Playing for fun, what do you do?

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Most times I practice in my studio, I am working on technique, or subdividing, or learning to read, or working on my singles or doubles, or 4 way coordination. Every once in a while, I play for the sheer fun of playing. It's like I don't feel like "working" sometimes and just want to enjoy playing my drums.

So I do. My "fun" playtime involves playing whatever is in my head, with the goal of playing continuously, with good rhythm and meter, so I can get whats in my head out to my hands. Kind of like an hour drumsolo. I look on it as fleshing out my own personal vocabulary, whatever comes to me naturally. I try and play what's in my head, as I hear it in my head, with no "losses".

I rarely play to CD's anymore, sometimes I'll play to a click but mostly, I try and drum "au natural" in a stream of consciousness type way.

I'd like to hear your version of "fun" drumming, just for the sheer pleasure of it.
 

larryz

Platinum Member
Hey Larry. I love playing to music. I'm a 60s/70s music junkie so.... last night my first time playing to Elvis Costello "This Year's Model". The pace on that album is frantic. Love his drummer Pete ____ (Thomas?). Fun stuff.
 

Retrovertigo

Senior Member
it's been a while since i've been able to do that... maybe 2 1/2 years or so. man do i miss it. i would usually just sit down and start playing and it would slowly change over 15 or 20 minutes. if i played something unusual for me (which was often thankfully) i would stop and investigate and start purposefully working on it. once it was comfortable i would resume free playing. thats how most of my free time on the drums was spent. after HS i just didnt have the patience to practice from any of my books anymore. so it was a free jam almost always... and i loved it.
 

Talismanis

Senior Member
I'll stick on a CD I really like and just grooooove. I like a lot of jazz, funk kinda stuff. My current fixation is The Robert Glasper Experiment.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I rarely get time to do it these days uncle Lar......I'm either playing to pay the bills whether its live or in studio, playing on a pro bono gig, teaching, or in the lab working on something specific.....

but when I do get that lovely chance to enjoy some fun playing time....these days I have been using some really nice play alongs from the John Riley book "Beyond Bop Drumming"

lots of fun ....it really allows me to express myself and stretch out a little....feels really good

if I'm not doing that I'll do as you said....just sort of a long solo if you will....just expressing different ideas that come to my head

I love to start with the snares off using some mallets and just get a nice simple theme going.....then it just builds form there and before I know it 2 hours have gone by

great thread...you have inspired me to go do that right now
 

boltzmann's brain

Senior Member
i make a point of playing for fun once a week or so. i'll typically solo, and often times end up playing something different and uncomfortable, at which time it turns into practice. when i had more free time, i woodshedded hard, as there are SO many good books out there, i'd spend hours working on independence and the weak side in general. now i play too much, so my fun time is just hitting stuff, and letting ideas flow. sometimes to a metronome, sometimes abstract. not more than half an hour or so at a time, as i've still got physical and mental chops work to do.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It seems like I only do this a few times a year, play for fun. Usually I prefer to advance myself, rather than indulge. Still, work does creep in to my fun time. Like Boltzmann, I'll play from my head until I come to something that needs attention, stop and work it, and resume my fun time.

Anthony, yea, time does fly when you let it.
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
Playing for fun is what I try to do as much as possible. Since I started playing drums as a hobby and to have fun, I don't want to lose that. So almost every time I practice I give myself 30 minutes to an hour of actual practice and finish up with playing along to a few songs of my choosing.

About once a week the boyfriend will join me with his bass and we just put on an album or call out songs we want to try and play and see how we do. Sometimes it's great, sometimes not but it's always fun. :)

When it stops being fun, I will stop playing...
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
I do it almost everyday, but not for very long. I basically start each practice session with Tommy Igoes "great hands" thing (the Basic routine with a lot of my own additions). That takes about an hour, then I spend 10-15 min just playing whatever comes to mind (with the metronome)... Then I go back to work on whatever I'm working on (currently New Breed stuff).

I never play along to music anymore for some reason... I need to get back into that.

I also have a tendency to go off into free-play tangents when I'm working on the paradiddle part of my daily routine because I play them all over the kit (most other stuff is just on the snare).
 

SergiuM

Senior Member
I do what Mary said. I mostly do play for fun, that's why I play the drums. Ill always start by loosening up a bit and practicing some rudiments, but from there its either i play along to music or just free-style.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
With the luxury of not having to play for a living, although we do paying gigs, I always play for fun. I always have.

I could not imagine having to stick to a practice routine, too much like school, and I hated that. I play what I feel and when I come up with something I like I try to take it further and see how it turns out. If its good and usable I add it to my vocabulary.

I drum cos I love it and its fun, also I don't have the desire or the dedication to put in the hours on the practice pad that you need to be a session drummer.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I'd like to hear your version of "fun" drumming, just for the sheer pleasure of it.
"Fun" is one of the main reason why I play drums Larry, whatever I'm doing on the kit, working on my single stroke, doing coordination exercises, doing some feet technique, whatever... "fun" is there, this is what I love the most, playing drums, it never feels like work and never have, it is "fun" knowing that tomorrow you'll play that little better than today :)

But... I understand what you mean, my "fun" time is generally spent playing along my favorite songs (CD's), another fun thing to do is watching a vid on YT with an inspiring drummer and go straight away to the kit with that "spur of the moment" vibe, very often something's good come out of it though, and it can become another "work" to do on a already busy schedule for future practice sessions.

