For those of you who quit drumming professionally and do it as a hobby now, why?

River19

Senior Member
I felt myself burning out a touch and starting to resent the drums and "the process". I was honest with myself in that I enjoy playing and I love music but I want it to be on my own terms and not the whim of others or dependent primarily on the decisions of others. Then the reality that my personality seeks stability and predictability from a financial standpoint. And I had a solid business education providing for a fairly successful career working for the man.

I can pick and choose when and what I play and the gigs played.......so back to "my terms" and now in my mid-40s there isn't a piece of gear etc. I can't afford based selling my soul for 60-80hrs per week to "the man".

We also have other time consuming hobbies we are passionate about that I doubt I could partake in if my income was 100% reliant on my playing.

Add in that so much computer time, drumming etc and my forearms have taken a beating over 25 years and I have flare ups of tendonitis (RSI) and need to take breaks here and there for a couple weeks at a time. That wouldn't be possible if I depended on playing to pay bills.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I never played as a profession, but did play in bands for fun and some side cash. I stopped mainly due to time constraints and shift in priorities, but never really stopped playing…or wanting to play during long stretches without access to drums. I started playing drums purely for fun…to this day, I can’t explain what the draw is, but it’s just so damn enjoyable for me. I’m happiest being able to noodle, practice and occasionally jam with friends. Totally a cathartic endeavor for me.
 

single-ply

Senior Member
I played full time after college for about 7 years, but more orchestral-type music. I developed really horrible tendonitis in my left wrist. I got to the point where it actually hurt to play much on the snare at all. Hard to practice for auditions when you can't hold the stick without pain.

Knowing I needed to do something else, I gravitated to my other interest of architecture. I went to grad school and quit playing for about 6 years. Finally got the bug again and slowly got my chops back up to speed.

I can't play orchestral snare technique anywhere close to what I used to be able to do, but now I play more drum set anyway. I also spend my day doing architecture, so I don't have time to over-practice and injure my wrists.

I enjoy playing without worrying about the cash to pay the bills, but I always wonder what could've been.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Through the 90s and the early 2000s, I pursued music full time. At various times, I played drums, guitar, piano, sang, etc. in many different bands. Sometimes, I was in 2-3 bands at a time trying to piece it all together. I also taught music as well. I never made any money, but I always considered it "paying dues." I was also living with my parents during that time, so who cares, right? I got my college degree in the early 2000s and a couple more graduate degrees thereafter. I actually did get to tour for a short while in 2000, but it was pretty short lived. In 2007, I just reached a breaking point. I was so burned out on everything, I really started taking it much more slowly, had a few kids, got a really great job in the meantime, and started my career.

Why did I quit trying it full time? Like others have mentioned, I wanted to be able to consistently provide for my family, have a nice house, and buy my wife and kids cool stuff when needed. I'm still playing music more than I ever have right now, but the thing is, I know ALL of the music stuff could end tomorrow. I've had more than one project end abruptly with no warning. Good ones, too, for all kinds of reasons.
 
Top