I Need to Get Re-Motivted

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
I haven't sat down and picked up the sticks for almost three weeks. I just can't get motivated to do so. I walk by my drums on a daily basis and enjoy looking at them but just can't seem to find it in me to sit down and play.

My mind is on drumming. I check in here at DW on a daily basis. I go online to all the retail sites for gear related stuff (even though I can't afford any purchases right now). But my motivation for playing has dramatically waned.

I want to play, I think about it, but I just can't get my ass on my throne.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I guess I'll pile on here too.

I hate practicing the drums.
I enjoy playing along with music, but I can't sit down on the set and practice with no music.
I guess I'll never get much better at playing than I am now.


.
 

Superman

Gold Member
I've been there plenty of times. Sometimes I just need a mental break, sometimes I'm just too busy. Relax and maybe listen to some music that you enjoy. Sometimes when I just take a moment and listen to some music that moves me, it inspires me to play. I think sometimes we get lost in the rudiments and forget that at the end of the day it is all about the music.

Funny how you mentioned the DW site and retail sites..that's what my day usually consists of too.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I have found that at times, reading about and looking at drums, on DW too, shopping or buying stuff etc, can detract from actually playing them. Funny, that.

Maybe you need or like change? I recommend taking your kit down and setting it up different, maybe only 4 pieces, or no high toms, or better yet just hats, snare and bass and ride. See what you can create with that minimalism, challenge yourself.

If I don't feel like practicing rudiments and stuff, I get some fave tune on the headphones and play along to it. Not as fun as a band but you're still doing music, not just practice.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
Maybe you need or like change? I recommend taking your kit down and setting it up different, maybe only 4 pieces, or no high toms, or better yet just hats, snare and bass and ride. See what you can create with that minimalism, challenge yourself.
That's a pretty good idea. I have thought about doing that in the past, but I've never been one to mess with my set-up.

Snare, bass, hats, ride.... hmmm?
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
I feel you pain too. I am on DW everyday just nosing around. I also checkout ebay and CL for gear related stuff. I have many DVD's and books on learning related material that I watch or read from time to time but never really sit down work on all the excercises.

Sometime life just gets in the way.

So what helps me now is I tend to work on the material that my band plays. It's music from the 50's and 60's for the most part. I will listen to the original recordings and I am always finding little ways to inprove the live performance. It also makes me feel like I am progressing. Are my paradiddles getting any faster? NO but the music is sounding better.

Anyone need any learning DVD's ? :)
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Maybe you need or like change? I recommend taking your kit down and setting it up different, maybe only 4 pieces, or no high toms, or better yet just hats, snare and bass and ride. See what you can create with that minimalism, challenge yourself.
That really sounds like fun. I have been on a minimalist kick since I started taking lessons with my new teacher, his gigging kit only has a one tom, the FT get busted out for Big Band gigs only when it is needed.

Only other idea I could throw in is to keep a set of sticks and a book handy when you can practice while you watch tv or pretend to listen while you wife tells you all about her day.

I just got a pair of these, get some, they're great: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/vic-firth-practice-sticks-with-rubber-tip

Doesn't have to be this brand, Promark also makes a pair and some company sells just the rubber tips. I love em' because you can practice on the kitchen counter or any hard surface without the need of a pad.

Mitch, if that doesn't help I can always call you up and yell at you in Spanish. Might not motivate you but at the very least you'll have a funny story to tell.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I haven't sat down and picked up the sticks for almost three weeks. I just can't get motivated to do so. I walk by my drums on a daily basis and enjoy looking at them but just can't seem to find it in me to sit down and play.

My mind is on drumming. I check in here at DW on a daily basis. I go online to all the retail sites for gear related stuff (even though I can't afford any purchases right now). But my motivation for playing has dramatically waned.

