Proximal–Distal Motor Control in Skilled Drummers: The Effect on Tapping Frequency of Mechanically Constraining Joints of the Arms in Skilled Drummers and Unskilled Controls
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonSage Open. 2018, 8 (3), 1-9. 10.1177/2158244018791220
Previous studies have shown faster tapping speed and better tapping symmetry in drummers, compared with nondrummers. The present study investigated the effect on tapping frequency of mechanically constraining the joints of the arm on unimanual and bimanual drumming speed across drummers and nondrummers. Skilled drummers were compared with nondrummers on mean maximum tapping frequency under different conditions in which the joints of the arms were mechanically constrained. One condition, the free condition, allowed use of all three joints (shoulder, elbow, and wrist), and served as control. In the other two, joints were mechanically constrained in such a way that participants were allowed use of only the shoulder (proximal) or only the wrist (distal), respectively. Participants performed a rapid tapping task with drumsticks on a drum pad as fast as possible for 15 s. All conditions were performed both bimanually, unimanually with the left hand, and unimanually with the right hand. Drummers produced significantly higher mean tapping frequencies compared with nondrummers in the free bimanual, distal bimanual, and distal unimanual left conditions. No differences were observed in the proximal condition. The results suggest that the drummers acquire refined upper limb joint coordination patterns, especially in the more distal joints of the arm, compared with nondrummers.