Staying Motivated

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
Not sure if it's the summer time blues or what, but I have not been feeling up to playing with my band as of late. Even drumming altogether. I don't seem to have the interest in it.

How do you keep motivated and inspired to still play? Everything seems old hat to me or maybe I'm in a funk?
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I see two practical options in your case:

I. Allow discipline to conquer your malaise. Treat drumming as going to work. You don't feel terribly motivated, but the job needs to be done anyway. You don't have the luxury of slacking. There's a mission to be fulfilled.

II. If you can, take some time off. A break can be very recharging. After a few weeks away, you might adopt a renewed outlook on drumming.

I could offer you a series of flimsy platitudes: Mix things up, practice new material, change your routine, or any number of self-help prescriptions. But those strategies provide only temporary relief, if they even prove effective at all. Chances are you'll bore with them quickly and be right back where you started.
 

wraub

Well-known member
As a long time bass player, I can advocate for the "take a break" approach. Sometimes, the implied "need" to play can cause stress, and stress is a time to walk away and reassess, imo... especially with a creative endeavor, as ime stress and creativity can oppose one another. Unless, of course, the stress can drive you, and then I say double down, learn a new skill (like drill it until it's second nature), or relearn all the paradiddles backwards, something fun. :)



Not sure if it's the summer time blues or what, but I have not been feeling up to playing with my band as of late. Even drumming altogether. I don't seem to have the interest in it.

How do you keep motivated and inspired to still play? Everything seems old hat to me or maybe I'm in a funk?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I only play when I feel like it anymore. This could be everyday, this could be once a week. It dictates itself, and I am in a position where I can drum whenever I want. If I dont wanna, I dont. If I am unable because of something else, I dont worry about it. If I want to drum, I do and enjoy it thoroughly.

I am not in a band anymore. It's not important that I spend 3 hours a day drumming. I still push myself and have goals, but they are no longer necessary. I do it because I still want to. That's my motivation.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
How do you keep motivated and inspired to still play? Everything seems old hat to me or maybe I'm in a funk?
I think we all have ups & downs and shifting priorities with the various aspects of our lives. For example, sometimes you really want to take a vacation, other times it just seems like a lot of coordination and expense.

I'm guessing you have a life, and that's how it should be. We are people first, and everything else second, third, fourth etc. Drumming should never be your whole life, it should be a part of your life. Sometimes it will be a big part, sometimes not so big, and that's fine. You will become re-motivated when the time is right. That might be tomorrow, or July 12th, or New Year's Eve when you sit-in with a band.

In the meantime, there's a lot going on in the world. I'm not surprised you're distracted from playing. You'll be back. :)

Bermuda
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Cycles of burning out and finding new motivation are part of the thing-- if you're a drummer, you figure out why you're doing it, and keep going. If you're not, you just burn out your original enthusiasm for it, and then give up. It helps to be music focused-- not just into the drums. It's also good to know how to pick up new stuff-- be able to read, and find some new things to work on.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well if a younger player life can get busy and distracting so I understand a temporary loss of interest, but if mature and you're losing an interest in what has been a life long passion that sure could be a sign of depression. That happens to a lot of people too-but could just be a minor funk and you need a break to re-charge and find you're happy place again. I also wonder with all the "world events" and people staying indoor is there repercussion from a lack of Vitamin D=besides bone metabolism, it's linked to cardiovascular, immune, cancer and also depression. We synthesize most in our skin converting hydroxycholecalciferol to one metabolite and then final active Vit D metaboliet-calcitriol in kidneys. Anyways I hope people are getting outside some for exercise and sunlight. I always thought it played in a role in my seasonal depression-so I get out more in winter now.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Take whatever it is you're not motivated to do, and jot down your thoughts about it. Then, take those thoughts and write a lyric around them. Done? Good. You've now created something. See if that (the act of creating, or making, something) leads to renewed motivation. If it doesn't, maybe it'll help you look at the issue from a clearer and more honest perspective.
 

tfgretsch

Junior Member
I think we all have ups & downs and shifting priorities with the various aspects of our lives. For example, sometimes you really want to take a vacation, other times it just seems like a lot of coordination and expense.

