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  #1  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:21 PM
DB7 DB7 is offline
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Default Growing older as a drummer.........

Hi . This is actually my first post here. I turned 51 this year and am really starting to feel it. My body is not the same as when I started drumming in 1979 as a 13 yr old.

I've played double bass kits all my life. I love to use two bass pedals . I think it may be time for my to downsize. Had should surgery 2 yrs ago. and I've gained some weight recently I'm working on losing.

Basically I'm in the midst of a whole personal lifestyle change to adapt and grow older gracefully and healthier. Anyone else go through this?

I'm selling my entire 8 piece Double bass Kit / with the whole Gibraltar rack locally. Going to get something I've always admired.......a John Bonham Ludwig vistilite kit. Going to adapt a double pedal to that large 26" and give my body a rest twisting and reaching for everything.

Anyone else go through the same life changes? What did you do and how did it work? Thanks...........
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Welcome! Nice to have you here, and you're in good company with a bunch of other cranky old men.

There should be a user group for all the cranky old men so we can discuss our knees and incoming storms.

As a more serious answer, depending on how serious you are about doing this drumming thing, schedule a few sessions with a local teacher and tell them you're most interested in developing good form and technique to minimize potential injury and prevent creating repetitive stress injury!

Once you've got good form, you can work on the music and playing aspect on your own, or keep going with your teacher!
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Old 08-01-2017, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

I'm with ya Bro. I'm 57 now and my gear keeps getting heavier. I've been having back problems and I'm using old wood hardware cases I built in the 80s. I think I'm gonna try to get a couple or maybe three small bags suitable to carry hardware in. That may help. Putting the wood ones in the and out of the car really gets me. I think I want to go to bags for the drums too. I keep my cases overhead in my garage. They are molded plastic. With them all stacked inside each other I can barley get them up on the shelf. I use to pride my self on how strong I was. I'm a pretty small guy, and have worked weld shops all my life. I didn't look very strong. Now I'm starting to have trouble doing some of the harder things I've always been able to do. I learning to do things differently which helps. Like using smaller bags might help. We need bass drum cases with sides that fold down, so we don't have to bend over the case and pick that heavy drum straight up out of it. We will over come though. lol Necessity is the mother of invention.
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2017, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Welcome DB7!

I've got a decade "plus" on you and I never consider myself getting old. I just like to think I have a nice patina.

Above all else protect your back!

Get a Ford Smart Ass drum throne with Swedish Memory foam. Depending on how often you practice or gig, this may be the single best investment for your back.

Get lighter hardware and lighter cases.

If you don't have a Rock-N-Roller Multi-Cart by all means get one to roll your gear rather than hand carrying everything.
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2017, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Gonna be 53 at the end of the year. In early 2014, I had a labrum tear, which took me off the drums for about 18 months or so. During that time, I focused on my guitar studies, as well as finger drumming on the AKAI MPD18 [Addictive Drums via Reaper].

I'm also in an area where there aren't any lockouts, and I live in an apartment, so it's a rare occasion when I get to play my own drums. I'll take them out a few times per month.

For now, it's easier to do just about anything else besides getting behind a real kit. I almost found an open jam to join, but based on a conversation, it was only open to other musicians and not drummers. Oh well.

My band stopped doing shows in early 2009. We've been working on an album/musical for the past 5 years, and have spent almost a year mixing the various instruments, foley art, orchestral parts, and so on. No need for any more instrumentation, so I'm doing whatever I want.

At least I kept playing out until late 2013. A fellow drummer told me in 1996 that I was "too old," and that I should quit. Glad I didn't listen to him, because I got some more mileage out of it all.
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2017, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

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. I also moved to bigger/heavier sticks and that has helped me to not slam the drum so hard in order to feel the tactile response in a loud setting.

It's like in baseball, a pitcher who throws 100 mph as a 22 year old has to reinvent himself as a 33 year old.

I'm a touring drummer right now for rock and heavy metal bands. I do about 2 a year at this point because I'm old. I leave on a 12 day tour with Sunlord and D.R.I. tomorrow.

I don't this to call attention to myself but rather to say that, if you change your approach, you can keep going for a long time. Guys like Gene Hoglan, Dave Lombardo and Mike Mangini are all older than me.

Injuries are another issue. I lost almost 3 years due to a nasty thoracic spine herniation. But learning better technique will always help.
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2017, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Welcome! Nice to have you here, and you're in good company with a bunch of other cranky old men.

