Too old to Play Drums

Foggie Blur

Active member
I’m in my forties and started playing at 13 yrs old, had 5 yrs of lessons, played in cover band and original bands until about 22. Since then I leave the drums for a few years and come back and teach or get in a band or jam. I ve just came back to playing again from a longer hiatus and am contacting other musicians on kijiji or online musicians. In the past, in bands I ve played with younger and older players and ageism never crossed my mind. In fact, hands down, the personality match of players has always been way more important then ages of the people.

Since hitting the 40 yr mark it seems like I’ve crossed some magical age line for music. One guy I was emailing with told me after several emails and after he found out my age....man YOU too OLD to play drums! I was so mad I forgot to pick up my viagra at the drug store! Bwahaha no not really.

WTF? The Rolling Stones are in their 70s, Ozzy way up there and both are rocking out with legions of super bands in their 50. Shouldn’t this nonageism trickle down to me. WTF just don’t get it.

What do you guys think? Should the 40 plus drummers just expect this? Should we all just stick with a five year perimeter age group for our band mates?

Thanks!

Foggie Blur

Also check out my YouTube channel-
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I know plenty of 70 year olds who gig regularly - but with other people their age, and in styles of music that they're comfortable with.
I also know I drummer in his late 60's who wears trendy, colourful clothes and tries to act young and hip, but we all think he's a fraud.
So maybe its just a case of finding the right crowd to play with. Not so much age, but compatible maturity, skill level and musical tastes.
 

Xeno

Member
Never give up! I'm almost in my mid fifties and was thinking the same way as you. After posting some old vids of me in my band from the 80's I was shocked to hear a ton of my friends saying that I was too good not to follow my dream anymore. I have 2 young children and always used that as an excuse..along with my age. My ex girlfriend said something to me that changed everything. "You don't have to miss your calling to be a good dad\husband. You never know...your happiness may just make you a better one." Since then I've put new heads on my kit (effing expensive!) and started looking for a band in need. If you really want to play in a band, you'll find someone compatible with you. Don't mind the haters!
 

Foggie Blur

Active member
Being true to yourself and your own interests is important. I agree compatitable maturity,skills, and musical tastes. Good points Morrisman. I also like xeno idea of having a thick skin and just get out there. We re not like pro athletes that have to retire after age 25.

Any other thoughts?
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
No such thing as too old or past it other than dead.

I know guys in their 80s who gig every week.

Keep yourself in good shape and have good technique and chuckle at the idiots that come out with such utter crap.

If anything you should get better with age as experience only comes with time.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
That's hilarious! 40 isn't even "old"-your brain keeps maturing till 30s so you're peaking. The emailer must have been 10 or an "Age bigot". You never know. You get old sometime after 70 I figure-but it could be much later-I'll tell you when I get there ;). But we all have a number we call age-how people chronologically and biologically age really varies-I note as I've gotten older. But I still got my plan for immortality. I'm working with Elon Musk to build me a cyborg body that we can download my "vital essence" into it. I was going to clone myself then wait for my clone to come of age and then steal my body back (yeah I'll have to whack my counterpart) with a vital essence re-transplant. But now since the World is tuning to shit I'm may modify my bod to be like Iron Man or more like the Robot Police in "The Day the Earth Stood Still"-so I will bring world peace and end all violence (I know ironically by violently zapping all violent people but I'm ripping here), After that Elon is giving me a Space craft to explore the universe-since I'm immune to space risk and will never age. Yep got big plans so at 64 life is just beginning.
 

Chollyred

Senior Member
I'm 61 and still playing. Now playing in worship, but still trying to find a local band. Seems most guys my age are either already in bands (with the same guys for years), just want to jam once or twice, or immediately want to hit the road touring, or finally, a bunch of flakes.
 
