About to give up

Telenator

Doctor of Teleocity
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Vermont
Hi everyone,
I started to play around 91, have played in several bands, from pop to thrash, going through blues, rock, classic rock cover band …
I slowly started being fed up and tired of gig in’; moving the PA, the gear, leaving my wife and daughter the weekend, playing in front of few drunk people always asking if you could do smoke on the water or sweet home Alabama, small or no stages at all.
I don’t know perhaps I’m worn out, have the feeling of all this time of rehearsal, writing songs, work on the arrangements.. is pure lost.
Does anyone here already been in that state of mind?
Thanks
Al
There's nothing wrong here. You are either playing for the wrong reasons, or, you never clearly defined why you want to play at all.
 

StrangerNY

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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.

Right with you there, Bill.

I started singing in country bars when I was 9 (geez, 60 years ago!), even before I started playing guitar. It was a thrill then, and the thrill has never gone away for me. I went through club bands, original bands, chased a record deal and nearly caught the brass ring, played every dive bar I saw, seems like. But I still get that excitement when I get my gear in the truck and head for the gig.

Tonight a friend's band is playing the closing night at a long-running rock club here on LI. I'm going out to sit in on a couple of songs (they've invited a whole bunch of guest players and I'm flattered they included me - some of the other guys are monster players), and I don't even care that there's no money involved. It's gonna be a party to go out and watch a killer band with killer guests and even do my own little segment with them.

But to the OP - there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break to recharge. You might realize after a while that you miss it and want to return - then again, you may not miss it at all. It's okay either way. Good luck, I hope you're happy with whatever your decision might be.
 
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Timbresmith1

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Posts
3,350
Location
Central TX
Hi everyone,
I started to play around 91, have played in several bands, from pop to thrash, going through blues, rock, classic rock cover band …
I slowly started being fed up and tired of gig in’; moving the PA, the gear, leaving my wife and daughter the weekend, playing in front of few drunk people always asking if you could do smoke on the water or sweet home Alabama, small or no stages at all.
I don’t know perhaps I’m worn out, have the feeling of all this time of rehearsal, writing songs, work on the arrangements.. is pure lost.
Does anyone here already been in that state of mind?
Thanks
Al
Burnout happens. No shame in scaling back or being more selective (or trying to squeeze more money out of less desirable gigs). Set some limits.
Perhaps set up a tip Jar for $100 bills only and suggest that you’re prepared to play ONLY sweet home alabamy all night if that jar gets filled 😂
 

Timbresmith1

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Posts
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Do you write music? Music that I write, I don’t care if anyone comes. It’s just a shot at “can we realize this?” I’ve played gigs of my own music halfway across the world to literally 5-10 people, haha. It’s fine. And the majority of music I write never even sees the light of day, but it’s fun and it’ll come in handy some day.

But if you’re just covering stuff, being a player only, I can see why it’s easy to get discouraged. The only “cover” gigs I’ve done has been classical stuff as a kid. A rock cover band? No way I could do that, I’d get bored after one or two shows.
^This x 10000
 

String Tree

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Posts
18,106
Location
Up North
Hi everyone,
I started to play around 91, have played in several bands, from pop to thrash, going through blues, rock, classic rock cover band …
I slowly started being fed up and tired of gig in’; moving the PA, the gear, leaving my wife and daughter the weekend, playing in front of few drunk people always asking if you could do smoke on the water or sweet home Alabama, small or no stages at all.
I don’t know perhaps I’m worn out, have the feeling of all this time of rehearsal, writing songs, work on the arrangements.. is pure lost.
Does anyone here already been in that state of mind?
Thanks
Al
When you have had enough, you have had enough.
30 Years is quite a run.
 

Matt G

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Posts
1,432
Location
Australia
Hi everyone,
I started to play around 91 . . . I slowly started being fed up and tired of gig in’ . . . .
Thanks
Al
Don't stop, @Awel . Just do something different. Something that works for you, probably something you haven't tried before. New directions! Set a new project up that will polish your soul back up to standard, and get after it.

1991 was an awesome year.

But it's behind us now.

Still not too late to make 2022 an awesome year. . . .
 

Dik Ellis

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Georgetown, TX
I played gigs with 3 people in the audience. I always gave my best effort. We played our own tunes, with a few select covers sprinkled in. Have you thought about writing your own tunes?
 

richiek65

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Dec 26, 2012
Posts
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57
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Sydney NSW Australia
Quit gigging about 18 mths ago, i never thought I would ever hear myself say that i just wasn't enjoying it anymore, but i lost the bug, even listening to music is rare these days, as is going to any concert, whereas i had previously craved live music all my life. Maybe i reached peak music saturation, in the meantime, I'm happy just noodling at home half an hour or so each week
 

martinlb

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Jan 24, 2018
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64
Location
San Jose
I've been in both original and cover bands. I LOVE playing out. However it's been a few years since picking up a guitar energized rather than drained me. What’s done it for me was the stupid, defended or denied, selfishness of band mates who I thought of as friends. Things like the other (better) guitar player and I agreeing I'd do the leads for a song and then having him start playing the leads as we were practicing. Or another (better) other guitar player storming out of the studio after the bass player suggested we play one of the songs I wrote. People who won't be real are a drag, at least in that setting. I'm still in touch with both of those ex-bandmates but I can't believe there'd be circumstances under which I'd ever play with them again.

