Is the drummer population aging?

Mastiff

Senior Member
Based on what I see (limited view) I see a lot of old guys drumming and continuing to drum and not a lot of representation of youngsters. This would not be surprising to me since the age of music with real musicians seems to be further and further in the rear view mirror every day. I'm curious what you all think.
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
Based on what I see (limited view) I see a lot of old guys drumming and continuing to drum and not a lot of representation of youngsters. This would not be surprising to me since the age of music with real musicians seems to be further and further in the rear view mirror every day. I'm curious what you all think.
Well it makes sense, medicine is a lot better so people are living longer and healthier in old age. I have a lot of friends who play drums locally, a lot are in their 20s, and a lot are 60+

But check out the gospel/chops/shedding community. Tons of guys and almost all of them are younger than 30. And they tend to distance themselves from most other drummers and music, because they don't need a band to play their stuff
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
It sure is, at 60bpm!

I think kids are still drawn to drums. My niece and nephew are. But drums are big and loud, and seems to me that todays parents don't wanna put up with that kinda thing. It would interrupt their phone and me time. Now shut up and go watch tv.!
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Humans in all walks of life are living longer so with drummers be part of that main set, it makes sense that drummers are getting older. Youtube though is full of young drummers that 20 years ago, without social media, we wouldn't know about. Do more looking at Youtube for young drummers. Also Hitlikeagirl contest and Guitar Center drum off and you will find many young drummers.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
But check out the gospel/chops/shedding community. Tons of guys and almost all of them are younger than 30. And they tend to distance themselves from most other drummers and music, because they don't need a band to play their stuff
Interesting. Do you know if there is a forum or anything populated with these types? I don't see myself playing live gigs anytime soon, if ever, so it might be cool to see this side of things too.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
Are you speaking specifically on this forum, or forums like it?

I think it may have to do with the progression of technology. Message boards like this one, came into play as a community builder when the internet was still new. I mean, I signed up to be on Harmony Central when I was in high school, and that's pushing 20 years ago...

Now with social media sites and apps like Facebook and Instagram dominating, places like this are old hat. Some of the drumming FB groups I'm in have a lot of newbie drummers in there asking dumb questions, so there ya go.

In general I think theres no shortage of young drummers in the world. I have a large number of students in Southern California and almost all of them are under 18.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
Not scientific at all. I'm on a few forums and people seem old (like me). I'm attempting to put 2+2 together because I don't see much interest in real music from young people either. But I do have a very limited view.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
Are you speaking specifically on this forum, or forums like it?

I think it may have to do with the progression of technology. Message boards like this one, came into play as a community builder when the internet was still new. I mean, I signed up to be on Harmony Central when I was in high school, and that's pushing 20 years ago...

Now with social media sites and apps like Facebook and Instagram dominating, places like this are old hat. Some of the drumming FB groups I'm in have a lot of newbie drummers in there asking dumb questions, so there ya go.
I think this says a lot. I don't use FB/social media due to the line of work I'm in, and I don't care for their practices. So message boards are the way that I connect with other drummers outside of my area, but that's just me, and I'm 45, so what do I know.
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
Interesting. Do you know if there is a forum or anything populated with these types? I don't see myself playing live gigs anytime soon, if ever, so it might be cool to see this side of things too.
No not really forums, I see a lot of stuff on instagram and other social media though

https://youtu.be/NdHvW4CBHEE
This place had a pretty big turnout

https://youtu.be/LAz8tt_KFfU
And I know a group of guys who meet up like every other week to do stuff like this. I've sat in a few times but I want to practice a lot first before I show up again because it's pretty competitive

(It's usually mostly black guys doing this stuff, I guess because it has a lot of influence from like black Pentecostal and southern Methodist churches, or churches with heavy upbeat music. That's why it's called "gospel" shedding. But I've also seen a lot of white and Hispanic guys who are pretty good too. Especially because it's getting really popular. It's a lot of fun)
 

Xeno

Member
I was thinking that too...seems that a lot of the drummers I've met are older guys. But maybe there's hope..I work for a school district and was talking to the band teacher at the beginning of the year and she said, "You know how many drummers I have this year??"
"11...and that's 12 too many." :)

It's quite funny walking into her room...she has 3 electronic kits, 1 acoustic kit and 12 practice pads on stands.
 

TK3005

Junior Member
With my experiences this is definitely true, especially in Sydney where I live. I think this is mainly down to venues only giving gigs to dad bands in their 50's, I'm 20 and have been playing since I was 10 and I barely get any drumming gigs purely because I've been told I'm too young, I find this really discouraging that people refuse to take a chance on younger musicians, combined with older people telling us not to pursue our passions because "you'll never make it", hence why heaps of us don't bother.
 
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JustJames

Platinum Member
With my experiences this is definitely true, especially in Sydney where I live. I think this is mainly down to venues only giving gigs to dad bands in their 50's, I'm 20 and have been playing since I was 10 and I barely get any drumming gigs purely because I've been told I'm too young, I find this really discouraging that people refuse to take a chance on younger musicians, combined with older people telling us not to pursue our passions because "you'll never make it", hence why heaps of us don't bother.
I resemble that remark!

Venues will give space (to the extent that they give space at all), to bands that resemble their clientele.
 

Someone's Dad

Senior Member
I resemble that remark!

Venues will give space (to the extent that they give space at all), to bands that resemble their clientele.
This is the point, I think. Venues put on events for audiences, not for musicians. While there are still young people learning instruments with a desire to make music, younger audiences are in decline. Maybe it’s the cost of attending live performances? Maybe it’s the shift in popularity to genres that don’t rely on instruments and live performances?
My son’s peer group listen to and create lyrically-dominated music with minimal sequenced backing tracks. They share and explore music digitally with no apparent desire to perform live or seek out live performances. Who knows how long this trend will last, but it may contribute to a perception that the drumming population (and other instruments) are aging.
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
This is the point, I think. Venues put on events for audiences, not for musicians. While there are still young people learning instruments with a desire to make music, younger audiences are in decline. Maybe it’s the cost of attending live performances? Maybe it’s the shift in popularity to genres that don’t rely on instruments and live performances?
My son’s peer group listen to and create lyrically-dominated music with minimal sequenced backing tracks. They share and explore music digitally with no apparent desire to perform live or seek out live performances. Who knows how long this trend will last, but it may contribute to a perception that the drumming population (and other instruments) are aging.
Thats not really true where I come from. But it's mostly country and southern rock. And the target audience is college kids and young adults. I also go to Austin city limits every year, and at a lot of the concerts there I usually only see a handful of older people. And I stay away from the digital music
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Wait I thought playing drums arrested the aging process.

In the mind anyway.
I subscribe to that theory also.

It is difficult to say. People say video games, but in my experience it is tough to get the older generation to put down their pipe.

I think locally, there are fewer music programs, but I'm not so sure if music programs actually encouraged drumming (instead of piano). Personally, I didn't pick up drumming or music until college anyway.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Nah just anecdotally you get that impression. Besides,as others commented, all drummers are eternally young. But I’d say drumming is good for aging-keeps mind sharp, get some exercise from activity, if you gig you get out socially, the only downsides is hearing. But I do love encouraging young folks to get interested in music and perhaps percussion. It’s brain food- and there is scientific evidence to support that.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Digital drumsticks that's what the youngsters need, with interconnectivity. A whole set could be way too much time away from the WWW.. besides the old guys know how to sell beer.
 
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