Giving up on the Band Thang

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by mikeguy53, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. mikeguy53

    mikeguy53 Member

    May 23, 2012
    winter park, florida
    I'm sure there have probably been other posts like this so bear with me...Last few gigs just were not much fun. A hell of a lot of work for very little enjoyment. I started playing in bands when I was 12 years old. We knew 2 and 1/2 songs at a junior high dance. I think someone on the football team threw something at us. It was a start of a long trip. I'll be 62 this year and the last two gigs...while everyone (except the bass player) played well it just didn't happen for me. I still practice hours a day and take lessons with Larry Coryell who lives nearby. The lessons are amazing. I'm still into learning after a degree at Berklee, Classical guitar at Aspen...I would say I'm getting old but I love the instrument and can't learn enough...but the band thang has just gotten old...and sad.
  2. chillybilly

    chillybilly Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    I sympathize but even playing 18 holes at Augusta National on a frequent basis for years on end would eventually get to be old hat. Mental, physical and/or emotional exhaustion are always distinct possibilities in longtime endeavors.

    If you take a break and are satisfied with your decision then you've made the right one. If you find yourself missing it then at least you will have regained some enthusiasm for something you previously enjoyed and can reengage with.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
    conanb, NoQuarter and mikeguy53 like this.
  3. CDP

    CDP Member

    Dec 22, 2013
    It's a dusty road, for sure. But find yourself a singer (if you can't sing) and go ACOUSTIC DUO!!!

    Play the coffee shop circuit, do the local open mic's and just plain have fun! Write a few, cover a few and record a few. Don't worry about the pay, honestly who gives a ****?
    If it's about your playing guitar and being out in front of people, that's the way to go. When the right 'full band' presents itself you'll be ready.
  4. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

    May 25, 2008
    NW NJ
    Take a break for a while. Once a musician, always a musician. The feeling will come back.
    conanb and Mario C. like this.
  5. VivaVirilium

    VivaVirilium Member

    Jan 3, 2015
    62 years old AND you got something thrown at you once? You're a true punk rocker ;-)

    That's a lot of experience under your belt just to throw in the towel after 12 "rough" gigs. I think you should just take a long weekend, focus on a little bit of old fashioned R & R and then decide what you want to do. Best of luck!
  6. major-minor

    major-minor Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2006
    I can relate to the OP.

    I'm 57, and just really not feeling it anymore. Got a feeling after the summer run of things---I'll be giving the "word".

    I think I enjoy just jamming with my fav CDs about as much as gigging. ( Although , the pay isn't nearly as good. )
  7. thecornman

    thecornman Member

    May 30, 2012
    Saskatoon, Canada
    Well it sounds like you have put your time in and there is no shame in walking away now! If you are not feeling it anymore don't force it. Just keep enjoying learning and playing for yourself. You have earned that.
  8. Lef T

    Lef T Member

    Nov 29, 2014
    Sometimes the band thang does get old.
    Like you,I started playing at 12 and I'm 61 now.
    There's nothing really sad about taking a break from live playing.
    It's an ebb and flow thing.
    If it's not fun,then you take a break.
    I've walked away from live playing a few times in my life when the fun meter was down.
    Right now it seems like you're sitting pretty good.
    You're learning with a master.
    Very few will get to sit down and pick Larry's brain.
    I just spent the last year having informal once a week jams with a drummer half my age.
    High powered,world,funk,blues,anything goes music.
    It was different and it was liberating.
    It's good to pick some playing situations that let your spirit soar.
    No rules,just playing from the heart and creating beautiful music on the spot
    with like minded players.
    There's nothing like spending years learning the rules and then breaking them all.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  9. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Bethany, OK
    I am only 41 with 20 years of gigs under my belt. These days, I loathe most of it- the long drives, lugging gear, hearing the singer's same exaggerated cliche stories, the thumb twiddling between sound check and show time where you are expected to rave about mediocre food, the thumb twiddling after the show with the gear loaded waiting for the bar to get around to paying the band, the pointless text conversations mid week about load in, new tunes, who's skipping band practice, etc.

