Am I drumming for the wrong reasons?

Dizeee

Senior Member
I am around 4 months back into playing now, and have slowed down a bit and focussed on some stuff.

I had a lesson, which was weird, as I didn't feel like I gelled with the teacher. He seemed surprised to have a 35 year old in his studio and to be honest he never really heard me play or asked me to play, we did a lot of talking and what we did play was very basic and a discussion on bass drum foot technique whish is what I asked to learn about to be fair.

Anyway, something has come to light over the last few months. It probably goes against the grain with most drummers and it is around my reasons for playing. Why do I play and what do I enjoy? I love learning new complicated exercises or sequences for the challenge of being able to do them, improving and perfecting them. I am currently loving the rudiments and metronome playing for the exact same reasons. I look at the instrument as a whole in awe of it and want to learn how to better be a part of it and work with it to bring pleasure to all. I am a perfectionist so a great deal of my enjoyment comes from silly things like changing my skins so they all match and are decent, with logos facing the right way, or having a few decent cymbals to choose from over and above your 3 cymbal basic setup. I do like playing to music but for some reason seem to do not a lot of this - despite the fact this is what I used to do when I was younger. Maybe I feel it is just wasted time bashing a long to the radio? Don't know.

However, and this came up in my lesson:

Who is my favorite drummer? Ermmmm - well, not sure, I don't know of many and in fact until I started watching Drumeo I knew of none. I like Benny Greb, Thomas Pridgeon and Anika Milles - but i would hardly say I "follow" them. What music styles do I like and play? Well, actually, EDM is my passion and I don't wish to play along to it on my acoustic kit. I seperate the two entirely. In terms of music I like 80's and 90's Rock but that's probably about it and I don' listen to it much either. Never listen to Jazz, Country, Salsa, Latin etc etc etc. So actually I am not very ambitious in this respect.

I keep being asked will I play or do I want to play in a band e.t.c. Well, to be honest, I am not fussed. Maybe this comes from the fact I KNOW that I don't have the time to play in a band as I work full time and have two young kids. But I can't say I am overly excited about the prospect either, if I was I would have made big efforts to make that a reality. Maybe part of the reason is I feel I am not good enough, but, the passion to do this just isn't there.

So why am I bothering then - am I sounding like I am a weirdo and possibly taking up playing again is not suitable for me?
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Enjoyment is enjoyment.

Playing with bands is one thing and each style will require something different.

There are many other avenues for musical drumming, though. Various types of drums corps.

Plenty of pure clinicians today. Not my cup of tea, but it's definetly there.

If you like rudimental playing, I highkly recommend getting into some real etudes like Wilcoxon or pieces from N.A.R.D or the Pratt books. Putting things together that way is a whole different ballgame.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I keep being asked will I play or do I want to play in a band e.t.c. Well, to be honest, I am not fussed. Maybe this comes from the fact I KNOW that I don't have the time to play in a band as I work full time and have two young kids. But I can't say I am overly excited about the prospect either, if I was I would have made big efforts to make that a reality. Maybe part of the reason is I feel I am not good enough, but, the passion to do this just isn't there.

So why am I bothering then - am I sounding like I am a weirdo and possibly taking up playing again is not suitable for me?
The reason that you are driven to play is arbitrary. The fact is that you're driven to play, and the easiest way to reconcile the desire is to actually play.

If you absolutely do not want to play in a band, but still want to play with others from time to time, I would recommend finding a few other sympathetic individuals and putting a "not a band" together.
 
F

funkutron

Guest
I am around 4 months back into playing now, and have slowed down a bit and focussed on some stuff.

I had a lesson, which was weird, as I didn't feel like I gelled with the teacher. He seemed surprised to have a 35 year old in his studio and to be honest he never really heard me play or asked me to play, we did a lot of talking and what we did play was very basic and a discussion on bass drum foot technique whish is what I asked to learn about to be fair.

