Anyone here ever lose their "mojo" for music/drums? I'm at a crossroads..............

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Hello,

Music has always been the number one thing in my life. Even though I work a "real" job, music and my drumming was always the best part of my life, the best part of who I am, and has been my lifelong passion. I'll be 47 next month, and I have been playing since before I could walk (literally!). I'm the biggest gear/drum nerd you could imagine, and I love everything about drums, drumming and playing music. I am in several bands and do a lot of freelance jazz gigging as well. I also teach private drum lesson one night a week to six students. I was a Jazz Studies major at The University Of North Texas. Music has always been a part of me and I will never have anything in my life that makes me feel quite like music/drums does. I know that all of you here can relate.

Lately though, I just haven't been enjoying it. I'm not having any fun playing anymore. Rehearsals, lessons and even most gigs feel too much like a chore now. Like something I HAVE to do instead of want to do. It's not fun anymore. I'm not geeked out or excited about new gear or even any of my own gear, which has never happened before. I have felt this way for the last couple of months. Quite honestly, it really scares me, because I've never felt like this in my entire life, and I never thought I would. I always told myself the day it stopped being fun is the day I would stop doing it. Again, I never thought that day would come, but I'm afraid it might be here. I'm not ready to stop yet, but I feel like I want to, even for just a little while. I literally have no idea what has brought about this change of feelings for me. I am completely drug and alcohol free, and all other aspects of my life seem perfectly fine. Also, I am not dissatisfied with my playing. Obviously, many of us feel we could/should be better, but overall I am happy with my playing, and I think I'm playing better than I ever have in my life. It is all very strange.

Has anyone else here felt similarly? What advice would you give? I'm sure (at least in the Good Lord's name I am hoping so) that this is just temporary, and that I'll get my "mojo" back soon. I very much want to work through this, but at times, I have thought about stepping away from my music altogether until I find my mojo again, although it breaks my heart to even think that way.

I love music too much and I've worked too hard to get where I am. I do not, at all, want to give up on anything, but also don't want to do something I love and cherish as much as my drumming/music with no passion either. The music deserves every ounce of passion that all of us have.

If anyone has any advice to help me navigate this bumpy road, I will be eternally grateful.

Thanks,

V
 
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Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Personally, I go through tons of interests and hobbies over time. Some last decades, some last months, but I try to never feel like they own me or I owe "them" something.

Look at it this way... You can scale your drumming way back and even cease practicing for the most part and you'll still be a good drummer. You can play the drums any time you want and at worst, you'll just need to shake off some rust.

Doing more things in more variation enriches our lives. Rather than thinking about "quitting" drums, just open up to some new obsession. Learn how something new works. Craft something new. Meet some totally new people and check out what they're into. If you decide to drum a bit less to pursue some other form of happiness, that's a good thing in many, many ways.
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
Specially if you are as advanced as you described, you could do anything else in the meantime with your time that interests you, most likely you´ll be back to music soon, but I would not worry very much about the whole thing since is not your profession,

Regardless, it would be very interesting to me to listen to your playing.

During which years you attended North Texas?

Good Luck!
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Specially if you are as advanced as you described, you could do anything else in the meantime with your time that interests you, most likely you´ll be back to music soon, but I would not worry very much about the whole thing since is not your profession,

Regardless, it would be very interesting to me to listen to your playing.

During which years you attended North Texas?

Good Luck!

Thanks for your kind words, and for taking the time to respond.

I was at NT in the early 90's. Lots of great players there at that time. Keith Carlock, Rich Redmond, Craig Pilo and Jeff Queen was the lead snare player.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Personally, I go through tons of interests and hobbies over time. Some last decades, some last months, but I try to never feel like they own me or I owe "them" something.

Look at it this way... You can scale your drumming way back and even cease practicing for the most part and you'll still be a good drummer. You can play the drums any time you want and at worst, you'll just need to shake off some rust.

Doing more things in more variation enriches our lives. Rather than thinking about "quitting" drums, just open up to some new obsession. Learn how something new works. Craft something new. Meet some totally new people and check out what they're into. If you decide to drum a bit less to pursue some other form of happiness, that's a good thing in many, many ways.

