The Neuroscience of Drumming: Researchers Discover the Secrets of Drumming & The Human Brain

An old musician’s joke goes “there are three kinds of drum­mers in the world—those who can count and those who can’t.” But per­haps there is an even more glob­al divide. Per­haps there are three kinds of peo­ple in the world—those who can drum and those who can’t. Per­haps, as the pro­mo­tion­al video above from GE sug­gests, drum­mers have fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent brains than the rest of us. Today we high­light the sci­en­tif­ic research into drum­mers’ brains, an expand­ing area of neu­ro­science and psy­chol­o­gy that dis­proves a host of dumb drum­mer jokes.

“Drum­mers,” writes Jor­dan Tay­lor Sloan at Mic, “can actu­al­ly be smarter than their less rhyth­mi­cal­ly-focused band­mates.” This accord­ing to the find­ings of a Swedish study (Karolin­s­ka Insti­tutet in Stock­holm) which shows “a link between intel­li­gence, good tim­ing and the part of the brain used for prob­lem-solv­ing.” As Gary Cle­land puts it in The Tele­graph, drum­mers “might actu­al­ly be nat­ur­al intel­lec­tu­als.”

Neu­ro­sci­en­tist David Eagle­man, a renais­sance researcher The New York­er calls “a man obsessed with time,” found this out in an exper­i­ment he con­duct­ed with var­i­ous pro­fes­sion­al drum­mers at Bri­an Eno’s stu­dio. It was Eno who the­o­rized that drum­mers have a unique men­tal make­up, and it turns out “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. But drum­ming ulti­mate­ly has ther­a­peu­tic val­ue, pro­vid­ing the emo­tion­al and phys­i­cal ben­e­fits col­lec­tive­ly known as “drum­mer’s high,” an endor­phin rush that can only be stim­u­lat­ed by play­ing music, not sim­ply lis­ten­ing to it. In addi­tion to increas­ing peo­ple’s pain thresh­olds, Oxford psy­chol­o­gists found, the endor­phin-filled act of drum­ming increas­es pos­i­tive emo­tions and leads peo­ple to work togeth­er in a more coop­er­a­tive fash­ion.

Clash drum­mer Top­per Head­on dis­cuss­es the ther­a­peu­tic aspect of drum­ming in a short BBC inter­view above. He also calls drum­ming a “primeval” and dis­tinct­ly, uni­ver­sal­ly human activ­i­ty. For­mer Grate­ful Dead drum­mer Mick­ey Hart and neu­ro­sci­en­tist Adam Gaz­za­ley have high hopes for the sci­ence of rhythm. Hart, who has pow­ered a light show with his brain­waves in con­certs with his own band, dis­cuss­es the “pow­er” of rhythm to move crowds and bring Alzheimer’s patients back into the present moment.

Whether we can train our­selves to think and feel like drum­mers may be debat­able. But as for whether drum­mers real­ly do think in ways non-drum­mers can’t, con­sid­er the neu­ro­science of Stew­art Copeland’s polyrhyth­mic beats, and the work of Ter­ry Bozzio (below) play­ing the largest drumk­it you’ve ever seen.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Play­ing an Instru­ment Is a Great Work­out For Your Brain: New Ani­ma­tion Explains Why

Iso­lat­ed Drum Tracks From Six of Rock’s Great­est: Bon­ham, Moon, Peart, Copeland, Grohl & Starr

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness.

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Comments (81)
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  • F Again says:

    Ter­ry Bozzio is a great drum­mer, but that kit is maybe 1/3 Bil­ly Cob­ham’s.

  • Stuzz says:

    May I present a big kit?

    If any­one has an exam­ple of big­ger, It’d be hap­py to see it :)

  • Stuzz says:

    I’d* be hap­py to… (see an edit but­ton)

  • Juan Pablo says:

    This one has a big­ger kit and is a bet­ter solo, imho.

