Sunday, January 10, 2010

56 Reasons You Should Be Drumming

Bryan Fazio playing congas. Photo by Kaylyn Oshaben.

by Jim Donovan
(Special thanks and hi-fives to all of my friends on my Blog, Twitter and Facebook for your contributions to this article!!)

It's true... many of my friends also play the drums, and so I thought I'd ask them why? Why do you drum? I learned quite a bit from reading their answers.

Feel free to add your 2 cents by leaving a comment below...

1. Peg Hubbert it is relaxing for me. It is a great stress reducer.It gets me intune with my inner being. I love the way I feel when I am drumming.
2. Elizabeth Witalis
so many reasons Jim! 1. it's good for my heart and health 2. it's therapy 3. it allows for self-discovery 4. great for meditation 5. facilitates transcendence 6. mind clearing 7. self-cleansing 8. human connection in a group setting
I could go on but I gotta go play my drum now:)

3. Ryan Taylor Anderson
to connect to spirit, to realign my mind, body and soul. To help others in the healing of their whole selves! Thanks Jim!

4. Mandy L Kivowitz-Delfaver
Weird question.... are there people who DONT like to drum? I remember getting scolded for repeating rhythms on my text books with pencil erasers in the first grade, I have always made circular rhythms as long as I have lived and I have no idea why. I guess I like the focus and I love the power, I love to dance and sing to drums and I love to support a greater form by simply holding down a repeating beat while a soloist, drummer or melodic instrument takes flight.

5. Jim Pyecroft
My grade school teachers wanted to know that too. It's primal, built into my dna.

6. Carmen Capozzi
The reason I drum is hard to explain. It's something inside me that wants out. It's a vision in my head, a feeling in my hands and feet. When I play I play with conviction. There's times when I played and got tears in my eyes. I get off on making people hear me. Maybe it's a control thing. Maybe I need attention. Im not the best but I know they are... See More listening and watching. When I play out with my band it a spurital
Experience. I am exhausted when I am done. Almost like an Indian war dance, I came for blood !!

7. Sue Fishkind Field
because its soulful FUN.

8. Michelle Vanelli
It serves as the ultimate release for me- a great stress reliever; when I have many things swarming in my head it helps me to slooooooow down, BREATHE, and sort of compartmentalize.... puts everything in perspective. I am reminded just how small I am. drumming on the beach....mmmmm

9. David Webb
To me it's a source of meditation and a connection to my Arab heritage. Drumming has totally changed my life in the fact that constant practice and improvement has lead to a sense of accomplishment in ALL areas of my life.....If I can achieve it on the drum...I can achieve anything!!! It is a part of me and I cannot picture a day without it. THAT is why I drum.

10. Steve Sciulli
I get great joy from creating and programming drum loops and mashing various cultural rhythms to create one small world big beat. I also love to drop drum clips in Ableton Live and have the beats magically time lock and sync. To me this is a way in which one can move beyond the limitations of our biology.

11. Mandy L Kivowitz-Delfaver
We are all forgetting the "I just like to watch the pretty girls dance" factor.....

12. Rosemary S. Erb
to connect to the Great Heart Beat of the Mother. Then to know that I am part of a greater community all co-join in the sound and feel of a drum, no matter what kind it may be. It is for the wild primal-ness within that I drum.

13. Nikki Patterson Zeiler
So many reasons but mostly I do it to reconnect and ground myself. I feel my heart realign with the collective.

14. Stephanie Smith
Because it feels really, really good... It's one of those things that feeds your spirit in innumerable ways. It allows you to be open and escape into this truly primal space...

15. Kerrie Wolf
it soothes my soul.

16. Amy Phillips Hudkins
From Jackson (7 years old), "I don't know, I just like to!"
"It's like lightning comin' outta my sticks!"

17. Jonathan Fell
I am part of a "tribal weaving". . . I drum because it allows me to feel both empty and whole. . . to go deep within and to connect outside of my Self. . . to organize my thoughts and to escape from my thinking. . . to bring order and chaos. . . to embody my sensuality and to transcend my bodily experience. . . to get in touch with my pain, and to ... See Morego beyond my suffering. . . to shake things up, to destroy false constructs, to pierce through illusions, and to seek the ONE. . . and of course to watch beautiful dancers ride on the rhythms created. . . thump-thump. . . thump-thump. . . we all share the beat of the heart.

