How many calories do you burn while playing drums?

Did you know about the awesome power of drumming that burns calories and shapes up your body and mind? According to studies, drumming is the equivalent workout to playing in a Premier League football match.

Have you ever wondered how many calories you lose while playing drums? I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Playing drums can burn enough calories to keep you in shape. Drummers burn calories at an elevated rate while also maintaining the beat at your favorite concert for an average set time of 90 minutes. Isn’t this fascinating?

There are several drummers who come back from a heavy tour several pounds lighter. Why is that? Studies have shown that an hour of drumming can burn more calories than weight lifting and jogging. You can burn 400-600 calories while playing drums in a concert that is averagely an hour long. Well, how does this happen?

There are several factors that contribute to this and this article outlines a few theories and study cases.

Heart Rate

A study from Chichester University done on Clem Burke, an infamous drummer from the band ‘Blondie’, showed that drummers can elevate their heart rate up to 190 Beats per Minute (BPM).

A normal drummer’s heart rate averages around 140-150 BPM over a period of 90 minutes which is similar to a football player’s heart rate sustained over a 90 minute game. This shows that drumming is as challenging as a football game.

An hour in a concert could burn between 400 to 600 calories. Playing drums requires a high level of endurance and extraordinary stamina in order to perform cause of its high intensity.

Physical and Body aspect

Playing drums requires your upper and lower body movement at a constant rate which results to the burning of calories.

You usually have all of your four limbs moving at the same time while engaging your core. This requires a lot of balance.

An interview done on Jason Pinfold, a drummer from the Australian rock band ‘Juke Kartel’, stated that he takes at least three shirts and a couple of towels to band practice because of how much he sweats. He stated playing a heavier type of music like rock is much harder and compared it to sprinting. He lost 25 kilos alone from just touring with the band.

Advantages of drumming as a form of exercise

·         Mind and Spirit

Drumming also has a positive effect on your mind and spirit. It can be used to relieve stress. Jason Pinfold in his interview described it as a form of meditation but while punching a bag.

·         Physical benefits

It is a total body activity as it involves movement of both your upper and lower body, helping you burn calories and stay in shape.

In addition, according to studies done at Harvard and Oxford, drumming can lower your blood pressure and is beneficial for cognitive brain development.

·         Multitasking

Playing drums helps with multitasking because you are using all limbs to play at once while keeping a steady rhythm.

A summary on how many calories you lose while playing drums

Calories burnt
400-600 calories
Average BPM
140-150 BPM
Peak BPM
190 BPM
Average time
60-90 minutes
Advantages/ Benefits
Physical activity that keeps you in shape.
Lowers your blood pressure.
Cognitive brain development.
Helps with multitasking.
Stress reliever.
Positive effect on mind and spirit



If you are trying to get into shape or lose a few calories, you might as well try the rock star road to fitness if the thought of picking up a sport or going to the gym makes you feel like crying. Anyway you are only losing about 400-600 calories while sitting down. Isn’t that a sweet bargain?

In as much as playing drums requires a lot of effort and force from your whole body, the good news is that you don’t have to bleed your fingers away and sweat through your clothes to get to the level of a professional drummer. So treat yourself to some drumsticks and book a few lessons to get you started.


How many calories can you lose from playing drums?

You can lose an average of 400-600 calories an hour.

What benefits can you gain from playing drums as a form of exercise?

Playing drums can help you lose weight and stay in shape, lower your blood pressure, relieve stress and essential for cognitive brain development.

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