Is it time to stop?

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LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 458
Its been nearly a year since I left my last originals band. Since 2005 I've been playing in rock bands live til then and I've achieved a lot in terms of releasing stuff on iTunes, touring the UK and even being on TV/radio/magazines. I love performing and rocking out.

Since then I've been more focused on my guitar tuition and its bringing in decent money although a lot of evenings are dedicated towards lessons. I keep Friday/Saturday free for the gigs.

I'm also involved with a local band who I've been friends with for ages as a guitar tech/backline guy, and occasionally I do the odd dep show. I enjoy the live environment and meeting other bands, etc etc. This is a slightly weird role as its more of a backseat member, I literally show up and play if required or if not, just help set up the rigs and make sure they're sounding ok without all the responsibilities and duties of being a full-time member. Its rather strange but I am enjoying it as its a different role, and I get on with all the guys really well. We all do social stuff together, which is something I haven't done in previous bands. I also sit in at songwriting sessions and offer my opinions, which is really cool.
 
I haven't played a gig on guitar for a year now (the main gigs I get are as a bass dep which I don't mind but always hanker to play guitar on stage again). With all the drama and politics that can sometimes go on in bands that I hate (was the reason why I left my recent band), I'm rather put off by joining another band again or even starting a new one from scratch. If I form a new one (which I've done with the last 3 originals bands I was in) it takes time to build up the setlist, get tight and build a fanbase. I'm on the wrong side of 30 now and life priorities have changed slightly. Earning money is no.1 priority, which unfortunately originals bands don't do much unless you're Oasis or the Arctic Monkeys. If I was 21 it wouldn't be so much of an issue so many bands I know are caning the touring and late nights on 3 hours sleep, rocking up in new cities everyday and rinsing the show at night.

Sorry for the long post but has anyone else reached that stage where they just know their days of performing live are over? Maybe I'm just lacking inspiration or something as I'm kinda going through a weird phase in my life. Are you still involved in music even though you don't play in a band? Its all I ever wanted to do and luckily I've done it (and still kinda doing it in some respects).
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  • antifashantifash Frets: 597
    I reached that point at 32. We were about to do our first festival appearance and the singer told me he didn't want to do it any more. I gave up after that - for a long time. Occasionally I play with bands, but the politics never change - the grief of rehearsal etc. The slog. I can't be doing with it. So I work with people who have the same work ethos as me. I don't do as much as I used to, and it's not the same - but I'm older now, and I can't be doing with people that still haven't grown up enough to know what's what! Anyway - don't think too much about it. Sometimes these things happen and they're not always for the worse. ;)
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  • As I said I enjoy the whole gig type environment, loading the gear into the van, setting up, and camaraderie within the band. We're all good mates and have a right old laugh wherever we go. I embarked on an 11-day tour with them last year which shows I can pretty much live with these guys.

    But I've spent so much money on gear, rehearsal/recording fees, PR and distribution, and all the other costs that you associate with being a half-serious band, only for it to not get anywhere fast. So I ask myself at the end of the day if its all really worth it.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34001
    30 is young! I'm 50 and I'm still in a band, although my last 'serious' originals band called it a day ten years ago. We're currently getting a new singer up to speed but will be gigging again soon - covers, but played in our own style. No real money involved, just for fun and a few free beers really.

    It's true that I've recently started downsizing my equipment quite a lot - partly driven by getting old and not wanting to carry heavy things more than I have to, and partly because I realised I just don't need much - but I can't see myself stopping completely, although there have been a few points when I've wondered if I could really bothered with it all. (Usually after losing yet another singer...)
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • Shark_EyesShark_Eyes Frets: 309
    I no longer perform live, despite it being something I lived for, I probably stopped attempting to be in a band around my mid 20's. After this period I moved away from bass and took up guitar to give myself something new to focus on. I still play music everyday and have recently gotten back into recording again I also regularly jam with friends.

