Bad Days

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Bad days are the speed bumps on the road of life. Just slow down until you're over them and then move on.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Had a middle-of-the-night realisation that the answers given are what I'm looking for, but I was being too heady to realise it. It comes down to why we have bad days in the first place ... usually because there's too much head and not enough soul ... "life is what happens while you're busy planning other things" (JL).

So yeah, that does mean "giving up", surrendering to the moment and giving yourself to those precious musical moments because there's a small chance they could be your last. No sense wasting them with head trips.

It reminds me of a time a gig turned around for me after I was initially affected by nerves. It suddenly struck me how good the stage sound was and what a shame it would be to waste it with head trips, so I decided at that moment I was going to enjoy the experience. And did.
 

joeysnare

Silver Member
Like Polly mentioned, if I'm having an "bad" day, I'll just try to simplify my playing. Skip the over the top killer licks and fills, and just keep it as simple and tasteful as possible and focus on laying down a groove that will put me "in the zone".

Also, if it's a rehearsal, call out a tune that you know you will nail every time. That can help settle you in. Sometimes even an impromptu jam can have the same effect.

And remember...(look below at my signature)
my thoughts exctly, when im having a bad day i usually forget about playing and just work on my rudiments and speed, stuff that i can do with out thinking about it.
 

razorx

Platinum Member
I have them all the time. I wish I had them less. Sometimes time off will help me while sometimes it will only make it worse. I've been in a rut for the last 2-3 months. I have videos of myself playing on youtube and i can't even come close to playing some of the stuff that i have up on there. It's really depressing. I hope it ends soon.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I think when it isn't with you, it probably isn't going to be there and you'll know it and accept it. Putting yourself there to play is the most important thing, and then you'll get the green lights going your way with the playing or get bogged down slowing down for the reds.
lol - everyone's saying "just give up". There MUST be a way! There must there must! lol


I can say since playing on the acoustic kit, that I had a few extra special days playing that I didn't expect that just seemed to flow it all felt so good and right on. Unfortunately I had to sell that kit to deal with my financial problems, and it was a big blow, bigger than I thought it would be, but I couldn't let go of my Strat or my keyboard.

... PA, I wasn't aware that you hadn't played in so long - give you lots of credit for getting back to it, the good days will come again I know.
Damn, not good. But i guess we can only have so much stuff (apart from Terry, of course)


Cheers Fish, tomorrow's going to be a lot better, I'm sure. After last week the only way to go is up :)
 

Fishnmusicn

Senior Member
Last Thurs was the second time I've played on kit since Nov last year (health reasons) and I stunk.

The week before I could ride the wave of freshness and I've found that the second time I do something (not just drums) it's usually lame because the lack of practice is there but the freshness of the first time isn't. One thing I know is that if I try to replicate a previous good performance when I was in good form there is no way it will happen. Each performance, even when you are playing exactly the same notes, must be unique. I also find that I tend to play better on a Sat than a Thurs night after a day at work.

What I'd like to know is, when you're having an off day, how do you turn things around?

I remember the feeling last Thurs of trying to get settled on the instrument but I simply couldn't focus properly, no matter how I tried. Things would come together in spots but was generally sloppy. I tried to simplify to get things on track but then it sounded ponderous. The whole band played worse than they have for maybe six months. I'm not sure the others realised it but if I play badly the whole band makes blunders they would otherwise not do. They seem to need that solid, clear base from the kit to settle into their parts.

Does anyone have a trick for turning things around when the muse isn't with you?

I think when it isn't with you, it probably isn't going to be there and you'll know it and accept it. Putting yourself there to play is the most important thing, and then you'll get the green lights going your way with the playing or get bogged down slowing down for the reds.

It can be the same way with the keyboard or guitar for me - I will play and if it feels like it won't go anywhere I just can't force it, usually it can relate to energy level - it doesn't work and I'll stop, but at least I know I gave it a go, which is the first step in feeling or not feeling the muse.

I can say since playing on the acoustic kit, that I had a few extra special days playing that I didn't expect that just seemed to flow it all felt so good and right on. Unfortunately I had to sell that kit to deal with my financial problems, and it was a big blow, bigger than I thought it would be, but I couldn't let go of my Strat or my keyboard.

One valuable thing that came out of it was the desire to go on with the drums, in whatever role, even though I'm focusing on keyboard again, which is where my composing strength lies.

I come back here and rekindle my curiosity and learn new things and keep going despite the bad days. I still have my electronic kit, and though it's not ideal, it's still a practice tool and will keep me going until I buy another acoustic kit, which I have vowed to myself to do.

PA, I wasn't aware that you hadn't played in so long - give you lots of credit for getting back to it, the good days will come again I know.

Fishnmusicn
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Yeah I have them all the time... the other day i was really in the wrong space to be playing, but i did, and i was absolutely rubbish. Made me question why ive spent almost £1000 getting back into the whole thing, and i was angry at myself, thinking id wasted my time and money.
Haha, change £1000 to $1200 and you have my story last Thursday :)

Thing is, sure, we all have bad days but it would be nice to have a way of minimising the "damage" when you're not quite there - to improve focus. It would be handy in other areas of life too. At present my best strategy on off days is "muddle through" :)
 

shrink

Senior Member
Yeah I have them all the time... the other day i was really in the wrong space to be playing, but i did, and i was absolutely rubbish. Made me question why ive spent almost £1000 getting back into the whole thing, and i was angry at myself, thinking id wasted my time and money.