I want to play, I think about it, but I just can't get my ass on my throne.
Could it be the winter doldrums? (There's a joke in there somewhere) Maybe when spring arrives you may get a new attitude? People, like everything, have up cycles and down cycles. It sounds like you are in a down cycle right now. Nothing wrong there. You did the right thing in letting us know. A truck has been dispatched with a motivational team and they are enroute to your place as we speak. In the meantime, allow me to blow some sunshine up your ass.

It's always darkest before the dawn.
Winners never quit
It's OK to take breaks. Varying a routine is a good thing.
Your self worth...don't tie it to your playing. That's a recipe for an unhappy life.

Umm that's all I can think of atm. The team should be there shortly to talk you down.

So Mitch, describe one of your typical practice sessions.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
For me, I like to find something I'm really not good at and attempt to learn it. Makes me more motivated than just running through exercises and what not. I think about the problem even when I'm not at the kit, and work on it when I am.
 

chris_drb

Member
Watching great drummers on videos or live usually gets me motivated. Or listening to a new song with a great beat. Joshua redman's elastic band cd and Snarky Puppy's 'We Like it Here' cd is what helped me recently. Depends on your musical taste.

Also sometimes when I perform I hear a phrase or beat in my head but I'm not able to play it on the drums. I take that idea to my next practice session. Most recent it was hip hop beats, ride on down beats, hi hat left foot on the last triplet of each beat to make a shuffle pattern. And improvising over that with snare/bass.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Sounds like a great time to tear everything down and clean. By the time you are finished you may be ready to play again. I have found in my case motivation cames from within. When you are ready, you will play
 

MisterZero

Senior Member
This happens to all of us. I remember one time auditioning for a band, and they sent me a list of tunes they wanted me to know. Each song had a different drum nuance. Odd time, shuffle, a snare-heavy tune that involved stroke notes, and Fool in The Rain.

Now, the seguay into the topic: Trying to master Fool in the Rain was an absolute BLAST!!!!! the mistakes, trials and errors....and ultimate accomplishment. I think you need a new project. Something that'll last only a few days and provide feedback (reward).

My advice: Try to master Fool in the Rain. If you already have, try to master another tune, and one in odd time. Trust me, it's fun......
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I had this recently, lasted around 6 months or so. Still thought about drums all day long, bought stuff for the kit.

Just couldn't be motivated to practice. I'm kept busy with gigs but away from the bands I just didn't have any motivation to play at home on my own. Practice was a chore I'd do before a recording session.

I'd gotten stuck into practicing the same old stuff which neither challenged me or motivated me much. I also struggled with confidence learning new styles and techniques.

Luckily the other half picked up on this and she got me a private lesson with Steve White of all people.

The lesson went great and he really broke down Jazz playing for me and spurred me on, paying some good compliments along the way when needed.

I left the lesson cursing myself for allowing my playing to suffer.

Since the lesson a couple months ago now I can't get enough. I've started to switch to traditional grip, really working on my left hand. I have bought classic books to learn (stick control, advanced techniques for modern drummer to name just two) and have spent hours at just a pad learning from scratch over again, starting right at the basics again

My playing has massively improved already and I love the new results, plus the confidence in that I'm not as dumb as I thought and can rethink how I played after all these years.

Where I want to be is still years away!! But I'm massively enjoying the journey of improvement now. It feels very satisfying as I'm making the most of free time.

It happens and you'll come out of it when you're ready/something gives you a kick in a positive way.

Don't loose much heart in the meantime. Maybe even look to learning something brand new to keep your brain busy/attracted to playing something currently out of your comfort zone.
 

double_G

Silver Member
one fix that is always motivated me: GO to a jam. you will play some tunes great, others will suck. makes an "emotional dent" & instant motivation, gets u practicing & then back to the same jam. rinse & repeat. :)
 

mikel

Platinum Member
You should never feel guilty about not practicing, for most of us drumming is a pleasurable pastime, not a job. Play when you feel like it, its supposed to be enjoyable. I sometimes force myself to sit and practice, and guess what? I get little constructive out of it.

