Is too late for me to keep playing?


Junior Member
Is it too late for me to keep playing?

Hey everyone, I've been having some bad thoughts about the future of my drumming, real bad thoughts.

First of all I'm, 16, I started taking lessons back in July with only a practice pad until I spent all of my money on a nice Tama set a week or two later and have been keeping a steady pace of practice since (focusing and concentrating on practice went pretty rocky the earlier months though), I started out with an hour a day, now it's become natural to belt 2 maybe 3 hours every day after I started playing jazz and chart reading in December. Anyways, lately I've been really questioning if it's just too late to keep all this up and if it will ever end up anywhere serious. I don't post on this board a lot, but I read it pretty much everyday and I see people saying things like, "Well I started playing when I was 7" or "I was taking lessons at 12" and it always gets me down, you know?

I mean, thinking about all that lost time discourages from keeping it all going. This is definitely something I want to take seriously, but now I feel like I won't be able to get good enough FAST enough to stand out in amongst other drummers in my area when it comes to technical skill, like the kind who could be my age who have been playing drums for years and I feel like I couldn't compete if I wanted to start gigging say when I'm 20, 4 years of playing will seem like nothing to people to have been doing it since they were kids.

So yeah, discuss. If any of you have been in this same situation it'd be a real help to hear some wisdom.
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Silver Member
Depends on how much, and how seriously, you practice. I didn't start until 10th grade band [a top-notch, DCI-style one though, so, no clownin'] and didn't own a drumset 'til I was 20. I was in my 1st band at 21 though. You'll be fine. Just have fun and don't give much of a crap what anyone else thinks. When you're good enough to join a band, do it. Time of yer life.


Hey, I'm 18 and I started playing 6.....MONTHS ago. I suck, big time. From the sound of your progress, you are doing WAYYYYYY better then I am. I know that I'm a real shlockey example but, I'd say, keep with it. If it's what you really love to do, you will not be able to live with yourself if you don't keep it up. If nothing, comes of it, then nothing comes of it. At least you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you didn't quit.


Senior Member
You'll drive yourself crazy if you focus on comparing yourself with other people. Just play, find a band, and enjoy what happens. You'll be fine.


Senior Member

First, you are never too old. There are plenty of drummers who started in their 30's, 40's, and 50's. Don't feel like "I can never be good because I didn't start when I was four", just because some have started playing at younger ages, the amount that you progress is individual. Which brings me to:

Second, it's not a race. You will progress at your own speed, which may be faster, or slower than someone else. That is also influenced by the training you are getting, the time spent practicing, and the time spent playing in bands, as well as listening to music.

So keep going! You would not have come this far, and have invested in a nice kit, just to give up now. Learning drums is a life long adventure. All of us, at every age, are still learning. Savor every new skill you acquire. It's a personal accomplishment to be proud of, not to be used to measure ourselves against others. Drumming is a brother-(and sister)-hood. We share knowledge, and are happy for each others successes. We do it because we love drumming.

Rock on!


Platinum Member
I didn't start seriously until I was 17.

Yeah, it's disheartening to read how so and so started when they were 9 or 12, but you can't worry about the past, you can only control what is in front you.

Practice, study, and soon it won't matter so much.

When you join a band, they won't care how long you've been playing, as long as you CAN play the songs.


Platinum Member
I started playing when I was 19. Now I make a living playing and teaching. If you have any talent, you're not too late.


Silver Member
I didn't start until I was 20. And that was a year ago.

Besides, at a certain point, you plateau a bit. Not in the sense that you don't get better, just more of... well A) you don't grow by leaps and bounds as much and B) you learn ~90% of what there is to know within your genre, so all you can do is branch off, which means you know more but don't necessarily use those skills all the time...

Plus, musicians are all ages. Some of my favorite bands have members pushing 40 and have been playing 20ish years on their instrument and maybe 10ish in the band.


Senior Member
Hey everyone, I've been having some bad thoughts about the future of my drumming, real bad thoughts.

First of all I'm, 16, I started taking lessons back in July with only a practice pad

I mean, thinking about all that lost time discourages from keeping it all going.
Grandma Moses didn't begin painting until she was 75. Her paintings went on to sell in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And you... you're only 16.


Staff member
As others have said, it's not a race, it's a journey. It's certainly not a competition. You'll cut yourself up if you think like that. Have fun, join a band, practice until you get tired of it. It's not all about technical ability either. It's just as much about interpretation, feel, dynamic, space, etc, etc. Sure, you need your basic tool box of technical skills but there's so much more to being a good musician than the nuts & bolts of playing.

My son started playing at 16 as he had no interest in drumming before that. He now eats & breaths it. He's now 18, gigging regularly and wowing some of the local drumming community with his playing. He's found his area and excells at it.

You've got all the time in the world & more besides.


Senior Member
I didn't start playing until I was 21, I'm 27 in March. Don't bother wasting your time comparing yourself to what others have achieved, I have a friend who is the same age, has had 4 albums released in the UK charts and is a full time drummer and my tutor is a year younger than me and went to Berkley and is an incredible drummer and a great tutor.

Personally I'm happy with what I have achieved. My motivation to better myself is all I need to keep going.

'We don't do these things because they're easy, we do them because they're hard' I like to remember that when I have the bad days.


I kinda got down about this when I started playing (When i was 15, 18 this thursday) But About a year ago I realised it really didn't matter if you enjoy yourself. Also some of the guys who started around 9 stopped practicing as much, so I'm gaining ground haha


Junior Member
I started playing when I was 26. I had wanted to play since I was a teenager and my buddy got a kit. At 26, I bought my first kit and have been playing since. Now I am 56 and still play. There are a lot of guys out there that are a LOT better drummer than I will ever be, but I play because I enjoy it. DON"T give up!


Junior Member
Syrith, is better if you don't worry about your negative believes. ERASE THEM ALL!!! dude I'll be 32 next month and I've been a bass player since I was 13. Good right? In my present Metal Prog project I was hurting because all the drummers were on and off none were steady so HEY!!!! I just purchased myself a bad ass PDP X7 with a brand new set of Paiste Cymbals you know WHY? Because I KNOW WHAT I WANT. People around me is on a state of shock because the way I play, Only 4 months after I started. My dbl pedal is insane and yeahh I have a wife and kid... and a job... and responsibilities BUT I know what I want and that puts me on a roll that only God can stop me. In the mean time I'll be playing my fast paste metal until arthritis takes over or I die.

Dude find your passion and PLAY, practice only what you think is impossible for you to do. Follow those drummers that makes you feel that you will never be like them because of the good they are. Everybody knows about whats possible but no body wants to talk about whats impossible. Spread the word that Impossible will always be impossible until its been tried and worked. GO FAST!!!!! HELL YEAH!!!!


Grandma Moses didn't begin painting until she was 75. Her paintings went on to sell in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And you... you're only 16.
But I did hear that she had trouble with 1/16 notes and tom fills, but man could she ever play double bass, lol. Sorry...

If your body can handle it, you're never too old to start if that's what you want to do. Everybody has lows in their practice regimes, just get through it and continue on.