Time to move on?

5 Style

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
6,582
Reaction score
159
Location
SE Portland, Oregon
From someone who’s been through this a few times over the years my advice is:

  • Sell your drums if you feel it’s time. Maybe even sell them a bit under market price to an aspiring musician. Pass them along.
  • Keep your 2 or 3 favorite cymbals. Cymbals are easily stored and nearly impossible to truly replace down the line.
  • Never stop creating. Try painting, pick up another instrument, do woodworking, built a shed, plant a garden, take up cooking, write a book - something. This is important.
  • Keep consuming art. Listen to music, go to museums, go to plays, read.


You’ll be back - or you won’t. But the lack of a creative outlet is what will start to haunt you if you don’t keep that as part of your life.
I was going to start writing my own thing, but this post here says most of what I would have said. I think that there's real value in pursuing something creative in your life, or ultimately more than one thing some that when one gets less inspiring to do (like playing drums) there's another to pur yourself into. Myself, I do graphic design as well as photography, though I've dabbled in other creative endeavors as well.

I totally get the whole thing with loosing interest because you lack the right opportunities to play or that you've been playing with folks who aren't inspiring you... or perhaps are too flaky to rely on for any kind of regular thing, which is super-frustrating. I've nearly quit playing because of these things, but I find that maybe just when I'm ready to give it up altogether that some kind of new opportunity comes up and I'm happy that I didn't sell my gear and that I still have some of my skills left, even if I hadn't been woodshedding as much as I once did.

One thing that keeps me into drums that I really only got into relatively recently is working on rudiments on a pad on my coffee table. I might not really feel like sitting at the kit, but just playing some basic stuff on that pad for a minute or two can feel pretty good and if you take the right approach it can be addicting. I don't really have the patience to really go down the rabbit hole drilling on every rudiment, but just some basic stuff like tightening up various rolls is somehow more satisfying and strangely more addicting than I would have ever thought. I'll sit down just for a minute and spend much longer than that... and the result is that I'm tighter player when I'm on the kit. Watch some rudimental exercises on youtube and try it on the pad and even if it doesn't really feel like playing music, it can kind of be like a puzzle... and you stay with it because you feel like you have to solve it. This way, even if you aren't really playing music you're still keeping your chops up and staying in the game a bit...
 
Last edited:

michaelocalypse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
85
Reaction score
38
Location
South Florida
@5 Style I ended up buying one of those DW Smart Practice pad trees, and I was sitting down and playing it every night. I also started forming a couple other good habits around then. None of them stuck, and I'm selling the DW pads. I have another single pad I can practice with. I may pick that up when I fix a double bass pedal and get a pad for that, so I can at least keep up some general coordination.
 

Dumpy

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
554
Reaction score
349
Location
Wood River, IL
I can't think of a concise way to describe it, but I think it's time to sell off most, if not all, of my gear and do something else with life. I've taken breaks and put my gear in a corner a few times. The only time I play is when one particular friend wants to start a project, which inevitably fails, and asks me to play drums because everyone else in town is a flake. I usually don't like the music, and I play so infrequently that I'm not physically capable of playing music that I do like.

In the grand scheme of things, life feels like I'm running a restaurant and half my building is half full of really nice auto repair tools that I keep around because a friend occasionally needs his tires aired up. (Best generic analogy I could come up with.)

I'll let this post marinate a bit and see what y'all think.
I am kind of on the opposite of where you are now- I burnt out BIG TIME. I didn’t get rid of anything only because the market was so crappy that I decided to hang on until the market improved. Little by little, interest returned. I got my old kit back from when I was a teenager.

I am slowly getting back in it.

Solid advice has been given in this thread. Do what feels right and there is no wrong answer.
 

