Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by 8len8, Jun 14, 2019.
I like the player I turned into. Didn’t anticipate losing the passion for playing out.
I'm probably doing better than I imagined. I 've been in the same little band for 17 years and have been performing with the same bassist for over 25 years.
I'm 7 years older right now, than my Dad was the day I left my smaller town at 19 for the big-time try. I almost instantly saw a side of life that I had never really knew existed in real life, thought existed largely just in movies. It was a hard life for quite a few long years. Most of the guys I played with have had hard lives riddled with Divorce, addiction, etc. Bass player in and out of Jail, singer went on to success in Silicon Valley only to become a meth addict and lose it all. I have great stories...but I leave out the parts that were the worst of human behavior and people using each other. I'm glad I did it, and I've grown as a Musician much more since about 35 on. When I was in my 20's I had all the time in the World to play, practice...but had no money, and few options other than surviving. 30's-and mid 40's I had pretty good money, but no time to be "part of something". Kind of did the Home Studio thing and refocused myself from being in a group to being a songwriter/Musician on my own. My 50's have found me realizing that I'm never going to be a Fortune 500 CEO, or a Leader of any big Company. I am what I am, and Music and Performing with fellow Musicains brings me joy. All I really want is to be true to myself and be a good Musician.....
I was fascinated with music before I could walk. My determination to learn an instrument was because of that, not because of any particular fantasy of doing something with it other than sating my curiosity and fascination.
I grew up in a very bad situation, I was asked to leave high school because I was a "bad influence", and was the worst looking most unlikely to succeed in school.
So, needless to say, I didn't exactly start out shooting for the stars, my main objective in life was to escape the situation I was in and cut a path to a better one.
I went to one of my high school reunions and walked up to a chick I had known since grade school and told her I was surprised to see her there, her reply being "I am surprised you are not in jail".
Now, I am an old dude who has accomplished far more in life than I ever imagined, accomplished everything I wanted to do in music and a whole lot more.
And far surpassed what those around me, including family, ever expected.
I am well educated in music and other post high school education, and still too stubborn to not advance myself.
Granted, as I say, my self expectations weren't exactly lofty, but I am quite amazed at how things turned out, and well pleased. If I die tonight, I die satisfied and content.
I was a teenager in the late 1970s and I used to fantasize myself doing what Bryan Adams ended up doing in the early 1980s - singing, writing, and playing catchy sounding tunes with a hard rock edge to them.
No. I'm not a good singer, and of the few songs I've written I can think of only two that have a 'hook' to them.
As for the gear, when I was a teen I dreamed of owning a guitar collection and a few good amps, but in those days I had just one guitar and one amp.
At the moment I have the collection I want, but I'm not playing the music I dreamed of playing.
I think I’d feel pretty bad if I was. I’ve been happy my whole life playing music, learning and writing songs, playing in bands.
But my taste, ability, and goals have changed over the years. I was (to my ears from recordings) pretty good for a seventeen y.o. And up, playing in a band that was amazingly tight, getting gigs.
But at the time I wanted to be a star, and some years later I realized I really didn’t...I just want to play music, in bands and solo, get gigs when I wanted and had no desire (and honestly...the odds were way against me anyway) to be famous. Or have contractual obligations to record, etc.
I have the best of both worlds. I was really good as a young man, but as I aged...I didn’t get exponentially better. I mean it is notable when a kid is playing well, tastefully, has their own style but also chops. When you get to your twenties is when that stops. Then your age isn’t in the equation and I would say I’m pretty good, but not like some folks that are amazing. I can play what I want to hear.
I’m very happy that I can play. Your way of playing evolves also, I can “trust” myself when playing and not be nervous as I used to. Comfortable.
Angus made me pick up a guitar. About 8 years ago I saw an ad for a "Country/Southern Rock" band. I thought...well I do tons of southern rock and I'd love to learn more country. We may have done one southern rock song. "Chickin picking" guitarist ended up quitting...so started to study it. Been playing it ever since....and I seriously love it.
BUT....I'm getting a side band together as a Clapton tribute...dusting off my minor scales. Should be fun.
I'm 60 now! I didn't really visualize myself at this age, but here I am. To answer the OP - I didn't expect to be what I am now, but I'm ok with that. I've always been an improviser.
It's surprising though to some of my long time pals that the musical format I loved as a young man is still my favorite - 2 guitars, bass and drums.
I do like to listen to and try to play lots of other styles and genres.
My long time band has fallen victim to entropy - work pressures, family obligations, relocation, and death. That's put some headwinds on my playing, but I keep my hand in.
I still have the old JCM800 and Les Paul - but I'm thinking about selling off a lot of my gear.
Technically, on a guitar....sure.
Career-wise....not even close and that's a dam good thing.
I started playing after I heard some Blues guitarists. After a year I started to learn how to play faster, and faster and kept at it for a while. Now I'm back to playing the music that made me start playing. So, yes?
My 18 year old self had no clue, limited vision and only raw potential. He may not agree with everything I did to arrive here, but I took all that raw material as a starter kit and did some amazing stuff. Big mistakes, yeah sure. But that kid didn't know squat.
I'm actually what I didn't want to become -- lame
I started playing acoustic at 13 ( covering a lot of Neil Young - Down By The River ) I still own my first acoustic ( a 1973 BC Rich B28)
Today.. I am still in that vein of music ( more Americana, country rock, folk, gospel)
And I play / give lessons with the instruments I gig with: mandolin, keys, pedal steel, and lap steel.
Never thought I would still be playing / teaching at this level ( with 40 students +)
But I am more picky with my gigs, who I play music with. And spending more time with my wife ( 37 years married ) and kids / granddaughters.
I would tell my young self to enjoy the ride: time really does fly by quickly.
Didn’t think I’d make it past 35, so I’m winging it. No complaints, but more than a few regrets.
My life, then through now, can best be described as an absence of anything remotely resembling imagination.
My folks have told me that I started playing between 6 and 7 years old. They had tried piano previously and I did not like it at all. My playing really started ramping up when I heard that first VH album. I would practice sometimes the entire day.
I have never stopped playing and enjoying the music. I have been in a bunch of bands over many years. I stopped playing in bands for quite some time due to kids and career (kids are still fairly young as we had them a bit later) but I can’t complain. Instead I did a bunch of commercial and B movie soundtrack work. You could do quite well back in the day before the home studio thing became more prominent and if you had some decent chops and could read music. It was a fun side job to have. I knew a few people that helped me get a few breaks here and there and that did not hurt.
These days I play regularly with a fun bunch of gents in a band. We have a gig every month and sometimes more so it keeps the fun going. Other than that, I was never looking for anything more. For me, playing music at rehearsals and live is a real stress reliever.
As a musician and guitarist I'm better than I imagined. As a human, eh, not so much.
Teen self wanted to be Brian Jones or John Lennon.
Old self is hippie trash jam slut with a slight jazz problem.