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  #1  
Old 11-09-2010, 04:27 PM
haroldo_psf haroldo_psf is offline
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Default I am 33. Am I too old to start learning? UPDATED with progress video Post #80

Hi all, and sorry for the trivial topic. Playing the drums has been in my mind for the past 15 years, but not until now I have the means to make it happen.

However, I am 33. I am a Rush and Neil Peart fanatic, followed right after buy Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree.

I bought a practice pad (Remo, really loud!), a stand, and 55A sticks, a snare drum DVD basics, and also had my first private lesson last week. I have been practicing the three basic strokes for the past week for about an hour to an hour and a half a day, and I think I noticed an improvement...I think.

It seems playing the drums involves a lot of muscle memory and unatural (almost freaky) limb indepence. Can an old(er) dog learn new tricks? Would I be able to butcher Rush and DT songs before I grow white hair? Or am I way over my head? My wife thinks I'm nuts...

Thanks for any feedback.

Last edited by haroldo_psf; 01-18-2011 at 05:29 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2010, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Hi there,

No, of course you're not too old. While your body works, you can play the drums. Keep doing what you're doing. An hour - hour and half every day on the practice pad is more than most kids practice, so you if you keep that up for your drumming career you'll catch up in no time.

"freakish" limb independence just takes practice. You slow it down, and build it up. You're right in that it's all about muscle memory, and there's only one way to train muscle memory: repetition of the correct (desired) movement. If his technique was correct, in the sense that he would be doing no damage to himself, a 90-year old could learn the drums.

Good luck, and welcome to an amazing instrument.
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2010, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

I'm 35 and started a few months ago, I'm enjoying it and that's all that matters. Be patient.

Do a search on this forum about age, there are plenty of others in our boat...
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  #4  
Old 11-09-2010, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Eveyone learns at a different pace so as far as knowing when you will be able to play Rush or DT there is no telling how long it will take you versus the next guy. As far as being too old as you say, you never are. The jump from a remo pad to a kit however is a huge one so be prepared to take a leap back when you do it. The biggest thing to avoid as a beginner is setting unrealistic goals. Dont expect to play like Peart or Portney for a while and you won't get discouraged. Just keep trying and you may get there. A teacher is also highly recomended.
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2010, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

I started at 53. Go for it.
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2010, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

You are absolutley not too old! I started a few months ago and I am 39! Just take everything slow, break everything down and you will be fine! The most important part is to have fun and lots of it. Don't forget to use your metronome!
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2010, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

i'm 54 and still taking lessons. i've improved a lot over the past two or three years. i've learned to play jazz, latin, reggae, and funk styles, which i could not do before. i've gotten fairly decent at double bass drumming, which i had never tried before. my technique has improved a lot with my teacher's help. i've also made major improvements to my timing, and i've learned to play in a relaxed style. on top of that, i've learned a lot from playing in several bands over the past few years. if i can do it, so can you!
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2010, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Age has nothing to do with learning and vice versa. The essence of life is to learn something new everyday...go ahead. By the way, IŽm 40.
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2010, 06:32 PM
haroldo_psf haroldo_psf is offline
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Man, you guys really know how to get one's spirit up! Thank you. I am now feeling, how should I put it...capable!
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haroldo_psf View Post
My wife thinks I'm nuts...
GGGrrrraaaaggghhhhhh ......... Why do women do that - - - - - - in the end you start believing them or is it that they actually do drive you nuts ...... slowly ..... over time :-)

Never too old, you want to be quite methodical in your learning though as it'll help you make up lost ground and when you think you're playing something slowly to try and learn it and still struggling halve the speed again, it's by far the quickest way to learn, especially the things that feel alien to start with.

Good luck and remember YOU'RE NOT NUTS, YOU'RE NOT NUTS, YOU'RE NOT NUTS, YOU'RE NOT NUTS, great phrasing for praticing triplets :-)
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  #11  
Old 11-09-2010, 06:39 PM
Mike Armstrong Mike Armstrong is offline
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Thank God there are some of you in this thread that started drumming after I did :)

I started just last year, I'm 'only' 51! :)
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  #12  
Old 11-09-2010, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

You're never too old to start learning...anything.

I started playing drums at 30. Follow the advice from others; get a teacher, try to practice at least some everyday.
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  #13  
Old 11-09-2010, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Yes your to old,come on man, I'm 72 and I'm still learning,working out of Jim Paynes "Advanced Funk Drumming" book right now. YOU ARE NEVER TO OLD to learn
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  #14  
Old 11-09-2010, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

I have had so many adult students over the years that I developed and proposed a course for a university in Richmond. I don't teach it every semester, but when I do the class is usually half under 30 years old and half over 30 (sometimes much over 30).

