Not loving playing drums now.

fun2drum

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This is the first time I've ever gone through something like this. I've always loved playing drums, just as I've also loved seeing them, buying them, trading them, adding to them, etc. Now I hardly touch them. Our band has been taking a break for the past month due to the guitarist doing a big recording project with his other band, and I haven't picked up a stick or hit a drum the whole time.

I think I've figured it out. It's not that I don't like drums or playing - it's that I don't like the music we play and I'm tired of it. I've never been in a blues band before this one and I thought it would be cool, something different to get out of the rock and alt rut. Blues bands get gigs around here too. I've never really listened to blues, at least not what serious blues fans would call blues. I have tried to like it. I've tried to listen to the songs and learn them - where the stops are and how the fills work in the them, and I've done a respectable job. They say they like the way I play, and are very encouraging. The problem is that I don't ever listen to blues for pleasure. I never play this stuff in my car, and I don't download it. I would never go see a blues band in concert, even my own if I weren't in the band. After a couple of years doing this I think I'm just mentally exhausted and I don't even want to pick up the sticks anymore. I was sent a sound file several days ago and I haven't even opened it. I'll get around to that I guess.

Questions you might ask:
Why don't I just put on some rock music and jam along in my basement to get my head out of this funk I'm in? Guilt. I used to do that all the time, but I can't bring myself to practice anything else while I'm not giving any effort toward my band's music. It's a mental block that I don't know how to break.
Why don't I just quit the band? I can't. My wife is in the band and she plays keys. I know she sees that I'm not excited, and I even dread us getting together for a rehearsal, but I know she loves playing and they may send her packing too if I quit, and honestly the band might not survive having to find another drummer. Believe it or not, drummers who can (a) keep time and (b) will show up with no drama are not plentiful here. More guilt I guess.

I never thought I would be this way. I thought I could power through it and learn to enjoy the music enough to make this my drum life until I can't play anymore.

I'm not looking for answers really, I think I already know what they are and I have choices to make - and sooner rather than later. Just venting a little with all of you because you're the only ones who probably get it. Sorry for the downer post.
 

Polska

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Yep, sounds like a guilt free break is in order. Nothing worse then dreading (or god forbid, hating) something you used to love. Walk away and come back when the mood strikes. This has come up before and plenty of DFO members (myself included) have taken breaks for a couple weeks, months or even years. We take breaks from other activities so why should drumming be any different?
 

Seb77

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Why don't I just quit the band? I can't. My wife is in the band and she plays keys. I know she sees that I'm not excited, and I even dread us getting together for a rehearsal, but I know she loves playing and they may send her packing too if I quit, and honestly the band might not survive having to find another drummer. Believe it or not, drummers who can (a) keep time and (b) will show up with no drama are not plentiful here. More guilt I guess.
Here's a suggestion - why not ask the band members to widen the repertorie and style a bit? I would get mad too, playing purely blues all the time, at least when it's the cliché-ridden variety.
 

Tornado

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I like playing blues...for a little while... Depends on the band, but some are just guitarist vanity projects. The endless cliché guitar noodling at every opportunity kills me. Dragging out songs to 10, 15, 20 minutes. Enough.
 

hefty

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That's really quite a bind with your wife being wrapped up in it. Otherwise I'd just say quit....

A few options:
- Quit. Talk to your wife first though obviously, and tell her that if you quitting results in her being out also that you can help her find a new project.
- Ask band to broaden their repertoire like someone wisely said above.
- Face the music (so to speak) head-on. Take blues-centric drum lessons with the goal of going from being a decent blues player to a totally bad-ass one.
 

dyland

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Why don't I just put on some rock music and jam along in my basement to get my head out of this funk I'm in? Guilt. I used to do that all the time, but I can't bring myself to practice anything else while I'm not giving any effort toward my band's music. It's a mental block that I don't know how to break.
This seems like an issue to me, in and of itself. Giving yourself permission to play for the sake of playing is vital to avoid burnout, I've found. I have a classic country gig coming up, so I've been shedding my brushes and cross stick shuffles pretty much nonstop. But sometimes I get tired of that, so I play to Wu-Tang records, or bust out Future Sounds and work on my groupings. I don't see it as being irresponsible, quite the opposite. It's me shoveling coal into the firebox so that I stay inspired and can more efficiently work on my responsibilities.
 

