Drum therapy could cure the sick

It's official: drumming is good for you. Scientists believe the 'natural rhythm' (which everyone possesses, apparently) released by banging a drum has 'a therapeutic effect on people dealing with depression, stress or addiction.'

The research is backed by the Sidney De Haan Centre. They want the NHS (the UK's National Health Service) to adopt drumming as a technique for dealing with patients. It's an interesting proposition, and one which has attracted the attention of former The Clash drummer Nick Topper Headon.

"When I was young I had a small hole inside me which music and drumming filled," Headon told the BBC. "And then I joined The Clash and unfortunately started using drugs. I stopped playing drums for about 26 years."

"You've got to be slightly nuts to want to bash the drums anyway," Nick Topper Headon

"I got clean five years ago and now drumming again fills that gap and gives me a really good feeling."


Headon explained why the act of drumming helps: "It's the physical activity. The coordination stimulates parts of the brain keeping the four limbs doing something different. And it's primeval - drumming was the first instrument. Before music people were banging things together."

Stamina of a footballer

Years of testing has already proved that Blondie's Clem Burke has 'the stamina of a footballer,' so the physical benefits are obvious. On a mental level, we know listening to music can help lower blood pressure, so bashing out a rhythm for a calmer state of mind is a logical next step.

You can watch a video of Nick Topper Headon showing off his re-found stick skills. We'll leave you with the former Clash man's final thoughts: "You've got to be slightly nuts to want to bash the drums anyway. They say a band is only as good as its drummer…"

Tom Porter worked on MusicRadar from its mid-2007 launch date to 2011, covering a range of music and music making topics, across features, gear news, reviews, interviews and more. A regular NAMM-goer back in the day, Tom now resides permanently in Los Angeles, where he's doing rather well at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).