Author Topic: Playing again after many years off.  (Read 2997 times)

RoadRanger

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Playing again after many years off.
« on: April 13, 2010, 02:50:57 AM »
One of the conversations on BSWTB I was particularly interested in mentioned this.

Myself I played Bass back about 1980 for a few years. Then - just to live up to the stereotype - I married the lead singer  :facepalm:. Well, two kids and a divorce later I really needed to stay out of that "scene" to have a career in engineering.

Now I'm 54 and semi-retired (economy turned to crap but have enough saved up to not starve). Anyways I figured it would be a lot easier to get back into doing sound than playing so that's where I'm at. Been dabbling at it for a 5 years on and off but trying to get more serious about it this past year.

Things were real slow this winter so I started working on my playing. Thing is I just don't have 100+ songs I can whip out like most guys my age :(. I probably have played about 30 songs that are still part of the standard "Classic Rock" repertoire that I could work back up but they were a lot more fun when they were new if you get my drift ;).

Anyways I kinda found a strategy that works :). When I see an CraigsList ad that's been repeated there for a month or so I give them a call and tell them where I'm at and see if they want to jam. So, I'm jamming with some of the local Jazz guys once a week and have jammed with a metal band (drama put that on hiatus) and a original country project (drummer's brother decided to play bass for them).

I'm working up three contemporary country tunes right now for a band. Kinda funny - I've heard that all the stuff coming out of Nashville uses the same studio musicians and I'd swear all three have the same fretless bass player :facepalm:. Same exact tone and riffs :o. Don't know if I want to get as serious as these guys want but I'll check it out - at least it's stuff new to me :).

Actually the main band I do sound for are mostly my age and has only been together for 5 years. Both the drummer and keyboard player have only been playing that long. The singer was out of the biz for about as long as me. Lead guitarist actually had a career in sound doing tours and casinos. They sound pretty good actually - can really sell "Mustang Sally" :thu:.

Anyways anybody else out of it for over a decade but back in now?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 02:53:55 AM by RoadRanger »

rorylawford

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Re: Playing again after many years off.
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2010, 09:28:55 AM »
I was out for close to a decade. In the late 80's I toured Western Canada as the lead singer and guitar player in a hard rock cover band doing 6 nights a week in one town/city, then off to the next town for another 6 nights etc. and did that for full-time years and years. In around 91, the market here shifted - metal died, all the smaller rooms stopped bringing in live acts with any regularity, and many of the old rock clubs went over to country music. It became harder and harder to gig unless you wanted totrade in your Flying V for a tele, and trade the leather jacket for a 10 gallon hat  >:(. Now nothing against country, but it just ain't my thing.

I found myself in a strange city with no gig and no money so I got a job at one of the few places that would hire a long haired dude in those days - a porno video store  :facepalm:. That job grew into a career managing a chain of adult video stores across an entire province. Of course it was a little embarrassing to tell people where i worked  :-X and eventually I grew tired of THAT industry and looked for something to do long term.

I fell back into my other passion besides music - art and design. In fact when I graduated high school I was enrolled to go to college for graphic design, but had to drop out because my band ended up going full time on the road. So upon leaving the vid biz, I started training and started a professional career in graphic design which I still work in today. During this whole time, I still hung onto my old strat and an amp plus I picked up a fostex 4-track and did recording for fun in the den along with an old Boss drum machine. I eventually ended up moving back to my old hometown for a job opportunity a couple years later, met a girl here and got married.

One day I got a phone call from the other guitar player in my old road band. He said there was some chairty fund raiser coming up and lots of local musicians were throwing together one-off bands to do the show. He asked if I'd be interested in getting the old band back together for a reunion at the show just for fun. So the 4 of us got together and rehearsed a dozen of the old tunes we used to do back in the day. We showed up at the fundraiser and did our set and it brought the house down. No one was doing those songs anymore these parts around here - everyone else was modern rock or country. The crowd went nuts and we got offers that night from several local venues to gig at their clubs - and they were offering us money for a weekend that rivaled what we used to get paid for a whole week on the road back in the 80's. So of course we kept on keepin on with the band. It's now 11 years later and the line-up has changed a bit over the years - but the band is now an institution here and I love it! :thu:
I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down. I think that the problem *may* have been, that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being *crushed* by a *dwarf*.

RoadRanger

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Re: Playing again after many years off.
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2010, 01:22:47 PM »
He asked if I'd be interested in getting the old band back together for a reunion at the show just for fun.
The bass player for a band I do sound for is 60 something and the oldest in that band. His band from the '60s put together a reunion gig last year - rented a hall, sold tickets, and served a buffet. That was a real joy to do. While they weren't super tight or great as they only rehearsed together for a week (some came from the opposite coast) it was a real blast and everybody loved it. Kinda funny, the bass player doesn't sing in his regular band but he was the lead singer of that band and still has a good voice IMO.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 05:54:59 PM by RoadRanger »

Nobody Told Me

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Re: Playing again after many years off.
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 05:51:05 PM »
I jumped back in after 12 years off.  There was a 3 or 4 years stretch in the middle where my guitars were in storage and I didn't play a note.  One night in 2003, I was sitting at a Rush concert (my favorite band), and the desire to play came rushing back (pun intended) with such force that I could not resist.  Within 6 months I was in a band again, and by 2005 I had landed my current gig.

I found out that all those notes were right where I'd left them on the fretboard.  And yes, you can go home again...    :thu:

RoadRanger

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Re: Playing again after many years off.
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2010, 06:03:02 PM »
I found out that all those notes were right where I'd left them on the fretboard.
Yah, funny how that works :).
Quote
And yes, you can go home again...    :thu:
Still not sure if I want to ;). I enjoy doing sound just as much as playing and figure there are way less good soundguys around than good bass players?

rhat

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Re: Playing again after many years off.
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010, 07:23:27 PM »
I did 40 years on the sideline.  I went through several start up dad bands that never got out of the
shed which was ok to build chops.  Did a house seat for a jam night for a couple winters in a bar for a
view of the bay with some guys ,, and its making the transition to a regular backing band deal. 

The jam night deal was with some real good musicans,three of us  being re entry guys, so it took a
while but we are back in the game backing a real good front man.  Takes time, takes alot of trading up
 and maybe playing on the super cheap or for nada.  The key is to keep jumping to better players.