JumpDrum meshes percussion with endurance
Science has proven that listening to music increases endurance. And that strong, rhythmic beats can make working out more fun.
That’s why Ridgefield artists David De Palo and Jennie Carr have been working together to design the JumpDrum — a percussion instrument that enables a full-body workout when played.
“It’s like SoulCycle meets STOMP,” said De Palo.
The innovative instrument has separate components, starting with the basic jump box that can be used on its own — by standing on it and jumping — with three separate drum additions that are played using the arms.
“It’s the exact same thing as having a drum set with four toms and a base,” said the composer, De Palo, “but they’re made of wood.”
A happy accident
The project began when De Palo set out to create a beat box that someone could play while dancing, like a stomp box, but bigger and with more power.
The stomp box is frequently used by guitar players when playing alone to keep the beat, according to De Palo.
“I knew that existed, but when I started to get more into the idea, I realized, well, if I create this box and step on it …”
“I saw how much fun it was to bounce on the box and the sound it made,” he said.
De Palo described the shift as a happy accident.
“Is there a way to combine my love of rhythm and also get little of a workout?” he asked, rhetorically.
Once he realized the potential of this new invention, he got to work designing the first prototype.
Made in Connecticut
The JumpDrum will be assembled and manufactured in Connecticut, using Baltic birch wood.
De Palo has made several contraptions himself, but is getting ready to mass produce out of a machine and wood shop in New Milford.
The couple has started a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign with the goal of reaching $37,000, and has raised $3,876 so far.
Although complex beats can be made with the JumpDrum, De Palo and Carr both stress that no prior drum experience is required to reap the benefits of the device.
They said that adults are intimidated, but when they try it they find the learning curve is quite short.
“It’s a complicated market that we’re in because we’re straddling two markets,” said De Palo, who works as a musical composer when not inventing products.
“It’s gonna need some time because people need to try it.”
Children, on the other hand, are always eager to have a turn on the JumpDrum.
De Palo said the drum can be adjusted for different heights and is designed with both kids and adults in mind.
The couple has been developing an exercise class for the JumpDrum.
Carr said that learning how to play the drums is a very possible byproduct of exercising with the JumpDrum regularly.
“You start to understand rhythm a little better,” she said.
“You’re integrating drumming without even knowing it, you’re using your body, which is creating the base beat. If you just do that for a few minutes and then add the hands, you get lost in it.”
Both De Palo and Carr told The Press they are constantly busy inventing new things.
They said they have other inventions in the works after JumpDrum kicks off.
For now, interested buyers may pre-order a set online at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jumpdrum/jumpdrum-a-whole-new-way-to-play-the-drums