There should be a user group for all the cranky old men so we can discuss our knees and incoming storms.

As a more serious answer, depending on how serious you are about doing this drumming thing, schedule a few sessions with a local teacher and tell them you're most interested in developing good form and technique to minimize potential injury and prevent creating repetitive stress injury!

Once you've got good form, you can work on the music and playing aspect on your own, or keep going with your teacher!
The guy has been playing since 1979---what does he need a teacher for?
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2017, 03:04 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

" There should be a user group for all the cranky old men so we can discuss our knees and incoming storms." Funny Dr. Watso I've always wondered why older folks often get "cranky" ? I remember my Dad doing so, and now at 62 I know why-cause we can't hear or see crap, every injury and broken bone comes back to haunt you, and then you feel your strength is a fraction of what it use to be and you have to "pace yourself" to do stuff you use to knock out with ease. Hell yeah I'm cranky. On a positive note physicians and nurses tell me cranky mean old codgers usually live forever!
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2017, 03:15 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

So far so good, at a few weeks from 61, I still have my stamina and I think am even faster than in previous years. No arthritis, and no major aches or pains. I don't really attribute that to anything, I really don't exercise or have an especially healthy diet, I think I'm just lucky. Of course it could catch up with me at any time now.

Bermuda
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2017, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

I'm a momth from the big 55. Fortunately I lead a very active life, with a job that has me sitting down only about an hour a day. Otherwise I'm on my feet, moving constantly. The only time I really feel it is when I do a 5am to 4pm workday, then gig that night. Fortunately that only happens a couple times a year.

The point is, if you lead an active life and take moderately good care of yourself(my dietary habits not withstanding), take precautions against injury (back), you will be able to handle anything drumming throws at you. If you are a sedentary 9-5er, you need to get some exercise to keep yourself limber, your muscles in shape, and your stamina up.
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2017, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Welcome! I just turned 51 in February and TBH - it's just a number. I still feel basically the same, and the same aches and pains that started in my later 20s I still have today and nothing has been debilitating at all. I've always played smaller kits (although I do own a Bonham-sized kit in thermagloss maple), so it's either a 4-piece or a 5-piece.

There are days I feel a little slower - like it takes more time to stretch out when getting out of bed - but for some reason when there's music to be made, regardless of how I physically feel, I'll start when it's time (like Bermuda, maybe everything will just catch up to me at an inopportune moment).

The thing that seems a little strange, is how do people make this the most important thing in your life like when you were in your teens? I did, at one time, live off of my early attempts at making music full time. When that slowed down, and I started my career as sound technician (which is my primary full time career), became able to buy a house and cars and vacations and maintain health insurances and have food all the time, I began to wonder how important is this drumming thing? Somedays I let it slip and don't practice, other days I feel like my identity as a drummer is so important, I must practice something new and exciting. I think I'm in this weird twilight zone regarding my drumming as a profession and as an activity to do. If I stopped tomorrow, I don't know if I'd be upset about it because there are so many other things I identify my self with already.

But I do love to groove, and when the band is great it's like flying a jet airliner.
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2017, 04:25 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

The old farts thread.

I feel drumming, the movement of the wrists, fingers, limbs etc. is a great preventative to stuff like arthritis and joint probe, movement is good. Drumming could be considered low impact.

Major at risk would be hearing, hard to get around that one.
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2017, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
So far so good, at a few weeks from 61, I still have my stamina and I think am even faster than in previous years. No arthritis, and no major aches or pains. I don't really attribute that to anything, I really don't exercise or have an especially healthy diet, I think I'm just lucky. Of course it could catch up with me at any time now.

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  #14  
Old 08-01-2017, 05:25 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Some great pointers here!Thank you! I don't necessarily have a sedimentary job. I'm a police officer. So I'm not in an office, but yeah I drive about 8-10 hrs a day. Used to not bother me, but ive been feeling it. And I gained a good 40 pounds in 3 yrs. It just snuck up on me. I never smoked, I drink only occasionally so I'm in good health, but my drumming is feeling it. Especially twisting to hit my lower toms or cymbols on boom stands. The speed aint there. Ive been just "staying local".meaning drum fills stay in front of me. So......im just gonna pair it down.

