Just joined a band after 20 year break

Gaz1965

Member
Hi all, I'm just looking for some reassurance really. I am 48 years old and I started playing drums at the age of 11. When my kids came along I reluctantly sold all my gear after our band split. I have just joined a new band with some old school mates. I have just got myself another kit, its no great shakes but it all mine :). I am getting really frustrated with myself as I feel my drumming is not what it used to be and my confidence is suffering as a result but I am really enjoying being behind the kit again. Has any one else been through this? And did you get back to your past standard? I used to be quite a good drummer but I am very disappointed with my performance at the moment.
Thanks for reading
Gaz
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Gaz, your identikit seems to fit with about half the regular posters on here.

You're the same age as me - my story is slightly different. I've been a guitarist since my teens, and started drumming towards the end of last year when my wife bought a kit for our son.

I'd suggest lessons, even if only to structure your initial (re)learning.

You won't have as much time to devote to your drumming now as you did when you were teenager. Accept that this will slow down your progress.

And go easy on yourself - the brashness of youth is not the best aid to honest self-assessment. Technique will come: practice and wait for it to arrive.

MaryO and Magenta will most likely chime in soon with good advice. They've been playing longer than I have, but they are also almost grownups.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Gaz, your identikit seems to fit with about half the regular posters on here.

You're the same age as me - my story is slightly different. I've been a guitarist since my teens, and started drumming towards the end of last year when my wife bought a kit for our son.

I'd suggest lessons, even if only to structure your initial (re)learning.

You won't have as much time to devote to your drumming now as you did when you were teenager. Accept that this will slow down your progress.

And go easy on yourself - the brashness of youth is not the best aid to honest self-assessment. Technique will come: practice and wait for it to arrive.
Hahaha James! I think you're right on all counts there, btw.

Gaz, I've been playing for a whole two and half years, and I'm 48 too. I've started from nowhere, but the main difficulty you have, as I see it, is that you aren't as good now as you used to be, and I can understand that this must be incredibly frustrating.

Think of it like running. If you don't run, you can't do it very well, even if you used to be Usain Bolt twenty years ago. You can't expect anything else.

I'd imagine that you're having problems with muscle memory and timing, and maybe co-ordination too. Again, go for the fitness analogy: you have to work at it - hard! - and it'll improve. Rudiments, Gaz, rudiments! Slow and correct. Very slow and very correct.

Don't be too hard on yourself (sez me, self-beater-upper extraordinaire). When I have one of my "wail!" days (I'm having one today, and shall shortly take the advice I'm about to give you), I make myself sit at my kit and hit the drums. I don't attempt to play them, as such, because it'll go horribly wrong and then I'll wail even more: I just let my hands and feet go where they will. It's ridiculously difficult to let myself do that but it achieves two things: 1) it proves to me that however important my drumming is to me, it doesn't cause the Apocalypse, and 2) every sound I make is a good one even if it's somewhat unexpected. And then I am able to be kinder to myself, my confidence isn't dented, and I stop wailing.

It's brilliant that you're playing again, and in a band again. I bet it feels like coming home every time you sit at your kit!
 

I Love Pie

Junior Member
I know how you feel. I'm 45 and also returned to drumming after a very long break. When I started playing with my band last year it was horrible. My timing was crap, I was messing up simple fills and I was getting frustrated. I just went back to basics - hours and hours of independence exercises and rudiments played along to a metronome. After a few months of that things got better - in fact my band are playing a couple of songs at a jam night tonight!. The last time I played a gig was 1993! Feeling excited today. Can't wait to play tonight and get back into it.

Get back to basics and play along to a metronome. It worked for me,
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
Well since I was called out...I'm 46, started playing 2 and a half years ago, have my first gig this weekend with my first band! I understand the frustration. Not sure I'm ready for this live gig, skill level wise anyways but you sometimes just have to jump in with both feet ( or sticks as the case may be).

I echo the sentiment of finding a teacher. Let them see what you already know and they can help you develop your skills again. I bet things will come back to you before long.

Most if all, just have fun with it. You'll probably find yourself enjoying the music and the experience more now that your older and wiser. Keep us posted.
 

