Playing drums without a band: what keeps you motivated?

I keep hearing drummers and bass players are in demand. Maybe it's not me for not being on social media.
I've heard that for over 30 years. I think there's maybe just more crappy songwriters out there that can't keep a rhythm section because their original music isn't enjoyable to listen to night after night. I started writing my own music to counter this theory, but it turns out, I'm a crappy songwriter too. 🤷‍♂️
 
There is so much material and so many different skills to develop when you’re all by yourself. I play on weekends but the time I spend playing music with other people would be less than 5% or 10%.

Can you play Medicine? Rosanna? Fool in the rain? A tale of two princes? A thousand miles? Everlong? I keep forgetting? Funky drummer? Spain? Soul vaccination? My Sharona? 7 steps to heaven? Le Grange? Etc etc

Get a playlist happening, drumless tracks, clicks, gap clicks, charts, books etc there is a lifetime of work to do and then bands will be looking for you and not the other way around.
 
Can you play Medicine? Rosanna? Fool in the rain? A tale of two princes? A thousand miles? Everlong? I keep forgetting? Funky drummer? Spain? Soul vaccination? My Sharona? 7 steps to heaven? Le Grange? Etc etc
I get what you mean but I don't feel like learning (those) songs just to play them for myself.
Why would I bother? There is no goal to reach / motivation in it for me.
Working on nailing songs so I can play them with my band there is.

But to each his or her own of course. If others are happy playing just for themselves, that's absolutely fine.
Everyone should do what makes playing drums fun for them.
 
I get what you mean but I don't feel like learning (those) songs just to play them for myself.
Why would I bother? There is no goal to reach / motivation in it for me.
Working on nailing songs so I can play them with my band there is.

But to each his or her own of course. If others are happy playing just for themselves, that's absolutely fine.
Everyone should do what makes playing drums fun for them.
Yes for sure.

I suppose the aim of learning such songs is that you learn transferable skills and then have the knowledge and prowess to play things outside of dumb 8th note rock, which I love playing btw but we have to aim higher.
 
Yes for sure.

I suppose the aim of learning such songs is that you learn transferable skills and then have the knowledge and prowess to play things outside of dumb 8th note rock, which I love playing btw but we have to aim higher.
Yeah, I agree with that. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and learning difficult songs or different styles will only improve one as a drummer and can be useful in another context as well.
I sometimes choose a random playlist on Spotify, set it to shuffle and try to play along with each song that comes by.
 
I quit my band about four months ago and have been looking for a new one, or thinking of going to jam nights to play with other musicians casually. But right now I enjoy playing drums by myself and expressing myself. It's a process of getting away from the stress and frustration of daily life where I get to play whatever I want on a great sounding drumset with lots of sonic options that I get endless satisfaction from. Like running laundry for my brain.

I usually play a few times a week and often after I listen to music that I try to channel, combining the influence with myself. I don't really play along with music, but have played to books like The Code of Funk, The Funky Drummer, The Breakbeat Bible, Stick Control, etc.

I think it's a matter of keeping my chops up in case an opportunity comes along, and also not wanting to lose the magic of playing drums that came along when I first played 27 years ago. Band or not, the drums are a sacred place for me and I love personal expression. That's my take on it anyway.
It's been twenty years since I played in a band and closer to fifty since last paying gig. There's a decade or more in there where I touched sticks to head or pad not at all. I am not sure what the motivation is, but some of it is just life. Drums are my refuge, my two martinis--well bourbon really--with supper. It's a hobby, an escape not that different from any other hobby: books, writing, painting or whatever. I'd enjoy playing with others and being creative but not with the onus of a formal BAND. It's just not practicable, and I'd need that proverbial "right bunch of fellows." If it is a refuge, it is also an addiction and an obsession and sometimes unproductively so. "Toto, we've come a long way from Kansas." it surely ain't like the old days when you waited months for the next issue of MD, sneaked late-night viewing of Johnny Carson hoping for good shots of the drummer or killed a dateless Saturday night watching Midnight Special. These days, the sheer saturation of things drumming can get overwhelming, frustrating, paralyzing and demoralizing. Not playhing in a band doesn't impact my motivation at all; watching some ten YO kid do things I can't even understand does impact the motivation.
 
