In this video, I show you how a create a composite rhythm from a ceremonial rhythm composed of 4 drum parts. I also describe why it is important to vary a rhythm, no matter how complex it is, to influence the brain and behavior within the alpha state of consciousness.
In this video, I describe the state of flow and how to use drumming to induce and enhance it. Flow exists in the transition between the alpha and theta states of consciousness. A rhythm at 7.4 beats-per-second is a great tempo to induce flow.
Tempo is only part of the equation. Flow is characterized by a deactivation of the pre-frontal cortex (a phenomenon called “transient hypofrontality”).
To achieve this state of flow, the rhythms need to be variable enough to entrain the brainwaves to the 7.4 Hz pace, while not so complex or variable that they activate the brain. This video shows examples of rhythms that are too repetitive (not able to entrain), too complex (activating), and musically variable (just right to entrain and induce flow).
Note: You don’t need to play the drum. All you need to do is listen. If you choose to play, the 7.4 bps tempo is achieved by setting your metronome to 1/4 note equals 111 beats-per-minute and playing 1/16th notes (you play four drumming beats for every click of the metronome).
Activating the brain for memory and cognitive enhancement can be done two ways:
1. Play pleasingly variable patterns with an unpredictable, yet musical quality at 8 beats per second. This has an immediate activating effect and, coupled with progressively more complex patterns over a series of recordings, can provide long-term cognitive enhancements. This is the approach we use for the REI Custom Programs.
2. Play various tempos all within the alpha range of 8-12 beats per second (bps). Musically, 8-12 bps is 120-180 beats per minute when playing 16th notes and one beat of the metronome is a 1/4 note. This means that you are playing 4 drumming beats for each click of the metronome. This approach is the key to the Brain Boost category on brainshiftradio.com.
I end this video with a cognitive enhancement drumming session. Let it play quietly in the background and see how mentally clear you feel afterward.
I’ve been playing for people with neurological disorders for 25 years and everyday I still wake up passionate about the work I do. It wasn’t always this way. As I was building my business, I received a lot of advice to delegate and be a manager. I tried this and quickly found myself losing interest. So, I resumed doing the one task that I loved: customer support.
If you’ve ever called or emailed us, chances are you talked to (or heard from) me. I answer the phone because I love talking to clients, prospective clients, and providers. This is what gets me up in the morning; yet this is what the business “experts” told me I shouldn’t be doing. The secret is that this task gives me joy, and my clients can sense my passion for the work and their well-being.
My advice: Focus on the aspects of your work you love, even if they are the “lowly” tasks that most people hire out.
This video shows how I use fast, complex drumming rhythms to reduce sound sensitivities.
Sound sensitivity falls into two categories:
1. General overwhelm. Too much auditory input and competing sounds, such as those at a restaurant or school cafeteria, often result in shutting down or lashing out due to the inability to filter for important sounds.
2. Aversion to specific sounds. Certain sounds, such as that of a vacuum cleaner or blender, often elicit negative responses due to their specific frequency, intensity or volume.
Both require a progressive set of rhythms, tones, and levels of intensity and volume to help the nervous system learn to process and tolerate them.
You can read more about the studies I talk about in this video here:
For anyone with an interest in the therapeutic aspect of music this is a gem of a book. For parents wanting to explore different approaches to help their children it will make interesting reading. As a lay person who just enjoys playing the odd CD I found myself a little overloaded with music and technology theory and was more interested in reading about how following a lifelong passion such as drumming can lead to the most unexpected places and discoveries.
Playdrums.com, another great resource for learning to play the drums, profiled my book, Different Drummer: One Man’s Music and Its Impact on ADD, Anxiety, and Autism.
Here is an excerpt form the article:
Making Music constantly writes and promotes the healing power of music. That’s why we are highlighting this book written by percussionist and researcher Jeff Strong. Different Drummer chronicles his path as he navigates ancient drumming practices, conducts clinical research, and develops the music that establishes him as a pioneer in the world of auditory brain stimulation over three decades.