Did you quit for years? What did you lose ability on?

2 hit wonder

Junior Member
I didn't foresee losing specific patterns, but 1st it was Immigrant Song foot work that had to be re-established after quitting for 15 years.
My kick pattern ability is better now than before, but the consistency isn't equivalent now.

Recently another pattern came up that was discovered as lost.
We're covering Call Me by Blondie which has a triplet feel. I intuitively knew I could play it when I sat down but when I actually did start playing it, it was a different sticking. It used to be alternating 16ths with L going to the snare, but for some reason I went to RLL, RLL, RLL, RLL with the R alternating as hat, snare, hat, snare, hat, snare. The L never leaves the hat.
The alternating 16ths triplet I used to play back in the day doesn't groove as comfortably as the RLL does now. But it showed me the loss of pattern comfort that I used to have.
I was away from drumming for 20 years before picking it back up in middle age. I don't have anything specific like you have here, I just had to re-learn most things, tho the basics seemed to be instinctive. Too bad I didn't re-learn some things better than before, alas...
During the first half of my Army career, I had two or three significant stretches of time where I was not actively drumming or playing, from 1992 to about 1999. I also had a few deployments over the years where I'd be away from drums for months or over a year. I didn't feel like I lost anything, but it kept me from making active progress at drumming.

When I say I've played drums for 35 years, really 10 of those years don't count because there wasn't an opportunity to play (either I didn't have a place to set up and play or I didn't have my drums with me). It was really only after I retired, about 13 years ago, that I really started working on improving my drumming past the journeyman level.
I took a hiatus between 2005 and 2010. Before that I played just about everyday if not everyday. Very sporadic from 2010 to today. Right now laziness is my down fall but I'm working on it, lol.

I know I've lost dexterity and can't remember some songs I used to know by heart. The first time jamming is always short and terrible. After that it gets much better.
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78-81 no drums . Sold my beloved silver sparkle Ludwigs for drinking money etc . Picked up a set of Sonor tear drops with a Sopraphonic and a few A Zildjians for peanuts in Feb 81 . Answered a couple ads in the local paper and was soon back in the saddle again . Scored a house gig within a couple months Wed- Sundays . It lasted for @ 8 months and I just got busier and busier for the next 30 years . It's like riding a bike . My greatest anxiety was that I had lost my enthusiasm , but that turned out to be untrue .

I hadn't lost much , maybe a bit slow off the mark at first . Clean and sober, my abilities grew exponentionally . Finally hung up the night life in 2012 on account of severe spinal injuries . Walked away from three steady working band$ , but that's OK I'm grateful to have been given a second chance . Many aren't as fortunate .
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I did not play drums for the whole first year of college, which was the longest time I did not play. I did not seem to lose any of my drumming skills. Peace and goodwill.
I claim 13-14 years of drums because of quitting for 15 and moving to bass for a couple years after playing for 7 on drums. I didn't progress much for almost half of the played years anyway.
No drums 1976–1987 due to college/post-college. In 1987 I auditioned at a church ‘cuz they had a killer Yamaha 7-piece kit. I’d lost my feel for the pocket. It took a year or so to get comfy with scene (keyboard lead, bass, guitar, trumpet, sax, 7-person vocals, big auditorium). The music was Hosanna/Maranatha material and it frustrated me that I couldn’t easily groove on it.
Quit in 1967, restarted in 2002 (35 years). Could still read music and most of the stuff was still in my head, but my hands and feet would not do what my brain told them too. I started immediately with a big band and was adequate enough to keep my seat within a couple of months, but it took about a year of intense work before I regained reasonable chops.
In checked out for nearly 20 before checking back in.

Ability lost? Ha. I never had it to begin with.
Put down my sticks in 1992. Played and tinkered with guitars exclusively for about 30 years. Covid shutdowns and boredom led to an e-kit purchase. Got the itch and it felt good to get on the throne again. Picked up a Yamaha SC kit and some 2002s. Trying to squirrel away some scratch for a good Ludwig kit.

