Growing older as a drummer.........

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
You will not wake up one day, or after arriving at any particular number, feeling old. What will happen is that you will wake up one day and realize you feel old. It's gradual. However the acceptence, for self preservation purposes, is even less gradual. You will fight it. You will one day, say, when in hell did that happen? At 69, recovering from surgery, I felt great the second day after, just to not be so dependable on caretakers. But now, I realized again, I have gotten old. sigh
 

sonormapex

Senior Member
"As a drummer"..thats different. If you were a horn player, guitar, vocalist, etc, I bet you [we] would not belly ache so much at getting old.
What does come to mind, and I,ve met several old drummers who think because of their age, they have the right to SHOW and TELL younger players how it all works. For some reason they have that cocky attitude that they,ve been there, so take a knee, and listen to me.
What they don't realize, is most of these "kids" grew up with technology far beyond what I had. I learned by watching and listening, which was good enough..back then.
I,ve seen some teenagers that could leave me in thier dust the way they play today. Incredible technique, speed, dynamics, a complete understanding of his craft, at 18 yrs old!
Sorry if I annoy some of you with this, but you know who you are, and I really don't care that you feel superior to the younger generation, but fact is, you,re not. I have really had my eyes opened the last few years, and I,ll say honestly, its me who takes a knee and listens now, so you "old experts" should take a closer look at who is replacing us.
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
I turn 50 in a month and I've never been better as a drummer. Its because i spent the last few years relearning my technique. I moved away from using a more muscle oriented technique to utilizing rebound lot more.
This entire quote exactly fits my situation.

I found I had a lot to work on, so I worked on it, and I improved. I have a lot more to work on, so that's what I'll continue to do. The constant improvement is a great motivator, seeing (hearing) the benefits of the hard work you put in.
Similar experience here Jeff & Larry but just turned 48. Another thing that makes me better these days is that I've gotten myself to a place financially where I'm able to spend a lot more time playing and practicing and less time working. I've worked very hard but I'm also very lucky I've had opportunities and no significant injuries or medical issues (save for some very frustrating focal dystonia in my right leg).
 
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spleeeeen

Platinum Member
Many thanks for this. I'm lost for words, other than, I have been humbled.
Same here. I reckon there are a lot of stories like this out there that seldom get told on broader levels so I'm especially appreciative for this article.
 

Stroker

Platinum Member
Same here. I reckon there are a lot of stories like this out there that seldom get told on broader levels so I'm especially appreciative for this article.
I agree. The accompanying video helped hammer-home the powerful will of the human spirit (in some) that simple cannot be broken.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
People are as young or as old as they decide they want to be.

Bodies age for sure. The spirit is the real life force.

Old isn't a number, it's an attitude.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I agree to some extent Larry-age is a mindset-sort of like happiness. But the sad scientific fact is as we age we lose cognitive abilities, sense of smell, muscle mass loss, etc. I was banned from a local forum because I got in an argument with this fella about age-I took it as "age discrimination" so he raised my dander. He argued with the science of facts of aging (and was a real weasel and bashing people over thirty basically-I was in my forties), however I argued those loses seem to have little impact on productivity or creativity as most Nobel Laureates are middle aged or over, then lots of anecdotal evidence of great contributions from "aged people", people in art, science, culture, politics, etc. I was banned because I deduced his identity and exposed him-which was forbidden. Yeah I went off and crazy on him on a bit -I thought I was defending against age discrimination-all said and done I apologized (for exposing his true identity) though I told him I still thought I was right (he laughed). All this talk of aging and the Pinnacle of Fine Art thread reminds me of one of my daughter's Art statement:
"My work focuses on the idea of disintegration and the fragility of life. As I explore this process of entropy, I also examine our limited perception and understanding of time and our own existence. The driving force behind my work is the anxiety caused by the deterioration of mind and body, and the simultaneous beauty of this universally shared experience.


