How do I get out of the "drumming blues"?

(Future)DWdrummer

Senior Member
I love drumming.

Like absolutely love it.

But at times I go through these weird phases where I don't really feel like practicing, playing, or putting in any work to make myself a better player...

Do you guys ever experience these strange drumming durations of limbo?...

If so, do any of you have any tips on how to snap out of a weird phase like this and renews drive to work hard?..

Thanks :)

Jacob G.
 

TheBob

Member
I just had one of those days last week. I took a few days off and that seemed to do the trick for me.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Just have a practice routine. If the drive isn't there sometimes you can bring it out, other times it won't come, just practice and feel like a good boy for doing your homework and you'll be better than someone who whinges and whines about not wanting to practice.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
For the last hour of practice I always practiced with music I love.
Pretending I was in the band. Playing fills and such to make the song sound better.



.
 

(Future)DWdrummer

Senior Member
Are you playing with others or just by yourself?
With others... I'm in a pretty serious band... I think that's part of what contributes to me going through these weird funks... I love my band a ton... We only practice once a week on Sunday, but our practice studio is an hour and a half away, and I get pretty tired of Sunday's seemingly constant cycle of "tear down, set up, tear down"... And when I get home from school on Monday I'm usually to lazy or tired to set up my kit AGAIN so I just don't play lol....

I probably sound like a really whiny little teen drummer who gets tired quickly of lugging around drums... Lol... I promise that's not the case, I just get lazy on days after 6+ hours of drive 1.5 hours, set up, play, tear down, drive again, and load back into my garage...

Maybe I just have to grow up and accept the fact that this is probably what the life of a lot of you professional players looks like x)

Or buy another kit to keep set up in my garage at all times... Haha
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
With others... I'm in a pretty serious band... I think that's part of what contributes to me going through these weird funks... I love my band a ton... We only practice once a week on Sunday, but our practice studio is an hour and a half away, and I get pretty tired of Sunday's seemingly constant cycle of "tear down, set up, tear down"... And when I get home from school on Monday I'm usually to lazy or tired to set up my kit AGAIN so I just don't play lol....

I probably sound like a really whiny little teen drummer who gets tired quickly of lugging around drums... Lol... I promise that's not the case, I just get lazy on days after 6+ hours of drive 1.5 hours, set up, play, tear down, drive again, and load back into my garage...

Maybe I just have to grow up and accept the fact that this is probably what the life of a lot of you professional players looks like x)

Or buy another kit to keep set up in my garage at all times... Haha
Boy, did you hit a nerve or what !
I guess I should not speak for all drummers, but transporting, setting up and tearing down drums has always been the dues we drummers have to pay in order to play our drums.

It is something that we all have to accept. We are usually the first one at the gig and the last one to leave.

You have to love playing drums enough to put up with the hard labor.




.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Yeah I used to feel this way until I cancelled TV a few years back and started reading only. My attention span was terrible but has improved markedly..now its much easier to focus and put the time in.
 

RockNGrohl

Senior Member
We only practice once a week on Sunday, but our practice studio is an hour and a half away, and I get pretty tired of Sunday's seemingly constant cycle of "tear down, set up, tear down"... And when I get home from school on Monday I'm usually to lazy or tired to set up my kit AGAIN so I just don't play lol....

I probably sound like a really whiny little teen drummer who gets tired quickly of lugging around drums... Lol... I promise that's not the case, I just get lazy on days after 6+ hours of drive 1.5 hours, set up, play, tear down, drive again, and load back into my garage...

Maybe I just have to grow up and accept the fact that this is probably what the life of a lot of you professional players looks like x)
That IS what we look like! It does feel like a chore sometimes.. okay, most times, lol.. But that's the way it has to be. Do you have a good drum cart? RockNRoller makes excellent ones. They can run from 150-200 dollars and save you from a ton of work. I would never load my kit in drum by drum again. I load the cart and everything comes in all at once in one trip. Also how you set up makes a difference. There are slow time consuming ways of setting up and tearing down and then there are quick ways. I have everything in my hardware case in certain order.
I play a five piece and here is how I set up:
1. I have a drum rug that goes down. It has a wedge of wood in the front for my bass drum so it goes down first. If the wedge was not there I would just center that drum at the front of the rug. and then set up your throne so you can sit down while you set up.
2. Bass pedal on bass, and tom mount in place. Check bass drum postition, it all flows form here.
3. Toms on mount.
4. Floor toms and legs, then snare stand topped with snare.
5. High hat, and cymbal stands (left adjusted up as much as hardware bag will allow. I never fold everything completely down if I don't have to. It saves time and effort unfolding them so much.)
6. cymbals on stands.
Leave memory locks good to go, never fold anything all the way up.

I do it in order and it takes maybe fifteen minutes or so. I do the same backwards for teardown. If you do it often enough it doesn't feel like so much work. Set it up at home the same way. Getting a good night's sleep before practice day can help too. Never run on spent energy. Also when you play, don't go over the top. leave yourself some buzz too get you and you drums home and set up. If you look forward to the playing and look forward to the rest afterwards you won't dread the teardown. If you do it right ti shouldn't take you that long. Don't make it more work than it has to be.
 

