Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

Lounge Lizard

Junior Member
I got chatting to a work colleague whom I just discovered plays Guitar.

He said something quite profound. He’s been playing for over 30 years and a few years ago decided to pack in playing in bands. Got fed up with all the hassles and playing to audiences who don’t really appreciate. Just plays for his own enjoyment with the cat his only audience.

Whilst that is quite common for guitarists is it unusual for drummers? I met up with an old band mate before Christmas. We were in a band together which split up but she dropped me a line to see if I’d be interested in depping. We went along to check out this band gigging in a pub. It dawned on me all that slogging your guts out to audiences who are drunk and not really paying much attention.

I’m not suggesting hanging up my sticks but would it be wrong to just play at home for myself?
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
I got chatting to a work colleague whom I just discovered plays Guitar.

He said something quite profound. He’s been playing for over 30 years and a few years ago decided to pack in playing in bands. Got fed up with all the hassles and playing to audiences who don’t really appreciate. Just plays for his own enjoyment with the cat his only audience.

Whilst that is quite common for guitarists is it unusual for drummers? I met up with an old band mate before Christmas. We were in a band together which split up but she dropped me a line to see if I’d be interested in depping. We went along to check out this band gigging in a pub. It dawned on me all that slogging your guts out to audiences who are drunk and not really paying much attention.

I’m not suggesting hanging up my sticks but would it be wrong to just play at home for myself?
Wrong? Of course not. Just because you enjoy doing something, doesn't mean you have to do it for anyone else. I mean, I enjoy sex. But I don't think I'd enjoy it as much if I had to schlep a bed to the local bar, and do it in front of the patrons... Though some folks may be totally down for that.

If drumming makes you happy - no matter who it's for - keep on doing it.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I play for me, at home, in my drum cave, to recorded music. I'm like the family that has a grand piano, in their house and plays for fun. No schlepping , no band hassles or egos to deal with and it's all fun. When I don't want to play I go out in the shop and make something out of wood.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I play for myself only. Did the (same)band thing for 8 years. Playing out is fun. With that being said...

I like going home, and am quite antisocial in unfamiliar environments. I don't like partying that much, especially with people I don't know. I played death metal. All my drumming time was spent on this one particular style of music. That got old. Now I can play what I want, when I want, as I want. My drumming life is much more enjoyable now.

FWIW, my playing has improved more since going solo. More time to work on things I otherwise wouldn't have.
 

Stroker

Platinum Member
I relish every moment and session I immerse myself in being the private aficionado that I am. I put in my younger years carting around equipment, jamming, and performing at gigs, and I'm done with those days.

I live a rich life with many other interests that trump the drum world, so being able to pick up my sticks when it suits me, is where it's at.

Pure enjoyment, no pressure.
 

Jbravo

Senior Member
Not a thing wrong with it! In the 80’s I spent 8 years or so playing 5-6 nights a week, 50 weeks a year. ( I should admit most of it was playing bass guitar and singing...).

After that I played off and on part time while working a day job. A couple years ago I realized I was tired of it, and wanted to get back to drumming. Now I have a drum closet full of classic maples, Paiste, and PA.

I also have an electric and an acoustic guitar, and two basses for when I feel the need, which isn’t often.

Eventually I plan on getting some recording gear and doing some writing and recording-also just for me, but right now I’m having to much fun drumming. If I ever gig again, it will take a specific set of circumstances to get my specific skill set back into action. :)
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
After a decade and a half playing professionally I stopped drumming. Got into broadcasting and other entertainment. Then 5 years ago my true love of drums surfaced again and now I have a studio where I play to a really loud (when I need it to be) stereo. My Ipod has over 2000 titles and music goes from one genre to another. Artie Shaw might be followed by David Allan Coe, then Mozart, Keb Mo, BeachBoys, and on the list goes. Classical, Rock, Country, Metal, Jazz, Worship. Keeps it interesting and multi-dimensional. Every so often some friends come over with guitars and we jam. Even played a few places for fun, but playing in my "drumnasium" now is more fulfilling and best yet: NO HAULING ALL MY EQUIPMENT AROUND.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I think all of us at some point will be playing only for ourselves, whether for an afternoon, a year, or the rest of our lives.

