Old dude learning

Paul0073

Junior Member
What’s up people, I’m new and have a few questions. I guess I will start by saying I’m mid 40s and basically a beginner. I’ve played around over the years thinking I can play haha but I’ve actually said the hell with it and bought a real kit. Having kids and a mortgage always put my aspirations to become a drummer in the backseat. I know I’ve had it in me my whole life, it’s something you can just feel. I’ve had times when I’ve played and it’s been super natural and I’ve thought wow.. did I just actually do that. Other times I’ve been like wtf am I doing.. i suck

So here are my questions. What do people think about someone my age starting to learn? After watching YouTube I’ve realized I can’t play anything organized at all. My technical skills are pretty bad. That said, not being 25 things like minor arthritis, memory isn’t what it used to be etc.

Second question is where should I start? Pay for formal lessons or watching YouTube? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks folks!
 

Paul0073

Junior Member
You are never too old for drums. An experienced teacher would be the best route, YouTube doesn't give feedback, constructive criticism, and answer questions.

Don't get discouraged, this is a long journey where everybody sucks at first.
Right on. Thanks for the reply. Maybe it’s a midlife crisis? I haven’t been creeping the dealership for a red sports car, so I’m pretty sure it’s pure desire. I’ll definitely check into lessons.
 

picodon

Silver Member
It's certainly a lot cheaper than a sports car :)
I started after 41 years of air drumming and 6 years later now I'm starting to sound decent although I have far too many other things to do to ever become a "chops" drummer.

The Tommy Igoe series (Groove essentials) helped me quite a lot but 1 year of lessons from a very demanding and talented guy helped a lot more. Several years playing in a samba percussion band taught me to listen to the others, I can really recommend playing with others as early as possible. You will obviously suck but will suck less and less very fast in such a motivating environment.
 

Ronzo

Junior Member
Wow! I connected immediately with this as I am in the same boat. Somedays I question why I am even doing this. Feel like an old person in a young persons game.
I use as many resources as I can including some instructional books (with CD/DVD), YouTube and have an instructor. Getting constructive criticism at my stage is critical.
When you start something like this later in life you want to expedite the learning process.
Another tip is start recording yourself. That was a humbling experience for me.
Keep at it! Age us just a number....in my case it is a big number....but just a number nonetheless.
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
I'd go for a combination of youtube and lessons to begin with, then see what is more comfortable going forward.
For example, Drumeo has the 10 first lesson beginner series, from setting up to drums comfortably (actually more important than it sounds) all the way through to your first beats and fills.
But a teacher will be able to see how you hold a stick and how you kick and sit and be able to put your basic technique on the right track.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
So here are my questions.

What do people think about someone my age starting to learn? Seems typical and common to me.

After watching YouTube I’ve realized I can’t play anything organized at all. You are ready to play in a band now.

My technical skills are pretty bad. No where to go but up.

That said, not being 25 things like minor arthritis, memory isn’t what it used to be etc. Take acetaminophen and listen to what other band members are doing. Play along and focus on the groove. Make them sound better and they will love you.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I currently have a student who is 46, and started a little more than 2 years ago in private lessons with me, with no prior experience. After about 9 months, he joined a band at the teaching studio. Our school is a bit unique, because, in addition to offering private lessons, it groups adult students into bands, teaches them to play whatever songs they want, and gets them gigs. The student still takes private lessons with me, in addition to being in the band program. In about 2 and a half years, he has learned about 30 songs, and performed all of those songs live with a band. He has also joined a cover band with some coworkers at his day job.

My advice to you would be: take private lessons for about a year, and then join some kind of band that plays gigs (probably unpaid gigs at first). After you have covered some basics, learning to play songs with a band will force you to focus on actual playing skills, and, hopefully, be more fun. With a band to motivate you, you'll stick with it longer, meet new people, and learn more.
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
Find a good local teacher. Practice with a metronome until your groove is seared into your brain. Don't worry about fancy fills and showing everybody what you've got. Play simply, in time and everyone will think you're a pro because....that's how most pros play.
 

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
Our school is a bit unique, because, in addition to offering private lessons, it groups adult students into bands, teaches them to play whatever songs they want, and gets them gigs.
That sounds like a GREAT school! I'm lucky enough to have some family members who play guitar and bass. We're all learning jazz standards together.

