When it all gets too much

MFTC

Junior Member
Hey everyone

How's it going? So we've all been there, sat at our set tired after work, surrounded by various drum tuition books open at whatever page we intended to get to, we've never got all the way through but having it open nearby some how seems as valid... laptop is open, half heartedly tried a lesson on youtube with the naive expection that muscle memory will set in in 2 minutes 38 seconds, wandering why this linear pattern will not stick and why we're not dancing all over the kit. Forget it, I'll just playing along to James Brown or something, missed that fill, whoops doesn't matter...

I'm not sure if this affects the majority of you, but when does it all get too much? When do you feel totally immersed by your true love and yet totally lost? Where fatigue and feeling overwhelmed overides discipline and focus and you just look around, and think "I have enough material to last me a lifetime yet I'm not engaged and I'm not progressing".

This happened to me last night, I hit rock bottom for a bout 20 minutes, I just lay on my bed with a pair of sticks gripped loosey in my still hands. Then it hit me. I don't want to whizz around a kit if I know my timing isn't up to scratch, I don't want to try to learn 220bpm inverted paradiddles if not going to apply them musically any time soon.

So I put all of my books on my shelf, all of the except 1 and I went back over some of the most basic things I could find, really slow and realy relaxed, if I messed up I simply looped the pattern until it felt good.

I'm not asking for solutions or practice tips (though they are always nice!), I was just wandering about the rest you, of us. When does it all get too much, when do you realise you've set yourself up for a fall and you expectations are too high, when does it get to the point when you begin to lose sight of what playing drums even is and what it means to you, just a though.

Matt
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Downshift into a lower gear. Refine what you already can do. Rather than lament about what you can't do, try and perfect what you can do. Also, sometimes it's better to take a powder and occupy yourself with different areas of life, and when you are hungry for drums, come back. Your lover will welcome you with open arms. It's all good. Just don't go into a downward spiral mentally. Time to change it up. Really everything is fine, it's a rainy day on the journey that's all. The sun will shine again on you my friend.
 

AndyMC

Senior Member
I have a few things I do when that happens.
1. Take a break, 3 days to a week, when you come back it'll all be golden.
2. Remember these things take time. I plan my goals out in 6 months and usually reach them before that, but if 6 months is your timeline you see progress in a much better light.
3. Play with people, preferably new people to inspire you again.
4. I like having one main goal that will help me the most musically and other side goals to keep from over focusing on the main goal.
Hope that helps, don't worry have a drink and relax.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Some people never 'get' the importance of time, so consider your fresh perspective as a good starting point to move forward!

Bermuda
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
There are many ways to work and different ways work for different people.

Some like to go through a book. I prefer to have many books and create my own method around them.

It starts with me defining what I want to be able to do. In my case that's wide, but it also makes it simple to make a concept. I do the same stuff every day or every other day covering all the bases. Speed isn't much of a concern to me, except for a little bit of conditioning, as I have plenty for most situation I can find myself in.

I've divided my practice into different areas that I work opn in a musical usable way.

Paradiddles are a great example and playing them fast on a pad is one thing. However, doing e.g. 2 paradiddle-diddles and then a paradiddle to switch hands moving the accents around the kit in a steady tempo is a whole different thing, so that is what I spend my time on.

All the sections are done in a way where I first go through the possibilities and then get creative with it.

In periods I take a break then work purely on music and improvisation just doing the minimal technical workouts to not loose my abilities. Those are the periods where the real muscial changes happen and I truly add something in naturally as my style. That's also when my taste decides what I find useful to perfect and what I don't.
 

HMNY

Silver Member
Matt,

There is nothing I can add to the excellent advice already imparted here, except to say, I know how you feel, and can identify with your frustration.

Take a breath or two, use the advice these guys have given, hang in there.

All the best.
 

MFTC

Junior Member
Some really kind words so far and some really good advice, I particularly like the idea of viewing my goals in much longer term. Nothing I am trying to do is unachievable I just need to break it down into more managable chunks for my brain, and the time I have.

There's a proverb that says "The tallest trees have the deepest roots". I think this is more relevenat than ever to the way I should apporoach my playing.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
it's not a race Matt....go at your own pace

I think step one to improving at your state is ........and this goes fro everyone.....accepting your level of talent

some people have a higher ceiling than others.....some are just more naturally talented when it comes to certain things

this does not mean you can never reach what they reach.....it just means you will have to work harder

I know this because I am one of those with less natural born talent

i have had to work my ever loving tail off to get where I am today.....and still work hard every single day

I am truly blessed to be able to make a living doing what I love most in the world

I am also one of those loony people who absolutely loves to practice .......whether its pad or kit practice......I just love it still after all these years

but it is important to accept that talent level .....own it....then push forward

anyone who doesn't sits at their kit after work in frustration like you mentioned.... comparing themselves to others

that is a formula for failure
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I think step one to improving at your state is ........and this goes fro everyone.....accepting your level of talent
best advice ever on this website.
so true, we're not all great and maybe not gonna be, but its the personal journey that counts.
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
I try to take those opportunities to catch up on the video games I've been missing for the last 2-3 years... Assassin's Creed 3 atm... XCOM is looking tempting also.

The last 2 weeks of drumming has been good though, so it hasn't been a problem.

Most work days I find myself wanting to be home playing drums throughout the day, then, at the end of the day, when I'm driving home, drumming seems like a chore. I almost always grab the sticks when I get home, and start warming up, and halfway through I get into it and have a good practice.
 

