Am I too old to start drumming?

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Here's the solution I came up with to solve my own coordination issues when trying to play something that I can't. Whatever limb is throwing me off...I rest that limb. I substitute my voice instead of playing the part. If I'm truly getting thrown off, just singing the part will throw me off too. That's a mental coordination issue. If I can sing it easily but still can't play it in time...then it's a physical coordination thing. I'm at the point where if I can sing it easily, I can play it.

It's not hard. The first time I figured this method out, it took me 30 minutes to get over the hump that was beating me then. Now I can usually get over the mental hump within 10 minutes. It's much easier to sing it than play it at first....just to get over the hump. The mental coordination (vocalizing) has to be dealt with first before the physical part stands a chance. When I can sing it in time without being thrown off...now I try playing it, and I am usually 95% there by that point..

Mental coordination starts in my brain first, always. New circuits are actually being wired in my brain as I go through the process.

ALL my drumming problems starts in my brain.

When I say vocalizing, short caveman sounding grunts are the only thing I can muster...at first. It's pretty pathetic sounding ha ha.

Suggestion: Playing unison quarter notes at whatever tempo you please, to a click, using ALL your limbs, and listening for flams (and correcting) is fairly easy, fun and helps to build the necessary precision you need. So all your hits across all your limbs...all land at the same point in time. Kind of essential.

The very best way to improve that I found, is to record myself and listen back hard. When I'm not playing, I have all my brain power available to me to pick apart what I'm hearing to pieces. I close my eyes, listen to the recording, and mentally pick out what I don't like, and at the same time, figure out how I can do it in a way that doesn't bother me. Most times, it's not the note choice, it's the execution and delivery. But bad note choices happen for sure. I hear myself as others hear me, absolutely priceless.

It's very possible to improve by subtraction. I just keep the beat through all the bad parts that detract, instant improvement. Being a solid drummer is a great goal at first.

Chops need a good foundation, and that's where you are now, building your foundation.

Consider getting a teacher.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
@Kitty44a , if you're still checking in on here: Over the years when I've taught lessons intermittently, the best student I ever had was a 60 yr. old retired doctor. He'd never played any instrument but had always wanted to give one a go. He told me that after retirement, he pittered around the house for a while, knocked some things off the longtime to-do list, and then... kinda pittered around more aimlessly after that. Went fishing a few times, but otherwise hung around the house and kinda drove his wife to tell him to get another hobby, haha! So he cleared some room in an out-building across the yard so he could practice all he wanted (granted, being retired, he had a bit more time than the average person), bought a beginner's kit and signed up for lessons, and after about a year, he'd formed a little jazz combo and was playing in restaurants, lounges, etc. He wasn't exactly ripping like Buddy Rich, but: 1. he wasn't trying to, and 2. his combo's tunes and the venues they were playing didn't require it. Most of all, he was having FUN- holding it down, laying in the groove, and no one could've slapped the smile off his face.

So no, you're not too old. (y) 💯 :)
 
Last edited:

moodman

Well-known member
I've played for 60 years, half of that after being 44, it's never too late.
I maintain that it is best for one to practice when and where you cannot be heard. While keeping perfect time is one goal, allowing yourself to break time, to stumble through a difficult part or rudiment, is sometimes necessary. Sometimes one has to sound bad til they sound good. When you can be heard by others you might tend to perform instead of practice or, be too self-conscious to concentrate.
there's a lot to love about playing drums, welcome to that world
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
I see that you live in London, so there should be plenty of good teachers - I'm sure someone can recommend an excellent teacher there.
That's where I would start before getting equipment - you'll probably enjoy it though and look for a set soon after. :) Luckily, you can get a very nice set of old Premier drums in the UK for cheap. If you don't stick with it, just sell them for the same price later.
There's also the option to just get a practice pad and a pair of sticks for now to work on technique. If you're into Jazz, maybe also a set of brushes and a pad like the Sabian Quiet Tone. It may seem a bit boring but lots of players started out like that.
You can look at some grooves and play them slowly just with your hands on a table and feet on the floor to get an idea of the coordination. Stick and pedal technique is not exactly the same but it's a start. One of the earliest hurdles is typically playing the right hand by itself and then the right foot by itself. All of this will take a while but you can definitely still start and become a good drummer.
I second that. she can go to a school to take a lesson, or lessons, that way she doesn't have to buy a kit just yet and can find out if it's going to be for her or not. Also the school can help her find a kit should she decide to get one....
Never too old to try something unless you are literally physically disabled and can't do it for that reason.
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
? I know it sounds daft but everyone was telling me how much harder it is the older you get. Have been a mum for so long it feels a bit scary to start something new (and realise you’re very uncoordinated ?).
I never understood why people insist on self sabotage (There is very little truth on things being harder the older you get when it comes to learning... again save some physical limitations) your brain just doesn't completely deteriorate when you turn 30 or 40 or 50, My father in law is 87 still not senile, has very good recollection of most events in his life, of course he moves slower (funny enough he looks just like Neil Peart but has never played drums). but I digress, if you tell yourself you can't do it, you will believe it and it will become true. on the other hand if you tell yourself you CAN do it for the most part (Save some physical limitations) you can make it happen. drumming is not like sports where you have to be athletically gifted on most cases to excel at some sports, (yes there are some aspects of drumming where you need to have quite a bit of athleticism but for the most part most of drumming can be done regardless of age as proven by very old drummers just rocking the drum kit).
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
I hope that Norwegian tu
Hey! Hey! Hey!..dont heed the words of those the older you are the harder it is gang. Just have some fun! And befor you know it your purchasing your first ludwig black beauty for studio work. Life is short so get on that horse and ride!
There is that older lady in Drumeo's website playing Down with the sickness from Disturbed, she looks like anyone's grandma but she can play.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Does INDIAN Larry ride a Harley??