My next thread will be if I should invest in a acrylic set or birch.
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2017, 05:27 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by hippy chip View Post
The guy has been playing since 1979---what does he need a teacher for?
Didn't I explain that? To ensure that as he comes back to drumming at an older age, he's doing so with correct form and technique, to avoid injury. If being alive a long time made us perfect at everything we tried, then we'd never have to worry! Unfortunately...
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by hippy chip View Post
The guy has been playing since 1979---what does he need a teacher for?
Everybody could be evaluated and pointed in the right direction all the time. When I was in my late 30s, I took a couple of lessons with Ed Shaugnessy. The man had me sized up in three minutes and knew where I needed the work. At my age now I'm considering getting with another teacher to help me keep the fire - know what I mean?
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  #17  
Old 08-01-2017, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

There are two schools of thought on this subject.

One: you are getting older so you should slow down, ease off and take more care of yourself.
Two: use it or lose it....you dont stop doing something because you get old, you get old because you stop doing something.
I lift weights in the gym three times a week cos as you get older you lose muscle mass. I dont do this for body building, merely to improve and maintain core strength and muscle endurance.

I an 65 now and have taken a middle ground. I have kept fit since my early 30s with running, then cycling. Its easier to keep fit than it is to get fit. I can still do 2.5 hour gigs, no problem, but I made slight allowances to make that easier.

I used heavy sticks back in the day and thrashed the drums, I now use 8D sticks but I can still generate lots of volume as most of it now comes from the fingers and wrists, and the lighter sticks make it easier to get round the kit.

I use a smaller, lighter kit with a 20" BD and lightweight hardware. I am only a little guy anyway, 5' 5", so playing and lifting big drums and hardware was never much fun.

I work on my flexibility by doing Yoga, I am convinced its the best way to stay young and fit. Fight back mate, start today, If I can do it so can you.
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Old 08-01-2017, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

I'll be 43 in November.

I guess the biggest change I've made in the past year is that I've lost about 35-40 lbs since last August. For about the past 6 months, I lift weights 5 days a week, so my weight is all over the place. I have no back problems unlike the previous 5 years or so. Since I started lifting, my drum playing feels almost effortless compared to a year ago.

In terms of drumming, the biggest change I made was going from hard cases to drum bags, and I switched from a 22" kick in a hard case to a 20" kick in a drum bag. My EMPTY 22" hard case weighs MORE than my 20" kick loaded in a drum bag. I still carry my snare in a hard case though. It's all been a big help.
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  #19  
Old 08-01-2017, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

First post here too!

I'm only 46 but I've inherited some physical stuff from my Dad that makes me feel older than that. Had right shoulder rotator cuff repaired last year, and the left shoulder is not far away from a repair. Arthritis, knee problems, back problems, etc. Bad thing is I can't take much in the way of pain relief -
ibuprofen is the devil to me because it wrecks your kidneys.

After some time on the throne, my lower back is stiff and sore as the dickens, so I'm thinking about getting a new throne. Right now I have what must be one of the original SPL tractor thrones, from the early to mid 1990's.

I had taken a long hiatus from serious drumming for around 25 years, and got the urge to get my chops back after my shoulder surgery. As soon as I could, I asked the doc for the ok to play drums, and got it. I decided to change my hand technique due to some bad arthritis in my left forefinger. I changed to trad grip and thicker sticks and went to a teacher for a few months to make sure I wasn't doing anything stupid! It was worth it, as he recommended me for a trad jazz bad which gigs about 2 or 3 times a month. Its very rewarding! The only problem is the weight of the hardware/gear. I've been very tempted to get one of those Purecussion type sets (remember those? haha) but I know it wouldn't sound the same.

I hope to play for as long as I am physically able! Thanks for the tips everyone!

barnisinko
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  #20  
Old 08-01-2017, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Welcome to the forum. I'm 63, soon to be 64, way too busy gigging in the Summer months when working full time in a prison. I'm on a stretch starting tonight of 12 gigs in 11 days. The good part is most of these are 2 hour outdoor shows, I call it the Gazebo Tour :-) Need to lose about 80 lbs too!

I am using 4 piece kits, bass drums all 20" except for my old Slingerlands but I leave that kit setup at home. lightweight hardware, Protection Racket bags for the drums and these must haves.

