Growing old is getting old

dmc2020

Junior Member
I've been playing for a while(in my early 40's), occasionally gig and still practice as much as I can. Looking into the future I still want to play live as much as possible. I'm concerned that into my 50's and 60's the style of music i currently play and that I am comfortable with(Mostly Alternative/Hard Rock) will not provide the opportunities that say Jazz or Blues might for someone in their golden years :)

So out of curiosity, for all of the "mature" gigging drummers out there, what type of music do you play?
 

stillgroovin

Senior Member
I'm 54 and still activly drumming. I still like the old hard driving rock every once in a while but now I have gravitated to more jazz and fusion. I think this style of music is more technical and challenging at this point in my life. The age thing..not so much of an issue at all....music is, well, music, no matter who is playing it.
 

denisri

Silver Member
Hi dmc2020
I'm 55 years old..Been playing local part pro-level gigs since age 16. I play everything but metal(and would do that if the opportunity occurred)! I have about a dozen students and gig 2 to 4 times a month. Mostly top 40 cover small to medium clubs with some exceptions.
Having stated the above.half my work is with an original material band(blues,rock,country and jazz based). Love it! Allows be creative and leverage my experience and knowledge of the instrument. Denis
 

Crusto 62

Senior Member
I am in my late 40s and I am enjoying my drumming more than when I was a kid. I play rock, blues and folk and it's all fun. I don't hit as hard as when I was a kid but I know how to get a sound out of my drums now. As I get older I realise how important It is to keep moving , stay fit and eat right. Let's rock on and enjoy it and till the day we die.
 

mikeg

Senior Member
Getting old sucks, but it beats the alternative. I'm also in my late 40s and wondering what my musical future will be. The band I'm in currently plays a mixture of blues/funk/rock. Most of the band is pretty close in age except the bass player who is in his late 20s. As a group we have a wide range of musical tastes and though we're capable of playing styles of music popular with those half our age, they just aren't our audience. We chose to play more blues oriented material because it appeals to those closer to our age and a good many who are younger as well.

I know if I want to keep playing though, I'm going to have to get serious about working out. Playing 'till 1:30 AM and loading in and out hurts these days. It didn't used to.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I didn't play drums much at all in my 40s. When I re-started the band I was in played a lot of raunchy rock'n'roll. My current band plays blues, jazz ballads and soul. However, if this band split and I had the chance to play psychedelic rock I'd be keen.

What I play depends on what music my peers want to play. Not surprisingly, these days more of my peers want to play softer music than when I was in my 20s. I'm happy to play along with almost anything.

Still, when I hear the young guys in the rehearsal studios playing thundering metal complete with Cookie Monster vocals I feel old. Someone told me recently that it's a physiological fact that when you get older you have less tolerance to noise. I do know that some of the music I found exciting in my youth now feels like an assault and that I find some music beautiful today that I once thought was boring.

But then again, the guy who runs our rehearsal studio is a good musician and in the same age group as my band and he loves playing loud so, while we trend towards less volume with age it depends on the individual.
 
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joeybeats

Silver Member
I'm 55 and have been playing for 3-4 years. Obviously, I am a drumming enthusiast and not a pro. I usually play jazz. I enjoy the mindfuck and the satisfaction in getting the coordination side of things down. But not always. Just this morning I spent three hours fooling around trying to get The Immigrant Song down and up to speed. Truth is, I find it as satisfying to really beat the drums with a great rock song, maybe more than jazz. So, I have a few people I play with to scratch that itch.
Anyway, I think I have no chance of creating new music in the rock genre, as this is mostly a young persons game. I mean remember the angst you had as a teenager? Our perspective was naturally in line with our generation and culture. For me anyway, I no longer have that angst or whatever else makes writing music a young persons game. And those young players can't reasonably be expected to want to hang with us older guys and girls to create music. Too many generations away.
So that is what I regret the most ... not having the opportunity to create music with this new hobby of mine. A healthy, prosperous and happy new year to all of you. Joey
 
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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
At 53, I am rocking harder than ever on some gigs, and doing the 'old man' blues and oldies and country on other gigs (although I've been doing those kind of gigs anyway since I was in my 20s.)

There's no reason you can't play whatever you want, at any age, as long as someone will hire you for it. Whether that happens in a fair manner is another issue, but as a drummer, there's no reason you can't physically or emotionally play the styles you love... that is, as long as you can still move your hands and feet!

Bermuda
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I've been playing for a while(in my early 40's), occasionally gig and still practice as much as I can. Looking into the future I still want to play live as much as possible. I'm concerned that into my 50's and 60's the style of music i currently play and that I am comfortable with(Mostly Alternative/Hard Rock) will not provide the opportunities that say Jazz or Blues might for someone in their golden years :)

So out of curiosity, for all of the "mature" gigging drummers out there, what type of music do you play?
I hear ya.

