Drumming is an art, a passion and a creative outlet. It can encourage good feelings in the drummer or audience, and bring a sense of wellness to those lucky enough to be in the presence of a joyful, awakening beat of a Conga, Djembe or Cajon. As with many of life’s passions, however, drumming can sometimes become an impossible feat to accomplish regularly. Jobs, families, health issues or any number of reasons can keep a drummer from drumming, and the longer the hiatus, the harder it may be to return to the fun and passion of drumming.
Drumming is as much mental as it is physical. From choosing a Djembe or set of Bongos to dedicating time to practicing and finding a personal groove, the determination and motivation to drum can be the strongest, yet, hardest part of returning to the skins. When a drummer has been without a drum for too long, it can seem impossible to return to the former level of commitment. However, these periods of silence can actually be hidden periods of mental and emotional growth that can eventually transform a drummer’s entire repertoire and drumming style. As such, the only way to get back into drumming is to pick up a Djembe or sit on a Cajon, and just start drumming.
For others, a break from drumming could also involve physical issues. All drummers know the exertion that is required from a long session of drumming on stage, in a drum circle or just surrounded by friends. Drumming itself is exercise, but it is exercise that can be accomplished according to the ability, flexibility and strength of the drummer. Building up slowly, listening to the body and taking breaks or making accommodations for posture issues can increase stamina. Switching from a set of Conga drums to a single Djembe, for example, can help those that cannot stand for long periods of time.
Getting back into a drumming habit may not seem like a difficult chore, but when everything seems to get in the way, it can be a matter of sheer will power and determination. For the wayward drummer, a healthy attitude toward the process of reintroduction to the drum, its rhythms and even different styles of music can be the biggest help when trying to get back into drumming.