I'm starting to play again but I certainly can relate to the gas tank feeling empty.
 

aging_rocker

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May 8, 2019
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Aotearoa
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...
That was me too! Started out as huge fun, 78/79, sweaty pubs and often the openers for the evening (often we were that mythical '+ support' on the poster) - played to as few as 5 and as many as 500. It got seriously out of order on a few occasions, like the time we had to entertain a few hundred drunken Millwall FC supporters (UK readers will get that reference, but let's just say it was challenging, but we made it out alive and with most of our gear intact)

This was the era when we pretended to only know 3 chords, when we actually knew 4 or 5. Marshall half-stacks, much noise and leaping about in leather jackets. We did mostly our own material. You can do a lot with 3 chords (occasionally more, but I don't think anyone noticed, so we got away with it ) and plenty of attitude.

Anyway, life changes (primarily meeting the love of my life, followed by becoming a parent) meant that I couldn't/wouldn't devote the necessary time, money or energy to it any more, so I quit the band in 1982. Sold off all my gear soon after, because...kids need stuff.

Our bass player/vocalist continued in the 'biz' for a while, played with a couple of minor-league pro outfits, appeared on a few albums. He teaches English these days.

Don't laugh, but the drummer died in 1988. Drug-related.

Nothing wrong with taking a break. Everyone does. Get back to it if and when you feel like it.

Ask us a hard one!

My 'break' lasted 37 years. I always thought that I'd get back into it one day, but that day never came. I did perform once more in public, a few years ago on bass behind a couple of folks who played acoustics and tried very hard NOT to be Nick Cave, but without too much success. I enjoyed it, but it didn't re-awaken any urge to do it again, which kind of surprised me, TBH.
 

FuzzWatt

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Do you write music? Music that I write, I don’t care if anyone comes. It’s just a shot at “can we realize this?” I’ve played gigs of my own music halfway across the world to literally 5-10 people, haha. It’s fine. And the majority of music I write never even sees the light of day, but it’s fun and it’ll come in handy some day.

This, in my opinion, is one of the best reasons to do it. Because you just do and you do it for yourself.
 

bigbean

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Hartville OH
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.
What he said.

Drop back and put your stuff away. Listen to the crickets for a while.

After a bit what called you to do it in the first place will call you again.

When that happens figure out a place where people who you like now (not thirty years ago) feel happy to go. Then go play at those places.

Two gig related things from the last two days:
I got a message from a cousin that she was rounding up some other cousins to be at gig we are playing in June close to her house. To me that is a very happy thing.

I did a five minute run through of the Sam Cooke song "Bring it on Home" with the band and found a key for it. My band mates harmony will work well. After rehearsal I tried it on the piano........ I can't do it..........YET. If I wood shed it for a month or so I'll be able to get it good enough to do a respectable job performing it.

I never thought even a year ago that I would be able to play piano and sing a Sam Cooke song in public. The fact that it is attainable with some work is very energizing to me and makes me happy.

Performing music for others should be joyful and ennobling to yourself and your audience. If it isn't then you need to rethink all the aspects of it and change things until it is uplifting and important.
 

Cornelius TX

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Round Rock, TX
I relate to so much of what has been said here. For about 10 years, I tried making it work playing original music, but the best thing I did was just form a classic cover band with friends.

I use this analogy with folks: for me, performing is a hobby, just like playing pick-up basketball is for some folks. The cool part is that I get paid (not much) to do my hobby. 🙂

To the points some have made about solo shows: I just booked my first solo shows with a looper pedal. Excited!
 

naveed211

Friend of Leo's
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May 16, 2009
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Location
Iowa
I took a hiatus from gigging for about 10 years.

Things that made me excited about it again:
1. Getting into a band of really cool guys who I’d now call my friends. No drama, no laziness, everyone is engaged and contributes.
2. Playing original music that I sincerely enjoy.
3. Having a more portable rig. I had no desire to lug around a 4x12 like I used to. Now with a mini-head and a lightweight 1x12, I don’t dread load in/out.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Augusta, Maine
This, in my opinion, is one of the best reasons to do it. Because you just do and you do it for yourself.
Before I retired, I helped a lot of nonprofits with their fundraising.

Whenever one of them couldn't decide whether to hold a particular fundraising event, I'd ask them: Is this something you'd like to do even if itr didn't raise money?

If they said yes, I'd tell them to go for it. If not, I'd tell them to pass.
 

FuzzWatt

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Canada
Before I retired, I helped a lot of nonprofits with their fundraising.

Whenever one of them couldn't decide whether to hold a particular fundraising event, I'd ask them: Is this something you'd like to do even if itr didn't raise money?

If they said yes, I'd tell them to go for it. If not, I'd tell them to pass.

I had a real existential crisis regarding my music when I was 29. I realized my dreams of being a professional musician were never going to happen and it left a void in my life as I hadn't spent time developing any other dreams.

It also made me reevaluate why I was playing music in the first place. When the dream was dead I didn't feel like playing anymore and I realized my intentions were a bit superficial.

I took a bit of a break before getting back into playing and wanting to play just to challenge myself and give myself an enjoyable pastime as well as write/record some of the music I hear in my head, even if no one else hears or enjoys it, I enjoy making it.
 




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