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.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 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...