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  #1  
Old 04-17-2013, 08:22 AM
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Default Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

I've been pretty happy recently with how things have been going, but the other day I sat down to practise and just felt ... paralysed. I couldn't play a thing, not even my favourite rudiments, and even my favourite songs made me feel "Ugh".

This happens to me from time to time and the best strategy I've found to date is to wait until it goes away, but it's a horrible time while it lasts, usually several days, and I'd much prefer to DO something to get rid of it, but most of the things I've tried (looking for new songs, watching online lessons, that sort of thing) make me feel equally "Ugh".

Does anybody else get like this? And how do you cure it?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:07 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

This happens to me all the time. And I've dealt with it by telling myself that its ok to take a break. Of course, when I was younger I was a stress case and worried that I always needed to be doing something on the drums to continue my progress, but as I got older, I found out that that kind of thinking just makes things worse.

Not everyone can be (or should be) like Vinnie Colaiuta. I hear the man always has sticks with him so he can practice all the time. Once I realized little tidbits like this, I became much happier and satisfied with my own drumming. And an ironic thing, I found myself practicing all the time just for the sake of drumming. So maybe you should just lighten up on yourself a bit and if you need a break, take the break. Make it something you do when you love doing it - if there's any question at all, then don't do it. Forcing yourself into it will just make everything worse.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

You must love practicing for the sake of practicing. Having goals is important, but if you obsess on constantly getting better, you will stress yourself out when you need to be away from the kit. To me, "maintenance practice" is just as enjoyable as practicing to move forward. Taking a break every now and then is healthy and helps put things in a new perspective.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

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Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
You must love practicing for the sake of practicing.
I do; that's why I find it so frustrating when I get stuck for no apparent reason!

I'm away from home at the moment, so I'm having to take a break. I suppose it's just as well that the "stuckness" has coincided with being away.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

Relax. Lighten up. Have fun. Depressure-ize. Don't criticize yourself. You feel stuck. Why, is there some place you have to be right now? It is what it is. You are at the level you are at. Be proud of where you are, don't down yourself. Humans operate in cycles, up, mid, down, mid, up, mid, down etc. So you are not going to kill it all the time, so what? Try to identify what you like about drumming and emphasize that. Face it the only way to get good is time spent, and a good work ethic, with proper direction. So why not enjoy your time behind the kit? It's not homework. It's you time.

I can imagine Magenta saying to herself...OK dammit, I'm gonna relax...I'm gonna relax...lol.

Remember, practice is supposed to be a challenge. Not to be confused with frustration. You need to somehow stop that emotion altogether and just get rid of it. Substitute it with patience. Patience is what you really need. Frustration is your enemy. When you feel it creep in, recognize it and get serene. NOW DAMMIT! Lol.

Bo shared some roll exercises the other day and I had a big problem with one of them. I never got it that day, for some reason, it just wasn't clicking. But guess what? The next day, I did them beautifully right from the start, automatically. I got them now. Your brain continues to work on a problem long after you thought you stopped thinking about it. So a practice where you come away feeling like...I played like snot today...Guess what? You are doing it right and you have a good work ethic because you pushed yourself.

The key is in the mental attitude. Instead of thinking, "I suck" (never ever think that) instead, think, tough climb. It's a tough climb and I'm sore. Good for me for trying so hard. I'm a hard worker.

Drumming is supposed to be hard, that's what makes it great. Accept that and just get on with it, pleasantly. Be nice to yourself. It's a Grade A challenge.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I can imagine Magenta saying to herself...OK dammit, I'm gonna relax...I'm gonna relax...lol.
You're not far wrong - only it's more like "BLOODY RELAX, WILL YOU, WOMAN??"

You know what, Uncle Larry, you've reminded me of a couple of things that I had forgotten to remember, and funnily enough, Serene is one of my avowed aspirations. Maybe I should change my name, so I don't forget in future ... although Magenta is appropriate to the colour of my face when Serene is lacking!
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

Did you forget to remember or remember to forget?

That wasn't a serious question.

Try meditating while playing something really easy to a click. Meditation creates serenity. The click helps get you there. It almost hypnotizes you if you can let go.
Plus you are working on your meter. I love doing that.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

That sounds like a lovely idea. How do you meditate?
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

The only place I actually did it was in my home studio behind the drums playing 40 BPM alternating strokes, hands only, trying to bury the click. I don't know if that counts as real meditation, but I was in a different state for sure after about a half hour. Completely relaxed with a serene mind.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

I can see how that might work, no matter how stuck I am. Thanks :)
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  #11  
Old 04-17-2013, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

Well I don't know if it will "unstick" you but it will help with serenity. It did even my meter out and made me more relaxed with musical time.

I get the impression there's all this chatter in your head when you are playing from how you describe things. Correct me if I'm off. The more silent your mind can be, the better you can hear things, not just physically, but mentally.
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2013, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I get the impression there's all this chatter in your head when you are playing from how you describe things. Correct me if I'm off. The more silent your mind can be, the better you can hear things, not just physically, but mentally.
The voices in my head!

I don't know that I'd call it chatter, as such, but there's certainly constant analysis going on.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

You should read -- and take heed of -- The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey and/or The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green. Two other great books worth checking out are Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner and Mastery by George Leonard.
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  #14  
Old 04-18-2013, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

Just downloaded Effortless Mastery.
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  #15  
Old 04-18-2013, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

Effortless Mastery, love the book. I didn't get it on the first read. Took me about 3 times for it to sink in. There's pearls of wisdom scattered throughout the book, but it didn't really get good for me until the last 1/3 of the book. There's a lot of buildup and some new age thinking in there that puts some off. Just stick with it, the end part is where the good stuff is IMO.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

I'm halfway through and it's made me laugh quite a lot - for all the right reasons, some of it is really quite funny, and it's far more readable than I'd expected.

It's also good to know that I'm not quite as freakish as I thought I was.

Looking forward to the last bit now. If there's a golden aura over Sweden, that'll be me.
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  #17  
Old 04-18-2013, 09:21 PM
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CreeplyTuna CreeplyTuna is offline
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

I get like this all the time. Like everyone said, sometimes a break can really help, be it a few hours or a days. It's not just you Magenta.
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  #18  
Old 04-23-2013, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: Stuck - can't seem to unstick myself

It's like writers block! Just go and do st. else and come back to the kit 10 mins later.
Should solve it!
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