Us older drummers

stevo

Senior Member
This is for the older drummers. The guys who have been doing this forever, to some level or another. Pro, or hobby drummer?
I'm in my "mid" 40's, I have been playing since I was nine'ish, off and on. I even took about a ten year hiateous for various resons, but am back at it, more serious than ever, with a whole new lease on the drumming.
Most of the posts I have read, seem to be from the younger guys, who are trying to get "there", as were most of us, whom, for a bevey of reasons, probably did not.
So to those of you out there.. What are you doing drumming wise? What have we learned that we might share with the up and comers?
Were we dissallusioned? Did that family thing take us out of the loop?
Did our nine to five gig finally prove to pay more than the weekend gigs?
I'm hoping to hear some stuff from us older drummers about what we were doing then, and what we thought we would be doing, and most importantly, how much fun we are having now that we are "just having fun" jammin.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Basically, if drumming is something you like, then do it. It doesn't have to lead anywhere, it just has to be enjoyable.

Drumming is rarely a full-time pursuit, even for full-time drummers, and providing a living for yourself and your family comes first. I don't know anybody who claims their instrument is the most important thing in their life, and it would be kinda sad if it was. Just do some drumming when you are able. Sometimes having a busy life makes those moments behind the kit even better.

Bermuda
 

stevo

Senior Member
Nice answer Bermuda. Puts into perspective.
I was thinking about the drummers who, as teenagers, thought we would be in the next big band, and touring the world. But the reality of what for some of us became the "real world", and we realized that drumming wasn't going to be our "out". However, so many years later, I am still having a blast, and not worried about finding that group of band mates that we might be the next Beatles, or something.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
How to realized you're old:

When you open the new issue of a drum magazine, and you have no who any of the person being interviewed are and have never head of the bands these people play in.
 
T

trkdrmr

Guest
..and when you read young drummers disrespecting classic drummers (including them disrespecting you) knowing that one day, the same will happen to them.

Now: "...Like that Buddy Rich dude is nothing compared to Travis Barker...he invented drumming!"

In 2030: "...Like that Travis Barker dude was nothing compared to vynoxx snorg...he has 4 arms!"
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Stevo, it sounds like you and I are very similar in our age and our timeline of events. I think now that I'm in my mid-fourties and am not stressing out about the idea of "making it big" like I did twenty years ago, I can actually enjoy drumming as a persuit/hobby. I personally would rather work my career in a non-musical job and make money and time for my hobby, than to have to play music I hated just so I could call myself a professional musician.

To the younger guys I would say have fun, learn as much as you can about music and your instrument's role. Learn the history behind your craft. Take care of your health (esp. the hearing). Maintain a balance between the time you spend learning to play music and just plain living. Life has a way of sometimes pulling you away from doing the things you dream of but it doesn't mean giving up on your dreams.
 

Old Doc Yak

Senior Member
DrumEatDrum, don't remind me. I started drumming again after a 50-year hiatus. Who are all these guys? I don't recognize anybody! What bands? But I'm working hard to know who's who and getting back to basics. But do I feel old.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I think Bermuda's got it covered.

First & foremost, drumming is intuitive self expression.

You sing, you dance, you play drums. You just play, man. You enjoy it at such a primal level, that it really defies description or even a reason to play. You cant explain passion.

AND, it's never really about making it "Big".

Somewhere along the line, if you grow into to being as good as Bermuda is , and catch a few lucky breaks, and play the game right, it becomes somewhat of a career.

I'm almost 50, and I didnt choose music as a career ( I could have), because I didnt want to be playing weddings/bar mitzvas all my life.

And though I, by the conventional yardstick would be called a reasonable success in life by most people, not being 'more of a musician' has been my single biggest regret.

You gotta do what you love to do v/s you gotta do what make sense. Life's biggest poser isnt it?

Figure this one out and you're the master of the universe. ( good luck, Vin, if you're reading this ; )
'
Anyhow, as an older drummer, the difference is that now its more about the music and less bout adrenaline, or whats cool, whats in, who's watching, who's listening, where I'm playing etc etc, if you get my drift.

I'm a much better player than I was when I was 18, and I'm old enough to appreciate it too : )

I like old-


.....old friends, old wine, old manners....



................
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
Bermuda hit it good, and Aydee has a philosophy similar to mine. No mater WHAT you do, it's all a crap shoot. Chase that elusive dollar, even that...no guarantees. But when a few cats can get together and make good music, whether it's just for us...or shared with an audience, that's what it's all about. All the money in the world can't buy that feeling. And as far as I know, they can't pass any laws to take it away. I'll be a drummer 'til I die.
 

