Do You Work? Enough Time To Practice?

nocTurnal

Senior Member
I'm curious to hear from those of you who have jobs and how you are able to fit in time to practice. How many hours a week do you work? How many hours a day do you practice on average? If you are a student, please state that information also.

If you are working 40 hour work weeks and you still manage to get in three hours or more of practice each day.. please state how you manage to do this. Especially if you have a family. The point of this is that I'm curious to see how most drummers practice given the time they have left in their non-working hours.
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
I work 40 hrs/week. I practice on the pad almost every day for an hour or so, and on the kit 4-6 days a week for 1-4 hours a day (1-2 on weekdays, 3-4+ on weekends). I only allow myself on the kit between 11am and 9pm (as not to push it with the neighbors), and when my wife isn't home (to keep her happy). My wife has a VERY long commute to work, I have a short commute; that allows me more kit time than would normally be possible. No kids.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
I work a full-time job. I get home around 5:30 and eat dinner w/ the family. We do our family thing until about 8:30. I run to my storage unit to practice, which is about 3 min. from my house and I practice from about 9pm to 11pm, 6-7 nights a week. I have band practice once a week for 2-3 hrs. at home.
 

funkster5TP

Member
Hey,

I often wonder how I'd find the time to practice if I had a "real" job. I'm fortunate that drumming is my profession.

However , I spend the majority of my days teaching and at least 3 nights a week at gigs. It's still difficult to find the time to work on new things and develop new ideas. I'd say that I practice 3 times a week, on average, for a couple of hours each time. I also try and arrive a little earlier to rehearsals to steal an hour here or there to have a play.

Although I'm probably able to find more time than most, the down side of drumming full time is that you can get a bit drummed out at times. It's the equivalent of being a chef and cooking when you get home. Sometimes practice is a chore. It's just as tricky if your work is drum related believe me.

I guess my advice is when your band practices, get there an hour early!! Hope that helps.

D
 

spantney

Senior Member
I have an extremely long commute to work so I'm out of the house at 6.30am and am very rarely back before 7.30pm but after I've had dinner and whatnot, I try and fit in around 40 minutes to an hour of practice time on my e-kit or practice pad. I'm an IT tech by trade and by the time I'm home I'm usually knackered but I do try and have a practice at least 3 weekdays. Then at the weekends on a saturday I play for 1 hour on my acoustic kit and then if I'm still hungry for more I'll play my e-kit for a bit. On sunday I have band rehersal which means I can play my acoustic for 4 hours down our studio.
 

NYDRUMMA

Senior Member
Well, I work 40+ hours a week, depends on overtime. I am married for 11 years with 5 kids.
I just recently took up drumming so I need a lot of work. I usually get in about 3 hours on work days. Sometimes more sometimes less. On weekends I try to get 5 hours.

I love playing and learning. I don't get easily frustrated. I use those feelings as a challenge, oh yeah speaking of challenge. How do I practice that much? Well I try to sneak in an hour or two when I get home from work around 5pm. Then I spend some time with the kids and the wife and help put the kids to bed. Then some alone time with my wife. She usually goes to bed around 10 so I then go downstairs and play my E-Kit til I can't play anymore. Usually around Midnight or 1 am. I don't have to wake up for work until 7:30 so I get some sleep still.

Weekends its about the same except I will sleep in a little later and play more in the mornings. I also take the drum lessons with my 10 y.o. daughter and 8 y.o. son on saturdays.

I gotta admit it is tough. My wife gets aggravated sometimes but I sold my Xbox, my T.V. and got rid of my cell phone to help fund my new hobby. I also make sure to do a little extra when I can, (amazing what just loading and unloading a dishwasher can do).

My only regret about practicing so much is that I usually get up around 5:30 am to go to the gym and get a workout in. Problem is for the last week or two I can't. I feel tired. I may have to try to sneak in a little more time during the day and go to bed earlier.

Or I can sleep when I die.
 

manderman

Member
I work 40 hours a week and still spend 3-4 hours every day at the kit. (And maybe 5-6 at weekends). After work I have dinner and go directly to our rehearsal room (It's usually from 7pm to 11pm). If there is no rehearsal, then I just practice the 3-4 hours, if there is one, then I have an hour of practice and a 2-3 hour rehearsal.

