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The 7 Levels Of Intensity For DRUMMING | Chris Lesso with Mark Bowden

By May 31st, 2022No Comments3 min read


Our body language influences our behaviour and STATE, which shapes our drumming. They are so connected!  There is no bad body language, only results that you wanted or didn’t want. Remember, there are no rules here, only consequences! We want to engineer our lives and drumming to get the results we want, and to have the maximum amount of fun by getting rid of any states that don’t serve us. A bit of nervousness and excited energy is GOOD, this just means you care and want to be at your best. But too much can lead to tension (tightness), and as we say ‘tension is the enemy!’ This can get in the way of the MOVEMENT that you are using to express your best ideas.

How do we bring the right level of intensity to the drums at the right moment? The key here is to develop SELF AWARENESS, almost as if you are observing yourself from the outside, and see what level you are playing at. Then constantly recalibrate as you go up or down a level to make the music and band stronger. This is changing in every moment, and we need to become a master of how much to fire it up and pull it back at the times that bring the most impact to the music. As you cultivate self awareness, you’ll see what your natural tendencies are, and how to adjust when needed. As you master them through self awareness, you will be able to float state to state at will, as the situation dictates. I can remember Kobe Bryant talking about the first few minutes of a high pressure championship game, and how his players were TOO fired up to win, and in these early minutes they would be most likely to miss shots unless they calmed down, loosened up, and eased into the flow of the game. If you think of the thoughts you might have when entering a championship game, such as ‘This is it! Let’s do this! We’re going to CRUSH THIS!’, you can see how this can create tension that might actually make you play worse. However during the last few minutes of the game when everyone is getting tired, this may be the time to ramp up back into this state and bring the intensity UP. Once you can control this at the most effective times that serve you, you will be able to go in and out of this flow to get the most out of your drumming and life. Always ask, ‘is this state I’m in right now best serving myself and the music?’ Be patient, this takes practice!

Here are the 7 levels of intensity:

  1.  Asleep (zombie state, unfocused)
  2.  Cool (almost asleep, barely awake, dreamy)
  3.  Neutral (no urgency, detached, unemotional)
  4.  The Manager (just alert enough to get things done)
  5.  Is There A Bomb In The Room? (slightly higher alert, heightened senses, curious)
  6.  There Is A Bomb In The Room (fight or flight starts to take over, high alert, maximum aggressive action or freezing)
  7.  The Bomb Has Exploded! (total tightness and tension, loss of mind and muscle control, panic, frenzy)

Watch world renowned body language and brain expert Mark Bowden do a deep dive into each of these levels and how they can empower your drumming and your life! 
Watch the entire podcast HERE:

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