Anyway, something has come to light over the last few months. It probably goes against the grain with most drummers and it is around my reasons for playing. Why do I play and what do I enjoy? I love learning new complicated exercises or sequences for the challenge of being able to do them, improving and perfecting them. I am currently loving the rudiments and metronome playing for the exact same reasons. I look at the instrument as a whole in awe of it and want to learn how to better be a part of it and work with it to bring pleasure to all. I am a perfectionist so a great deal of my enjoyment comes from silly things like changing my skins so they all match and are decent, with logos facing the right way, or having a few decent cymbals to choose from over and above your 3 cymbal basic setup. I do like playing to music but for some reason seem to do not a lot of this - despite the fact this is what I used to do when I was younger. Maybe I feel it is just wasted time bashing a long to the radio? Don't know.

However, and this came up in my lesson:

Who is my favorite drummer? Ermmmm - well, not sure, I don't know of many and in fact until I started watching Drumeo I knew of none. I like Benny Greb, Thomas Pridgeon and Anika Milles - but i would hardly say I "follow" them. What music styles do I like and play? Well, actually, EDM is my passion and I don't wish to play along to it on my acoustic kit. I seperate the two entirely. In terms of music I like 80's and 90's Rock but that's probably about it and I don' listen to it much either. Never listen to Jazz, Country, Salsa, Latin etc etc etc. So actually I am not very ambitious in this respect.

I keep being asked will I play or do I want to play in a band e.t.c. Well, to be honest, I am not fussed. Maybe this comes from the fact I KNOW that I don't have the time to play in a band as I work full time and have two young kids. But I can't say I am overly excited about the prospect either, if I was I would have made big efforts to make that a reality. Maybe part of the reason is I feel I am not good enough, but, the passion to do this just isn't there.

So why am I bothering then - am I sounding like I am a weirdo and possibly taking up playing again is not suitable for me?
I drum because I am a total Hedonist. I sincerely believe that the "spirit" became the flesh to ENJOY the pleasures that the flesh alone holds, and that music, rhythm, the physical aspect of drumming, the MENTAL aspect of drumming is a good way to justify our sentience, better than anything else, in my humble opinion... But I have a lot of RAGE to use up on the drums, and that, and the sexual aspect of making women shake their naughty bits, is my best therapy besides the FLESHY kind... But also because I don't and can no longer work for "The Man" (whoever that is!) because I'm old, and ain't fast on the draw, and it always becomes an issue! ("IT TOOK YOU THAT LONG TO DO THAT????!!!!) But when I was young, of course, I did it for the love of music and the enlightened "hippie" vibe back then, and OF COURSE, to get girls to "like" me! LOL!
 

double_G

Silver Member
this kinda falls into "bench racing" category of what-ifs...but i think Odd-Arne nailed it "Enjoyment is enjoyment.". and lets not forget that its none of my damned business whether you have real motivation or fake motivation on the drums. you dig it, that's enough. no one cares beyond that.

you want REAL motivation ? ANY artistic / sports pursuit that that gets you into a flow state is valid / good. that skill you can use the rest of your life as a brain focus exercise. also goes for surfing, art, writing or fighting a cougar off on a moments notice (ahem).

the other thing is that EDM "live" drumming is a new medium. you could be breaking new ground every day & selling it to video games that are currently exploding w/ EDM style themes.

Vinnie's quote on flow states: "...it's called flow. Our ability to control things and analyze things is in direct opposition to a mantra that I have: Thought is the enemy of flow. People ask me, “What do you think about when you’re playing?” The answer is basically nothing. Thought happens in a completely different way out of flow. It’s contemplative and analytical and problem solving. In flow, it’s completely different. It’s like a real-time program running in the background that doesn't interfere with what’s going on. The ability to adapt in a given moment is beyond the scope of another type of focused thought process.(from Modern Drummer, Jan 2012)"
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
What music styles do I like and play? Well, actually, EDM is my passion and I don't wish to play along to it on my acoustic kit. I seperate the two entirely. In terms of music I like 80's and 90's Rock but that's probably about it and I don' listen to it much either. Never listen to Jazz, Country, Salsa, Latin etc etc etc. So actually I am not very ambitious in this respect.
That's normal. I switched from guitar to drums a few years ago. I was into Extreme Metal and thrash. Now I'm into Jazz and Roots Music. The tail wagged the dog into that one, happened so gradually I barely noticed.