The whole kit fits on the cart. I pull the cart and push the Gator hardware bag. One trip and I'm done. Broken bone in my heel, so I was using a walking boot for a couple of weeks but that's healing so I'm on the mend.
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  #21  
Old 08-01-2017, 03:01 PM
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Alex Sanguinetti Alex Sanguinetti is online now
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

I´ll be 59 years old in November, please check out my VIDEOS!:

1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQTA8StLcos

2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqRYk85d4i8

Best regards!
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  #22  
Old 08-01-2017, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

I am on the wrong end of the 50s and 2 years ago I sold my bigger kit with 22" BD and power toms and bought a set smaller in all directions. I also bought a sample pad to reduce the number of things I need to pack. I also bought one of the roller carts. Things change and so should your habits.
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  #23  
Old 08-01-2017, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Sanguinetti View Post
I´ll be 59 years old in November, please check out my VIDEOS!:

1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQTA8StLcos

2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqRYk85d4i8

Best regards!
Nice playing Alex, band sounds great.
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  #24  
Old 08-01-2017, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

I feel the pain of the OP but I have to say that I am experiencing similar issues, but at age 40.

I have had 4 shoulder operations, 3 on my left and 1 on my right. None of them have worked because after all these years I've been (finally) diagnosed with Hypermobility.

I am sitting here at work with a strapping on my right elbow as my last jam session crippled me. Tennis elbow (still there after 3 months) and sciatic issues developed from a wobbly stool.

What I did was to downsize my kit (will be a good start for you), lowered my cymbals, brought everything as close as I could and now I only play once or twice a week when I was practicing every night until recently.

I have just hit my limit and now everything hurts, all the time.

So I've downsized again and replaced my toms with rototoms. I also have everything micced and going into my IEMs (to stop me over-hitting and over-playing) - as shown in the pic.

Unfortunately i feel that I may have to give up altogether soon, such is the pain in my joints when I play. Just tickling them with wrists and fingers hurts just as much as laying onto them.

Life sucks sometimes, I can't play rugby or football any more either
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Anyone experiencing arthritis should read this.

http://www.health-science-spirit.com/borax.htm

Following the instructions took away probably 90% of my physical discomfort associated with arthritis. I've been doing it for 4.5 years with the only side effect being noticeably better health and feeling younger. And better memory and eyesight.

Best thing I did for in my adult life for my health and well being.

Ignore the first hyperbole paragraph and it's chock full of scientific info that I can personally verify worked as stated for me.

It instructs you to take boron, and educates you why most of us are deficient in it and how many vital processes it controls. A great read for people who feel stiff.

It was night and day for me. I could not recommend this more highly.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

I turn 53 tomorrow. Similar issues to everyone else. Gigging once per week.

I play a small 4 piece kit (18" or 20") for 90% of my gigs now. Just bring out the bigger kit when I really need to, or when its an easy load in.

Soft cases, a hand truck and a hardware caddy with wheels make life easier.

Started skipping breakfast this year, just have a flat white espresso coffee each morning. Avoiding sugar, but not avoiding fat. Gradually lost five kilos without ever feeling hungry.
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  #27  
Old 08-01-2017, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bsticks View Post
Nice playing Alex, band sounds great.
Thanks a lot for your words!

Best regards from Spain!
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  #28  
Old 08-01-2017, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Playing the drums in advanced age all depends on how much passion and desire you have to play.

My Dad was playing gigs up until two weeks before he died at 82 years old.
He also swam laps in the pool at the gym up until he died. Regular exercise is very important.


.
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  #29  
Old 08-01-2017, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
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.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

I think a persons mental state is crucial to feeling well.

The body follows the mind, not the other way around.

Take 2 people with the same ailment to the same degree.

One remains mentally unfazed while the other allows it to mentally consume them.

I see it all the time.

Look no further than Andy for inspiration.

He is so my hero in a lot of ways.

You want to talk humble beginnings and great physical challenges...and to see what he has done with his life...
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  #31  
Old 08-01-2017, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

I will be 51 in November. I am still touring in two very fast Punk Bands. I don't find playing to be the problem unless it is a very hot venue then I will struggle. It's the lifting & transporting my kit that I dislike (Especially the "Box of Death" )
I now have to warm up a couple of hours before I play as I tend to cramp up if I don't.
Kind of given myself 5 years to carry on before it will begin to hurt too much. Then I will just play Jazz :)
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  #32  
Old 08-01-2017, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

At 53 I'm in there with a few others on the arthritis thing. Two broken knuckles, a crushed finger, and nerve damage on the outside part of my right hand is now showing up more and more. I've not let it get in the way of playing, but I have made a few adjustments in light of it. Only essential gear goes (no two floor toms, double bass pedal, nine snares, 32 cymbals) and I've made a cart for hauling gear which cuts down on trips.