DrummerDavid

Senior Member
Ahh yes, I thought I was going to be the next big drummer.

I even told Rod Morgenstein that one day, I was going to be on the cover of Modern Drummer Magazine.

He gave me a look that said "Yeah, Right"..I thought"I am going to prove you wrong"


Damn...he was right...

Now look at me. I am doing something I said I would never do-play in a cover band. I do it just to play drums.
 

Mr. Serpent

Member
Nice answer Bermuda. Puts into perspective.
I was thinking about the drummers who, as teenagers, thought we would be in the next big band, and touring the world. But the reality of what for some of us became the "real world", and we realized that drumming wasn't going to be our "out". However, so many years later, I am still having a blast, and not worried about finding that group of band mates that we might be the next Beatles, or something.
This brings up a good point.

I've been drumming for a few months, I can hold my own but I'm still largely a beginner. At my age (16) I know a fair few people who want to try and make it big in the music business once they leave school. I don't see it happening, not to all of them anyway.

I however, want to drum because I want to drum. I don't ever see myself being big, I've probably started too late for that. But it was just something I wanted to do, regardless of whether I get payed for it or not.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
At 60, I treat my drumming like my other hobby photography. Some days I play really well and other days my photos look like, well, Why did I take that picture. I never thought I would be a professional drummer, and I know I will never be a professional photographer, although I have sold a few. I like music and drumming is my way of being a part of it. I don't dream that I'm in a band while I'm playing, in fact I tend to zone out and think of other things as I play. I get out of it what I put into it. Practice a little, play a lot. When it stops being fun, the Renowns will be for sale.
 
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supermac

Senior Member
Stevo,

Yeah, I'm the same vintage as yourself.

As a kid I was drum crazy.

But my early dreams of "making it" were put to an end by years of doing the soul-destroying cover band circuit when I was in my 20s.

By my 30s, I'd lost interest and become disillusioned with drumming' Somebody stole my kit along with all the band's gear out of the van and that was it, or so I thought!

However, in the last few years, I've been bitten big-style again by the drumming bug.

I bought a new kit, and last week I bought myslef a Roland kit so I can practise almost any time at home. (One of the advantages of having a well-paid day job!)

Some of the guys I played with back in the day have got back togther and we play maybe one gig a month, have a beer and have a laugh, which is just priceless.

I've got to say I think my playing now is better than it ever was.

I'm using a double-kick pedal and I've got to say the standard of modern drumming
is so exciting and challenging and varied and inspiring.

I've built up a nice little library of drumming DVDs which have helped my playing no end - and which weren't around when I started playing.

Weckl, Smith, Portnoy, Lang, Gavin Harrison, Jojo Mayer, Todd Suchermann, Tommy Igoe, John Blackwell, Gregg Bisonette, Steve Gadd, Steve Jordan, some of the metal guys, some of the Latin guys, some of the Gospel guys etc, etc,

As well as my early heroes Bonham, Peart, Cobham, Copeland and Simon Philips, there's just a massive amount of inspiration and variety out there

Long may it continue...
 

Pachikara-Tharakan

Silver Member
Basically, if drumming is something you like, then do it. It doesn't have to lead anywhere, it just has to be enjoyable.

Drumming is rarely a full-time pursuit, even for full-time drummers, and providing a living for yourself and your family comes first. I don't know anybody who claims their instrument is the most important thing in their life, and it would be kinda sad if it was. Just do some drumming when you are able. Sometimes having a busy life makes those moments behind the kit even better.

Bermuda
I am in my 40's, but starting out. Thanks for this, friend. I agree.
absolutely same opinion here. My family and my daytime job comes in first. Then in the eve, I just play along some blues records that I have, in my own way, not per any rules or something but for my own enjoyment. I just watched the videos of drummers and kind of copied it.... nothing complex... but simple.
All I have is a started kit (4 piece) with " Klanky" starter cymbals.

However, I love to see professional technically competent drummers playing live with theatrical chops and several toms and thin shiny Cymbals..
 

sticksnstonesrus

Silver Member
When I was 20, the only program running was to try and be the next big thing. Now...almost 35, with a 13+ year successful Navy career and just a short few more years till my first retirement seems to have the top priority. It has put food on the table, payed the bills, and kept clothes on the family. Having never strayed too far from a drumset, I'm glad I never quit, hiatus at the most. The marker of when to switch focus is a blurred line. One little thing, like a child, is usually the first wedge. Was for me.

