Look, drummers, please don’t get your knickers in a twist – I thought of writing this after watching Glastonbury 2014 on TV and noticing some good and bad postures.
Some drummers were top of the class while others were slouching – and believe me, as a body therapist I can spot bad posture a mile off and I know what it means in the long term.
Whether you are a drummer of not, slouching (at home, at work, while playing videogames) can have a negative effect on your back, neck and shoulders muscles. Over time, as muscles become weaker and shorter, pain and discomfort start appearing.
It then takes weeks of corrective exercises and potentially massage therapy, physiotherapy or osteopathy to help realign the spine and take the edge off the pain.
So here’s my top 5 list of drummers’ postures, starting from the worst to the best (no offence!).
My Top 5 List of Drummers’ Postures
Number 5: Ian Matthews, Drummer for Kasabian
Not every drummer can claim that even their babysitter was a professional drummer. Ian started drumming at 4 years old and by 11 years old he was playing in an orchestra. This child prodigy went on to win several awards.
Unfortunately, this time around, his posture let him down. There’s a bit too much slouching in the shoulders and the spine is not straight. This could lead to discomfort and restriction in range of movement.
Number 4: Sean Moore, Drummer for Manic Street Preacher
This classically-trained musician plays drums and trumpet and was the youngest musician to play in the South Wales jazz orchestra.
His posture could be better: the spine is not straight and the neck is over-extended.
Website: Manic Street Preachers
Number 3: Clem Burke, Drummer for Blondie.
We all know that Clem is a genius and a Doctor of Rock and no one is disputing that! His drumming technique was revolutionary in the 70s and is still inspiring a new generation of drummers. Not only that, but Clem has also been a “poster boy” in the fight against obesity. Studies found that playing drums at a concert can burn between 400 and 600 calories an hour. Clem is taking part in a number of health studies, and interim results showed that during his drumming performances his heart rate was about 150 beats a minute, with peaks of 190. This heart rate level can be compared to that of top athletes.
His posture could be improved: the spine looks a bit rigid which would restrict the movement in shoulders and arms.
Number 2: Beanie Bhebhe, Drummer for Rudimental.
A nice, relaxed posture, flexible spine and no signs of strain. Almost top of the class!
YouTube: Beanie Bhebhe
And the Number 1 spot goes to… drum roll… Cherisse Osei!
Cherisse is the Queen of Good Posture and that reflects in her strong, powerful drumming style.
In an interview for Drummer Magazine Cherisse, who played for Mika, Paloma Faith and Bryan Ferry among others, said that she studied drums at school and is still taking professional lessons to constantly improve her technique.
If you look at her posture, the spine is straight and the shoulders are engaged but relaxed, allowing for full range of movement in the shoulder girdles and rotator cuffs.
Having the right posture and technique can help prevent repetitive strain injuries.
Cherisse is therefore top of the class and top girl for her commitment to technique.