Learning to Play Drums at Age 40

Posted by Mike Schumacher

We’re often told that learning can begin at any age, but is it true for every skill?

This article will uncover how you can learn how to play drums perfectly even at age 40!

But first, let’s analyze if age really has to do anything with learning new skills.

Is age really a barrier?

To be fair, different people hold different opinions on this subject. Some say that age is not a barrier and you can learn any skill at any point in your life. This school of thought seems to think that we don’t ever know what talent we really possess until we try it out.

However, others are of the opinion that ageing makes it really hard to learn something new. According to them, some skills require a lot of brain power and we know that ageing does affect that.



Irrespective of this debate, you should always consider following your own instincts even if others around you hold a different opinion.

Are you up to multitask?

While drumming, one has to actively use not just their brainpower and hands, but also their limbs!

This is why drummers commonly use a term “limb independence” to describe the coordination ability. The physical multitasking is especially necessary for advanced drumming.

How expert drummers utilize their skills?

While playing the drum, a drummer has their right foot on the bass drum, left foot on the “hi-hat”, and their hands on the drums and cymbals.

This is where limb independence kicks in which allows the drumer to play different rhythms with a complete focus on each of them.

Becoming a drummer at age 40!

Every new skill seems difficult to start, but learning it in easy steps can help speed up the progress. The following basic tricks will enable you play the drums at age 40 or even older!

1. Listen to the sound of the beat

Drumming involves fast muscle movement and cognitive abilities. Listening to a lot of drumming can help you memorize how the beats are being played.

It is also brings amazing results if you practice to a beat that was played in your favorite song.

2. Start with the simplest beat

When you begin to play the drum, don’t choose a beat that looks or sounds too easy, but one that you can coordinate well with.

3. Take drumming lessons 

Whether it’s online or through conventional means, taking a few but regular drumming classes with a suitable trainer can polish your skills and set you in the right direction.

4. Practice in front of a mirror

This may sound a little old-school, but watching yourself as you learn is actually a great tip. In doing so, you can quickly point out your flaws and remove them in time.

You can also watch videos of drummers and practice the same on your own drums in small steps.

Getting used to the weight and the feel of the sticks can definitely help become familiar with drumming.


5. Pay attention to your movement

Stay focused on your body language and make sure that your hands and feet are making the move accurately. You should also remain composed and pay attention to the way you breathe. You need to make sure that you are both relaxed and alert.

6. Maintaining your focus

When you are a professional drummer, there are plenty of times when you have to adjust yourself to different types of environment.

Some places have a lot of noise and hence it is important to always carry earplugs with you and to use them accordingly.

7. Be unique in producing your work

Avoid excessively copying other fellow musicians as this will only undermine your own skills and talent. You may carry out online research to come up with new ideas but you should create your own personal product.

How long does it take to learn drumming?

You can learn a simple rock beat in seconds and then spend as much time as you want to master it!

How long we take when learning to play the drums fairly depends on our aptitude and dedication invested in the task.

It could take about nearly a year 10 to 12 months to become proficient and about 2 years to become an advanced drummer. However, you may learn the skill sooner by being persistent in your objective.

What do experts suggest?

According to experts, another good method to expedite your learning is to use electronic drums for practice. These drums are not just beneficial for learning in terms of their sound and smaller size, but also for hours of quiet practice.

Furthermore, there are few issues of volume with electronic drums as compared to the acoustic ones.

The exciting part is that with these kits, you can also share your work online with your friends or fellow drummers.  Sharing your work online can help you get feedback from other fellow drummers and can really benefit you.

What does the research say?

According to a research, drumming lets you access your entire brain and hence it makes you smarter. The transmission of physical energy to your brain improves coordination between the right and left hemispheres.

Furthermore, therapeutic drumming works as a powerful tool to repair damage or impairment in the brain.

The research also says that listening to drumming creates the same effect as drumming itself. This is because drumming creates new neuronal connections in all parts of the brain.


As they say, there is no harm in trying something new. The notion that it’s never too late to learn is oft-quoted because it is indeed true.

As you begin your learning journey, remember that your own uniqueness matters. So if you have been planning to become a drummer, now is the time to look into it!

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