My playing, is now split. I play for my church, I play for me, I play to continue the pursuit of accomplishing my age-old dream of notoriety and recognition. Not just for simple talent, but the ability to make music that not only pleases myself, but those who appreciate all of the sacrifices, not just on yourself, it takes to achieve those goals.

I'll play till i can't anymore. I couldn't agree more with Buddy in that when it's time to stop, well, that will be then...and it isn't now.
 

Skacatz

Senior Member
I started out when I was about 10 and played through my 20's. Took about 12 years off when I thought it was more important to be a dad and help my wife raise the kids (hockey practice, football, dancing school, etc)..... Got back into it and actually enjoy drumming more now than when I was younger and am a much better reader than I ever was...l play in a community band with a varied group of musicians of all ages. Also get together to play with guys I have known since school. Other than that I just spend time with the headphones on bangin it out in my garage.....I find it to be very relaxing.
 

Chollyred

Senior Member
Back in the day, there were always visions of finding the right group of guys to actually go somewhere with our music. Closest I ever got was a couple of gospel records and a little studio work. After doing the local bars, VFWs, and such, I pretty much gave up for awhile. Sold my drums, went to college and started real life. Then came marriage and family, etc. and while drums were always in the back of my mind, they just took a back seat to family happiness, and career.

A few years ago, I was missing making music so much, that I took up guitar. I'll never be any good at it, but it helped scratch some of the itch. But it could never replace the drums.

After a 30 year hiatus (I'm 51), I bought a cheap kit with crappy cymbals just to have something to toy around with. No plans to make anyone happy except myself. I also have 3 grandkids that are really getting into it now. So now I'm also giving lessons. Surprisingly, I haven't lost as much as I thought. I've been invited to audition for a new praise band at our church this week. Don't know that I have the chops to make it, but it gives me purpose for my drumming. If not, I'll keep playing just for me. I can't imagine ever quitting again.
 

Leadfoot

Senior Member
I'm 47, in my 33rd year of gigging. I'm basically a weekend warrior, between 2 bands I'm gigging pretty much every weekend. I have to pre-arrange a Saturday night off if I want it.
I took a hiatus a time or two to get over burnout or because of job time restrictions. I take my playing very seriously, try to be as proffessional as possible & won't settle for anything less from the people I play with. I won't use crappy gear nor will I play with people with ego trips or excessive drama surrounding them, it's gotta be fun.
Funny thing is, I do this for enjoyment now, I put the star trip behind me years ago & I'm making three to four times the money as I did when I was trying to do it for a living. Now I don't do any gigs that are farther away than what I want to drive home after the gig, no more road trips for me, I have a home life that's more important and a good enough job to allow me to do it all..
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
But I'm working hard to know who's who and getting back to basics. But do I feel old.
The good news is, the basics of the '60s & '70s still apply. Production values and sounds have changed, but the parts are largely the same. The concept of 2&4 and 'playing the song' are as strong as ever, and the guys doing fireworks are pretty close to what Buddy Rich and Tony Williams were doing back in their day... except that a double pedal has been added. :)

As for the large number of 'flavor of the month' drummers on the covers of Drum and MD, very few have enjoyed more than their 15 minutes. Some are interesting, most are not. I wouldn't trade my modest - and lengthy - career for a few years of fame and an MD spread. I'd rather simmer for life than be a flash in the pan. Hey, that's pretty good!

The drummers we still talk about - Buddy, Gene, Ringo, Charlie, Bonham, Keith, Vinnie, Keltner, Hal Blaine, Gadd, etc - are really the ones worth knowing.

Bermuda
 
T

trkdrmr

Guest
As for the large number of 'flavor of the month' drummers on the covers of Drum and MD, very few have enjoyed more than their 15 minutes. Some are interesting, most are not. I wouldn't trade my modest - and lengthy - career for a few years of fame and an MD spread. I'd rather simmer for life than be a flash in the pan. Hey, that's pretty good!

The drummers we still talk about - Buddy, Gene, Ringo, Charlie, Bonham, Keith, Vinnie, Keltner, Hal Blaine, Gadd, etc - are really the ones worth knowing.

Bermuda
According to the MD reader's ballot I was sent this week, Hal Blaine was not listed in the MD hall of fame. HUH???? Maybe there was a gross oversight, but you know who I voted for!

His Blaemire kit resides at Donn Bennett drum studio in Bellvue, Washington.
 
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