12 Facts About Drums You Never Heard Of

There is hardly any culture on earth that has not embraced drums. Drums remain an integral part of many ceremonies. You will find their use on war battles, pop music as well as religious ceremonies.

Drums remain to be the world’s oldest musical instruments. However, how much facts do you know about drums?

Here are some interesting facts about drums that you probably didn’t know.

1.The Oldest Drum

One of the first facts is that the Alligator Drum is the oldest ever discovered, dating back to 5500 BC. The Neolithic China drum was of clay, and alligator hides. People stretched the skins and hides over bowls to create a booming sound.

 The Chinese used it for shamanistic purposes and rituals. At the time, they used ordinary sticks and bones as drumsticks.

Later, more drums started to come up in Peru, Egypt, Israel, and Peru. By 2nd century BC, there were already drums in Rome, Italy.

2. The Longest Recorded Drum Session

Another of the interesting facts about drums concerns the longest recorded drumming session. Kunto Hartono did this marathon in Malang city, in Indonesia.

He did the recording session from 27th December 2011 to 1st January 2012. This marathon session took him 122 hours and 25 minutes. Amazing!

3. Drums Improve Physical Health

Did you know how many calories drumming burns in a half-hour? Well, it burns more calories than weightlifting, hiking, or cycling do in the same amount of time.

Drummers make use of their whole body when drumming, which is a great workout. If a drummer does drumming for one hour, they can burn between 400 and 600 calories. Drumming also boosts one’s immunity and lowers blood pressure.

4.The World’s Largest Drum Kit

Another amazing fact about drums concerns the world’s largest drum set. Unbelievably, it has 813 pieces and building it took 36 years!

Dr Mark Temperato, who is also a professional musician, developed this drum. His main aim was to fuel his passion for drums.

His drum kit has a wide variety of cymbals and drums. It also has other equipment of over 50 different makes and models. A custom 18-wheel tractor-trailer is used to transport this set.

Even more amazing, it takes 3-4 people 15 hours to set up the drum kit. 

5. A Drum Set Contains 3 Different Drums Type

On every standard type of drum, you will expect to find three others. They include:

·        Floor-tom

·        Snare drum

·        The bass drum

Whereas the bass drum is the largest, the snare-drum is at the center of the drum. Moreover, the tom-tom helps to fill a break in the groove.

6. Drums have always been a means of communication

Since the medieval and Renaissance time in Europe, drums s were popular with soldiers in sending coded messages to each other. In ancient India and Africa, they used drums to send messages over long distances.

For people living in heavily forested areas, this instrument is still a popular means of communication. Drum messages, especially in Africa, can travel for as fast as 100 miles per hour.

7.Woods of Different Characteristics Make Drum’s Shells

When making drum shells, different woods with different characteristics are used.

·        Maple wood has a warm, resonant sound

·        Birchwood has an aggressive sound and reduced resonance

·        Oak and Mahogany make drums of higher volume

·        Thinner wood plies enhance the resonance of the drum.

8.  Drumming Improves Brain Health

When a drummer plays, practices, or learns an instrument, they increase their neural capacity. They also improve their brain function. The use of the non-dominant hand also strengthens the neural connections in the brain.

Amazingly, researchers say that drumming benefits are similar to those of meditation. The argument behind this is that drumming causes you to focus on one thing.

9. The World’s Tallest Drum

Among the facts about drums is that the world’s tallest drum is 18-feet high, and it is in Nigeria. Governor Ibikunle Amosun unveiled the instrument recently during the Nigerian Drums Festival.

10. The most expensive drum set sold at an auction

It was sold in California at a Julien’s Auction on 5th December 2015. It belonged to Sir Ringo Starr, the popular drummer of the Beatles. Ringo Starr purchased it in 1962 and used it in at least 200 performances.

Do you know for how much this instrument was sold? Despite just being an ordinary drum, it fetched a whopping $2.1 million!

11.  The First Drum Pedal System

One other fact about this instrument is that Ludwig Drums was the man behind the first operational bass drum pedal system. This was in 1909, and it is what gave birth to the modern drum kits.

12.  Acoustic drum Kits vs. Electronic Kits

Electric drums became very popular in the 1980s. The anticipation was that they would lead to the extinction of traditional drums.

However, it has turned out that drummers are more in love with acoustic kits.

Check our Article about Best Electronic Drum Kit (click here)

Frequently Asked Questions

How old is the drum?

The drum dates back to our prehistoric ancestors who used a simple object that they hit by the stick. It dates back as far as 5500 BC. China’s Alligator Drum was the oldest drum ever made and was of clay and alligator hides.

Who made the first drum?

The Chinese were the first to make drums. The Neolithic cultures from China made drums by use of alligator skins.

The Chinese played it using ordinary sticks and bones during their shamanistic rituals.

How many types of drums are there?

Drums fall into different types depending on several factors: For the basic classification, they fall under three types.

·        Acoustic Drums – They include the traditional bass drums, tom drums, and snare drums.
·        Electric Drums – They include the pressure-sensitive pads connected to the computer to help them reproduce sound. Their use is not common, except for some genres.
·        World Drums – these are traditional drums. Their use is mainly during ancient ceremonies in many countries.

What are drums used for?

Drums have numerous uses, ranging from the traditional uses to the modern drum uses.

They were traditionally used in war and the military to deliver information to soldiers. Drummers in martial artists also used them to time themselves to improve their efficiency.

Drums are used in different ceremonies to bring rhythms of joy and happiness. The olden-day people also used them during their rituals.

Drums are a means of communication over long distances. Africans and Europeans drummers used them as a form of wireless communication system even before the invention of phones.

How are drums played?

In the ancient days, they were played by use of ordinary sticks and hands. However, modern electric drums are played using drumsticks.

Hopefully, this article on the facts about drums has been a fantastic read for you. Feel free to leave your comment and add any other facts about drums I may have left out.