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  #1  
Old 06-08-2019, 12:18 PM
wildbill1962 wildbill1962 is offline
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Default At a crossroad with playing guitar

Howdy everyone, like the title said. At a crossroad with playing guitar and not sure which road I will take. I'm 57 and have been playing since I was 13. Has always been a big part of my life and have truely enjoyed the music. Played in bands, did solo gigs, church etc. Within the last few years, everyone that I have had the pleasure of playing with have either gone on to that music stage in heaven, or health has issues have forced them to give it up. So now i find myself with no one to pick with. I live in a small town, and most of the music scene is hard rock or very progressive country that is just not my thing. Im a classic country and bluegrass guy. Have tried posting on craigslist etc to see if I could find any pickers my age. But that hasnt produced any results. I dont like playing by myself.
So for the past year, I think I have only picked up my guitar twice. Usually end up playing 1 song and putting it away.
So I am seriously thinking of selling or giving all my music gear away.

So if anyone else has been at this crossroad what did you do ?

Thanks in advance
Bill
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:40 PM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Originally Posted by wildbill1962 View Post
So I am seriously thinking of selling or giving all my music gear away.
Bill
As soon as you do that, a new neighbor will move in next door with a D-18 in tow...
I'm sorry that I don't have very good "been there" advice to give you. I will offer this though:
- In this day and age it's easy to find cool and challenging back up rhythm/vocal tracks to play along with and practice. No, it won't make up for a real life playing partner, but you may find that you get good playing enjoyment out of it and learn some new songs at the same time. At the very least, it will keep you in good playing shape. There has to be tons of country music available to do that. Or play along with some favorite recordings of yours. Anything to keep your spark alive and well.
- You're not that old, and been playing a good part of your life. It would a real mistake to get rid of all your stuff. Hold on to it! You'll regret it if you don't.
And keep on playing!
We all go through our own funks, and eventually come out of them. Stick with it and good luck!
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:10 PM
gfirob gfirob is offline
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I got to a point where arthritis was really getting my hands to the point that I thought I would get rid of my guitars and stop playing. I gave two to my son (Keeping the best one) and gave it a rest. After a few months the arthritis lightened up and I started playing again and that was 10 years ago. So I would not be in a big hurry to give up something that has been important to you for your entire life. Give it a rest, look for a different perspective and wait for somebody to show up in your life. But don't pack it in.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:20 PM
Ozzy the dog Ozzy the dog is offline
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I've never used it or seen it in action but there is a thing called JAMMR for internet jamming with anyone anywhere. Possibly other software as well but something like this might fill a gap if you've not already considered it.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:43 PM
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Jim Owen Jim Owen is offline
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Hi Bill,
I know a bit how this feels. It’s hard to find folk with whom to play. In Georgia, I’ve had little luck since my duo partner skipped town.

In NC, the local acoustic society has been a blessing. It hosts jams, and I’ve been really lucky in finding friends and folk who are fun to play with. So perhaps there’s a similar club in driving distance to you?

After 40 years of playing, I should be motivated to practice on my own, but I spend more time with my guitar if I’ve got an upcoming gig or jam.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:16 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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When my wife and I retired in June 2016 we hadn't had a steady church gig in nearly three years, and my last non-church band disbanded in 1996...

We got involved with the uke group at the local senior center; met a couple guys who were veterans of the local club/wedding band scene in the '60s/70s, and a lady with a wonderful voice who played her last Greenwich Village coffeehouse spot in 1965 - put together a band, been playing out on an average of once every 4-6 weeks...

Having a heluva good time, building a loyal following, and networking with a lot of other musicians - got turned on to a number of performing/jamming opportunities and cultivated some new friendships, none of which would have happened had we not taken a gamble and thought a bit outside the box...

Don't give up - opportunities are where you find them...
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:21 PM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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Bill, I am in a similar situation. I won't bore you with details. I find myself pretty much leaving one kind of music and going to another. I order to move in a different direction I am driving about 50 miles one way once a month, to accomplish the change.
I have tried to find something local or start up something local with not much success so far.

I would caution you about making any changes regarding selling your gear.

Life can be funny. It changes direction and sometimes, all we can do is hang on.

Keep trying to find others that have the same interests. There is probably somebody else in that same boat.

Perhaps give yourself a goal that keeps you playing. Learning new riffs, finding a new way to do that tune that everybody plays, an alternative bridge solo, etc.

If you totally close up shop you may have regrets down the road. If somebody does come along with similar interests, you may not be in a position to get involved because your chops are gone or too rusty.

I understand your feelings, really I do.
Don't give up though. Network as if your life depended on it. Find a way to keep going for the short run. We never know what may show up in the long run.