    I think I probably enjoy music much more now, as it's a hobby rather than a commitment and it doesn't interfere with my day job, I occasionally think about performing live again, but I don't really miss it and I don't think I'd make the time sacrifices needed to get something off the ground. I'm perfectly happy with the amount of music I play.

    I had a similar thing with photography where I was doing it as my main job and just stopped enjoying it so moved away from digital and returned to film photography which made me enjoy photography again.
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 373

    @Lestratcaster it sounds to me as if you have already made a decision, and FWIW I'd say it's the right thing once you start to ask yourself "is it worth it?" then it probably isn't.  - concentrate on your teaching and "consultancy" work, in ten years time you can easily return to the stage if you still have the enthusiasm.  

    My experiences of being in a band suggest you need a high tolerance threshold and endless patience, I have neither. 


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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6275
    perhaps look at doing things slightly differently, rather than being in a band, see if there are any community orchestras you could join. IME the people there are there cos they want to be (I've not seen any politics in the one I'm in or heard about any in the other local ones where I know members). They don't gig all that often (we do about 5 gigs a year, some of the others are busier over the summer than us) but rehearse most weeks. It's still performing, but in a different context.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2182
    Life goes through cycles. A lot of people stop gigging, or stop playing altogether, once they have young children and/or a mortgage. Many get back into it later in life.
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  • A bloke near me stopped gigging after being in a band in the 60s and 70s. In the 80s and 90s he wrote books and produced stuff locally, then spent a few years giving lessons. After a few scrapes with cancer, he's now in his 70s and regularly gigging - he must have have had his cycle too.
    “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?' 'Supposing it didn't,' said Pooh after careful thought. Piglet was comforted by this.”
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  • monquixotemonquixote Frets: 8234
    I played in original material bands from 16 to 28. Got bored of playing infrequently to hardly any people, for no money. 
    From 28 to 36 I played in cover bands initially enjoyed it but eventually it got to be a grind and I jacked it in a bit over a year ago.

    I'm glad I did it but I don't miss it now and can't imagine going back to it.
    Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 12590
    FFS, man, "...wrong side of 30"???

    I didn't even start in originals bands until I was 32/33 (can't quite remember...senility). Wait until you hit 40...then you'll really regret being so silly about being in your 30s ;)
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • darcymdarcym Frets: 1068

    my whole playing and writing changed in my late 20's I play "less flash" than I did before, I think I write better than before and I like what I write better then before. it's allowed me a way of playing solo, with a trio or with a band - for which I have different musicians. I don't get the opportunity, to play it as much as previous bands due to as you say a lesser desire for originals bands in general, and certainly over a certain age, that said, I've rarely been as inspired to take opportunities for either solo, the trio or band when they are there and because this isn't my only source of income I can be a lot more flexible in terms of location and money for a gig.

    I'd say you'll maybe have a better experience as you've got older as you're more mature, the people you play with are more mature and you're not living the dream, you're making the most of opportunity

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  • I lost my enthusiasm for gigging after about 40 years of doing it, and haven't done a gig for about 18 months. I'm now retired and I really enjoy composing and home recording. Plus I still enjoy developing my playing and learning new things.

    Lately, I've started to missing gigging, but we're in the middle of moving house to a new area so things have been on hold. I'll start looking for a gigging band to join once we're in our new home.

    As has been said earlier, these things go through cycles.

    It's not a competition.
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2498
    It comes in phases, I've done the originals thing but tired of finding like minded individuals capable of taking the pace. Done covers/party/function bands ever since with breaks here and there.
    Sometimes after a few years in a band and it splits I lose the faith and take a break. Sooner or later a phone call for my services or attending a gig lights the fire again and off we go.
    I've reached the stage where It must be done to a high standard or not at all. Luckily I know plenty of capable players Over 60 that can do that at the drop of a hat as well as some youngsters like me ;-)
    Live gigging is usually fun (but crappy venues without access are not) so I'll do this a while longer.

