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Disturber

Is it possible to learn the drums at 48?

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My kid Ivan started playing the drums in September. I bought him a Roland TD-1K set. He loves going to drum class every monday, but yet haven't started bashing a way that much at home.

I however love to sit for an hour or two with headphones on, playing away on the electronic set. I have watched some youtube clips for beginners, but haven't really had time to make up a plan for how I could learn to get better at this for real.

So, any drummers here that could give me some advice on how to become a self taught drummer? Is it to late for a 48 year old man? I don't have a beer gut yet, so that might be a plus. :D

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While I do consider myself a drummer, its been years and years and years since I've had any instruction.  Drums is as much about feel, at least once you've got the basics down, as anything else.  Print out a rudiment's chart and at least try to learn the top 13 or so, this will help with playing as you get better. 

48 is not too old to learn anything.

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You can do it! You have rhythm and you understand music and the drums place in music.I suck but I taught myself 2 years ago. Concentrate on the kick and snare and add hi-hat and whatever else from these. Play along with some easy 4/4 stuff or download a drumbeat app and play along with the easy stuff. I should have done that....

I am no drummer. If a REAL drummer chimes in, who plays REAL drums and is competent at it, ignore everything I have said and listen to them. I really shouldn’t be posting about learning drums in the HFC “Experts” Forum....

...and my resolution this year is to lose the IPA-fueled beer gut that came on in 2017.....

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I started life on drums, but moved to guitar when I got frustrated at making each limb do something different.  But, you definitely can do it.  

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8 hours ago, Disturber said:

 Is it too late for a 48 year old man? I don't have a beer gut yet, so that might be a plus. :D

I picked up electric bass on my own in October 2009. I was 56. By February 2010 I was rehearsing with a band. By March 10 I played my first gig with them. We performed about once a week throughout 2010 and 2011, and sporadically halfway through 2012.

I did have an advantage--I learned a lot of music theory in my piano lessons, I played drums regularly and publicly for 19 years, and I grew up listening to Paul McCartney, Ray Brown, Steve Swallow, Ron Carter, and other intuitive, melodic bassists.

So my point is, what are some of your musical experiences (including listening) that could provide a baseline and frame of reference for how you want to play drums?

 

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If you have basic time, some coordination, and determination.  Of course!

otherwise just have fun beating on them!  Quite fun!

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In the end, it’s all about playing time. You could also take a decent drum computer and play along to the presets. Concentrate on one style after another. If you have the Kontakt player, download the Sennheiser DrumMica. It comes with a whole lot of presets and breaks. If you have the chance, learn from notes. The midi presets could easily be displayed in notes in the DAW or a dedicated note taking prgram.

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11 hours ago, JohnnyB said:

 

So my point is, what are some of your musical experiences (including listening) that could provide a baseline and frame of reference for how you want to play drums?

 

Funny that you say this. I was thinking the same last night when I drove home with the kids in the car after a dinner with friends. I played the live album Elvis in Memphis for the kids on Spotify, in the car. Just trying to give them an education in modern pop rock music history. Then it came to me that I really like the more old school drumming, compared to the more modern styles. So I will try to jam along to some older rock records, to rip of the styles and try to learn some songs. Levon Helm was the greatest drummer ever, and he was self taught. Someone like Clyde Stubblefield is also a classic when it comes down to the funk. Charlie Watts. Bonham of course, but that is over the top for me. Kenney Jones of the Faces, such an awesome drummer. Bill Ward, one of the all time greatest hard rock/metal drummers, Ronnie Tutt (who I think played on the Elvis album I listened to last night) - a classic drummer. And others.... I really like the 1970s style of drumming (and earlier).

 

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I took drum lessons in my 30's, but never became a real drummer.  When friends jammed I could bang away without the correct fills.  Life got busy.  Goodbye drums.  I still want a set and the time to play them. 

At 48 here is what you should consider.  Are you going to be a drummer who can keep time instead of following others in the band?  Playing off of one another makes a difference, but the drummer sets the time.  You also need to set the feel for each song.  If you can do that with your guitar or bass you will understand what to do with your drums.  Timing and feel are more important than any flashiness.  If your goal is to scare Mike Portnoy with your skills, you might do it.  Becoming a solid player who makes a band sound good would be better. 

The only other thing to consider at 48 is your back.  Back problems end drum careers.  Just like some people need to find lighter weight guitars or you might need to find the right drum throne and know your limit on playing.  Bun E. Carlos had to stand during Cheap Trick's "acoustic set" to give his back a break in order to finish a show.  He could not sit for more than 90 minutes or his legs would feel numb.  Neal Peart has mentioned his concern for being able to perform three hours at the level he is known for.  Nigel Glockler was out of Saxon for a short time because of back surgery. 

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^That in mind, I would not start drumming at all.

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Speaking only for myself, I'm finding it hard to learn anything at 51.

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I got an electronic drum set for Christmas 2016.  It took time and patience, but slowly these new coordinations came in to the point where I can drum along with the music played through the headphones.  It has really improved my enjoyment of music- I'm listening for and hearing the drummer's perspective.  Plus I can now properly air-drum while sitting at stoplights!

The 17-year-old Toadroller, however, dove in deep and kicks my ass.  Kids are amazing.

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1 hour ago, kizanski said:

Speaking only for myself, I'm finding it hard to learn anything at 51.

I'm forgetting stuff faster than I can learn new stuff to replace it. 