As the impetus of the work is on the life itself, the process becomes more important than the product. I use paint to further question the futile, yet seemingly biological, human obsession with permanence; with creating something that outlasts oneself. Through pouring paint and peeling it off of a surface, the paint becomes an object. An object that is capable of movement and life. After my limited manipulation of the paint, I allow only natural forces to effect the work. The work has a life of it’s own that is then slowly worn down by gravity and time. The perception of time always seems to be that it is passing slowly, yet the life of the paint rarely lasts more than a few days. Our narrow perspective in which we view our lives affects our perception of our existence in the same way. The paint’s life then begins to mimic our own. It allows us to see the beauty and profundity of our own deterioration and understanding. " Here is an example :
http://www.katiebeallart.com/work/#/breath/
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
Im 43 and feel stronger and faster than ever...I think. Faster on drums but I think thats a technique development thingy. But, Im not lugging my gear around regularly as I did when younger so maybe Id feel otherwise if I did. But Im sort of a little guy so maybe thats part of it, 5'7'' on a good day and around 160. Sometime I respond on here and then think, no one asked me, why am i typing this. Glad to have the outlet tho, thank yall...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I agree to some extent Larry-age is a mindset-sort of like happiness. But the sad scientific fact is as we age we lose cognitive abilities, sense of smell, muscle mass loss, etc.

All these things aren't written in stone. Most of these things can be reversed with work and an attitude that you're not going to just roll over and accept it. Fight back!
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Absolutely Larry-adversity is part of life-crap with aging is just another hindrance or obstacle to overcome. We can age like a fine wine or turn into vinegar-I prefer wine really.
 

resunoiz

Senior Member
I'm quite younger (38) but just yesterday I was remastering a cover I played with my death metal band 20 years ago.

The only thing I could think about was "today I won't be able in any mode to play that fast and hard like I did there". I remembered that, before making that studio session, I wroked as a waiter till 5am, then started recording at 9am. Today I won't be able to wake up at all in the morning :)

And that's true. Work, less time, aging, less practicing, less physical health and that's all. But...who cares? If playing is not a job there are tons of different ways to modify your style, carrying a lighter set, change habits pre and post gigs...

and for pro drummers I think is quite the same.

Let's make a parallel example: Usain Bolt just quitted running as a pro, with a 3rd place. He won't run for golds in years to come but surely he will continue running, practicing, living in the sport's world...even if he would not be the "fastest in the hearth" :)
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I'm 48 now. Last band rehearsal we were playing a fast shuffle song. They just keept going and going and going on their solos. I have to hold this fast shuffle up through like 5 guitar solos, 2 harp solos, some call and answer solos, and then group solos. I was getting pissed because I was getting tired. After the song, I griped a little bit about how long the solo was and how it's hard to keep that fast shuffle going. The band leader started telling me that I'm just being a p*ssy. Ha ha! Nope. Just getting old, I guess. I need to keep the stamina going, and I'm reminded sometimes when I might be slipping off the pace a bit.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
People are as young or as old as they decide they want to be.

Bodies age for sure. The spirit is the real life force.

Old isn't a number, it's an attitude.
I've been told that despite the gray hairs I act like I'm 6 or 7. This is quite insulting as I have the maturity of at least a 15 year old.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
I'm on a day off from a two week tour with my band. (Sunlord, on tour with D.R.I. if anyone is interested).

The hardest aspect of touring is the constant lack of sleep, good food, alone time and quiet. After a week of 5-6 hours of sleep a night I was spent last night. I had to marshall my resources to get through the 45 minute set.

I can no longer "rock and roll all night and party every day" as Gene Simmons would say.

Sometimes it's: "Take a nap so that you can get through the 220 BPM double bass parts tonight."

So that's part of the reality as well.
 

Smoke

Silver Member
At 58, though the carcass hurts, my drumming still improves. But as a basement dweller, drumming is just a hobby. After retirement I might get back to gigging. For now the basement is just fine.

But!!! Last month on my morning commute, I was belting out "Some Kind of Wonderful" with Grand Funk, and when I got to "... well my Baaaby is clean out of sight..." I choked on "Baby." First. Time. Ever. I almost cried - it must have been an anomaly.

This morning I was reminded. I could just barely hit the note - after about three tries. I'm sure I looked quite a sight with veins bulging everywhere and my eyeballs protruding from their sockets. Thankfully it was still dark at 5:00 AM.

I follow the advice of my oncologist: "Check the soles of your feet every morning for an expiration date. If you don't see one, go out and live."
 

sonormapex

Senior Member
Drummers are a proud lot..."Gig is up 2 flight of stairs, the narrow type. Do you need some help with the drums"??

No thanks, I used to do this for a living, I said.
It was said I was begging for help 5 minutes later. I don't remember that, but that's another thing that goes as well, the memory!
When I think of what I used to be able to do when it came to schlepping my drums, I amaze myself.
As we age, we have to remember, if you can, to admit how old and out of practise we are. Now you might appreciate those Legion gigs, the ones where you finish by 10, and you,re in bed by 11...As time goes by.

Oh, I forgot, as usual. I'm supposed to watch what I say, so apologies to all that I,ve offended.
 
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