Aging out

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
You ever feel that you're too old to be playing the music you're currently playing?

Over the years I've been playing rockabilly & straight rock-n-roll, I've noticed that there are times I forget how a song goes. I just draw a blank and once I'm reminded of the progression, I lock right in. I'm sure this happens to everyone.

It doesn't happen often, but I've missed some stops in a song that I've played a million times & it bewilders me why it happens.
I had a bandmate buddy tell me, "Maybe you're just aging out & your brain isn't as sharp as it needs to be".
He was 99% joking, but that 1% of seriousness got me thinking that maybe there does come a time when we as drummers just don't have what is needed to be a dependable member of a group.

When you start making simple mistakes in songs you once knew solid, then it begins to affect the group as a whole.
I began re-charting the songs that I shouldn't have to because I should know them. But it makes me wonder when will the time come that I'm just playing at home because I don't want to embarrass my bandmates.

Thoughts?
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I always play at home, alone, so I don't offend, well, everyone.
There is certainly cognitive decline that comes with age, but I think it pays to retrain yourself for those things you take for granted as being second nature. I still take classes for things I have been doing for decades. Yes, there are some advances in technology that I want to learn, but the refresher on everything else is 100% worthwhile.
Just my $.02, and I am already losing my mind. Take it with a grain, or 50, of salt.
 

LarryJ

Well-known member
I am lucky in that respect. 75 years old and still playing blues/rock, big band, and contemporary church. Not forgetting songs yet, still plenty of stamina, but have to practice every couple of days to keep sharp. If I go a week without playing it really shows.

I am still in good health on no meds. My Mom, Dad and most relaives lived into their late 90s. Everyone ages differently, maybe due to our genes?

Just hope I recognize when it is time to hang up the sticks.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
maybe there does come a time when we as drummers just don't have what is needed to be a dependable member of a group.

When you start making simple mistakes in songs you once knew solid, then it begins to affect the group as a whole.
I'm fairly sure my bandmates would let me know if my playing was consistently an issue. They're sure quick enough to point out when I'm not delivering on something.

Aside from that, I'd like to think I'd know when I was beginning to struggle, and if that was a short term thing or an inevitable decline.

Right now, I find myself playing a touch further under my facility. Partly to relax & enjoy things more, but also as a safety margin. That said, I've always taken a simple approach, so maybe that will prolong my tenure before anyone really notices ;)

I have sort of been through the loss of capability mill as a result of my stroke. Although mostly different to age related decline, it did teach me a lot about perception, reaction, & processes. That was a tough period, but I'd like to think I can map out a plan if it comes to it.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I would say "Maturing Out".

Not so sure its a cognitive deficit(but what do i know, really)...but possibly a symptom of boredom? - a sign of increasing ability and expanding attention.

Time to make some music of your own?

Either way, if you ever have concerns over age related cognitive decline, find a good doctor and be assessed...better to catch it than ignore and miss out on potential to reverse(which can be a possibility).

I would also recommend a good counselor to allow yourself to explore some of the fear that stalks all of us about our mortality.

Hiding from our ever forward march is not going to change its cadence...but we sure can learn to dance with it!
 
Last edited:

incrementalg

Gold Member
You ever feel that you're too old to be playing the music you're currently playing?

Over the years I've been playing rockabilly & straight rock-n-roll, I've noticed that there are times I forget how a song goes. I just draw a blank and once I'm reminded of the progression, I lock right in. I'm sure this happens to everyone.

It doesn't happen often, but I've missed some stops in a song that I've played a million times & it bewilders me why it happens.
I had a bandmate buddy tell me, "Maybe you're just aging out & your brain isn't as sharp as it needs to be".
He was 99% joking, but that 1% of seriousness got me thinking that maybe there does come a time when we as drummers just don't have what is needed to be a dependable member of a group.

When you start making simple mistakes in songs you once knew solid, then it begins to affect the group as a whole.
I began re-charting the songs that I shouldn't have to because I should know them. But it makes me wonder when will the time come that I'm just playing at home because I don't want to embarrass my bandmates.

Thoughts?
I know exactly what you're talking about and I've been questioning it for a while. I don't know if it's because I lost my mojo on a particular song/group, but I've had songs and genres that I could nail in my sleep, then suddenly couldn't nail it and it ain't coming back. I've found that my tastes in drumming have shifted big time over the last few years in particular, so maybe that's it. When I was in my teens and twenties, I loved listening to and playing progressive rock. Now that I'm listening to other stuff, my brain and body don't process the prog stuff any more.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
You ever feel that you're too old to be playing the music you're currently playing?
Not at all. I play mostly country, the majority of which has a relaxed, classic vibe. Many of my peers in this genre are well beyond their fiftieth birthdays. I'm in my forties now and feel confident that, as long as I keep myself fit, I'll be drumming at a high level for years to come. In fact, certain aspects of my playing are better now than they were in my twenties. Maturity has granted me perspective, and perspective is half the battle.

