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Drumbeats offer a background rhythm that keeps the structure of the tempo for the rest of the band. Though they are typically in the background and are rarely featured, the work that drummers do in the background can make or break a song.

National Drummer Day seeks to honor and show appreciation for these musicians who don’t necessarily get the accolades that other band members might get. 

History of National Drummer Day

Drums have been around in human history for thousands of years. Though historians are quite sure when they developed, some evidence shows that they were made from alligator skins in China as far back as 5000 BC. Then, around 3000 BC, the Bronze Dong Son Drums were used in Vietnam. Meanwhile, in Africa and Sri Lanka, drums are used by humans to communicate with each other, beginning around 1000 BC – 500 BC.

National Drummer Day, sometimes called Drumming Day, was founded by the proprietors of Drumming.com. The company was motivated to establish the day when they realized that there was no day specifically dedicated to drummers. Even though they are often in the background, drummers play a vital role in the world of music, and this is the day to recognize and celebrate them!

National Drummer Day Timeline

5500 BC

Drums are made from skins

Ancient artifacts from China suggest that percussionists are playing drums made from alligator skins several thousand years ago. [1]

1300 AD

First snare drums are used

Created during the medieval period, the first snare drum is called the Tabor. At the same time, the wooden drumstick enters into use.[2]

1918

First drum kit debuts

Chicago based company, Ludwig, releases an all-in-one drum kit that includes a bass, snare, two cymbals and a wood block.[3]

1941

Song The Little Drummer Boy is written

Originally known as The Carol of the Drum, this song is written by the American composer Katherine Kennicott Davis.[4]

1964

Ringo Starr first plays the Ed Sullivan Show

Nearly 73 million people are watching the show when The Beatles play three Sundays in a row.[5]

How to Celebrate National Drummer Day

Get involved and connected with National Drummer Day in a number of different ways, perhaps including implementing some of these interesting ideas:

Show Appreciation to a Drummer

Those who know a drummer personally, whether it’s a professional drummer, a hobbyist, or a kid who is learning to play the drums in school, can take this opportunity to celebrate and thank them. Perhaps give them an extra large hug today, write them a card to say how proud you are of them, or just give them a high five.

Learn to Play the Drums

Whether picking up a bongo drum or popping onto a cajon, National Drummer Day is a great time to learn how to play the drums – if you don’t already know, of course. Some people might want to hire a teacher to help them learn how to play the drums, although some others might be naturally inclined and can simply teach themselves through the use of online videos.

It is important in learning to become a drummer that a student first becomes familiar with the basic drum beats and timekeeping. Practicing with a metronome can help a new drummer to learn how to keep time. After all, the drummer is the one who sets and keeps the tempo for the entire band, so it’s important to get it right, so the best way to learn well is to practice, practice, practice.

Learn About the Benefits of Drumming

While most people know that music can be healthy, some people don’t realize that playing the drums can come with its own set of health benefits. Numerous studies have shown that drumming can be good for you.

In honor of National Drummer Day, take a look at some of these ways that being a drummer can offer a great health boost:

  • Drumming can accelerate healing

    The physical sensory nature of drumming can provide an aesthetic experience that promotes physical healing, boosts the immune system, and helps to reduce and release the effects of emotional trauma.

  • Boost Brain Power

    The act of playing a drum kit requires all four limbs to be used at the same time, which means developing coordination. This kind of brain activity may even be helpful in improving a person’s IQ level and boost academic performance in students. 

  • Reduce stress and blood pressure

    Drumming can be good for your heart! Various types of drumming can lower blood pressure levels, minimize anxiety, and reduce anxiety and stress.

Listen to Some Famous Drummers

Have loads of fun on National Drummer Day when you get on board with listening to various drummers that are famous for their skill. One great way to do this might be to create a playlist on Spotify, Apple Music or another platform and then listen to it and get inspired by drumming.

Get started with a few of these songs that have some of the most famous drum solos in pop music history:

  • Moby Dick by Led Zeppelin (1969). Featuring one of the best drummers ever, John Bonham, plays a full two minutes of drum solo in the recorded version though he was apparently given up to twenty minutes to play the drum solo when they would have live concerts.
  • Tom Sawyer by Rush (1981). Using a drumming technique called ‘quads’, this drum solo is performed by Neil Peart, who was also one of the songwriters on the track.
  • In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins (1981). Released on Collins debut solo album, this song features a completely iconic drum filler. Collins, who used to be the lead in the band, Genesis, is one of the rare examples of a drummer who is also a band leader and lead singer.
  • Hot for Teacher by Van Halen (1984). Alex Van Halen, brother of lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen and co-founder of the band, plays a drum solo in this song that layers together two parts that feature the double bass drum which sounds eerily like the idling of a motorcycle.

Join a Drum Circle

With the purpose of including people of all ages and with no head or tail, drum circles are a way for people to share in rhythm, enjoying group consciousness between each other and themselves.

Drum circles can be run in a variety of different ways, whether it’s a freeform jam for anyone to do whatever they feel led to do, or a more structured event where community members are regularly playing together. Sometimes, in a drum circle, soloists might also play, but the most fun way is for soloists to have a “conversation” or exchange with each other.

National Drummer Day FAQs

Who is the drummer for The Who?

The current drummer for the English rock band is Zak Starkey, son of Ringo Starr and godson of Keith Moon, who was drummer in the 60s and 70s. [1]

Are drummers musicians?

Yes! Drummers are definitely part of the musical process that requires a great deal of skill. [2]

Who is the best drummer in the world?

Rolling Stone Magazine has named Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham as the best drummer in the world.[3]

Do drummers use sheet music?

It depends on the drummer. Those in jazz bands or orchestras will typically use sheet music. [4]

Should drummers wear ear protection?

To prevent hearing loss and tinnitus, drummers should wear earplugs or ear protection. [5]

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