18. Rebecca Regan
it's actually the best listening excercise I've ever come across.

19. Jenni Levy
What everyone else said about the meditative and stress-reducing reasons, and also because as a singer it helps me to connect with music in a different way, to access a more complex piece of my musicality. It's also a physical skill and I can see myself getting better each time, which is intensely satisfying in a very different way than the emotional and cognitive challenges of the rest of my life.

20. Teresa Rodriguez
I hit a drum because hitting annoying people upside the head is frowned upon. ;) Seriously, though, aside from vocals, percussion is the oldest form of creating music. Drumming creates a link to humanity going back hundreds of thousands of years, as expression and communication evolved. I would imagine our first experience with rhythm would be the... See More pulse of our mothers' circulatory system when we were in the womb. Is that why our brains are so stimulated by this arrangement of sound? Are we trying to recreate the first vibrations we perceived?

21. Amy Phillips Hudkins
From Jude (2 years old) "Betuz I be wakin' up Jackson!"

22. Jennifer Dean Will
It makes me feel good. I accidentally typed 'god' instead of 'good' the first time. And I concur with that statement coming through me: It makes me feel god.

23. Lawrence Michael Enderle
i drum with community in the middle east. 9 - 12 corporate and community drum circles a week, about 100 people from different parts of the region at each circle. drumming with community brings peace to me, i see and feel that drumming brings peace to the circle. i hear and witness that drumming in community brings peace to the community and one ... See Moreday, my hope and dream is that drumming in community will bring . . . peace to the middle east, Inshallah. i don't see other activities where people of very different backgrounds, religions, ages, cultures, social economic status, education and nationalities can listen to each other, share their own personal rhythms and support the music we make. we are really one in spirit, drumming brings this out like nothing else i experience. this is why i drum . . . dance . . . sing . . . tell stories and sit in community in total blissed out silence . . . i thank the Great Spirit for these blessings every day of my life. Thank you for asking Jim.

24. Kelly Bowers
Because it feels so damned good. In a group feels better than alone. Love the feeling of vibration, collaboration, and, oh yeah, the noise....

25. Stephen Fabian
i drum beacuse it helps me relax, and clears my mind. wish i could have other people to drum with.

26. Tony Kisling
I drum to silence the voices in my head!!

27. Joel Pilon
Hey Jim,I got the best answer. Because I CAN!!!!!!!!!!
Because I LOVE TO!!!!!,Because I NEED TO!!!!!!!Because It's MY Life!!!!!!!!!

28. Bob Bradley That's like asking why do birds fly?

29. Melissa Murray
Everybody said it so well - I don't have a lot to add. It just makes me happy!

30. Connie Popp
It's hypnotic. It allows me to escape my usual (conscious) way of being and to connect with that deeper, inner self. Hypnosis is a form of concentrated focus - so is drumming.

31. Anna Noack Brown
I drum to share connection to the group of women that I drum with!

32. Craig Glaser
brings me back to the cave yo!

33. James Matt Holcomb
Me: It gets me doing something that I have to not be trapped in my head to do. Daughter: Stress relief, and that she's generally a percussionist, as that's what she is.

34. Travis Lacey
Because I can disappear. I can be who I realy am out side of my human form. I also love that my body-my blood, muscles, organs-become in sync with my drums when I play, and becoming in tune with my senses.

35. Jeff Tripoli
i drum because its its what I love to do. Plus, guitar was too hard to learn by ear.. I also love watching people dance to my groove with my bands!!

36. Dana Grande
It engages my hands, my feet, my ears, my breath, my heart, and my soul. I can throw my whole body into it and totally lose myself, while simultaneously connecting with others.

37. Heather Newton
It relaxes me and brings me into continued balance on every level almost as soon as I begin. I love the intimacy between my drum and I and the times I've drummed with others. It touches on something truly raw and real and ancient, resonating long after I am done. Thanks Jim for all of your encouragement! You're an inspiration!

