Playing with younger musicians

drummingman

Gold Member
In my quest to find serious musicians to play with in a metal band I find that the vast majority are very young. Between 17 and 25. Very few people pursuing music as a full time career that I've met are my age (I'm 40).

I remember when I was 20 and I would contact musicians and find out they were older. Sometimes I would question how long they could realistically tour. But now being older myself it's given me a lot of perspective. Age really does not matter as long as a person has a burning desire to do something

Thankfully most of the youngins I've met are good with playing with me as a guy that is a good deal older then they are. Which is good because I can't find people my age that are serious anyway! I feel like Buddy Rich must have recruiting younger musicians to play with lol!

The good thing for me is that I don't let our age difference get in the way of anything. If they truly want to tour and record full time I am completely good with playing with people who are younger then I am.

At one point in my life I was the youngest member of a band I was in. Now I'm the oldest member of my current band (by at least 20 years!). It's kind of a trip!
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
My guitarist and male singer are 44.

That's 20 years younger than me.

Our new bass player is 20 years younger than them.



I could still kick their asses....if I landed the first punch. :)
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
Age matters in the regard that younger people are more willing to put up with the absolute dehumanization that is required to be in a touring band trying to build a following. I am 42 now and I could never imagine going back to living like I did when I was 19 or 20. There were times when we were on the road that we literally didn't have enough money to go but a hamburger if we were hungry. But none of us had ever had any money, so it was all pretty normal at the time. I wonder how many people in their 30's or 40's would be willing to live like that. People talk about "doing what it takes" to make it, but I often wonder how many really are. I will tell you, I was not.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Playing drums at church, I've played with folks 40 years older than me before (back when I was in my 20's). Right now, I'm 41 and I'm pretty sure that we have a couple of girls on the team who are in their mid-teens.

As far as playing with others is concerned, I've always played out with people close to my age, but it wouldn't bother me at all to play with younger or older folks. I think that older people contribute wisdom and experience while younger folks can contribute energy and excitement. As long as everyone pulls his/her own weight, I think it can be a really good thing.

Heck, out here in bluegrass country, nobody will listen to you unless you are a child prodigy or over the age of 65. :)
 

Superman

Gold Member
Age matters in the regard that younger people are more willing to put up with the absolute dehumanization that is required to be in a touring band trying to build a following. I am 42 now and I could never imagine going back to living like I did when I was 19 or 20. There were times when we were on the road that we literally didn't have enough money to go but a hamburger if we were hungry. But none of us had ever had any money, so it was all pretty normal at the time. I wonder how many people in their 30's or 40's would be willing to live like that. People talk about "doing what it takes" to make it, but I often wonder how many really are. I will tell you, I was not.
Absolutely nailed it here. I am 37 with a job and family and could never even think of doing what I was willing to do at 20. I wouldn't even want to travel in an old van with 3 other ppl cramped with instruments to get to a show a couple hours away, never mind a tour. I can see myself playing with younger people in a local band that has zero aspirations but that is about it.

I knew a band that had an older drummer and as soon as they started to get some buzz, they ditched him for someone younger that looked the part, but wasn't half as good of a drummer.
 

PlayTheSong

Senior Member
My concert band has members in their teens, those in their 80's and everything in between. The band started as a military brass band in 1852 and has existed ever since. Some of the current players have been in the band since the 1970's. Can't see many of them wanting to tour though :).
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Age is just a number, it's what's in your head and heart that matters!
You forgot to mention back. The higher the number, the more it's in your back! Damn, now where are my meds? LOL!

I've been playing at church for some time now and it seems to be the same pattern over and over. The young ones are late getting there on Sunday morning, but are ready to go and the old ones arrive early unprepared, hoping to make it through on a prayer!

At least when you select your own band members, you can choose the personality that goes with it. I'll play with anyone who is genuinely interested in putting in the time to get things right.
 

drummingman

Gold Member
Age matters in the regard that younger people are more willing to put up with the absolute dehumanization that is required to be in a touring band trying to build a following. I am 42 now and I could never imagine going back to living like I did when I was 19 or 20. There were times when we were on the road that we literally didn't have enough money to go but a hamburger if we were hungry. But none of us had ever had any money, so it was all pretty normal at the time. I wonder how many people in their 30's or 40's would be willing to live like that. People talk about "doing what it takes" to make it, but I often wonder how many really are. I will tell you, I was not.
For myself I am willing to live hard to reach my goals. I grew up poor and still live on a bare minimum. So struggling financially is not something that is new for me. I think that honestly is a blessing because I'm willing to endure what most are not to reach my goals no matter how long it takes.

I like to study the lives of successful people. The vast majority of them were poor, struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food in the mouths. By the grace of God they survived and did what they had to do to get where they wanted to get.

