Playing drums without a band: what keeps you motivated?

this made me think:

I get much better at playing drums by myself
I get much better applying drums by playing with people


iu
 
I play in a couple bands but we rarely rehearse because we actually do better without it. My motivation to practice and play drums is kinda low since cutting out the rehearsals but I’m practicing some (so, so much better than none.) I’m actually practicing stuff that will eventually level me up once it gets more fully internalized and not just jamming out beats. I do wish I felt it to jam out beats more often though, I have the time and it can’t hurt my playing
 
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.
One of the bands I was in, we used to sit around a table first to discuss the new songs to be added to the set list, then what order we would play them, (yes the order matters because you want to change the mood gradually and not jump from upbeat to super slow, and you always want to leave the audience wanting more). So when we had to play a show things went much smoother. But, we listened to the songs on our own a lot before practice, then, by the time we got together we basically had our parts down and it was just a matter of correcting very few things. So playing alone came before playing as a band and helped us a lot more than if we just practiced without it.
I find both fun, but sometimes band practice has felt like a chore, playing alone has never felt like a chore, of course because I get to choose what I play which is not always the case when playing with a band.
I love drums so its fun most of the time even when playing with moody band members.
 
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One of the bands I was in, we used to sit at a table first to discuss the new songs to be added to the set list, then what order we would play them, (yes the order matters because you want to change the mood gradually and not jump from upbeat to super slow, and you always want to leave the audience wanting more). So when we had to play a show things went much smoother. But, we listened to the songs on our own a lot before practice, then, by the time we got together we basically had our parts down and it was just a matter of correcting very few things. So playing alone came before playing as a band and helped us a lot more than if we just practiced without it.

my cover band leader does a year-long song use schedule for us every January:

we will add these songs, take these away, and keep these.
we play the new songs out starting in summer, after working on them all spring; we replace the old songs with the new at the saem time

we also have to keep some of the retired songs "at the ready" in case of rquests

all tolled, we have about 200+ songs in our library over the years
 
my cover band leader does a year-long song use schedule for us every January:

we will add these songs, take these away, and keep these.
we play the new songs out starting in summer, after working on them all spring; we replace the old songs with the new at the saem time

we also have to keep some of the retired songs "at the ready" in case of rquests

all tolled, we have about 200+ songs in our library over the years
That’s a lot of songs, but yes you need to keep them in the memory bank, because you never know when the time comes and someone requests a specific song that gets people going and really makes people’s night when the band honors a seemingly random request and pulls it off perfectly. Nothing screams professional louder than that.
 
I find both fun, but sometimes band practice has felt like a chore, playing alone has never felt like a chore, of course because I get to choose what I play which is not always the case when playing with a band.
Yeah, sometimes repeating the same song over and over again at band practice because the vocals or guitar parts aren't good yet can be somewhat of a chore - especially when you can play your part, that doesn't happen at home. It is also what I mean that it differs from practicing at home: when rehearsing along songs you know they will sound exactly the same every time and decide yourself how many times you want to play them.

Getting back to my first post: yesterday I happened to see another ad for 2 guitar players looking for a drummer and sent them a messge.
They already found a singer and bass player as well so we will meet soon.
So I might be in a 2nd band soon! :)
 
There are similar threads but with a different take, so:

Short history: I started playing drums in 2008 (age 35) and joined a band 2 years later.
We worked hard on improving, started gigging and then the band fell apart in September 2012.
The next couple of years I tried joining a couple of other bands but they all weren't a good fit for me.
As joining a band is not so easy in my area I kind of gave up and started playing less and less.
If I would feel like playing, it started to sound like crap - because I hardly played - and it would discourage me even more from playing.
A vicious circle and last half decade I hardly played at all.

FF January 2024: late at night, for some reason, I decided to look at the national musicians/bands-looking-for-musicians/bands site and now I'm in a band again.
A nice group of pretty skilled people without egos and cool to hang out with.
So now I am enjoying playing / working on nailing the bands setlist / working on technique, we already have some gigs coming up and overall am happy to be playing drums again.

So, to me, apparently there has to be a goal: playing with a band / working towards the next rehearsal and gigs / etc.
Playing for myself just doesn't cut it for me anymore.

So what keeps you motivated?
I just like to play the drums.
I think, in the end, you just have to like playing drums.
If you like playing drums, you'll play regardless.
Heck, I don't even need a drumset most times anymore. I just slap my legs or my tummy and tap my feet on the floor. It's kinda how I started out, so I guess I've taken this full circle now?
 
There are similar threads but with a different take, so:

Short history: I started playing drums in 2008 (age 35) and joined a band 2 years later.
We worked hard on improving, started gigging and then the band fell apart in September 2012.
The next couple of years I tried joining a couple of other bands but they all weren't a good fit for me.
As joining a band is not so easy in my area I kind of gave up and started playing less and less.
If I would feel like playing, it started to sound like crap - because I hardly played - and it would discourage me even more from playing.
A vicious circle and last half decade I hardly played at all.