  • tim says:

    An inter­est­ing read, and a lot I dis­agree with, drum­mers aren’t metronomes, they are musi­cians, or some are, and the whole band keeps time togeth­er.

    They should­n’t refer to the drum­mer as some kind of con­duc­tor.

    After years of play­ing I have con­clud­ed there are two types of musi­cians, one who lis­tens to the oth­ers whilst they play, and the ones that just lis­ten to them­selves.

    All (half decent) musi­cians have good tim­ing as does any­one who can dance, it’s not just drum­mers

  • Jim says:

    @ F again

    That kit is ancient. His cur­rent kit is much larg­er.

    @ Stuzz

    @ tim

    I agree!!

  • Marq says:

    Actu­al­ly that’s about a fifth of Ter­ry’s nor­mal drum kit.

  • Thomas says:

    I was gonna sug­gest Carl Palmers’ kit used to be big… But I think the Grant Collins one beats it.

  • GB says:

    Very well said. From my expe­ri­ence of hav­ing per­formed in var­i­ous drumming/percussion ensem­bles, I find that the abil­i­ty to lis­ten to oth­ers is often direct­ly reflec­tive of their per­son­al­i­ty. I find some of my more “stub­born” and sub­jec­tive friends tend to drift off tem­po more often than peo­ple who, out­side of musi­cal activ­i­ties, seem to be bet­ter lis­ten­ers in gen­er­al. Of course it’s not invari­ably the case, but VERY often it is. I’ve also worked with dancers and the­atre folks and it’s the same, in terms of being able to fol­low move­ment, or phys­i­cal pac­ing.

  • MM says:

    I’m sor­ry, has no one seen Neil Peart’s kit?

  • dan winter says:

    glen velez — paul win­ter con­sort could drum a rhythmn scheme — 2 hands in ratio 1/2 , 2/3 , 3/5, 5/8 … and where that cli­max­es.. bliss physics:

  • Tom Myron says:

    “I have con­clud­ed there are two types of musi­cians, one who lis­tens to the oth­ers whilst they play, and the ones that just lis­ten to them­selves.”

    That is a WAY more mean­ing­ful dis­tinc­tion. Many thanks!

  • hipbilly says:

    And jeal­ousy rears it’s ugly head lol

  • Initram says:

    Con­tem­po­rary Bozzio, e.g.,

  • rick thunberg says:

    I knew some­thing was afoot.
    I think dancers have a unique edge too.
    Cuase I can drum but sure­ly not dance a foot­step.
    anec­do­tal yet inter­est­ing I believe

  • Andrea R Huelsenbeck says:

    I think “the four limbs mov­ing inde­pen­dent­ly” has a lot to do with the pos­i­tive impact on the brain. Danc­ing does the same thing. Not that it’s nec­es­sary for drum­mers to be good dancers, Rick Thun­berg. ;)

  • Siba says:

    Very inter­est­ing post. As a drum­mer I can tru­ly relate but I feel that there should be more diver­si­ty in the peo­ple who par­tic­i­pate in these tests, research.
    Lati­no cats, African amer­i­can per­cus­sion­ists, African gri­ots musicians…Mix it up!

  • Doug says:

    Nice quick con­clu­sions on poor sci­ence. Ran­dom tests need to be done using bar bands and patrons. You sup­ply the refresh­ments for coop­er­a­tion. Then grab some ball play­ers and some peo­ple from the library. We need real ran­dom tests if we want to actu­al­ly try to prove any­thing out­side of con­jec­ture and bias.

    Tim … you post­ed the best response so far… at least in my opin­ion … some­one who can fol­low the beat of a bar band and dance well … well, they have a spe­cial brain too. And I would not be call­ing drum­mers ‘intel­lec­tu­als’, when I only test the cream of the crop.

  • VikingCharlie says:

    How about Shiv­a­mani’s drum kit here (see 2:36th minute):

  • haliphax says:

    Bet­ter shot of Peart’s set dur­ing The Rhythm Method:

  • agumonkey says:

    @rick try to vir­tu­al­ly play bass drum dou­ble ped­al flat foot­ed, you’ll dance sal­sa in a month.

