The perfect mid life crisis?


Junior Member
I'm thinking of having a mid-life crisis by learning to play the drums! Lets face it, it has to be cheaper than a mistress and less life threatening than driving a crazy, powerful motorbike on the roads in the UK! (or maybe that should be the other way around!)

I used to have a kit about < mumble > years ago while at Uni, although I never got around to lessons and really just annoyed my fellow house mates. Since then I've always had a desire to go back and do it properly, especially when I have been to see live bands and watched drummers at work. Seeing Neil Peart for the first time was awe inspiring. Then I happened across Porcupine Tree a few years ago and Gavin Harrison's playing just blew me away entirely. I have yet to see him live unfortunately but I was lucky enough to see Steven Wilson a week ago and he had Marco Minnemann playing for him who is also an incredible drummer.

Anyway, enough of the fan worship! To my point, which is where should I start. Lessons are definitely on the cards but what should I look for in a good teacher? Also, I can't help but feel I am going to have real issues with coordination and getting my various appendages working together (and separately I guess) in some sort of coordinated fashion. Are there exercises I can start now, minus a kit, that can help this? There appears to be a mind boggling array of material available online for teaching drumming but as with all such things, it's separating the wheat from the chaff.

The main issue I can see is space for a kit and, more importantly, the noise. With a young family, drum practice on a standard kit in the evening which will be the only spare time I have, is not an option. Are electric drum kits worth considering and are they "quiet". I know you can play them through headphones but what is the noise like of the actual sticks hitting the pads?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Platinum Member
Congrats on your mid-life Crisis! I had one myself 2 years ago this month and at age 43 decided to learn the drums (I already had the motorcycle and the sports I haven't regretted it yet. There's been a lot of ups and downs but it was well worth it and something I look forward to continuing for a long time to come.

As for a teacher...yes, definitely get one and learn the proper techniques from the start! As for what to look for in a teacher, first of all decide what it is you want to do with this new passion of yours (and it will become a passion once you start!). Are you looking to be a hobbyist, in a band, try to make a professional go of it????? Once you've decided that, you can look for someone who will help you reach your specific goals. You may find someone who's a great technical teacher but if he/she is not getting you anywhere near what you are wanting then they're the wrong one for you. Sit down with a prospective teacher and talk to them about what you are looking for before signing up for anything long-term.

I'll let others who are much more qualified than me talk to you about e-drums and such.

Either way...good luck and enjoy that crisis!


Platinum Member
i had complaints from an upstairs neighbor when I played my roland TD-7 many years ago...just through my headphones.

I also found that playing electronic pads is not the same as playing an acoustic drum set....they are separate instruments.

I vote that you give lessons a go....always a great place to start.

Have a great time...and keep us updated!

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I say take it one step at a time. Get a practice pad, some sticks and go find a teacher. After a while then start thinking about the possible instrument you might want. Get your hands together, then we can talk drumsets, eh?


Gold Member
A few of mine.............been going through my mid life crisis for a while..................

Have to get some better pics

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Get an Ekit with mesh heads, plug in your mp3 player and headphones and start banging away to the music you like..

Drums are easy.

Well.....some of it is easy. Some of it seems nearly impossible. Just skip that stuff for now :)


Platinum Member
3+ years in and I can attest to the challenges of working up limb independence but its all worth it. The first time you jam with someone is a feeling you will spend your whole life searching for in any every form.

I have a yamaha DTX ekit and the kick pedal is the loudest part when played at loud drum kit dynamic levels (some say "you dont have to hit it so hard") but you dont have to hit it so hard. I have my own house and have to wait an hour or so after the kids go to sleep to play it and its in the basement on a concrete floor so it is a bit of a noise concern.

Might start with a pad and lessons for a month and see what happens or just go buy any (and I mean just about any) kit in decent shape and bash the crap out of it. Dont buy a new kit- play for a year or 2 then decide what sounds you like and read here every day and you will gain the knowledge you need to blow some dough on some nice tubs.

Or get every cheap kit you find on Craigslist like me and have 7....


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I would think you were headed for failure if you are going to manufacture a midlife crisis. Most of us try our best to avoid them at all costs until the day that they creep up behind you and bite you. But since you have a masochistic attitude I can only say good luck and buy used.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
However, I'm not sure learning how to play the drums qualifies as a "midlife crisis". You're simply learning how to do something new. I don't think this is a case of you wanting to re-live some past you never really got to (like picking up young girls, wearing leather, or anything like that). It's not like you can't look and dress your age while playing drums. Maybe if you were getting a double-bass kit and dressing up like an 80s rock star and trying to sell tickets to play at the Whisky-a-go-go, then we could talk mid-life crisis ;)


Platinum Member
Maybe if you were getting a double-bass kit and dressing up like an 80s rock star and trying to sell tickets to play at the Whisky-a-go-go, then we could talk mid-life crisis ;)
I think seeing you as an 80s rock star would be cool to see! Hair band, anyone?


Platinum Member
If you want to do something, you should try it. You only live once; unless you're a Buddhist, or feline.


Junior Member
I would think you were headed for failure if you are going to manufacture a midlife crisis.....
OK...people taking the title way too seriously here! Just to set Gruntersdad's mind at ease I am most definitely NOT looking to manufacture a mid life crisis! I just want to learn to play the drums and was looking for advice. Lets hope I have more success learning to play drums than I do at making vaguely amusing forum posts :).

Anyway, thanks for the advice guys. My first tentative step into the world of drumming arrived in the post this morning in the form of a set of Vic Firth drumsticks. Next step will be a practice pad and then, at some point, some lessons. Luckily a friend in the village has a kit so I will probably be able to go there and have a go now and again too.


I started in my 40s and believe me the journey has been long and tough but well worth it. Wether your doing it for fun or just something to do the best experience is play and learning about music.

A couple of things to focus on your rudiments, singles, doubles paradiddles and flams to start. Play with people I really lacked confidence at first and this was a mistake, playing in your basement is cool but playing with others, just jamming is great, but finding people into your type of music can be tough. Get a few fills that you can play anytime and have fun and take lessons.



Senior Member
It is never too late to have a happy childhood. (;-)

Fact is, it is arguably easier to have one once you have a few years under your belt (and some _income_ doesn't hurt, either...).

The most important advice I can give comes in two parts: 1, practice makes perfect, but only if you practice perfectly; and 2, do it until it feels good, not until it hurts.

Grab the sticks, get some seat time in, and have fun!

Just answered my very first Craigslist ad. Time to get serious about finding some like-minded players again. I've been in more bands than I can count over the years, and I swore off ever starting another one after the last one I put together from scratch. But the itch is back, and it is much more enjoyable to be the one calling the shots... Guess it is time to be a starter again, instead of a joiner. Who knew?