Older players - gear and other changes you've made?


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I know that equipment changes can be made at any age, for a variety of reasons. But as we get older, let's say 50+, we often make changes or adjustments with regard to our physical state. I'll start.

I'm 66 now (but I still feel like I'm 60!) In the last dozen years or so, I've made my drumming experience a little easier in a few ways. I split-up a heavy trap case by separating the cymbals, hardware, and seat & pedal into 3 lighter weight bags. I had already begun using old Ludwig lightweight cymbal (1400) and snare (1355) stands because they were compact & light and fit nicely in the trap case tray. I added a roller cart that allows me to make one trip in & out of a venue as opposed to the usual two trips. I later swapped my old HH stand for a Yamaha Crosstown, which shaved off 5 lbs from the hardware bag. I'm far from weak, but I don't mind lightening my load a bit.

A few tours ago, I downsized from a fairly weighty stick (Vic Firth X5A nylon, akin to a 2B) to the VF 8D nylon with a 5A/5B vibe. Less weight/length meant that I could maintain speed and conserve energy, and since the drums were mic'd, I let the FOH due the work in case the volume wasn't enough (although I'm pretty sure it was fine.) I immediately noticed that I wasn't as tired after a nearly two-hour show, and sometimes I didn't even break a sweat. For some local gigs I use the 8D stick, but I'm also comfortable with the lighter AJ5 jazz stick with a wood tip. I don't get quite as much bite out of them, but sometimes that's better in bars and small clubs.

My vehicle choices have always been in consideration of hauling drums, but last time I bought a new car (2013) I paid closer attention to the load-in height. I went from 2 smallish pick-ups in a row to an Odyssey with a lower deck, and my back thanks me every time I load in & out!
Hey buddy!

I'm with you on all the above.

Last year using Vic 2B nylon or the Abe Jr. stick wore me out on tour but anything smaller I couldn't hold onto. Luckily I still have a few pair of my aheads and they're quite a bit smaller and more comfortable because of the wrap of course. I may try those 8D's with some wrap on them. I've got some of those...I dig the nylon better as well.

I've also gone back to smaller crash cymbals...18's and even 17's/16's.

I was driving small suv's and now driving an eco-sport and it's much easier to load my stuff in to. And have been using the dw ultra light cymbal and snare stands. So my hardware case is much lighter.

Have a great weekend!

cheers and blessings, Trey
You don’t look a day over 55!

I’ve been rolling and splitting up hardware cases since I was in my 20s. But the recent use of all Crosstown hardware has lightened my load so much I went to bigger drums 😂

