Sometimes I hear discussions about the appropriate age to stop playing drums. The opinions about this topic vary, but I do not think it is an age-related decision. It is, on the contrary; an attitude, health, and ability matter. Specific situations actually evolve and morph into an endless number of possible paths. Physical change isn’t an overnight surprise…..unless you have a serious accident or sudden change in your physical/mental ability.
I believe that the style(s) of music you are performing could be a factor in making changes in your drumming activities. Perhaps cosmetically….physically…..and maybe stamina-wise; certain performance situations become less possible for you to handle. Those are factors that require you to honestly access your ability to fit the requirements of that musical/stage role. Then there are performance situations where your age and a youthful appearance are not as significant as your ability to perform the music well.
In my personal situation, I will continue to perform live as long as I can handle the musical requirements. When and if, physical/health problems become an impediment to performing well; then I will face whatever reality comes along with that. Until then, my white hair doesn’t affect my drumming abilities, my musical experience, and my ability to interpret musical settings with taste and control.
To older drummers, I offer this point-of-view. If you still enjoy your drumming endeavors, and you still can perform to your own honest satisfaction; then continue to pursue your aspirations. If you’re 70 years old, 50 pounds overweight, and look stupid in spandex…..then I’d consider a wardrobe change too.