38. Jennifer Ellison Bland
for a way to get out artistic expression, frustration, and to have some me time. Mostly though, just cause it feels so damned good!

39. Dave Mott
To communicate with other like-minded souls... among many more reasons....

40. Julie Biroscak
Christopher drums to create a swirling vortex of energy that breaks down barriers of interdimensional travel and allows for the ancestoral spirits to cross over and commune with the living.
I drum to connect with Christopher.

41. Steff Heller
it brings me a calming connection to the sacred.

42. Ryan Allred
to move spirit

43. Mary Twitchell
I'm over 50 and work in healthcare,helps me to maintain focus, and a stress reliever

44. Paige Riley
It is a tangible, super fast way to remind myself - my cells - why they pulse....reminding my very cells of deep ancestory - a vehichle to primal pulse and connection.

45. William Affeldt
When I was a young boy my mother used to ask me that all of the time when my hands were making rythms on anything I touched. Well actually is was not really asking why it was ususally DAMMINT KNOCK OFF THE NOISE.

46. Maggie Spilner-Brotzman
I like to drum as a way to making music without having to know notes or take too long of a learning curve. I like call and response as a community way of making music. I don't like stress busting workshops where people just make a lot of noise. I like doing rhythms that sound like music.

47. Stacy Wright
i like the way it sounds. :)

48. Mandy Manuel Odum
I drum to find that primal beat of life and spirituality

49. Elizabeth Ann Wilson
I drum because it is a way to experience musical joy with friends. That is something that I could never do when I was locked away in a conservatory practice room. For me, there is more satisfaction in sharing music with others rather than practicing alone in a room.

50. Debbie Kemmerer Graul
I drum alone to listen for my inner rhythm. I drum with others because it brings on the sense that we are all from the same tribe.

51. Andrew Patton
I drum to break down walls

52. Amy Morrill Borlaug
I drum to open that wild women spirit that i hold inside so silent. and then it rises to the up most love i have ever felt and drum so hard that the psirit fill the room with passion.....

53. John Buynak Your question reminds me of Bill Moyers interview w/ Joseph Campbell, where he questions…Is it t/ birds intention to sing a beautiful song, or is it his nature? Is it t/ spiders intention to build a beautiful web, or is it his nature??
*So why do we drum??? Its in our nature to do so…and, if your not drumming already, stop fighting it…its who you are.

54. Nadine Bergeron
I'm following the path! Drumming, spirit flows through me, exciting, enlivening! - Creating community, making powerful rituals. teaching, healing...

55. Jarrett Sumner
Because drumming is the audible expression of time itself.

56. Kim McElhatten
to feel the trance and swell of forget my earthly presense and be a vibration in the collective feel the connection of the infinite...

Did we miss something? Leave a comment...
Then go play your drum....

Check out my last post "Why Do I Drum?"


  1. To find out who I am, to find out how far I can push myself, what my limitations are, explore the limits of consistency, concentration and coordination.

    To enable others to dance, to enable other musicians to confidently rely on a strong pulse, to enable myself and others to feel the ESP that can take place while playing instruments. I feel the drums can act as the binding agent between a group of musicians.

    I also like how the drums look, and how they sound. I can remember going to Pitt games with my Dad and one game was able to sneak on the field afterwards, and I got to stand by a big giant hairy guy beating on a big bass drum and how that just shook my body deeply. It was awesome. That is one of the coolest sounds I've ever heard, the earth shaking boom of a marching bass drum, or numerous marching bass drums.

    Love the blog Jim. Good stuff.

  2. The first sound we ever heard while we were still in our Mother's womb,was the beating of her heart, and the rhythm of her breath.

    This is something ALL human beings have in common.

    Rhythm is our natural inheritance.

    It exists in our bodies, our hearts, our breath. It exists in the vibration of atoms, the cycles of the seasons, the ticking of clocks, the orbit of the earth. There is no part of creation that is without rhythm!

    Should we not joyously use our rhythm as much as we possibly can?????

    Gr8 Blog, Thanx Jim!