BLOG: Scientists prove that drummers are not dumb

Test results show time-keeping drummers perform best in mental assessments

What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians? A drummer. What did the drummer get on his IQ test? Drool. Jokes about drummers aren’t exactly thin on the ground and we’re all guilty of laughing along. Hell, even a drummer would probably smirk because they’re too stupid to realise we’re laughing at them, not with them. Or are they? A scientific report published by The Telegraph thinks not.

An experiment carried out at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm asked 34 right-handed men to keep time with a drumstick before sitting a psychometric test of 60 questions and problems. The results were conclusive: those with the best sense of rhythm also scored highest in the mental tests. So, there you go – drummers are natural intellectuals.

The problem I have with these results is that the participants were not actually drummers – they were average Joes asked to tap a drumstick at “a variety of different intervals”. Now, I’m not saying that drummers are dumb – anyone that can keep rhythm with four different limbs at the same time must be teetering on genius – but surely, all this proves is that good, time-keeping drummers are clever and bad drummers are not so?

Oh, and before we get started with the drummer jokes – how many guitarists does it take to change a light bulb? Five. One to change it and four to stand around discussing how they would have changed it better…

By Tom Porter

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