Strengthening our game

One ​​of the main problems with drumming is maintaining endurance through long and exhausting sets. The drum kit is an instrument that involves physical movement in space, playing it requires a lot of energy, as well as good physical shape.

Who else but Clam Bark can advise on the best way to increase your stamina and be healthy and in great shape while playing the drums? In 2011, Clem Burke was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire for over a decade of work with The Clem Burke Drumming Project*, which concluded that professional drummers have a similar heart rate profile to professional football players.


The project, led by Dr. Marcus Smith of the University of Chichester and Dr. Steve Draper of the University of Gloucestershire, aims to scientifically improve the health and well-being of all drummers.

This project shows what it's like to be a drummer in a good light, Claim explains. This ongoing research, which continues to this day, provides even more hard evidence that drumming is beneficial. Everyone stay healthy and enjoy the drumming.


1.Warm-up
When it comes to endurance work, it's always good to get the blood moving before you hit the stage. I usually warm up on the pad for about 15 minutes doing basic rudiments. I also like to play a couple of songs, usually something from the Ramones (Clam also played with them). I used to have a full set in the dressing room.

2. Diet
As soon as I wake up on the day of a concert, all my attention is focused on the concert. Sleep is very important. I also like to do some light exercise, or go for a swim if the hotel has a pool. Concert day or not, what you eat is always important. I am a big fan of raw food and juices. I think any speaker will say that eating too much before a show is a bad idea. I try to have my main meal in the middle of the day and don't eat before a gig. Fresh carrot-beetroot juice always goes well shortly before a concert. I'm a big fan of chlorella, it's a super food that astronauts use when they're in space. A little ginseng is also good for an extra boost of energy.


3.Thinking over the setlist
All this leads us to be prepared for anything. It is very important to be able to play, whether it be a stadium or a rehearsal room. The dynamics of rock and roll drumming are usually physically demanding and you have to be prepared to deal with it. With Blondie, we took inspiration from the punk rock aesthetic. Usually our gigs start with three or four very energetic songs before we take a break, so we're ready before we go on stage. ''I know The Ramones played the whole set before going on stage. Going back to what I said, the more you play, the easier it gets. The hardest part is getting yourself off the couch and out of the house.''.

4.Outside drums
I recommend running, gym, boxing, stretching and swimming. Many drummers practice martial arts. It is also very important to practice the rudiments on the pad to keep them flexible and to keep the blood flowing to the hands. It is very important to keep the blood flowing to all parts of the body.


5. Preparation
Ideally, before starting a long tour, practice for at least a week so that all band members are in shape, but as I said, it is very important to be ready before you go on stage or in the studio. I like to arrive early so I can do a bit of my own work, play with the click or the sequencer. The same goes for the sound check.

6.Additives
I already mentioned chlorella, which is good for everything from hair to nails. A small dose of aspirin is good for the heart. I also take multivitamins every day. It also helps me a lot to have fresh juice and ginseng before a concert.

7.Relax
This point is obvious enough, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a good rest. If I train on the day of the concert, I usually like to take a short nap before the concert. This is exactly what we used to do in New York before being awake until dawn - you definitely need to get some sleep before going to a concert!


8.Water consumption
I try to drink water throughout the day so when I get on stage I'm fine. This is especially important if you drank a couple of strong drinks the day before.

9. Breathing
When we breathe in oxygen, the blood moves is a key factor. This is what we studied in the Claim Bark Drum Project and we found out that I have a good record. I try to stretch and do some yoga before a show. It's always a great way to feel the energy of the audience, it will always help you.

10. Get over your nervousness.
I never really felt the tension being on stage, in fact quite the contrary. I've been performing for a very long time. Many people, when they are on stage, say that this is the only place where they feel relaxed and, so to speak, normal. This is a healing place, all your pain and worries go away. This is a kind of zen for the mind.

*The Clem Burke Drumming Project
Dr. Marcus Smith of the University of Chichester is the co-founder of this project. He explained that a key goal of the project is to find where endurance comes from: ''The key point is that fatigue weakens skill and creativity over time. Our data suggests that a drummer playing a live concert can produce up to 2 liters of sweat per hour. MRI data show that the human brain works harder when the body is dehydrated. Therefore, for the best possible performance, you need to have a clear strategy for the intake of fluid into the body. Fatigue is an obvious outcome when a drummer is not physically prepared to do so. If the intensity and duration of the classes is not enough, then this will limit you to live performances. Fatigue is also linked to eating the right food at the right time.
Translation: Oleg Kuznetsov
Editor: Anna Gornaya