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  #1  
Old 06-17-2008, 01:41 AM
sacromonte_ sacromonte_ is offline
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Default age to start drumming

Hey...

Just curious about the age thing.

Before I formulate a silly question, could someone maybe post some notable drummers that started drumming at a later than usual age?

It's kinda de-motivating reading bios and the guy started religiously at the age of 4.
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  #2  
Old 06-17-2008, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

I think that you can start at any age you want to.
I know one guy who started at age 6 and a guy that started at age 15.
I don't think it's a matter of time but a matter of effort.
If you put alot of effort into it and you started at 15then u could be as good as a person who started at 6 and took it just kinda effortless.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacromonte_ View Post

It's kinda de-motivating reading bios and the guy started religiously at the age of 4.
yea dude i sometimes do that also, but i forget about that and member to have fun :D, i started at 16, ive been playing for almost 10 months
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

i don't think that age matters..well it matters if you start at 60 years old you won't have the stamina of a child 17 years old but i think that it's never too late to start drumming...
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Old 06-17-2008, 04:40 AM
Gyrefalcon Gyrefalcon is offline
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Default Re: age to start drumming

If you are drumming for you, then it doesn't matter. If you are drumming to be more skilled than everybody else, then obviously you have to be a child prodigy.
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

It's not what age you start at, or how long you've been "playing". I know a guy who has been playing for over 40 years, and probably 95% of the other drummers I know could play circles around him.

It's about what you practice and how often. Get serious about it (while having fun, of course), roll up your sleeves and get deep in into it. Get a teacher to show you the basics and some paths you could take, and GO!!! Practice the right stuff a lot, and you'll get better quicker. Now, if only my students would take that advice to heart....
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

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Originally Posted by Gyrefalcon View Post
If you are drumming for you, then it doesn't matter. If you are drumming to be more skilled than everybody else, then obviously you have to be a child prodigy.
i completly agree. i play for me and what i like to play. when i watch other people that play other styles of music i watch and learn and take something off of there style and mix it into my playing. if you play to be better than everyone then it completly defeats the purpose of playing music.
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  #8  
Old 06-17-2008, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

I bought my first sticks at about 12. No drums, just sticks. Picked up a Gene Krupa drum book and started teaching myself everything I could. Practiced rudiments almost every day on whatever I could find - pillows, couch arms, etc. Put together my first kit after graduating high school and had a job. Bought drums piecemeal from pawnshops. Kept practicing and over the next 5 or so years gigged with small jazz groups. Nothing pro, just young guys jamming. Went to college, got married and quit drumming. That was about 50 years ago. Last year, at 70, I decided to go back to the drums. I haven't taken lessons but been working on the things I remember. I will never be a pro drummer but I'm looking for some jazz cats to jam with. Just want to play & have a good time. I still have some chops. It's probably best to start early but depends on what you want to accomplish. Go for it. Good luck.
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  #9  
Old 06-17-2008, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacromonte_ View Post
Hey...

Just curious about the age thing.

Before I formulate a silly question, could someone maybe post some notable drummers that started drumming at a later than usual age?

It's kinda de-motivating reading bios and the guy started religiously at the age of 4.
The best age to start drumming is the age at which you start drumming.

I know Joe Morello didn't start until he was 16. He had played violin and even played with the Boston Symphony at age 9. Art Blakey didn't start the Jazz Messengers until he was 37. I don't know when he started drumming. Allen Holdsworth didn't start guitar until he was 19.

I remember when I was twenty, age was a big thing and it seemed like so many drummers were already established and had tons of experience at that age. It's just wrong to think that way, and it is wrong to tell people that they are starting too late to think about drumming seriously, which people do. It is hard to break into a musical career, and often musicians have parents who were musicians. But if is something you really want to do, and do well. Just keep working and let it all sort itself out in the long run.
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  #10  
Old 06-17-2008, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

thanks for the replies.

Yeah don't get me wrong, of course it's about playing for yourself rather than competing against others, but learning about other musicians is always inspiring (like pat martino for guitarists).

anyway i'm gonna keep reading this forum for more stuff :)
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  #11  
Old 06-17-2008, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Hey man...