FF January 2024: late at night, for some reason, I decided to look at the national musicians/bands-looking-for-musicians/bands site and now I'm in a band again.
A nice group of pretty skilled people without egos and cool to hang out with.
So now I am enjoying playing / working on nailing the bands setlist / working on technique, we already have some gigs coming up and overall am happy to be playing drums again.

So, to me, apparently there has to be a goal: playing with a band / working towards the next rehearsal and gigs / etc.
Playing for myself just doesn't cut it for me anymore.

So what keeps you motivated?
I love to practice! I play in 3 bands and besides learning band material, theres always something else i want to work on.
 
I just like to play the drums.
I think, in the end, you just have to like playing drums.
If you like playing drums, you'll play regardless.
Heck, I don't even need a drumset most times anymore. I just slap my legs or my tummy and tap my feet on the floor. It's kinda how I started out, so I guess I've taken this full circle now?

I am the same way...and I get yelled at for tapping all of the time, which means I don't even realize I am doing it
 
I just like to play the drums.
I think, in the end, you just have to like playing drums.
If you like playing drums, you'll play regardless.
Heck, I don't even need a drumset most times anymore. I just slap my legs or my tummy and tap my feet on the floor. It's kinda how I started out, so I guess I've taken this full circle now?
That's pretty funny because I'm not like that at all, slapping or tapping or whatever. Only when I'm playing drums.
I do have music (the radio or whatever I want to listen to) on all day, I hate silence.
 
"Love of Music, of course...."
 
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.
This ^^^

Like others life happens and I have had a few hiatus in my life.
Now retired I get to focus more on my creative side. My jam band mates are so fun with trying new things.

I am constantly tuned to any music playing and i can play the song in my head. Those I recognize more challenging, I go explore the song.

Lately I like to grab a bunch of songs from my Apple collection or as Eric mentions let Spotify shuffle play. I’m listening to songs so much closer now … hopefully using my playing skills.
 
This ^^^

Like others life happens and I have had a few hiatus in my life.
Now retired I get to focus more on my creative side. My jam band mates are so fun with trying new things.

I am constantly tuned to any music playing and i can play the song in my head. Those I recognize more challenging, I go explore the song.

Lately I like to grab a bunch of songs from my Apple collection or as Eric mentions let Spotify shuffle play. I’m listening to songs so much closer now … hopefully using my playing skills.
I didn't choose a random list, I made a list of 100 songs I wanted to play and some of them were a little above my skill level at that time. (two years ago), then, I slowly have been able to play a lot of them somehow without a lot of practice yet I have seen some significant improvement.
I believe my lack of skill was not physical (as in I was always able to play the parts) but more so able to listen and execute them as Macarina stated, I am also listening more closely (I have always been able to separate every instrument part and remember them just fine which was counter productive to more easily remembering just the drum parts. It's hard for me to do that, (focus solely on the drum parts), and I guess it's less bad than it seems since I can use some of the other instrument queues to make the appropriate changes, but that also works against me when it comes time to remember very specific fills or intricate sections.
I need a Moses app for my head so I can remove all other instruments and just keep the drum parts...
Anyway completing that list, and getting to a higher level is my motivation. I make everything I need to accomplish a quest to get there and every completed step renews my motivation. (Works great for college classes).
 
I don't take drum lessons, but now with the available free material in YouTube and other sources, you can basically pick and choose your lessons ( I would get Drumeo if I had time to regularly play, otherwise I feel that paying for something I don't really use doesn't make sense).
Since you can do that, (choose from everywhere) I like to pick one or two things that I believe I am capable of doing and then attempting them. Luckily for me, my playing perception is not disconnected from what I can play in reality so, 99% of the time if I think I can play it, I really can.
The 1% remaining is usually speed related (but not a great deal of difference just 1 or 2 bpm) or a matter of translating the pattern in my head to the kit cleanly. That to me is the keyword, if I can't play it cleanly then I can't play it and to me cleanly means proper speed and most importantly relaxed so that the correct dynamics are applied. Once I can do that, then I consider I can play something. I guess I find multiple ways to keep myself motivated, why let negativity rule your life when you can drum?
There is so much to learn from music styles to different instrument tunings, to recording, to writing, etc, if none of that is enough to keep variety and motivation, maybe drumming is not for you...
 
There are similar threads but with a different take, so:

Short history: I started playing drums in 2008 (age 35) and joined a band 2 years later.
We worked hard on improving, started gigging and then the band fell apart in September 2012.
The next couple of years I tried joining a couple of other bands but they all weren't a good fit for me.
As joining a band is not so easy in my area I kind of gave up and started playing less and less.
If I would feel like playing, it started to sound like crap - because I hardly played - and it would discourage me even more from playing.
A vicious circle and last half decade I hardly played at all.

FF January 2024: late at night, for some reason, I decided to look at the national musicians/bands-looking-for-musicians/bands site and now I'm in a band again.
A nice group of pretty skilled people without egos and cool to hang out with.
So now I am enjoying playing / working on nailing the bands setlist / working on technique, we already have some gigs coming up and overall am happy to be playing drums again.

