NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It’s a competition that has made music an extreme sport.
People have taken up the sticks to test their hands and feet while competing for the championship belt that goes only to the world's fastest drummer. The competition has been part of the National Association of Music Merchant’s convention at Music City Center this weekend.
And you didn't have to be a musician to participate.
“We kind of practiced for 10 or 15 seconds before we went on,” said Stephanie Summers after hitting 604 strokes in one minute.
The winners have usually had hours of experience behind a drum set.
Tom Grosset holds the world record as world's fastest drummer. He showed NewsChannel 5’s Rebecca Schleicher how he hit more than 1200 strokes in 60 seconds.
“It’s about being relaxed and breathing and almost meditating,” he said, plus lots of practice.
The counter, called a drumometer, ticked up with every stroke as the seconds ticked down.
It was developed in Nashville by Boo McAfee, who also organized the competition.
“Before that when you said world’s fastest drummer it was very subjective like ‘oh yeah how do you know?’” he said, recalling a conversation between drummers he overheard that inspired the invention.
For the demonstration Tom put ten seconds on the clock. While drumming he hit 186 strokes in just ten seconds.
And he showed Rebecca how to do it.
“The thing is we want to stick to single strokes which are just right left right left you can go any order you want just make sure it’s one stroke,” he said.
She gave it a shot. A very long ten seconds later, she’d hit 155 strokes.
“That's good!" organizers assured her.
It was good fun, but it was also a way to make music accessible, sharing the love of a good beat with anyone who braves the stage.
“It gives I think young kids an incentive to practice their rudiments and get them excited about it,” Tom said.