I can truly see why schlepping gear to horrible bars for little pay would not appeal to some. But for a like number of folks, that's what playing music is all about. Neither is wrong.

There will almost certainly come a time where I will not want to gig anymore. I bet I'll do some recording, have some folks over to bang around and such, though; I probably won't ever want to completely stop playing with other folks.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
The vast majority of drums and musical equipment, in general, are bought by people who have zero intention of gigging.

Most musicians are in bands that consist of themselves and their four walls.

So not only is not wrong, I'd say it's how the majority of musicians do it
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
I remember a discussion on this forum a while ago where someone (i forgot who) kinda made the statement that drummers who are not gigging should be considered as 'less', compared to drummers who play gigs every now and then..

That was one of the most silly things that i have read here untill now..
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I spent several years between bands playing at home for my own enjoyment more than once. I think I'll always play, band or no band. I prefer to be in a band though
 

Roadydad

Senior Member
I'm coming at it the other way, having started late in life, I spent almost 5 years playing on my own, and only started playing with others early last year.
I've accompanied a choir at church, am in a band, but nothing serious, and have joined an orchestra. I'm trying to pack as much in as I can before old age and senility sets in.
I have to agree that lugging gear around, really sucks.
 

Lounge Lizard

Junior Member
Wrong? Of course not. Just because you enjoy doing something, doesn't mean you have to do it for anyone else. I mean, I enjoy sex. But I don't think I'd enjoy it as much if I had to schlep a bed to the local bar, and do it in front of the patrons... Though some folks may be totally down for that.
:D :D :D

Couldn't have put it better myself
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Everyone must choose for themselves what they like to do, and if you don't want to play in public, there's nothing wrong with that.

OTOH, I find I push myself to have better ears, better hands, better musical sensibilities, when I actually play with other people. And it only gets heightened if I get those other people with me in front of an audience. If the audience cares, that's even better. So there's a certain "high" I really enjoy about making music with others - and it's really not an easy thing to do getting individuals together to create stuff out of thin air (even if what you play has already been created by somebody else). So there is that for me. I know I start to go crazy if all I've been doing is playing by myself in my little studio for one.

One day I'll hang it up (the prospect of that happening gets closer as I age), but let's say I'm sitting on the fence about it.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I think you have to, to stay sane! Just do it in the right context :)

When I'm on the regular gig, I switch off and go into autopilot. I have to sing a lot as well. I also use a travel kit for convenience.

It's nice to just go down the lockup on my own, sit behind some nice wood in mans sizes and play. I like to play along to albums as well, industrial ear defenders over the top of ear plugs make the cheapest noise isolation headphones ever!
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
If there are guys you click with who enjoy creativity and growth, nothing is more fun...even if you’re playing cover songs. A few guys and gals I’ve played with can make instruments melt in their hands. I grew like crazy as a drummer during those times.

Play with guys who just want to get by, take shortcuts to things they can’t play and just want to get by can make carrying gear around 10x more painful than it is. There’s growth in those times too. It teaches patience and kindness and acceptance and...who am I kidding? It’s about all I can do to not put a gun to my head! To me, it’s way, way better staying home and working on stuff by yourself in this scenario.

I guess it all depends...
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Like my photography, and woodworking, drumming is a hobby. To me it's therapy. I don't need an audience to watch me make a picture frame, coffee table, take photos of flora and fauna. I do it for me.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
I think it is common for people to just play music just for themselves. I do think it is more common with guitar or piano/keys or melodic instruments (trumpet/sax/clarinet/violin/etc) than it is with rhythm instruments like bass and drums though.

I think that is just mainly if you are just playing by yourself, having something that is doing to melody is easier than having something that is doing rhythm or harmony. However, with play along tracks or stuff like that, I think this has changed a lot.
 
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