Last edited by Paddy1951; 06-08-2019 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Device failure.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:35 PM
AX17609 AX17609 is offline
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I know the feeling. Personally, by the age of 65 I had learned to play everything I had ever dreamed of playing, but no one wanted to listen. I grew tired of spending 3 hrs a day maintaining my chops for no audience. Every now and then I pick up the instrument and play something, but there's no joy in it.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:37 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Hard to believe in a town of over 60,000 within an hour of hundreds of thousands more there is no one to play with! My town has about 50,000 people, but we are in an area of almost 300,000. About 10 years ago I started exploring the local music scene and found there are 7 acoustic jams a month I could attend if I didn't do rotating shift work. As it is I can usually attend 3. Most of these are bluegrass, old time or folk. I would Google the old time fiddlers association near Victoria (we're nationwide). Also Google for a folklife association in your area. Or start your own - we had a fun acoustic jam going at a local music store for several years. Post ads where you buy your strings. Playing music with other people is the best thing about playing music!
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:23 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill1962 View Post
Howdy everyone, like the title said. At a crossroad with playing guitar and not sure which road I will take. I'm 57 and have been playing since I was 13. Has always been a big part of my life and have truely enjoyed the music. Played in bands, did solo gigs, church etc. Within the last few years, everyone that I have had the pleasure of playing with have either gone on to that music stage in heaven, or health has issues have forced them to give it up. So now i find myself with no one to pick with. I live in a small town, and most of the music scene is hard rock or very progressive country that is just not my thing. Im a classic country and bluegrass guy. Have tried posting on craigslist etc to see if I could find any pickers my age. But that hasnt produced any results. I dont like playing by myself.
So for the past year, I think I have only picked up my guitar twice. Usually end up playing 1 song and putting it away.
So I am seriously thinking of selling or giving all my music gear away.

So if anyone else has been at this crossroad what did you do ?

Thanks in advance
Bill
I wish I had something to boost your spirits with. But, being a person who enjoys writing and playing my own compositions, my interest lends itself to solo work. I find the ROI in that much more rewarding than anything I've ever done in the company of others. Perhaps you might try your hand at writing? BTW, I'm 64 and I can't say I've ever thought of sacrificing playing because I value it only in the context of playing with others.
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  #11  
Old 06-08-2019, 07:20 PM
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simply put, you need a break from it. 3 weeks, months, years, whatever- but youll come back to it, i just sit here myself and sing and play, so i know where your at
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:01 PM
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You said that when you posted your Craigslist ad, you didn't find any pickers your age, and I immediately thought, "Why do they have to be your age?"

How about trying another ad, specifically welcoming beginners or guys looking to get back into playing after an absence, and who might be reluctant or intimidated to answer an ad from an experienced pro like yourself.

Plus, I think it would be nice if you could pass along some of the tips, techniques, and songs you've learned over your 45 years of playing. I bet you have a lot of them!
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:06 PM
The Growler The Growler is offline
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Originally Posted by gfirob View Post
I got to a point where arthritis was really getting my hands to the point that I thought I would get rid of my guitars and stop playing. I gave two to my son (Keeping the best one) and gave it a rest. After a few months the arthritis lightened up and I started playing again and that was 10 years ago. So I would not be in a big hurry to give up something that has been important to you for your entire life. Give it a rest, look for a different perspective and wait for somebody to show up in your life. But don't pack it in.
This sounds like pretty good advice to me.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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  #14  
Old 06-09-2019, 03:23 AM
wildbill1962 wildbill1962 is offline
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Good morning everyone. Sitting here drinking my coffee and reading all of the great advice and wisdom you have shared. Thank you !

I am going to use your advice and try some of the ideas you have shared. Especially the one about lessons, and pickers that gave it up and just getting back into it.

So I think I will have another cup of coffee and start making a plan to keep moving forward.

Thank you again
Bill
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  #15  
Old 06-09-2019, 03:45 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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I have been exactly there with my violins. Got really into baroque music when I was in uni in the Dutch town Utrecht where there is a very rich semi-pro amateur early music "scene". I invested a lot of time, effort and money in it, and then I moved to Paris. I was confident that I knew enough musicians there to keep playing as I was used to alongside my job as a post-doc fellow, and that that career would allow it. That proved to be a mistake, mostly the part of finding similarly-minded amateur players. Over a period of about 10y I lost my motivation to keep up my technique and physical condition, and then it took another 5y before I finally accepted that I had given up.

I'm now learning guitar, at 52, in hope that that's an instrument that is much more suitable for having fun on your own. A bit surprising as I still have a bit of a thing against classical guitar (at least when used in repertoire not written for it); I started discovering acoustic guitar through bluegrass, then more general "Roots" and finally Delta blues (think Darrell Scott, Justin Johnson, Mike Dowling, Doug Macleod). There's a lot of music there that can be rewarding to play alone when you feel like picking up the guitar.
Now that I'm making some progress I find myself picking up pieces that are more or less classical music (for class; I enrolled in the local music school where they only teach classical guitar). Morale: musical taste evolves, and you're never too old to change
You also don't have to play for hours every day (but setting a minimum can be a good thing.

And keep that guitar somewhere where you can hear her calling you!
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