Why do you Play?

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I come from a time (late 60's/70's/80's) when there were GREAT AM and FM stations. On the weekends you might get a couple full albums played without commercial interruption and then an interview with the artist. The good AM stations would be blasting Motown, Roy Orbison, Lulu and the Righteous Brothers! We didn't stare at phones or computer screens. We were outside on nice days and at jams or house parties at night. There were a ton of bands, good and not so good, many that gigged pretty much WED thru SUN. Guitarists would actually plug straight into an amp or maybe have a wah wah, phase shifter or fuzz tone pedal.

There were no clik tracks. Good drummers were in demand for their ability to groove and project a solid rock/soul sound. The Marshall stacks actually had speakers in them and the Acoustic bass amps had prestige because people figured you had to be good to be willing drag one of those monsters around. Bands had their own PA's, soundman, roadies because the gigs were one nighters unless you were really lucky to have a house gig in one of the reputable rock clubs in one of the big cities. You haven't lived until you muscled a couple of Altec Voice of Theaters up a couple flights of stairs! LOL Gosh those were fun times. The club/concert scene for the really good bands, that I played in, ran from Detroit to Toronto to Cleveland to Pittsburgh to NY. You had to be ready for a call at anytime to either do a club, a festival, or open for a national act. Not to mention all the college gigs.

While I admire all the gear, 'net accessible lessons, videos and technology that today's drummers have access to, I wouldn't trade those times for anything.
Well, I wasn't quite old enough to have enjoyed such times around live music in the 70s. I was 6 in '77, and an Elvis man! Loved the Beach Boys and beach music. Cheap Trick, Aldo Nova. . .at age 7/8. My mom bought about 100 8-tracks from a co-worker. . .Kiss Dynasty, and the afore mentioned bands. I was definitely effected by great music at an early age.

Anything that's called a "Voice of Theaters" can be carried by someone else, LOL. Sounds like great times though.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Why do I play? Hadn't really thought fully about this question before. I like the idea of being the anchor for a band. My preferred type of music is that which allows a fair amount of liberty for the players to add their own voice to it. Improvisation. I don't find a great deal of enjoyment in simply playing tunes as wrote. I don't necessarily dislike that but it's not what truly gives me musical pleasure. Improvisation requires creativity and a facility with the instrument. It also requires that the players actually listen to each other and communicate musically to create a conversation that both they and an audience can enjoy. And I enjoy seeing the reaction of the audience to what we are doing. There's nothing quite like playing a tune and looking out at the audence and seeing people tap their hands and nod their heads in time to the music you are playing, especially with a smile on their faces. And of course there is also the feeling when someone, whether they are just there to listen or other musicians, who come to you after a set and give you compliments on your playing. And whether the music is recorded or just played in front of a bunch of family, friends or strangers, the memories created from that moment are often indelibly ingrained for years to come. As I try and get back into playing after a long hiatus I've found it a little more difficult to connect with people who can really play. Pre-covid I was playing with a core of 4 other guys plus some others in a band that mostly just played tunes as written. Sure there is some soloing going on but nothing very adventurous. And more recently I connected with a guitarist and bass player who only wanted to do the same thing. The guitarist who put the jams together is particularly unskilled. He can learn to play tunes as written but when it comes to solos it's almost as though he never picked up a guitar before. As I think about how I might meet more people who can actually play I'm beginning to think I should start taking some lessons again which might lead to meeting other players who fit what I'm looking for. When I was much younger like in college, finding people to play with who could actually play was always relatviely easy. I'm going to have to join a couple musician networking groups again. I had success with those about 20 years ago. Time to go back to what works.
 

rebonn

Senior Member
Fame and Fortune of which I have neither. I like the way they look in my house though, and on stage. I kinda look forward to the set breaks as well. I do like the extra money to spend on more music stuff.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
As I try and get back into playing after a long hiatus I've found it a little more difficult to connect with people who can really play.
I've been wondering about this recently. As the pandemic wrecks the lives of the pro musicians out there, are the hobbyists that kept their day jobs because they can work from home - computer nerds mostly - in a position to do a power grab on the music scene? I mean as soon as the phases of quarantine end, remote-while-covid workers will then add an extra hour or two driving to and from work every day. Consequently they'll have less time to continue their music projects, and opportunities will start to open for the pros again. But still, there will be a .... disturbance, a surface flutter (or shakeup?) in the otherwise delicate music industry.

Consider also that hobbyists will likely not have to sell their equipment to make ends meet during the pandemic.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Consider also that hobbyists will likely not have to sell their equipment to
I think this part depends. Some pros are financially set. Some hobbyists are currently unemployed and getting ready to face eviction.