    Inter­est­ing they men­tioned Copeland since his drum­ming was quite sophis­ti­cat­ed for the ‘genre’. Even though Lazarus Heart drum­mer was Manu Katche, and that the Lit­tle Wing cov­er on Noth­ing like the sun with Ken­wood Den­nard is even more inter­est­ing in mod­u­la­tion and sen­si­tiv­i­ty IMO.

  • clement boylan says:

    there is more here than meets the eye! new sci­ence claims that there are ways we humans can tune into the cos­mic
    sym­pho­ny! hap­pen­ing all around us all the time!
    Phy­chic? Intu­itive? or ? music an peo­ple are inseper­at­able, so when you sing, or dance or (?) play drums (!) we are tun­ing into the cos­mic essence, which we are a part of but now , some of us, search­ing for the tim­ing an tem­po,
    stum­bling upon it…experience a time­less­ness, an inclu­sion, an a europh­ic expe­ri­ence! an are con­tin­u­al­ly look­ing for more!
    Being drawn to the drum as an expres­sion not com­plete­ly under­stood but sus­tain­ing inter­est an inclu­sion for many years now…some of the mys­tery, eso­teric? comes to light in my life…share your propen­si­ty with someone…the more the mer­ri­er! Drum your truth! such as it is…and always improv­ing! To you all, in love and music!

  • David Warman says:

    Back in the ear­ly 90’s I was devel­op­ing a pro net­worked MIDI rout­ing sys­tem. We dis­cov­ered, to our sur­prise, that pro drum­mers bitch loud­ly if they can hear their stick hit­ting the pad sep­a­rate­ly from the sound of the sam­pler in their head­phones. click — boom was a no-no. The sur­pris­ing bit was not the sep­a­ra­tion itself, nor the bitch­ing (we also found every­one on stage has big egos), but the mag­ni­tude: pro drum­mers are upset at a 5 msec delay. Some even at 4 msecs. I had to pol­ish the code until I got to a 2 msec net­work laten­cy before they were all hap­py. And on a 2 MHz 8 bit micro that was hard to do. No oth­er musi­cian demo­graph­ic was even close — 10 msecs for pros, 20 for good ama­teurs, 30+ for gen­er­al pub­lic. I got myself down to only 15 doing that prac­tice.

  • neek says:

    haha, there are some mon­strosi­ties out there…

  • Randy Sears says:

    Trilok Gur­tu (John McLaugh­lin, Oregon)is one of the most amaz­ing ever! His set­up is com­plete­ly unique and he’s a phe­nom­e­nal tabla play­er as well. Check Him Out…especially with Joe Zaw­in­ul as a duo. Sor­ry I don’t have a clip.

  • Karl Landgren says:

    Broth­er Cob­ham sure knows what to do with a set of skins, too, does­n’t he!

  • mimi says:

    i com­plete­ly agree with you. Drum­mers are musi­cians who need to have great musi­cal sen­si­tiv­i­ty to fly and swim with the oth­er musi­cians. I have sung for 25 years now, and have found that the best music is when we all lis­ten to one otherand let the music take form and space.….A true artist is part of a whole body. Good tim­ing is a singer’s busi­ness also, that s why Ella Fitzger­ald was such a great artist!

  • mimi says:

    since i have been drum­ming i have got­ten to be a much bet­ter singer!

  • bruce says:

    Could­n’t agree more. While there may be some phys­i­cal and/or men­tal ele­ment that could sug­gest that some psy­cho­log­i­cal make-up may be more suit­able for per­cus­sion and drum pat­terns and the play­ing of them, I agree with Tim above com­plete­ly when he sug­gests that all musi­cians have a hand in the play­ing of music in time, par­tic­u­lary in com­plex, mul­ti-lev­el com­po­si­tion styles such as odd-time fusion or big band or latin.

