Muscle Memory Is Amazing



I haven't played or even picked up a pair of sticks since the begining of September when I rented out my basement suite. I figured that until I had my soundproof room built in the garage, I couldn't subject my renters to the drum kit. The longer I went without playing, the more I didn't care about playing, and I've definitely lost my passion about the whole thing.

Anyway, today I made the decision to start some sort of practice regime in an effort to try to bust out of this funk I find myself in. I broke out a pad and a pair of sticks and put on Tommy Igoe's Great Hands For A Lifetime dvd. To my surprise, after six and a half months of not playing at all, I played ok and the sticks didn't feel awkward in my hands at all. I'm not exactly at the very top of my game, but I could play along to all the practice routines on the dvd, with the exception of 3 or 4 exercises on the advanced lifetime warm-up. I guess doing that stuff almost everyday for 3 years really committed it to my muscle memory.
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No Way Jose

Silver Member
Find a tenant that plays an instrument. Then you can play drums every day.

You inspire me. I'm gonna go practice now.


Silver Member
I noticed this too, but I also found this is not at all the case with the fine motor skills involved in playing other instruments. At one point I had become really good on guitar, after about 6 years. Then I quit when I went back to drumming.
After about 5 years of not playing guitar at all, all of my skills are completely gone. It was a real shock, it felt like I had forgotten how to speak.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
It's like falling off a bicycle.

Or something like that.


Senior Member
I use the term habit and prefer that as it more simple to get the understanding of.

Think it, feel it and do it

Habits are formed by repeated motions so once it is there in your subconscious mind you never loose the skill unless you change it and know how to do that.

If you loose it was not planted firmly enough.

This I use a lot and some days can go between playing my drum kit. I pick up the playing from where I left it. Playing with a metronome gets the habits down quickly and efficiently.

My double bass skills I have no reason to focus on much as the accuracy and speed is up there where I want it to be.

Earlier today I looked at a part in a Metallica song which I had not played for months. Well the parts were still were I left them. So just a brush up.

Dan Spitz from Anthrax gave up playing guitar when he left 1995 or so. He had the skills back by the reunion tour.


Senior Member
Yeah I wasn't physically able to play for a couple of years and when I was I was very surprised what I could remember!