Clem Burke Drumming Project


The Clem Burke Project is based on the pursuit of knowledge through the application of scientific principles to the various art forms of drumming. It is committed to the dissemination of information leading to increased enjoyment, health and well-being of all participants involved in drumming.

Physiological tests included the measurement of heart rate, oxygen uptake and blood lactate in rehearsal tests and monitoring heart rate and blood lactate during live stage performances.

Dr Marcus Smith from the University of Chichester and Dr Steve Draper from the University of Gloucestershire conducted this groundbreaking research.

Dr Smith said: "There is a clear link between fitness and performance. Musicians need exceptional stamina to sustain optimum output especially when on tour."

"Footballers can normally expect to play 40 to 50 games a year. In one 12-month period, Clem played 90-minute sets at 100 concerts. When you consider the implications of touring on top of the performance requirements for high-profile drummers, it is clear that their fitness levels need to be outstanding.

Dr Marcus Smith, University of Chichester

Through monitoring Clem’s performance in controlled conditions, we have been able to map the extraordinary stamina required by professional drummers. We can now use this data to benefit others. Read more >>

A unique dedicated drumming laboratory will be built at the University of Gloucestershire’s Oxstalls campus and over the coming months it is envisaged that other professional drummers will come forward to undertake physiological profiling.

Via the Clem Burke Drumming Project, academics from the University of Gloucestershire's Department of Health, Sport and Social Care also aim to join forces with the University’s popular music degree course to develop community outreach programmes targeting overweight and disengaged youngsters.

Dr Steve Draper, University of Gloucestershire

This is the first facility of its kind in the world and we are extremely excited about the potential here. It is a unique collaboration between science and arts. Read more>>

Jo Wilson, University of Gloucestershire

The popular music course is ideally placed to support this research; this is an original and imaginative project that will potentially encourage new thought into how creative and physical acts can be scientifically analysed. Read more>>