About to give up

Awel

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Feb 25, 2014
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Belgium
I have my own rock blues trio playing mainly my own songs.
Thing is that you’re always dreaming that the next show will be sold out or that within the 4 people attending your show there is a promoter that will make your publicity and promote your band for biggest venues…
But … same old sad places, you do your stuff, drink a last beer and take your 100$ :(
 

loopfinding

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Jun 19, 2011
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europe endless
I have my own rock blues trio playing mainly my own songs.
Thing is that you’re always dreaming that the next show will be sold out or that within the 4 people attending your show there is a promoter that will make your publicity and promote your band for biggest venues…
But … same old sad places, you do your stuff, drink a last beer and take your 100$ :(

I wish I made 100 for a gig of original music! Haha. That’s only happened a few times.

For me I was always involved in scenes where even if hardly anyone showed up, it was other musicians in the scene I either respected or looked up to. So it was less about a general audience and more about having a conversation with them.

My biggest shot at fame was some stuff I was commissioned to write for someone else. As of now it has literally millions of plays on YouTube, Spotify, etc. I don’t give a damn about that music and I’m still a bum regardless of its success. No interest in pursuing it. I’d rather play stuff I’m passionate about to folks I admire.
 

howardlo

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Feb 16, 2011
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1,687
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Hobart, IN
After years (decades) of playing in various bands I finally found that the easiest (and rewarding) way to perform was solo with just an acoustic guitar. Much less gear to lug around, no pedal boards, etc. No band members to deal with and coordinate with. Much easier to get gigs and since no dividing up the pay, more money. Big advantage is that you get to play what you want to play. Another advantage is that at nearly all the places you play the people are there to really hear the music and normally not drunk or rowdy. Try it, you might like it.
 

GoldDeluxe5E3

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Aug 5, 2015
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Concord, California
I did this at a NYC classical performance. The guitarist looked shocked at first, then started laughing and shaking his head. He played a few lines. Fortunately, we are related by marriage.
Yeah, I didn't want to tell the story, but I did the same thing to Leonard Bernstein back in '75 and he jumped down off the Carnegie stage and kicked me in the crotch. (not)
 

Dostradamas

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Apr 23, 2021
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I played for several years with a bassist who did just that.....he built a "club" attached to the back of his house. Probably 900-1000 square feet, stage at one end, built in sound system, full backline of amps and drums. Very cool set up. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that the reason he did it was because he was such a poor player, that no one would play with him otherwise. He WAS a nice guy, but I finally got so frustrated with his bad playing I diplomatically bowed out. ;)
People with pro level gear and studio with no players are like a giant red flag to me.

Been there done that, waited for him to put on his leather pants and our band shirt to start the show too many times
 

Call Me Al

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Dec 10, 2020
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Ithaca, NY
Same here. Especially the parts about time away from family and not digging the venues we were landing. It was still fun but the cons were starting to outweigh the pros.

I was in the band about 5 years as the bass player. I put in my notice about a month ago and I feel great about it. I’ve been able to focus on guitar again which has been really engaging and motivating. By chance, I got an email from some dads I know, on the same page with goals (no gigs, just fun in the basement when we can squeeze it in) so that’s a nice musical outlet.

Hard to say if and when I will miss it. But for now I know I made the right call as I clearly needed a break. Good luck with your decision!
 

Painter644

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Delaware
I played for several years with a bassist who did just that.....he built a "club" attached to the back of his house. Probably 900-1000 square feet, stage at one end, built in sound system, full backline of amps and drums. Very cool set up. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that the reason he did it was because he was such a poor player, that no one would play with him otherwise. He WAS a nice guy, but I finally got so frustrated with his bad playing I diplomatically bowed out. ;)
His ball, his rules???
 

Alex_C

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Nov 8, 2020
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1,133
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57
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Florida
I played for several years with a bassist who did just that.....he built a "club" attached to the back of his house. Probably 900-1000 square feet, stage at one end, built in sound system, full backline of amps and drums. Very cool set up. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that the reason he did it was because he was such a poor player, that no one would play with him otherwise. He WAS a nice guy, but I finally got so frustrated with his bad playing I diplomatically bowed out. ;)
I met a drummer with the same idea. He could not keep time in any way whatsoever but he had a sweet setup, a $5000 Roland drum kit (and several other sets). People are crazy.
 

TheFuzzDog

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Feb 22, 2019
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59
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USA
I look at music as my form of golf. A hobby requiring lots of specialized and expensive equipment, that can only be performed at specialized venues, many of which require a form of magic key to be let inside (membership in the country club, ability to draw an audience). I get joy from writing, rehearsing, recording, and performing live. I accepted long ago that I wasn’t going to make any money at it, so the lack of money doesn’t bother me. It would be great to have the hobby pay for itself, but I don’t know of many that do that.
 

notmyusualuserid

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May 3, 2016
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In the South
Been there, done that. I realised about 10 years ago that gigging was over for me. Being onstage playing was still OK, I just got tired with all the behind the scenes crap.

So I stopped doing it, and I can't say I miss it. For the first time since the early 70s my own time was really my own.

I still play at home, at family and friends parties, and at the occasional jam night. That'll do for me.

