Playing in bands as you get to your 40s and up.

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1,568
53, playing with five bands right now. Of those, three are actively playing out, one of the others is working towards that, and one is recording project.

After 40, those that are still jamming are in a better place in terms of gear, rehearsal spot, and usually talent. What’s not better after 40 in most cases is the health, free time, and drive of said players.

Life can and does get in the way sometimes, in a way it didn’t when we were young and hungry twenty something’s. You can’t necessarily ditch work for this awesome gig when you’re making six figures and have a mortgage like you could when you worked at Pizza Hut. Your other bandmantes by this time have a wife, kids, and grown up responsibilities that get in the way of being the 100% driven group 100% of the time, so occasionally you find yourself being the most driven or excited member of the band.

My wife is a musician too and she keeps her own band/s going, so I’m lucky to have someone whe gets it, but not every player does, and they have family and work, and other concerns. You just have to roll with it…or don’t.

I’m not saying let slack playing, not learning songs , not being tight be okay…just as you get older, it can take a bit longer to make things happen, because adulting can be a bitch, and home life can interfere with band life. But as always, you minimize your struggles if you find players on the same page with yourself who are in the same mindset in terms of drive and goals. If not, you’ll keep pushing that rock up a hill…
 

skypilot

Member
Messages
186
I would say mid 30s.

Many guys look at playing in a rock band* as a phase.

Like going out and drinking or living in the city.

Once those days are done, that part of them is done. So the pool is cut maybe by half.

The kind of guys who post here and still gig are more the warriors.

*I play jazz, but it's always very difficult to find anybody to play that almost no matter what age.
The problem with bands is there’s people in them.
 

JZG

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,728
How do you older musicians get gigs? Everyone in our band is in their 60s and 70s and still working, and no one has a lot of free time, much less the time to hang out and “make the scene” and talk to club owners and so on to get gigs. How do you other guys and gals do it? We only want to play around once a month, but we do want to play regularly.

Email. Here's my lunch hour - YouTube (almost always something guitar/production/music related), power nap, emails to venues. Just about everyday.
 

Celticdave

Seeker
Platinum Supporting Member
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5,368
Email. Here's my lunch hour - YouTube (almost always something guitar/production/music related), power nap, emails to venues. Just about everyday.

I used to perform 6-8 times/wk at the height of my full-time days. I’d often be hit up by other musicians as to how I got so many shows. The answer? ASK. Same went for my endorsements and many other opportunities.

Also, don’t be discouraged by the places and people not interested in what you’re doing. If you’re genuinely pursuing the art of music and are decent, build a rep for being on time, professional, and respectful, there are plenty of places out there to perform at all ages.
 

HoboMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
19,032
I'm older than dirt and I still play in a Classic Rock/New Country cover band. We're all old but still enjoy playing and the xtra income comes in handy.
We all get along and have a good time. No egos, no temper tantrums etc.

We rehearse once a year in the spring to work on a few new songs. Other than that we'll work on songs on our own and try them at soundcheck.
 

jhfire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
801
I've played in original bands pretty much my whole life. Now at 56 I just started playing with a cover band. I totally dig it. No pressure, I learn the songs and the solos as best I can. We play a good assortment of stuff and everyone gets along. I'm still involved with 2 original bands and that's where the malaise sets in. Nobody is prepared, excuses when it comes time to actively doing band stuff. But I agree the older you get the less you want to commit to playing. I think it's more with original projects.
 

ChampReverb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,596
I’m 66 and I am sorta playing in one Alt-country band that was vibrant for 15 years but is now on very shaky last legs. We have not rehearsed in 6 months and have an annual gig in September that we will rally to do before probably becoming roadkill. It’s been a good run but limiting…

A couple of months ago I quit an off-shoot of that band (that I played in for about a year) because of a couple of territorial prima donnas who felt that I was infringing on their precious space (“don’t sing, turn down, play less”). The two difficult people (the other three are fine) are just not as good as they think they are and I bent over backwards to accommodate them until I just dreaded being around them.

I recently joined an original reggae-ish band led by a guy who is retired and sings/plays well and who has three bands going. It’s fun and tight and they want me to sing and play and write more more more.



If I needed another music thing I’d probably seek out (open mics?) someone who sings and plays well with the idea of first forming a duo and then building from there.

-bEn r.
 