Its not a chore to beat yourself up about, when the passion returns go with it and enjoy.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
So Mitch, describe one of your typical practice sessions.
When I sit down to practice, I usually go through a simple warm-up routine to loosen me up - focusing mostly on my hands (especially during the winter months) and my shoulders. Then I do some rolls on my snare and a few basic rudiments to hone me into my kit. Then I usually get down to what I want/need to learn. If I'm feeling kind of of randy, I'll give into guilty pleasures and play what I want.

I don't have a gig to practice for at the moment (it's been about 7 weeks since I've done that).

I'll be on the lookout for the black helicopters, BTW. ;-)


I had this recently, lasted around 6 months or so. Still thought about drums all day long, bought stuff for the kit.

Just couldn't be motivated to practice. I'm kept busy with gigs.......
No apologies necessary for the "essay." I'm dealing with everything you wrote about (except the gig part). I just need to make myself get back in the saddle and do it. I want to, but I don't want to at the same time.


You should never feel guilty about not practicing, for most of us drumming is a pleasurable pastime, not a job. Play when you feel like it, its supposed to be enjoyable. I sometimes force myself to sit and practice, and guess what? I get little constructive out of it.

Its not a chore to beat yourself up about, when the passion returns go with it and enjoy.
I don't feel guilty - maybe that's one of the problems. I love playing my drums. It activates the pleasure center in my brain, makes me feel focused and in tune with the world around me, and I enjoy life more because of it.

The last time I played, I wasn't really bored with my practice routine. In fact, I can say that I was still enjoying it. I did decide to take a brief respite because I needed the skin on my left thumb next to the edge of the nail to heal. That made leading and playing my hi-hat really painful.

The thumb healed and I haven't done crap since.

Edit: Just another piece of information - do with it what you will, my confidence level is iffy at best right now. I fell like a real pu$$y saying that.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I posted a similar type thread on a different forum about myself. I wasn't really looking for an answer to solve my problem, more from a question standpoint of "what do you do"?

To Larry's point, the weather? Not sure what it's like where you are but in Western, NY I'm about sick of everything because of it.

I believe I'm coming to crossroads with the instrument after 38+ years. Not that I'll ever give it up - NO WAY. Just in a different place with it. I no longer have any desire to gig - at all. Last year people tried to get me to revive my gig activity and after a while, I graciously bowed out. The thought of gigging nauseates me in every way.

Of all of it, I've kept one rehearsal band in my life and my commitment to that is at my own discretion as well.

I still love to practice on my own though. I love the personal challenge the instrument brings and don't think I will ever drop it.

I'm actually deciding to take up another instrument completely and totally unrelated. Have a highly regarded teacher who will work me through that process.

At the end of the day, what motivates me most is listening to music. That gets me motivated enough to go spend some time in the shed and work things out.

Only you will know what's best for you. Try different things and see what happens as a result.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
FWIW, I don't practice nearly as much as I could.

Lately, I have become bored with my rehearsals and decided to practice to a metronome, because it's like another player. I can even lay out and the time keeps moving forward. I'm not so tied to the time now and I can think differently and play melodically. It's like I have another player taking the pressure off. It was the change I needed to look forward to practice again.

It's good you are not feeling guilty about not practicing. One less mind issue to conquer. (guilt is a useless and counter-productive emotion IMO) What you have to do now is give yourself permission to not play if you don't feel like it. It's really OK. John Lennon said artists have to breathe in (what you're doing now) and breathe out (play your music)

I admit, sometimes I'd rather sit here and interact with you guys than practice. I do like being here. I happen to believe that thinking about drumming is nearly as good as practicing drumming. When I get the urge, I practice. If the urge isn't there, that's fine too. I find a period of rest to be good once in a while.

When you are ready to resume your own practice, do so. Until then do something else that fulfills you. It's all OK. The drums are like the perfect mistress. They never complain and are always happy to oblige you.

@David...what's the new instrument?
 
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