    I think all too often the drum­mer or per­cus­sion­ist is point­ed to with the all-encom­pass­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty of being the time-keep­er at all costs. In fact, I learned a long time ago that in big band, for exam­ple, the bass play­er has equal if not more respon­si­bil­i­ty for time keep­ing and the drum­mer as the time ENFORCER. Ulti­mate­ly, lis­ten­ing, col­lab­o­rat­ing, and find­ing the ide­al com­mon time denom­i­na­tor is key.

    But, if it makes peo­ple feel bet­ter to con­sid­er drum­mers as intel­lec­tu­al­ly supe­ri­or, who am I to argue? :-)

  • draep says:

    Lol ter­ry bozzios kit makes Neil pearts look like a trap kit and he makes use of all of it in much more cre­ative fash­ion imo. Why does every­one always got­ta cite Neil peart?

  • albert reyes says:

    what about hand drum­ming is it the same thing con­gas bon­gos dejimbe?

  • WorrierPrincess says:

    There are two kinds of com­menters — those who want to talk about the ideas in the arti­cle, and those who want to know who has the biggest drum kit.

  • EJ says:

    Inter­est­ing arti­cle, how­ev­er if this is cor­rect drum­mers brains are dif­fer­ent even before they start play­ing drums? I would say the very act of play­ing and learn­ing to play drums changes your mind, not the oth­er way round.

  • Bongo Dave aka Keith Reitman says:

    I enjoyed the arti­cle. In my own decades of research as a per­cus­sion­ist I dis­cov­ered an inter­est­ing fact about my own music mak­ing as heard by oth­ers: The far­ther away they got, the bet­ter it sound­ed!

  • tony says:

    lol do you play the drums? no? then booooo.….and drum­mers aren’t musi­cians anyway.……we just hang out with them…(-:

  • tony says:

    sor­ry albert .…but no.…(-:

  • tony says:

    lol…so clear­ly you aren’t a drum­mer either…but look, if it makes you feel bet­ter to refute this won­der­ful study…sell ya’ bass gui­tar and buy a drumkit…you too can per­haps rewire your brain.…or.…pick up a six string and become a lead guitarist.…that way you can just let your fin­gers do your talk­ing.…(-:

  • johannes kröher says:

    Thanks, this under­lines my essay “The Drummer‘s Dra­ma” ( in Ger­man). Too many peo­ple, espe­cial­ly oth­er musi­cians do not appre­ci­ate what we ( drum­mers ) con­tribute to the music grow­ing in colab­o­ra­tion. The spine of dynam­ics, tem­po and den­si­ty lies in what we do.
    Even though I dare not to put me ( in a scale of 1 to 10 ) above a medi­um 6, most musi­cians who played with me, appre­ci­at­ed what I did/do. The drum­mers who inspired me unfor­tu­nate­ly have passed away : Kei­th Moon, John Bon­ham, Jeff Por­caro, and espe­cial­ly Richie Hay­ward. Why did they leave the stage so ear­ly ??? Yo ‘Hannes, right now play­ing with Nurs­ery Cryme.

  • Drummers wife- Adelaide Rosella says:

    Rex explained in drum­mer speak, that Eno (of the huge drum kit) is using every limb in a rhyth­mic pat­tern inde­pen­dent­ly of each oth­er limb and, instead of keep­ing time with his base-drum or the rim of his snare-drum or cym­bals etc. he is hold­ing it togeth­er inde­pen­dent­ly of his limbs with his brain.

    He also explains with one band that the musi­cians were so in sync that he could play com­pli­cat­ed cross-pat­terns (what­ev­er?) because the oth­er mem­bers held togeth­er.

    Appar­ent­ly, it is extreme­ly rare to find a band whose indi­vid­ual mem­bers are not only good, expe­ri­enced musi­cians but also share the same feel or bond with one anoth­er.

