How do you part timers stay in shape?

kb

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I've been working well over 200 gigs a year for over 40 years, so even when I didn't have much time to practice, I was still in decent shape to gig. I've never had GREAT chops, but I could handle my gigs. I did sweat it for a while while dealing with tendonitis, but re-examined my technique and overcame it.

But for the last seven months, due to my own, and my wife's much more serious health issues (MS, and now Lung Cancer) I've been holding my gigs to generally no more than once a week, sometimes less. I try to practice, but find it hard to keep motivated and on track....and I'm pretty stressed and overwhelmed.

This week I'm really feeling out of it. Wednesday had gig I thought would be easy Standards, for a 70'th birthday party. But turned out to be Rock 'n Roll and Soul music. I had a hard time, barely made it through Wipe Out!

Today played Filmore Jazz Festival. Felt like a klutz for the whole set, had no chops, no finesse.

Strangely enough, nobody seems to notice, everybody appears to still LIKE the way I play, but I feel like I'm scuffling the whole time....

How do you weekend warriors, who gig only a few times a week, have enough oomph to get through challenging gigs?
 

drumbum91

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I’ve been out of the game for well over a year now and tonight I subbed for my old band. I felt the same way, I was looking forward to it all week too. I just felt like everything was dragging and I just didn’t feel comfortable. I definitely am out of shape physically too as loading in/out absolutely wore me out. Band didn’t seem to notice much and enjoyed the reunion so maybe it’s a mind game, I’ve played those songs so many times I didn’t even have to think about them it just happened.
 

Roch

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Stick Control exiercises, playing along with songs for the whole duration to keep up endurance..pedal exercises(Colin Bailey)...around the drum set exercises, stay up late the odd time ;p
 

BennyK

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All those years of heavy gigging was like putting money in the bank . Now you can draw on it .

The experience of embarking on the next stage of life makes us beginners all over again, and to me that's deeply liberating .
 

bellbrass

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Are you overweight? Do you smoke, drink a lot, smoke pot, etc.? All of those will really get your cardiovascular system into bad shape in a hurry when inactive. Your overall cardio health really relates to your drumming health. I'm friends with a weekend-warrior cover band drummer. He's 52 and about 40 pounds overweight, and does not exercise. He was playing almost every weekend for years, then took a break after a divorce and job change. He is trying to get back into the band scene, but his lack of keeping himself in shape over the span of 2 years has really taken its toll. You'd think that drum chops and overall body health are unrelated, but you'd be surprised.

I consider my exercise regimen to be a form of drum practice. I know that sounds arrogant, silly, whatever...but it's the absolute truth for me.
 
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Roch

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All those years of heavy gigging was like putting money in the bank . Now you can draw on it .

The experience of embarking on the next stage of life makes us beginners all over again, and to me that's deeply liberating .
I was always eager to get into the latter pages of my books, now I'm happy to linger around the first few exercise pages...reminds me of the story of the two bulls...
 

Pounder

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Not sure if my playing and jamming with our fledgling band on the weekends even compares to a solid gig, but since the beginning of the year I've been trying to do a calisthenics routine M-F 5 days a week (weekends are rest days). I have noticed an improvement in overall energy levels and an ability to play longer without getting winded, so I'll relate what I've been doing:

A friend several years ago who is in generally good shape and seemed more muscular than I said he did the "prison cell workout" so I asked what it was and then finally began doing this, around New Years (a resolution that stuck?).

In addition or after my morning meditation, I do a comfortable number of reps (same number each of these exercises)
Sit ups with knees bent and feet under the bed (with a pillow between the feet and bed);
Laying on back after sit ups I do knee lifts (this is to get core slightly more solid helping lower back issues)
Push ups (try to do them comfortably, doesn't have to be complete)
Squats (try to keep back straight then just squat and back up standing)

The above I did as many as I could, the lowest number and equal reps of all the exercises.
Each week I added one rep. I can now do 50 of each exercise, but its ok to "cheat" if necessary.

I bought a chin-up bar that fits in the doorway, and do 3 sets of them, there are 3 hand positions and I do as many clean chin-ups as possible and add negatives (jump up to the top and lower self down) to complete a total of 50 (about 16 each of the 3 positions)--Keep in mind I could not do even one chin-up at first so I can only do around 3 clean ones but I am getting stronger, and so I added 3 more rounds to that.

after the above I do 3 or more "yoga, salute to the sun" exercises, then I shower and go to do the work of the day. This whole thing can be done in an hour.

It can be tiring doing these but I did notice stamina is much improved. I also noticed that I was at over 200lbs at the beginning of the year, but I'm at 185 now and have lost at least 2 inches and came down under a 34 inch waist from around a 36. My 36" and 34" waist jeans all are slipping down without a belt.

SO I guess other than practicing a workout regime I'd say some type of exercise to preserve and increase one's stamina and strength would be in order.

I'm nearing late 50s. Obviously your results will vary, but the more sedentary your every day life is normally, it would seem the more some type of exercise program might make sense. And, as the case is for my above routines, the easier it is to implement them(no need to go to gym, or purchase weights etc), the easier it is to stick to them.
 

Rock Salad

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I once read that Tony Williams warmed up by playing really loud fast 1/8 notes on all four limbs in unison. I was like wow cool- i can do that!
It's fun, and is its own inspiration. Once i get going i hear the sound of the kit and get ideas. Plus it is building up my stamina.
 

jptrickster

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I carb load the day before the gig ,high protein and extreme hydration the day of. 15,000- 20,000 steps ea day (most at work) Multi vitamins ea day. No smoking or alchyhol. And I still feel like sheeet 2 days after the gig!
 

Tigerdrummer

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I think anything you do to build stamina makes you more confident. If you are confident you naturally are more relaxed and perform better regardless of activity. I'm in the process of trying to phase back into that now
 

EvEnStEvEn

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I'm 5'9" and weigh 130
Nearly zero body fat.
Age 62 and gig regularly

I feel fit & active on most days, but like you, I sometimes have gigs that are tough to finish...especially outdoor jobs in heat + cartage chores.

I briskly walk my dogs twice every day. That's my only exercise currently, seems like Pounder's above routine would yield far greater results if done regularly.

I absolutely need to enjoy a good meal before any 4 hr. gig or my energy drops and I feel like a rag doll by the 4th set.

I no longer drink at gigs or even in my free time. I quit all that mess.
Gatorade is my drug of choice during summer.

We all need to be more active in our "civilian" lives. Sitting around is the killer. (I have to remind myself of that daily when online, ect...)
 

rondrums51

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In the last 50 years, I've gone from two decades of working six nights a week year round, to three or four nights a week, to just weekends, to three or four gigs a month. Fine with me. I had back surgery last December, and I'm not interested in working a bunch of nights.

The back surgery took me out for two months. When I went back to work, my time was still there. My chops were a little bit rusty, but they came back by the third tune. Nobody in the band noticed, because they didn't care about any amazing chops; they just wanted the groove.

It's in your DNA. If you feel the need to practice, by all means, do so. When I was out with my back issues, I didn't practice at all. Just me.
 


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