Quitting Guitar. When will you call it a day?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by coconutchuck2015, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Hugh_s

    Hugh_s Member

    Mar 25, 2013
    I don’t have an exit plan.

    I mean, I like to write songs, I like to play guitar. I’m too crap at keyboards to express myself well enough to be happy so I might as well continue
  2. frankie5fingers

    frankie5fingers Member

    Jan 16, 2009
    There's playing for a living, playing as a hobby, and playing for enjoyment. Same with golfing, painting, race driving, baseball, shooting and countless others. You get the idea.
    It sounds Chuck, it's less of a time issue for you than a motivational one.
    IMO, any of these things can be approached with an eye toward maintaining your current skill level, improving it, or not worrying about it and still be enjoyable in a given circumstance.
    If it's not your avocation, don't worry about it. Pick your favorite instruments and hold onto those. At some point, they may provide enough "inspiration" to play them regularly again. Or they won't. Maybe it'll just be something you pull out at a party or on a holiday. Either way, unless you're planning a fall back career in music later on, as long as you find something you do enjoy you made the right call.
    Scrapperz and FenderBigot like this.
  3. scottlr

    scottlr Member

    May 14, 2006
    Born & raised in Texas; stranded in Iowa
    62 and looking for a band. I have been a guitar player since I was 11, and it's what I am. I am other things, too, but a musician first and foremost, whether I am currently playing or not. I chose to be a musician at age 8, and played my first gig at 12.
  4. TheDropout

    TheDropout Member

    Aug 21, 2017
    maybe sit it aside for a while and do some other stuff you enjoy. Guitar doesnt have to be the only outlet for fun.
    coconutchuck2015 and Scrapperz like this.
  5. Timcito

    Timcito Member

    May 2, 2012
    Sorry to hear that. It can't be nice to be prevented from playing through a physical ailment. My brother is inhibited from playing because of arthritis in the finger joints. He plays a lot of slide now and pays for it later if he lets his fingers loose on his electrics.
  6. monwobobbo

    monwobobbo Member

    Mar 29, 2010
    North Chili, NY
    can't say i will give up any time soon. don't have much time to play but i do when i can. wife is out of town right now so i'm playing far more. i haven't been in a band for along time but do record occasionally and just plain enjoy creating music even if no one hears it.
  7. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

    Jul 17, 2014
    Austin, TX
    I do it cause it's fun.

    I'm 61. I am just now taking a break from practicing pedal steel. I always wanted to play one, and started really working on it a couple years ago. I don't know that I'll ever be good enough to gig it, at least around here, but I enjoy the heck out of it. I'm also in a little country band that plays maybe once a month. Playing guitar, which is my "real" instrument.

    I played full time for close to 3 decades, I quit cause I couldn't help raise a kid if I was gone all the time. For a few years I didn't play guitar that much, worked on recording and learning to programing drums and mix and all that, but there was always something musical going on, even if just a little bit, pretty much every day. About 5 years ago, I got pulled into doing some gigs again (blues trio) and really enjoyed it. So I started gigging again.

    But most of the time, it is playing around the house. I could not imagine life without music and will keep doing it as long as I am physically able to get something out.
    I learn something new pretty much every time I pick up the guitar.

    But that is me. If you have other priorities, then you do. It isn't a one size fits all answer.
  8. teledude55

    teledude55 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2011
    River City
    it's pretty simple, if it brings you joy- keep playing, if it doesn't- find something else to do... as Joseph Campbell would say, "follow your Bliss."

    I kind of echo A-Bone's comment previous- GAS was mostly a distraction for me to keep from addressing more important issues in my life... now I live a more minimalist lifestyle... I have a great old Acoustic and a Piano...I'll get back to electric at some point. as long as I can make some noise to stir my soul a bit that is all that matters right now.
  9. BobbyS

    BobbyS Member

    May 7, 2018
    Time off can be great. I disagree on the "picking it back up is hard" thing if you decide to step away for a while. I don't know what your prior level of commitment has been on the instrument, but for someone who has really studied, it's like riding a bike. Even the hard stuff. I stepped away for a few years and recently got back into playing again at the house. It's like I never left. In some ways, my playing actually got better, more relaxed, and a better perspective on what I'm actually trying to achieve when I play. I knew another player who was older than me who used to routinely take a few years off at a time, just to step back and focus on other areas of life. He seemed to endorse this kind of experience as well. I'd still have to review some of the songs before a gig (lyrics mostly) if I were to step back in again for real pro gigs. But, from a technical perspective, nothing was lost for me that didn't come back in a few days in the shed. Your experience may or may not be the same. But, stepping away was a great thing for me (I was stuck playing gigs that I really didn't like at the time, so, there's that, too). I enjoy it when I play now more and I don't feel like I have to compulsively do it for hours to maintain anymore like I did before (I was playing/practicing/gigging 6-12 hrs a day (most days) for over a decade). If you ditch gear, I'd recommend keeping a solid acoustic and/or a guitar that can cover a lot of territory (ie, jazz box that sounds good acoustically, but you could plug in if you decided to go to a jam) or a good electric guitar and small amp. There's a lot of life outside the practice room and that doesn't necessarily hurt your playing. Best of luck figuring it out.
    coconutchuck2015, Scrapperz and Okra like this.
  10. Okra