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  • I haven't actually played in a covers band before so this is something I have toyed with. You actually get some cash for playing some tunes for a couple of hours and I can think of worse things to do for £50 a night say. There's no conflict when writing as you're just learning songs and can arrange deps easily as its all the same set.

    I know how to play a lot of songs so maybe its a possibility.
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1841
    I 'gave up' when I was about 32, joined another band when I was 38 and 12 years later still pulling on the leather trousers, although they seem to have shrunk :)
    Do me a favour and like this:

    https://www.facebook.com/MarkedCoversBand
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3662
    I had a little break for about 2 years in the late nineties but other than that I've been giging pretty much straight through from 16 to 48 years old. 
    I enjoy the money from covers gigs, it's pretty much what pays the bills but in the summer I do originals with a couple of bands at festivals and I enjoy that as well. Some of the guys I work with have turned 60 but they still love it ..... not just the playing but the getting pissed together, eating burgers at 2am on the way home, attacking wedding buffets before the guest, the piss taking and whole way of life that comes with being in a band. On the whole men never grow up, certainly muso's don't tend to but that's what keeps you feeling young even when you don't look it :)
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34001
    Danny1969 said:
    I had a little break for about 2 years in the late nineties but other than that I've been giging pretty much straight through from 16 to 48 years old. 
    I enjoy the money from covers gigs, it's pretty much what pays the bills but in the summer I do originals with a couple of bands at festivals and I enjoy that as well. Some of the guys I work with have turned 60 but they still love it ..... not just the playing but the getting pissed together, eating burgers at 2am on the way home, attacking wedding buffets before the guest, the piss taking and whole way of life that comes with being in a band. On the whole men never grow up, certainly muso's don't tend to but that's what keeps you feeling young even when you don't look it :)
    My daughter is studying psychology, and the other day she said she'd read that the female brain matures into its adult state at around 16, and the male brain at about 25. I laughed, and said that was a load of nonsense - because I couldn't be sure about the first, but the second was definitely wrong because the male brain doesn't ever become adult at all :).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • AlnicoAlnico Frets: 4227
    edited February 6
    I've just come out of a bitch of a phase of not playing, enforced initially by ill health it eventually wore down my mental health to the point that there was "No Point" in picking it up. Albeit through different circumstances, it was time to stop for me.

    That was sometime last year and what I tried to do in the middle of that time was half-arsed and it showed. Since December I haven't played at all until the last week or so when rather suddenly it all came back.
    Without wanting to labour the point, Natasha is leaving next week (Amicabally as life-long best friends,...that's kind of why it's happening) and I'm single again after a very long time.

    Now I need something to focus on and Now I have the time, all the equipment and all the resources so Now there's a point.
    It's for me and it's one of the few things I can call my own and bolster what's left of my Identity outside of being the couple we've been for.......a long time.

    I guess my point is that it became important to me again and now it is, I'm more grateful for it all than I think I've ever been. I Really need it now.
    There's a lot to do now!

    Hope that's maybe of some help.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3488
    ICBM said:
    30 is young!
    IMO, thirty is positively fœtal. I call that Minus Ten.

    ICBM said:
    money ... fun 
    If is is not lucrative and/or fun, why do it? 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • I'd take a break, but it doesn't have to be a permanent one. Take the time to decide what kind of project would excite you. I 'retired' in about 1995 after failing to catch the Britpop wave (a good time for playing live). I came back in 2004, playing the wrong instrument (organ) for a band that asked me to. Switched back to guitar soon after and have been in 2 more bands since then. Currently in my mid 50s, doing originals again, recording an album this year and hopefully playing overseas too. I'll miss it when I eventually stop. 
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 9389
    I gigged fairly heavily with an ambition to be a rock star between the ages of 16 and 19, including a stint with a name artist, then 'retired' before I turned 20, partly through feeling jaded, and partly because I suddenly needed a mortgage or be homeless (again). 

    I didn't really start again until I was 33, landing a couple of 80 date European tours with a minor French celebrity, and picking up a few bits and pieces of session work for Sony (very low level stuff, sounds more glamorous than it was).  

