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  #1  
Old 01-08-2019, 10:18 PM
Lounge Lizard Lounge Lizard is offline
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Default Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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

He said something quite profound. Heís 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 donít 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 Iíd 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.

Iím not suggesting hanging up my sticks but would it be wrong to just play at home for myself?
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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Originally Posted by Lounge Lizard View Post
I got chatting to a work colleague whom I just discovered plays Guitar.

He said something quite profound. Heís 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 donít 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 Iíd 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.

Iím 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.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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. :)
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2019, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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..
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2019, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

The only "less" I am is less money in the bank.
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2019, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lounge Lizard View Post
.....
Iím not suggesting hanging up my sticks but would it be wrong to just play at home for myself?

Yes, it would be wrong.

Almost like a sin, and you'll probably go to hell if you do it.





LOL
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2019, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2019, 04:17 AM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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.
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2019, 08:24 AM
Lounge Lizard Lounge Lizard is offline
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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Originally Posted by cutaway79 View Post
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
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  #16  
Old 01-09-2019, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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.
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  #17  
Old 01-09-2019, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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!
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

If there are guys you click with who enjoy creativity and growth, nothing is more fun...even if youíre playing cover songs. A few guys and gals Iíve 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 canít play and just want to get by can make carrying gear around 10x more painful than it is. Thereís growth in those times too. It teaches patience and kindness and acceptance and...who am I kidding? Itís about all I can do to not put a gun to my head! To me, itís way, way better staying home and working on stuff by yourself in this scenario.

I guess it all depends...
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  #19  
Old 01-09-2019, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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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Old 01-09-2019, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

I think when the time comes that I can only "Drum for myself" then it will be time to give up. I can't think of anything more boring TBH.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

After my stint in a jazz band, I did exactly this for 10 years. Loved every minute of it and I developed a lot of good skills during that time.

I too got fed up with the hassles of people and the drama that can (and usually does) ensue.

I'm sure I'll be back in this situation again in short order as I've been with my current lineup for about 3 years now. I'll still "Gun for hire" for bands, but mostly enjoy MY time.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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Originally Posted by GruntersDad View Post
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.
Beautifully put, I'm the same with the gym, a lot of the time people don't get it.

I look at both as a learning curve and a journey which is more rewarding/frustrating than any audience. Teaches you to be humble as well. It should never be a competition, save that for sport.

If you're fortunate enough to be paid for your hobby/passion fair play, if you don't feel obliged to inflict your playing on the world you have more will power and self control than me and you're an officer and a gentleman :)
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

LL, i play 2-4 hours every night, saturdays upto 6 hours... In my basement.. no one will ever see or hear me play, but i love it.. it's like meditation and makes the real world just go away. :)
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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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.
It's definitely therapeutic. I was never really, in a band. I sat in for guys when their drummer would crap out, or had a different engagement. But mostly, in my youth, I sat in the basement and played for hours and hours. I was in jr. high and high school jazz bands, pep bands, etc.

I'm just getting back into playing now. I would love to end up in a band by year's end. But honestly, it's not that important. I would like to at least get together with some peeps and jam.

My buddy asks me the same type of thing about golf. "How do you play by yourself? Don't you get bored? ----Are you kidding??? It's quiet, sunny, I'm out getting fresh air and chasing that stupid ball around. Not bored!
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

I can't remember the last time I regularly drummed for/by myself; living in NYC, doing so requires either having your own house or access to a lockout. So the only time I drum is in practice or at gigs. I'd be a much better drummer if I had the option, to be honest.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

I'm one of those guys who used to play with a few different "bands" (used loosely), stopped playing for many years, and picked it back up recently. So far I've been playing by and for myself, just having fun and trying to get some chops back.



Playing solo is very different from playing with other people. There are pros and cons to both and it really depends on your goals. If you expect to make a living doing it then you most likely need to play with other people and deal with the related hassles. But really there are no rules. If it's just a hobby that you do for fun, have at it.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

I admire those who can sit and play at home for hours. I have friends who post videos of them doing their thing at home. I just cannot get into it that much...I love to play, but if I'm not interacting with others to make the music, its not as much fun. For me.

Again, this is in no way a knock on those who do. I truly admire it, I think its cool. I just get myself to that point. Character flaw on my part, surely...
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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I admire those who can sit and play at home for hours. I have friends who post videos of them doing their thing at home. I just cannot get into it that much...I love to play, but if I'm not interacting with others to make the music, its not as much fun. For me.

Again, this is in no way a knock on those who do. I truly admire it, I think its cool. I just get myself to that point. Character flaw on my part, surely...
I have to touch on this subject a bit, and don't want to hijack this thread but your comment made me think about it. We kind of live in this YouTube world, even with drummers. A lot of people try to mimic what these, for lack of a better term "Drum Off" type thing people are doing. This goes for guitar players and bassists and whatever too.

A lot of people spend so much time playing in their room or basement or whatever by themselves and just build chops. However, a lot of times they aren't building any musicality or groove or how to play with and off of others.

I remember one time auditioning this guy who could play like every Van Halen solo or other shread guitar solo in existence. Too bad we were an originals band, because they guy didn't know how to actually fit any of what he did to a band.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

Last night at my open mic jam I watched six drummers play with other musicians. Four of them played for themselves only.
The other two paid attention to the song and the other musicians who were playing along with them. Just sayin'.