But I am at present lightening my PA load and taking advantage of new technology that does every bit as good as the old technology these days. I’ll post about that when it’s complete this weekend.
I am 66, and I have made some changes to make up for my age. I only own two cymbal stands, which are lightweight Gibraltar double-braced stands. I use one of those to hold two cymbals. I will play drums until I cannot move the hardware box. I also put my bass drums pedal and seat top in a separate small bag. Peace and goodwill.
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Just took ownership of a 12x8, 14x14, 20x14 kit for smaller stages, or difficult load-ins. I’ve wanted a smaller kit for a while now. Oh, I’m not giving up the bigger kits, but it’s nice to have the option of smaller drums. Oh, I’m 61.
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I hear ya.. I'm the same age (although I can pass for 50 - thanks to drumming and keeping fit). Over the past few years I've tried to downsize to lighten my load and save my back:
- I've switched to low profile toms, smaller but still heavy enough (Tama Starclassic birch-bubinga)
- light weight cymbal stands
- 3 bags (1 long narrow bag (your recommendation - thanks!!!) for mic stand, tom stands and hhihat, a backpack that was actually a skiboot/helmet bag for carrying various drum gear like stick bag, perc like cowbell (gotta have it), extra shirts etc. a wheeled bag for cymbal stands, throne, snare stand), and a bag for throne seat, mic/cable box if needed, kick pedal box).
- I can get it all on one trolley with a back pack and pulling the wheeled cymbal bag at the same time.
Still a lot of gear but better than before.. more organized and easier to handle. Still looking for more ways to reduce weight!
I've also switched to lighter VF sticks. However, the most significant change has been greater care for my hearing. I've been using a Yamaha EAD10 with a good set of isolation headphones to better control the volume level when practicing. I also wear hearing protection when working with power equipment around the yard.
I'm going to be 60 this year and I have a bad back and hips. I'm still playing huge drums but I have replaced most of my DW9000 hardware with the DW6000 lightweight stuff. I use an Ahead Spinal G throne and sit much higher than I used to. I have also lowered my cymbals quite a bit. I have always played with large sticks. I have trouble hanging on to anything below 2b. I moved from a Promark 2S to Vater Rocks. They are the same diameter but slightly shorter and considerably lighter.
One discovers that an enema goes from a kinky sexual act to one of necessity because you eat too much cheese and not enough fiber.
Damn you Kraft!
I am 61 - changed my set up to primarily a 20/12/14 with atypically a 5 x 14 snare for the majority of my gigs . I switched out my hardware to Tama Classic Series or Yamaha Crosstown (for outdoor gigs- better than the Tama in the wind ). I have also reduce the number of cymbals ( along with hihats ) to two or three max these days .
I just ordered a Roland TM-6 Pro to start triggering my kit at gigs . This is very new for me as the closest I had got to this level prior was a Yamaha EAD 10 or Roland TM-2 neither of which thrilled me . The TM-6 Pro looks like it will suit my purposes better .
I have also recently picked up a Yamaha DTX Multi 12 which will be ideal for percussion , starting and stopping loops and some effect sounds .

I have as you can see above started to embrace electronics and move from my strictly acoustic past . Competition for gigs in my town is getting fierce and if I can get my kit to sound more like the sounds on the records we play , the better for us to be more popular .IMG_5896.jpeg70207748653__E3731AFC-E96E-4A54-8F02-A46AC2019025.jpeg
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A couple years ago I swapped out the two 1980 era Titan boom stands I'd been using since, well 1980, and got some very lightweight stands, made a significant difference. Last year I asked the family to get me a Roc n Soc throne for Father's Day, a major improvement and relief for my back. And I had some 7A sticks in my bag that I used for some more quiet gigs, I started using them most of them time, instead of the 5Bs that I'd been using forever. All those things have helped a bit. If I could just talk myself into further downsizing, heh...
I turn 68 in 6 days - yeah I know mentally I’m not a day over 16 if that old. I like the Bopworks Memphis R&B stick which has a long thin taper for a light touch, and just feel great on my hands. I prefer just a floor tom but have one hanging in case. Everything lower and within ergonomic reach so I don’t have to move around much.
60, I was a nerd who always weighed all my drum stuff - cymbals, pedals, stands.
I always had 4 piece kit, and have moved to lightweight stands, and less of them with only 1 crash, 1 ride.
Hardware in 2 different bags, cymbals in another.
Even if you're younger, why carry weight you do not need.
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I'm 63 a lot of what's already been said I have done myself. Several smaller bags lighter hardware ect. Playing wise I'm still doing OK but lifting and carrying things have changed a lot. My shoulders are both jacked up but it's not effected my playing yet so I just try to be smart about how I lift my gear.
59 and in good health but I see the writing on the wall. None of us are gonna get out of this alive and I want to play drums as long as possible. That said; I'm gradually moving toward smaller drums. My standard 22-12-16 kit is being replaced by a 20-10-14 kit. I still like heavy hardware but smaller drums are my first step
57. All of my heavy stands are gone. Drums shrunk from 7 piece to 5 or 4 if I need to. Cymbals went from 8 to 4. No more 22x18 BD. Sticks have gotten thinner, but longer with long taper to control vibrations.
55 here. Back in 1983, I began with 9 series Yamaha, then around 1995 or so, after hernia surgery, I went down to 7 series hardware. Finally, I'm with Yamaha Crosstown. I guess you could say I believe in Yamaha hardware--2023 is my 40th year!

I also went to a Roc N Soc Nitro throne, after my Tama 1st Chair unexpectedly snapped in half. The Roc is much easier on my back.