Just my two penn'orth.
 

andy__d

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Apr 21, 2014
Posts
105
Location
Saint Petersburg, FL
I hear you. I quit in the mid 90s for all of those reasons, then mid 2000s decided I was missing playing, got into another band, went through all the same stuff and quit again a few years later. Then, mid 2010s, same thing all over again... BUT that itch is still there and I really, really, really want to scratch it. Expect a post on this zombie thread sometime around 2025 saying how I just got fed up with the travel, lugging amps and lighting rigs and PA and Inebriated drummers to the truck, and playing half empty venues at a whisper with every song punctuated with a request to play something by Jimmy Buffet...
 

Milspec

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Vacations are not just for the day job, you can get burned out from doing anything too long.

Take a break, play some gold or something, just give yourself some time off from playing. I remember an interview of Glen Campbell by Dick Cavett I believe where he was asked if he still practiced for hours every day? Glen told him no, that he would much rather play golf than guitar and would often go weeks without even picking one up.

I believe that was back in the mid-90's. It really surprised me to hear, but I get it, sometimes you just need to shake things up.
 

Telecaster88

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I'm 53 and did my gigging/touring in my early to mid-twenties. and by the end of all that I was plenty tired of playing shows in dumb bars. I never got tired of writing songs though -- and working on them/playing them with my friends. But I ended up having to take a few decades off with health issues. Now I'm playing again, quietly, at home, working on songs and learning new stuff (there's always so much more to learn!), learning home recording, which I'm super excited about. That's my musical future: writing songs, messing around with different instruments, recording. I couldn't care less if I never played another gig, in fact my health probably precludes it anyhow.

During L*ckd*wn my old band recorded a four-song ep, long distance, our first release in 25 years. It felt great! Making music with my friends, on our own terms/schedule, no hopes or desires for anything more.

So, I guess I would say to OP -- find a way of engaging with music that feels genuine and fulfilling to you. I would wager you still love music, just not all the crapola that goes along with it. Figure out how to drop the crapola -- and then concentrate on the parts you love! Good luck!
 
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Milspec

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I'm 53 and did my gigging/touring in my early to mid-twenties. and by the end of all that I was plenty tired of playing shows in dumb bars. I never got tired of writing songs though -- and working on them/playing them with my friends. But I ended up having to take a few decades off with health issues. Now I'm playing again, quietly, at home, working on songs and learning new stuff (there's always so much more to learn!), learning home recording, which I'm super excited about. That's my musical future, writing songs, messing around with different instruments, recording. I couldn't care less if I never played another gig, in fact my health probably precludes it anyhow.

During L*ckd*wn my old band recorded a four-song ep, long distance, our first release in 25 years. It felt great! Making music with my friends, on our own terms/schedule, no hopes or desires for anything more.

So, I guess I would say to OP -- find a way of engaging with music that feels genuine and fulfilling to you. I would wager you still love music, just not all the crapola that goes along with it. Figure out how to drop the crapola -- and then concentrate on the parts you love! Good luck!
Drop the crapola, take the cannolis

Good advice....and album name
 

brookdalebill

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Like Frank Zappa said, “If you can’t handle adversity, don’t gig.”
It’s not for everyone.
I understand being tired, too.
You can get tired of anything.
I’m a “lifer” because I still enjoy gigging.
If I stop, it will be because :
1. I physically can’t play.
2. No one will hire me.
3. I decide that my playing/singing is no longer good enough.
4. It stops being fun.
After 55 years of playing, and 49 years of gigging, I’m still ready, willing and able.
I sincerely hope I have a few more years left.
If not, I loved it, and I’m grateful for my long run.
I hope whatever you decide works out for you.
 

ce24

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Jan 26, 2008
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Idahoastan
Solo,duo or busking only. I practice weekly with my band but we only play a few times a.year.... More than that and im gone.
 

Awel

TDPRI Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Posts
14
Location
Belgium
Like Frank Zappa said, “If you can’t handle adversity, don’t gig.”
It’s not for everyone.
I understand being tired, too.
You can get tired of anything.
I’m a “lifer” because I still enjoy gigging.
If I stop, it will be because :
1. I physically can’t play.
2. No one will hire me.
3. I decide that my playing/singing is no longer good enough.
4. It stops being fun.
After 55 years of playing, and 49 years of gigging, I’m still ready, willing and able.
I sincerely hope I have a few more years left.
If not, I loved it, and I’m grateful for my long run.
I hope whatever you decide works out for you.
I still have fun playing live, fact is I do the balance between investment (money, time, stress, …) and gain (not talking money, I have a job in IT, but I am talking about thankfulness and respect), I lose… and even if I enjoy so much being on stage, I am tired of bar environment, I mean, I can enjoy few beers between friends, but when I play, I finish the show with 6-7 beers under my mic stand, I don’t drink them, but my bass player is, and so he get wasted, forget his bass line, tempo or tonality. :( I mean playing in bars is quite unhealthy, it’s difficult to refuse a beer when the audience offers it to you. And even if it was fun when I was 20 now at 47, I am convinced that alcohol is bad for health, physically and mentally. And sadly blues, rock, and metal have let say close relationship with alcohol.
I have seen so many musician friends lost themselves in alcohol:(
 




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