I lost my motivation

tom2zip

Junior Member
I don't have that spark anymore. I feel like I'm playing the same thing again and again, and I don't know what do to about it. Listening to music calms me more than when I play drums now, does this mean something?? Overall, I need help on getting my motivation back and get back into the action. Any suggestions?
 

maddrummr

Platinum Member
Stop playing for two weeks. And jump back on the kit. It helps me if I hit a down spell in my playing. You could also try learning a new beat. Or change something. Try traditional grip. Subdivide out loud. Try playing open handed.
 

Clayton_C

Senior Member
In response to the last post, I don't know... I think that choosing to not practice will, rather than "restore your spark," just de-evolve your musical ability. Yeah, sometimes you can get burnt out on drums, but you don't fix that by stopping completely. You just change your approach. Try picking up a snare drum method book, or watch a video and transcribe it, and as the other fellas have said, join a band or a local jam session. Don't stop playing!
More often than not, you are reaching a "plateau" in your drumming. I think of it as a wall. Sometimes you can practice your ass off and then, for no apparent reason, you feel as if you aren't getting anywhere, are repeating yourself, lack creativity, etc. Just keep knocking at the door. Keep playing through it, and eventually it opens and you find yourself on a new level of music. Pushing through these dry spells is exactly the hard work that pays off and gives you "head room" as a gigging drummer.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Gee, we've had a few people expressing these feelings of late.

Tom, a few questions:

If drumming isn't motivating you at the moment, what IS motivating you?

Do you have a goal as to where you want to go with drumming?

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions but it may help clarify to yourself where you're at.
 
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Big_Philly

Guest
Don't worry about it. I feel that way every now and then. Just leave your kit for what it is and only start playing when you feel like it. That moment will come soon enough.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
I almost reached that point on bass having played for 30 years, so I started playing drums instead. Brilliant.

Davo
 

JT1

Silver Member
I don't have that spark anymore. I feel like I'm playing the same thing again and again, and I don't know what do to about it. Listening to music calms me more than when I play drums now, does this mean something?? Overall, I need help on getting my motivation back and get back into the action. Any suggestions?
There is nothing more un-motivational than practicing rudiments and reading books even though they are essential for development for most people. My advice, watch some videos and gigs. Start with your favourite bands and then go to drummers who you admire. If that doesn't rekindle your interest then nothing will. I went through a spell like this once and i watched Bernard Perdie's videos on here, needless to say i almost died with the anticipation of getting on my set, i also developed my 16th notes with one hand really well after watching that!
 

Skulmoski

Gold Member
I like what others have suggested:
  • Take a short break
  • Play with other musicians
  • Practice to other music
Consider also:
  • Take some drum lessons (e.g. cuban/afro, odd time signatures, etc.)
  • Buy some new drum instruction books
  • Read Mickey Hart's Planet Drum
  • Join a drum circle
  • And, what all the product companies would want you to do: upgrade your drums, cymbals, etc. to pro quality!!!
Best of luck

GJS
 

Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
That happened to me and ended up selling my drums for peanuts; I stopped playing for 3 months. One day I woke up and said to myself, self, what the hell are you doing. Bought new drums the next day and started answering adds in Craigs list and Kiijjii as well as jamming with some old friends. Absence can make the heart fonder. Just saying, maybe take a break and re-assess.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
It happens. I'm going through a dry spell myself. Practice is down to 1-1.5 hrs. at night and it seems like there's no point. For me, it stems from dissatisfaction w/ the band I've been playing with. I've got some new folks lined up and might have something more exciting to work on, which will definitely inspire me again.

Just remember you're supposed to have fun. If it's not fun, you're not doing yourself any good or making any real progress (worth having). So, take a break or find something new to inspire....be it a new band, a new genre of music you're unfamiliar with, etc.