At 39, it's a weird situation. I'm not really feeling like joining a cover band right now (although I've done so in the past).

Scanning the ads for musically collaborations, most bands are looking for someone in their 20's who can practice 3-4 times a week with their eye on touring and "making it", and I can't blame them, that's where my head was at when I was that age. But with a wife, a mortgage and two kids, I can't rehearse that often anymore, and touring is almost out of the question.

So I look for ads featuring older musicians, and they all seem to be looking for people to play mellow/soft rock type stuff, (yawn) or stick to a certain past era in style (i.e only want to do 80's hair metal stuff,). And while I may be older and have my preferences, I'm not ready to give up on having some hard rock/metal elements or give up exploring the styles of new bands (especially the bands out of Europe). I'm just not quite ready to just live in the past.

The few exceptions I've come across were more interested in someone who can play exactly what they have written (which is fine if they want to pay me for it, but of course, most don't) and as I'm getting better at my guitar playing and song writing, I'd rather join a band where I can collaborate on ideas than simply regurgitate what's already been written.

At this point, I have my own recording set up, and I'm slowly writing my own stuff, and doing some collaboration long distance, but it's certainly not the same as being in an actual band.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
I'm concerned that into my 50's and 60's the style of music i currently play and that I am comfortable with(Mostly Alternative/Hard Rock) will not provide the opportunities that say Jazz or Blues might for someone in their golden years :)
I don't know about jazz and blues providing opportunities, not if you're intending to make any money.

I think about this very thing from time to time because in a way I'm actually playing better now than I did before I retired, but I just can't take getting back into the whole circus. I swear, playing music all your life does a number on your body and mind, at least it has for me. No regrets but, MAN!

There are too many young hot-shots in the studios now for me to consider putting myself back into that scene, although I'll take anything I get called for which is once in a blue moon.

At my age I can see myself attempting something more oriented around a local sort of thing, just to keep playing whether or not it pays anything, but what that would be I have no clue, and anyway I doubt that such a thing is even viable considering that I'd need a band, and those guys would need to be paid.

Also, the idea of loading drums into a car, finding a place to park and schlepping them into a little club...I just don't think I could do that, and that's pretty much what I'd have to do anymore.

But never say never!!!!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
So I look for ads featuring older musicians, and they all seem to be looking for people to play mellow/soft rock type stuff, (yawn) or stick to a certain past era in style (i.e only want to do 80's hair metal stuff,)
Should people from a given era play that era's music? To an extent, isn't music age-appropriate, even to the musicians playing it?

Granted, I'm playing a lot of 'young' music with Weird Al, but between tours in my normal bands, I'm playing a lot of the music I grew up with: '50-'70s oldies & country, Motown, a bit of New Wave. Should/Can a bunch of 20-somethings play Beach Boys, Animals, Stones, Byrds, Kinks, Beatles, Yardbirds etc. the way a bunch of 40+ do? Maybe that's as much of an anomaly as a bunch of 40-somethings playing Green Day, Nickelback, Kings Of Leon, Good Charlotte, etc.

But we older players do have an advantage, as long as we also have an open mind. We have a longer history of styles and music, and can better tackle both Green Day and the Everly Brothers easier than a youngster who grew up the '80s or '90s and doesn't have a sense of the older styles of drumming when they were 'new'. Growing up and learning to play when the Kinks were current is very different than a young player listening to a Kinks CD in a retro frame of mind, and trying to play with those sensibilities, regardless how seemingly simple they sound.

I guess what I'm saying is, I don't care how amazing of a technician the latest 25-year-old flavor of the month on the cover of Modern Drummer is... he can't play an Animals song like I do. And I don't care if he's got 25% of a multi-platinum album, he can't walk into a bar and make $50 like I can! :)

Bermuda
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Should people from a given era play that era's music? To an extent, isn't music age-appropriate, even to the musicians playing it?
It might explain interests, but other than that, I disagree.

If one gets a formal education studying classical music, that person isn't any less adept than, well, you're just not going to find a 200 year old violinist who remembers Beethoven the way it was back in the day. If you go to Berklee and study early jazz, sorry Zutty Singleton isn't here to play it more authentically.

I was (still am) obsessed with The Who from an early age. Never mind Keith Moon was dead before I really knew who he was. When I saw them not long ago, the arena was packed with kids a fraction of my age who knew every song as well as I did. Beatles are still a top selling band almost 40 years since their last album, and Led Zeppelin is still popular with kids.