    Believe me when I say drum­mer’s brains are very dif­fer­ent.

  • Michael obryan says:

    I to did­n’t real­ly love the band ‑but Pert was the Man!!!!!!

  • Dave D. says:

    Ter­ry B. Lol… Try Bud­dy, The man with the world’s fastest left hand. Did more on his 5 piece then these mega kit per­form­ers out there.. Just say­ing is all..

  • ron conigliaro says:

    years ago i set up the drum set that was the gui­ness book of world records — had chad smith play­ing it for the record moment. Dont have the vid any­more but i have a pho­to, i will try to post it — trav­el­ing now

  • Paul says:

    It seems like there real­ly are “three” types of drum­mer read­ing the com­ments… those that dis­cuss the arti­cle and those obsessed with kit size… com­pen­sat­ing for some­thing lads ? 😀

  • Jeff says:

    Too bad Bud­dy Rich isn’t alive to have Mr. Gaz­za­ley ana­lyze his drum­ming brain!

  • Unicorns says:

    I am hungry:3

  • Luke says:

    Some men­tion of the role of drum­ming in shaman­ism seems appro­pri­ate here. Drum­ming is a cen­tral ele­ment of the shaman­ic jour­ney in shaman­ic cul­tures all over the world, more com­mon even than psy­che­delics.

  • Jasmiena Jansen says:

    Drum­ming ses­sions should be intro­duced to reha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ters

  • Jasmiena Jansen says:

    Drug rehabilitation..stroke rehabilitation…anything to do with men­tal recu­per­a­tion

  • Rich says:

    The size of your kit is per­son­al and has noth­ing to do with your chops or play­ing abil­i­ty. In fact the small­er kits are more chal­leng­ing because there are few­er sound choic­es so you have to be more rhyth­mic in order to sound inter­est­ing. Drum­mers who use the mega kits seem to be less rhyth­mic and less syn­co­pat­ed because they rely on the sound of the dif­fer­ent drums too much..and the pat­terns suf­fer. I think the most awe­somew play­ers use 4 or 5 piece kits…that being said Neil Peart is an excep­tion to the rule.….

  • Reek says:

    As a drum­mer, I fell each group of peo­ple togeth­er respond or inter­act with tim­ing dif­fer­ent­ly. I’ve played with a band that was near impos­si­ble to keep at a steady tem­po. The rest of the band could drift so far from me, I was out of sync, even though in this par­tic­u­lar band, it was decid­ed that I was the one to (try) to hold the tem­po steady. As Tim states, some musi­cians don’t lis­ten, but ulti­mate­ly it’s my job to to watch out for tem­po drift, which can be pos­i­tive in some sit­u­a­tions but typ­i­cal­ly a bad thing. Arro­gance plays a big part in some of the musi­cians willinn7to be part of the band or hov­er above it .

  • Dave Thelen says:

    *I think Neil Peart might have the biggest drum kit… and he absolute­ly uses all of them!

  • Ernest Byrd says:

    Well I just hap­pen to be a self taught drum­mer . I have except­ed the fact that I will nev­er be the best in the world . I love spon­tane­ity ! Inspi­ra­tion that I can enhance or exag­ger­ate . I make all things appear as If , It was a part of the show.

  • milton says:

    Defin­i­ti­va­mente estoy deacuer­do con­ti­go. El tiem­po es algo que todos los músi­cos desar­rol­lan; sin embar­go el drum­mer es el encar­ga­do de “mar­car el beat”; aún así, hay un pun­to muy intere­sante que has remar­ca­do y me resul­ta más intere­sante que lo com­par­ta­mos en dos pun­tos difer­entes del globo, y es que los músi­cos se div­i­den en aque­l­los que escuchan a los demás y los que no. En mi expe­ri­en­cia como drum­mer he podi­do obser­var que esa habil­i­dad es MÁS impor­tante que solo lle­var el tiem­po; así como el tiem­po filmi­co es difer­ente al tiem­po real; en un Gig, el tiem­po real puede diferir, debido al fac­tor emo­cional, pero si la ban­da se escucha, y se inter­conectan, eso define un buen gig a un sim­ple tocar den­tro del tiem­po fijo.-

