Is too late for me to keep playing?

Syrith

Junior Member
Thanks for all the great advice, guys. It's really cool to see the members that started at an older age who are able to play professionally or gig regularly. You're all right, the only thing I can do at this point is to just practice as hard as I can and enjoy playing as much as possible.
 

Ferret

Senior Member
Re: 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.
I am not too much older than you, but I think we're close enough to in the same boat, here are my experiences.

I started playing at the age of 14, so did Danny Carey, if you're a tool fan, look where he went. I get jealous of the younger starters too (Thomas Pridgen, Buddy Rich, WOW), but to be honest with you its all about how many hours you put in behind the kit and how little time you waste while you're doing it. Keep up playing 3 hours a day, make sure you get into as many styles as you can, practice rudiments/endurance/limb independence exercises/timekeeping and you'll be in good shape. Jam with as many people as you can too, even if you're not that into the genres they place, at least learn the basics in case you discover something new you like.

I did the guitar center drum off this fall, and I have about 6-7 years of experience. I made it to the finals for San Jose and the other guys were like this:

10 years of experience, 25.
40+ years of experience, old enough to have a high school daughter and be bald.
17 years of experience, 20
13 years of experience, 24
19 years of experience, 30 (winner, regularly attends national finals, has a 6 year undefeated spree in san jose)
6 years of experience, 20 (me)

They only announced one winner but it was between me and the other 20 year old for "runners up" my instructor said. I was actually approached by the winner and congratulated for being advanced for 6 years of playing. To me that was as awesome as winning it, and it showed me age and experience really don't factor into it as much as dedication. Since you're doing what I was doing at 16, and I'm starting to get somewhere on the local scene, I'm gonna say you're on the right track too.

I started doing school shows with 2-3 years of experience, and then started gigging locally at 20. You're gonna be surprised how many guys on the local scene never play more than simple radio beats. If you're tasteful with your jazz fills and right hand rhythms that alone makes you stand out, don't over worry it, but keep your goals aimed high.
 

mgood41

Junior Member
Whenever I think about something like age setting me back, I remember Carter Beauford didn't get famous until he was in his mid 30's and the dude is in his 50's and going stronger than anybody in the business. Time is a scarce resource- but if you put it towards doing what you love, the results will pay off.
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
16! i started at 8, but hated it! and that meant that about 5 years between then and now ( 18 in march) were wasted. But i try to forget about that and keep improving, billy kilson didn't start until he was 19........rick marotta didn't start until he was 21 or something, 6 months later he was getting sessions. I know he was just amazing, but why can't you do it.

you will be surprised how fast you can, CAN advance...but it's all about muscle memory!

in the last year i have improved by about 200%, and i still wasn't doing ALL that i could have been doing, and i am nothing special. Just put in the hours, and make sure your doijg the right things not just messing around on a kit 2 hours a day.
Really not tuting my own horn here, just using myself as an example. I wasn't too great 2 years ago, not great AT ALL! but in the two years i have been trying, really trying, i have gotten distinction in grade 8 guildhall, and qualified for the top 10 young drummers in the country. Looking back i think wow, how did that happen, but then i remember all those hours i was left crying after trying the moeller....( 6 months on, i can now do it! :)

get off the forum and practice! well, when i mention it.....
 
Re: Is it too late for me to keep playing?

You are too worried about the results. Is never too late, enjoy your drumming first and foremost and keep those drumsticks hitting!


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.
 

lukeP

Junior Member
i really know where you're coming from here. i played in percussion (mostly snare) in middle school band but quit band in high school to play football, i still count that as one of my biggest mistakes. all of my friends are in a band, and i love music more than anything, so i (around 4 months ago) bought a drum set and started practicing feriously. i'm 21, and i had the exact feelings as you do. this girl i know in my friend's band is my age and has been drumming since she was 4, and is AMAZING. i'm so jealous of her. but like a lot of people said, you shouldn't compare yourself to other people. devolope your own style and enjoy yourself.


i can remember myself thinking "man i wish i started playing when i was sixteen."

think on that!
 

matthew

Senior Member
Sorry I didn't read the whole thread but I read your original post and I felt the need to scream at you:

NEVER STOP IF YOU ENJOY IT

One of the few things I remember seeing when I was 16 while reading the drumscene magazine article on some Australian drummer (can't remember who). I remember him saying that he started at 19 and he's 25 now (mind you that was about 5 years ago that I read this).

I remember thinking (as a 16 year old myself at the time), "wow! this guy, whoever he is, managed to get featured in a drum magazine and he only started 7 years after I started. What a head start I have on him."

It's never too late. I remember seeing this older man play guitar at a local bar once in a blues band. He may have looked like Freddy Krueger wearing a red shirt and a wide brimmed hat, but I forgave him because he was a great musician. he looked about 70. He was playing with his teeth and behind his back during the night. And I asked some one who he was and how long he had played for. He had played his instrument for 8 years. Its never too late.

If you were to tell me "I either have to become as good as ______INSERT RIDICULOUS TALENTED DRUMMER HERE_____ or give up now" I might say, ok give it up, you won't be buddy rich maybe ever.

But chances are you won't say that. Chances are when you play the drums you enjoy sitting down and having a bash. putting on a CD and playing along, playing with friends, getting creative and making up drum beats, or being a part of a band for fame and fortune. but you enjoy it for reasons other than being a drum GOD.

Keep playing man!!!
 
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