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Drumming Strength or Drumming Stamina?

28th Oct 2014

Strength or stamina? This is a question often asked among drummers concerned with how their fitness levels impact their drumming capabilities. It makes sense that the more fit a drummer is, the longer sessions can last and the more often drummers can drum. But should more emphasis be given to strength training or stamina building?

Most seasoned drummers will agree that stamina is more important than strength. Drumming is an experience in endurance and that is what stamina is all about. Fitness activities that help build drumming stamina rely upon repetition. This is how an endurance program can be built into strength training, because you can perform many repetitions of a lighter weight in order to increase your stamina. For drumming, the ability to lift two hundred pounds a few times is not nearly as helpful as the ability to lift twenty pounds one hundred times.

If you find yourself becoming short-winded during your drumming sessions, some aerobic activity might help. Many drummers find that they benefit from running and other cardiovascular exercises. Cycling, kickboxing, and rowing are all exercises that will help with drumming stamina, because a fit drummer is a drummer who can go the distance.

While developing arm strength may be a primary concern for a drummer who has a history of lethargy, even a person who plays video games regularly should have enough strength to become a proficient drummer. The more stamina you have, the longer you can play and that is going to build the necessary strength for drumming.

Don’t overlook the impact regular drumming practice has, either. If you are tiring physically long before you tire emotionally or psychologically, more practice may be what you need. Practicing more has the added benefit of not requiring any extra equipment or travel. Your drums are already set up in your home. Why not play them more often to increase your stamina as well as your strength? Actually playing the drums will not only increase your endurance, but playing exercises the exact muscles you need to play better, longer, and harder.

Playing the drums is an inherently stamina-building exercise and should not be overlooked when a drummer is considering a fitness program. However, drummers who want to begin an exercise program or modify their current program to offer more benefit to their drumming should be sure to focus upon anything that increases stamina and endurance. Strength training will not necessarily help drumming ability, but if that is where your interests lie, go ahead. Just make sure not to overdo it. The bulkier your arms become, the more of a playing liability they will be, regardless of your stamina.