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Do you feel like you’ve lost your ‘drum mojo’? You haven’t practiced in a while and can’t seem to get back on the groove train. Why? You don’t know. You just haven’t been feeling motivated, and it’s frustrating.
We all find different factors that spark the fire for us. One way that psychologists analyze motivation is by looking at how internal and external factors drive you to take action. This concept can be broken down into intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation: You’re motivated to take action by external rewards. This could be tangible (like money or an award) or intangible (like praise and recognition).
Intrinsic motivation: You’re motivated to take action because it’s personally/inherently rewarding. Even if no one else knows about it, it makes you feel good, and that’s enough reason to do it.
When it comes to drumming, these motivations can help explain why you may or may not be pursuing your goals. Most people aren’t solely driven by one or the other; you may be motivated by both external and internal factors. For example, research suggests that praise can actually help increase intrinsic motivation.
If your goal is to play drums more often, or to become a better drummer, it may not be enough to set the goals: you need to also figure out what motivates you to play and ask yourself why you’ve set these goals. Do you want to become a better drummer because you like to challenge yourself, or are you doing it in hopes of receiving respect or getting bigger gigs? Maybe you love playing, but that isn’t always enough to get you off the couch or away from your phone. Desire alone does not equal motivation.
There’s nothing wrong with being more intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. But getting to know yourself better can help you pinpoint your reasons for drumming, which will make it easier to find out how to get that spark back.
Take a look at the following statements, and keep track of the points as you choose only the statements that apply to you:
*This ‘quiz’ is just for fun and doesn’t adhere to scientific testing standards. Each of these statements realistically resonates somewhere on a sliding scale. You aren’t 100% one or the other, and this isn’t an all-or-nothing verdict; intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are just components of complex behavioral theories. Don’t let us tell you what does or doesn’t motivate you!
Once you’ve thought about your motives, you should be able to alter your behavior or mindset to accomplish your goals. Those who are extrinsically motivated are more likely to find it difficult to practice drums without a ‘reason’. There is evidence that intrinsic motivation is the most effective for musicians, so it might be tougher to pick up the sticks if you aren’t driven to play for the sake of playing.
Even if you love drumming, you might still find yourself in a rut now and then. If you rely on an outside boost to stay motivated, here are a few things you can try:
If you’re still wondering how to get motivated, watch this video for multiple tricks to get out of a drumming rut:
Whether you’re mostly motivated by external factors or an internal drive, sometimes you just need a bit of inspiration before you can kick things into high gear. Click here for a quick tip on how Jared Falk gets inspired, then get out there and find the catalyst that will work for you!
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