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export1413
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« on: July 07, 2007, 04:58:19 AM »

is drumming a good upperbody work out?

i've seen drummers like thomas lang and they've got arms the size of my head!!!
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PASHA
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2007, 03:29:38 AM »

Definitely! - Drumming is the MOST "sportsy" musical activity... I mean from all the musical instruments drums are the most sport related. And yes it CAN be a good workout. Nevertheless it is definitely not enough to gain Huge muscle power! As that would require "lifting heavy weight" on a regular bases - and you will not find "en exercise" that would be able to replace that in any style of drumming...

Check out this guy his arms are HUGE:
Kenny Aronoff
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export1413
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2007, 01:30:13 PM »

haha okay thanks, its just you see insane drummers with arms the size of girders:)
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PASHA
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2007, 01:43:37 PM »

Agreed! - Some musicians are getting serious muscle power!!!  Grin Grin Grin
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Little-Drummer-Boy
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2007, 01:04:40 PM »

Atually it depends on how difficult the beats are in your playing, and how loud you play. Look at these two drummers. Chris Layton and John Bonham. You be the judge of who plays louder and faster.

Chris Layton : http://www.pasic.org/ThisYear/Artists/ArtistPhotos/CLayton.jpg

John Bonham : http://home.att.net/~chuckayoub/john_bonham_biography.jpg
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Desert_Drummer
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2007, 05:35:25 PM »

Wait a second!!!!

I'm not sure about Thomas Lang and Kenny Aronoff but Bobby Rock flat out lifts weights and he wants to be bigger, probably for all of the pictures he takes. He also believes that it helps his drumming but I disagree. I love his playing but Bobby is somewhat stiff and you can see his mass (along with his limited technique) as something that slows him down in his playing. But, he is very healthy and strong and because of that can take more abuse than most drummers.

In the past I've lifted and when I gained mass I found it to be intrusive since I had more weight to carry. But, I'm not sure of the importance of all of the strength that one needs because if you use certain techniques such as wrist turns and fingers and of course ankles for that matter, you don't need to be huge. Plus, it takes more effort and motion to move your arm than your wrist or leg than your ankle so if you focus on arms or legs you're working harder than you have to. And let's be honest, most drummers want to be bigger because they think they look sexier when they play.

Some talk about the necessity of having strength for power and I say why? Do you use 2-ply heads and dampen them more than you should? How is more muscle mass going to help a drum that's already dead? If anything, let your heads ring out and learn to hit your drums in ways that are effective. You don't need to kill them.

I now do no weightlifting as I've gotten into Yoga and Pilates and have found it to be better as I'm flexible and have way more endurance. I have found no decrease in power but actually have more stamina. Further, I still practice and by having my chops and accuracy I am able to play better as is the custom with anything you do. I have also heard, even though I don't care to do it, that swimming is one of the best things you can do if you're a drummer.

I'm not against weightlifting but don't see the necessity of it for drumming. But I have had many trainers tell me that it's much more important to work your heart than your muscles. Further, if you read more on things like ProBodX there are now experts claiming that weightlifting throws your body out of balance as you only work certain muscles and not the muscles that are worked in other types of exercises. But that's for every individual to see for themself.
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KenSanders
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2007, 11:07:48 AM »

Drumming is obviously more physical than playing other musical instruments, but I don't believe it can replace the more normal exercise routines for general fitness and stamina.  "A good work out?"   Maybe..... but it's a different kind of exercise activity.  Maybe the load in and load out provides as much activity for some of us.   Cheesy

Besides, consider the many professional drummers who jog, do weights and other gym exercises, and those who also do other fitness regimes.  Everyone has different needs as far as the kind of, and the level of, exercise they   can choose from. 

