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As we get older…

SY-ya-nara

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When a young sprout I learned from any and everyone I could of all genres and was growing. Started teaching and man that did l ever learn a lot from that! Private studio to University, my motto was teech’em GUD.
Growth
Understanding
And the D was for drumming, but I had my students as an assignment find another D. Diversity. Dynamics. And the list goes on and on. Also I did encourage them to “Remember, the life you live off the throne does affect your life on the throne.”

Then I reached an age where I was practicing to maintain.

Then I reached an age where I was practicing to slow the decline.

The doctors can help with your arthritis and such only to a point. I’m spending a lot more time now on simple syncopation challenges, metric modulation challenges etc. which do not require great chops because mine are chopped.

I wonder how others have dealt with aging?
 

Mcjnic

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My playing is not what it was, but I’m ok with that.
I figure … each one of us is blessed with gifts … and each gift has a season.
When I was younger, it was drumming.
As I grew, it was “something” else entirely.
Middle age rolled in yet another “something” that brought joy and happiness to my life.
And now that I’m dancing with a new number, “something” else has risen to shine.
Each successive gift is more “real” to my life … and it hits at just the right time.
I love the continuing discovery of what my life is made up of.
Not much better than that.
 

DanRH

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I think the key is not to deny the inevitable, try not to get stuck in history mode, and simply (HA!) enjoy the current moment.
I agree with this. I played a three hour gig last night and I’m getting ready to ride a seven day, 545 mile bike ride tomorrow morning. I’m 68. I’m doing it all while I can.
 

Hop

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I agree with this. I played a three hour gig last night and I’m getting ready to ride a seven day, 545 mile bike ride tomorrow morning. I’m 68. I’m doing it all while I can.
And that's such a great point about doing it while you can.
I have a friend that just now is coming on to the conclusion that he he is getting older (62), which for years he seemed to deny. I've always been a bit pragmatic, and recall something my cousin once said while we were out golfing that helped me get a grip on the concept sooner rather than later. I was talking about life being about half over just having celebrated a birthday (I think I was in my early-mid 40's) and he said something to the effect of, "It's more than half over if you count the quality of life." That was something to ponder for sure!
 

SY-ya-nara

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I officially retired from music around the early 90s, and lost much of the muscle tone and muscle memory and yada yada because I was just playing at playing.
 

Pat A Flafla

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I recently passed my chops zenith. I realize I could easily injure myself fighting to regain that 2% I lost off the top. I don't think anyone can hear the difference yet, but I can sure feel it. Nonetheless, I've started spending most of what used to be my heavy practice days with my granddaughter instead. Years from now I don't think I'll regret trading some chops retention for that.
 

SY-ya-nara

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Staying in shape the best you can will certainly add years to your drumming.
Amen to that brother. I never used a roadie, or a groupie, had to haul things like complete set of chimes, Timps up and down four flights of stairs etc while drumming, Then spent about 15 years sitting at a desk doing IT work. I was no no no I don’t do that no more about the green stuff that 15 year period but did not stay in shape. Ended up overweight and prediabetic which is not an issue anymore but is like closing the barn door after the horse is out.
 
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paul

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I'm 74, and played a four hour gig with my rock band last night. I'd been a little concerned, having not done a rock gig that long in several months, but it went fine. A few weeks ago I did two three hour jazz gigs on the same day at different venues, also without any problem. And tomorrow I'll be up early for the weekly jazz brunch we've been playing since mid-September.

I worry often that I won't recognize the day to retire when it comes, but am pretty sure others will do so for me. In the meantime, as long as I can get my gear to the gig and home again after, and as long as the phone rings with people who want me, I'll do this as long as I can. I still work on getting better at things, not always successfully, but sometimes more so than expected. I think what has helped me over the years is getting to play with people who push me to play better, regardless of the genre. My fellow musicians don't let me rest. And that helps a LOT.

Basically, I think a lot of it is genes. Mine allow me to keep doing what I love while others are forced to give it up. I feel very fortunate.
 

SY-ya-nara

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….

I worry often that I won't recognize the day to retire when it comes, but am pretty sure others will do so for me.

I feel very fortunate.
My decision to retire was purely financial. I knew I’d have no retirement savings that I could really live on for any length of time. The 50 year old Oklahoma Symphony orchestra had just folded. The Oklahoma City Philharmonic sprang up in its place and the union told us we could work fewer gigs for even less money per gig.

I have seen some of the greats play after they really should have retired, but I think money drives a whole lot of musicians both young and old. Others play what they can just out of the sheer love of music.

Edit to add: just being alive is fortunate enough for me.
 

BennyK

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So much of my identity had been tied up with not so much playing the drums, but in being a drummer . I spent too many years playing music I didn't like with people I cared for even less in place$ I never $hould have been .

I ain't dancin' with that devil anymore .
 
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dale w miller

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Edit to add: just being alive is fortunate enough for me.

Interesting you added that. Other than being there for the people who need or care for me, I couldn’t care less if I died tomorrow. Depressing I know, but I’ve been doing the same mess over & over for 20+ years and it’s gotten old.

Don’t get me wrong, that moment on stage or working on new material with a band still fires me up, my family is really awesome, but the day to day grind where I fill it with things like eating something fun or go down to the beach & stare at the ocean for 30 minutes just to make it through the average day is pathetic.
 

SY-ya-nara

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Interesting you added that. Other than being there for the people who need or care for me, I couldn’t care less if I died tomorrow. Depressing I know, but I’ve been doing the same mess over & over for 20+ years and it’s gotten old.

Don’t get me wrong, that moment on stage or working on new material with a band still fires me up, my family is really awesome, but the day to day grind where I fill it with things like eating something fun or go down to the beach & stare at the ocean for 30 minutes just to make it through the average day is pathetic.
Every day that I can be of even the slightest help to someone in need in whatever way if there be any form of suffering I can ease, whatever.

love to smile I think there’s not enough smiles in the world and I would like to have a few more before I die but I too am ready to go. I thought 50 was old enough.
 

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I'm rapidly facing this, I'm having open heart surgery next month and I will be off the kit for a while. I don't know if I can be off a kit that long without giving it up. I've been walking 5 miles a day, drumming for about an hour a day and eating right and it will be a concern for a while. Mentally, physically it's a lot to work through and will need more of both post-op to just get back to "normal". So it's day by day.
 

SY-ya-nara

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I'm rapidly facing this, I'm having open heart surgery next month and I will be off the kit for a while. I don't know if I can be off a kit that long without giving it up. I've been walking 5 miles a day, drumming for about an hour a day and eating right and it will be a concern for a while. Mentally, physically it's a lot to work through and will need more of both post-op to just get back to "normal". So it's day by day.
Getting old ain’t for sissies! It is a lot to work through. They say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you tougher. The only problem with that is you’ll never know if it’s not making you tougher get my point?
 


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