I started drumming when I was 3 years old...and learned horrible left hand technique (traditional grip). In 6th grade, when I learned the correct grip, I had to completely restart with my left hand...so I both had an advantage (could read, knew rudiments, etc) and a disadvantage (unlearning something is harder than learning something) compared to the other kids. Stuff like that just goes to show that you really can't base talent off of age, or years of experience.
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2008, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

I find it odd that there aren't more drummers who started when they were 12-14. That's usually when schools offer Band as a class and extracurricular activity. That's when I started when I was in 6th grade at 12. But that was percussion and I didn't get on a drumset till 14. I don't know why but I just figured school would be the musical starting point for thousands of people, but maybe really good drummers started earlier, (deep end) - maybe really good drummers didn't take band in school. Or maybe I'm just wrong. but it seems to be a ligitimate hypothesis to me.
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2008, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Every Sunday Morning on PBS in NYC I watch this show called From the Top at Carnegie Hall, which features kids all over the US, and mostly those in the Julliard Arts Program. These kids are really good. I was talking with one of my student's parents about one of her friends kids who is 14 and in the program and just about sick of it and playing piano two hours a day alone.


http://www.fromthetop.org/

or

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/fromthetop/pages/
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  #14  
Old 06-17-2008, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

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Originally Posted by Fett2oo5 View Post
I find it odd that there aren't more drummers who started when they were 12-14. That's usually when schools offer Band as a class and extracurricular activity. That's when I started when I was in 6th grade at 12. But that was percussion and I didn't get on a drumset till 14. I don't know why but I just figured school would be the musical starting point for thousands of people, but maybe really good drummers started earlier, (deep end) - maybe really good drummers didn't take band in school. Or maybe I'm just wrong. but it seems to be a ligitimate hypothesis to me.
I agree.

How can you get serious about drumming at a very young age? Try convincing a 5 year old to play rudiments all day. He'll get bored and will quit. At 15 you can learn much faster than at 5. I started playing piano at 5 and 8 years later I was so bored of having to practice every day (even though it was my own choice to start playing) that I quit. I started drums much later, at 16, and after 8 years on drums I mastered the instrument better than 8 years of piano. Once you're at uni, start working or grow a familiy, you might not have time to spend on drums. So I think 12-16 is a good age to start.
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  #15  
Old 06-17-2008, 06:43 PM
Mars.Tesla Mars.Tesla is offline
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Default Re: age to start drumming

I believe Jim Chapin didn't start playing drums until 18 years old. Most people would say thats too late to become a "great" but as we all know, he's generally considered PRETTY GOOD lol....

I started playing bass at 18 (im about to be 25) and only picked up the drums 6 months ago. Being a bit older can have a lot of advantages because you a) have CHOSEN to do this, you weren't forced, and b) you can more easily critically evaluate your technique without ego and hence correct things faster.

I know I have had a really great time playing and I think I have improved very quickly over the time ive been playing simply because I can look at what I am doing with a critical eye as opposed to just banging around on things like a 9 year old might lol...

So, no matter how old you are, if you want to play just go for it!
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  #16  
Old 06-17-2008, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

I started at the age of twenty, but I've always worked diligently towards professionalism and I've always taken drumming fairly seriously -- without forgetting the fun aspect and the it-ain't-brain-surgery-so-don't-fret-attitude. Now, at the age of twenty-five, I'm a fresh graduate from a vocational music school, a part-time gigging musician and a part-time drum teacher, generating a small-but-noticeable trickle of income doing the stuff I love doing: playing the drums and passing my knowledge to my students.

So yes, you can start at an "old" age and get far; you can also start at a young age and get nowhere. Getting good at anything isn't about your age or the amount of years you've worked on it. In the end it comes down to the amount and the quality of time spent on the instrument. If you're enthusiastic about it, don't let anything put you down... and if you're not enthusiastic about it, don't force yourself to like playing the drums. Take it one day at a time, or rather, one drumming session at a time, and see where the road takes you...
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  #17  
Old 06-17-2008, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Steve Smith said the best part of you life to start practicing alot is when your at school. When you go to uni, study, or working to live, the days go quick and you're left with a smaller ammount of time to that of those school days.