You can play at home just fine , but I believe playing with others puts the onus on you to strive harder and pushes you more to improve. I believe you learn more with the pressure. It’s like having to teach something. You will strive to have a better understanding to be able to teach and you’ll think about questions a student may have. That putting a headlight on me raises bar of my efforts- otherwise I can be lazy about it.
I get your take, and to a certain degree I agree with you. However, while it might force me to focus efforts to improve, that doesn't mean it will force others to do the same even within a band context. That is part of the onus of a formal BAND I don't want to deal with. It's moot since the OP asked "for what motivates you outside the band context."
 
There is so much material and so many different skills to develop when you’re all by yourself. I play on weekends but the time I spend playing music with other people would be less than 5% or 10%.

Can you play Medicine? Rosanna? Fool in the rain? A tale of two princes? A thousand miles? Everlong? I keep forgetting? Funky drummer? Spain? Soul vaccination? My Sharona? 7 steps to heaven? Le Grange? Etc etc

Get a playlist happening, drumless tracks, clicks, gap clicks, charts, books etc there is a lifetime of work to do and then bands will be looking for you and not the other way around.
LOL. I've maybe heard of half those tunes. If I never hear My Sharona again, it will be too soon.
 
Yeah, I agree with that. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and learning difficult songs or different styles will only improve one as a drummer and can be useful in another context as well.
I sometimes choose a random playlist on Spotify, set it to shuffle and try to play along with each song that comes by.
Agreed, great advice and too true.
 
I sometimes choose a random playlist on Spotify, set it to shuffle and try to play along with each song that comes by.
I do the Same.... Spotify, TIDAL and Pandora. At my level of play, I feel pretty good that I can play that random set (or at least 80% of it) during the hour or so that I play daily. But at the end of the day, I do pine to play with other musicians of my caliber someday ------ soon I hope. I don't do Social Media, so that limits exposure to be able to do that. Suggestions are welcome !
 
I do the Same.... Spotify, TIDAL and Pandora. At my level of play, I feel pretty good that I can play that random set (or at least 80% of it) during the hour or so that I play daily. But at the end of the day, I do pine to play with other musicians of my caliber someday ------ soon I hope. I don't do Social Media, so that limits exposure to be able to do that. Suggestions are welcome !
I played to 45s and LPs as a kid. I basically was self taught early on. I've not done that in decades. The closest is to practice jazz stuff to just a bass line. The problem is getting music through the headphones loud enough that I can hear it over the drums and still have the drums sound RIGHT to me. IEMs probably would be the best route, but I refuse to stick anything in my ears.
 
I'm not with a band right now and don't miss it.I have my PA speakers set up behind my kit and crank them up and play with any band I want without loading and unloading,dealing with personalities,and playing songs I do not like.It will have to be the right situation for me to play with another band.
Pretty much the same for me. I miss a few things but for the most part there were more things I rather not deal with than benefits.
I enjoy my solitude (can't call it quiet time because it's not) I am improving even with how little I practice so I can't complain.
I will also learn to play guitar properly and piano/keys decently enough to be able to write my own mediocre tunes.
If I went back to a band it would have to be a great opportunity (and I would really have to be in the same mindset musically).
Since pigs are likely to be able to fly before this happens, I am not waiting or wishing, I am just having fun with other pursuits.
 
I was without a band from 1997-2005(an eternity!), but I still did little one-offs, studio work, and sub gigs till I found more like-minded people. I just kept projecting myself into the future, knowing that someone would say "call" at any time and I had to be ready. I really did enjoy the amount of time I played to records until I could once again do it for real.


Dan
 
Pretty much the same for me. I miss a few things but for the most part there were more things I rather not deal with than benefits.
I enjoy my solitude (can't call it quiet time because it's not) I am improving even with how little I practice so I can't complain.
I will also learn to play guitar properly and piano/keys decently enough to be able to write my own mediocre tunes.
If I went back to a band it would have to be a great opportunity (and I would really have to be in the same mindset musically).
Since pigs are likely to be able to fly before this happens, I am not waiting or wishing, I am just having fun with other pursuits.

this made me think:

I get much better at playing drums by myself
I get much better applying drums by playing with people
 
this made me think:

I get much better at playing drums by myself
I get much better applying drums by playing with people
There are more threads about this but what I notice is that I get better playing drums by myself (along songs or loops) but for a big part in that context.
When I play with my band the tempo pushing / pulling / small mistakes (by myself or others) and other band dynamics require a different mindset / playing style / adapting.
 
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