Power?  Stamina?  Speed?   I've seen amazing drummers who were big guys (i.e., Larry Londin, Abe Laboriel, Jr., Bernard Purdie) and I've seen some who were smaller guys (Louie Bellson, Buddy Rich, Keith Moon, David Garabaldi).  None of them had the "Rambo" kind of body build, but they did know how to focus their mental and physical abilities when drumming.  So, although serious physical training is valuable to many drummers; I don't believe "hard-body exercise" is necessarily a key factor in drumming excellence.  Roll Eyes

Staying healthy is certainly desireable......mind and body.  A trim, athletic body is also desireable for most of us, although not everyone can achieve that look because of their genes.  However, if we strive to keep our lives in balance, and to do the best we can with whatever we do have; then we are focused on the right path to being healthy and happy.

For drummers who are into body building, or maybe body sculpting......if you have the time and determination......then why not?  But for everyone......take take of yourself.......avoid things that do harm to your body and mind.   

For the rest of us.......the old "everything in moderation" adage is not a bad guideline.  As for me it's all about Checks, Drums, and Rock & Roll!    Grin





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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2008, 11:01:14 AM »

Heck yea its a workout. Im lifting weights right now so that I can play drums for longer periods because after I play for at least a good solid 10 min. my arms start getting tired and it even gets harder to grip the sticks.
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KenSanders
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2008, 04:20:08 PM »

Heck yea its a workout. Im lifting weights right now so that I can play drums for longer periods because after I play for at least a good solid 10 min. my arms start getting tired and it even gets harder to grip the sticks.
Shocked

This brings up some possible side bar discussion on the original topic.  Unless you are playing blazing blast beats, I really... really believe your stamina should exceed 10 minutes.   So let's talk about that a bit.  Roll Eyes

I know at my age and stamina threshold I am good for a three hour show gig going full tilt.  Jazz gigs are an absolute  breeze, and causuals present no stamina challenges either.  However, I admit that every tune I play doesn't require 32nd double bass drum patterns.  So perhaps, drummers having to beat the hell out of unmiked drums.... and also playing super fast tempos.... could certainly be breathing hard after only ten minutes!  I don't think it should be that way though.   If you are truly "spent" after ten minutes you either need more training to increase your physical stamina and/or sound reinforcement.

Now, in large venues I have sound enforcement equipment to help re-produce the sounds of my drum kit for the venue's audience.  I play the dynamics of the tune and  let the microphones capture my sound.  I do not consider myself a super-hard hitter.....maybe more like "medium-hard."   That is by choice because in my experiences, I have found that there is volume limit for drums and cymbals.   That is the point where hitting  my drums and cymbals harder doesn't produce a usuable musical sound at all.  Maybe a comparison would be cranking your car radio all the way up......it will most likely distort and sound less desireable than it does at 75% of maximum volune.

My show kit drums and cymbals produce a very musical range of tones in the medium soft to medium loud impact range.....that's the way I set them up.  I use the kinds of heads and tunings that allow me to create those sounds for large venues.  My drums produce big full tones whether medium or loud.  Perhaps this kind of playing doesn't work for everyone.....but it has served me very well.  My drums just don't sound good if I OVER POWER them with physical impact.  However, I do what works for me.......and certainly encourgae you to do what works for you.

Again, you don't have to agree, but I believe that if you are shattering sticks and breaking heads and cymbals that you are hitting the instruments with too much impact.  I contend that you will have better control, and a better sound if you ease up a bit and let the microphones capture the sound of you kit.  You should also have enough stamina to get you through a show.  You should never be doing the big show fanale number if you don't anything left!  You need to always leave the audience screaming.  Cool

As I said in the previous post on this thread.....yes....drumming is indeed more physical than playing other instruments.   We drummers do sweat puddles and exert lots of energy, but it is not necessarily a substitute for other types of exercise.  It is certainly not going to replace exercises to sculp your body or target special musical groups such as your abs or obliques.  Smiley

Well, like I said these are some "side bar" thoughts.   Wink

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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2008, 08:51:15 PM »

Well I agree with Ken Sanders as usually. I think people are to obsessed with hard hitting. If you hit a drum  hard it will choke so I go for the sound instead, tone and timbers. If you work on your rimshots then it can do wonders really. With the bassdrum people often play with the beater to close to the head and try to make up for the lack of movement by playing it harder.