I'm an old drummer too. I took lessons and played a lot as a younger man then got married and had a family. I stopped playing and even gave my kit to my daughter – who loaned out some of the hardware never too see it again. :cautious: At 54 I bought a cheap Sonor Bop kit, learned what a good cymbal is (obsession) and started to take on the rudiments that I never learned. Two years later I'm twice the drummer I was as a younger man.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
While taking all of the advice given here, listen, listen to the music you’re interested in, especially the rhythms or lack thereof to get a feel of the drumming. Drumming does involve keeping time but that’s not all there is to drumming.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
What are your goals?
Aspirations to play with a group in front of people?
Cover band? Original music/collaboration?

No matter what, everyone should prioritize having good and relaxed hands. At least 95% of the music you'll play is some form of a single or double stroke. Getting with a private teacher to set your hands up fundamentally will be valuable.

For what it's worth I played a lot in my 20's, jumped back in recently after a decade off here in my 40's and I don't find my memory to be an issue. The brain's a muscle and once you start exercising it it will work better. Arthritis is pretty individual. I have a lot of earlier injuries (2 knee reconstructions, broken neck and others) that can get in the way but I keep up a cycling regimen and keep my core strong and I think this helps on long sessions. I have some strong practice goals and have been playing 40+ hours/week with many days of 8-10 hours on the kit or pad without physical issues which has been great.

There are tons of useful resources on YouTube but also some pretty bad ones. Lacking experience, you may have a hard time knowing which areas to practice which is why the private lessons are valuable. Try to find someone local first, but if nobody really strikes you as a good match then perhaps look at taking Skype lessons. Finding the right teacher depends on your goals so can't really get much deeper on how to do that.
 

TMe

Senior Member
That said, not being 25 things like minor arthritis...
As an older person, the ergonomics of drumming are more important. I suggest you find a good teacher. Even if you don't take regular lessons, a good teacher can help you with things like grip and posture. Getting those under control early on will save you a lot of grief later. There's no substitute for being in the same room with a good teacher for that stuff.

Also, as an older student, you should have a fairly clear idea what you want to play. A good teacher can give you advice about what books to buy, what you need to work on, and what you don't need to worry about.
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
+1 on finding a good teacher. Fundamentals are critical to good playing and long term development. This can help you avoid bad habits and injury due to improper technique. Other than that, have fun and get a good metronome.
 

JimmyBee

Junior Member
I currently have a student who is 46, and started a little more than 2 years ago in private lessons with me, with no prior experience. After about 9 months, he joined a band at the teaching studio. Our school is a bit unique, because, in addition to offering private lessons, it groups adult students into bands, teaches them to play whatever songs they want, and gets them gigs. The student still takes private lessons with me, in addition to being in the band program. In about 2 and a half years, he has learned about 30 songs, and performed all of those songs live with a band. He has also joined a cover band with some coworkers at his day job.

My advice to you would be: take private lessons for about a year, and then join some kind of band that plays gigs (probably unpaid gigs at first). After you have covered some basics, learning to play songs with a band will force you to focus on actual playing skills, and, hopefully, be more fun. With a band to motivate you, you'll stick with it longer, meet new people, and learn more.

This totally sums up my journey so far, I'm 47 now and also "always thought I'd had it in me" but life got in the way. Now kids are a bit older etc I can make time for this hobby. You've got to WANT to do it however.... :)

Private lessons and finding a few mates via a shout out on facebook helped us form a muck-about band. Once we were brave enough to jam in a local studio I knew it was all the right decision.

Good luck!
 

trickg

Silver Member
I'll echo what others have said about finding a teacher. That's not what I did (I started drumming semi-seriously at age 33, and got more serious about it at age 36) but I'm probably not coming from the same place. I was already a professional level trumpet player, so I just sort of threw myself into it when I started drumming every week for a praise team, and employed what I already knew about practicing an instrument and learning music. I got by ok for the first couple of months, even if it was a little rough, and then started to settle in a bit better.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Oh yeah way too old Soylent Green for you dude. Just kidding-lots of old players starting. If you don't feel like you suck you're doing something wrong LOL. I'm in my 60s and "fill" like a beginner. I hope I always keep that attitude. Lots of echo for finding a teacher-which I think is a good suggestion. Butt, good luck getting feedback how to pick one LOL. I've decided to order some books and try working through them, get reading better, then try transcribing. If a teacher isn't forcing you to read, transcribe, then find one that does-you don't want to limit yourself. Which lacking that has limited me. Learning drums isn't too difficult learning music is another story.
 

veggo32

Silver Member
Welcome to the forum. All I have to say is that in ten years you will be saying I should have started ten years ago. Well it's 10 years ago now.

Get a practice pad and a metronome and a book like stick control from George STone and start building your hands. Once you get your hands going pretty good and you can do some basic sight reading then you can decide where to go from there. Have fun!
 
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