I have a lot of fun but "absolutely no life". I arrive home at about midnight and have time just to take a shower and go to sleep (also never sleep enough during the working days, never more than 6 hours). Also I can't afford to spend any time with my friends or for a girlfriend.
But it's worth it. Hell yeah.
 

cnw60

Senior Member
For me - full time career, part time drummer: when I first started getting back into playing 5 or 6 years ago, I practiced at least 12 - 15 hours a week. The best time for me to practice was first thing in the morning because my wife always leaves for work by 8:00 and I didn't have to leave till 9:00-ish. So I could pretty easily get in an hour every morning. Evenings were not so defined but I'd still usually get in at least 3 or 4 sessions per week. I'd keep a pad and sticks in my desk drawer - but they rarely got used because there just was not a good place at the office to break it out and do any meaningful practice.

I've since changed jobs, which requires a little more focus and not quite the leeway with my morning schedule, so not as much practice time, maybe 3 - 4 hours a week, plus another 2-3 hours for band practice once a week. I'm also learning to play guitar, so that takes at least a couple hours a week from what could theoretically be drumming time.

All in all - you've got to find a balance between the different aspects of your life and you have to be clear about your priorities. Frankly, if you're a hobby drummer, you've got to ask yourself how great do you need to be. I understand that we all want to be as good as we possibly can (at least I do), but honestly, the world won't end tomorrow if I haven't mastered a contrapuntal 3/4 clave at 340 bpm by the end of tonight. If you're skills are holding you back from opportunities, then he!! yeah - work your a$$ off, or if your sanity depends on bashing the kit for 20 hours a week, then again - get at it! The rest of your life is probably going to conspire to make it very hard to find the time and of course making time for drumming will take it away from something or someone who might not be understanding about it.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I'm curious to hear from those of you who have jobs and how you are able to fit in time to practice. How many hours a week do you work? How many hours a day do you practice on average? If you are a student, please state that information also.

If you are working 40 hour work weeks and you still manage to get in three hours or more of practice each day.. please state how you manage to do this. Especially if you have a family. The point of this is that I'm curious to see how most drummers practice given the time they have left in their non-working hours.
I'm sorta' lucky in that even though I work 40-50 hours a week as an audio engineer at Disneyland, I have quite the amount of downtime between shows, and still get to hang out with my musician friends when I can. So I still feel like part of the entertainment loop. I normally carry a pair of brushes with me in my backpack and do a bit of practicing on a smooth table when everything else is done.

I'm married, own a fairly large home, but we have no children. So on a daily basis away from work I may practice 30 minutes to an hour a day. I have those rubber pads on my kit in the corner, so I can practice the drums at all hours with those things in place. And when I'm home during the day, I'm lucky that my neighbors don't mind the noise.

Of course, I don't practice everyday, but mentally I do and I think that's just as important - your limbs are just extensions of what your brain wants to do. But I recall coming up from high school into college, I would improve by leaps and bounds, and as I got older, the improvements became merely incremental. My practicing routine is just to keep me where I'm at. I'd love to continue to improve (and it does happen slowly), but it's nice to know that now I'm at this level it won't get any worse.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
I'm in IT and work 40 or more hours a week depending on the project. I have an hour commute to work and back, so two hours a day is wasted on commuting to work. I was married for 11 years and have two teenage daughters and one granddaughter but they don't live with me, but I share joint custody with their mom and have visitation rights weekly. I am lucky if I get home before 8 pm weekdays. 9 pm on nights I have the kids. I have been flying solo for 8 years and just recenly in January started dating a fine lady who, stangely enough, adores drummers and finds my music great. I was in 2 bands, but now am in only one and she digs our gigs. (She loves music and in fact her daughter is going for her second masters in music - this time it's music theory.)

And we have talked about getting married before the end of the year is up. We each have our own hobbies, but she realizes the importance of drumming in my life and encourages me to practice. So that being said, I am VERY lucky if I practice 1 hour a day. Usually it's every other day or 2 days go by before I get to practice again. But I'm trying to build a relationship and take care of family matters, so I squeeze drumming practice in when I can. Currently I am trying to build up my single stroke roll and endurance, so I am practicing on a practice pad with very heavy sticks and then practice on the kit a while. I also have a hobby of refurbishing vintage drums, so I'm into drumming in a big way now - just not enough hours in the day is all!!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Hey Rogue, who's Billy, Dusty, and Frank? Are they like the Peter, Paul, and Mary of Texas?