1. You are not too old

2. There are plenty of people that start at your age.

Too bad you're not in Richmond. I'd love to have you in my class.

Jeff
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  #15  
Old 11-09-2010, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

I'm 44 and I still feel like a beginner!
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  #16  
Old 11-09-2010, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

...I asked myself the same question before I started playing at the age of thirty five.

It looks like you are already ahead of the game by starting with lessons and a foundatuion based on the techinical end. Signing up on this board will also provide you with an incredible wealth of help, encouragement, and support, a one part Tony Robbins, and two parts Tony Williams kind of thing.

There are so many advantages to taking on something like this at an advanced age. You can look back on past experience to help you focus on what you need to do to succeed, as you have your own personal history of success and failure to draw from. Also, it is easier to excersise the self discipline required in fullfilling a dream as opposed to chasing a whim.

I have been playing now for sixteen years, and I am not as good as I think I should be at this stage. That being said, the pure unabashed joy that I feel everytime I pick up my sticks and scare the magpies out of my yard makes me feel like I am Ringo on the Ed Sullivan show.

Good luck, good drumming, and good on you. Keep us posted, and have fun.

Barry
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  #17  
Old 11-09-2010, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

I'm thirty nine and started drumming two years ago. Funny you should mention "limb independence".

I really tried hard, too hard maybe, to get four body parts to do different things at the same time. I was so awkward! It was frustrating because I would put so much time and effort into it but it could just never figure it out. I had hands and feet following each other no matter what I did...

I decided to stick with really basic stuff and forget trying to be better than I was. Now, two years into it and no intended practice on limb independence and I have noticed my body just doing it on its own. I really used to struggle with just keeping time on my left foot because it always wanted to follow my right foot or my left hand. For me, it was just time on the seat. Things have started to fall into place natrually. I'm no pro and maybe never will be but I enjoy playing the drums as much or more than anything I do.

Hell no, you are NOT too old!
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  #18  
Old 11-09-2010, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I'm 44 and I still feel like a beginner!
I've seen your videos... You're not a beginner.
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  #19  
Old 11-09-2010, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

The most blatant, in your face answer to that question.....a 72 year old drummer answered your post on an [i]Internet Forum[i]...reckon when he learned about computers and the internet?

College was much better for me in my thirties than high school was in my teens...the learning part anyway. I'm revisiting the drums at 42, this time around, technique and style come before volume and tempo.

Good luck....never, ever...listen to your wife....what does she know?
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  #20  
Old 11-09-2010, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

If you spin it this way....."Is 33 too young to stop learning?" Your answer is evident.

Do it and have fun with it mate.
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  #21  
Old 11-09-2010, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

i'm 35 and on my 7th month of actual "learning" if you count what i did before i knew anything at all, probably 9 months to a year behind a kit.

i'd say your a little late to the party but still plenty of time.
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  #22  
Old 11-09-2010, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brady View Post
I've seen your videos... You're not a beginner.
Well thanks. But when you know what's out there to learn how to do, there's so much stuff still to learn! Grrr....

But our OP here should begin ASAP. You're never too old. In fact, drumming is a healthy form of release and it's been shown to have positive medical effects! I just met a guy who says his doctor is easing him off his blood pressure medication because his constant practicing of 2 hours a day is also good stress relief! Proven theory? Not sure. But for this guy playing is a great thing!
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  #23  
Old 11-10-2010, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

I am 62, started playing again about 4 years ago after a 32 year layoff. I felt like I was starting from scratch but none the less it was in my blood so I persist. I will never be Peart, Ringo or any other drummer, just me. I do it for fun and will continue until I can't sit on the stool any longer. Best wishes.
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  #24  
Old 11-10-2010, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Same here, started at 46, I am 49 now. I will never have 50 years of playing experience unless I make it until 96. However, that is unlikely. I might live that long but I might not have any idea whether I am playing the drums or using whizzing into a couch cushion so I probably should just enjoy it while I can.
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  #25  
Old 11-10-2010, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

I helped a good friend of mine buy a drum set so he could learn to play. His dad played and my friend always wanted to learn. I recently gave him his first lesson and he bought a drum set on Craig's List. He is 62.
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  #26  
Old 11-10-2010, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

He he - I've recently started at 46... however my missus says I'm still like 17-year old (I was hoping she meant my body, but I think she means my brain).
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Quote:
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however my missus says I'm still like 17-year old (I was hoping she meant my body, but I think she means my brain).
Ha.....there's a chance we could be related here.....I think I married her sister!!
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  #28  
Old 11-10-2010, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

I'm onboard !