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tweedeater

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
386
Try it again after reaching 60!
I'm one who's wanted to (66). I'm better on guitar than I ever was, but my regular job since 2016 has me starting before daybreak and turning in very early.. and I find myself keeping similar hrs on the weekend. I was hoping to retire and supplement my income by playing out again; but the idea of late hours, finding the right band members, and the work involved for little pay would take some serious getting used to again. Still want to give it a go one more time though, to some degree. It's in my blood!
 

Sturgeon83

Member
Messages
118
39 here. I don't think it's hard to get a band started, but it's REALLY hard to get everybody to practice, learn new songs, write new material, etc., especially for the pay that a lot of venues are offering these days. I've taken the direction of just not worrying about making money, just want to get music out there, and it's difficult to sell that to prospective band members.
 

GerryJ

Member
Messages
5,484
A while back on a similar topic, a younger guy (mid 20s) observed "around here (unspecifed) the bands are either in their mid 20s or over 60. There's very few people in-between. "
 

Aceman893

Member
Messages
2,115
Discussion with my Rheumatologist (I'm 55)

Me: My knee hurts. Is it arthritis? Can we change up the meds?
Her: I really don't see anything that would indicate this is an arthritic flare up in your knee.
Me: Are you sure?
Her: It really seems like a meniscus tear. [Moves knee joint all around] We can do an MRI if you want. Did you do something that might have caused that?
Me: Jumped off of a drum riser during a show
Her: Yeah, it's a soft tissue injury. You can take it easy and just let it heal, or get the MRI, and then I 'll tell you the same thing.
Me: You are sure it isn't arthritis?
Her: Sorry, you are just getting old. Stop jumping off drum risers.
 

Aceman893

Member
Messages
2,115
I already felt that way about myself by the time I was 28. Nothing screams "Rock Star" like short, thinning hair and hauling my gear to gigs in the minivan while my wife and then 2 kids wait for me out in the parking lot....

I started playing country gigs where I could cover my chroming dome with a hat and the parking lot was full of minivans and extended cab trucks and my wife and kids could watch me play - at most places at least.

I am thankful I could let the past go....
This. I'm in an 80's Hair tribute.

I think rock bands looking like dad's in cargo shorts, crocs, and such with short grey hair killed live music as much as anything.

Thus, we all wear wigs, spandex and play brightly colored instruments and BAM! ~30 yr old Rock Star!!!!
 

tymish

Member
Messages
255
Had a good run in my 40's with one band. But then the bassist started wanting to be the center of attention and treating me like the sideman though i was booking all the gigs.

Anyway what stopped me was a terrible case of elbow tendinitis from all the playing and moving of gear. Also didn't help playing my amp too quietly and guitar too hard since said bassist could somehow 'never' hear herself and because I'm a very aggressive player and string bender.

So that took me out for 1 - 2 years while I let the tendinitis heal itself.

Started up again with a couple friends just jamming every week specifically low stress fun. Very creative.

After a couple years then carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. So that slowed me down again for a couple few years.

Now in my mid 50s, out of touch with the music scene which is still weird since Covid-19. Venues where poeple booked me and knew me have closed or those people left. Some of the old buds don't have the energy or desire to put all the effort in for minimal $$ to play gigs, get home at 2 AM then try to make it through the day job in the morning.

So I'm really at a crossroads in my mid 50s.. don't have the energy and bounce back I used to but miss the performing a LOT!! No way i could play till almost 2AM, wait to get paid, load out.. get to bed at 3 - 4AM and make it through the next work day like I used to! So now what?
 

cragginshred

Member
Messages
2,670
I'm 55, singer is 63, bassist and keyboardist ealry 60's and drummer is 45. This was last fri night. Tell me were not bringing the arena rock and having fun?



my problem is, we all know theres not much time left to do this. Some memebers wanna play every weekend, I don't. We will perform 4x in July. Way too much for me. So it's not doing it at this age it's having good breaks between gigs for me.
 

radicool

Member
Messages
1,994
I’m old, still play, but I’m lucky for several reasons. One is that we aren’t gigging at this point, but we still rehearse every week as if we were. But now we can play some of the arty tunes we like without an audience to bore. Another is the fact that I can still sing well. My band mates are friends, and they’re all good players and singers. We’ve been together a long time. We all know our time is limited, so we cherish every night we play. I cherish every song we play. It’s a privilege to play this music with these guys and I never forget it. Someday I’ll have nothing left but memories of these days, but for now I’m happy to continue making those memories.
 

Selsaral

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,023
I'm gonna try to get back into it now. My kid is getting older. My passion for guitar has only escalated lately. I have to try. The good moments in my last bands were worth all of the pain and more.
 




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