    Since 1998 I've played in a succession of cover bands, some pro, some just friends and family making a bit of beer money like my current one. 

    Interspersed with all this is more studio sessions, a few paid projects in my home studio, and gigging with half a dozen or so original singer/songwriters. 

    The point of all this rambling is that if you're a musician, you'll always be one, you can dip in and out as you please, do it for fun, do it for money, use it to survive through divorce, redundancy and whatever else life throws at you. 

    The crossroads you've arrived at is the one where you realise you're not ever going to "make it big", but funnily enough all the higher level stuff I've done, including stadium gigs and biggish tours ALL came along years after I'd "retired". 

    So of course it's time to stop. 





    For a bit. ;) 
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  • Hey man, dont over think these things! Opportunities may arise long into your 90's, so don't make a decision that you have to go back on, just keep an eye open for the right opportunities!

    I always read these types of threads for a couple reasons. I've been working as a guitarist since I finished uni 3 years ago, did a few good tours and sessions, and had a band that I lived for. The band was super talented and made up of my best mates, but sadly the 5 of us together are maybe a bit too broken and hopeless to get our act together enough to turn it into a job. The session work carried on picking up, and as the band took a bit of a backseat due to a members family sickness. Right as I was entering a period of not much happening I got an offer to join a band full time with a label and good backing. It has pretty much been a life changer for me.

    It's not been without complications though, it took me a good few months to figure out my role in the band and get comfortable with the band members and the very involved record label, but now I'm in it and can't believe that it's happened really I just sort of walked into it without really thinking much about it. But as my involvement began, I had to be realistic with myself about my old band, and while I truly believe that the talent is there, knowing what I know now about bands who have made it through, there is a level of commitment and workmanship that just wasn't there with my previous band. It hurt alot to realise that, and think of myself touring with a different set of dudes. But I had to do what was best, and my older band decided that we are all busy doing other things, and that we would continue to write music and release it without the pressure of PR, gigs, tours, posters, facebook statuses, twitter - all of that bollocks. All that does really is eat up time and if you can't put in the proper shift for that stuff, it's pointless anyway. So I think now that in order to keep it fun you need to figure out what you need from it, whether its playing live, writing, recording, and streamline that and cut out any of the pointless stress that comes along with being in a band and having big ambitions.

    So we just decided to write and have fun with it while we all pursue our own things. Now I am lucky enough to be in a band that is my job, and on the side I write music with my best friends and who knows, maybe in 15 years we will have a serious body of work to look back on - and if anybody happens to like what we're doing along the way then great - but it isn't the be all and end all.

    Sorry for rambling and using 'I' alot, but all of this is something I've thought long and hard about over the last 6 months. What it is to be a musician and what I'm willing to tolerate in order to make music and have fun along the way. Luckily I'm willing to do pretty much anything to tour and do this full time, but many of my friends along the way were not, and thats something I can truly respect - they have found out how to extract the goodness they need from music and cut out any of the bullshit. And can pursue any other dreams on the side. Not being tunnel-vision prone and obsessive is the real talent! 

    Good luck to you man, if a covers band is a way for you to get your rocks off once a week, and earn a bit of beer money on the side..more power to you dude! This world of guitar is littered with super-hero guitar players who never left their home town and that is super cool to me!
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  • Cheers for the comments guys, I've looked around for other bands to maybe join but nothing has really taken my fancy. I don't think its the end for me as a performer but in what context it'll be who knows.

    The other option is to go and play as a live guitarist only, for say, singers who put bands together to gig/tour EP's and albums. Once the cycle is over they get new members. That way I don't have to commit long-term, and if there's any members I don't get on with I only have to do it temporarily til the next gig haha.

    As I've grown to find out over the years it takes a lot to really make an originals band work. Aside from playing your instrument well you have to have all the other characteristics to get together. Cos all my hopes and dreams were in one band I took it very seriously and small things like members turning up late to rehearsals and not learning parts would really irritate me.