    But, down beat for the first set is a drug I can't quit.
    GuitarGuy66 and BADHAK like this.
  10. bayAreaDude

    bayAreaDude Member

    Aug 4, 2014
    Consider ditching performance for an audience in favor of performance for fun - acoustic, old time, bluegrass, etc. jams. Just get together with great musicians and have a blast. Throw instrument in trunk, drive out to the woods, have fun, come home (or camp).
    mikeguy53 likes this.
  11. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Denver, CO
    I can relate to this post. I'm 45. Thing is, we can't find a really good singer and no one has the time or desire to get really good at singing and playing at the same time (among the drummer, bassist, or me) so we're kind of stuck and not in control of our own destiny. I think it's going to probably fold as a result. I've been playing in gigging bands, for fun, during the last 12 years and we had some good gigs along the way. But...the bar scene was wearing me down too...just like you said above. Sometimes life changes. you the drug that is playing does tend to pull me back in.
  12. Guy from Idaho

    Guy from Idaho Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    Moscow, Idaho
    Great post, this nails it. I'm same age as OP (though didn't play in a band until I was 16), just walked away from my most recent one, "fun meter" was low. Finally bought the acoustic of my dreams, time to turn the page (for now anyway). Like the man says, no rules. But Larry Coryell, holy crap... that's too cool.
  13. Schroedinger

    Schroedinger Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    40 years old, gigging since 20. Band just broke up in December, we all had the same feeling that you do now. I was kinda bummed in January, felt like I was missing something important in my life. It's now June and to be honest, I don't miss it a bit. I'm having fun playing at home or in friends' basements, learning new instruments, and just PLAYING guitar (emphasis on PLAYING). At this point I think I might be permanently done, and I'm OK with that.
  14. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

    Apr 28, 2012

    Great post
  15. teleman55

    teleman55 Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Hey, don't be glum. You're 62. You've done this for a real long time and I imagine done it quite well. There's something people do in their 60's. They retire. You're not giving up on the band thing. You're retiring. Nothing wrong with that. You can keep playing and pick your spots. And if you ever get bored, you can always come out of retirement. People do that too.
  16. michaelvincent

    michaelvincent Member

    Mar 12, 2007
    New Bedford, Ma
    When I bought my first home a couple years ago and then found out my wife was pregnant with our first child I realized that I needed to put as much of my time as possible into being with my child, and became increasingly annoyed at the three nights a week I was spending in a practice space with a bunch of adult children.

    Leading up to all those big changed in my personal life I was also becoming more and more tired of loading gear, waiting for people to show up to the sound check, getting home super late, being tired at work, etc. I just said "I'm done." and I haven't looked back.

    I still play at home all the time, and I'd say I've improved a lot in the last two years. I go out and do solo gigs when the mood strikes (mostly ambient, improvised loop stuff), and played a Black Flag tribute set with a friend's band that we actually ended up recording at a friend's studio after.

    I guess my point is that if you're tired of it or over it, then stop. There are plenty of ways to keep making music that are fulfilling, without a band.
  17. Steve Hotra

    Steve Hotra Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Camas WA.
    Lots of good advice here.
    I am 58, and play in a few church bands and teach music lessons to all ages.
    Interaction with other musicians makes music fun, but the personalities ( band drama) can wear a person down and rob you of the joy. I, too, would step back for a season. One of my friends ( who plays pedal steel, banjo and fiddle here in Portland Oregon) is now in his third band. He loves it! ( he is retired but it having fun again)
    Like others have said, get a different perspective / view on your playing in bands.
  18. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

    May 26, 2013
    I hate the lack of gigging and am trying to find another band to play with. The cover band was playing 5-7 times (with rare practices) a month then things slowed down to 3-4 and now only two this month and one on the books for next month. And the gigs are there, but the bandleader is turning them down due to people's schedules or wanting more $. Less gigs = more rehearsals.... I don't like that at all.
  19. Dumdeediddle

    Dumdeediddle Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2012
    Never missed a Week/Weekend for over 25 years. But as the Years Passed, so did the quality of available Gigs. And face it - you get older. You just get Older. So what ? Its the way it is. If you love playing you still play. Got tired of the Band BS. Don't have to be in Band to be a Musician. Sure I miss it.
    Over the years the bands got smaller. Then it was Duos (actually lots of Fun. Good $). A Single Act.
    Came back in a World Music / Jazz Type group for a while. Play every day & they will have to pull the Instrument (more than just Guitar) from my Dead Hand.

    PS - Say hi to Larry. Been listening to him since day 1 with hi 1st albums. Saw him last year in a 11th House reunion.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  20. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Northern VA
    Music is my avocation. I like it like that. Got two "gigs" upcoming in in the next several weeks with two different bands, one at a pool club (a big party, essentially, with all of our friends welcome), the other for a benefit for an organization working with recovering addicts. Low pressure, appreciative audiences, PAs provided by the hosts, no cash pay, it'll be FUN.

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