I used to be a guitar player/singer/songwriter…

Chud

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There was time when my primary response if someone asked “what do you do?”, was to say “I’m a singer and a songwriter.” I never made my primary living off of it, but I was a young musician in NYC carrying my guitar with me pretty much everywhere, playing every gig I could, and collaborating with other musicians as much as I could.

Recruiting, training, recording, and gigging with a few iterations of my band, I actually became a decent rhythm guitar player. Those skills fade quick if not maintained though.

Here’s my existential crisis:

It’s been a while since I’ve been that active either as a songwriter or a singer, let alone a guitar player or band leader. I’m now in a catch 22 where I know I need to get out and play, even if just solo acoustic to rebuild some chops and confidence, but I know I’m not gig ready w other musicians.

Anyone else feeling this? Anyone else feel like they USED to be a musician/singer/songwriter/guitar player?
 

Jupiter

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For several years when I wasn’t playing at ALL, I still kept my left hand nails short and my right hand nails long, though I didn’t really have any practical reason for it, and was a bit embarrassed if anybody noticed it.

I’m playing at least a bit several days a week now.

You never know when you might become a singer-songwriter again!
 

Telekarster

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I hear you man. When I was chasing the neon rainbow, I was up to my eyeballs in all things related to music and the biz. I left that lifestyle a long time ago, and pretty much spend my time as a studio musician today. It's not my main gig however, just something we do for fun and as a way to keep our chops up, as much as possible. You're right, if you don't use it you'll lose it and then you kind of have to start back to square 1.
 

StoneH

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There was time when my primary response if someone asked “what do you do?”, was to say “I’m a singer and a songwriter.” I never made my primary living off of it, but I was a young musician in NYC carrying my guitar with me pretty much everywhere, playing every gig I could, and collaborating with other musicians as much as I could.

Recruiting, training, recording, and gigging with a few iterations of my band, I actually became a decent rhythm guitar player. Those skills fade quick if not maintained though.

Here’s my existential crisis:

It’s been a while since I’ve been that active either as a songwriter or a singer, let alone a guitar player or band leader. I’m now in a catch 22 where I know I need to get out and play, even if just solo acoustic to rebuild some chops and confidence, but I know I’m not gig ready w other musicians.

Anyone else feeling this? Anyone else feel like they USED to be a musician/singer/songwriter/guitar player?

I gigged for a decade (sole income from high school until joining the USAF). I quit for 40 years, so I really was a "used to be" musician/singer/songwriter/guitar player. I just started playing again last September. Even though I'm not gigging, I am writing songs, making videos, covering songs I always wanted to learn, and posting to SoundCloud (and Twanger). I would not be doing any of this if I had not "discovered" Home Studio Recording. Recording is allowing me to recover my skills. I started with a free DAW, a couple of mics, and an audio interface. If you aren't already doing it, I would highly recommend giving it a try. I will continue being a musician until the end.
 
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feldkeen

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Starting back to basics at square 1 just might be what it takes to get that smash hit climbing the charts with a bullet. Go from sex, bugs, and cobwebs to the high life.
 

johnnylaw

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I have a passion for music that has not faded. I’m fine being an amateur/hobbyist.
I can offer only that I write and sing much better than ever before. I guess I’ve witnessed more, and now have a broader context available to frame the stories.
Just do it.
 

Lou Tencodpees

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I haven't gigged in many years and really don't miss it. I started writing songs the moment I learned 3 chords and have always preferred cobbling together recordings in basements, crammed closets and dedicated "studio" rooms somewhere in the house. I do miss jamming with my buds.

These days my muse comes and goes as she pleases. I think she's cheating on me, quite frankly.😄

I've never formed the words "singer-songwriter" on my lips but have used them on various places I've posted my stuff.
 

