I am 33. Am I too old to start learning?


Senior Member
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.
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Silver Member
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.


Platinum Member
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...


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.

Found My Wings

Junior Member
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!


Platinum Member
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!
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, I´m 40.


Senior Member
Man, you guys really know how to get one's spirit up! Thank you. I am now feeling, how should I put it...capable!


Silver Member
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 :)


Platinum Member
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.


Senior Member
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


Platinum Member
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.



Silver Member
...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.



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!


Senior Member
The most blatant, in your face answer to that question.....a 72 year old drummer answered your post on an Internet Forum...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?