JesusMySavior

Silver Member
Sometimes you work at your skill and you seem to get nowhere. It's that way with any instrument or hobby. Like spinning your tires, I know the feeling. When technicality gets too tough, I just play my heart out. After all, that's what it's about, right? If you're not enjoying yourself, what's the point? Usually it comes back to you after awhile. Try shopping for drum heads or do something fun. Play a song you know and own the thing. After awhile you'll feel better about your talent, have courage to start learning new things, and before you know it you've jumped the hurdle.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
We all go through bad patches.
Just remember why you play the drums and what made you first pick up the sticks. Go back to that, and just enjoy playing, whatever it is.

If you are forcing yourself to practice and are finding it a chore, remember...... you play the drums because you love it. Its not a set of grades that have to be achieved before you can enjoy yourself. The only person you have to please/impress is....yourself.
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
I had a similar moment last week and just turne don the met and went for an hour or so. It's quite rewarding to bury the click and maintain that through fills and beat changes or switching to half time feel etc. nothing complicated. Maybe some straight 16th note fills or triplets in 8/16ths.

Makes you feel good about hat you can do. All this information available to us has to be kept under control or it can be overwhelming.

In fact, I find that practicing any and everything to the click really let's you know if you have it down or not.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
best advice ever on this website.
so true, we're not all great and maybe not gonna be, but its the personal journey that counts.
The part of that post which stood out for me was: "I am also one of those loony people who absolutely loves to practice .......whether its pad or kit practice......I just love it still after all these years"

Interesting to do a straw poll ... seems that pretty well every pro on this board enjoys pad practice. After many years of being underwhelmed by boring, colourless, uninspiring rubber pads *ducks for cover* and being a slow grower given the years I've played ... it strikes me that love of pad practice decides the rate at which your hands and feet develop (along with natural talent of course).
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
The part of that post which stood out for me was: "I am also one of those loony people who absolutely loves to practice .......whether its pad or kit practice......I just love it still after all these years"

Interesting to do a straw poll ... seems that pretty well every pro on this board enjoys pad practice. After many years of being underwhelmed by boring, colourless, uninspiring rubber pads *ducks for cover* and being a slow grower given the years I've played ... it strikes me that love of pad practice decides the rate at which your hands and feet develop (along with natural talent of course).
Grea if I could practice on the kit 24/7 I would

but my family likes to sleep :)

I am not usually home until after 9 or 10 on weekdays and my wife usually soon after that goes to bed ......and I thoroughly enjoy running through some Master Studies pages or some Larry Stone routines or maybe some drum corps. exercises or maybe just improvise some snare solos in the vein of Jo Jones or whoever is on my mind at the moment on the pad until about 2 or 3 AM

my Real Feel pad sits on a snare drum so I get some rattle and it makes me feel better about myself :)
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
I've been there MFTC, and sometimes I still go there :). Frustrating! This happens when
one has too many books and is too much of a perfectionist I guess.

I think you got the solution there already (although I suppose by wandering you actually
mean wondering, LOL):

Back to basics, and build practice routines around practical needs in "real" musical life.
 

KnuckleBuster

Senior Member
Matt,

I've been there as well...not a happy place. But fortunately it doesn't last long for me. I like to practice too and sometimes just get to much going on at once. So I cut myself down to two DVD's to work through and no time frame pressure. The only pressure I put on myself is to just continue to learn from them at my pace...even if it's only a 1/2 hour in an evening. Enjoy your journey.
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
This thread just inspired me to go play and work on my time. Last night I was playing terribly, today I'm gonna take a step back and go play...right now!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
This thread makes me feel guilty.

For one, if I say, "Well, I've never felt like it was too much" you could surmise that 1) I'm incredibly talented, or 2) I never pushed myself that hard. I don't think I'm example 1 by any stretch!

I think I got a sense of balance in my early days because while I did my time on the pad, and in the school bands and drum corps doing all the rudimental stuff, I would get a balance by being able to play with other musicians to actually play music, and I would discover that I was now in a place where the rudiments merely aided my execution, and did not need to be on display at all.

That old cartoon where it shows the drummer playing all this hard stuff and a bystander says "You're Amazing", and then the next window the drummer is playing "boom, bap, boom-boom bap...." and the bystander says "You're hired" is really true.

So maybe you're just spending too much time on one thing and like Larry said, just shift gears. Move at your own pace (as Gvd said), and find a balance and make it fun. I've had those days when I got home from work and just did not want to play, so I wouldn't. When I did want to play, the time spent was much better because I wanted to do it. You can force yourself and work hard, but lots of times I've found I never get anything done when I do that.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I am not usually home until after 9 or 10 on weekdays and my wife usually soon after that goes to bed ......and I thoroughly enjoy running through some Master Studies pages or some Larry Stone routines or maybe some drum corps. exercises or maybe just improvise some snare solos in the vein of Jo Jones or whoever is on my mind at the moment on the pad until about 2 or 3 AM
I only had that passion (if not knowledge) early on but The Trill Has Gone. It's great that you still have it. It's a gift.

I started out playing along with records and I thought it all sounded great! Boom! Crash! Clunk! Too much fun! Oh, and adults hate it - yeah! I played every spare moment - on pads, floors, my legs, someone else's legs, tables, chairs, car bonnets ...

After a few years I realised that I actually played sloppy and struggled with fast or intricate passages ... I lost some of the passion. I wasn't Queen Poop on the drums, any more haha ... just another self-taught plodder.

I still love the sound when playing with a band, where as Bo pointed out and something I'm grateful for, boom-bap and minor variants are often the right thing to play.

As for pads, I can only play on them for short stretches because I hear every imperfection clear as day. Ouch.

I think this often happens with older sportspeople too - they tire of training and just want to play the matches.
 
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