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Posted (edited)

Timely as I was recently wondering the same thing. I just swapped my TD-3 in for a used TD25kv and  got more serious. I've been watching and working with some youtube vids and am coming along. I could always keep a simple beat, but just starting at the beginning (how to hold sticks properly, etc...) is  very helpful. I'm sure I'll hit a plateau that will be hard to get past but hey, anytime the guitar isn't doing it for me I pickup the sticks and find myself doing an hour or two. 

Just wish my son would take it half as seriously as I do. 

Edited by JES1680

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Posted (edited)

Is it possible?  Yes.

I'm obsessed about aging.  Seeing the deterioration with my parents and what happened with my inlaws and their friends really motivated me to pursue a different path.  Is it inevitable that mind and body go bad?  The more I learn, the more I'm convinced that you can definitely extend your quality of life.   Genetics and environment play their role, no doubt, but we're in a use it or lose it existence.  Demand your brain to keep working and figuring shit out.  Demand your body work hard.  Live with a purpose.  All these things can help.

Learn the drums?  Hell yeah if that's what you want.  Go for it.  It ain't easy, but keep at it.

http://sixtyandme.com/benefits-of-learning-a-musical-instrument-after-50/

Edited by BubbaVO
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When I learn something through the process of repetition, variation on something I already know, and observation, like, say, a golf swing, I invariably come to a new insight in fundamentals of how it works and add that to my arsenal.  "Oh, that's balance; that's a release!"

When I learn something that is a completely new coordination, such as drumming or a juggling trick or a new guitar riff, it's an entirely different experience.  Even going slowly, my mind does NOT want to process it and it fights back.  It's almost physically painful, and I can only put up with it for a few minutes at a time before I have to stand up, walk away, pace, whatever it takes to shake it off.  Then I have to come back to it and try again.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  When the breakthrough comes- and it does come, eventually- it is such a mental release; very euphoric.  I think at that point, it moves into my first category- it's a coordination I now understand and possess, and can go about observing variations on the theme.

Learning is tough work, but the payoff is huge.

That said, I will never get to this level of paradiddle, though I did once achieve, for a brief, shining moment, the process he starts breaking down at 1:51.

 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Toadroller said:

When I learn something through the process of repetition, variation on something I already know, and observation, like, say, a golf swing, I invariably come to a new insight in fundamentals of how it works and add that to my arsenal.  "Oh, that's balance; that's a release!"

When I learn something that is a completely new coordination, such as drumming or a juggling trick or a new guitar riff, it's an entirely different experience.  Even going slowly, my mind does NOT want to process it and it fights back.  It's almost physically painful, and I can only put up with it for a few minutes at a time before I have to stand up, walk away, pace, whatever it takes to shake it off.  Then I have to come back to it and try again.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  When the breakthrough comes- and it does come, eventually- it is such a mental release; very euphoric.  I think at that point, it moves into my first category- it's a coordination I now understand and possess, and can go about observing variations on the theme.

Learning is tough work, but the payoff is huge.

I just remembered--not only is learning an instrument possible in the late 40s to early 60s, it's one of the best ways to maintain mental acuity and slow down the onset of memory loss, Alzheimer's, etc.

I read This is Your Brain on Music about 7 years ago, and the author did research on what happens in your brain when you listen to or play music. His findings were that listening to music exercises your brain more than any other activity except playing music. So yeah, whang on those drums, turn on music to play to (which will do wonders for tempo and time discipline), plink on a keyboard, thrum a bass, strum a guitar, pick a mandolin. If you have any doubts, check out the life expectancies of classical music directors. They typically are actively directing 80--90 piece orchestras into their 80s and 90s.

512RNWyeofL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Neville Marriner, Leopold Stokowski, Andres Segovia, Pablo Casals and many, many others all performed into their 90s and were lucid to the end.

Edited by JohnnyB
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There are many DVD sets out there to get you started.

I also sat in on my son's lessons and watched and took notes. 

I can keep a beat, I don't practice enough.  Some day I hope. 

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Funny, I just purchased an Alesis Nitro kit to start learning a month or two ago because our Church is having a hard time finding drummers. I just pick a song, find a drum tutorial on youtube and keep playing it till I get it down. Maybe someday I will be able to get it down enough. I agree about the feel of drums. It makes such a difference to have a really good drummer that can work the feel of the song.

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It is NOT possible to learn ANY instrument at 48.

 Some years ago I used to teach guitar, my young pupils put in the practice and therefore made ground so week on week they were slightly more advanced, my adult (30/40 plus years of age) students had other family and work commitments which meant that practice was either always interrupted or not done so week on week no advancement was made. Plus, at 48 your expectation will be too exaggerated and after a couple of months you'll give up after not achieving your goal and your drum kit will end up on Craig's list.

Best to tell it like it is.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Fast Eddie said:

It is NOT possible to learn ANY instrument at 48.

 Some years ago I used to teach guitar, my young pupils put in the practice and therefore made ground so week on week they were slightly more advanced, my adult (30/40 plus years of age) students had other family and work commitments which meant that practice was either always interrupted or not done so week on week no advancement was made. Plus, at 48 your expectation will be too exaggerated and after a couple of months you'll give up after not achieving your goal and your drum kit will end up on Craig's list.

Best to tell it like it is.

Real.

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Don Imus asked Delbert McClinton's guitarist Gary Nicholson if he could teach Imus to play guitar.  Delbert told Imus, "You ain't got enough time!"

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