What to do when not in a band?

I'm turning 35 this year and have been actively gigging, recording, and rehearsing with bands since I was 12. My wife and I just had our first baby in May, I had my last gig before a brief hiatus in late March. My current band typically goes all out for Halloween so I had planned on returning in late August/early September. The band leader is a business owner, trying to start up a small second business, and is getting married in November, he told me he will probably only be able to do one small gig for the rest of the year around Halloween. So for conversation sake, I abruptly went from gigging at least once a month and weekly band practices to no band practices at all and only one gig for at least a nine month span.

I have an ekit at home I can play even with a newborn around. I have a very supportive wife who encouraged me to not even take a break at all. The problem is... I don't know what to do at home. I know, I know... I can work on rudiments. I can play to backing tracks. I can record/program beats. I can learn covers. Unfortunately that bores the hell out of me and my attention span on drums is maybe 5 minutes tops when I'm not playing with a band. I just don't know what to do. Playing at home by myself is simply not enjoyable. It never has been and I've been at this consistently for over twenty years. It's not a lack of discipline, I can easily make myself sit down and play and I can easily carve out time to do so. It's a lack of joy. I LOVE the creative process of being in a band. The give and take. The ebb and flow.

I was always worried that if I wasn't in a band that I wouldn't play drums at all and that unfortunately is becoming more and more of a reality.

I'm also exhausted. I'm averaging two hours of sleep a night for a month now due to a fussy baby and my wife had a rough recovery period so I was essentially her nurse and I almost immediately had to return to a full time demanding job. I would love to think it's just a mental thing but I've always felt this way, even when I was a "kid" with no job and all the energy in the world... I HATED playing drums by myself.

The curse of being in original bands I guess?

My neighbor across the street has played drums for probably 40 years but only ever playing covers. Pretty much every day that dude plays his drums over classic rock songs for hours and has a great time doing so. I'm envious.

you are going through what all of my current musician freinds went through 16-21 years ago...and most of them have returned back to playing pretty regularly now that the kids can drive/are out of the house. Many of them slowly returned as the kids were in middle school etc...

so you will return, you just have to commit to not letting the kids become an excuse to not keep up....which some of my other freinds did

your neighbor reminds me of me...i play my set along to music when I have long periods of not playing with people. Just the act of playing is my Zen...and I don't even play along to stuff that I need to learn for whatever reason. I still play to pretend like I am a rock star, or to nail that one prog metal part that I will never play in my country cover band....but dammit, I need to ne able to do it

I never had kids of my own - I knew I was not responsible enough, nor did I want to interrupt other things in my life - so I can't tell you directly what that is like, but your sitution seems to be just like everyone elses.

it can also become a family thing...when I turned 3, my dad started to teach me the very basics of playing, and it became our big bond

there is no reason to think of this as "the end"!!!!
 
I totally relate a lot with your situation, especially with hating to play at home by myself, at least you have an e-kit. I sold mine since I barely used it. I have two kids (2 and 6 years old), and still play in an originals band with an upcoming album release this fall and some gigs (in the fall at least, now it's more sparse...). In my case the gigs only stopped (not by choice) during covid times when the oldest son was about 2 years old, since that it started to come back up, and we regularly practice once a week. Probably no possibility of touring in the nearest future, but a gig on a saturday night barely affect us that much). My wife is ok with this, as long as I don't gig every weekend. How about checking out the possibility to play with a new band, or subbing for someone, maybe? I guess it might be hard if the band you have now gets back on it's feet, now you're suddenly in two bands with no time for both with the family situation. So the smartest is probably to stick it out until you all might have more time for it again. I'm not sure I would be that patient though, if it's very uncertain.
 
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Congratulations!

Start a band with your newborn.
Start your newborn playing drums so they can become a social media star before they're walking lol.

Seriously, be careful what you wish for. Your time is now much more limited. Add practice weekly with a band, a gig once a week, working on new tunes by yourself - it's very time consuming. The baby is a game changer. You might end up finding a new band and then be miserable because it's taking extra time you could use doing daddy duty or just resting from daddy duty, and then you'll be committed to band and then feeling pressured and you have no time for yourself. I'd chill for a long time.

About playing: you gotta have some favorite bands/ tunes. Just because you are used to playing in an originals band doesn't mean you can't play along to favorite recordings. You grew up listening to favorites. Play along to those. Play along to old recordings from old bands. Play along to tunes you enjoy listening to.

Maybe it's the kit. That would bore me to tears. Got no mojo.

But most of all be a dad enjoy the family take a break don't worry be happy.
 
There's no harm in taking a break to cope with the responsibilities of parenthood. It's a big life change, so enjoy it. You'll get back to drumming soon enough.
 
Not much I can add to all the great stuff that's already been posted...what I will say is that like others said, it's ok to have break, and having a child is probably the best reason I can think of! I will tell you to soak it up, your baby will be grown up before you know it....don't blink! I sound old, saying that, and I am...and it's also true. Most of us wish that we spent more time with our little ones when they were little.

That having been said, my only real advice in this situation is to not allow yourself to stop completely. (Doesn't sound like you will.) In my younger years, I got the new job, the wife, the family...stopped playing. 20 some odd years later, I started again, and wished that I'd never stopped.
Regrets...

Even if it's only playing for 10 minutes, every so often, you're still playing. When you have more time and the circumstances are right, you'll play more. Even if it's playing along to covers, play, for 10 minutes. Something. Don't let it get away from you. And enjoy that new baby!
 
I haven't been in a Band for while now, and Im having a great time cleaning, practicing, tunin g, recording, learning new styles, playing to tracks, etc. If that bores you, maybe try doin g your own Youtube Channel or start giving Lessons in Person.
 
Reaper has an FX called ReaNINJAM and there are likely other software or online things where you can jam with other musicians.
 
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