5 Style

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
6,582
Reaction score
159
Location
SE Portland, Oregon
@5 Style I ended up buying one of those DW Smart Practice pad trees, and I was sitting down and playing it every night. I also started forming a couple other good habits around then. None of them stuck, and I'm selling the DW pads. I have another single pad I can practice with. I may pick that up when I fix a double bass pedal and get a pad for that, so I can at least keep up some general coordination.
For decades I always though that playing on a practice pad was the most boring thing imaginable so I didn't bother with it. Somehow more recently though I got into the habbit of banging on that thing pretty frequently. There's something meditative about it when you really get into it as you feel the rolls that you're doing start to become really even. I keep telling myself that I should go through some kind of exercise book, one rudiment after another, but I never get around to it. I'm more likely just to make up figures where I'm stringing together flams, single and double strokes, buzzes, etc coming up with what's sort of my own version of "rudiments." Once I come up with something coherent, I'll often realize that it's a right hand lead and then I'll reengineer it for a left hand lead, which is always the difficult part. Just working out this kind of stuff on the pad and particular working to keep my left hand as strong as the right has been really good for my playing and is actually far more entertaining than I thought. Before I started working out on the pad, I had a really difficult time alternating right and left had flams... and that's just one example.

I wish that I would have had the patience to deal with playing on the pad years ago... I'd be a lot better drummer now if I did.
 
Last edited:

Elvis

The King of Rock'n'Roll
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
13,543
Reaction score
1,807
Location
Poulsbo, Wa.
My practice pad is my stomach...really!
I think my hands are better now, because I don't have the bounce to fall back on.
...on top of that, I tap my foot on the floor, but my house has a basement, so the effect is like having the world's largest bass drum at the ready all the time. :headbang:
 

Skyrm

DFO Master
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
4,037
Reaction score
738
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
My practice pad is my stomach...really!
I think my hands are better now, because I don't have the bounce to fall back on.
...on top of that, I tap my foot on the floor, but my house has a basement, so the effect is like having the world's largest bass drum at the ready all the time. :headbang:
My wife loves (tolerates) when I play tummy drums!
 

michaelocalypse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
85
Reaction score
38
Location
South Florida
Out of sight didn't put the drums out of mind. I'll be listing my big set as two separate sets, with hardware. I'm also selling a few cymbals and some drum pads. I'll be keeping two snare drums, two sets of cymbals, and an Axis double pedal that needs some work. The cymbals might eventually go too. They're just easier, and more valuable, to sell separate from a set of drums.

I'll also be selling a car too, and probably several other things that I find. Having stuff is just so tiresome.
 

Deafmoon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
227
Reaction score
150
Location
New York
No one can tell you what to do. Do what is right for you! Roy Burns left his drumming legacy behind and went into the business side of music and was very happy doing it throughout the remainder of his
life. I applaud anyone wanting to take a leap forward for themselves!
 

dickyswift

New Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
3
Location
London Ontario
Coming from the other side of the coin here - I've spent 90% of my time and mental, emotional and physical bandwidth on the drums since I was about 20. I've had pretty much zero aspirations other than to be the best possible drummer and have the most rewarding career as a creative musician. I've sacrificed relationships, health, and many other opportunities in pursuit of this one goal (which of course has many facets). I'm turning 35 in a couple months, and my fairly fruitful full time career as a drummer is all but extinct due to the virus. I've played two gigs in the past four months and doesn't looks like it'll be much more frequent in the near future. Long story short, I've been REALLY enjoying exploring the other things life has to offer. I still try to practice an hour or two every day, but I've also been working out every day for the first time in my life, lifting weights and doing serious cardio. I'm taking online courses in chemistry and biology, which I've always had an interest in but never had time to check out. I've all but quit drinking. And the cool thing about all this is, I think I'm a much better drummer and musician right now than when I was fully immersed in the hustle and practicing four hours a day or whatever.

Point is - Life is way bigger than music. Music can bring you joy, but so can lots of things. It feels like you're putting a lot of pressure on the drums to be a big part of your life. If you need the bread, sell the drums (but not your fave cymbals). If you don't need the bread, and you don't need the space, stack em in a closet and let them be. You're likely to one day (maybe soon even) get the spark and want to sit down and play, and it's way easier to jump on that and see if it's resonating with you if you don't have to go out and buy a set first. If you still want to be playing music but just can't find anyone to play with due to your location, maybe grab a guitar, or a keyboard, something you can make complete songs with by yourself. Good luck!
Kevin, what great advice,, I am new to the forum and site and what you said is fantastic and spot on. It is so refreshing to hear positive and REAL insight on the struggles of a drummer and his mindset.. We are never alone and that is why I love the Drums.. That instrument has given me more then I can imagine and it is always there for me whenever I want.. Great post and help to another fellow drummer.
 


Top