Have you had a "dry spell" of drumming?

Targalx

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Being that some of us don't have access to play our drums at the moment, I was thinking about the last time I had a "dry spell" of drumming. I've been drumming almost continuously since 1984 or so. I say, almost, because I have taken some time off from the kit here and there.

Most recently, it was for almost two years in 2014-2016, where I did not play a single gig (and only rehearsed 2 or 3 times in that span). My drums were all stacked up, in their bags, totally untouched for months at a time.

I had some important stuff going on my life at that time, plus the bands I was in were busy raising kids, so they couldn't really gig/record/jam in that same time span.

I think I did just one quick recording session in late 2014. I remember feeling real under-practiced and out of shape, as I learned the songs off of demos, then went into the studio and hammered them out real quick.

Have any of you intentionally stepped away from the kit for an extended period of time?
 

equipmentdork

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After my original band imploded in 1997, I got engaged, bought a house, got married, and even got a new job in 2001. I kept playing to music in my basement. Recorded an album in 2000. Apart from that, and a few one-off gigs, I was a member of no band until 2005. It was hellish. I went on a bunch of auditions and reinforced how flaky a lot of musicians are, and it really soured me on prospects for a while.



Dan
 

Lazmo

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In 1981, I severely damaged my kneecap/patella in a motorcycle accident. After rehab I really struggled to play the bass drum, so I took up guitar, then I sold my drums. Fast forward to year 2000 and the drummer didn’t show for our NYE gig, and the band looked at me, so I played drums. It was such a blast, and my wife and eldest daughter didn’t even know that I was a drummer, as I’d never mentioned it. My wife made me buy a set immediately. BTW, it is also how I found the DCI forum, when I asked Harry Cangany a vintage drum question via email. So, I had a 19 year “dry spell” I suppose.
 

shuffle

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Ive had several dry spells,longest was 7 yrs. Life takes us in interesting directions.
Right now,i havent played a band for over a yr and a half but keepin up what chops i have as a pocket player. Tuning snares and kits i enjoy,shoulda been a drum tech.
Not really too concerned about the band dynamic any longer.
 

Rufus T Firefly

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I had a dry spell for 3-4 years after my 27 year old son passed away. He was my best friend. I didn't care about drums, I didn't care about anything. It was a long hard depression but I've finally recovered. Started playing again in August of 2019. Now I can't get enough - like I'm back in high school again! Just started gigging again shortly before this virus stuff hit but I'm happy just to be playing again.
 

TheBeachBoy

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In about 2004 or '05 I didn't play drums, other than once for a few minutes, for about a year or so. I lived in a 2nd story apartment and had quit my band. I quit because the guitarist and bass player were out of control and were changing the direction of the band. After they left the picture I re-joined the singer from that previous band in '06 and we've been making music ever since with our current group.
 

pwc1141

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I had a an 6-7 year hiatus when career and international jobs kept me away from playing. When I restarted, I switched from past genres to be-bop and never looked back. However, even before current venue closures, gigs were few and far between.
 

MntnMan62

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I've had a couple of very long dry spells as you put it. After graduating college where I had been very active playing and practicing, I focused on the job and moved into an apartment with a girlfriend. No drums alowed there. That was about 1986. From that point I landed a real job that actually became a career, met another woman, married her, bought a house and had a child. This was about 2000, so I had been away 14 or 15 years. I then decided to play again so I set up the kit in the basement and tried to find my chops. After a bit I felt comfortable enough to join a musician's networking group called The Off Wall Street Jam in NYC and went to the open jams that they hosted. Sometimes it was me and a guitarist. And once I walked into a room full of people. Multiple drummers already there, several guitarists, keyboards, percussion, and the woman running the jam was the bassist. She told me to grab some congas because I may not be able to get a shot at the kit with the other drummers already ahead of me. Rather than leave I decided to stay and take my chances. So I banged on the congas for a couple tunes. Then the bassist asked if I wanted to play. We did an old classic rock tune that I can't remember. Apparently I had gotten some of my chops back because after we finished the first tune she was asking me how long it had been since I last played with people. She said that was awesome. We did another tune, a Santana tune. After we finished that tune she's now high fiving me and just really complementary. That was the end of the jam and as we broke up one of the other drummers who had played before me came over and said that was great and asked if I had taken lessons or something. I was floored by the reaction of people. The bottom line was that I ended up playing with the bassist who was facilitating the jam a bunch more times and ended up forming an R&B band. We played several showcases in clubs in Greenwich Village. We were definitely having some fun. Then my job got in the way and had to pull back. I was majorly bummed. My career took off but I was missing something I truly loved. That was about 15 years ago now. So, I've had two 15 year dry spells. I can say that I cannot afford another one. First I may not survive another 15 years and I sure won't have any chops by then. Finding my chops now has been far harder than it was in my early 40's. But I've found a band, until this virus thing happened. We've just been playing every other week for fun as we are all in similar musical shape. I'm slowly getting some facility back. And I'm hoping that once things come back to normal, maybe we'll be able to get a set or two of music put together to play in some bars nearby. So taking a few years off isn't the end of your drumming life. Just jump back on the throne and play for as long as you can. But life happens. That's life. Roll with it. As the great Jens Hanemann once said, "Flam, rest. Flam, rest."
 

CC Cirillo

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I tend to reinvent myself as to have no regrets. So yes gaps, if I can remember of 2, then 15, then 5 years. Each time when I start again I must begin over, but there is a richness with that which one can really savor:

Falling in love at different stages in life ....
 

CC Cirillo

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I had a dry spell for 3-4 years after my 27 year old son passed away. He was my best friend. I didn't care about drums, I didn't care about anything. It was a long hard depression but I've finally recovered. Started playing again in August of 2019. Now I can't get enough - like I'm back in high school again! Just started gigging again shortly before this virus stuff hit but I'm happy just to be playing again.
May I say, sir, with brotherly affection and respect for your journey: Welcomes Back.
 

Old PIT Guy

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I was dry from 1990 till 2015. Then I promptly injured myself twice after getting back into it. There was just enough muscle and mind memory from playing 6-7 hours a day in school and half that much in the 3-4 years afterwards to sit down and go at it, but the aged tendons, connective tissue and joints only took so much of that nonsense. I've had to rethink my approach and rebuild technique from the ground up since those injuries. I look at it as just another challenge of mind.
 

bonsritmos

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my thing is i never want to feel that horrible feeling of laying off for a while and then coming back , be in a situation and not have chops.

when i quit the really chumpy local scene i live in to only concentrate on my label and my gigs out side of where i live, ive definitly had to face some dry spells. im 70 and have worked most all my life , several years out of my life doing those six nights a week six sets a nigtht. and a lot of playing with differant people and learning how to adjust to differant people . some of those things you never lose, but, because of the lack of chop fear thing, i have a really strong powerful practice session that pretty much keeps my chops up and its creative and expressive not academic. my practice is also like prayer for me and exorcising demons

my reading has suffered the most, i never was the greatest reader but was funtional , now i get a krink in my neck if i read a chart hahaha, but i want other people to read my simple charts hahah
 

BennyK

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Back in the late seventies I gave it up for a couple years . Kinda hard to babysit a set of drums without an address, job,ID etc . Sold my beloved Ludwigs for peanuts .
 

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