The middle age player....and playing with him or her

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Flat6Driver, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm 57 and did my first gig in 1978.

    I'm OK as a player I guess, in the middle. Theres lots of guys on this forum that can play circles around me.

    I've been in bands pretty much since day 1. Occassionally I'd get irritated and swear off them and dive into solitary home recording, but then I'd always get bored and end up getting back into a band somehow.

    At 57, Father Time has caught up to me in a hard way. The amps are heavier than seven hells now and the wrist and fingers cant take the hours of practice and punishment they used to.

    Still, I enjoy playing, and like being in a band as long as its fun and drama-free. The decent sort of hassle-free gig every few weeks helps too.

    I've started playing a lot of lap steel, as thats much easier on the left hand wrist... and I assume at one point I may give up guitar and go into pedal steel.
     
  2. Andy B

    Andy B Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    My wife & I both play guitar. We play for our own amusement. Play whatever we feel like, however we want. Occasionally other people join us at home. It is fun. Especially when it is someone who usually plays at home alone. Neither of us have been interested in a band situation since our teens. As I get older, I feel more & more fortunate to be in this sort of situation we always have a playing partner.
     
  3. Tesla_HV

    Tesla_HV Tele-Afflicted

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    I played acoustic guitar with fervor as a youth and then I got married. I didn't plan on putting the guitar down but that's what happened. Life and responsibilities just sort of took over. Back in mid 2014 at the age of 55 I picked the guitar back up and started playing electric. I took lessons (and still do) and bought a couple of Stats and Teles. I few weeks ago I was asked to join a 'band'. We play at a local Sunday night church service but it has proved to be both a rewarding experience and a chance to hone my skills, work on timing, and play with other musicians.
     
  4. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

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    59 now, so played guitar for 48 years. Had 4 years of piano before that, which gave me a good start on reading more than tab.

    Took too many years to lose the ego driven competetiveness which can be very destructive.

    Forget all the chops , licks , theory, etc, the most important lesson I ever learned was to listen. To make whatever I played serve the music and make the other musicians sound better. And have fun.

    So now, I have a great gig at my church. Besides a drummer and my daughter on tambourine, I am the only instrumentalist. I have total freedom to do whhatever I want, but always take care to serve the vocalists. We play a lot of other's music as well as our own, but no one expects us to play it like the cd or youtube.

    One thing that shaped where I am now was being paralyzed from the neck down most of 2012. Spent countless hours playing guitar in my head...seeing the fretboard and memorizing intervals. That helped when I was finally able to hold a guitar again, even though all I could do was play slide because my fingers didn't work right.

    Nothing like losing it all to make you appreciate what you have!
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  5. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    I'm 70 and I've been playing for 50-odd years. I was fairly keen while I was at Uni, in the folk/blues revival of the 60s, but thereafter it took a back seat to my career interests. I never completely lost interest though, and I started gigging a bit at about the age of 50. It worked fine in a duo, where I was accompanist to vocals and blues harp, but I was never enough of a team player to do well in a band situation, and that could be age-related. Also, I'm not performance/audience oriented, and my genres don't have much popular audience appeal. My playing, if not team skills certainly developed substantially after the age of 50, but since I retired from work a couple of years ago, I'm struggling to stay as interested as I was a few years ago. However, Youtube has been a great help in maintaining my interest. I'm currently working on some of Bert jansch's stuff, which is trickier than it sounds from casual listening.
     
  6. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    Bert Jansch was one of my early influences, him and John Renbourn, still find myself doing their type of finger style on Teles and Strats.
     
  7. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Went to a house jam last night. Folks I didn't know at all. But they all seemed to know each other. It was fun but a little trying. I really had to jump in and learn some songs and commit s chord progression to memory really quick. There were some decent players there, maybe they were hashing out the same classic rock since the 1970s but I did what I could to follow along.

    What I need to work on (or not depending on how you look at it) was the idea of expanding on the parts I know. For instance they were playing a song ive played before. Verse is two chords. I would play as two straight chords... The one fellow was all up and down the neck. I'm not sure it added anything but it was different from what I do, so its a skill I don't have just yet.
     