Rockin' Billy

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To be in a band that plays music you don’t like is tough, and now it has given you the blues! It’s no fun for sure. If your hearts not in it neither will your mind be. My 2 cents is to remove yourself and carry on with what you enjoy. Sometimes it just not worth the money to be miserable. Best wishes in your decision. Get back to what you enjoy, that way you won’t have to change your license plate!
 

Tornado

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- Face the music (so to speak) head-on. Take blues-centric drum lessons with the goal of going from being a decent blues player to a totally bad-ass one.
This sounds like the right approach if you just can't quit. It could be a deep dive into pocket and time that would help your drumming overall. But that does take a mental and attitude shift to get there.
 

flippantminister

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I've played in several bands over the years whose style of music(alt-country/americana) I wasn't excited by personally, but was still of obvious quality, and I enjoyed the people in the band. I never listened to music like that in my free time, and didn't go out of my way to push the band or its shows to friends because I knew it wasn't their thing either. But the key here, i guess, is that I still had fun playing- it was the interplay with other great musicians(even in a style i didn't have an affinity for) that made it worthwhile(it also helped that they were way more opportunities to play that style in my area). I did eventually tire of it and move on, but it was a great couple years playing with them. You seem to not be enjoying the act of playing, and that's a good sign that it's time to stop.

In contrast, I also played keyboard for several years in a band whose music I really liked, with some great friends- but i quit a couple years ago because it the music became boring to actually play. We put a lot of time and effort into rehearsal, played a lot of shows, and it wasn't fun anymore. I'd much rather go to a show and watch them play, or put on their record and listen. We're all still close friends, and I sit in on occasion. But i'd rather hang out with the family than go and lose my evenings practicing that stuff a couple times a week.

Point being- do what makes you happy. You don't have to quit, but take some time off. See if you start to miss it. Find some other folks to play with. Your username sums it up- it should be fun!
 

JimmySticks

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Maybe you need to take a deep dive into the world of blues. Make it the only thing you listen to day in and day out.

I did that with jazz. When I only listened to it on occasion, I didn't really get it, appreciate it or like it much. But I was so over the classic rock thing, and desperate to find a genre of music to latch onto, so I dove in head first, all the way, and listened all day, everyday, and eventually, I got it and came to love it. It's nearly all I listen to and play now.

I do feel your pain however, the blues is a very guitar centric music.
 

Prufrock

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Tough situation. In a sense you are being a good session drummer - you show up, and you do your job well, whether the music is to your taste or not.

Sounds like the answer might also be an opportunity: side project! You control it, you decide what kind of music it is, and it gives you an outlet, even as you fulfill your admirable duties in your main band. The fact that is isn't the same project, and isn't trying to be in competition or a challenge to the blues band in any way, allow you to meet commitments to both the band and to yourself.
 

JazzyJeff

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Variety is the spice of life, and blues doesn’t usually offer a lot of that. Maybe a second band is in order, one where everyone is on the same page about expectations and content. If that’s not an option, I’d try to mess around with the current tunes and spice them up rhythmically even if you may not play that way on gigs. For example, a dotted-eighth quarter note shuffle could have a contrapuntal hi hat thing going on to shift the feel a little. Stuff like that… no guilt, still practicing the tunes, but adding spice!
Good luck!
 

1988fxlr

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Maybe suggest some new songs in the repertoire with a different feel that still land in the broader blues vein. Some 70’s taj mahal or bo diddley might be good to get you out of the shuffle rut without alienating managers who thought they booked a blues band.

I played classic country gigs for years without having any interest in the music at the time but started enjoying them more when I did start delving in to the music on my own. Maybe pick a few albums by different major artists and leave each one on when you’re in the car for a week to really absorb them and connect.

Either way, I would at least talk over your feelings about this with your wife so she can be an ally in steering the band in a direction that works for you, starting a new band, or at the minimum to prevent blind siding her if you do decide you need to quit
 

RyanLovesDrums

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I like playing blues...for a little while... Depends on the band, but some are just guitarist vanity projects. The endless cliché guitar noodling at every opportunity kills me. Dragging out songs to 10, 15, 20 minutes. Enough.
I was going to this open blues jam before Covid and it was like that. You would put your name on the list and when your turn get up there and sometimes these jams would go on for so long and the guitars would just noodle around. And sometimes you wouldn’t even get to go up because other drummers well a lot of them sucked would just be jamming away for so long. And the drummer is just expected to just keep the same beat for everybody. For somebody like me with an arm injury, why would I waste my time and my health and body for these people? If I was getting paid it’d be different maybe
 


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