...drumming is fun :)
 

marko138

Silver Member
With a newborn baby I rarely have time to work on anything or play. I get to jam for about 10 minutes when I go home for lunch during the week. Usually I just play freestyle for that time. I rarely work on anything unless it's something I'm having trouble with for one of my band's songs.

Occasionally I will put a reggae station on Pandora and play along to songs I have never heard before.
 

dmacc

Platinum Member
"Fun" is one of the main reason why I play drums Larry, whatever I'm doing on the kit, working on my single stroke, doing coordination exercises, doing some feet technique, whatever... "fun" is there, this is what I love the most, playing drums, it never feels like work and never have, it is "fun" knowing that tomorrow you'll play that little better than today :)
This pretty much goes for me as well.

Most of the times I'm working through my routine of making progress through the books, which, always includes applying them to playing with a CD I have that has no drum track on it - just bass tracks and some basic chords at various tempos.

Though I occasionally do a creative brain dump where I sit down and play whatever comes out. Normally lasts for about 20 - 30 minutes then I'm done.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I usually warm up playing to something. Usually something from Weckl's Vol.2. play-a-long. Then I just continue playing finding stuff that's natural to me and keeping the stuff I like. Finding stuff I can comfortably relate to as my own style and be free in expressing it.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I'm one of those guys who has to "get it out of my system" before I can focus on something specific. I almost always start my drum sessions(after boring warm up stuff) with playing along to something, just grooving, or even "soloing" with lots of rolls and stuff. I have fun before I "work"... Even when I'm learning, I usually try to have fun, I tend not to harp on one thing for too long and if I'm not getting it, I come back to it another day and keep doing so till I'm comfortable with the technique or passage.
 

Wackamole

Member
Haha I thought that's what practice WAS ;) I love playing to CD's, I have a playlist of about 450 songs on my Ipod and I LOVE the feeling of pressing the skip button 'because I can't play that one yet' less and less. Because I'm spending idiotic amounts of time on my left foot I just solo over consistent eighth notes on it for ages. make sure everything's legit. Problem is my metronome lies to me. Tells me I get excited and speed up because of lack of control when I'm playing right on my limit. For shame, think of the children! Lies of the devil!

Anyways, what I really love is when I'm seriously seriously seriously on top of my game, have all my practice down, AND spare time (For most of you, 'spare time' can be found by purchasing a time machine and travelling back to at best your mid twenties, or in a dictionary entitled Life; words no longer relevant to you) ... and then I just work on the stuff that used to mesmerize me when I first started playing, crazy odd times inside odd times that I'm not sure I'll ever play let alone comprehend while playing, the type of stuff that gives you tunnel vision and when you look up you swear the hour hand just slipped half a day under the rug... I honestly can think of few better feelings then getting up off a kit having practiced for an age.

When I first started I'd work a full day, bike to church, be there by 5:30pm, play til 3 in the morning, bike home then wake up and repeat. I wish I still had that kind of a... retarded total disregard for the rest of life?
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
Problem is my metronome lies to me. Tells me I get excited and speed up because of lack of control when I'm playing right on my limit. For shame, think of the children! Lies of the devil!
Hah. I HATE lying metronomes. Mine can be the same way. My teacher often lies to me in this way. Bastard.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Playing for fun is what I try to do as much as possible. ... I don't want to lose that. ... When it stops being fun, I will stop playing...
"Fun" is one of the main reason why I play drums Larry, whatever I'm doing on the kit, working on my single stroke, doing coordination exercises, doing some feet technique, whatever... "fun" is there, this is what I love the most, playing drums, it never feels like work and never have, it is "fun" knowing that tomorrow you'll play that little better than today :)

But... I understand what you mean.
I understand what Larry means, too.

But like Mary and MAD, it's all about the fun. Playing in a band is often real work (chore) - thinking about and negotiating paths through new material, developing the road maps, being sensitive to others' visions, etc. As fulfilling as that process is, it's also a lot of work - if not the kind of work that makes for a cleaner, faster double stroke.

Also, like Marco, I have kids that makes a more deliberate practice regimen a pipe dream. Yeah, I could show up an hour or two before band practice ... wait, I already do that! That's *my* time. If I have an hour or two once a week to do whatever I want as if it were my last day on earth ... yeah, it's whatever I want and it will be (is) fun! Often that's just playing thru mp3s or flipping through radio stations looking for interesting grooves. Fortunately, I'm never content to just "play along" so I'm constantly pushing some envelope on some level (and usually overplaying in the process!), so that's where my improvements tend to come from.

Of course, my fundamentals could use a lot of work, but in the interest of keeping it fun for the limited time I have, I gotta keep the fun part as fun as possible.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Eons ago, when I played in bands, I don't remember ever just 'playing for fun'. It was always practice or gig time. It was fun at times - but a different kind of fun.

Now, I just play drums 'for fun'. Some 'free-form', some rudiment practice, and some trying to work out new grooves or patterns.

There's never any pressure to do something specific, at some specific time though.
 
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