When it comes to drumming, even the most talented rhythmist can hit a wall, reach a breaking point, and slump over a Djembe or fall off a Cajon because of fatigue. Most drummers know that drumming at length requires the dedication to remain focused throughout the drum circle, performance, recording, or practice session. Building up the physical stamina to maintain a steady beat can be a challenge in itself, but the end result of a lasting drumming session is well worth the time and effort.
One way to increase drumming stamina is through focused, private practice sessions. By taking the time to not only get to know the instrument intimately, including its individual quirks and best ways to beat out a rhythm, the drummer can build muscle memory specific to the drum itself, and increase the overall endurance though these sessions. Drumming alone is also an exceptional way to learn one’s own favorite strokes and slaps, a practice that can carry on into small group or community drumming sessions, where a decent amount of stamina is needed, and can easily be built upon.
Once an individual drummer has a decent grip on the mechanics of hand drumming and a chosen instrument, it may be time to connect with other drummers. Drumming as a solo practice can be completely satisfying, but adding another drummer, or more, can really increase the overall fulfillment of the experience. In order to truly understand the benefits of a group drumming session, endurance is key. Nobody likes a drummer who quits early, or who cannot keep up with the rest of the group, and it can be embarrassing to wrap up a hot drumming solo while the other drummers are just getting started. For the drummer hesitant to really get into the act of drumming, it can be helpful to think of a group session as a competition to see which drummer can last the longest. Also, the extra challenge of drumming before an audience can not only be used as a goal for increasing drumming endurance, but it can also be a natural way to bring out the longevity of a drummer’s pounding talent.
As always, it is highly recommended that any drummer take the time to warm up and exercise drumming muscles. By keeping in top physical shape and caring for the muscles in the arms, shoulders, neck and trunk, the ability to beat away throughout the day and night can increase, making drumming a Djembe or banging the Bongos an even more fun and satisfying rhythmic experience.