Midgetje94

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I’ve stated it before. But I’m in the same boat. I played metal in Dallas growing up. The modern drop B tuning. Takes all of 2 fingers 🤣. Pretty much self taught from tabs that the lead guitarist wrote out. But it worked. Fast forward to now. I’m into the more southern alternative, country, rock vibe. And honestly. I love the local musicians. But playing wise. They intimidate the hell out of me haha. Self insecurities hold me back a lot now.
 

brookdalebill

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It all comes back when you get back into it, IMO.
The key is finding compatible partners.
It’s often challenging to find like minded, cooperative people.
Sometimes you get lucky in that department.
Glad you’re writing again.
I can write on demand, but I’m often uninspired, and more often lazy!
 

tomasz

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Thats the moment in life, that you answer differently to the question, on what you are doing.. you just say " You know, I'm a hedonist, I enjoy life" ;)
 

bdkphoto

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There was time when my primary response if someone asked “what do you do?”, was to say “I’m a singer and a songwriter.” I never made my primary living off of it, but I was a young musician in NYC carrying my guitar with me pretty much everywhere, playing every gig I could, and collaborating with other musicians as much as I could.

Recruiting, training, recording, and gigging with a few iterations of my band, I actually became a decent rhythm guitar player. Those skills fade quick if not maintained though.

Here’s my existential crisis:

It’s been a while since I’ve been that active either as a songwriter or a singer, let alone a guitar player or band leader. I’m now in a catch 22 where I know I need to get out and play, even if just solo acoustic to rebuild some chops and confidence, but I know I’m not gig ready w other musicians.

Anyone else feeling this? Anyone else feel like they USED to be a musician/singer/songwriter/guitar player?

Hey Chud- Don't overthink this - there's a bunch of possibilities going on as we are re-emerging from the last 2 years here in NYC. Some talented friends are starting a regular get together for open mike/jam evening as well as a nice circle of friends that are open to new projects/networking musically. PM me or contact me through my website, perhaps theres an opportunity to shed some of the rust and have some fun musically.

Bruce
 

nojazzhere

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There was time when my primary response if someone asked “what do you do?”, was to say “I’m a singer and a songwriter.” I never made my primary living off of it, but I was a young musician in NYC carrying my guitar with me pretty much everywhere, playing every gig I could, and collaborating with other musicians as much as I could.

Recruiting, training, recording, and gigging with a few iterations of my band, I actually became a decent rhythm guitar player. Those skills fade quick if not maintained though.

Here’s my existential crisis:

It’s been a while since I’ve been that active either as a songwriter or a singer, let alone a guitar player or band leader. I’m now in a catch 22 where I know I need to get out and play, even if just solo acoustic to rebuild some chops and confidence, but I know I’m not gig ready w other musicians.

Anyone else feeling this? Anyone else feel like they USED to be a musician/singer/songwriter/guitar player?
I know I'm gonna catch flack for this, and it's not a "hard core" opinion.....but I believe to call yourself a musician you have to be performing for people. That could be sitting in a studio recording music to be distributed to others, but really SHOULD be live performing in front of an audience. Playing and singing in your bedroom or den is fine, and you have to develop skills somehow, but the ultimate goal should be "playing out". I've been through the trials and tribulations of putting bands together too many times, and it's almost an impossible task. I'm so frustrated with the process myself, that I'm contemplating something I've NEVER done before.....solo busking. Yes, the possibilities are extremely limited and confining, but at least there's little "band drama". (unless you are schizophrenic)
It's also a fact that the voice, as a muscle, HAS to be exercised regularly, as well as guitar chops, to maintain any level of proficiency.
None of this is meant as a criticism of "hobbyists", and whatever you choose to do doesn't need any approval or endorsement by me. It's just that if you (or anyone) is good at what they do, it should be shared with others.
Good luck. ;););)
 

JoeNeri

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Silver City, NM
Agree. Don’t overthink it. And, by all means, don’t compare yourself to other players. Just be yourself and be kind to that self.

Last, one of the integral aspects of performing live is that you’re absolutely gonna make mistakes, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned pro or a born-again newbie. Just go with it and enjoy the experience of performing in front of folks.
 

kuch

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Call yourself whatever you choose, be whoever you choose, as long as you're enjoying whatever you do. As long as you're not impacting others negatively.

And if it matters what others think of you, that's ok too
 

Toto'sDad

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My father in law built their primary and vacation house and most of the furniture in them. But he’s never sold a piece. That’s some hobby. I strum three cowboy chords at church Sunday morning and I’m a musician.
Close to twenty years ago. The church we were attending lost their piano player. I was asked if I could lead singing with my guitar until they got a new piano player. It ended up being serval months. I didn't read music, so what I'd do is put everything I played in a key my wife could sing in, because she sings in keys that most people have no problem singing in. Five songs twice a day three days a week, leading singing in church is no easy task.
 




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