Gaz1965

Member
Wow! thanks for the great advice. Good luck with the gigs. The main thing is I am loving every minute of it even if I am my own worst critic. I will keep you posted on my progress. Practice, practice and more practice is the way forward I think :D.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Hi all, I'm just looking for some reassurance really. I am 48 years old and I started playing drums at the age of 11. When my kids came along I reluctantly sold all my gear after our band split. I have just joined a new band with some old school mates. I have just got myself another kit, its no great shakes but it all mine :). I am getting really frustrated with myself as I feel my drumming is not what it used to be and my confidence is suffering as a result but I am really enjoying being behind the kit again. Has any one else been through this? And did you get back to your past standard? I used to be quite a good drummer but I am very disappointed with my performance at the moment.
Thanks for reading
Gaz
Bear with it...
It will come back in a rush and you'll then find that, despite perhaps being slightly slower getting around the kit, that your drumming benefits to a massive degree from the maturity you now have which you didn't at 11.
 

dmacc

Platinum Member
I have a friend who took about the same length of time off, if not a few years longer. He joined a band shortly after he got back into it about 5 years ago and they began gigging within a year. He's out playing 2-3x a month now.

He's really into getting himself back in shape and I share as much information I can with him to help. The key is not overload and stress out realizing it's only one element of your life at this point, unlike when we were kids and had all the time in the world to spend at it.

Stick Control has helped immensely in getting him on the fast track. This book, along with a couple handouts I made up for him - according to him - has been most helpful.

I'd be more than willing to send you what I've sent him if you think it might help.

Let me know.
 

MisterZero

Senior Member
I'm 45 and in a similar boat.Started playing in 1st grade, but along the way took time off here and there, even lost interest a bit..., then when kids came, put it all on a back burner. then about 7 years ago, really got back into it. And, yes, rust has built up over the years, but trust me, you can regain your old form. I also take lessons. I think lessons are great, especially from a younger player. I get to see and learn what the latest tips and tricks are. The key, and you probably know this already, is to have fun. Of course getting better is all part of that....
 

MisterZero

Senior Member
I have a friend who took about the same length of time off, if not a few years longer. He joined a band shortly after he got back into it about 5 years ago and they began gigging within a year. He's out playing 2-3x a month now.

He's really into getting himself back in shape and I share as much information I can with him to help. The key is not overload and stress out realizing it's only one element of your life at this point, unlike when we were kids and had all the time in the world to spend at it.

Stick Control has helped immensely in getting him on the fast track. This book, along with a couple handouts I made up for him - according to him - has been most helpful.

I'd be more than willing to send you what I've sent him if you think it might help.

Let me know.
Hi neighbor!!!! good to see another WNYorker on here.....
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
It is a reoccurring theme and it makes perfect sense. We all wanted to play music but end up choosing an easier path to earn money. The desire doesn't go away, it just lays dormant until we can bring it back into play.

My layoff was almost 30 years!

After a year and a half, I can honestly say that I've learned more about drumming and music in general than I had in the 20 years I played in my youth. I'm a much better drummer and musician than I ever was because I just focus on the music now.
 

I Love Pie

Junior Member
So last night I played live for the first time since 1993. Bit of a trainwreck really. Got to do 3 numbers and a made a couple of mistakes in the first 2 numbers that were really noticeable, but we just carried on and played through them,

The 3rd number we did was much better though - got through that without a hitch and started enjoying myself. The 3rd was probably the easiest of all the songs for me to play so really should have started with that. If we had I think I would have got rid of some nervous energy and the others wouldn't have been a problem..

Loved it though. Looking forward for the next one in 2 weeks time to redeem myself,
 

Gaz1965

Member
So last night I played live for the first time since 1993. Bit of a trainwreck really. Got to do 3 numbers and a made a couple of mistakes in the first 2 numbers that were really noticeable, but we just carried on and played through them,

The 3rd number we did was much better though - got through that without a hitch and started enjoying myself. The 3rd was probably the easiest of all the songs for me to play so really should have started with that. If we had I think I would have got rid of some nervous energy and the others wouldn't have been a problem..

Loved it though. Looking forward for the next one in 2 weeks time to redeem myself,
Thats great. At least you finished on a high and I bet no one noticed the mistakes :)
 
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