Perhaps you've grown overly self-conscious about your drumming. Self-consciousness can spawn anxiety, and anxiety can lead to lapses in concentration. That's a prime prescription for mental errors. Loosen up and enjoy the ride. When you dispel worry, things sometimes fall into place on their own.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
Thought you were talking about DCI.
Oh, I'm sure those kids have to deal with this too...

I would say "Maturing Out".

Not so sure its a cognitive deficit(but what do i know, really)...but possibly a symptom of boredom? - a sign of increasing ability and expanding attention.

Time to make some music of your own?

Either way, if you ever have concerns over age related cognitive decline, find a good doctor and be assessed...better to catch it than ignore and miss out on potential to reverse(which can be a possibility).

Hiding from our ever forward march is not going to change its cadence...but we sure can learn to dance with it!
I researched the boredom part & sometimes I do "check out" a bit. But the "brain farts" of missing song parts is an issue beyond what I thought was boredom.
I did have an MRI last year for headaches & everything checked out fine. So I'll keep rolling & see if maybe some fresh songs will help me get back on the horse.
Perhaps you've grown overly self-conscious about your drumming. Self-consciousness can spawn anxiety, and anxiety can lead to lapses in concentration. That's a prime prescription for mental errors. Loosen up and enjoy the ride. When you dispel worry, things sometimes fall into place on their own.
I thought about that too. It was the worst when I was in an acoustic duo & my guitar partner was one of those perfectionist types. Nothing was good enough & if the song went bad, it was always the fault of something or someone other than he.

I forgot a lot of stops with that dude...
 

Ruok

Silver Member
One particular reason, from several reasons, that I quit my church gig recently was because I cannot remember my drum parts anymore. I became constantly glued to the sheet music and my notes, both with new and older songs that I have done a million times. It became "work" to get through songs and sucked the fun out of playing. I felt like my playing was going downhill as well, partly because of all the thinking I was constantly doing, which kept me from relaxing and just playing from my heart. It didn't help that most of the new songs were not my cup of tea either.

I'm in my mid fifties and have Morton's Neuroma and a bit of arthritis in my feet, and I'm starting to feel arthritis in my hands now. This has caused me to have to adjust how I play and I'm not quite comfortable with it yet. Sometimes I have had thoughts of quitting completely, but then I realize that it is better to keep at it, even if I play worse than my younger years.
 

pocket player

Junior Member
I am 66 retired and play in a rock cover band and acoustic guitar / percussion duet and have also experienced some of these same physical and mental concerns and have wondered about them, But on the contrary to that i feel i am playing better now then i ever have . My confidence is 75% better now , due to yoga and exercising my fluidity and mind set is better behind the kit, more efficient practice , the best one i think is that i have finally learned how to Listen Correctly & Chart out songs. i think i am becoming a better musical drummer ? and maybe a late bloomer ? my fear as i get older is will i start to decrease in my skills and health ? I'll tel you this i am not going to worry about it until it happens , drum till i cant no more ! So Drummers keep on playing ,the mistakes will blend with the ones the other musicians make . I still feel your passion is the strongest force inside you !!

PS Oh i wonder where my drums are ? i forgot ? Ha Ha Lol
 

Capital D

Member
I play in an original band and sometimes will forget stops or how to start tunes that I had a hand in writing. Sometimes my mind wanders during a tune or I'll be looking out to see what the crowd is doing and miss a stop or a cue. I'm also the lead vocalist in my band and I'll forget words to the tunes I've written. I just laugh it off and make up some silly lyrics on the spot. I'll even do that with covers.

I would suggest that you not beat yourself up too much over it. We're all just humans here. I've found that 9 times out of 10 when there is a mistake that to you or the band seems catastrophic, the crowd doesn't even notice.

Guitar/Bass players love to point out drummers' mistakes and hate it when I point out theirs. Oh well. Haha!
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well our cognitive abilities due decline with age-it's inevitable somewhat (you can delay it). But fortunately those music centers of brain seem to persist even with severe Alzheimer's. Plenty of examples of that. People have brain farts all the time at any age but I think after age 50 you just can get less attentive and more easily distracted. I use to be a stellar driver but I'm just terrible now because I can't get into it like I use to. It's torture now-when I use to love just to drive around exploring areas. I hate driving now so the thrill is gone. I don't want to be a good driver-I'd stick out too much ROFL.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Man I had a really great thought but I blanked out.

Oh wait!...no nevermind, it's gone.

It'll come to me.

While working I make a few trips to my truck and a lot of times I can't remember right away why I walked out there again. Happens All. The. Time.
 
Top