I'm guessing you have a life, and that's how it should be. We are people first, and everything else second, third, fourth etc. Drumming should never be your whole life, it should be a part of your life. Sometimes it will be a big part, sometimes not so big, and that's fine. You will become re-motivated when the time is right. That might be tomorrow, or July 12th, or New Year's Eve when you sit-in with a band.

In the meantime, there's a lot going on in the world. I'm not surprised you're distracted from playing. You'll be back. :)

Bermuda
well said
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
They've just re-opened practice studios in the UK, that's all the motivation I need after months of practice pad.

On the plus side I've done nearly as much pad work as I did in Uni.

If it's really getting to you, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or a change is as good as a rest.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Thanks for starting this because I'm feeling the exact same way. I probably played over 60 shows last year. This year so far? One.

My wife thinks I'm unmotivated because I've not played out any. I trust her opinion, and I have band practice with two different bands every week, so this helps.
 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
Thank you all for the posts.

It may have been just overall exhaustion from life (house, kid, family, work, working on the house, etc.) and the thought of having practice on a Tuesday night was a little daunting.

The practice ended up doing well, like a poster said, consider it a job. So I played. I think the original band idea for me has run it's course. Last year we played a lot of shows and had a CD release and played in favor of that all year.

We took a break from playing since COVID and now that we are playing again (the last 3 weeks) I just find that I'd rather be spending time with my family. I've played drums long enough and have done enough where I can look back and be ok with it.

I also feel that, especially with original music, we are not getting the work done for me to keep interested. This band in particular. The guys don't bring their guitars home to practice songs. Every week, they have to try to remember what we are working on. Or we just spend time jamming. We run through the songs we have, but then when its time to write it ends up being a jam. I try not to be a dictator so I partake, try to pull out some things, write down some structure and repeat parts. But at the end of the night there isn't much to show for it. I'm used to guys coming in with a song or two, or even a few riffs to mull over. I've mentioned this to the guys in regard to coming to practice prepared and wanting to get things done and not have it end up being a guys night.

I think going back to an regimented cover band would be where my interest lies, but only to make extra coin. Having the idea of songs to learn and a structured environment would help. The original band with the "let's just jam for a little bit man" is really just wasting my few hours a night on a Tuesday where I could be hanging out with my son.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well dang the problem isn't you but your band. I've been down that road of guitarist who don't practice and then show up and waste your time while they try and remember last week's progress. It drags you down for sure.
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I haven't been motivated much since February. I used to feel guilty for not being motivated to practice. I since dropped that. If I don't feel like practicing, I don't. Lately I haven't felt like practicing much. If it doesn't come naturally, I don't force it. 2020 is kicking my ass.
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
This band in particular. The guys don't bring their guitars home to practice songs. Every week, they have to try to remember what we are working on. Or we just spend time jamming. We run through the songs we have, but then when its time to write it ends up being a jam. I try not to be a dictator so I partake, try to pull out some things, write down some structure and repeat parts. But at the end of the night there isn't much to show for it.
THIS!

I'm in two bands: A straight cover/bar band - collectively we're decent but most all of the work is done at band practice, members come in partially prepared at best and we spend most of practice getting the individual parts down (one guy in particular). My second band is a combo original/cover band where all the members are a few levels up. There are no laggers, players are excellent and everyone comes in with homework done. Songs go together fast and we focus on polishing them up. I find the second band way more fun, exciting, energizing and I'm constantly feeling the push to become better. In the first band, I'm the pusher, the quality control guy, feel like I'm the only one listening and it's tiring, often unmotivating and I struggle on the borderline if quitting every few months. At some point, to follow another better opportunity, I likely will.

Follow what's fun, exciting and motivating to you. A good rule of thumb in general in life.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Not sure if it's the summer time blues or what, but I have not been feeling up to playing with my band as of late. Even drumming altogether. I don't seem to have the interest in it.

How do you keep motivated and inspired to still play? Everything seems old hat to me or maybe I'm in a funk?
I find that what motivates me most is listening to music that I enjoy. More importantly, I try to listen to music that I haven't heard before but may be from musicians who I know well but have not heard that particular tune or band before. And if you hear something they play that sounds cool, try and figure out what they are doing and practice doing it yourself. And then try and incorporate that newly learned thing into your own band's music. You'll find that by listening to music with a critical ear it engages you in it more deeply and connects you to it more fully.
 
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