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Old 01-09-2019, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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We kind of live in this YouTube world, even with drummers
No kidding. I felt REALLY old when I opened up a Guitar Center catalog recently and saw a listing for a Youtube drummer's signature snare.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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..We kind of live in this YouTube world, even with drummers. A lot of people try to mimic what these, for lack of a better term "Drum Off" type thing people are doing. This goes for guitar players and bassists and whatever too.

A lot of people spend so much time playing in their room or basement or whatever by themselves and just build chops..

I have no idea why drummers or other musicians on YT are treated here a lot of times as if they have some sort of disease..

Like, 30 years ago everyone was buying DCI videos to spend hours and hours in their basement trying to copy Dave Weckl..

Was that any better than just clicking a YT-video, only because Weckl was on a VHS tape..?

Was Weckl any better or more credible than, for example, Anika Nilles only because he released DCI VHS videos instead of YT-videos..?

Things just got a little more easy for musicians to express themselves, nothing more, nothing less..
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

Music is like sex. Sure, you can do it on your own, and if it feels good then it is good. But it's way more fun if other people are involved. Also, subject to local laws, nobody else's opinion of what works for you matters.

The analogy breaks down when we get to the audience bit.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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Originally Posted by Frosticles View Post
I think when the time comes that I can only "Drum for myself" then it will be time to give up. I can't think of anything more boring TBH.
Playing in a band got to be boring to me.
Not boring exactly, but like mikyok says, you go on autopilot and just sort of zone out.
Not at first, but after playing the same sets so many times with little variation, it happens.

Now I just work on whatever I want, whenever I want, and am always more 'present', even when I get in the zone.

There's no substitute for playing with others, but sometimes there's a lot of baggage that comes along with doing that.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

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Originally Posted by oldskoolsoul View Post
I have no idea why drummers or other musicians on YT are treated here a lot of times as if they have some sort of disease..

Like, 30 years ago everyone was buying DCI videos to spend hours and hours in their basement trying to copy Dave Weckl..

Was that any better than just clicking a YT-video, only because Weckl was on a VHS tape..?

Was Weckl any better or more credible than, for example, Anika Nilles only because he released DCI VHS videos instead of YT-videos..?

Things just got a little more easy for musicians to express themselves, nothing more, nothing less..
I don't mind the you tube drummers. However, I think you have to treat it like a clinic not as what you do all the time, unless that is all you are doing. The question when you get in to a band situation is how does that translate to playing with other people and a band.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

I did the band thing years and year ago. Got tired of the drama involved. Quit playing for like a year or so (kept my kit and everything it was just packed away) Started attending church again in 2002 and played there 40+ weeks for 16 years. I stopped playing there in April 2018 for many reasons. I had the opportunity to join a band in September, filled in for a gig doing classic and southern rock. Job was mine if I wanted it. I realized I don't like getting home at 3 a.m. or later anymore. If I could have gigs that ended at midnight I'd probably do it but let's face it those don't really exist. So I play for myself now, bought some recording and video gear to start working on making some videos. I don't have any delusional ideas that I'll become a youtube star, I'm just doing it for me and to share with friends on FB and here, for the love of playing is pretty much why. Will I gig out again, highly doubtful unless it's the perfect circumstance that fits my needs and life now. Nothing wrong playing in a basement or a room by yourself, as I saw someone say earlier it's therapeutic and it's true. For me that's where I go to forget about EVERYTHING and get lost in the music and playing. The world sort of stops for me, all the stress, frustrations, worries, concerns, aggravations don't exist the minute I sit down and pick up my sticks. It's me the music and my creativity.
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  #37  
Old 01-10-2019, 08:49 AM
Ajthundersticks Ajthundersticks is offline
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

Been playing for around 14 years and have never been in a serious band.
Jammed with friends on occasions and done a few recordings but nothing serious ever.
I don't feel obligated to play my drums all the time, I just enjoy them when I do.
Trying to organise other musicians is a very difficult thing and hauling kit around is annoying as hell (no other musicians seem to realise this either???).
Sure I will play some music if somebody asks me to jam or whatever, but I am not actively seeking it and I doubt I ever will.

Just me, my kits and my Spotify. That is good enough for me.
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  #38  
Old 01-10-2019, 11:09 AM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BertTheDrummer View Post
I don't mind the you tube drummers. However, I think you have to treat it like a clinic not as what you do all the time, unless that is all you are doing. The question when you get in to a band situation is how does that translate to playing with other people and a band.
Totally agree! There's some cool stuff on youtube that would have cost a fortune to acquire 15 years ago.

If you're earning a living from drumming and do some vids on the side, that's cool. Drumeo has some cool clinics by folk who are at the top of the game. If you've never left your bedroom and start preaching to the world about drumming trying to get rich off likes that's a different story.

I can't watch are the bedroom players who couldn't play with a band who film themselves playing doing the whole look how fast (and sloppy) I can play thing which comes across as really anti-social, playing for yourself isn't sharing it with the world or editing all the mistakes out, it's letting loose in your own world.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:41 AM
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No Way Jose No Way Jose is offline
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

I like playing at home, and I like playing gigs. They are different things, but they are both fun. I like meeting people.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:25 AM
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Stroker Stroker is offline
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Default Re: Anyone just play drums for themselves only?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
nobody else's opinion of what works for you matters.
Marvellously articulated. ��
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