FoolInTheRain

Senior Member
I went through a long phase like this right before I went on my long hiatus from drumming. In hindsight, I realize that it was because I had pigeon-holed myself. The stuff I was playing and listening to didn't leave much room for exploration. Now that I've come back to the wonderful world of drumming, the music and drummers that I'm listening to are completely different than what I was into 5 years ago. I'm open to so many more things. My whole approach to the drum set is different....my grip, my set up, cymbals, tuning, etc. I don't see myself falling into another rut for a very, very long time.
 

groove1

Silver Member
At 65 I'm still doing what you are. Driving long distances to play a 2 hour gig for low pay at times. You gotta love it!
 

Leftie117

Junior Member
I just had one of those days last week. I took a few days off and that seemed to do the trick for me.
Same. Take a few days off and you start thinking of more creative fills/beats. Also, listen to a different genre of music or, If youre like me, only listen to stuff you could fairly easily play, and then you won't feel like a terrible drummer.
 

BeyondClarity

Junior Member
Sometimes taking a couple days off will do wonders. Sometimes we need to change up what we've been practicing. If your progress on the instrument stagnates, it can soon become boring. Go on youtube and watch some of the greats play. Find an awesome lick and transcribe it. As soon as I have something new and exciting to learn I can't keep myself from the kit.

Coming up with some new goals can also light the fire.

Other times you just need to put the sticks down.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
John Lennon said (paraphrasing) Artists have to breathe out (composing, playing) and breathe in (sit back and observe, absorb what's currently happening). Don't ever beat yourself up for not practicing drums. If you don't feel like practicing, just don't. Do something that inspires you. When you WANT to play the drums next time....that's when you need to play. It's all really OK.

Feeling guilty and beating yourself up is bad for you. Just sidestep all those counter-productive thoughts and give yourself permission to feel good about not being in the mood to play. Inspiration often comes far away from the drums. You are the Master and the drums are the slave. You can treat them however you please. They will never complain, they will never get mad, and they will always be there at your beck and call.

And hey, if you don't feel like becking or calling...maybe you just need to take some time to breathe in.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
John Lennon said (paraphrasing) Artists have to breathe out (composing, playing) and breathe in (sit back and observe, absorb what's currently happening). Don't ever beat yourself up for not practicing drums. If you don't feel like practicing, just don't. Do something that inspires you. When you WANT to play the drums next time....that's when you need to play. It's all really OK.

Feeling guilty and beating yourself up is bad for you. Just sidestep all those counter-productive thoughts and give yourself permission to feel good about not being in the mood to play. Inspiration often comes far away from the drums. You are the Master and the drums are the slave. You can treat them however you please. They will never complain, they will never get mad, and they will always be there at your beck and call.

And hey, if you don't feel like becking or calling...maybe you just need to take some time to breathe in.
superb post there Larry, & something for us all to take away :)
 

lsits

Gold Member
Perhaps a slight change in your routine might do the trick. I recently dove into the double pedal lake after never having played one in my life. I don't need it for the bands I play in but I figured what the hell. I'm not saying to go out and buy new gear. Here's my point: I ordered some double bass instruction books from Barnes & Noble. While waiting for them to arrive I started looking through my old issues of Modern Drummer (talking 80s and 90s). I found a few articles relating to double bass playing but I also found a ton of other articles that I had overlooked previously. I think I passed them over because my reading skills weren't that advanced back then (still not great, but they're improving) or that I felt that the material was over my head. Lo and behold, I found that I could work out the sticking pattern and could get it to sound halfway decent while using a metronome. There's a wealth of information out there. Now I can't wait to get to my kit in order to practice some new things.

On another note, if you get a second kit leave that one set up in the rehearsal space and keep the good one at home. The reason is that you'll be playing the good kit more. Also other people might have access to the one in the rehearsal space. Better to have them make adjustments on the beater set.
 
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Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
My drumming blues are quite the opposite. At least you have the option to set up at home and play. The only time I get to play my drum kit is when I am at practice or a gig. I can't set-up at home and play. It's a bummer to not even have the option to play at home. It's always been this way for me, so I have to be in a band just to play. Think of how lucky you are just to have that luxury at home. Many people don't. When you leave the comforts of your parent's house, you'll understand if you have to share an apartment or rent a room in a house. I just have my pad and my guitar at home.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Sometimes no matter how much you love something, you need to step back and breathe. Even if you love filet mignon, some days you just don't want to eat it.

These burnout periods can last a while. After a particularly grueling summer of gigging with my last band where things were sometimes contentious behind the scenes, I pretty much didn't play for two months. Last year after playing almost nonstop in a musical for two months, I was just "fehh" for about the same amount of time. It happens, nothing unusual about it.

Usually, something gets me fired back up about playing, and it's usually out of left field. In the first instance, it was getting a lot of fill-in work with some other bands. In the second case, I got a new set of drums that changed my outlook on playing. Then this last month as I was experiencing work-related burnout, I got asked to sub for a few gigs and had to learn 50 songs in a week.

Be patient. Wait for that moment to respark your creativity. Try not to force it.
 
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