Following the rules of ergonomics might have unexpected positive effects on your drumming skill levels. Too many people believe that looking cool behind the drum kit is all about slouching in and throwing your wrists around like you were on a roller coaster.
Even if you will not probably look like a hardcore punk drummer that way, sitting up straight and playing elegantly will improve the quality of your music incredibly – even if you are playing “dirty” beats.
Playing the drums can easily become quite an exhausting activity. Just imagine playing fast-paced ska rhythms for a prolonged time – you need a healthy cardiovascular system to do that at a higher quality. Also, even playing physically simple but conceptually rather complex pieces requires high stamina – you need to be healthy if you want your brain to function properly.
Not only drummers need regular physical exercise, but since we often need to prove that our endurance is at the maximum, playing some sports and working out every now and then is a must for every drummer.
Since you need flexible and agile muscles in order to play satisfyingly, stretching your muscles and warming up before any practice session or gig is recommended. Many drummers believe that warming up for them consists of playing a few beats of paradiddles on the practice pad.
That is not the entire story: you need to warm up your whole body, just like before any other sports training. Stretch your shoulders, your thighs, do a few squats and push-ups, do some jumping jacks. It will energize you and give your muscles mobility at the same time.
Playing the cool kid and slouching in behind a drum set is not actually cool. A drum kit is a marvelous instrument and you should sit proudly behind it. Maintain a straight back while you are drumming.
That will reduce the stress on your spine and protect you from early depletion. Also, straightening your back will change your body’s center of gravity, making it easier for you to play the bass drum with your heels up. Not only that: when your back is straight your shoulders are also higher, allowing you to reach further with your drum sticks and have better control of your strokes.
If this change in posture makes playing some parts of the drum kit uncomfortable at first, consider adjusting the parts in question. Or just give yourself some time until you get used to your new position.
While your energy levels are high it is easy to apply the rules mentioned to your playing. However, once you start to become tired, it is easy to forget that your spine should be straight or that you should not hold your drum sticks like cutlery.
In order to keep your energy levels high, there are a few tricks to apply. First, always make sure that your nutrition is decent. Eating some hack foods before a gig is a great idea – I never step on stage without eating a banana and some oatmeal before. Also, dehydration might present an issue. You should drink plenty of mineral water and avoid energy drinks and coffee before your shows. Even if they promise to keep you full of energy, they are quite hazardous products.
Playing your drums is something that presents you with a lot of unforgettable moments. Now do not take this word for word, but if you want to hear what you are playing even a few years from now on, buy a pair of earplugs and use them whenever you sit behind your drum kit.
Drumeo is a step-by-step instructional program designed to help you get started with the basics and progress into an advanced drummer easily. It covers a wide variety of genres like rock, jazz and blues and lessons are broken down by topic.