Do you ever hate your own drumming?

veecharlie

Senior Member
Hey guys,
So I am starting to get on the practice kit after 4 months without really practicing.. I feel tense and feel like half of the stuff that I have been building up the past months I have to re work it again. In anyways... I get really demotivated, it's being some kind of difficult time where I do not like the fills I do, neither the grooves I throw. It's always the same, always the same struggles, always the same mistakes.

Just for the clarity, I play drums over 10 years, lately my drum teacher advised me and gave me tons of new stick patterns to memorize and try out, but so far I'm not succeeding to make the breakthrough.

What's your take, what did you do when you was in such a situation?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Try to learn something you want to. Even if it is something simple, it will at least give you a boost of confidence.

When I feel like I'm in a drumming rut, I try to do something different. It might be learning a new pattern or technique. It might just be playing along to something that makes me happy. I might rearrange the kit, add or subtract some gear. Anything to keep me inspired to want to drum. Right now it's pad work. Until about a couple months ago, I hadn't used the pad in years. It's allowing me to work on the little details that get lost when at the kit, and makes me want to return to the kit and apply what I have worked on.

Some people like to be frustrated when they practice. It gives them a reason to come back and keep working. I'm the opposite. I like to end feeling happy about my practice. That feeling is what keeps me coming back.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Everyone goes through a drum hiatus because of time constraints, injuries, etc., and everyone can go through a frustrating period where you feel you are making no progress. In fact sometimes I feel I'm getting worse so I should sell all my drum stuff. But then "I" realize I've been playing my whole life-because I love to play them. If it's bad-well I can always get better. It's never a chore-in fact it's therapy. I think you identified the problem "I". You need to quit worrying about it and just get on the kit and regain your joy again. Get your joy back then go back to your teacher. He can't motivate you-it's all you. Sometimes going through a slump is right before a break through. I just posted one of my cruddy videos on Youtube last night-well one of our forum members just happened to catch it shortly after I posted-he gave me a very nice compliment, which because I"ve seen and enjoyed he's stellar playing was a real boost that all my efforts of late are paying off (sometimes we must not be conscious of progress). But I still can't play the spaces worth a crap-I'll get there.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I'm very self critical of my own playing, especially if I'm trying something and it's not coming together or I can't quite play something exactly how it's in my head. Over time I've learned it's good, in those situations, to take a break and come back to it later.

That helps a lot.
 

Ruok

Silver Member
Sometimes we are our own worst critic. I know I get very disappointed with my playing from time to time.

You, veecharlie, are probably better than you think. Which is good, because some people are awful at the drums and have no idea, but they think they are fantastic. The fact that you see your weaknesses is better than not seeing them at all.
 
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No Way Jose

Silver Member
I don't like my own playing. I hear lots of mistakes. But I think all musicians are like that.

Sometimes I need a rest for a week or two. I think that I get tired or busy. But one day I return to the drum kit and continue studying and learning.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
Yes we all go through this. I get tired of my playing and fills too. All the suggestions so far are great suggestions. What do in this situation is just push through and work on the things that are otherring me, and it will eventually work itself out.
If you think it doesn't happen to everyone, I have a friend who's hired gun/studio guy in the metal world, done tours and studio work for well known bands in the metal world, has endorsements, and is a machine when it comes to playing drums. He recently told me that he sometimes gets tired his playing/fills and he makes his living playing drums. That's proof that we all go through this.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It's OK if drumming isn't working in your life right now. It's OK to not do anything drumming-wise. You should play when you are inspired. And if you're not inspired, or if you are just plain negative, remove yourself and substitute something that you WANT to do.

Drums are the perfect lover. They never complain when you are away and are always glad to see you whenever you return. You are the boss of the drums. YOU say when and where. Feeling guilty if you think you should be playing and you're not is a useless waste of energy. Drums aren't THAT important. Don't feel like you HAVE to practice. Living life is more important, drumming is a celebration of that living.
 
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oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
No never, because i think 'hate' is not the best motivation for anything (allthough 'hate' in this case is ofcourse meant different i guess)..

Is always better to think in terms like 'improvement'..

I can be annoyed though or not satisfied, but that i can be about many other things in life too..:)

I disagree btw with the idea that you should take a break each time when you think or feel your playing is not ok, because in the end that will lead to nothing at all, except having a lot of breaks and therefore wasting a lot of time..

