I quit my band and now I'm bummed

telemaster03

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Really good and popular classic country weekend band, 6 piece with pedal steel, fiddle and good sound person. Should be Telecaster heaven and it largely was but I grew tired of being a hired hand with little say in material, song lists, dress, etc. Since the bad thing we had to venture further out of town for gigs - Choice A: leave at noon or 1:00 on Saturday afternoon and get back home at 4:30 or 5:00 am provided there was no car or other trouble on the road, or Choice B: leave at noon or 1:00 Saturday afternoon and stay at a hotel after the gig, get home Sunday around noon. Traveling home netted $100 - $130 less meals and fuel, Staying overnight netted the same money less meals, fuel and hotel...either way the pay wasn't great and the weekend was shot. Finished out a string of gigs and called it quits with a couple month break looming, still on good terms with the band.

Other than the above mentioned frustrations I had 4 years of good fun and the band guys are all decent, very talented musicians. At 60 years old the late nights and travel were becoming an issue. However, last Saturday around 9:00 I started growing antsy and restless and recognized that I was missing playing. Now I'm having withdrawal of sorts, I thought I'd take the rest of this year and next year off to catch up and do some woodshedding but I've been toying with the idea of contacting another band that stays a little more local and had expressed some interest this past year.

Normal or neurotic?
 

MilwMark

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I only play to play in bands so I may not be the right person to ask.

I also happen to believe (know) that playing in most, call them "conventional" bands in the broad pop/country/rock lexicon, does not require a skill level that requires woodshedding. So I'm probably doubly the wrong person to ask.

Find a local band.
 
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Happy Enchilada

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Doing something that much that requires that level of commitment can wear very thin.

I know because I did worship music for 12 years.
The last 6 were in a big box evangelical joint that had a Saturday night service and 3 back-to-back Sunday services.
They ran 2 worship teams because they couldn't find one single group of people who would do that every weekend.
As it is, this schedule completely dominated my life for 6 years.
Ruined every other weekend. Took precious time away from being with my growing boys.
One frosty February Sunday the parking lot was covered in ice.
I had a Fender HRD, a guitar, and a duffelbag full of odds and ends I used to set up to carry in from the car.
I made the mistake of parking a couple rows closer to the door than usual.
The pastor sent one of his minions around during the second Sunday service to tell me to move my car.
"So those who arrive late can park closer."
I finished out the weekend, packed my gear, and never returned.
And that's WITHOUT all the hours of driving you describe.
Good news is I went from that to being a Scout leader for my boys' troop for 9 years.
Got to enjoy life more, spend time with the kids, etc.

So yeah, no matter how much fun it is, it can get wearisome after a while.
 

Jakedog

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I’m about to be fifty. I’ve been doing this almost 36 years. Started playing out when I was 14. I’ve done the road/tour stuff, local stuff, even overseas stuff.

I’m having similar issues lately. I’m tired. But when I don’t play, I don’t know what to do with myself. If I don’t play *often*, I’m kinda miserable, and tend to make everyone around me miserable by extension.

One of the things that has helped me has been trying to do more things just because I enjoy them and think it’ll be fun. I’m trying not to care about the money. I mean, I have to. It’s my job. It’s the only income I have. But after doing it for this long, focusing on that above a lot of other stuff has really sucked the fun out of it.

I’m re-training myself to just not care if I blow a weekend and don’t make that much, if it’s a really fun and enjoyable gig with people I like being around. I obviously can’t do it every weekend or I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills. But I’m finding a lot of joy in playing music sometimes just because I feel like it, for pretty much the first time in my life. I can’t let it cost me money. I can’t afford that. I have to make enough to cover travel, food drinks, strings, and if traveling out of town, a room if I need one. Even at that I can’t do it every day. I gotta do my bread and butter gigs.

But after that, I just don’t care as much as I used to. It’s been good for me.
 