I'm kidding. Love those guys!
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
LOL Also known as The Reverand Willie G., Groover McToober, and the Merry Frankster.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, that lil' ol' band from Texas...." Ha!
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
i work 40 hours a week or more as a software engineer. i'm single, which helps a lot with finding time to practice, but even with that i still have trouble finding more than an hour a day to practice, and that's only on days when practice is possible.

i go out with friends a lot in the evening and i get invited to a lot of parties, so that makes it tough to practice on any of those nights. ironically, it's my drumming and involvement with bands that has expanded my social circle to the point where partying interferes with my practice schedule. before i was heavily involved with drumming i had a lot more time to practice, but of course i didn't practice back then.
 

Grolubao

Senior Member
I work 40+ hours per week and still I find time to study at least one hour per day. Obviously there are some days which I just chill (it's also important).

It's not easy having to work, living alone, cooking, cleaning and still study, but it's my passion, so I just do it.

Anyway next year I'm quitting my confortable job just to study drums for 1 year. :)
 
i'm selling drums, because for the next 2 years i gotta put all myself in studing and work.
when i became graduate i probably back behind a drumset.
i think is only a question of priorities.
i played for 8 years.now i need a pause, but i don't put away my sticks and practice pad.
real life objectives and passions...i need to put them on a balance, and choose the most important thing.
 
I find that being a local session gigging guy you have to have several "irons in the fire".
I work at a local retail music outlet where I also have my teaching studio. I work in the store about 30 hours a week and teach roughly 10-16 students per week. Aside from that, I gig at least 4 nights a week.
I often feel that I don't get time to practice at all, given that my life is music completely. The irony is that I play in lessons 2-4 hours a day, rehearse twice a week for about 4 hours, and play the gig 3-4 nights. So I'm actually playing all the time, but I NEVER get to practice my kit. My drum room in my home is so full that it's at the point of being storage. There is no room to set up a kit, and the neighbors won't allow. I do like most and steal time here and there before/after rehearsals. I have pad time and get to play on it, but it is very rare that I can sit down and explore ideas and concepts behind the kit at my leisure.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
I find that being a local session gigging guy you have to have several "irons in the fire".
I work at a local retail music outlet where I also have my teaching studio. I work in the store about 30 hours a week and teach roughly 10-16 students per week. Aside from that, I gig at least 4 nights a week.
I often feel that I don't get time to practice at all, given that my life is music completely. The irony is that I play in lessons 2-4 hours a day, rehearse twice a week for about 4 hours, and play the gig 3-4 nights. So I'm actually playing all the time, but I NEVER get to practice my kit. My drum room in my home is so full that it's at the point of being storage. There is no room to set up a kit, and the neighbors won't allow. I do like most and steal time here and there before/after rehearsals. I have pad time and get to play on it, but it is very rare that I can sit down and explore ideas and concepts behind the kit at my leisure.
you're exactly like my drum teacher. he's so busy with rehearsing, gigging, and teaching he has next to zero time for practicing. sometimes at my lesson the two of us will both work on something he's trying to learn himself. not a specific song, but a type of beat or rhythm he's been exploring that he thought i might also like to learn. also, if he has a student cancel on him he'll use that time to practice. i guess that's the only way for him.
 

Witterings

Silver Member
All you IT Support / Engineers subscribed to this thread, fancy fixing my computers for me :)

Must admit I'm lucky that I can go into work a bit later and make up for it with a short lunch and working that bit later so I tend to practice from 8.15am in the morning when the Mrs leaves with the kids for school until 9.45 to be in work for 10.00am and sometimes she may play sqaush as I get home or taking the kids swimming.
The lonly thing is whilst if I had teh choice I'd spend 8 hrs a day practicing when you're married and 2 kids and that amount of practice you really don't get a lot of time for anything else. I've been trying to get fit again recently and it's always the toss up of drum or go for a cycle / run and the drumming just has a far bigger appeal !!
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I'm curious to hear from those of you who have jobs and how you are able to fit in time to practice. How many hours a week do you work? How many hours a day do you practice on average? If you are a student, please state that information also.

If you are working 40 hour work weeks and you still manage to get in three hours or more of practice each day.. please state how you manage to do this. Especially if you have a family. The point of this is that I'm curious to see how most drummers practice given the time they have left in their non-working hours.
40 hour work week = 8 hours a day
sleep = 8 hours a day
free time = 8 hours a day, plus weekends

...that's how I see it. Unless you have young kids, like me, then free time = non-existent.
 
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