  • Debra Swank says:

    Two things:
    — Hear­ing a large per­cus­sion ensem­ble per­form in con­cert is an incred­i­ble expe­ri­ence — - am think­ing of the revered Phil Fai­ni head­ing the per­cus­sion depart­ment at West Vir­ginia Uni­ver­si­ty’s Cre­ative Arts Cen­ter for decades, then served as Dean — - such a dear man and a tremen­dous teacher. The per­cus­sion depart­men­t’s annu­al con­certs in that era were held on two con­sec­u­tive nights and always to a packed house. The finales were a crescen­do build­ing from the light­est sound, such as a broom sweep­ing across the stage floor, then to more brooms, then more and more instru­ments, etc., etc., etc., end­ing often with the march­ing band’s horn sec­tion charg­ing in from the rear of the audi­to­ri­um, with six trap sets light­ing up on each side of the audi­to­ri­um, each trap set in raised indi­vid­ual cubi­cles, and all musi­cians ignit­ing the crowd into a fren­zy of appre­ci­a­tion and grat­i­tude. Unfor­get­table — -

    - The brain changes with train­ing. Neu­rol­o­gist and lead researcher Dr. Bar­ry Seemu­n­gal has stud­ied a train­ing-relat­ed phe­nom­e­non in bal­let dancers to fur­ther under­stand dizzi­ness in improv­ing treat­ments for patients with chron­ic dizzi­ness. Bal­let dancers were the ide­al sub­jects to study, due to the lack of dizzi­ness expe­ri­enced by bal­let dancers when they spin. These brain researchers found that the area of the brain called the cere­bel­lum was small­er in dancers than in non-dancers, and the more expe­ri­enced the dancer, the small­er the cere­bel­lum. Hear­ing Seemu­n­gal dis­cuss how the brain changes in response to expe­ri­ence is fas­ci­nat­ing. Here are two inter­views with Seemu­n­gal‑1.1871576

  • JMichael Piper says:

    I can agree with what you say Tim…but, it can get even more tech­ni­cal then just drum­ming. For instance there are drum­mers that just keep a Beat, and there are drum­mers who are pre­ci­sion play­ers and there are also drum­mers who are musi­cian drum­mers and then there’s some kind of like I am, a mas­ter of all of them which peo­ple call a prodi­gy… And no we’re not a metronome some of us are even bet­ter than a metronome and there are some they can’t keep their steady rhythm and should­n’t play at all but give them cred­it for try­ing

  • Matthew Charles Endres says:

    “Less rhyth­mi­cal­ly focus­es band mates” !!??

    It’s irri­tat­ing how so many “une­d­u­cat­ed” writ­ers say it’s the drum­mers job to keep good time. It’s EVERYONES! Def­i­nite­ly my pet peeve.

  • Matt Ramsey says:

    I was born in 1971 with a mas­sive brain AVM that caused me to stroke 15 times. Before my 15th stroke, I had been tak­ing pri­vate drum lessons was becom­ing quite astute at drum set.

    After my cran­ioto­my, it took two or three or four years; how­ev­er, I was able to retain my abil­i­ty to main­tain even bet­ter per­fect rhythm, met­ri­cal­ly, then I had been able to, before my final stroke.

    I switched from using my right foot to my left foot for my bass drum ped­al, begin to play with oth­er musi­cians, and, soon, begin to play pub­licly, for mon­ey.

    Resum­ing the act of play­ing my drums was 20000 times bet­ter than any oth­er phys­i­cal and occu­pa­tion­al ther­a­py than I’d ever been apprised of, pre­vi­ous­ly. Then, in 2003, I dis­cov­ered voice recog­ni­tion soft­ware and use that to sub­stan­tial­ly re-strength­en my short-term-mem­o­ry.

