronization exercises, try to personalize your training exercises the most you can.

Add a backbeat, a hi-hat, a cymbal crash, toms kick or a roll.

Between us, working on the basics is not the most fun part while you are learning the drums. However, repeating basic exercises will help you progress faster and develop your creativity within a solid foundation.

Don’t hesitate to write down your personalized exercises as you don’t need to know how to read a drum score or know music theory for that.

Creativity is important to develop Creativity is very present when you’re a child. Let’s keep up the inspiration! (Source: Pixabay)

More tips to improve your creativity

Outside of your drum lessons and beyond the rhythmic work, here are some tips to progress in terms of your imagination:

  • Hang out with children: they don’t limit themselves and allow their imagination to soar. If we didn’t censor ourselves and our imagination and kept our inner child present, we’d find it easier to be creative!
  • Procrastinate: because doing nothing allows you to let go of your mind and when you get back to work you’ll feel lighter with more potential for new ideas. Slowing down and stopping your thinking is essential to keep progressing and let your brain digest all that you’ve learned.
  • Exercise: in the same vein, when you run, do a Zumba class, or lift dumbbells, you’re not thinking as much. Plus, your body produces adrenaline (which helps you jump into activities) and dopamine (which makes you more productive and fights fatigue).
  • Listen to different styles of music: creativity is nurtured by many different things. Feel free to venture beyond your favourite kind of music. Listen to jazz, funk, blues, rock, but also classical or oriental music. Inspiration comes from everywhere!
  • Be available: a bolt of inspiration can come at any time. It’s always better to have something on hand to write down that flash of inspiration immediately so you don’t lose it. If you wake up with an unfamiliar tune in your head, this is the perfect time to take out your notebook and pen.

Drumming Works Your Rhythm and Tempo

Dancing and drumming go hand in hand Like dancers, drummers are dependent on rhythm! (Source: Pixabay)

Although many think that a sense of rhythm is innate, it’s not completely true.

Indeed, if some people have musical abilities, it is primarily because they take the time to listen to each element that music is composed of.

Everyone is able to notice the beat of a song. It’s the beat played by the bass drum that makes you tap the rhythm with your hand, your foot or nod along.

To practice this skill, it is advisable to try to keep the beat all along a piece of music without taking into account breaks, fills, solos or rhythm variations with the chorus.

Listen to a piece of rock music and note the beat. A beat corresponds to a time. A rock song is usually on 4 beats called 4/4 time.

So where are your skills at?

It may be time to get back to basics, namely your ability to keep a beat for the duration of a song without speeding up or slowing down.

In music class, your drumming teacher will make you work with a metronome because keeping pace is kind of the definition of being a drummer.

But to keep a tempo, you’ll need several factors:

  • Have experience: there is no secret, it takes work!
  • Concentration: being focused makes it easy to keep a tempo from beginning to end or A to Z.
  • Be calm: stress can make you speed up without even realizing it. Try to stay calm.
  • Breathe: and to stay calm, remember to keep a natural breathing rhythm. If you realize that you are blocking your breathing, it will most likely affect your ability to keep time.

What Are the Benefits of Drumming?

Buskers can be drummers too Let your creativity fly! (Source: Pixabay)

Mastering the rhythms on the snare drum, kick drum, pedals, finger and hand cymbals, base drums, tom-toms and tambourine brings many benefits to the body and mind.

Playing the drums allows you to:

  • Improve your coordination: your left and right hand perform two different rhythms and your feet must work completely independent from the rest of your body… Drums are an instrument for improving your mind and motor skills.
  • Express your emotions: from the mildest to the most extreme, music is the perfect way to externalize negative emotions in a positive way.
  • Decrease your stress: release that stress and anger through hitting those drums! As with any physical exercise, playing the drums produces dopamine, a pleasure hormone that lowers stress.
  • Develop your memory: because learning rhythms requires you to develop your memory. Little by little, a drummer will be able to remember more and more things.
  • Strengthen your interpersonal skills: Playing in a musical group facilitates communication and instils respect for oneself and others. You’ll need to learn to find your place, without ignoring the other members of the group. You might even learn to stand up for yourself to assert your own ideas.
  • Evolve and improve: when you first start drumming, you might feel completely incapable. It is, therefore, rewarding to surpass yourself and go beyond limits you thought you might have. Everyone is capable of playing an instrument if they practice!
  • Sleep better: with its soothing qualities and the release of endorphins, we sleep better after doing some basic exercises on the drums.
  • Keep healthy: like playing sports, playing a musical instrument helps strengthen your immune system. In addition, playing the drums allows you to better control your breath and gain endurance.

When playing the drums, your arms and ears keep the rhythm. Neural connections are made in the brain, the motor cortex is activated and allows for an improvement in skills such as keeping good time.

The video above suggests that the brain of drummers might be different from others.

The link between intelligence, keeping time and the area of the brain managing problem-solving in drummers has been highlighted by a study from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Drummers who are able to hold a steady pace achieved the highest scores on the intelligence tests of this study.

Maybe we’ll stop thinking that drummers are only good at banging the drums!

Drummers have a unique mental constitution.

To check out more along these lines, I suggest you check out the video below which shows how the brains of drummers are really different:

Definitions “Learn Drumming”

Learning to play an instrument also means enriching your music vocabulary and there are quite a few terms to learn in drumming!

What is the trigger?

On the snare drum, the trigger is used to set, engage and trigger the timber to give it a particular tone.

What is a pattern?

It is a rhythmic pattern that can change on one or more bars or measures.

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