So, to me, apparently there has to be a goal: playing with a band / working towards the next rehearsal and gigs / etc.
Playing for myself just doesn't cut it for me anymore.

So what keeps you motivated?
Getting my drums and snare to sound good..motivation comes with trying stuff im not good at until i can master it..😄
 
There are similar threads but with a different take, so:

Short history: I started playing drums in 2008 (age 35) and joined a band 2 years later.
We worked hard on improving, started gigging and then the band fell apart in September 2012.
The next couple of years I tried joining a couple of other bands but they all weren't a good fit for me.
As joining a band is not so easy in my area I kind of gave up and started playing less and less.
If I would feel like playing, it started to sound like crap - because I hardly played - and it would discourage me even more from playing.
A vicious circle and last half decade I hardly played at all.

FF January 2024: late at night, for some reason, I decided to look at the national musicians/bands-looking-for-musicians/bands site and now I'm in a band again.
A nice group of pretty skilled people without egos and cool to hang out with.
So now I am enjoying playing / working on nailing the bands setlist / working on technique, we already have some gigs coming up and overall am happy to be playing drums again.

So, to me, apparently there has to be a goal: playing with a band / working towards the next rehearsal and gigs / etc.
Playing for myself just doesn't cut it for me anymore.

So what keeps you motivated?
Congrats on your Return to being a Band Mate, Drumming. This post conjures up a personal story (again, Sorry to posters that have seen previous posts about this).

I started on Drums circa 1966 at age 15. I'm 72 now. Influenced by the British Invasion for sure and the fact that I knew I would not be able to play Guitar. I did discover early that The Beat Was In Me. Took lessons around then at a local Music Shop where I lived in Queens NY. During this exercise, I had a close friend who was learning to play Guitar - a HS buddy. Eventually we teamed up with another HS buddy who had a House. I lived in an apartment, my other Buddy had a very samall house. Eventually, after a number of lessons and practicing on a Remo Drum Pad (Which I still Have), I bought a Drum Set [thats' what we called them then not Drum Kits] from the Music Store - a 4 piece drum set with a HiHat and one crash/ride type cymbal & a Throne. From circa 1967 to mid 1969 we played / practiced, learning and progressing together in the Buddy's basement (he had the room for our stuff). The very first tunes were silly and simple, and progressed as we went along. Tammy was the 1st song, went on to My Girl, Gloria, In The Midnight Hour, etc... We never got out of the basement to play a gig. Life changed for all of us in June 1969. HS Graduation and we started to go in different directions come that late summer. I went to college (LIU in Brooklyn) the other guys went elsewhere. I started to date a girl I re-met as Pre-teen sweethearts, me at 18, her at 16. We will be married 50 Years in November!. With no where to put my drum set, I sold it, and Hung up The Drum Spikes. But of course, The Beat Remained In Me!. Playing drums on dashboards, Air Drums, etc. I love Rock Music, in fact many Genres of Music.

Sometime during 2018, as I was now approaching retirement after working in my field of real estate finance in many capacities since 1973. I said to my wife during summer / fall that "I was thinking of going to a local music studio, just to pound on some Drums again". So, that Xmas of 2018, she gifted me a cheapo Gammon Drum Kit! After the Holidays, I started to set it up in my finished basement. It was learning curve for me as it was totally disassembled. Once set up, I tried it out playing basic rock beats - there was lots of Rust but I shook it off. Very soon later, I put the first tune on my Boom Box to play along to: Time is On My Side, then to Long Cool Woman in Black Dress, and some others. During the next few months, I started to set up a stereo system in the basement, which was much better than playing along to a Boom Box!! During COVID Hibernation, I kept fine tuning the Mancave (hate that term but it just fits), more stereo equipment, Two zones : Front and Rear, 4 sets of Bookshelf speakers etc. Then I gave that Gammon Kit to my 4 year old Grandson who loved playing them when he came over: "Poppi, Can We Play The Drums?" His Older sister too. I loved seeing that!! In early 2021, I purchased a USED PDP Maple Concept 6 drum kit at Guitar Center for about $450 - in excellent condition. soon thereafter I added a 8" Tom New to the Kit. Over this course since resurrecting playing I was on an immense Learning curve: Learning all about Drum Heads, Drum Tuning as an Art, other accessories, etc. [which I knew nothing about way back when] . I watched lots of You Tube videos of reviews and How Tos. Of Course, all new cymbals (moderate quality) upgrading what I had. Now I play about 1 hour a day in retirement (happened May 2021 - primarily forced by Physical issues that were disabling me with Chronic pain and terrible Stiffness from Spinal Arthritis (and in my Knees, hips and some fingers too) for personal Enjoyment. I still maintain my hopes to be able to Jam with other Local Geriatric Musicians one day. I'd get a big Kick out of playing Petty, Mellencamp, Springsteen, Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and others in Jam sessions.
 
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