But thats just my opinion regarding that..:)
 

blinky

Senior Member
It's much down to who we are as persons I guess. There's people that think the world of themselves, some of them rightly so, and there's others who beat themselves no matter how good they are. But it doesn't really matter, the point is that we love playing and if we are good enough to be playing with others, well all is good, and what can we do beside practice everyday and try to better our playing. And yes I hate my lack of progress and my playing from time to time, but I only can get better, right?
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Practicing the drums alone, by yourself is a very difficult thing to do. Drumming is only hits. And spaces between the hits. Of course there are different drum sounds from different drums. But basically we are trying to learn hand and foot independence. Hits and spaces. And we try to get the gaps between those hits and spaces to come out evenly and on time. And then we try to do this faster and faster.

A few of us love to play and hear this kind of thing. And can play drums by ourselves all day long and be very happy. Not me. I find it very boring. I enjoy playing with a band or playing along with music. I practice a little bit by myself to hear what I need to play. Maybe a new pattern I want to learn. Then I put on some music and apply what I'm learning to music. 10 minutes alone, then 60 minutes with music.

You may be one of those people who feel that hearing drums played alone is boring. I'm like that. I love hearing an 8, 12, 16 bar drum solo in time to the music. I hate long drum solos that go out of context to the song.

If practicing the drums does not make you happy, then you will learn very little from practice. If you love playing drums while making music with others, you will learn much more, much faster from playing at jams, playing in a band or playing along with music.


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When I haven't practiced for a while and feel overwhelmed by the material that I could practice or when I do practice but feel like I'm going nowhere, I've found a lot of benefit in practicing the basics. I mean really small bits of technique that make up the majority of what you play on the drum set - just two to three notes (singles, doubles, triples, buzz rolls, flams, push pull, RLK, RK... whatever you're not satisfied with).
If you're very critical about your playing right now, try to make the best of it, play very slowly so that you have time to observerse your posture, timing, sound and movements and strive for relaxation and control.
Instead of doing patterns from to slow to fast, I like going from loud to very quiet and back or going gradually from German to French Grip. I hope this approach will help you to relax more and improve your control overall. Then just play or practice something new - maybe everything will be more fun all of a sudden.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
I've learned to embrace this feeling, convert it into specific issues to explore and come up with plans/exercises to resolve what I don't like. It's amazing how your own developed exercises, if done systematically and with metrics, can help you in areas much faster than a book can if you really have your problem pinpointed.
 

veecharlie

Senior Member
guys thank you so much!! 😭
I really needed this... it's indeed true we are our worst critics.

I have the whole day free today, took the time to force myself to the kit. I picked up an exercise I could not come through with months ago, first time I went through it fluently today. (Displacement exercise). Not to say that it was magic or so lol but, sometimes we make barriers on our own mind but are unable to get out of them alone as well.
Thank you for the encouragement!
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
It should be a joy-it really is for me. I generally don't like my drumming when I compare myself to others-some of it ok (I'm unruly, undisciplined, a bit of a wild man). Sometimes I think it isn't constructive-I use to compare myself to my older bros when younger-it wasn't positive. I sometimes wonder why I seem so reluctant to "really" want to improve with such an attitude (I've talked about getting a teacher for years-even now). But since I started at 8 and though a long hiatus it has always been my happy place escape for last 25 years (I doubt I've improved much). I don't want to rock that boat it seems-though I have displeasure in final product when I'm doing it I enjoy the hell out of it. I have to be disciplined in so many things I like having a "happy place" I can cut loose and go wild. One of the reasons I quit gigging is having to be disciplined in playing, rehearsals, etc for gigs-in my basement I"m king so I break all the rules and go crazy-I call it being "creative" but that's just bullcrap semantic game for being crazy free flowing fool. Then what if you loved all your drumming? Does that make you delusional or an egocentric buttwad? I really doubt all the drummers I admire really admire themselves as much as I=seems it would undermine them getting so good if they were happy with it. If I was never unhappy with gaining weight or being so ignorant-I'd be a fat ignorant slob LOL. We have our whole lives to improve-and you likely have a lot longer than I to do so. It's all good-you worry to much!
 
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