Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Take Up Drums Today
A lot of people pick up their first pair of drum sticks for the most obvious of reasons – they want to become a rock god. That may be motivation enough for some, but the rest of us might need a few more incentives.
This article will demonstrate that learning the drums can have some very surprising and unexpected benefits; benefits that can spill over into every aspect of our existence. Read below to find out how learning to play drums is more than just a fun hobby, and how it can actually improve the overall quality of your life.
1. It’s Great Physical Exercise
Google “famous out-of-shape drummers” in quotes. I guarantee, you will get zero results. It’s impossible to master the skill of drumming without getting a full body workout. An average 180 pound person burns between 250 to 500 calories per hour while gaining an intense, full-body workout. Since most drummers play for more than two hours a day, this is a lot of exercise. Drumming builds muscle strength in arms and legs and core strength in the stomach and back; and the intense concentration you feel while playing pushes your physical limits to improve stamina.
It is literally the perfect workout. Better, many forms of exercise are so boring that people tend to “zone out” and get bored. Drumming is the opposite. It’s an exciting and engaging way to get your body moving and create something beautiful at the same time.
2. Drumming Improves Coordination
If you are the type of person that has two left feet or can trip over a flat surface on a warm and sunny day, drumming will improve your life in a big way. This is because the type of hand/foot/eye coordination that playing drums requires trains your brain to work in sync.
Drumming activates both hemispheres of the brain so they magically communicate in perfect unison. We all know that our left hemisphere controls the right half of our body and the right hemisphere controls the left. When both sides of your brain become better trained to work in harmony, it shows in your movement. You may never become as graceful as a dancer, but you will certainly become less accident-prone.
3. Drumming Develops Confidence
What makes a human most appealing to others, whether as a friend or a prospective date? Regardless of what the magazine covers or television ads are selling, it’s not looks, riches or fancy duds. Otherwise, Steve Buscemi wouldn’t be one of America’s favorite A list actors. (Sorry Steve.) It’s CONFIDENCE. That’s confidence with a capital C, and people know it when they see it. When a person is truly in their element, confidence rolls off of them in waves.
This isn’t a quality that can be faked. It shines through in your smile, attitude and even the way you walk. Confidence is a learned skill, and it only comes from feeling good about yourself and your place in the world. Learning to master a skill like drumming is a great confidence builder that carries through to all other aspects of daily life, from home to work.
4. It’s a Great Way to Make Friends
It’s difficult to find a more bonding experience than the act of creating beautiful music with others. Whether playing with a full symphony or with a simple duo, the concentration and cooperation that takes place while making music reinforces friendship and creates a feeling of “belonging” that’s hard to beat. This is a great way to help shy people break out of their shells as well. Playing music in groups can help you to expand your social circle and expose you to other creative people who will enrich your life.
As you begin to network outside of your usual inner circle, you may find that you are becoming more adventurous and willing to try new things. If your stuck in a rut, this is a sure fire way to shake things up and bring a little interest and fun to your life.
5. It Improves Brain Function
When you play the drums, you are utilizing your entire brain. Scientific studies have shown that we use both hemispheres of our brain together while playing rhythmic music, so both sides of your brain learn to work together. This is true when listening to music as well, but the act of participating adds another dimension by improving hand/eye coordination, non-verbal communication skills and logical/intuitive thought processes. This makes drumming a powerful therapy for teaching young brains and improving the function of older brains alike.
Youngsters learn to communicate more creatively and cooperatively, which enhances group working skills and socialization. Older people preserve neural function and peripheral nerves while protecting against memory loss and cognitive decline. This makes drumming a valuable life-long skill that will enhance both success as a young adult and quality of life in the precious golden years.
6. Drumming Increases Alpha Waves in the Brain
Our brains exhibit Beta waves when we are in deep concentration on a task that we are forced to work on for our unpleasant day-to-day needs. This is the “not fun” brain state, and it’s also not the natural state of mind we should be experiencing for most of our waking hours. Unfortunately, because our unnatural world forces these stresses and tasks on us, humans now spend the larger portion of their day in an unhappy Beta state.
We often never get to experience the natural Alpha state at all because we fall straight into the deep sleep of Delta waves at night out of pure exhaustion. Since we feel more stress during Beta periods and need to wind down after being in Beta mode for an extended period of time, it’s no wonder that many people are fighting anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, and depression. Enter the drum circle. Drumming causes Alpha waves occur as we enter a very relaxed state.
This relaxation creates an intense feeling of bliss and well-being that is healing to the body and soul. This calming state can help relieve anxiety, depression and even provide some relief from more serious mental illness, so drumming is just what the doctor ordered if you are feeling stressed, used, abused and over-worked.
7. It’s a Great Way to Release Negative Feelings
Nothing gets deep-seated frustrations out like banging the heck out of a drum set. It’s even better than going to the gym and beating a heavy bag. In fact, drumming is so effective at helping people to release emotional trauma that it is often employed as a treatment technique to help relieve Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The emotional release of playing drums is enhanced by the meditative state that making music creates, transforming disordered and negative thoughts into pure creative expression. This helps the mind to work out kinks in the subconscious much as a masseuse works out muscle stiffness that you didn’t even know was there. Think of it as a chiropractic readjustment for the soul.
8. It Puts You in the Moment
This sounds like an over-simplification, but it’s actually very important. We live our day-to-day lives always thinking about upcoming bills and upcoming tasks. This can suck the joy out of life. Furthermore, it’s actually more difficult to deal with life’s stressful problems when we think about them all the time. It’s harder to have a clear decision making process because you are unable to distance yourself from the problem and think objectively.
Basically, when you put yourself in the moment, you are engaging in a form of meditation that “clears the mind” and produces a relaxed, more imaginative state of thought. As stated above, this mind set gets your brain into Alpha wave mode, where the creative thinking process takes over. This is a scientifically proven fact.
It is demonstrated in the brainwaves of professional athletes right before they “make the shot” and artists as they get a brilliant moment of inspiration. THIS is the state of mind that you need to be in to solve life’s larger problems, even problems that may seem insurmountable before you examine them in a more creative way. Huge benefits like this put the fine art of learning to “be in the moment” in a whole new light.
9. Music is Can Boost Your Immune System
The mind has more power over our state of health than we often credit, and a stressed-out mind and body will never function at their best. This is demonstrated by the fact that stress is fully recognized by modern medical science as a dangerous trigger for illness. This is because stress is a major downer for your immune system.
It affects everything from your blood pressure to your hormones and when your system gets out of whack, you become very susceptible to infections and can even trigger early onset of age-related illnesses. All of the benefits listed in this article include stress relief, which preserves the function of your healthy immune system and improves your health if it is failing.
10. It’s Good Old Fashioned Fun
This is a reason to drum that needs no justification. When all other benefits of drumming are off the table, it’s still worth it because it’s fun. You should do at least one fun thing every day–otherwise, what’s the point of living?
With personal profit like this, it’s hard to imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to learn how to play the drums. It’s not like you have to be particularly coordinated to start. That’s one of the benefits you’ll gain! Your brain will become sharper, your soul will become lighter and your two-left feet may continue to be feet, but you can buy special pedals for that 😉 Now that you are excited to learn, where should you start? Lucky you, we have a guide for that too!