Took a 3 month long break from practicing regularly

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
and now my right foot is faster than ever! It's so strange how it happened this way, but it did.

Basically, I got very busy with my 'day job' and couldn't stick to my practice routine which is heavily focused on foot technique, since I consider that to be my greatest weakness. So I actually didn't practice for those 3 months but still played occasional gigs here and there. A few days ago I was shocked to find that I could play all but 2 of the songs in my bass drum Spotify playlist at tempo, even though I have neglected regular practice! I don't quite understand the science behind this but I guess it has to do with the incubation process, or something like that... All I know is that I'm really happy with my progress, and the fact that I can get back to my practice routine again.

Anyone else had a similar experience?
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
In your time off - maybe you forgot an attitude or belief about your foots ability that was holding you back.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
In your time off - maybe you forgot an attitude or belief about your foots ability that was holding you back.
Hmmm... that's a very interesting theory. I can only remember being frustrated and saying to myself, "this is really hard!". But I was patient enough to also tell myself that with diligent practice, it won't be hard anymore.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I had several (long) breaks from drumming in my life, every time I resume my playing something's changed, usually for the better, must be something happening in the "drumming brain" while you're not playing, whatever it is, I find it quite rewarding...

... having said that, I'd rather prefer to have no break from drumming, but such is life and it's priorities :)
 

ZildjianLover

Senior Member
I had several (long) breaks from drumming in my life, every time I resume my playing something's changed, usually for the better, must be something happening in the "drumming brain" while you're not playing, whatever it is, I find it quite rewarding...

... having said that, I'd rather prefer to have no break from drumming, but such is life and it's priorities :)
The same thing happened to me. One time, I was in New Jersey visiting relatives for two weeks, and then when I came back to Florida, I could play much faster double bass singles with my right foot. Another time, when I was at the beach for a week, I came back with better taste in cymbals, and traded the ZBTs I thought were amazing before with used A's lol.
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
Time off from time to time is a good thing for sure. I think of it like de-fragmenting a hard drive, all those miscellaneous little bits of information scattered all over in your brain organize and align themselves to finally make sense (sometimes for the first time) and open up space for new information/sensations & such to be input.

Physically there will be a bit of recovery time too, though I find that I feel rusty after 4-5 days or more off. Of course that muscle memory kicks in and I feel back to normal after about 20 minutes.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
Yes, I guess you could equate it to defragmentation. All I know is that its a really nice feeling when you've finally reached a tempo goal after working on something for some time.

Since last year, I've been pretty diligent with keeping a practice log book. It was funny yesterday when I looked through it... I basically write down what bpm I practiced a certain exercise at and the goal tempo right next to it. I only went through a few exercises but found that I have reached all the goal tempos I wrote down! It was a pretty incredible feeling, really. Most of the stuff I worked on (and continue to work on) was bass drum related because it has always been my biggest weakness. I'm extremely happy with the drastic progress and look forward to more!
 

Starship Krupa

Senior Member
For me, a big part of learning drums is letting go of certain parts of my brain. This is what makes it a meditation and spiritual practice for me.

There are etudes that I have been shedding for many, many months, and there are still a couple of measures that I can't quite nail. And I'm pretty sure that it's because when I get to that spot, my brain takes over and doesn't let my limbs just move.

I have broken down every little piece of it and can do it just fine in isolation, but when I'm playing the whole etude, I panic just a little bit and mess it up. It's like I have a voice saying "here comes that part that's so important, don't mess it up!" and then I lock up.

I also do believe that the brain works on problems in the background, and when we "walk away" from a problem for a while, and put our conscious attention to other things, the brain keeps chugging away unbeknownst to us until we return to the task.
 

adamosmianski

Senior Member
A little time off can be really good, especially for the brain. Three months is way too long for my taste, but whatever works for you is cool.

Personally, I find that I atrophy pretty quickly. If go a week or so without practicing I feel really stiff and slow when I come back. It usually takes a little time to get moving again and the fist practice session back really sucks.

Time off is great for inspiration sometimes though. All of the ideas you have inside tend to bubble up and all try to get out at once.
 

Bobrush

Senior Member
... And I'm pretty sure that it's because when I get to that spot, my brain takes over and doesn't let my limbs just move.

I have broken down every little piece of it and can do it just fine in isolation, but when I'm playing the whole etude, I panic just a little bit and mess it up. It's like I have a voice saying "here comes that part that's so important, don't mess it up!" and then I lock up.
I have always suffered from this. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of my failings are mental, not physical. Certainly, there are physical limits when the speeds get up there, but when having difficulty with a 'tricky' passage that is not at a blinding speed, that is clearly a mental problem. Unfortunately, I think I 'train' myself to have problems, even when really, none should exist. This training is then pretty hard to overcome.
 

Km6543

Senior Member
This can be true of a lot of things. I was listening to a guy talk about how he took a several month long break from studying English, and when he came back to it he was much better at it than before. Maybe it is likened to crop rotation - give that part of your brain a rest.
 
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