10 Health Benefits of Hand Drumming

Aug 16, 2023

One of the (great many) benefits advantages in technology has given us is an ability to assess the impact of music instruments on our brains and overall wellbeing. Thanks to scientific research via things like MRI scan, we can now see how learning to play different instruments engage different parts of the brain. Participating in activities like hand drumming, for example, requires both coordination and attention in order to create synchronized beats. This, in turn, results in brain stimulation. Through experiments like this, science has helped us come to the conclusion that playing drums helps to not only maintain, but improve the health and performance of the brain and mind.

The fact is, drumming creates a number of beneficial physiological and psychological effects. What’s more, while drumming with sticks may be somewhat difficult, these benefits can also be achieved through hand drumming, which is easy and fun!

Let’s dive into just ten of these amazing health benefits!

10 Incredible Health Benefits from Hand Drumming

Brain Power Boost

One of the amazing things science has discovered about drumming is its ability to activate and stimulate the brain. In fact, rhythmic drumming can be quite invigorating and soothing. Indeed, strong evidence suggests that when playing, your brain is performing lots of cognitive processes at once; auditory information, along with motor control and concentration, create a consistent rhythm. Multiple areas of the brain work together to achieve this. What’s more, drumming utilizes both hemispheres of the brain, which not only maintains brain performance, but improves it.


Drumming, especially hand drumming, is an intensive cardiovascular workout! Hand drumming movements are fairly repetitive, which works out the forearms, biceps, and wrists. With practice, hand drumming motions improve muscle endurance, allowing you to play both faster, and with more control.

Pain Reduction

Studies have shown that both listening to, and performing music produces endorphins in the brain. One of the functions of these hormones is to deal with pain. The practice of hand drumming can help with pain by serving as a distraction, while also encouraging the brain to release its own pain-fighting chemicals.

Reduces Stress

Of course, right along with the pain-killing qualities of endorphins come their stress releasing characteristics. In addition, the consistent beat associated with drumming helps to keep the stress hormone, cortisol, in control. Indeed, this effect is so great that drumming has been recognized as an effective therapy for stress by both psychological and physiological researchers.

Enhances Mood

Playing any musical instrument in a group, especially one as physically engaging as hand drums, makes people happy! It’s hard not to experience feelings of community and friendship when surrounded by other musicians. And once a few people start smiling, everyone does. It’s a positive feedback loop, lifting everyone, participants and spectators alike. And once again, it’s thanks to those happy hormones, endorphins.

Ease Mental Illness

In today’s high pressure, fast-paced world, dealing with mental illness is quite common. However, research has shown that hand drumming can be helpful when it comes to combating feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Furthermore, hand drumming can even help the performer feel more calm and relaxed. This is thought to be thank to the fact that drumming naturally increases Alpha brain waves more so than beta, which leads to feeling of relaxation. The euphoric feeling created by Alpha waves are a powerful tool for fighting mental illness. In fact, Alpha activity is associated with mediation and a healthy stress response.

Improved Immune System

In addition to better mental health, drumming has also been found to boost the human immune system. What’s more, it’s been suggested that drumming with a group can help fight against viruses – and even cancer! This is due to group drumming’s ability to enhance the natural T-cells in the human body. T-cells, a kind of white blood cell, seek out and fight both infections and cancer cells.

Lowers Negative Feelings

Of course, like any musical instrument, drumming is more than simply reciting music; it’s an important form of self-expression, and has been for thousands of years, and across cultures. So it should come as no surprise that drumming can be very therapeutic, and can be helpful in overcoming emotional blockages that occur because of negative feelings. Hand drumming, in particular, has a reputation for releasing pent up emotions.

Better Focus

Through the use of MRI scans, drumming rhythms has been shown to help people cope with ADHD. It’s suspected that the rhythm with planning, through anticipation of the music. For this reason hand drumming is often used in music therapy, especially with children with ADHD. The musical practice helps them practice focus and reinforces positive neural pathways in the brain.

But this benefit can be utilized by anyone! Drumming along to any piece of music requires focus, anticipation of the next beat, and reactions to the music. Anyone can harness this effect to improve their concentration skills to become more focused.

The Benefits of Hand Drumming

These are, of course, only a handful of the benefits of hand drumming, or learning music in general.  In fact, significant, impressive, and beneficial differences have been found in the brains of musicians when compared to their non-musician peers. These findings suggest that pushing yourself to learn something new and challenging can actually improve your brain health in very real ways.

That means that participating in something even as simple and enjoyable as hand drumming makes you both smarter and healthier!

What to start reaping these benefits yourself? Join our Hand Drumming class! Want to start or continue a different musical journey? Check out the rest of our classes and programs and sign up today!