Very Rusty from Inactivity

MntnMan62

Junior Member
I've been playing the drums off and on since I was about 12. I'm now 57. I'd like to start playing again but haven't had much time to work on chops or tunes or anything. I reached out to an ad in Craigslist for guys looking to jam on a semi regular basis. They've circulated a song list and the jam is this Saturday. Today I sat down to listen to the tunes and see if I could play them at a reasonable level. Some I could do ok and others were a total failure. Here's my question. Should I just let the guy know that I'm far more rusty than I thought and back out or should I just go and give it a shot?
 
51 year old here. About fifteen years back, when I got back into playing with some neighborhood guys after taking most of a decade off, my biggest problem was stamina—never mind the punkish tempos I'd been able to handle in my youth, I was getting winded after a few 120 bpm songs. So for the first few jams, I'd start playing quarter notes at that point, rather than eighths, with the right hand. After a few tunes, one of the guitarists mentioned I really loved that spacious soul feel. I laughed and admitted I just couldn't keep up. He claimed he wouldn't have known if I hadn't said anything. And after a few more sessions, I'd built my endurance back up at least a bit.

All of which is to say, make sure you know the songs, concentrate on keeping a steady beat, and have fun, even if you have to skimp on some of the cool licks you used to be able to pull off.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Thanks guys. I’m going to spend time tomorrow and during the day on Saturday to learn the tunes and try to shake off some of the rust. If I end up sucking big time, oh well. That can serve as even more motivation. I appreciate the advice and agree with you.
 

davor

Senior Member
From the list of songs, you might find you can play some better/ easier than others....what I did in this scenario was, just say at the start of the jam you're cool with songs A, B, C but haven't got X, Y, Z tight yet. If the band are laid back, they should be ok with this

And if you (and they) are happy to have another jam, you'll have more time to tighten them all up (and remove some more rust!)
 

cdar

Junior Member
Our stories are the same... I was rusty as hell and said so and they just wanted a drummer to play with, good or bad... from their perspective, maybe you're awesome
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Don't judge yourself after just one round of practice. Shake it off, keep going. Woodshed those difficult parts, and go for it.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I'll try to shake off some of the rust.
50 y/o here: Stamina is an issue for me as well. That became quickly apparent when I was asked to play some early Metallica.
Just do the best you can and let them tell you what's up.

As for the rust, just follow the advise of Joe Dirt: "That shit'll buff out!" :ROFLMAO:
 

danondrums

Well-known member
For me, there is only one correct, and very personal answer to this one.
If you will feel negative/sad if you show up and sound bad and feel like you ruined a jam for others, then don't do it.
If you let stuff like that roll off your shoulders and can chalk it up to a fun experience regardless of outcome, then go for it.

We all react differently to different situations. My personal approach on this is that if I'm going to go play music with other people, I need to be able to play musically. If I'm not confident in that then I don't have a good time. I started playing last summer after 10 years off. I practiced daily for 4 months before I started contacting groups. I needed that level of proficiency to feel like I was bringing a fair amount of technique into the room with the players I want to play with.

It's all very personal though and there is no right/wrong answer. I would not expect my approach to work for any other human on the planet. If someone told me I were wrong I wouldn't value their opinion very much as they clearly believe everyone experiences the world the same way they do, which is an annoying trait to say the least. :)
 
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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
50 y/o here: Stamina is an issue for me as well. That became quickly apparent when I was asked to play some early Metallica.
Just do the best you can and let them tell you what's up.

As for the rust, just follow the advise of Joe Dirt: "That shit'll buff out!" :ROFLMAO:
50 year old here as well, and that statement is going up on my wall!!!!!
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
So I spent some time today playing to Youtube videos of some of the tunes. While I am in no way ready to hit the stage, I think I'm at a level where I can jam and have some fun. I've been to lots of jams over the years and have seen lots of guys who thought they could play and the difference between them and me was night and day. I'm not bragging mind you. Just saying that I'm going to give this a shot. If I suck, I'll let them tell me that. And I'll chalk it up to my late in life growing pains of getting back into my instrument after about 15 years of sporadic playing, at best.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I didn't touch a stick for 5 yrs. When I did though, I went straight to the practice pad for several months. Even then I went and played a marching snare with big sticks out in the woods for a whole summer before I felt okay getting on a drumset. Most of it had to do with relearning the traditional grip, but I imagine it would still apply to match grip as well.

 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Ok guys. A little update. I went to the jam session today. But first let me add that several months ago I had jammed with some other people two or three times and it pretty much sucked. I had considered those jams bad because I was never able to lock on to the bass player and frankly, the guitar player was just bad. But back then I put it all on my own shoulders. So jump to today. 3 guitars, bass, harmonica and me. We ran through a bunch of classic rock and blues tunes and I have to say it was awesome. It was awesome in that we sounded pretty good for none of us ever having met each other before. And for me, I felt loose, kept good time and was able to groove. This was a huge confidence booster for me and I realized that I don’t suck. And one guitarist and the bassist both asked me if I would be into filling in for their drummers when they can’t play. All in all, I’m glad I didn’t back out. Thanks to everyone for your feedback and input. Now I have real motivation to practice and work on my chops.
 
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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Ok guys. A little update. I went to the jam session today. But first let me add that several months ago I had jammed with some other people two or three times and it pretty much sucked. I had considered those jams bad because I was never able to lock on to the bass player and frankly, the guitar player was just bad. But back then I put it all on my own shoulders. So jump to today. 3 guitars, bass, harmonica and me. We ran through a bunch of classic rock and blues tunes and I have to say it was awesome. It was awesome in that we sounded pretty good for none of us ever having met each other before. And for me, I felt loose, kept good time and was able to groove. This was a huge confidence booster for me and I realized that I don’t suck. And one guitarist and the bassist both asked me if I would be into filling in for their drummers when they can’t play. All in all, I’m glad I didn’t back out. Thanks to everyone for your feedback and input. Now I have real motivation to practice and work on my chops.
yep...sometimes you just have to jump in the water so to speak...is there another practice planned?
 
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