    Every day I would be wondering if what I did was enough to propel me to a step closer to being signed, but in most of the bands I played in there would always be 1-2 members not pulling their weight, leaving me to do the lion's share of work. Eventually I grew sick of it though. But I felt pressure to "do something" as if nothing happened we wouldn't get anywhere.

    The band I'm involved in with now is super close-knit and all the guys are singing from the same hymn sheet. Unfortunately they already have 2 guitarists and we've toyed with the idea of using 3 live but the stages we play on aren't quite big enough to house 3 x 4x12 guitar cabs! But I'm enjoying the experience and the backseat role so I think I'll just continue for now. The guys have said they will not hold me back from joining another project or pursuing other interests, which is cool. But they appreciate me being around and helping out with stuff.

    Maybe cover bands is the next way forward as there's no pressure to stand out from other bands, to write the best songs, to pay for the best quality recordings, and spend money on merch, branding, etc etc. Its about having a laugh on a Saturday night playing some tunes and making drunk punters sing and dance. Best of all I get a few quid for it!
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 19288
    edited February 7
    I stopped gigging regularly about 30 years ago - and last played live in 1995. Work, mortgage, marriage and child, etc have all been factors - but so was a general lack of interest. The only reason to play is if you want to. Years of depression made me want to completely stop playing - I came close to selling off my gear a few years ago.

    In recent years, my interest has rekindled - and after playing in a band situation at tFB Northern Jam a couple of weeks ago, I think I may want to gig again.

    There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ - you have to go with your gut....
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 1047
    I often feel we all (and I certainly include myself) worry too much about all of this. Trust your feelings and don't worry about justifying it to anyone other than yourself - which includes not worrying about how other people will view your current circumstances and activities. Just be. 


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  • I first picked up a guitar in December '16 at the age of 41. 

    According to your OP I might as well be dead! 32!! You're barely past the sperm stage. I fully intend to play live stuff as soon as I'm ready. 


    My Trading Feedback    |    You Bring The Band

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • I'm a big fan of longevity, people like Keith Richards have been touring for decades. I know this isn't the complete end but I always feel some kind of regret none of the originals bands I was in worked harder, got further but its not good to think like that.

    I just think if I left it too long I'll lose that passion for playing live, its nearly been a year already, but I know some of you guys have been away from the stage for longer. When I lose that feeling of anticipation going on stage and the feeling of playing on it then I reckon there's something wrong. I still have that burning desire to play.
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 1047
    I'm always curious about why people do things that don't make them happy. Including myself. I've got a very close friend who has doubts about what he's doing with his music, what he can play, worried he's not a proper musician when he's not in a band, worried when he IS in a band, etc.  

    Most of the worries were around how he appeared to other people. I once asked if he would be happy to make the best music he ever had, playing the best he ever had personally, if no-one else (apart from the rest of the band) ever heard it or knew about it. The answer was "No". It transpired that he needs other people to know what he is doing, and when, in order to feel validated as a proper musician. If no-one knew, he probably wouldn't play at all. 

    That made me sad, but I know he's not the only person who feels like that. 

    I know some people will say that's because music is meant to be heard (and they mean by other people than the person who creates it or plays it). I know that's not true. Music is inanimate. It has no feelings or purpose - it's humans that need it to fulfil a purpose, feel emotions in response and strive to give it meaning. 
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  • MistyMisty Frets: 103
    Well, I used to say I didn't think I'd be playing live beyond 30.....but I'm coming up to 65 and still getting a buzz from it. If you don't enjoy it, stop. You have plenty of time to take it up again if you miss it.

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  • I think I'll always enjoy playing live its just the environment that I was in made me unhappy about it. Now I've been bandless for about a year I'm kinda getting that itch to get back into it. I know I play as a dep sometimes for my mate's band but its not quite the same as being a full-time member. But its the whole slog o having to devote everything into it, and making sacrifices.
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