New member looking for advice

campy

Junior Member
I am 68 years old and most of my life I wanted to play an instrument so almost 3 years ago I bought an acoustic guitar. I have struggled and I am now totally frustrated. I have small hands and I can't seem to stretch my fingers enough to press on the strings properly to get good sound and I would start to have wrist pain. I have always loved drums and I am constantly tapping my fingers to the beat of songs to a point I don't even realize I am doing it and I have had people grab my hands to stop me because I must be driving them nuts. It all sounds good in my head while I am tapping but I don't know if that will translate to drum sticks. I want to try electronic drums but not sure if the entry level sets will encourage me or disappoint me. I will never go on tour but I would like to be able to play well enough so myself and others think "not bad".
 

Icetech

Gold Member
I am 68 years old and most of my life I wanted to play an instrument so almost 3 years ago I bought an acoustic guitar. I have struggled and I am now totally frustrated. I have small hands and I can't seem to stretch my fingers enough to press on the strings properly to get good sound and I would start to have wrist pain. I have always loved drums and I am constantly tapping my fingers to the beat of songs to a point I don't even realize I am doing it and I have had people grab my hands to stop me because I must be driving them nuts. It all sounds good in my head while I am tapping but I don't know if that will translate to drum sticks. I want to try electronic drums but not sure if the entry level sets will encourage me or disappoint me. I will never go on tour but I would like to be able to play well enough so myself and others think "not bad".
Entry level will disappoint.. but it's a place to start as good e-kits are expensive.. As far as drums/guitar.. i played guitar for 30 years and wish i had never touched one, drums are by far the best thing i have ever done for myself.. and drummers are AMAZING people. Guitar players tend to cut each other down and drummers are supportive beyond belief. Take that leap and enjoy.. you will find drumming MUCH easier to start playing.. but harder to play well. but fun the whole way unlike guitar :)
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Campy, I would look at the KAT percussion KTMP1

I got a used one recently for about $70 on Ebay. They come new around $100-110. They also offer a bass drum trigger, and hi hat trigger, probably another $100 or so? 50 pre-programmed sounds. I plugged mine into a guitar amp I already had. And, they make a "brain", a module that has 250 drum sets pre-programmed, and a whole ton of other sounds. Their customer service is good. I got an email reply after a couple days, asking questions.

I honestly think it would be an easy place to start. Good luck
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I bought an Alesis Nitro kit 5 drums two cymbals and hi-hat for under $300 new. Considering that low of a price I'm extremely impressed with them. I bought them to play in sandwich shops and coffee shops and things like that where the volume has to be real quiet. I'm quite happy with them. There's nothing like real drums though
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
I am 68 years old and most of my life I wanted to play an instrument so almost 3 years ago I bought an acoustic guitar. I have struggled and I am now totally frustrated. I have small hands and I can't seem to stretch my fingers enough to press on the strings properly to get good sound and I would start to have wrist pain.
Since you were drawn to guitar, I think you need to investigate some guitar options first. A nylon stringed classical guitar will be easier on your hands. So will an electric guitar, which has a smaller neck. If you put on very light gauge strings it shouldn't hurt your hands and fingers.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I just watched a video interview with Waddy Wachtel and he will only play guitars with thin fret boards. and by thin I mean not side to side on the neck but from the fretboard to the back of the neck or palm of the left hand. I won't suggest staying with guitar but there are solutions.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Down tune the guitar strings a half note. Lots of guitar players do that, it makes the instrument easier to play and the sound is about the same.

The Kat electronic drum pad is a nice start. My friend has one, he gigs with it. It's a bit like a drum pad, which is a handy thing to have to practice rudiments and other rhythms on. You might start off by buying a pair of drum sticks and a drum pad.

Personally I think electronic drum kits are just too different from acoustic drum kits. I'm guessing that you'll never rest until you get an acoustic drum kit. You might find a open mic jam session in your area, maybe they have an acoustic drum kit there, and you can try playing it.

Don't worry about being 68 years old. Doing something that you like can keep you alive. It can keep you healthy. And the value of something that keeps you alive is enormous.
 

campy

Junior Member
I looked at the KAT video and it looks like it would be great for a beginner like me, except after you add the accessories you will be almost at the price of a complete beginner set. I may try it because I think my 2 year old grand daughter will get a kick out of playing it with her on my lap.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Are you thinking e-kit because of sound concerns? If not I'd suggest going acoustic and and buying a complete beginners kit-Pearl, Ludwig, Tama, etc all make them. The Pearl Rhythm Traveler POD is a small acoustic that also has mesh heads for silent play. I think you'd be happier with the acoustic kit-no need for electricity or fiddling with technology. You could also look for used drum kits locally-you can find nice ones on the cheap at times.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
If you have wrist issues playing guitar, drums and e-drums in particular probably won't help things and will probably make things worse. It doesn't seem like the best idea to switch from one instrument to another just because you ave having issues with the one you picked in the first place.

