Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Good Drummers Possess Inherent Intelligence, According to Study

Smart guy George Kollias (photo: Metal Archives)In Stockholm, Professor Frederic Ullen from the Karolinska Institute concluded after a short study that a link exists between intelligence, keeping good rhythm and timing, and the part of the brain that's used primarily for problem solving.

Of course, when it's presented that way it would have to apply to all musicians as well, as you typically have to be able to time things right no matter what role you have in a band if you want to be any good.

The good Professor, however, correlates the finding to drummers specifically because he conducted the study using drumsticks and had them "tap" the stick "at a variety of different intervals" before administering a psychometric test of sixty questions and problems.

Using this method, here's what they concluded:

"We found that people with high general intelligence were also more stable on a very simple timing task. We also found that these participants had larger volumes of the white matter in the brain, which contains connections between brain regions."

"The rhythmic accuracy in brain activity that is observed when a person maintains a steady beat is also important to the problem-solving capacities measured with the intelligence tests."

I believe it, but I also believe that extends to almost every type of musician. If you are capable of keeping time, your brain is obviously working at peak efficiency (or you're good at letting your subconcious take over, which always runs at peak efficiency), and that's a big sign of above-average intelligence.

Though I will say, out of all musicians I feel as though drummers seem to possess the qualities of selflessness and honesty in abundance. Not that other musicians lack those qualities, but I can't say that I've met a drummer that wasn't a deep-down good person. I imagine we can all think of at least one guitarist or vocalist that seem like they're a shitty person (like, possibly, Axl Rose or Frankie Palmeri, maybe?)

Then again, I may just be biased because my husband is a drummer (well, fiancée, but it's all just semantics), and he's the most selfless, giving, genuine, kind, patient, and all-around amazingly good guy to ever exist. I sometimes wonder if he's even human or if I'm locked in some nuthouse somewhere having delusions of a perfect husband and family.

Lately though he's been making a foray into guitars, and he's gotten pretty good in a short time. This proves not only my point about the above study applying to every musician, but it also proves that if you're good at one instrument, you can be good at any instrument if you pick it up and figure it out!

And of course they did this study in Sweden... ;)

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