That's great advice. Thank you for taking the time to respond
 

opentune

Platinum Member
In several bands, freelance jazz gigs, and teaching once per week....all outside a day job, well that sounds like your plate is very full.
Not getting excited about gear? Expected, you've been at this a long time.
Maybe you need a break...or drop down to only one of those activities and do something else completely different.
Not everything has to be all or nothing.
Baseball season is coming soon. Get season tickets to the Reds?
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Completely normal. I'm a regularly gigging semi-pro, and among my gigs are frequent theater productions. That means playing three to six shows a week, same music, same cues, same everything. After each run I'm usually burned out and I put the sticks down for anywhere from a week to a month outside of scheduled gigs.

Just like anything we do regularly, we can lose the fire. You have to pace yourself and remember why it is you play, whether for personal satisfaction, money, artistic integrity, or all of the above. You can't eat filet mignon every day for a year.
 

trickg

Silver Member
It's wintertime - you likely have a mild case of SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. Basically, mild depression, or the winter blues. I deal with this. Every. Single. Year. I lose interest in almost everything, and things that I normally enjoy start to feel like a chore.

Take some Vitamin D, get out in the sun as much as you can, exercise, and hang tight until spring. Muscle through your musical commitments until then, and I'd be willing to bet that you'll be ok once the weather turns.

Keep in mind, I could be totally off base about what you are going through, but I'm dealing with some of that myself right now - the thought of playing drums or trumpet just doesn't seem appealing to me at all. IT really set in hard last week during the polar vortex where the temps dropped so low and I avoided going outside as much as I could.

Otherwise, take a break from it. I've taken two fairly substantial breaks from playing trumpet (my main instrument) over the years, and both times I came back reinvigorated and energized about making music again. Just don't take as much time off as I did - nearly 18 months both times.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
Don't sweat it at all. I've gone through periods where I didn't care for music or drums at all and eventually came back to it stronger, and many times even playing better (aside from the typical physical things which take time to get back up to snuff). I think a break will do you good. It probably won't be longer than three or four months, but even if it is longer, have faith.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I don't think you're situation is abnormal. I think most people fall in or fall out of things all the time. Perhaps you feel this way because you've used music as what defines you, and that's ok too. But there must be other things that define you, and maybe it's time to find out what those are.

My playing career has been pretty ho-hum and I actually let it go. But when I've let it go, that's when things find me and I get busy again. So I've learned over the last ten years to just roll with it. If I'm not busy, I know something will come up sooner or later. I don't seem to have a problem with the hills and valleys when playing isn't my major source of income. When I was in my 20s, I hated it.

I say let it go for a while. You can't force it to be good, so don't. Maybe you'd like drone racing? One day I'm gonna try that ;)
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Hello,

Music has always been the number one thing in my life. Even though I work a "real" job, music and my drumming was always the best part of my life, the best part of who I am, and has been my lifelong passion. I'll be 47 next month, and I have been playing since before I could walk (literally!). I'm the biggest gear/drum nerd you could imagine, and I love everything about drums, drumming and playing music. I am in several bands and do a lot of freelance jazz gigging as well. I also teach private drum lesson one night a week to six students. I was a Jazz Studies major at The University Of North Texas. Music has always been a part of me and I will never have anything in my life that makes me feel quite like music/drums does. I know that all of you here can relate.

Lately though, I just haven't been enjoying it. I'm not having any fun playing anymore. Rehearsals, lessons and even most gigs feel too much like a chore now. Like something I HAVE to do instead of want to do. It's not fun anymore. I'm not geeked out or excited about new gear or even any of my own gear, which has never happened before. I have felt this way for the last couple of months. Quite honestly, it really scares me, because I've never felt like this in my entire life, and I never thought I would. I always told myself the day it stopped being fun is the day I would stop doing it. Again, I never thought that day would come, but I'm afraid it might be here. I'm not ready to stop yet, but I feel like I want to, even for just a little while. I literally have no idea what has brought about this change of feelings for me. I am completely drug and alcohol free, and all other aspects of my life seem perfectly fine. Also, I am not dissatisfied with my playing. Obviously, many of us feel we could/should be better, but overall I am happy with my playing, and I think I'm playing better than I ever have in my life. It is all very strange.