As for issues playing guitar. I am assuming you probably have an entry level acoustic, I would first suggest maybe getting your guitar setup correctly. Many acoustic guitars are setup really badly with high action and can be difficult to play. Also, like others have suggested string gauge change and stuff like that will help as well.
 

campy

Junior Member
If you have wrist issues playing guitar, drums and e-drums in particular probably won't help things and will probably make things worse. It doesn't seem like the best idea to switch from one instrument to another just because you ave having issues with the one you picked in the first place.

As for issues playing guitar. I am assuming you probably have an entry level acoustic, I would first suggest maybe getting your guitar setup correctly. Many acoustic guitars are setup really badly with high action and can be difficult to play. Also, like others have suggested string gauge change and stuff like that will help as well.
The wrist issues was from having to bend so much to reach around. I have a GS-Mini so it's not entry level. The other reason for the switch is I really suck at it and find it too complicated. I probably have more drumming talent to start than I had guitar talent, since I have been tapping my hands and fingers for probably 50 years so my timing is pretty good. At least I think it is. I know drums take a lot of practice to become good but it appears to me that with at least a little practice I will be able to see improvement much more quickly.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
If you do get an electronic kit, and take lessons, you'll outgrow that e-kit in about a year. And at that point, you'll want to practice on an acoustic kit.

The good news is that, even with really basic drumming, you can function within a band. Complicated things can be made simpler, so that you can interact with other musicians and play songs. It may sound intimidating to join a band one day, but it's also really fun.

Realistically, your hand tapping is probably not going to help very much, unless you're counting out loud and working on specific rhythms. You'll be learning a whole new set of muscle movements, counting rhythms, etc. Your first challenges will be stick technique, and coordinating your bass drum foot with your hands. But don't let this discourage you! Learning a musical instrument is one of the best things you can do for your life enjoyment and longevity.
 

trickg

Silver Member
Campy, is there a reason you are leaning toward electronic drums and not real acoustic drums? Is there something in your living situation (condo/apartment) that would prevent you from being able to set up an acoustic kit?

At your age, I say to go for it. Spend more than you maybe think you should, and get exactly what you want, rather than to compromise and try to save money. My Dad used to say to me, "don't be afraid to buy the best, or exactly what you really want, because you'll never be disappointed with what you have." Basically, if you buy something cheap, you might wind up ditching it later down the road for something else, and it will cost you more money in the long run.

I say to dive in - if you have the money for it, get a full set of drums with decent cymbals and get busy learning everything you can. Even with basic coordination, you'll be able to play basic tunes pretty quickly, and drums are very satisfying to play.

I've been a musician since I was a kid - I play trumpet, I sing, and I play drums. Some of the trumpet playing I have done offers a pretty cool buzz, such as the time I spent doing Latin Band or Big Band, but nothing on the horn comes close to matching the intensity of what I feel when I'm playing drums with a band that's killing it.

We get one shot on this rock - make the most of it and do what you think will make you happy.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Give up that guitar and play the drums. It's obvious that's the way you need to go.

And don't neglect the used market for e-kits - much less $ lost if you decide to move up the chain.

Keep us updated. We're happy to help.

GeeDeeEmm
 

whiteknightx

Silver Member
most music stores will rent starter e-kits by the month. That's what I would do first so you can try it out for a bit and see what you think. Most of the true bottom feeder e-kits are not particularly satisfying, but the Yamaha DTX 500 series, and the Roland TD-1 series with mesh heads or TD-17's are quite satisfying to play with to see if you like it. I'm not very familiar with Alesis or the lower level Kat kits, but they are worth poking around at trying too, and see if you have an affinity or not. Rent for a month or two and see what you think first. Some rubber pads can be a bit tough on the wrists, but mesh and the yamaha silicone pads are much better.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
If you are looking for guitar advice, I would suggest the Acoustic Guitar Forum. They are a great bunch of folks over there as well!

In addition, go look at short-scale guitars. They are much easier on the fingers. Look into the Taylor GS mini. Taylor has the best feeling necks in the guitar world (in my opinion).

Others on here have given good advice on eKits. :)
 

Chollyred

Senior Member
Campy,

Have you tried angling the position of your guitar to resolve the "reach" problem? I have to play mine in more of a classical position (neck high) due to wrist issues.

Even Pete Townshend plays neck high!

 

wipekitty

Junior Member
I agree with trying a practice pad and sticks. It's a cheap investment (~$30), and you'll know pretty quickly whether or not you were meant to drum!
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
I agree with trying a practice pad and sticks. It's a cheap investment (~$30), and you'll know pretty quickly whether or not you were meant to drum!
No. Not unless you want to combine more frustration with less fun.

Drums are rock and roll. They are big and brash and shiny and loud. And FUN.

The OP is not going to pick up chicks by getting a practice pad.
 

jimb

Member
I'm in a similiar situation plus I'm not allowed to make any noise and I hate e kits!
Get urself a cheap snare, mine cost 30 bucks, bass drum pedal and a second snare stand to use as a quiet hi-hat.
Cut two circles of wood, one to fit inside the snare, the other for the 2nd stand. Stick bits of rubber/cloth on them ....you've got urself a very quiet snare and hi-hat.
Jam the pedal against anything solid...presto, u got a quiet BD...and a quiet practise "kit"....which is great for learning groove etc.
 
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