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

Telecaster88

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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. ;););)

Not giving you "flak," I promise :), but I wholeheartedly disagree, at least in terms of if you're not playing live you're not really a musician. So the Beatles after 1966 weren't full-fledged musicians anymore? (The most obvious example I could come up with.)

I played in bands from my teen years through mid-twenties, until hearing damage and pain (hyperacusis) forced me to quit. That was in the mid-nineties. About four years ago I picked up the guitar again and began writing more songs. Last year my old band got together long-distance and recorded four new songs to put up on Bandcamp. My ears are a lot better than they were at their worst, but live performance is still pretty much physically out of the question for me. From here on out it's playing solo at home, writing songs, and recording them with my bandmates long distance (four guys, four different states!). That said, having music back in my life after decades without playing has lifted my spirit more than I could ever imagine.

I'm comfortable saying I'm a musician. That's a term that fits a lot of different situations.

End of Flak Attack! :p

For the OP -- when I picked up guitar again after those decades off, I was like "Wow, I really suck now!" A few weeks later I was back in the saddle. Don't worry, it really is like riding a bicycle.
 

Deeve

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Maybe you can frame it like they do @ the US Marine Corps - they don't Have any "former marines"

You're not a "former Singer Songwriter" - maybe you've transferred to "active reserve"?
 

nojazzhere

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Not giving you "flak," I promise :), but I wholeheartedly disagree, at least in terms of if you're not playing live you're not really a musician. So the Beatles after 1966 weren't full-fledged musicians anymore? (The most obvious example I could come up with.)

I played in bands from my teen years through mid-twenties, until hearing damage and pain (hyperacusis) forced me to quit. That was in the mid-nineties. About four years ago I picked up the guitar again and began writing more songs. Last year my old band got together long-distance and recorded four new songs to put up on Bandcamp. My ears are a lot better than they were at their worst, but live performance is still pretty much physically out of the question for me. From here on out it's playing solo at home, writing songs, and recording them with my bandmates long distance (four guys, four different states!). That said, having music back in my life after decades without playing has lifted my spirit more than I could ever imagine.

I'm comfortable saying I'm a musician. That's a term that fits a lot of different situations.

End of Flak Attack! :p

For the OP -- when I picked up guitar again after those decades off, I was like "Wow, I really suck now!" A few weeks later I was back in the saddle. Don't worry, it really is like riding a bicycle.
I knew there would be holes and disagreements when I made my initial assertion, and probably can't "explain" my way out, but obviously one can call themselves whatever they like. There are definitely "degrees" of musicianship. (and an aside....The Beatles were still recording and putting music out, and working independently when not together) Temporary "breaks" don't strip you of being a musician......but I completely acknowledge that there could be better musicians playing privately in their bedroom than one playing every weekend in a seedy bar. Can I call myself an "actor" because forty-five years ago, working at a boring retail job, I "pretended" to be a salesperson? (OK, bad illustration, too)
I guess my point, poorly made, is that I "kind of" make a distinction between a performer and a hobbyist......and as I stated before, I DON'T mean to criticize or "diss" an amateur or hobbyist.
I'll stop now before I make it any worse. ;)
 

StoneH

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I knew there would be holes and disagreements when I made my initial assertion, and probably can't "explain" my way out, but obviously one can call themselves whatever they like. There are definitely "degrees" of musicianship. (and an aside....The Beatles were still recording and putting music out, and working independently when not together) Temporary "breaks" don't strip you of being a musician......but I completely acknowledge that there could be better musicians playing privately in their bedroom than one playing every weekend in a seedy bar. Can I call myself an "actor" because forty-five years ago, working at a boring retail job, I "pretended" to be a salesperson? (OK, bad illustration, too)
I guess my point, poorly made, is that I "kind of" make a distinction between a performer and a hobbyist......and as I stated before, I DON'T mean to criticize or "diss" an amateur or hobbyist.
I'll stop now before I make it any worse. ;)

I'll try to post something on "Twanger" this weekend to keep up my musician card. :cool:
 

Lou Tencodpees

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If you look at all different genre names in music it can be opined that musicians (or people who identify as musicians) can be obsessed with pigeon holes. That's actually a curious term, pigeon holes, because from a distance...well...
 

Timbresmith1

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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?
Yep. Just get back out there and embarrass yourself on a solo gig a couple of times.
Also: “Reformed ex-musician” might be a good marketing angle or opening joke…”I used to be in a lousy band, so instead, I decided to strike out on a solo career” 😉
 
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String Tree

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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?
It means you were put on this planet to do more than just one thing.
Do the best you can, enjoy the Ride.
 

Matt G

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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 . . . Anyone else feeling this? Anyone else feel like they USED to be a musician/singer/songwriter/guitar player?
Heya, @Chud. John Lennon took five years off from the business, but he was still the real deal. If in doubt, just get back on the horse.

My humble advice (which I'm trying to take myself, right now) is to give up one bad habit and use the free time to kick a good musical habit back into gear. As soon as you start doing it again, you'll be it again.

Meanwhile, if anyone asks me what I do for a living, I tell 'em I drive the ice cream truck.
 

Painter644

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Delaware
Not giving you "flak," I promise :), but I wholeheartedly disagree, at least in terms of if you're not playing live you're not really a musician. So the Beatles after 1966 weren't full-fledged musicians anymore? (The most obvious example I could come up with.)

I played in bands from my teen years through mid-twenties, until hearing damage and pain (hyperacusis) forced me to quit. That was in the mid-nineties. About four years ago I picked up the guitar again and began writing more songs. Last year my old band got together long-distance and recorded four new songs to put up on Bandcamp. My ears are a lot better than they were at their worst, but live performance is still pretty much physically out of the question for me. From here on out it's playing solo at home, writing songs, and recording them with my bandmates long distance (four guys, four different states!). That said, having music back in my life after decades without playing has lifted my spirit more than I could ever imagine.

I'm comfortable saying I'm a musician. That's a term that fits a lot of different situations.

End of Flak Attack! :p

For the OP -- when I picked up guitar again after those decades off, I was like "Wow, I really suck now!" A few weeks later I was back in the saddle. Don't worry, it really is like riding a bicycle.
Bicycles are easier: only a little balance, a desire not to fall, and no theory or memory beyond a few muscles.
 

studio

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May 27, 2013
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Yep. Just get back out there and embarrass yourself on a solo gig a couple of times.
Also: “Reformed ex-musician” might be a good marketing angle or opening joke…”I used to be in a lousy band, so instead, I decided to strike out on a solo career” 😉
Yes, tell them you are a recovering musician on
The 12 tone program.
You study the big book.
Mickey Baker!

Your sponsor is Warren Haynes.
 




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