About the weightlifting I have a bench and ewery now and then I like to do some benchpress since it seems to strenghten my back and protect me from injurys. Once you pass 40 you really start thinking about things like that. But whenever a student of mine tells me heŽs taken up weight lifting it makes me uneasy since its usually not what that person needs. Strengthening the body is good though just as long as people dont go into the Arnold mode:) since it has very little to do with drumming.

If people are looking for an awesome sound, learn triggering, and play at a comfortable volume at a sound check so the front sound man does not expect you to play harder. That way he will give you a punchy sound and youŽll have a big smile on your face.

I think the more time one spends behind the instrument working on balance and poisture the better. I use mirrors and have done so since 1993. That really changes your whole perspective and I discovered some really odd habits right away after I started doing that which I eliminated.

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Carthage
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2008, 10:16:25 PM »

Hi,

     The better shape you are in, the better you can do anything except being a couch potato.  But, that in itself takes a certain amount of endurance.

      It isn't necessary to lift weights or do any kind of extreme exercises to play powerful and with endurance and stamina.  But, keeping healthy and having good muscle tone is important.  You can do that by regularly doing some pushups, situps, using a stepper, and basic stuff like that.  You don't have to over do it.  Jogging would be ok, but it isn't necessary.  Sprints would be even better.

      What is more important is serious practising.  What you practice and how you practice is of course important.  Using good instruction books can be very very helpful.  (Check the book section on this site).

       If you note the great drummers from the past, none of them were any physical Mr. Americas.  Not Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Max Roach, Joe Morello, Art Blakey, Ginger Baker, Noel Redding, Shelly Manne, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, and I think you get the picture. (Even Ringo)

       And a little point about playing with power, endurance, and stamina.  It's HOW you play the drums not how hard you hit the drums that give you power, endurance, and stamina.  It's technique.  With a simple flick of the wrist you can get just as much power (or more) out of the snare as the heaviest handed heavy metal player in the world. 

       Trying to make yourself physically stronger is good, but it won't make you play better.   That takes hours and hours of sweat "exercising" on the drums "properly".

Don
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KenSanders
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2008, 05:20:52 PM »

For those who haven't read it; Don (Carthage) has written an excellent blog about practice.

Here's the link

http://www.drumsoloartist.com/live/blog/view/id_130/title_double-and-single-bass-drumming/
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Ken Sanders
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Johnathan
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2008, 10:18:37 AM »

Good info here, I get a good cardio from playing if at a fast pace.  I also picked up on something posted by a member here as well, Patafla stated, "I think people are to obsessed with hard hitting. If you hit a drum  hard it will choke so I go for the sound instead, tone and timbers."

For many this may be common knowledge but for beginnners and I bet if many of you go back to when you started, how many beat the heck out of the drums first off?  There are so many tones, you can get by hardly tapping the head.  Good subtle point made by Patafla.
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paperdice
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2009, 04:20:06 PM »

run 5 miles
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Tomm
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2009, 11:09:36 PM »

Endurance is the most important factor in gigging for bucks.  How hard you strike the drum or cymbal, I think, doesn't mean much when you're gear is miked.  If it's not miked, tell everyone else to turn down a bit.

Lifting weights and running could help, I'm sure, but in my studies, observations and experience...Isometrics (dynamic tension) and/or Yoga training could possibly be the best muscle and reflex trainer.  Strength is a fun thing to have but quick moves, endurance, technique and practice are the keys.  Personally, if it's not fun, I think I'm doing something wrong.
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KenSanders
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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2009, 02:16:52 PM »

Wise thoughts Tomm.  Thanks for starting this thread back up.


I believe we all agree that serious  practice helps to develop better control, technique and stamina.
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2009, 05:19:07 AM »

I personally find that weight lifting workouts and muscles it develops stiffen my moves.
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