Never too old 💪🏻👊🏻!!!! 52 and took a long break from the kit . Started back up about 18 months ago , still shakin off the rust but play with the same intensity as when I was 30. I sat in for a song ( American idiot) with some 22 year olds at a college graduation frat party, ...... their jaws hit the floor lol 😂. Not all young people think like that asshat you were emailing with . EFF him !!!! 🤘🏼
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
Watch Joe Morrello, legally blind at god knows what age laying down some incredible drums.
Tommy Alridge at 69 is still one of the most impressive live drummers I've seen
Nicko McBrain at 67 tours the world and is incredibly energetic.

If you can move you can drum.
 

donzo74

Junior Member
Well said everyone! I'm 44. I'm currently in two bands full time, I sub with other groups when I'm available and I play at church every Sunday. If anything, I probably get called more because there aren't enough good young drummers for the opportunities out there. Throughout my playing time, I've almost always been one of the youngest guys in every band I've been in and I really appreciated getting to play with and learn the styles from the older players. I think the young guy the OP posted about sounds like a massive douche and not someone you'd want to be in a band with so you dodged a bullet right there. Just keep looking for another group to play with and hope you find some good players who are also cool people.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I am 62 and play at church and an outside band. As long as I can still play decent and move all of the gear myself, I will keep playing. Peace and goodwill.
 

donzo74

Junior Member
I saw Alan White on tour playing with Yes for the 50th anniversary tour last year. Also saw Steve Smith with Journey a couple of years ago. The man still demolishes the kit and played a great solo, all while looking cool, calm and collected, of course!
 

V-Four

Senior Member
A Jethro tull reference? You MUST be old.. ;) (I kid, I kid)
Heck, next year I won't be able to say "im still in my 40's"- yikes.



As far as the topic, yea, some people (usually younger ones) are worried about image/youth, so you'll see a lot of that (we can probably thank society for that). Remember in the "olden days", when grown ups could be musicians/actors/entertainers? Seems nowadays everyone wants the next Britney spears/Ariana Grande [Ok, Ariana gets a pass, cuz shes hot as hell- HEY, shes legal now so I can say it .. (finally ;)]/One direction/ J-Beebs.. younger the better these days.. You get the point. Were all gonna be put out to pasture eventually. Now, GTF off my lawn.

In the meantime..

My suggestion (when posting an ad looking for band), would be to make mention of your age (or reference thereabouts). this way, nobody wastes time when they reject ya for being "too old to drum", and you can weed out some of the riff-raff along the way.

YMMV etc..

T.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I had no idea that Nicko McBrain was that old! Wow.

I've had a couple of times where I felt really out of place. For a few years there were a couple of guys who wanted to get together to do praise band kinds of things, and I was BY FAR the oldest one out of the people who were playing. Those guys were all in their early to mid 20s, and I was in my early to mid 40s. At times I felt a bit out of place, but when we were playing, we were all getting it done - there's nothing "old" about the way I play the drums.

There have been times recently where I've felt too old to continue on with the wedding/party band where I play trumpet and sing. When I started with this band in 2001, I was 31, but I looked 25, so the people on the dance floor, typically in their 20s or early 30s, identified with us in a direct way. At this point the band is still almost all the same people, and we're all mid to late 40s - it's a whole different vibe that we present to the crowd, and it doesn't seem like we do as well anymore, in spite of the fact that musically we're probably all at the top of our games.

At some point I might change the kind of gigging I do, but I won't stop gigging - you never get too old for that.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
With regard to drummers who've been with a successful band for decades such as Nicko, Graeme and me, ageism isn't going to be an issue in terms of the band suddenly wanting a younger image (when other members are also older.) I think the OP was more concerned about being in the trenches among a generally younger musicianship.

At 63, I also play in local bands with players considerably younger than I am, and have yet to be replaced (even though my perennial coming and going on the road would be a legit excuse to get a more permanent drummer.) But these are also bands that are more concerned with the music than the image, and that's where I still hold up my end of the bargain.

So in terms of age and playing, it's all about ability as well as the desire. As long as you can play and want to, there's no reason to think about stopping.

Bermuda
 
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