Take up drums at age 56?

I know this technically has nothing to do with high end audio but I know there are some drummers here that might be able to help me along here....or tell me to skip it altogether. And it does have to do with music.

I'm almost embarrassed to even post this. I'm 56. I have never played a musical instrument other than dabbling with a harmonica. I do not read music. I am certain that I'll never perform for anyone or play in a band.

But I've always wanted to play drums.

And now I have enough money to get a simple cheap used drum kit and I have a basement that is isolated enough to not bother the neighbors. (I actually have an acquaintance who refurbishes used drums who can probably hook me up).

So I have a couple of questions:

1) Can you teach yourself to play drums? Alone or with YouTube etc? Are actual lessons required? Can I skip the practice pad and start with a kit?

2) Is there any point? In other words, even if I were to learn to play are the drums the kind of instrument that you sit down and play for your own pleasure the way you would a guitar?

My realistic expectation is that I'd get a simple kit. Try to do something with it. Find that it is much harder to do than it looks, especially for a guy with two left feet. It sits in the basement for a while and then I sell it for a big loss but hopefully at least happy that I tried it.

Any other thoughts on the matter?

(If totally inappropriate for this site I have no problem removing the post.....especially if someone points me to a better site for the topic.)

Thanks for the encouragement guys. Will have to see if that used electric kit hangs around the music store a little longer. I've pretty much concluded that an acoustic set would be my preference and also the best bang for the buck but would also get used way less due to sound levels. So if that used electric kit is around in a few weeks I might get the nerve to go get it.

I've been practicing on the new harmonica and have found that it is something I can do. In other words, I'm not even playing my way through a song but I can do all the things required to. I can hit all the single notes. I can bend notes. I can string the notes together with decent timing. What this tells me is that with practice I should be able to play this thing. Can already do most of the opening section of Love Me Do. 
@bigkidz : That Rundgren song is always in my head.
Drummer for 43 years now and took private lessons for six years weekly in school with a very accomplished Jazz instructor/drummer. Never went professional but in high school played against Bill Stewart at State Jazz Band. If you have never heard of Bill Stewart, you should. Great drummer.

First I’d say start small and cheap and buy used. Start with a snare and start on your rudiments as suggested earlier. If you think you’re going to get descent without learning your basic rudiments you better join a punk band. If you find you’re liking it and putting in the time buy a kick drum and a hi hat only and work on your coordination skills. The snare drum that is cheap and great is a Ludwig Acrolite from the 80’s; 70’s is better for vintage resale but will cost you more and why pay the difference. Spend some time and learn how to tune a drum properly as there’s plenty of good YouTube videos. Might not be a bad idea to take a few lessons but come on, are you going to want to do that for long? No. But take a couple to learn your rudiments properly, work on your grip and hopefully she or he will give you great direction moving forward. My first instructor made me play snare for three years before starting on the kit, but you don’t have that kind of time, right?

Evntually add a floor tom and then a rack tom. You’re thinking, “What the hell you telling me? Assemble this kit one piece at a time and have a mix of shells that don’t match?” Yes, and it’s called a jelly bean kit so let’s work on our drum vocabulary next, because you need to start hanging out at drums shops and bars talking to drummers. Seriously, start small and cheap and build a jelly bean kit. I’d buy the cheapest drums over cheap cymbals. With decent heads and knowing how to tune a kit you can make cheap drums sound good, but there is no fixing crappy cymbals. So same principal to cymbals. Buy used and few, Bozzio.

Don’t buy a cheap digital kit. Buy an acoustic kit and there’s lots of ways to control the volume such as mesh heads, practice pads, lighter sticks or cool rods. Part of the fun of being a drummer is learning the hardware, how to tune, and learning about different drums, companies, different woods and construction techniques and etc. it’s a lot like being an audiophile but cooler and people will want to hang with you.

Wouldn’t hurt to learn how to read music a little and learn how to count and keep time. If you take it serious in a year you’ll still suck but will be on your way. No seriously in a year you’ll be surprised how far you’ve come from day one. You’re never to old to have fun... just do it. If in a year you just don’t get it, there’s always the electric bass.

Here’s one of my favorite drummers that proves it not the kit but the drummer.


Now everone wants to play the drums. Enjoy.
Get a teacher....you need to know the proper basic stuff
I mentioned Bill Stewart in my previous post. I never get tired of watching this.