I’m married to one, so you don’t have to tell me this, but now science backs me up.
It appears that, despite centuries of mockery for being the dumbest member of the band, the drummer is actually a natural intellectual (don’t tell my husband about this article or you’ll never shut him up about it). Scientists in a recent Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm) study asked participants to tap out a rhythm on a drumkit, and then perform a series of intelligence tests. Those who kept a better rhythm also scored higher in the tests, leading the scientists to conclude that the rhythmic accuracy needed for drumming contributes to problem-solving abilities.
Another study, from the University of Harvard, found that drummers have an innate ability to tune into a natural human rhythm – it’s less accurate than a metronome, but feels more natural – and it’s pretty impressive. The brain of the drummer is somehow working to a precise clock – the same clock used to monitor heartrate and brainwaves. A drummer’s “mistakes” – playing ahead or behind the beat by a few milliseconds – have a pattern to them, a fractal, to be exact. This article is really fascinating stuff.
Lastly, this clip is from a discovery channel show, Time Warp, where interesting activities are slowed down so that you can see different reactions / phenonema you might not be able to with the naked eye. They had Mike Mangini on the show doing some drum demonstrations. The result is pretty incredible.
The way the snare head wobbles like a jelly dish as it absorbs the hit, or way the cymbal bends as the sound deflects.
Let’s see those skins wobble … in real time.
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