Studies Show That If You’re A Drummer… You’re A Little Bit Smarter Than Everyone Else

via Polyphonic / Youtube

Drummers have long been the target of jokes and jabs, often regarded as the least musically talented members of a band. But it seems that the tables are turning, thanks to scientific research that reveals some fascinating insights about drummers and their cognitive abilities. Recent studies suggest that drummers not only possess higher problem-solving skills but also exhibit higher pain thresholds, challenging the stereotypes and highlighting their unique qualities.

A study led by Professor Frederic Ullen from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm set out to investigate the potential link between drumming ability and problem-solving skills. The researchers asked 34 right-handed men to tap a drumstick at different intervals before taking a 60-question intelligence test. The results were intriguing. Professor Ullen stated, “We found that people with high general intelligence were also more stable on a very simple timing task…participants had larger volumes of the white matter in the brain, which contains connections between brain regions.” This suggests that drummers, with their precise timing and coordination, possess advantageous cognitive abilities.

But intelligence is not the only benefit that comes with being a drummer. Another study conducted by the University of Oxford explored the pain tolerance of drummers. Led by psychologist Robin Dunbar, the research revealed that drummers generally exhibit higher pain thresholds compared to non-drummers. The study involved 12 drummers who regularly played together and 9 musicians working at a musical instrument store. The drummers played together for 30 minutes, while the store employees worked their shifts with music playing in the background. Surprisingly, the drummers reported lower levels of pain and discomfort despite exerting similar effort and energy. Dunbar concluded that it is the active performance of music that generates the “endorphin high” responsible for the increased pain tolerance, rather than simply listening to music.

These studies shed light on the unique qualities possessed by drummers, challenging the misconceptions surrounding their role in a band. Drummers are the rhythmic foundation that supports the music, and now scientific research is backing their capabilities. As Professor Ullen states, “Now you have scientific research on your side proving that you’re more capable of great things than others make you out to be.”

Drummers play a vital role in the music industry, and these studies highlight their cognitive and physiological advantages. Their ability to maintain timing and coordination contributes not only to the sound of a band but also to their problem-solving skills. Moreover, their increased pain tolerance reveals the physical benefits derived from actively playing music. Drummers are not just keeping the beat; they are making a significant impact on the world of music and beyond.

So, the next time you hear a drummer being teased or labeled as less talented, remember that science is on their side. Their abilities extend far beyond the stage, demonstrating that drummers are the bedrock of civilization as we know it.