On the flip side, I may be too old for their demographic, but I saw Linkin Park in concert, and enjoyed every minute of it.

And if I'm playing 2 & 4 to Mustang Sally, well, it doesn't much matter that the song came out before I was born. My buddy plays in a cover band playing all of today's radio hits, including Green Day, and he's older than me.

Music transcends time.

But aside from that, as I said, I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel on being up to date.

Using the internet, myspace and youtube, I'm always up for listen to new bands who are doing something different. I like what's coming out of Europe, because they're not afraid to mix past trends with last Tuesday's innovation with whatever else they feel like, and not just follow whatever the newest, hottest trend.

I'm much more interested in what Katatonia, Before the Dawn, and Ghost Brigade are doing then just reliving the 1980's (even if I still listen to Aldo Nova and Triumph on CD)

Unless someone just wants to offer me a spot in a Journey tribute band, then I'll make an exception! :p
 

dmc2020

Junior Member
I'm glad my Silversun Pickups reference didn't go unnoticed.

I've always liked Jazz as a possible new direction but never really attempted playing it properly, I'm sure trying to learn at this point would be a real challenge(which is a good thing). What do you think? A couple of weeks and I should have it down right? :)
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Im 52, I currently play Moderate to Light Rock, Blues, R&B, and Contemporary Country in a band that likes to do private cocktail parties and corporate events. There will always be a market for music that has timeless appeal to a mixed audience. The gigs aren't as demanding for a middle aged drummer in the way of late nights, etc.
I also play in a Jam Band for fun. Many outdoor summer shows at Fairs, etc. Also early hours, I don't like to come home at 3AM anymore.
I play Jazz for Me. I don't gig with Jazz. Not much of a demand for it anyway. Most people don't want to hear Jazz in the clubs that are local to me.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I guess what I'm saying is, I don't care how amazing of a technician the latest 25-year-old flavor of the month on the cover of Modern Drummer is... he can't play an Animals song like I do. And I don't care if he's got 25% of a multi-platinum album, he can't walk into a bar and make $50 like I can! :)

Bermuda
I LMAO after reading that one B!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm lucky in that I love the Blues, and there is enough of a Blues scene where I am, consisting of guys my age, so it's a nice fit. I don't care for the term growing old, because I feel like I'm improving a little everytime I play. For me it just keeps getting better and more satisfying.
 

jim_gregory

Senior Member
We just did a gig and the patrons of this popular beer hall thought Stormy Monday was an original!
I just got into drumming and gigging and am finding out rapidly that the music I love is mosly irrelavent or at best unknown to the general bar going public round here. Comments are "you guys are really good but you should do music people know." Hmm..
Good thing we got a hot shot 24 year old guitarist/singer that the young girls love. We are rapidly taking on more of "his" music and I'm fine with it. Everone in the band basically has there own set list though and I guess thats a good thing. I'm 55 and the other guys are 50something also..cept the kid of course.
We did 3 gigs last week and offered anyone in the house free hat/teeshirt if they knew who originally recorded 40,000 headmen after we did it. Still gottem. Guess thats predicable enough though.
Anybody?
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Interesting thread. I'm in a recently formed band with quite a cross section of ages. Super talented guitarist (21), monster Hammond & piano player (38), singer with a non rock clean voice (36), simple rock bass player with great timing (49) and me, also (49). We're going out as a classic rock band but with each track delivered with a twist. We rework most of the covers and seem (early stages yet) to have tapped into a rich seam of interest. We're getting the 70's rock audience in their 40's & 50's but also the teen to mid twenties who've discovered classic rock as an alternative to modern stuff. There really is a significant minority out there. We'll see how things evolve but everything's looking rosy right now. I'm playing the stuff of my youth and it's going down a storm. How good is that!

I think the stumbling block will be when we feed in original material but I hope we will have established a critical mass of support by then. I'm getting older in my body but my brain feels 20 years younger since taking the drums up again three years ago. I'm just having so much fun and the journey's fascinating.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
I'm probably one of the older guys here. I'm 60. When it comes to music you're only as young as you feel. The old classics like Mustang Sally will always be around. It's fun stuff to play and if the crowd is into it you can rock the house with the classic stuff.

That said, it can also limit ones ability to grow. There's a lot of new music that rocks too. Maroon 5, Nickleback, Paramore, Green day, and tons of others.

I think combining the old with the new keeps it more interesting. I hate to think that all I can do is play the same covers I played as a teenager. How boring is that?

My daughter is sixteen and I'm constantly asking to borrow her CDs to play along with.

Embrace the old, but be open to the new stuff as well.
 
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