    I work, cur­rent­ly, as a free­lance writ­ing tutor and tutor of high­er edu­ca­tion writ­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land.

    Please con­tact me at: and check out my writ­ing at:

  • Kelly says:

    Thanks for the inter­est­ing arti­cle. One of the best drum­mers and total musi­cal genius­es I’ve ever wit­nessed is Phil Collins who seam­less­ly moves from play­ing orig­i­nal drum fills as well as singing com­plex lyrics at the same time to mov­ing to the micro­phone and singing lead. He played every instru­ment includ­ing Bag­pipes on his album Both Sides. His ear for music and won­der­ful musi­cal pieces orig­i­nat­ed with Gen­e­sis are unsur­passed. He nev­er learned to read music either but uses his own short­hand when com­mu­ni­cat­ing with oth­er musi­cians!

  • Steve says:

    Love this — some­one shared this with me recent­ly.

    I have been doing a ton of drum­ming with senior cit­i­zens and found the ben­e­fits for them to be amaz­ing.

    Here is a clip of some seniors drum­ming with djem­bes while I’m play­ing a kit with play­a­long music. Aver­age age is 86!

    This isn’t Vin­nie C at Ron­nie Scotts obvi­ous­ly, but you the fun they have is amaz­ing to expe­ri­ence.

    I start­ed to help seniors play drums.

    -Steve Benedet­to

  • Drew watson says:

    There’s a bunch of drum­mers out there that have a big cat like Bil­ly Cob­ham used to Posey is one of them Mike Port­noy Neil Peart and Mike Mangi­ni and I’m sure there’s oth­er guys out there that have big­ger kids but hav­ing a big kid is one thing to be able to play it and make it work is anoth­er

  • PeartIsBoring says:

    Neal Peart is a machine. He plays per­fect­ly, which doesn’t excite me. I nev­er hear any soul or feel­ing in his play­ing. The guy can’t swing.

  • Jarrett Kramer says:

    Drummers,as well as oth­er musi­cians, can count, but I think drum­mers affect the TEMPO more than the oth­er mem­bers of bands, specif­i­cal­ly 3–4pc/5pc, Rock and roll or country,metal,bar bands etc.. if the drum­mer’s tem­po fluc­tu­ates through­out each song,it stands out more than say a gui­tar or bass would.Especially in a bar band set­ting. The punch of a bass drum is the pulse of the room,unless the sound man sucks of course.It is what peo­ple on the dance floor shake their ass­es to.Have you ever watched a live band with a drum­mer that has hor­ri­ble tem­po? If so I am will­ing to wager the dance floor was emp­ty most of the night. You see folks,ironically,people that can dance,or “cut a rug” if you will, can also usu­al­ly count at least to 4 pend­ing on weath­er they joined Lud­wig Von Tama Zild­jian dur­ing his pregame “warmup“So, if our knight in shin­ing drums has had one too many pulls off the one-eye, or maybe has been sip­ping on a lit­tle bit of grand­pa’s cough medicine,his tem­po may fluc­tu­ate a lit­tle or even dras­ti­cal­ly in some cas­es! As a result,our horny heat seek­ers might not be able to feel that sol­id beat pulse through their cologne soaked ster­nums all the way down through their tight, overe­veal­ing faux leather pants. Being a drum­mer myself,I would have to say that the whole intel­lec­tu­al advan­tage they claim to prove, is maybe a bit bogus. I’m pret­ty much the typ­i­cal mani­ac drum­mer that is no smarter than your aver­age bear.Maybe a lit­tle more dar­ing or less like­ly to be embar­rassed by my own ridicu­lous­ly imma­ture pub­lic antics, but not any smarter than most. For­tu­nate­ly for me,I pos­sess an instant self redemp­tion qual­i­ty which makes my row­die and child­ish behav­ior seem to at least be tol­er­a­ble by most of the patrons who wit­ness it,along with my band mates of equal­ly com­pa­ra­ble intellect.“What is this secret super pow­er?” you ask…I am a bad ass,well round­ed drum­mer with killer groove, feel, and tem­po. And yes I can count 3/4,4/4,and hell even 11/8 TIME.. But time and tem­po are 2 total­ly dif­fer­ent things. As far as big drum sets go,the guys who show up with the basic kick drum, snare, rack tom, floor tom, hats, and a cou­ple of lone­ly cymbals,set up and then blow the place up like they are sit­ting behind a wall of drums when they play are the ones that are most enter­tain­ing in my opin­ion. Some­times less is more I guess.