Has anyone else here felt similarly? What advice would you give? I'm sure (at least in the Good Lord's name I am hoping so) that this is just temporary, and that I'll get my "mojo" back soon. I very much want to work through this, but at times, I have thought about stepping away from my music altogether until I find my mojo again, although it breaks my heart to even think that way.

I love music too much and I've worked too hard to get where I am. I do not, at all, want to give up on anything, but also don't want to do something I love and cherish as much as my drumming/music with no passion either. The music deserves every ounce of passion that all of us have.

If anyone has any advice to help me navigate this bumpy road, I will be eternally grateful.

Thanks,

V

I don't think I have had anything quite as pronounced as you are going through, but I have gone through similar things. I took a couple of years away from playing drums back in my late 20s. At first I didn't miss it, but over time, my desire and passion for the instrument came back- with even more ferocity than before I took my break. (I had been actively playing in bands- touring/recording - for at least 10 years prior to my break, so I was neck deep into all things drumming and music.)

There is nothing wrong with you, and there is nothing wrong with taking a break.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
To quote Tom Jones, "It's not unusual." My advice is take a break for a couple of months.

Every year I hit the wall in September/October at the end of wedding season with the xmas run still to come :(

Nothing to do with music or drums just get sick of people/venues/agent and their stupid bullshit.

After the xmas run I don't look at a kit for a month sometimes 2 or 3, had a tap last Sunday and played on my own for a couple hours and loved it. Same every year.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
I have a couple ideas.

1) You might need a break. Maybe a bit of a vacation, step back and just do something else.

2) Another idea might be to go in and take a drum lesson from someone or attend a master class or something like this. Sometimes this can be good just to get another perspective on things.

Either way, sometimes what can get us down is the routine and doing something contrary to that can be good.

There has been a couple times I've turned to my wife and told her I was done with music and that I was going to sell everything and just give it up forever. Of course she was level-headed and told me just to take a break and step back.

Edit: Also, I can say it can be really difficult sometimes when your hobby is your job. Sometimes it might seem like it best and coolest thing in the world to make your hobby your job and it is, but it comes with some difficulties as well. For a lot of people their hobbies are their way of escaping and getting away from their job. If your hobby is music and that is where you make your living, there is no escaping it. So, finding a hobby outside of music can be good, photography, cooking, model trains, whatever, just something that you can take a step away from music for a little while.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
In several bands, freelance jazz gigs, and teaching once per week....all outside a day job, well that sounds like your plate is very full.
Not getting excited about gear? Expected, you've been at this a long time.
Maybe you need a break...or drop down to only one of those activities and do something else completely different.
Not everything has to be all or nothing.
Baseball season is coming soon. Get season tickets to the Reds?
This is what I was thinking. Just seems like a lot, all the time. Quit the bands. Just teach. Concentrate on helping others to better Their skill.

And definitely, just do something else in your spare time. Anything, walk a dog, go fishing, golf. Let's go golfin' man, lol.
 

Chollyred

Senior Member
I gave up drumming for several years. But I really started missing making music, so I started learning to play guitar. I was a perpetual beginner...Then suddenly, I had to have a set of drums to beat on...At first, it was just for myself in the garage. Then I HAD to find people to jam with. then it was a better kit., and so on, so forth. The band thing hasn't worked out, but I have a regular gig at a church that keeps me going. Sometimes I do wonder if it's really worth it, but something will come up that kindles the fire.

Like Old_Dog above, go play golf. It's the most frustrating thing you can do, and will completely occupy your mind while your out on the course. It's a fantastic distraction from everyday activities. Look at Alice Cooper! He's now a golf fanatic, and almost a scratch golfer.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You didn't lose it permanently I'll bet.

Music is the perfect mistress. If you take a break, she doesn't mind.

Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

If you couldn't play, my guess is you'd find a way to make it happen.

Since you can play but aren't feeling it, just put it down until the desire returns, it's perfectly fine. You are the boss.

Enjoy some time away from the drums, that's what it sounds like you need.

Playing music is like exhaling. Right now, you need to inhale.
 
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