Started at 35 ! (evem though I had some experience from my youth)

Com'on man, Furfill you dreams !

Enjoy your "Journey" and "Dont stop believing"
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  #29  
Old 11-10-2010, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
GGGrrrraaaaggghhhhhh ......... Why do women do that - - - - - - in the end you start believing them or is it that they actually do drive you nuts ...... slowly ..... over time :-)
1. Because she will see the urge to play drums as akin to wanting a red sports car

2. Time spent on a frivolous pastime like drumming is time when hubby is unavailable for personal and domestic duties.

Haroldo, at your stage of life it's time to focus on finance, renovations (or a new mortgage), children, and deepening your relationship with your partner. Next stop is a gold watch, taking caravan trips around the country, viagra, comfy slippers, a checkered dressing gown and doctor visits to deal with haemorroids and a potential knee replacement ...
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Say it isn't so, Polly!
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:12 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

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Say it isn't so, Polly!
Okay Zickos - it isn't so! I wuz lying!

But if I'm a liar we then have to decide which statement is the biggest porky :)
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  #32  
Old 11-10-2010, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

No, you're not too old and most 40 year old drummers that have been playing for 20 years or more butcher Rush, Zeppelin and Porcupine Tree songs. Don't worry about any of that and have a good time.
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  #33  
Old 11-10-2010, 04:57 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

The great thing about the OP is that he asked if it's not too late to LEARN. Meaning, by applying oneself to "learning" an instrument, one can leapfrog ahead of all manner of people playing at it. The old "2 years experience 10 times over", vs 4 years of real experience. As others have said, motivation and maturity often add up to significant progress. Especially compared to someone much younger who may not be as accepting of instruction. I used to have a running line with my boys; "Hire a kid, while they still know everything". Now there are plenty of young folks with the self discipline to study and grow too. Those are often the folks that end up with bios in MD. But it sure doesn't mean that someone starting at 30, 40, 50, or whatever, can't make the same degree of progress in the same time.

So, consider the young 20 something phenom on the radio has been at it for 5-10 years. In 5 years, the OP won't even be 40. Plenty of time.
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  #34  
Old 11-10-2010, 05:24 AM
Ekim Ekim is offline
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

NEVER too old, dude. Keep your chin up. It takes work, but less than you think.

Just remember: STAY RELAXED! Tension will mess your body up big time.
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  #35  
Old 11-10-2010, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

you take so much for granted when youre young, i played the drums as a kid, took a long break through my twenties, came back to drums just a couple years ago

i appreciate the drums more now - i enjoy the process of learning, i can sometimes spend an entire night just tearing the kit down and putting all the pieces back together again and i understand tuning better than i ever did before

never too old to learn the drums, never to old to enjoy the drums
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  #36  
Old 11-10-2010, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I am 62, started playing again about 4 years ago after a 32 year layoff. I felt like I was starting from scratch but none the less it was in my blood so I persist. I will never be Peart, Ringo or any other drummer, just me. I do it for fun and will continue until I can't sit on the stool any longer. Best wishes.
That's great that you came back to drumming after such a long layoff. Especially since you have one the best collection of avatars! Thank you, sir!!
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  #37  
Old 11-10-2010, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

I wish I was 33 again! I believe you are never too old to learn. Learning keeps the mind and body young. Playing the drums has been one of my great and constant joys in my life. You could have 50+ years of enjoyment ahead of you. I am waiting for a set of Matt Smith bongos to be delivered. I will take these with me to the nursing home in 30 years!

Take care

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  #38  
Old 11-10-2010, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

I started at 44. Loved every minute.

Did you know that the so-called child prodigy Mozart actually put in 3500 hours practice between the ages of 2 and 6.

Seriously. That's 2.5 hours a day. Can you imagine what sort of head start that gives you?

It's all about focussed practice. If you do that, then you'll improve.

Davo
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  #39  
Old 11-10-2010, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

another "late bloomer" here.....!!!! Got 10 months in so far and 56yrs old. I still suck but not near as bad as I did 10 months ago.

Keep at it. Don't forget to work thru the book Stick Control. Relax and push the Remo pad aside and steal the mousepad from your computer and use it for a practice pad....much quieter......

Devour(sp?) these threads....LOTS of good info on the Forum......

It ain't a race so relax and have fun.....!!!!!
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  #40  
Old 11-11-2010, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I am 62, started playing again about 4 years ago after a 32 year layoff. I felt like I was starting from scratch but none the less it was in my blood so I persist. I will never be Peart, Ringo or any other drummer, just me. I do it for fun and will continue until I can't sit on the stool any longer. Best wishes.
yea, you do have the greatest avatars
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