JK Drum Solutions: Drum Set Instruction, Transcriptions and Educational Podcasts
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#4 "You Have To Start Young"
A call of support to the beginning adult student

   A saying like "You Have To Start Young" presumes or strongly implies the following:
(a) you are not young
(b) you missed the boat to start learning an instrument
(c) don't bother trying to prove (a) or (b) false.

   There is no sense to starting young as a rule. I have taught many young children and some just do not come with a temperament for any discipline (or even "fun" discipline) while some are old souls and go with the flow. There's not always much you can do if the child has a conniption every time you ask them to try something or is more concerned with the clock on the wall. It certainly doesn't mean they should not play drums. It doesn't mean they shouldn't take lessons - just not yet. It's not a failure on the child's part but it can be a pointless investment for the parent during such a time. An honest teacher will let you know if a child is not ready for lessons. So enough about them kids! So you're an adult who wants to start...you're never too late!

You Have To Start When You Are Young 1
"Hello, I'd like to start lessons..."
   Perhaps you can argue if you started music earlier you would have been better by now, however that presumes you would have been in the right mindset - which you weren't - so you didn't start then. And now that you are in the right mindset, you are starting...now. So now that you are starting or feel ready, who cares about the past. Have fun.   Here are the necessary factors for starting to play any instrument:
     (a) interest/curiosity/inspiration
     (b) in most cases, the actual instrument.

   But we need something after the initial “woo hoo” to keep us at it. There is a point where even inspiration may crumble under the merciless onslaught of things like work, school, family, social life, work, work and work. You know - reality! That aside - the number one obstacle to our pursuing music is ourselves! Unnecessary judgments, expectations or misconceptions completely take the energy out of learning and practicing. So if you are interested in learning an instrument as an adult and hear “you have to start young” or similar - you are going to be deterred. It's a defeatist, unresolvable lie.

   But once you start to tear those inclinations apart thread by thread you will only discover you are most certainly allowed to enjoy where you are at the moment, at whatever age that you start. That headspace alone is the absence of being concerned how old you are. In my experiences, some of the best musicians were people who simply enjoyed playing and thus they enjoyed the process of learning at whatever pace. I highly doubt there is a complicated reason behind that. What do you think?

   At worst, if you think you suck - enjoy it! Take it from Dave Grohl: http://loudwire.com/dave-grohl-blasts-tv-singing-competitions

   Of the adult students of mine who were lucky enough to follow through on their interest in drumming, some initially comment, “I should have started earlier”. Nope. Who cares when you start, be glad you started and don't look back.

   Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms? I'm open to read your thoughts!