MilwMark

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I’m having similar issues lately. I’m tired. But when I don’t play, I don’t know what to do with myself. If I don’t play *often*, I’m kinda miserable, and tend to make everyone around me miserable by extension.
This. Plus hiatuses tend to get VERY expensive for me. When I'm playing regularly, my tone and gear are great. When I'm not, the whispers and curiosity kick in. Even though the **** I try out inevitably is sideways at very best and (overwhelmingly) more typically, not as good for my needs as what I already have. P.S., I'm an idiot.
 

bendercaster

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This. Plus hiatuses tend to get VERY expensive for me. When I'm playing regularly, my tone and gear are great. When I'm not, the whispers and curiosity kick in. Even though the **** I try out inevitably is sideways at very best and (overwhelmingly) more typically, not as good for my needs as what I already have. P.S., I'm an idiot.
Yep. Despite having a great setup that I was very happy with, I ended up with three more guitars and a lot of new pedals when the gigs stopped after March 2020.

The original post is a good reminder though. I had a gig this weekend and after hearing some cell phone recordings of it I was feeling pretty discouraged. We got good feedback from the audience, but still, the performance wasn't my best and felt wiped out for the rest of the weekend. I already have a demanding job, and busy family life, and I spent the last couple of days wondering if it was time to take a break from the band. But I know I would miss it. And, as Mark noted, it's too expensive for me not to gig.
 

Maguchi

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taking a year off to 'woodshed' is pretty silly, at the age of 60. How many years do you actually think you have left?

Offsides about the age, dang.

Getting better at the thing can be an end in itself. I'm not ready to even try playing out for all the reasons you listed, good on ya for even being out there.

If you don't like it, don't do it! Find another band, there are others, even when you're 60, I'm 74 and there are still other bands!
In my firsthand experience, a lot can be accomplished in just a year of woodshedding. People are living longer and playing out/professionally much later into their years these days. I've run into some monster players/musicians in their '70s who are playing out. I know a jazz saxophonist who's 80 and he plays 3 hour gigs twice a week. Yeah, I kind of cringed when I saw "pretty silly, at the age of 60."
 
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Sparky2

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Really good and popular classic country weekend band, 6 piece with pedal steel, fiddle and good sound person. Should be Telecaster heaven and it largely was but I grew tired of being a hired hand with little say in material, song lists, dress, etc. Since the bad thing we had to venture further out of town for gigs - Choice A: leave at noon or 1:00 on Saturday afternoon and get back home at 4:30 or 5:00 am provided there was no car or other trouble on the road, or Choice B: leave at noon or 1:00 Saturday afternoon and stay at a hotel after the gig, get home Sunday around noon. Traveling home netted $100 - $130 less meals and fuel, Staying overnight netted the same money less meals, fuel and hotel...either way the pay wasn't great and the weekend was shot. Finished out a string of gigs and called it quits with a couple month break looming, still on good terms with the band.

Other than the above mentioned frustrations I had 4 years of good fun and the band guys are all decent, very talented musicians. At 60 years old the late nights and travel were becoming an issue. However, last Saturday around 9:00 I started growing antsy and restless and recognized that I was missing playing. Now I'm having withdrawal of sorts, I thought I'd take the rest of this year and next year off to catch up and do some woodshedding but I've been toying with the idea of contacting another band that stays a little more local and had expressed some interest this past year.

Normal or neurotic?

Normal.

It was long overdue time for a break.

Toiling that hard, for so many hours (and for so little pay) is what I call 'working for bus fare back'.
Or maybe David Baerwald said it, and I stole it.

Either way, you were right to quit and to reassess your options.

:)
 

Colo Springs E

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I experienced the same thing when I left a fun gig about 12 years or so ago. Yep, I missed it--to include rehearsals, which were often more fun than the gigs themselves! Great group of guys.

But in the end, I knew it was the right thing to do, as I was (on occasion) placing the band before my actual job, and that was just not good. Never got me in any trouble, but had I kept that up, it could have caught up with me.

I saw them a few times after I left, and enjoyed seeing them play and yes, missed being up there with them. But when I left at 11pm to go home and knew I'd be sound asleep in less than an hour while they'd be loading out through a sea of drunks around 2:30 in the morning... that helped me get over missing it.

I've toyed with the idea of a small acoustic gig (2 or 3 people) but have never made it happen. I probably won't at this point, and that's okay too.
 




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