I've experienced the same thing with my Meinl Extra Dry 20" ride. It has some annoying overtones when I'm playing at home, but when playing with people at the gig, I don't hear it. The band just covers it up.I have a ride cymbal I've never liked--it quickly gets too washy for my taste. And yet every time I've heard recordings of myself playing that cymbal with a band, I always think it sounds great, as the wash gets covered up and only the highlights, the nice pingy ping, remain audible.
I wonder if it's something like that for you, that in context, you sound good, and it's only in isolation that the things you don't like are noticeable.
Well Said JW !!Touching on sumdrumguy's post above, what are you playing to on youtube, and what are you playing by yourself? If you're challenging yourself when you play by yourself, you're bound to struggle and hate the way you play. That's the point. You need to struggle in order to improve. If you're not trying to push yourself beyond your current abilities, then you will never surpass them. On the same token, if you're playing along to songs you know very well, or are super easy, then you will certainly be more satisfied with your abilities when doing so. Try playing to something more challenging and you'll feel the same way you do about playing by yourself. Struggling for a bit and then getting to that "ah-ha" moment where it all clicks is what makes drumming fun and exciting for me. I honestly don't know how people can just learn the "money beat" and never seek to expand on their abilities.
Another thought: How long have you been playing? If you're new to drumming it's possible that you rely on youtube videos or other musicians to keep the tempo and/or place in the song for you as well. Playing along to pre-recorded music has it's place, but if you don't work on it alone you will struggle.
I used to feel the same way you do and still do to some degree. When you playing along music, you just don't hear your playing 100% so you can't catch what's going on. Playing alone, you do hear those notes you may be lacking or missing. Whenever you're in this funk, analyze why you don't like it and improve on it. One tip I highly recommend is to record yourself whenever you play, especially when you're playing along to music. This can help you better catch things to improve.When I practice alone, I hate the way I play, I struggle with just about every aspect. but If I play along with You tube vids or with other musicians, things change, and I don't feel as bad about my playing. Am I the only one this happens to? or am I just kidding myself?
When you practice alone, are you working on improving some aspect of your playing? Or just playing around the kit - random grooves, fills, etc?
Personally I find the latter very unfulfilling. I love being part of an ensemble, and contributing to creating an experience for everyone present - band members and audience. Most of my personal practice is spent improving facility. That involves a lot of sucking. However, I appreciate the process of sucking at something, working through whatever mechanical and psychological obstacles I have, and aquiring the facility to do something I couldn't do before.
This may not apply. The questions above were my first thought reading your post.
I record every note I play. Then you can hear what woeked and what didn't. Helps a lot!