When the drumming gets tough, the tough get drumming, or so they say. As any fan of the djembe, bongos or a sweet new drum set knows, drumming is a passion that often leads to more, well, drumming. However, as with any passion, sometimes it can be hard to keep up with practice times, drum jams or even performances, making the excitement of perfecting a back beat or mastering the slap on the skins just… blah.
Drumming is one of those activities that certainly takes dedication and drive to master. There are physical demands as well as obstacles like finding the time to devote to the rhythm within the drummer. Drumming rudiments, whether a paradiddle or open tone, may be the foundations to great drumming, but, they can also be tedious and frustrating. So, what’s a drummer to do when those rudiments just get rude? We have a few ideas to help get over the hump, and help you get your drumming mojo back, maybe faster than you think!
Stop playing the basics. Drumming requires a steady beat, and the best way to master that is through the rudiments and, “practice, practice, practice!” But, when the beat gets boring, it is time to shake it up a bit. Listen to your favorite songs and drum along with the beat, or, better yet, just follow your own beat and let your own creativity shine. While those rudiments are important, they’re not the only way to make those drums your… focus.
Listen to something new. Whether you are a die-hard metal drummer, or prefer the softer side of a country music rhythm, discovering other types of music will not only enhance your sound, but that journey may help you discover a new path to explore. If the djembe is your drum, get into jazz drumming and create a fusion of your own. Rhythm knows no prejudice, and neither should a great drummer.
Talk to people. It may seem more basic than the drumming rudiments, but, the conversations that can be had by musicians are formidable when it comes to motivation. Competition and collaboration can both push a drummer past the blahs, inspiring a level of commitment to the beat that will just continue to grow.
When a drummer gets demotivated, it is the perfect time to begin exploring different aspects of rhythm. From following a personal beat, to talking to others or finding a familiar sound in a new type of music, those rudiments that seem so boring can suddenly evolve into a brand new sound for you!