    Okra Member

    Mar 31, 2017
    The warm, moist soil
    Here’s an idea: why not play rock for old folks st retirement homes or senior centers? They like old rock and are half deaf, so crank it up. Plus these people need others in their lives just like you need people in your musical life.
    This would brighten everyone’s day
  11. rangerkarlos

    rangerkarlos Member

    Dec 1, 2012
    The Frozen Hellhole That Is Wisconsin
    There’s enough guitar players. Ukulele is where it’s at five years ago. Get hip.
  12. El Rey

    El Rey Silver Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2018
    Denton, TX
    Can't imagine not playing. I don't feel right if I don't spend at least an hour with it every day. Nothing better for me than waking up, making a pot of coffee, and playing either laying on my back on the floor, or sitting up on the sofa. Most of the time unplugged. Takes me to different state of mind.

    And, no matter how bad a day I've had at work, or how bad a mood I'm in. I can sit down, pick up a guitar and play, and it makes me happy. What a gift ;-)
  13. cheapgtrs

    cheapgtrs Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    Southwest Michigan
    I'll never quit. I play more now than ever. I have much more free time now. As I get older there seems to be fewer and fewer things I would rather do than play. The last 5 or so years I've even taken up piano.
  14. jaimo

    jaimo Member

    Jan 22, 2004
    Unless you have a debilitating condition which drives you to quit,
    if you simply quit,
    you weren't much on playing anyway.

    Everyone who plays any instrument should ask themselves this question -
    Is playing a passion, or a pastime?
    If it's a pastime, sell your crap. Take up golf.
  15. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Lots of people do not play music.
    They can still enjoy it, or not bother much about it at all.
    As one ages your ability to play sports or drive motorsports, will deteriorate rapidly, and that includes golf, which is also expensive and time consuming.
    Music can be carried along for more years, at a higher level than a lot of other activities.
    However, if you prefer to work on photography, or fishing, or making money, or travel, or many other things, a lot of options remain.
    Health, money, and personal relationships, largely drive one's activities.
    There are intellectual pursuits that can be carried on but achieving recognition after starting at an advanced age is tough.
    Politics and religion always draws a crowd, though, if the timing is good.o_O
  16. Mangy71

    Mangy71 Member

    Oct 31, 2010
    Central Illinois
    I'm 47. 5-10 years ago I wouldn't have given up guitar for a million dollars, then 3 years ago I pretty much put it down, and have barely played since.

    I too was using guitar and gear acquisition as a way of self-medicating. It was my drug of choice, but it was like I hit a wall and stopped cold turkey.

    I have made some drastic changes in the last few years. The way I look at the world, my views on a lot of things, my relationships, and my perspective.

    I want to play again, record again, and get the passion back, but I'm not sure if it will happen now or not.
  17. ckfoxtrot

    ckfoxtrot Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    If diverting your time, effort, and money elsewhere would bring you more fullfilment, joy, or happiness, go for it.

    It sounds like you’d really like to be in a gigging band and be able to play loud. Finding bandmates can be hard work, but should still be doable. Playing loud, like really loud, isn’t that common or welcome anymore for cover bands, due to the venues they typically play and what the venues want (but there are exceptions, like this biker bar I wound up at to watch the band of someone I know. Ear blood volume levels). Original acts are often still pretty loud though.

    You could also get your loud fix during rehearsals and stuff.

    Some other ideas (just throwing stuff out there/brainstorming): do a one man band thing; focus on recording; focus on writing music.
  18. Bobbybigbucks

    Bobbybigbucks Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2017
    The biggest reason I learned to play guitar was to pick up chicks. Now that I'm 66, I don't much give a sh!t about picking up chicks or playing the guitar.

    I'm not going to sell my instruments/gear though, if nothing else, I'll hang my expensive guitars on the walls to be admired as art.

    I have two very young grandsons that may want to learn how to play. They're going to have to get to be pretty good players before I hand over a R9 to them.

    Most of the time teenagers don't appreciate a really fine instrument. I know, I was one once.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  19. AlisterHag

    AlisterHag Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Dude, I am closing in on 50 fast. I just relocated from the midwest to LA because of work and now play in a doom band with guys my age. The drummer is even a dentist, but the oldest one in the band. I repeat...We play in a DOOM band and are all around 50 hahaha.

    I can't think of anything that would make me grayer than calling it quits and hitting the golf course just to fit in with people my age. I just refuse to conform to a number. There are people just like you looking for people to jam with, just gotta keep searching.
  20. NotTheArrow

    NotTheArrow Member

    May 31, 2018

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