What's better

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Is it better to work hard at drums, and think that I suck, and work work work...to someday be awesome...but when I do become awesome I still think I suck

Or is it better for my soul if I do it for 100% pure enjoyment. Not caring Watsoever about if I improve. And loving every second of it. Counter-intuitive, right? Who here can do that?

We're just talking extremes here, balance is obviously the best answer.

Why do we beat our heads against the wall to improve, and feel bad about the progress, when we could just as easily sidestep that whole endeavor and simply extract as much enjoyment as possible from drumming. Why is that?

Why do we punish ourselves so?

The reason we practice so hard is so that other people think we are awesome, isn't it?

Would we practice so hard if there were no one other than ourselves to appreciate it?

If there was no one else to appreciate it, why wouldn't I just play for my own enjoyment, instead of working hard?
 
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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
You might play for enjoyment, but if you feel, hear something is wrong correct it. Since I don't play out that is my philosophy. I missed too many ears without playing to hope to be awesome, so I have fun.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
It depends on what triggers you. Unless your ambition is to be a top session drummer with the capacity to play any piece of music, regardless of genre or complexity, at a moment's notice, laboring away at erudite chops and denigrating yourself for any shortcomings in execution you encounter is a pointless exercise in self-mutilation, at least in my book. Most of us need to be highly competent drummers, not elite ones. Devoting reasonable energy and attention to the instrument and taking pleasure in every moment makes a great deal more sense to me than treating the pursuit as a never-ending immersion in dissatisfaction. Who benefits from feelings of inadequacy? Certainly neither you nor your drumming. Telling yourself you aren't good enough won't necessarily make you better. On the contrary, it may lead to a perennial devaluation of your skills.

I try to be as adept as possible without going to extremes. Balance is the formula for a healthy frame of mind. Apathy and obsession are equally malignant. Fulfillment has a hard time interacting with malaise or mania.
 
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Superman

Gold Member
It is human nature to want praise and accolades as a reward for our hard work and talent. Should you just play for your own enjoyment? Well, technically yes...but it just doesn't work that way and most people aren't built that way. Even when I play in my basement, I secretly home the UPS guy will deliver a package and be wowed by my chops..lol.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
I play for myself and myself only. Outside of playing the drums, I have a family and career to focus on, but, since I was little have loved drums.

Honestly, I’m no expert nor really that good, just decent I would say. Along the way, I have had people tell me I’m good, and asking me to join bands, but still now, that’s not too appealing to me at this time. I could care less about the social aspect, for me maybe it’s shyness, and more keeping me in my youth.

Mostly keep my head down and continue to practice everyday when I am home, at least 30 minutes, sometimes longer. Some days I walk out of my space like a champ, sometimes I feel diminished in whatever’s going on that day, it’s good to keep yourself in check.

For obvious reason I don’t want to suck after I have been playing all my years.
I am also realistic about setting goals and knowing what I want.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I play for my own enjoyment. I also am always working on SOMETHING to improve myself. I have no expectations of grandeur, fame, fortune, or even leaving the bedroom. But I do still hold myself to the concept of being the best drummer that I possibly can. I could be the worlds worst drummer, or the worlds best drummer and I dont care either way. I play the instrument because I enjoy it. I also enjoy not having to restrain myself in any way due to other people. If I wanna solo in the middle of the the song I do. If I just want to play the same simple pattern for an hour I do. Its musical freedom and is fantastic. That to me is more fulfilling than being elite/famous/rich/whatever.

If I never play on stage, sign an autograph, or listen politely to a drunk person try to stroke my ego again, thats okay. I dont need that to be a happy drummer. Actually, that stuff gets old and made me not want to play anymore.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I play for enjoyment mostly but now I try harder cause I'm retired and it's my favorite hobby now too. I don't beat myself up over it. Some stuff I work on for ages then one day I can suddenly do it or come close. I do want to play with others again-cause playing with just myself doesn't push me to try harder and organize....... and I understand you can go blind LOL. When you do it with others it's more enjoyable that just doing it by yourself-Come on man everyone knows that.

I'm starting 10,000 hours to be a killer player. At end I'll make a video collage of thirty second or less moments in time. "From shit to shine" I"ll call it. Catchy title.
 
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Lennytoons

Senior Member
Play for enjoyment but record yourself. I promise it will make you want to play better. I usually ask myself before I play "How would a professional play this?". Sounds dumb and maybe it is but it helps me concentrate and play simply...aka professionally.
 