I did too start piano when I was about 8 though. Did it for 3 - 4 years and just got bored. It wasn't too long that I got into drums at the age of 13.

If you love your instrument, practice as much as you can. There will always be these drummer prodigy's, and there's always someone out there who will be better than you, but don't let the age thing drag you down.
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  #18  
Old 06-18-2008, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Chris Adler Started at 20 or 21 years old

So like everybody say, I belive is a matter of effort and how serious you take your drumming


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  #19  
Old 06-26-2008, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

I got my first kit when I was 14 in the summer of '06, but didn't start actually practicing until a few months later since i was in an apartment and was fat and mostly played World of Warcraft and do nothing else haha. Now I'm 16 and am proud of my improvements and practice every single day. I hope to become a great drummer and teach others.
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  #20  
Old 07-07-2008, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Quote:
Originally Posted by metalslugger5 View Post
i don't think that age matters..well it matters if you start at 60 years old you won't have the stamina of a child 17 years old but i think that it's never too late to start drumming...
Well, I am 62 and began to play drums again--just for fun, but hope to join a church choir soon--something I've not done since the late 80s or early 90s (can't remember which now).

But you're right; a man my age just doesn't have the dynamic physical stamina of a 17 year old. However, watch some one like Steve Gadd play and see what kind of powerful dynamics he can still deliver!
Same goes for Louis Bellson and Buddy Rich whom at a rather advanced age does and done what many a drummer wish could do (am one of them!)...

-elcid
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  #21  
Old 07-07-2008, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

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Originally Posted by MadJazz View Post
How can you get serious about drumming at a very young age? Try convincing a 5 year old to play rudiments all day. He'll get bored and will quit. At 15 you can learn much faster than at 5. So I think 12-16 is a good age to start.
In the early 70s I tried to teach my son how to play drums but being the super-hyper kid that he was could never sit still long enough to pay serious attention.
However, about the age of 12-13 he began to self-teach drumming by listening to Neil Pert (he learned to play all of Rush's songs); I became totally amazed at the speed in which made progress.
During the early 80s we had a short stint with a local drum teacher and we both learned quite a bit from him.

It was some years later than I stopped playing drums altogether (to my own my chagrin!) while my son has kept up with the "hobby" of drum playing (he has a full time job, but practice just about everyday and often plays with his own band) ever since...

-elcid
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  #22  
Old 04-28-2011, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

I hate to revive an old thread such as this, but this is an important topic to me. I know a lot of people may be discouraged if they wish to start drumming at a later age. I began drumming about a year and half ago, and I'm 25 now.

Disappointed in a career choice of programming video games (go figure) I wake up everyday wishing I chose to be a musician instead. I take my playing very seriously and practice at least two hours a day after working a full time (stressful) job.

While I don't think I'm ready for live shows yet, I notice improvement everyday and at this later age in life as I'm more capable of analyzing my weaknesses. I try not to get discouraged when I see a 10 year old perfecting the same song on youtube that I'm learning. I know that I posses a unique advantage over kids (and my younger self), wisdom and attitude.

So all I'm trying to say here is that it's not too late to start playing. I feel that a focused adult can learn at a more accelerated pace than a kid who is still trying to figure themselves out.
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  #23  
Old 04-28-2011, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Picking up on your own issues is a huge part of improvement. In the last few days, I've been analysing the (significant) flaws in my playing and working on them. I even got the practice pad out for the first time in years and actually started practicing my singles - perhaps ever for the first time.

I started playing when I was fourteen. I'm twenty-two now and I'm starting to take my playing a little more seriously. I'm a decent player, but nothing special. In the last few days when I've started to really practice, I'm noticing huge improvements already and the only reason I'm making these massive gains is because I've sat down and worked out where my problems are.

