History of National Drummer Day
Even though the first drums ever were made out of alligator skin and clay pots (such dapper drums for 5050 BC), the art of drumming extends well beyond humans. Macaque monkeys will drum on objects rhythmically to show social dominance. Some rodents will also express communication by drumming their paws on the ground. Additionally, the way in which animals appear to process this syncopated sound is similar to us, leading many scientists to believe that drumming pre-dates humans in our global evolutionary timeline as a way of communication.
So by practicing drumming, you’re actually practicing something that is – most likely – older than humanity.
Additionally, the drums basic shape and build has been unchanged for thousands of years. The difference between Rush’s massive drum kit and the alligator skin drums found in China in 5050 BC may seem huge at first sight but are actually rather small in the grand scheme of things. Drums are drums are drums – and playing them turns anyone holding a beat into a living link to the past.
While technologies evolve and electric kits fashionably fall in and out of style, drumming’s importance to the way we express emotion and communicate is still as strong as it was before we ever figured out how to build one.
National Drummer Day timeline
Drums have been round since humans learned to keep rhythm, and drums dating back to ancient China prove it.
Though earlier drumsticks may have existed, the first recorded ones go back to 1300 and were made of wood.
The Ludwig Drum Company introduced the first drum pedal.
The classic Surfaris song, an instrumental with a memorable drum solo, spent four months on the Billboard charts.
Lesser-quality electric drums had been around since the 1970s, but the most famous and best quality electric drum set is arguably the Roland TD-10 released in 1997.
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National Drummer Day Activities
Bang on the drums all day
Drumming is good for you! It burns more calories than many other forms of exercise, enhances happiness, lowers stress hormones, and increases your pain threshold. Hit it!
Play with your favorite drummer
Playing to a drummer's beat has been shown to increase cooperation among groups, possibly because everyone is experiencing the effects of drummer's high. Besides, it's fun and it sounds so sweet to everyone listening.
Bask in a classic drum solo
Back in the 1970s and '80s, the rock 'n' roll drum solo was king. So break out your vinyl and listen to some classic solos. Some suggestions: "Moby Dick" by Led Zeppelin, "Tom Sawyer" by Rush, "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins, and "Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen.
5 Reasons Drummers Are Totally "Extra"
The world's oldest professional musician is a female drummer
She's 105, her name is Viola Smith, and she can still rock with the best of them.
The longest drum roll lasted 14 hours
Londoner Pandit Sudarshan Das performed a continuous drum roll for 14 hours
The world's largest drum kit has 813 pieces (at last count) and it took 36 years to build
Developed by Dr. Mark Temperature, it takes four people and fifteen hours to set up — and an hour to hit each individual piece.
Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee played a rollercoaster drum kit
It did a 360 degree loop-the-loop during his solo (and even got stuck upside down once during a concert).
Wild Muppet drummer Animal was based on a famous real-life musician
The crazy antics of the Muppet Animal are said to be based on the late Who drummer Keith Moon.
Why We Love National Drummer Day
Rhythm makes us smarter
Studies have shown that listening to beats can help increase concentration and cognitive function. Being exposed to rhythmic light and sound therapy helped university students bring up their grades, demonstrated a similar calming effect as medication, and even increased the IQ scores of children with ADD.
Drums hold the beat of humankind
Drums go back to our very beginnings. Throughout time, they've been used to communicate, celebrate, signal, and entertain. The beat they provide is the very rhythm of humanity. Researchers at Harvard showed that drummers have an internal clock that moves in waves, mimicking brain waves and heart rates during sleep. Rock on!
Drummers know how to keep time (and their cool)
Drumming produces endorphins, creating a "drummer's high" that increases happiness for all of the players. The hypothesis here is that drumming and sharing rhythms were integral to ancient societies and we still respond to them that way.
National Drummer Day dates