However, I like the idea of pros and hobbyists flip-flopping. It's fun to think of. Currently, I own my home and we have income. I work at home. My wife could afford to live here on her own if I had to leave. Whose drumming position could I steal lol?

Seriously I'm not going anywhere. But it sure is fun to think about.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Well, I wasn't quite old enough to have enjoyed such times around live music in the 70s. I was 6 in '77, and an Elvis man! Loved the Beach Boys and beach music. Cheap Trick, Aldo Nova. . .at age 7/8. My mom bought about 100 8-tracks from a co-worker. . .Kiss Dynasty, and the afore mentioned bands. I was definitely effected by great music at an early age.

Anything that's called a "Voice of Theaters" can be carried by someone else, LOL. Sounds like great times though.
Yo Dog! Here's the VOTs......we used to run 2 on each side of the stage w/ the horns too. LOL AL VOTs.jpg
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
My strongest reason is that feeling you have when you're with your band and the magic is just right, and you're hanging onto this beautiful thing the band is creating with all your focus to prevent the spell from being broken. You know every spell eventually breaks so you hang on to the magic until the last note, like it's your first kiss or your last meal.

Or something like that.
 

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
When I was 6 or 7 years old in the very late 60’s I visited a friends house. His older brother had a Ringo kit set up in his room. It was love at first sight. I never heard a sound from it but it I knew was magical. It still is.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I play for, and because of my dad:

one of my earliest memories of childhood is me, sitting on dads lap, with his hands wrapped around mine, making me play along to Take 5 by Brubeck. He was working the pedals, and I was playing the hands part. This is when I was 2 or 3. I vividly remember the feeling of how what I was doing was fitting into the bass and piano part of the song, and the far away feeling I got when that happened....at 3 years old. I remember the smell of the old skin drum heads, his aftershave and cigarettes (ashtray and drink on the floor tom of course)....the rhythm, and music moved me that young.

By the time I was 5, I could work the pedals and the hands. I played ALL THE TIME to Take 5, and a lot of old Motown because he also liked that as well. By first grade, i knew I was going to be a drummer for life. As some have said, it has been my constant identity.

Other things also got added to the list...
- the feel of rhythms, and how they created images in my head explaining feelings;
- the equipment also got me going...the shiny stands and cymbals; the cool colors....huge drum kits;
- the speed and volume (realized when I would go to Ohio State marching band practices with my best friend, whose dad was the director)
- the idea of learning the language of music
- playing in bands with friends, and realizing that people could now be moved by my playing
- the recording process, learned my sophomore year in high school
- music and drumming became a gateway to some higher brain things as I got older, in a way ,defining my ideas of religion, spiritual and life philosophies

like some have said, I am thankful that I have been able to make being a drummer my 9-5...I have been immersed in music and drumming 24/7 since I was 3 years old...I could not imagine life without it...I lost 2 long term relationships when I was given the ultimatum of "quitting music and getting a real job". Sorry. The music/drumming is staying. See yah...
 

iCe

Senior Member
Well, i think because i feel most at home behind the set of drums.

Tried playing guitar (still am btw), had a go with a bass once when i asked the bass player, tried playing the keyboards also... but i feel like there is no honest instrument like the drums. It immediately reacts to how you play it. Having said that i thinking of it, i think that's also why i prefer acoustic guitars or pianos. No processed sounds, just the real deal. Don't me wrong though; a amped up guitar with a solid distortion on it sounds great as well, but when i play my electric guitar it doesn't feel like when sitting behind the drums.

I think it's also about feel. When i hit my 16" floor tom, i can feel the rumble in my legs and stomach. When i play the bass drums, you can really feel it.
 

jimb

Member
Used to race home from school in the early 70's to hit tin cans to AM radio. Even tho I was only ten I would position them and fill them with anything for dampening so they would sound thick and dead....man, kids can be clever...tho I never learnt drums as a teen.
Played bass for 40 years and got very bored. Drums is so much more interesting...and the components, Accessories, cymbals, hardware, this and that......Should have done it years ago. I love it when you get everything positioned perfectly and it just plays, plus as it takes so long to set up I don't have to talk to the others...yeah Im not very sociable...haha
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Simply, I love music, playing and being involved in creating or playing along to music.

Never been that fussed about chops...etc.

*puts on stereotypical hippie voice*

It’s all about the music, man
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
All work and “no play” makes a dull boy...or girl. Drummers are anything but dull. We all probably can trace our passion to one person 300,000 years ago banging on a stump. So this person added a new dimension to an otherwise boring dull life. Though I think a nuclear gene responsible we can use mitochondrial DNA to trace maternal lineage to see if we drummers are all related. We probably all have an X mutation for the rhythm stick.
 
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