  8. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, Renbourn was a bigger influence for me than Jansch until recently. I've only just begun to appreciate how good a player he was. I saw Pentangle live in the mid-60s, it's hard to believe he was only a couple of years older than me and already famous in folk circles by then.
     
  9. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    Saw them both live solo and as a duo at various times in folk clubs in the UK in the 60s, would then go home and try and copy what I saw. Did not see or hear of them much after that until I saw Jansch on the Crossroads DVD done not long before he died. Still had the same magic.
     
  10. FenderGyrl

    FenderGyrl Friend of Leo's

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    Mostly acoustic open mic jams in my neck of the woods. In the bars it seems like you need to be a regular if ya wanna sit in. Some of the younger musicians have been setting up an open jam in a pavilion next to the lake. They have a DJ mixing setup, a Jungle Drum kit set up, Congas, and a PA. Surprisingly (at least to me) there are always a lot of little kids dancing and having a great time during the jams!(I noticed that Grandfathers and Grandmothers are always close by keeping an eye on these lil tykes while the music is going on). I have yet to take any guitars down there, but I have watched them a few times. They work up some serious grooves! Heck, I even heard them mixing in some Sly Stone and Funkadelic samples, then riffing out like crazy over them! ;) Guys, gals, and even kids will be rapping/ singing over the open jam session. Its pretty pretty cool. Maybe this year I will join in. That would make me the Middle Aged Player among all of these younger guys and gals.:p
     
  11. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    It all sounds familiar. I'm self taught and started in about '69-'70 when I was 12. Full-time music in the bars starting at 16 put me through school until it was time to go out and start a career. 30 years later I decided to get back into it. I started jamming with some Brasilieros on a beach a couple of years ago while on assignment and man, trying to stay with them and do some improv sure woke me up!- and also helped a lot.
    Now, I'm back home jamming with some little family band in Kentucky and having fun. I just got approached to join another band so I guess I'm ok with where I am now musically, but it's nowhere near where I'd like to be. I think most of us are like that.
     
  12. Radspin

    Radspin Friend of Leo's

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    I'm 60 and I play in a band with people in their late 50s through 60s. We're all veteran players and have one overriding rule: no band drama!

    At this point our lives we're playing for fun, not money. I'm bored with playing most of the standard bar band stuff but we get around it...and keep a bar crowd entertained and dancing...by playing songs from the 1950s through 1980s that people know but that most bands don't play, and doing them with unusual arrangements. For example, we'll play a mash up of "Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Carry On Wayward Son," "Manic Depression" with banjo and flute, "It's Not Unusual" with acoustic guitar and ukulele and songs like "Judy In Disguise," "Midnight Confessions," "Want Ads" along with more standard stuff like "Be My Baby," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Your Cheatin' Heart" and so on and people really like it.

    Sometimes it's harder for me to get motivated for a gig than when I was in my 20s and 30s and I certainly have more aches and pains during the last set (I had rotator cuff surgery last year and it's still not 100 percent). Also, I'm wiped out the day after. But once I start playing I forget all that and have great fun. Those aches ad pains also remind me that there will come a time when I won't be able to gig anymore, so every gig means a lot.

    I play all the time and always try to learn something new. That's part of the beauty of being a musician to me...you can ALWAYS learn or come up with something new.
     
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  13. IggyT

    IggyT Tele-Afflicted

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    I tell people NOT to look at my hands!! because I am in open tunings more than half the time!!
     
  14. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I had an interesting time watching Derek Trucks play recently. He gets some really nice voicings making chords from open E.
     
  15. flyingnorth

    flyingnorth Tele-Meister

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    I'm 74, being playing since I was 9. Play with a band once a week at the local grange dance...old folks and old country. The youngest is 55 oldest 82..still some pretty fast fingers, and lots of smiles and laughs. Dance floor filled with older country folks that want Haggard and Jones...and some Jerry Lee.. Ain't music great!!
     
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