  • Daphne Gilpin says:

    I like how you said that a drum­mer’s abil­i­ty to keep time actu­al­ly gives them an intu­itive abil­i­ty to under­stand rhyth­mic pat­terns that hap­pen all around them. It’s inter­est­ing that learn­ing to keep time could have an effect on some­one’s con­stant per­cep­tion of things that hap­pen around them. I’m glad I read your arti­cle because it gave me a new appre­ci­a­tion for drum­mers and the beats and rhythms they make.

  • Paul Burns says:

    Spot on. A gui­tarist play­ing a com­plex num­ber while singing and play­ing the stomp box just blows my mind

  • just soe dude says:

    I hon­est­ly don’t know why peo­ple are get­ting so worked up about this, I thought it was very good

  • Jack Turchin says:

    I sort of agree with this arti­cle but…as far as intelligence…ask our wives!

  • Joe momma says:

    Not one men­tion of Dan­ny Carey? Quite pos­si­bly the best drum­mer on the plan­et? Tools main source of vib­er­a­tions come from dan­ny. Im real­ly blown away. A guy spends 40 plus years evolv­ing per­cus­sion and not a men­tion. Thats ok Dan­ny is a per­cus­sion­ist. There are 3 types of drum­mers and then there is Dan­ny Carey from Tool. Not a drum­mer. Per­cus­sion­ist. Say it.

  • Chris says:

    The West African Jem­be is king. Dun­Dun­Ba! Ban­goura
    Kei­ta Syl­la Cama­ra Turre . Kissi­dougou, Bamako, Boke,Fountan Joli, Guinea Mali Ivory Coast Sene­gal
    Boca Fode Mangue Abduli Abubacar Lau­rant Ish­mael.
    Latvia Bon­fice Fax­ine I love you Guinea.

  • Brian Law says:

    In my life you play what it’s in your heart

  • Brian law says:

    It’s called back bone and your bassist should be there

  • David Gustafson says:

    Actu­al­ly, the best drum­mers dance very well. I hold out the exam­ple of Bud­dy Rich. Not only the best drum­mer to ever have drawn breath, but a daz­zling tap dancer as well. His kick work and hi hat pre­ci­sion are evi­dence of that.

  • Chris Pederson says:

    I had no clue about the ther­a­peu­tic val­ue of drum­ming. Maybe I can pick it up to help me through my ther­a­py. Doing it online seems like it would be eas­i­er to start with.

  • David Cronkite says:

    I wish there was research on HOW to bet­ter teach drum set play­ing. Meth­ods have changed through the drum set’s short his­to­ry. I’ve been teach­ing drum set since 1978. Every few years I get one stu­dent who can­not pre­dict a pulse. It’s bizarre-arhyth­mia is some kind. Would love deep insight into those kind of brains.

  • David Cronkite says:

    I’m also not a Peart (or Rush) fan and I’m bloody Cana­di­an AND a drum­mer.

  • David Cronkite says:

    Here here! I agree.

  • Drew watson says:

    Sor­ry, but Bil­ly cob­ham is drunk. It is not near as big as TERRY bozzio Drum Kits trust me.

  • Drew Watson says:

    That came out wrong. Bil­ly cob­ham drum kit is not even as big as ter­ry bozzio’s drum kit. And he has two of these drum sets.

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