Measuring the beat of a drummer, UWindsor prof studies Jeff Burrows' biomechanics

University of Windsor kinesiology professor Nadia Azar is studying rock drummers, and how much work it takes to keep the rest of the band in time. The Tea Party's Jeff Burrows is one of her main subjects.

Nadia Azar has been measuring The Tea Party drummer's stats during performaces

University of Windsor kinesiology professor Nadia Azar and The Tea Party drummer Jeff Burrows joined Windsor Morning to talk about the biomechanics behind drumming. (Tom Addison/CBC)

You might not think playing music takes physical fitness, unless you're a drummer.

University of Windsor kinesiology professor Nadia Azar is studying, of all things, rock drummers. And it's all about how much work it takes to keep the rest of the band in time.

"It takes so much work both arms, both legs going, a lot of core strength to maintain your balance while having all four limbs moving — that intrigued me," Azar told Windsor Morning

Windsor's own Jeff Burrows of the band The Tea Party and some other rock drummers are the subjects of Azar's research project. Burrows just finished playing five shows with his band, and Azar was able to monitor him while he played.

"My measurements usually mean taking off my shirt and seeing how much sweat I drain from them," said Burrows. 

Hear more from Azar and Burrows' interview on Windsor Morning.

But Azar's measurements were much more precise. She was able to learn just how many calories Burrows would burn playing a particular song. 

"It's sort of a fun way to demonstrate how physical drumming really is and it kind of gives people a measure they're familiar with in terms of calories," she said. "It's also a good way to show people who maybe aren't interested in traditional forms of exercise that this is one avenue that you can take, to play the drums"

Azar is interested in drumming-related injuries and pain management. Next, she is conducting an online survey to drummers worldwide to get sense of the injuries and what factors lead to them.