Ten years later, what's changed with your playing?

Mr Farkle

Well-known Member
Great post we can all relate to.

I think that we think we suck because we focus on the quarter note when we are unsure.

We are THE ONLY PEOPLE who think it sucks focusing on the quarter note, like it's something to be ashamed of. Meanwhile, that's exactly why you got asked to play. Drummers need to understand that.

The maturity I was talking about...a lot of that came from the realization that SPACE SOUNDS SO GREAT. It's easier too. So less notes sound better than more notes generally speaking in lyric based music, not music based music. And it's easier and sounds better. So why do I hamstring myself by doing 32nd notes with my forehead on the snare? When space is what the other musicians crave? Because we think in terms of "lead drums", instead of knowing the role of the drums in a band. We need to create space so the sweeter sounding instruments can fill it up.

We don't highlight the frame of the car. It serves a hidden function. Same with drumming. (Applies to me, not everyone)

Why do we shy away from space? I think it's a security thing. IOW, if I am secure that space is great, I don't feel the need to fill it up. Unless it would elevate the song. It's great to hear breathing room.
There’s something about the stacatto nature of the drum that makes me want to fill all of that space. Also insecurity about not knowing how to fill up that space when it’s actually needed. Just making your point that it’s probably a more advanced skill.


Silver Member
10 years ago:

- I had just joined my first cover band...and we're still together
- I was more interested in how my kit looked over how much the gear weighed
- I had never played to a click
- I had never used IEMs
- I was more interested in licks over feel
- I've increased my stamina
- I've gone from using a double pedal to a single pedal
- I still have trouble tying a tie

I wish I could say I was way better player now but I look at old videos and I sound the same 😐
I listen to old recordings of mine and I am impressed with the speed I used to have, I can reach it now but it is way harder when before it was (or it felt to me) pretty effortless. I am a better player in the sense that I can come up with better parts now, but my timing was always very good from the very start. (I don't know how I was able to do that but somehow it worked). My double bass speed has increased significantly. I can play harder songs now... I guess my weakness is my lack of practice, every time I go back to the kit I have to spend at least an hr to get used to playing again after stopping for months at a time. Hopefully getting my forever home will solve this since I will have a dedicated music space.


Junior Member
I have to go back thirteen years for what was going on in my world ten years ago to make sense.

In January of 2008 I was a workaholic living in the DC/Baltimore area. My job was such at that point that playing in a steady band was not possible, but I subbed as a drummer fairly regularly. January 31, 2008 I was in Pittsburgh subbing with a country/rock band. I had a major stroke.

In September of 2009 I retired at the age of 50.

In May of 2010 my future wife and I bought a house in a suburb of Pittsburgh.

By the summer of 2010 I was already gigging again, but as a hand percussionist. I subbed as a drummer, but I ended playing in three different bands on percussion.

I returned to gigging regularly behind a kit in December of 2013. Working with one band regularly as a drummer turned into two. By 2015 I was playing drums from one to three nights a week, like I had years ago. I stayed busy as a drummer through the end of 2019. I've continued to practice daily through the pandemic. I'm rehearsing with a new band and hoping return to gigging soon.

So the short answer is ten years ago I was doing a lot of work on congas, cajon, etc. I returned to drumset and stayed busy until Covid-19.
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Platinum Member
Ten years ago I was in one band, and had been in that band 14 years.
I had one kit and one set of cymbals.

I’m still in that band, but now play in 4 others regularly, and fill in occasionally for 3 or 4 others. I built up to six kits and 30 cymbals at one stage, but recently brought that back to three kits and three sets of cymbals.

I’ve also started mixing bands in pubs, and got my head around some digital mixers.

Technique wise I’ve started playing left hand shuffles - something that never occurred to me ten years ago. I’ve also learnt some new Samba beats, which is handy now I’m also in a Brazilian band. And I have better ghost notes, good for songs like Lido Shuffle and Reelin’ in the Years. So I have evolved a bit over that time. Playing five times as many gigs now compared to then.

Paul Blood

Junior Member
I'd like to think I'm better, but honestly I'm not sure.... I am certain though that I love playing just as much if not more than I did back then. I am grateful for ever note I get to play now. Nothing is better than getting lost in my magic of the groove!


Staff member
Changes in my playing - in terms of what others perceive - not a lot, except for maybe further simplification, & I'd hope some modest incremental improvement in delivery.

In terms of approach & challenge however, a lot has changed. My stroke forced a real examination & relearning of what I do. I had to (literally) reprogram myself. I think some of the superfluous stuff got filtered out in that process.


Diamond Member
Nothing has improved except my smile while playing drums. 🙂


Diamond Member
in the past 2 years, I have noticed my right hand pinch (index and thumb interaction) is a little compromised due to an old hockey injury aging...