But the next day, after a good nights sleep, all was well, much better day, and things push on forward. Its sometimes hard to concentrate on the now, rather than seeing how far you have to go, or where you want to be.
 

Skulmoski

Gold Member
Because we are human, each day we are a bit different; sometimes better, and sometimes not so good. Don't sweat it. Listen to some inspiring or your favorite music. Do something nice for yourself and someone else.

GJS
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Like Polly mentioned, if I'm having an "bad" day, I'll just try to simplify my playing. Skip the over the top killer licks and fills, and just keep it as simple and tasteful as possible and focus on laying down a groove that will put me "in the zone".

Also, if it's a rehearsal, call out a tune that you know you will nail every time. That can help settle you in. Sometimes even an impromptu jam can have the same effect.

And remember...(look below at my signature)
Yes, simplifying helps but if the zip isn't there then a simplified groove by a drummer who's feeling ungroovy just plods.

Al, I agree that mixing things up is good but I'm thinking more short term - when you're sitting behind the kit and the vibe isn't there.

Maybe Brundlefly's suggestion - the time-honoured approach of rock stars down the ages - is the only other way to go? :)
 

jjmason777

Senior Member
Does anyone have a trick for turning things around when the muse isn't with you?
Like Polly mentioned, if I'm having an "bad" day, I'll just try to simplify my playing. Skip the over the top killer licks and fills, and just keep it as simple and tasteful as possible and focus on laying down a groove that will put me "in the zone".

Also, if it's a rehearsal, call out a tune that you know you will nail every time. That can help settle you in. Sometimes even an impromptu jam can have the same effect.

And remember...(look below at my signature)
 

maddrummr

Platinum Member
Oh yes of course there are bad days. I had one this morning in jazz band. Couldn't play "In the Mood" for the life of me. It was just bad. But the good thing is, my director knows I'm a solid player, so he can usually brush off my blunders. Things like this come and go...
 

Concrete Pete

Senior Member
Hey Crew,

Wow, wow, wow!

I just looked at the calendar. It will be 6 years ago on the 24th that my house in Woodland Hills caught fire. (Hint- arson) I rolled the hell out of bed, crawled down the hallway, got outside and trained a garden hose on the fire, and the F.D. showed up and did their job.

Here's the "funny" part. I did a "walk through" with the arson investigator, and pointed to the smoke stains on the walls, starting about 3' up from the floor, saying I was "lucky" that I got out when I did, maybe escaping death by 2-3 minutes.

He corrected me. He said that at that time (2:15 AM) MOST people sit up gasping when they hear the smoke alarm, and that's it- LAST BREATH. He said that I must have been "lucky" that I rolled out of bed, crawled, and got outside. Why? He said I had about 20-30 SECONDS to get out without dying. The smoke stains weren't the killer- seems a superheated toxic (clear) cloud rests 12"-16" BELOW the smoke line!!!

Fast forward a bit, and I had to do all the work myself (NO INSURANCE) I had to work 2 construction jobs just to make ends meet, then worked 4-9 hours a day on my home AFTER work, and live in my motorhome for 27 days before I could re-occupy my home.
I never forgot the "20-30 seconds" thing, EVER.

I came to a conclusion that I live by since that day:
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "SHITTY" DAY--If you are ALIVE to have a "shitty day" that actually makes it a GREAT DAY!

So, have a great day!
C. P.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I can't tell you how many times I've sat down at the kit and been dissatisfied with my playing. I only know for sure that the good times must far outnumber them, or I might have quit long ago.

This is where you can do something different to spice things up and fall back in love with drumming. Take lessons. Get into a new genre of music. Buy something new to incorporate into your kit (or even just buy new heads). Go see some bands play live. Go join a drumming circle. Go backpacking for a week.

A lot of us start having bad days because something feels stale. So in my mind, the trick is to change it up!
 

Concrete Pete

Senior Member
Hey Jonn,

HECK YEAH-- we all have off days, and sometimes weeks, too. That covers EVERY aspect of life, not just drumming.

Just consider this- "Bad" days are actually really useful--they make us appreciate our "good" days, and make us strive to be better. Live by it, man.

Cheers,
C. P.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Last Thurs was the second time I've played on kit since Nov last year (health reasons) and I stunk.

The week before I could ride the wave of freshness and I've found that the second time I do something (not just drums) it's usually lame because the lack of practice is there but the freshness of the first time isn't. One thing I know is that if I try to replicate a previous good performance when I was in good form there is no way it will happen. Each performance, even when you are playing exactly the same notes, must be unique. I also find that I tend to play better on a Sat than a Thurs night after a day at work.

What I'd like to know is, when you're having an off day, how do you turn things around?

I remember the feeling last Thurs of trying to get settled on the instrument but I simply couldn't focus properly, no matter how I tried. Things would come together in spots but was generally sloppy. I tried to simplify to get things on track but then it sounded ponderous. The whole band played worse than they have for maybe six months. I'm not sure the others realised it but if I play badly the whole band makes blunders they would otherwise not do. They seem to need that solid, clear base from the kit to settle into their parts.

Does anyone have a trick for turning things around when the muse isn't with you?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I have bad days at work, I have bad days on the golf course, I have bad days in my marriage and I certainly have bad days on the drums. Fear not my friend....you are as human as the rest of us.
 

JPW

Silver Member
The more crative you are behind your drums the more the other stuff in your life affect your playing. You should play through the rollercoaster though, so that you CAN play when you aren't feeling 100% good. The alternative is that you only can play good when you are feeling well, it'll be the road to become a diva. I feel worse if I take a day off than what I would feel if I played through the bad day.
 
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