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Age difference...how much does it matter?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mike_v_s, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Recently I began working with a younger guy (he's 19, I'm 30). It came out that he plays drums and he spends a bit of time playing beats on various surfaces at lunch. He's good. Very good. I'm sure he's amazing behind a kit.

    I'm apprehensive about setting up a "jam" for fear of what I'm sure will eventually happen. Among them: 1)availability of practice time will vary, and 2) he's never been in a band before, and once the bug bites....I'm betting he'll want more time than I have. Lastly, I've always been in bands that with people I got along with. Beer after (or during) practice, etc, etc, etc. The only connection I have with this guy is music. I'm married, he's still trying to figure out how to ask a girl out (literally). I'm in a career, he's not sure if he wants to go to college. You get the point.

    So....anyone ever been faced with this issue? I haven't played with a drummer of his ilk (I can't emphasize the raw talent enough) for some time and the prospect is quite tantelizing....but I hate to set myself up for a doomed situation. Advice? Anecdotes?

  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    It could be fun if he's got a good attitude, and you're not afraid you might be gay.
  3. He's got a great attitude about my sexuality.

  4. I'm 46. In trying to form a band, I've had several "adventures". Age has been one of many factors, but it's not as bad as you think.

    It doesn't matter if everyone you jam with is your age, EVERYONE has varying degrees of availability to practice. It all depends on job and family demands, transportation, and degree of dedication. If you jam and it seems like a good thing, have an honest talk about his and your expectations, particularly concerning practice schedules. If he (or you) can't live up to the expectations, then it's time to move on. This is true in every case.

    Like you, I've been friends with most of the guys I've been in a band with, but sometimes it's not a good thing. My friends (and I'm guilty, too) will often do things that they "know" they can get away with because of friendship that people on a more professional basis wouldn't do.

    I think you should jam with the guy, see if it clicks, and then discuss exactly where you want it to go before you go any further.

    I was in my first band at 18. Two guitar players (one 18, the other 19) and I decided to form a group and we auditioned drummers. After six unsuccessful tryouts, the 18 year old guitar player said he was so sick of listening to crappy drummers, he was almost ready to ask his little brother (12!) to try out. The other guitar player and I said to bring him over. He got the gig and we lasted for about three years. The difference between 18 and 12 is a lot bigger that 19 and 30.

    Give it a shot.
  5. 1. Practice availability will always be an issue, no matter the age of any individual musician you may meet.

    2. You never know. He may jam with you, take his kit outside and burn it.

    Lastly... as was mentioned above, you never know! So what if you don't know much about the guy yet, give'em a chance! There's no harm in that and it's the only way you'll ever know if something could've ever came out of such a simple arrangement.

    I've played with guys my age, and guys double that and then-some... I'm only 20 and I've found that music is the single greatest common ground you can share with individuals of any age, so on, so forth, so like I said, you have nothing to lose if you just try :smug:
  6. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I'm 41. My current bandmates are 52, 55,55 and 56. Go for it.
  7. Don't sweat it. You'll have differences in experience and outlook, but that makes for an interesting jam provided you don't butt heads too much. Could be a great time. You'll never know unless you just give it a shot. My band has gigged with other bands with band members varying from 40 to 19 as well, and they all worked well. I noticed that that younger guys acted older and the older guys acted like kids again. It can be wierd sometimes, but unless you've got another jam going, why not give it a whirl?
  8. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I think your worried about the band breaking up before it even gets started.
    It can't hurt to give it a shot.
    Who knows the guy might might be able to play beats but can't keep a song together.
    Have a go.
  9. +1 Give it a chance

    ...but keep in mind that you have already made a few choices in life (career, marriage, etc) which he still has to make. These choices will influence his availability for making music (with you).

    I'm in a band where everybody is 30+. We are all married with careers and children. We know how much time we can invest in the band. Our female singer is 23. She has just graduated, is still looking for the wright job, has a boyfriend, etc. So here situation is not so stable as ours. We are OK with this but we keep in mind that she might leave the band because of changing priorities.
    If you are OK with this possibility then just give it a try. You might find he's vue on life very refreshing. (I know we do with our young singer)
  10. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    If you hit it off make it clear where you stand on your time and how involved you can be. My band found a great player (guitar) who was 17 he was a great shredder but loved old school rock and jazz...we got him right where we needed him before he got sick and driffed away (kids) he knew where we stood as a band of older 40 and up married with jobs guys. I posted here a while back about the dude that replaced him...hes 40 out of the pen for 3 yrs no job or car...no kids live with him so hes free to play and practice wnhen ever...he got on us for only practicing once a week for 4 hard hours...we set him stright about the involment in this band and everything seems good now.You might enjoy playing with him what do you got to loose.
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I'll be 40 next month. I have been playing with guys 12 - 16 years younger than me for the last few years. As long as I keep coloring my hair it's no problem.:)
  12. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    :p :p :D :D Thats great.....butttt i have no hair:bawl:
  13. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    I've once had a problem with a sax player I used to play with. He was about 30 years older than me. Even though he was decent on sax and a good fit musically for the band, we just didn't mesh personally. He just wasn't our kind of guy. Sometimes it just doesn't work out.
  14. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    Music is about taking a risk sometimes...try it out, see if it works...
  15. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    I am 11 years older than the NEXT youngest member in my band.

    does it matter? Not a bit. It's about playing music. I am not some old, grey-haired slob either.

    I'm amazed that some bands on Craigs List advertise only for bassists "17-25" or some such - as if it's age that matters (if you're a cover band, it just doesn't).

    I always thought it was about musical ability, stage presence, attitude....
  16. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Age really never matters, maturity and personality (and talent level) mean so much more if you want things to be successful.

    I'm 54 years old and have played with people of all different ages. One of the most successful and enjoyable bands I was with was a 6 piece funk/jazz band for 4 years. The day I went to audition, the keyboard player (band leader) was standing outside and I asked him if his father was home :eek: He looked like he was 12 years old (actually 26 but very young looking), but was a great guy and an excellent musician. The band ranged from 22 years old to me at 54, and a variety of ages in between ......
  17. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I'm 30. Every band I've ever been, since I was 15, that played any gigs and made money, featured me as the youngest player. I'm suspicious of anyone under 25, since I've never been able to get them to take playing music seriously, but then, there are plenty of older cats I've jammed with that didn't want to work hard, either. I think that it's a matter of how much priority a person puts on music, and that's not necessarily linked to their age.
  18. Go for it. Isn't that what music's about, Breaking down boundaries? It is for me!

  19. Are we brothers? Your story is a mirror of my experience (except we were all 18/19 year old guys, and we picked up a 17 year old female drummer - not like that (geeez)). I'm in that mid-40 category, and I've run into some AWESOME guitar players that are up for fun gigs - we just can't find a drummer (and since we're all married with kids, no 17 year old female drummers need apply.)
  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    ... and they call you "the kid," right?