It all boils down to how bad a person really wants something.
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hi Drummingman, well I am older by 30 plus years to the next oldest member. Yeah, the guys call me pop's. My wife a I are married longer then before they were a gleam in their daddy's eye. They treat me nice and it make me feel young & old at the same time, if that makes any sense. I am a sideman for them for the last three years or so now. They even ask my opinion on a lot of things about how the band is being treated, song selection and list selection etc. I am having more fun now than I did back in the 80's touring. I think if everyone is on the same page musically and personality wise age does not matter.
 

dannygetsmoney

Junior Member
I'm 24, and I love playing with older musicians. (At least the ones that are really good, playing 20+ years) Awesome to learn from
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
In my church gig I play with a few singers that are High School students. They're held to very high standards by the bald leader though. We are all treated like pros, expected to come to the gig knowing the music and play it correctly. I think that if the kids stick with it, they'll have some real discipline and experience under their belt.

Jamming with older, experienced musicians was a great learning experience for me when I was new to the drums. I'm at that weird age where I'm a young guy to the old timers and an adult to the kids.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
Very few people pursuing music as a full time career that I've met are my age
That's just because very few people are willing to take a vow of poverty to do so. It is, realistically, no longer possible to earn a living solely from performing music. To make a living 100% as a musician you must also augment your income via ancillary streams such as teaching, writing, mixing, producing, recording, etc. Even then, you're lucky if you rise above the poverty line.
 
I'm on the same boat except I'm less than 10 years older than my bandmates (6-7 years) which is not a lot but it gives you a perspective of the time when you were their age. I was surprised that age didn't play a factor when audition. Rather, they wanted someone they could get along with and to have good playing chemistry on stage and in the recording studio. In a way I kind of feel like the veteran/older brother of the band.


In my quest to find serious musicians to play with in a metal band I find that the vast majority are very young. Between 17 and 25. Very few people pursuing music as a full time career that I've met are my age (I'm 40).

I remember when I was 20 and I would contact musicians and find out they were older. Sometimes I would question how long they could realistically tour. But now being older myself it's given me a lot of perspective. Age really does not matter as long as a person has a burning desire to do something

Thankfully most of the youngins I've met are good with playing with me as a guy that is a good deal older then they are. Which is good because I can't find people my age that are serious anyway! I feel like Buddy Rich must have recruiting younger musicians to play with lol!

The good thing for me is that I don't let our age difference get in the way of anything. If they truly want to tour and record full time I am completely good with playing with people who are younger then I am.

At one point in my life I was the youngest member of a band I was in. Now I'm the oldest member of my current band (by at least 20 years!). It's kind of a trip!
 

drummingman

Gold Member
I've only had 1 band that said they were looking for someone closer to their age (early 20's). Kind of a bummer as they are a good band. But oh well.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
That's just because very few people are willing to take a vow of poverty to do so. It is, realistically, no longer possible to earn a living solely from performing music. To make a living 100% as a musician you must also augment your income via ancillary streams such as teaching, writing, mixing, producing, recording, etc. Even then, you're lucky if you rise above the poverty line.
This may be true where you are, but it's not true in Boston or NY, or many other places. Many people are full time musicians, and don't have to supplement with teaching/writing/et cetera.

I, for example, play for a living in the Boston area, and while I'm not driving a Ferrari, I make enough to live in a nice condo, and have two decent cars. I'm not rolling in money, but I'm not below the poverty line.

Yes, it's harder, and it does help if you have additional sources of income, but it's not impossible... at least not everywhere.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
it's not impossible... at least not everywhere.
Of course, I wasn't meaning it was literally impossible. Anything is possible. It's just nowhere near as feasible as it was 30 years ago, especially if you're playing your own music. There are just much fewer venues to perform, and much less purchasing of music. On top of that, corporations like Google are making sure that copyright law stays in the middle ages, or worse.

Personally, I would rather compromise doing something other than music for a living, and then do what I want musically. I've never been happy playing top-40, wedding band, jobbing, or cruise-ship type gigs.

Bottom line though, if you're a really great musician, playing great music with a great band, you'll do fine. Getting musicians to do the work to get there is the big hurdle.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
This may be true where you are, but it's not true in Boston or NY, or many other places. Many people are full time musicians, and don't have to supplement with teaching/writing/et cetera.

I, for example, play for a living in the Boston area, and while I'm not driving a Ferrari, I make enough to live in a nice condo, and have two decent cars. I'm not rolling in money, but I'm not below the poverty line.

Yes, it's harder, and it does help if you have additional sources of income, but it's not impossible... at least not everywhere.
Try living in the SF bay area.
Avg 1 bd apt is @$3000.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
Try living in the SF bay area.
Avg 1 bd apt is @$3000.
That's not that much more than Boston... Average 500 SqFt 1 Bedroom or studio in an "off-brand" neighborhood is $2500/month. Realistically, most people are going to be paying $3k-$5k. Plus parking is usually $300-$500/month per car, if you can get it.
 
Top