Good luck, hope it works out for ya!
 

jon e rotten

Senior Member
Go see some live music. I was the same way just a few weeks ago. My wife and i took
a trip to New York and in 3 days I got totally re-energized. One night we went to a small jazz club called 'Cleopatra's Needle' and saw some great young musicians just tearing it up. The next night it was U2 and the Muse at Giant Stadium and the next night it was the Birdland Big Band with Tommy Igoe. Saw some great music and made me remember why I took up music in the first place. There is nothing better (IMO) than great live music.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
+1 for Skulmoski's ideas. Here's some more ideas that I have tried:

- focus on a neglected or forgotten part of your drumming, maybe songs or patterns you haven't played in years
- look up an old friend you used to jam with and get together
- rearrange your drumset radically, or even reverse it (left-handed setup)
- get a tiny kid's drumset and try to translate parts to it (this is FUN)
- go see a genre of music live that you don't usually see
- take lessons for a genre of music you've never played before
- if you play acoustics, experiment with electronics
- remix some of your old drum recordings (try filtering them with different effects, add instrumentation, etc)
- learn another instrument

I think this is something that most drummers who have stuck with the instrument for more than, say, a year have experienced at one point or another. But stick with it! The drums are the most exciting instrument I am aware of (unless there's an instrument that involves mixed martial arts or something), and it simply CAN'T stay boring for long.
 

Rene Dominguez

Junior Member
I don't have that spark anymore. I feel like I'm playing the same thing again and again, and I don't know what do to about it. Listening to music calms me more than when I play drums now, does this mean something?? Overall, I need help on getting my motivation back and get back into the action. Any suggestions?
You know, I have been dealing with the exact same thing as of late.

jjmason777 said:
Start playing with other musicians. Join or start a band.
You are absolutely right. The thing with me is I have no understanding of time. I'll be honest, even though I've been playing my kit for quite some time, I've never actually pursued how to keep a rhythm. Sounds crazy, I know...all I've been doing the while is playing to CD's Anyways what I wanted to ask was, should I first learn how to keep time and get good at that by myself before I play with other musicians? Or can I do both at the the same time? My worries come in the form of not being able to find anyone that would want to practice with me because I lack knowledge of dynamic beat placement. In your experience are there people out in the world who wouldn't mind practicing along side me, even if all I want to do is just practice (So as to say in the future I might want to look for a better guitarist to be in my band)?
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I like what others have suggested:
  • Take a short break
  • Play with other musicians
  • Practice to other music
Consider also:
  • Take some drum lessons (e.g. cuban/afro, odd time signatures, etc.)
  • Buy some new drum instruction books
  • Read Mickey Hart's Planet Drum
  • Join a drum circle
  • And, what all the product companies would want you to do: upgrade your drums, cymbals, etc. to pro quality!!!
Best of luck

GJS
Great post overall, including Mickey Hart's book. I haven't read that in years, maybe it's time to put it back in the books-around-the-house rotation.

Here is my favorite:
Take some drum lessons
 

mrmike

Silver Member
My suggestion is kind of expensive but so far has rekindled my interest for the last year. Maybe it's time for some new equipment. I bought a used DW Collectors series kit that just plain makes me sound better. I would at the very least make sure that I have a snare sound that I really love.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
In your experience are there people out in the world who wouldn't mind practicing along side me, even if all I want to do is just practice (So as to say in the future I might want to look for a better guitarist to be in my band)?
probably. you don't have to tell them you're just practicing. tell them you want to jam for fun. that makes it sounds less like you're just using them as some kind of human metronome. besides, there are so many benefits to playing with other people it'd be worth it no matter what your motivation is. it'll probably resume that old spark too, especially if you hook up with someone who's better than you.

as far as improving your timing goes, i heard some good advice at an drum clinic by akiro jimbo. he said always be thinking of a quarter note pulse in your head as you play. i've heard other good drummers say that too. you don't have to actually count in your head but just be thinking of a pulse while you play and that'll help.
 
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