Capital D

Member
I have always felt that every time I sit down to play, whether it is to work on something new or play with other people for fun, I am making myself a better player. That makes me happy. I guess I'm more in the "pure enjoyment" camp. I've never been one to beat my head against something until I get it right or I'm sad, except when I was younger and doing the drum corps thing, but not on drumset.

If I'm working on a tune and I can't play a lick just like the recording, I'll find a way to cheat the lick or a different way to voice it and move on. Just like in writing, if I can't spell a word, I just find another word to use. I don't worry too much about being judged by other players or people. I am way too happy just to be able to hit things with sticks with relatively decent timing.
 

moodman

Well-known member
Depends on what makes you happy, I play because I love drums but I do want to perform when I get to.
There will always be drummers better and drummers worse, than me. I do what I'm good at, don't play what I'm not down with. I've played 60 years, tons of bands, but I don't have some skills you'd assume any drummer would. I have weak brush stirring technique, can't play fast spang-a-lang, am not informed or experienced playing latin music. I practice things to improve, sometimes achieving my goal sometimes not, but always gain something by at least trying. Chops are nice but dynamics are the best part of technique, it's not what you play, it's the way that you play it. The thing about music is that the horizon keeps moving, you plateau but don't stop, the next step will happen if you keep open to it. It just takes time.
 

J-W

Well-known member
I play for my own enjoyment. I also am always working on SOMETHING to improve myself. I have no expectations of grandeur, fame, fortune, or even leaving the bedroom. But I do still hold myself to the concept of being the best drummer that I possibly can. I could be the worlds worst drummer, or the worlds best drummer and I dont care either way. I play the instrument because I enjoy it. I also enjoy not having to restrain myself in any way due to other people. If I wanna solo in the middle of the the song I do. If I just want to play the same simple pattern for an hour I do. Its musical freedom and is fantastic. That to me is more fulfilling than being elite/famous/rich/whatever.

If I never play on stage, sign an autograph, or listen politely to a drunk person try to stroke my ego again, thats okay. I dont need that to be a happy drummer. Actually, that stuff gets old and made me not want to play anymore.

I could not have worded this any better myself. I still work to improve and I'm glad I've reached the level that I have but even more so that I didn't pursue it any further as a "career". I enjoy the freedom to play what I want, when I want, and how I want.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I've always just played for myself and how I feel when drumming.
I played in school band because I liked it. I practiced because I liked it. I took snare drum lessons because I liked it.
In bands, I've been fortunate to have people like what I've done, because you never know what might become popular with people.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
To me, music is 100% about communication and human interaction. I need to be able to play well enough to say what I want to say, and to understand what others are saying.

Anything beyond that is ego. That's fine, but to me it's a different thing. That kind of playing is more akin to athletics than music, in my mind.

Total opinion here, obviously.
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
Is it better to work hard at drums, and think that I suck, and work work work...to someday be awesome...but when I do become awesome I still think I suck

Or is it better for my soul if I do it for 100% pure enjoyment. Not caring Watsoever about if I improve. And loving every second of it. Counter-intuitive, right? Who here can do that?

We're just talking extremes here, balance is obviously the best answer.

Why do we beat our heads against the wall to improve, and feel bad about the progress, when we could just as easily sidestep that whole endeavor and simply extract as much enjoyment as possible from drumming. Why is that?

Why do we punish ourselves so?

The reason we practice so hard is so that other people think we are awesome, isn't it?

Would we practice so hard if there were no one other than ourselves to appreciate it?

If there was no one else to appreciate it, why wouldn't I just play for my own enjoyment, instead of working hard?

If I had started practicing rudiments and other techniques until I got them right instead of playing what I wanted to play.. I would've quit drumming 32 years ago. I know rudiments.. I have never once used them in a musical context. I have used my own variations of some of them but never a known rudiment. I feel that playing what I liked kept me motivated and helped me improve my skills very quickly. I'm not the best drummer out there but nobody has ever said that I wasn't good so that is all I want. I never worried about my progress (at least never cared what other drummers thought of me, I was usually better than them but sometimes they were way, way better than me so I took comments with a gran of salt). That said I have never, ever practiced I just play the music (if you call that practicing then sure, I have practiced full song sets with bands but never just practiced by myself just playing the drum parts or ever owned a practice pad. I guess I practice the parts in my head or dissect them when I listen to music but never had sat down and just try to play a specific part by itself. Would I practice so hard if no one else was there to appreciate it? I don't practice so No I appreciate it so that's that.
 
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