Losing It Piece by Piece


Platinum Member
I find myself in those places sometimes too, where I just have no motivation to sit down and do what I know I should be doing. I always feel guilty about it. But a lot of times, once I get back into it i find that the little break actually did me some good and I play better than before. Maybe its because I know I really want to be there. You're mind has to be there with the hands and feet or it's not going to work. Maybe you just needed the break to get back to where you needed to be :) Cant wait tohear your playing.


Gold Member
Crikey. I've just realised that the first post makes me sound like a moaning Minnie.

Just to give you some context, I'm in the best place personally that I've been for an awfully long time. It's not all negative, just the playing and that is a cause of deep frustration but I know it's also self-inflicted through a lack of practice. In the context of life it's absolutely nothing but it's a big part of my identity so feeling like I'm losing that is a bit of a personal blow.

Thanks for the words of support. I try not to post too many personal remarks on the forum (I could write a book about that, honestly) but this is the one exception!

So, let's turn this into a positive.

What do you guys do when you're having a slump like this? Is there any specific kind of practice that you find helpful? Or am I looking at this in a particular way and is it something else that you find helpful? Like learning a new set skill on top of improving basic technique?
...................quit your whining.............

JK, seriously, sometimes we all just need a break. Personally, I've taken several "breaks" voluntarily and involuntarily, some short, some long, and I always came back.

I don't know you, but from what I've read on the forum, drumming is "in" you. That will never go away.

Good luck.


Platinum Member
For those of us who don't earn a living doing it, playing drums is an indulgence. That means that other things occasionally, if not often, take priority - they have to.

It can turn into a vicious circle though: you don't feel able to play, so you don't play, so you feel less able to play ...

My rule of thumb is that if the thought of playing makes me feel physically sick, I don't play. If it doesn't but I just feel I can't play, I make myself sit down, make myself smile, and depending how much I don't want to play, I either do my favourite rudiments that I'm pretty sure I'll do ok, or else I won't attempt to play anything and just hit the drums and see what happens without being judgemental. I invariably surprise myself - sometimes in a good way, sometimes not, but I have learned recently that the less I ask of myself, the more likely I am to surprise myself in a good way. Not that I'm contrary or anything.

I've found - not just with drumming - that you have to spend a lot of time just going through the motions in order to experience that fantastic feeling of "Crikey, where the hell did that come from?" You have to be in it to win it.


Silver Member
But a lot of times, once I get back into it i find that the little break actually did me some good and I play better than before.
+1 Bingo!

I've found the same. Had a "guys jam weekend" at my cottage up north last February and then wasn't able to retrieve the drums for 6 whole weeks. Ouch!

But, my feet didn't stop tapping under my desk at work and my hands didn't stop playing the steering wheel during my 45 minute daily commute. I didn't do anything with conditioning in mind, it was more or less reflexive.

When I got my drums back, my hands were a bit lost on the kit, but strangely my bass foot was a bit quicker.

As mentioned earlier, others have taken a 20 year sabbatical and lived to tell the tale. You will too.


"Uncle Larry"
Another way to look at it is that everything happens for a reason. If life is putting drumming on hold right now, just go with it, embrace it, and plan your glorious return. Being denied what you want could be just the kick in the ass you might need to get you past where you are now. Meaning when you come back, you may have a fresh new way of thinking about it. Also moving out is a big step. Things will work out as they are supposed to, as they always do.

I was 26 when I voluntarily put down drumming to learn how to make money to support myself and my families. Took me almost 20 years. It was more important at the time for me to do that.


Platinum Member
Ha ha - I took 40 years off. Picked drumming back up again 2 years ago.

Techniques have changed drastically, and while I've learned lots of good new stuff, I don't think I'll ever get back to the level I was at.

Or maybe I just remember myself as being a better drummer than I ever really was - smokin' hot!
Buddy Rich had nothin' on me, man



Platinum Member
Yes, I'm having the same problems.

Between a full time job, wife, two kids, 2nd job writing music on the side, shoulder injury, this and that, the time dedicated to drumming is less and less. And my skills have certainly slid big time.

I am almost to the point where I might have some time to practice again, but it's daunting knowing how much rust needs to be knocked off to get back up to speed, and knowing there simply isn't enough time in a week to get back to where I was in my prime, so to speak.

But still, I've collected some exercises from a few threads on this board that I plan on working on at some point soon.

I don't miss the constant giging now that I have a family, but I do wish that the lack of actively gigging has lead to a lack of ability to play as well I could.


Platinum Member
I find that an occasional break can actually be helpful. Cant say how many times I have worked on something for weeks only to come back after a time off and play it better than I ever did. I do forget some of the more complicated things I may be working on but the more useful and important things seem to be better for me.


Platinum Member
I'm reading this thread guys. Your answers aren't going to nought!

I'm just in the middle of a tricky move. I won't be posting much for at least a few days...

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
If there's a will there's a way. I moved to Sydney and made sure I lived near practice rooms. Just lately I'm discovering there's jam nights at different venues actoss the city that I could be attending (though you don't always get your fair share). Failing that you can join bands that hire studios, then last resort you've got your practice pads setup at home.


Senior Member
Hey guys! I joined drummerworld back in 2006 in a quest to get back into my drumming after a 5 yr hiatus (ouch!). Since then I have stopped and started off and on with no real (REAL) reason, just excuses. At one point, I made myself practice every day no matter what. It was kinda hell really. "What possibly could I learn in an hour today?" I would often ask. At the end of every practice I didn't want to stop. I was ... on the "tip of the iceberg" every time. Then at work I'd be tapping my fingers and letting my mind obsess with what to try at home after work.

Long story short, progress is slow but steady. Weeks and months will pass and you will look back and be amazed of your progress. And practicing every day means you don't have to make excuses for it. And even if you have a pillow to practice on, or even a pad, it's still a form of practice. And you can play in a duplex, an apartment. I did it (of course I played jazz, not anything really loud like rock or metal).

When I was between jobs living out of my truck, I got up everyday and set my drums up in the public park and played for hours. I did that for 6 mos (practicing for GC's drumoff no doubt :)).

And even if you get distracted with life and STOP for months, tell yourself you still have it, you can still get back on, you can still move forward.

I just came back after 4 month break and within a week am at or better than where I was. Of course I played for 6 mos everyday straight (well there were days where things got in the way, but you know ...).

Off my soapbox now. Yes it is daunting, but so is sitting in the crowd and wishing it was you up there playing that shuffle or funk or jazz.