Right out of the gate, my left hand was pretty lazy and overall stamina wasn’t great. Quite a bit of rust on these 53 year old arms and legs. Things are getting a bit smoother and feeling more confident. Played a handful of jam sessions over the past couple years. Nothing more than casual stuff. No intention of trying to gig yet. Might take that leap in the not too distant future. Try to work on rudiments a bit but I’m playing along with covers most of the time.

Seems to be contagious. My wife has been playing as well. She tinkered with bass during my guitar phase. Once the e-kit arrived she started having fun with them. Made some decent progress. She might have about 100-ish tunes on her practice playlist. We’ve spent many nights taking turns on the kit trying to learn songs and having fun. Teaching her new things can be a bit challenging at first but she’s doing alright. (Biggest hurdle is trying not to rush the tempo. Has a tough time playing in 5/4 and 7/4 for long passages. Double sticking patterns on the hats give her problems. Having me as a teacher isn’t doing her any favors. I don’t even know what I’m going 85% of the time.)
I took a break for about thirty years, and restarted about eighteen months ago when I was asked to join a band.

The best description I can come up with is that it was like riding a bike: I could sit down and immediately remembered how to “ride”, but my balance was off, I wobbled, and no way could I pull a wheelie. In my head I was zooming around a velodrome, but really I was just creaking down the road to the shops… :)

With practice I stopped “wobbling “. First my wrists came back, then my ankles, and finally my fingers. Now I can make my limbs do what my brain tells them. I wouldn’t say that I have all of the chops that I had aged twenty, but I also know I’ve got a few new chops that I didn’t have in the past.

I was only really getting started when in 1969, at age 18, put down the Sticks. The HS Buddies I was playing and learning with since 1967 all graduated in June 1969. The 3 of us stayed together in our Garage band (we never made it to a Gig), that Summer of 69 and then parted ways onto different avenues in life. After getting a cheapo Gammon Drum kit as Xmas gift in 2018, I commenced playing again in 2019. The drums were eventually upgraded. I play for enjoyment /Hobby almost everyday for about an hour to My Music. I'm no match for Bonham, Moon, Copeland, Gaad, or Baker, but can hold my own to many tunes missing the occasional beat. Who knows, maybe I am able to hook up to a geriatric local jam session of like ability musicians for some fun. I can play to the Classic rock bands lie Petty, Clapton, Winwood, CCR, Mellencamp, Stones, Beatles, Cars, etc.
I was off a kit for about 15-20 years . No time, room, and raising 3 little daughters . I did however still play in a bagpipe band .when I started back up on a kit 4 years ago I noticed my hands due to playing snare in the bag pipe band were as good as ever but my limb Independence and my right foot on the bass suffered miserably. My time was still perfect and maybe even better than before as long as I played simple beats on the bass drum , trying anything more complex threw off my timing and fluidity around the kit. Much better now but I still can’t play like I did before and it’s all or mostly due to my right foot . Admittedly I should be spending more time practicing and that will and has been happening and have seen some improvement as of late.
The spine injuries with some nerve damage to legs I’m sure isn’t helping any along with other joint injuries to left shoulder, knee and ankle but ,…… I’m pushing through!!!
Pretty much everything except the break in Born To Be Wild.
Stopped for about 15 years, I lost single stroke speed, to make up for it, it’s helped me exercise sticking patterns for efficiency.
I started playing after a 20+ year hiatus. Started playing out immediately. I had always played top 40 and classic rock. Now playing classic country. I’m having trouble remembering song intros and endings. My feet are a little disconnected and fills are so basic. I’m getting by and am as good as I ever was but it just feels different and a little awkward. The really bad thing is I have all the time to practice I need. A small library of material, written and recorded, and online instruction that I pay for but can’t seem to get motivated. My son who is a personal trainer has told me my practice need to be deliberate and structured even if it’s only 30 minutes. Pray for me persevere as I really want to play.
I pretty much quit played from 2006 until about 2018. I still played at church, but it's just not the same.

I'm pretty sure I lost quite a few chops, but I did learn to relax quite a bit during that time.
On/off/on/off/on/off for a fair few years.

Some longish hiatus'.

What did I lose ability on?

Good stick technique, keeping time, playing beats, sounding good, keeping it fun, being comfortable, enjoying it, being a drummer, stick twirling (actually I never HAD that ability)....