Keep at it, the performance and camaraderie was always more fun for me than the actual drumming until I started getting better and found my own voice on the kit.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Dude, wherever the flow takes you, go with it. Go with the flow. There is no why. It's just because. There is no wrong, when it feels so right, tight and outta sight! Over-analyzing and compartmentalizing disrupts the primal urge that drove you to that place to begin with. So maybe you are drumming right now for the right reasons instead. Make that your reality and then reanalyze.
 

PlayTheSong

Senior Member
Doesn't sound weird to me.

1) Many, many, many drummers are kinda OCD about their kits and having everything just right. I've even chatted with people who spend so much time perfecting and restoring their kits that they never play them.

2) In terms of joining a band, with young kids it's really not an option for most dads, you're just scaling down your hobby to match the demands of this stage of your life.

3) There's a ton of us on here who returned to active drumming once our kids grew up. You may plunge into the band scene later, when you have time for such frivolous frittering of time.

So, enjoy what you enjoy and don't feel pressured to be someone else. More power to you.
 
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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
We all drum for different reasons. Unless you are doing it to irritate someone else, I don't know any wrong reasons. There was a thread at one time where someone questioned having/playing drums in the house and never wanting to gig. My answer was , how many people have pianos in their homes and don't ever play out. I realize not many people play drums and sing along to entertain, but still play because they just like to, or are like me and just like the sound of drums. I love playing along to music and probably spend 95% of my drum time doing just that. I wouldn't spend a lot of time dwelling on it. Please yourself and drum.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Gotta admit I don't really understand wanting to learn a musical instrument while being largely unmoved (or at least unmotivated) by music itself. There's a ton of other things you can do to improve technical facility and precision if music isn't a calling.

But at the end of the day, I don't have to understand it either.

Ultimately, doing something purely because you enjoy doing it, is more than enough reason for anyone.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
So why am I bothering then - am I sounding like I am a weirdo and possibly taking up playing again is not suitable for me?
You want to get better at the instrument, which is fine, and are interested in the mechanics of it. Cool, that's enough. But don't box yourself in. Permit yourself to one day change your mind, or to grow into a new phase.

Maybe you didn't relate well to the teacher because you're not excited about playing with other musicians. It's a rare (but not wrong) thing to choose an instrument that was designed with rhythmic accompaniment in mind, solely for its technical and solo-istic aspects. Can you imagine what it sounds like to a drum teacher when you go into a lesson and say (basically) "I'm not really into music with drums, but I want to learn to play them anyway"?

So you don't have time for a band, that's fine. But to not seek out and listen to music with drums that you enjoy seems odd. Maybe you haven't looked hard enough? There's an awful lot of music out there, for free, even.

You're passionate about EDM, which is fine. What sort of music training other than drums do you have under your belt? It's possible that you've just outgrown pop music, but also never learned the language of more sophisticated stuff.
 

Dizeee

Senior Member
Thanks all I feel better already.

I do enjoy music with drums and I regularly listen to rock pop and other what I describe as general music. However my main listening passion is EDM... house... 90s drum and bass on occasion to reminisce.

My basic story is between ages 9 and 14 my whole world was drumming. At 14 I found jungle music alcohol and rebelled which meant I ended up giving up drums. At 34 with a family and a stable life I decided to get back into it. This has followed years of the calling... the daydreaming about playing and tapping rhythms out in the canteen queue at work.

So I have two different musical sides... the drums and acoustic rhythm and all that comes with it and the EDM, the decks the mixers and all that goes with that.

I would happily play with others and take part in a band... but I'm more interested in the solo side of performance... playing for say 10 minutes and moving the audience through a sequence of varying patterns and techniques whilst maintaining their interest and balancing the discipline of musicianship over showmanship. This must be a drummer thing as when I have shown friends good drum solos on YouTube thy don't seem very interested.

The one constant through all if it though is I am fundamentally excited by the instrument. I find myself gawping at my kit regularly and I feel I owe it to the kit to play it very well. I have extremely high standards and am my own worst critic.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
It sounds like you are more interested in the mechanics of drumming than the musicality and feel. Nothing wrong with that, If it gives you enjoyment go for it.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Fully getting it right with teacher on the first lesson doesn't really happen unless it's a young kid who also knows what they're going to.