Indian Larry passed in 2004. He first rode a chopped vintage Indian motorcycle, hence his nickname. Larry built and rode old school choppers. His personal bike was a 1956 Harley Panhead chopper named Grease Monkey.

GreaseMonkey.jpg
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Is that considered a sport? Does that mean bowling is a sport too?
According to the PBA, yes it is.
Curling is yet another of many Scottish sports that are clearly based on a dare. "I bet you can't slide that rock all the way across the moor!"
"I bet you can't get this wee ball in that wee hole wayyy down there using only this stick!"
"I bet you can't lift this log by the end and throw it!"
etc, etc
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
Do it for sure! I totally recommend getting a basic used kit (drums, hardware, cymbals) and start with basic beats. You'll figure out quarter notes and eighth notes quickly enough to have fun. I agree with a previous poster that the goal is probably playing along with simple songs so I would discourage you from worrying about rudiments and practice pads until several months have passed. That stuff is for working out more intricate stickwork whereas the basic used kit is for having fun right from the beginning. Acoustic would be my first option but consider an electronic set (or hanging some sound absorbing blankets around the room) if noise is an issue. Enjoy!
All good advice but we don't know what kind of space she has to place a drumset (We know she is somewhere in England) which could be in the middle of a city or out in the country and that is going to dictate how loud drums can get plus homes in England tend to be quite small so space might also be an issue...
You are right getting a practice pad is for "Practicing" more complex things, from her original post she wants to play along her favorite tracks and have fun. I don't think at this point she wants to learn rudiments. I also don't know why everyone insists on people learning them as the first thing to learn when there is so much more important things such as coordination and proper timing which should be the first things you learn. (The only time I would agree with rudiments being the first thing is if you are part of a marching band). Rudiments can be boring to a new drummer because they can't apply them properly to anything yet and since the coordination is not there, it becomes frustrating. I would start with a simple 4/4 beat similar to ACDC's Who Made Who, which it's not fast but not slow and you would challenge a new drummer, it contains all the basic elements of coordination yet not extremely demanding (for a new drummer) and you can add things to it to make it more challenging such as hi hat open and close accents switching right hand to ride cymbal (I know it's not part of the song but I am just using the pattern as reference). Half an hr of messing with that pattern can teach a new drummer a whole lot more than several hours with a practice pad. The next lesson could be to make variations of that pattern ( bass drum changes similar to Aerosmith's Walk this way but without the hit hat opening, you add that later).
third challenge is to bring it back and forth between both patterns. that can be one week worth of lessons alone. How to develop limb independence being included on those. As a challenge to any drummer try to play along to a drumless Billie Jean track without a click track, record yourself, then see how off tempo you got, yes it's a very easy song, the challenge is to play it all the way true and keep the tempo correctly.
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
Indian Larry passed in 2004. He first rode a chopped vintage Indian motorcycle, hence his nickname. Larry built and rode old school choppers. His personal bike was a 1956 Harley Panhead chopper named Grease Monkey.

View attachment 102585
Nice the only thing I don't like about it is that the small tank means you will have to put gas every 50 miles (we had a couple of guys with tanks like that, that is how I know).. I also though Larry was a fictional person. His legacy will live on.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
According to the PBA, yes it is.
Curling is yet another of many Scottish sports that are clearly based on a dare. "I bet you can't slide that rock all the way across the moor!"
"I bet you can't get this wee ball in that wee hole wayyy down there using only this stick!"
"I bet you can't lift this log by the end and throw it!"
etc, etc
Defenseless sports just seem weird to me. They feel more like games.

I had no idea Curling is Scottish.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
How about Golf? it has to be one of the most boring "sports" ever. I guess it doesn't fall into the category of defenseless...
Being as I work in the industry I hear this statement quite often. Golf is quite boring to watch on TV, however playing it will quickly reveal not only how difficult it is (the guys on TV compromise less than 1% of all golfers worldwide) but how much activity is actually involved. The course is the defense, as laid out by the designer/architect.
I have humbled many a man by handing him my clubs and saying "show me how it's easy and not a sport, I'll be over here"
All sports are games for children. The fact portions of society idolize men that play children's games is frightening and it's sad they get paid 10s of millions of dollars when our teachers, firefighters, and police all need second jobs to make ends meet. The world's priorities are so skewed it's a wonder we're all even still here.
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
Being as I work in the industry I hear this statement quite often. Golf is quite boring to watch on TV, however playing it will quickly reveal not only how difficult it is (the guys on TV compromise less than 1% of all golfers worldwide) but how much activity is actually involved. The course is the defense, as laid out by the designer/architect.
I have humbled many a man by handing him my clubs and saying "show me how it's easy and not a sport, I'll be over here"
All sports are games for children. The fact portions of society idolize men that play children's games is frightening and it's sad they get paid 10s of millions of dollars when our teachers, firefighters, and police all need second jobs to make ends meet. The world's priorities are so skewed it's a wonder we're all even still here.
Drumming should be a sport Look for example at David Diepold performing any of Cognizance's songs.. i think you would agree it's deserving of being called a sport. I still feel golf is not a sport....
 
Top