That's not something you can do easily when you first start and I think it's something you learn as you age. I help out in a Primary School and so much of the focus of the learning is on allowing the children to work out the improvements that need to be done by themselves. To teach yourself, you need to know your flaws.

Where does age come into this? Well, it doesn't necessarily - other than to say that it can seem easier to learn good technique young and develop from there. It's true that the earlier you sort your technique out, the quicker you can learn to really play music - but at the same time I see a lot of younger players who are technically gifted playing tastelessly because they can. So being musical is simply a matter of experience and taste - both of which can come as part of a natural ageing process.
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  #24  
Old 04-28-2011, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Well, I'm 43 and just started 2 months ago! It's true that I am really doing this just for fun, really don't plan to ever be in a steady band or anything but that doesn't mean I don't want to learn to play well.

I think it's a give and take. Sure I may not have the stamina a younger person may have but I also believe I'm more disciplined at practice and working on the elements than I would have been as a kid. I played the organ for about 4 years when I was a kid and I can tell you, getting me to practice was torture. Now I practice because I WANT to.

As they say, age is really more a state of mind than anything else.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

like a lot of people on this forum i'm a "born again" drummer. i played a lot when i was a teenager but after college i gave it up for something like 20 years. about 8 or 9 years ago i picked it up again and since then i've been going at it with a vengeance! i take lessons and i've learned a bunch of stuff over the past few years. here's some things i've learned since getting back into it.

heel up playing
double bass playing
push pull technique
slide technique
moeller technique
latin drumming
jazz drumming
funk drumming
much improved grip
much more relaxed style
much improved timing
greater independence
all kinds of chops
better sight reading
improved rudiments
and so on...

i still have a lot to learn and much room for improvement so i'm gonna keep plugging away!
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  #26  
Old 04-29-2011, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

People progress at different rates. What age or how early you started playing shouldn't matter. Tony Williams was playing with Miles Davis at 18 whilst Steve Gadd started making ripples at round 30. Both are regarded at great players in their own right.

If you're great, you're great so just focus on becoming that. Doesn't matter whether it's aged 10 or 50; whether your a certain race; whether you played for a certain period of time with so and so; etc.

At the end of the day - you're great and that's all that matters.

But what is great? That's another can of worms...
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  #27  
Old 04-29-2011, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Quite right, Foursticks.

I am thoroughly of the opinion though, that hard work will get you everywhere. Knowing what hard work to do though, is another matter.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:17 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Couldn't agree more.

My point about progression was assuming hard work was a given - some people do pick up things quicker, but if you both reach the same end point what does time matter?
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:23 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

I do think it takes a certain level of player to understand what they need to work on. That's what a good teacher is for. Some people are just more adept at self-analysis and it's something that I see happening more and more at an educational level.
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  #30  
Old 05-06-2011, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

Know what ya mean. I often wish I started playing when I was younger. I started playing at 21. I also agree about what you guys gave said, not how long or when you started, it's how much you put into it. Anyone can be good, you just have to put in the time and effort
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  #31  
Old 05-06-2011, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

I belive Vinnie started when he was 14, Zoro was 16.

As far as becoming a pro goes it doesnt really matter you dont have to be stupid good like Jojo Mayer ro something to be a pro drummer, most of the guys earnining a living out of it you dont hear about in the drumming world. They are still playing gigs that pay a ton, making soundtracks and playing on TV etc. I know a few guys who do this, they all started fairly late and are great drummers, and they are eactly that. Virturosos are wasted in pop music and thats where the real money simples.......i knows its not all about money blah blah, but if you wanna make a living doing it, it kinda is haha.
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  #32  
Old 05-07-2011, 12:02 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

I was thinking this when I recently started playing piano again. I think if you have the dedication and will and all that jazz then you can be as good as anyone!

My only regret is not sticking at this fully when I started at age 17. I could have been amazing right now....or at least good! :D I blame this e kit on my lack of motivation...
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:32 AM
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Default Re: age to start drumming

I started at age 16. I thought i started pretty late also. I had no drum teacher or anything to get started. After you start playing you really wont think about when you started; you'll just play.
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