With grown ups it takes a while longer to feel eachother out. He/she might not even be used to teachng adults.

It really depends on where one is at.

When I work in a school and try to also work with everyone as a group I work quite differently than with a grown up who just wants to take a few lessons.

I've doone the completely wrong thing, like overloading someone with information intentionally, because that's what we had time for. THat gave them the opportunity to do their own research though and then they come back when they need help.

I've spent my share of time working on mechanics. Frankly, because of where I've lived my opportunity to play with others has been very limited. I'm mainly a teacher too though so understanding everything from every angle is my job. Most pros I know hardly have a single book. I have them all, more or less.

So it depends.

Playing things musically and controlled in a band setting, especially an improvised one is quite a different thing. You can't really focus on the technical side(though technique or mtions for the situation is also a thing) , you have to be fully inside the music. Rarery is it just one pattern to the next. Getting the flow, connecting parts of the song without loosing it, getting the right sounds and dynamic is the deal.


Then there's this: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008853456646
 
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mikyok

Platinum Member
Nothing odd about just wanting to play at all.

I miss having the time to just play for personal enjoyment. I still love sitting on my sofa with the pad and playing away.

Cover band stuff sucks the enjoyment of playing out of me sometimes when it becomes a job and I can't be arsed with all the band politics and egos that come with original stuff never mind gigging with other bands and dealing with their bullshit.

Drumming is a journey to become the best player you can be. If you just enjoy playing go for it. I get where you're coming from totally.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I'm glad you brought this up!

I know who my original inspirations were in terms of drumming when I started in the 1990s, but now, I'm not influenced by any one. There's no one I "follow," and I don't care about any certain band. There's no one I want to be "like" in terms of drumming. I don't care.

I do enjoy playing with others, but you know, a lot of those complicated licks I try to learn will NEVER be played in a band situation. It simply helps with independence, but I'll never be in a place where I'll ever play the Purdie Shuffle although I've been working on it for a couple of years now. I think as long as you're playing and enjoying your instrument, who cares what your intent is.

I've been playing in bands and at churches for over 20 years, and I'll be the first to tell you this:

Playing with others is sometimes more of a pain than what it's worth.
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
Thanks all I feel better already.

I do enjoy music with drums and I regularly listen to rock pop and other what I describe as general music. However my main listening passion is EDM... house... 90s drum and bass on occasion to reminisce.

So I have two different musical sides... the drums and acoustic rhythm and all that comes with it and the EDM, the decks the mixers and all that goes with that.

The one constant through all if it though is I am fundamentally excited by the instrument. I find myself gawping at my kit regularly and I feel I owe it to the kit to play it very well.
I agree, all good reasons!

As a digression, I wonder what you would think of Jojo Mayer's band 'Nerve'. They do a great job of combining live drums with experimental electronic music. Sounds a bit like EDM at times, but it's all played live. It's not to everyone's taste, but it does combine those two different worlds with an interesting outcome. If you're interested, start with the latest album 'Ghosts of Tomorrow' which is the most accessible IMO.
 
When I returned to drumming after a long absence--from age 12 to 49--my only goal was to be able to keep the beat decently along to AC/DC in my basement.

Over just a few months, lessons led to playing (at least practicing) with other guys, which is great fun, and I've built up a pretty good repertoire playing along to drumless tracks in my basement, though AC/DC is definitely harder than it sounds.

I get tremendous joy out of it, and I think it's become a bigger part of my life than I ever expected... When I get to practice or play, that's usually the best part of my day.

I've also spent enough time on these forums to become convinced that there's a sizable contingent of the drumming population who are just pure gear nerds. Their drumming can't possibly be as good as their ability to identify non-original mounting arms or know the lifespan of a particular Ludwig label. But, their ability to identify vintage drums or discuss laminate compositions or what year Slingerland produced a particular wrap color is hugely impressive.

Call me crazy, but as much as I love drumming, I just can't work up any interest in the plastic that surrounds a particular drum... I'd be happy to play a set that didn't match in the slightest, if it sounded good, and I'm willing to wager than less than 3 percent of any audience would ever notice or care.
 
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