Once the gear is set up, I still feel I play with as much enthusiasm as when I was 20. I'm not saying I play any better, but I still give it my all.
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Last edited by Masheanhed; 08-02-2017 at 08:20 PM.
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  #33  
Old 08-02-2017, 07:07 PM
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PlayTheSong PlayTheSong is offline
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

I too turn 53 this year. There are so many of here it's amazing. I'm not "fit" and I have no excuse for that, but after returning to drumming last year after 30 years away, I find I'm now back up to my former ability and moving beyond it (not that it was ever pro-level).

I'm another lucky one with no major repairs or impairments, so I want to improve as much as I can while that's still the case. You never know when you'll blow out a whatever and that'll be the end of improvement.

One blessed and grateful old dude!
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:18 AM
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Steady Freddy Steady Freddy is offline
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

68 next month. Still rockin out! :)
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:01 AM
jack zerkie jack zerkie is offline
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

75 and play as much as I can. In the fall 28 piece German band and also 18 piece swing band. Also jazz group. But my favorite is 50s rock& roll. Living the dream
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  #36  
Old 08-03-2017, 03:12 AM
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lefty2 lefty2 is offline
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Location: I live in near Wichita, Kansas U.S.A
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Sanguinetti View Post
I´ll be 59 years old in November, please check out my VIDEOS!:

1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQTA8StLcos

2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqRYk85d4i8

Best regards!
oh that's that music I can't play. lol. It sounds real good, I really like the rolls incorporating the hats around 103 mark. I really can't play real jazz. Good work Alex.
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  #37  
Old 08-03-2017, 04:16 PM
Macarina Macarina is offline
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayTheSong View Post
I too turn 53 this year. There are so many of here it's amazing. I'm not "fit" and I have no excuse for that, but after returning to drumming last year after 30 years away, I find I'm now back up to my former ability and moving beyond it (not that it was ever pro-level).

I'm another lucky one with no major repairs or impairments, so I want to improve as much as I can while that's still the case. You never know when you'll blow out a whatever and that'll be the end of improvement.

One blessed and grateful old dude!
Well said PlayTheSong. Tad older at 59 and have the exact same thoughts. Blessed and grateful.
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:49 AM
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supermac supermac is offline
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Location: Newcastle, UK
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

I'm 54 and 6ft 3in. Until I was 30, I was the skinniest and fittest guy around.

Since then because of a liking for Belgian beer and a sedentary job, I've piled some weight on - as well as developing a long-term back issue.

However, when I sit behind the kit, all that disappears.

I was an energetic and quite skilful drummer back in the day, but today my technique, taste and musicality are a million times better.

And, as a family member remarked recently: "Drumming's probably good for your marbles" - a British phrase which means it's probably beneficial to one's long-term cognitive health!

Sitting as I did a few nights ago on my practice kit, trying to figure out and play the ridiculous coordination of a David Garibaldi funk groove, has got to be better than being slumped in front of the TV after work.

After a fraught day in the office, for me, drumming is so therapeutic and relaxing, as well as having obvious physical benefits.

All of which are entirely positive as the years roll on by.

I just wish I knew in 1984 what I know now!
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:22 AM
sonormapex sonormapex is offline
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

67 and the legs, [knees] have finally pooched. With a life time of drumming, boxing, martial arts, and being born with hips out of alignment, its tough these days, especially up and down stairs. Once I'm set up I'm good to go, but I pay for it in the am.. Did I mention COPD, that's a fun one!, since I grew up playing smokey night clubs for 20 yrs.
But that's not enough to hang it up. I'm in till the end.
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  #40  
Old 08-05-2017, 01:10 PM
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Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
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Default Re: Growing older as a drummer.........

Another in my sixth decade. I always loved long walks but now I've bad arthritis in my feet and had to cut back on my walks and given up using my left foot on the kit - no more pshp pshps.

That's been limiting because some some beats need the LF. Since I only do home recording these days I've been playing along with a drum machine more to make up for it, which has been a fun challenge trying to keep the flams to a minimum :)
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