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OT: I decided to quit music..


Tomkeen

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Partially, that is..

 

To make a long story short, I've been playing in bands since age 15 (I'm 22 now). I've had some good experiences in my earlier years and always had a lot of fun playing with other people. The last 4 years though have been taking their toll on that fun. I've played with at least 15/20 different bands, and each and every one of them led me to nothing. Most of those bands were with people I've played with before, and most of them only lasted for a couple of weeks. One band was with a girl who became third on a national Idol/popstar-like program. We rehearsed once, mediahype started, they never called me again. Another band asked me to play with them around that time, but I declined since I already had three bands at that time.

 

After a month or 6 though, they called again to see if I was available. I was, and started playing with them. They played alternative/indie-rock covers, which I had never done before, but I liked it. After a couple of weeks or rehearsing, we decided to only play original material. I knew it would be a lot of work, but fast forward to now, a few months later, we only have one song that's finished, and some that still need a lot of work. After last nights horrible rehearsal I could only conclude that I don't have that same fun anymore in making music that I once had. I feel that I put a lot more energy, money and time into playing than I get back.

 

It has been such a frustrating experience that now I've decided to sell all my gear, except for the PC3x. I'm not going to play in any band anymore, at least for a while. I just want to play by myself now, and maybe focus some more on writing songs on my own instead of with a band.

 

Thanks for reading, really needed to vent..

 

(also posted this thread at KSS)

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Sorry to hear that dude, but if I can share a little, like a marriage, being in a band is a tough proposition. The best of them come with baggage. It sounds like you may need to be a little more selective about the people you join up with (like a marriage), and can't just join because it's "hot". :laugh:

 

But if you have the bug to write, a little time to do just that and figure out where you are as an artist can be helpful. I would also suggest that it's much easier being in a band when you're 20 than it is when you're 50, but can be just as enjoyable.

 

I would be a REALLY miserable SOB if I didn't have music. And while being in a band isn't the only way to enjoy music, I really do like the camraderie and accomplishment that can happen when a number of people work together.

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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Sounds/looks to me like you don't have a plan. You play with people who call you - you are not in charge - of yourself. 20 bands in 4 years? Those weren't bands they were social gatherings.

 

You are 22. Time to grow up, decide what you want to do, put together a plan to get there, work the plan, adjust the plan as necessary.

 

Good Luck.

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Thanks for the replies guys. You all make good points.

 

Sounds/looks to me like you don't have a plan. You play with people who call you - you are not in charge - of yourself. 20 bands in 4 years? Those weren't bands they were social gatherings.

 

You are 22. Time to grow up, decide what you want to do, put together a plan to get there, work the plan, adjust the plan as necessary.

 

Well, they were supposed to be bands. And I've never really been in charge. My current/now last band has a guitarist as band leader/singer/songwriter. We play music the way he wants us to (it felt that way to me anyway).

 

I don't really have a plan either. Right now, I'm not really sure if I want or need a plan. I just want to play music by myself, as I've always found that to be the most enjoyable way of playing in the last 4 years.

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Hey, seems obvious that you have had some horrible experiences and really played with the wrong bunch of people. If you wanted to go some where from the beginning thats not even the way to get known. You have to want to play more than anything else, never ever turn down playing any type of music, engagement, gig. I've been playing since I was 12 and I'm 58, I had to retire 10 years ago because of three severe car accidents that left me with a severely messed back. I still play for myself all the time. People walking by the house knock on the door and tell my Yanni cd is a bit loud, I tell them I was playing my keyboards. Are they impressed but I do not allow them to come in.

I would never ever stop playing I have far too much fun and it's a drug for me, and, I have a degree in music. Back in the 70's I went through 20 bands until I was put in one and we had a contract. I had a musical contract attorney look everything over and then started rehersal for a week. Then out and on ward. I went through three or four more bands like these guys. Then in the mid 70's the right rock band happened. They were signed and waiting for me, then touring and the whole big deal. I did very well for a long time then business problems happened. Attorneys, manager and others stealing. All fired and I hired my family to help. It all turned around years later and all was much better. If the car accidents had not happened I would still be working. The guy up in the sky had other idea's for me.

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Make your own band and give all your creative energy in that for a while. Stop being a gun for hire, and be a creative musician. Take one, two years off and give this time to your own energy. You're too young to stop playing music, unless you don't think yourself a real musician anymore. It's up to you...
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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Frustrations with bands never really ends. It's not like putting together a softball team, where you say, ok, I've got my infield and outfield, I just need a catcher and we sign up for this league, etc.,etc., . . . my point being, putting a band together is inherently much more "outside the box" than most group endeavors that people do. At least, that's how it's always been for me. Which means there's about a thousand ways that any given band project idea can go wrong, and far fewer ways it can go right.

 

So, why bother with something like that, when there are so many easier ways to fill your days? That, you have to answer for yourself. When I look back on 30 years of bands, the first thing I think of is all the interesting, off-beat, sometimes crazy people I met, many of whom became my very good friends. Of course, I also think of the music, the gigs, hundreds of groupies (or perhaps the number is closer to 7), and a little extra money. But even if meeting the people was all I ever got out of it, that would have made it worth it.

 

But sometimes you do have to put it, or aspects of it, down for awhile. I did that a few times. I do regret selling certain pieces of gear at certain times under the belief I wouldn't use it again, because I was often wrong about that.

 

The other way in which bands are not like a softball team is that you can keep doing it productively long after you, in your mid-30's, permanently screw up your back while making a diving centerfield catch in a playoff game in a suburb of Seattle, Washington. Or so I've heard.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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I understand your frustration. I haven't been in a lot of bands, and haven't had experiences similarly severe, but like the others here point out, seems like you got hold of the wrong bunch.

 

I can definitely relate to composing frustrations and the band vs. solo thing. I've been in an instrumental jazz/rock/electro band for the past nine months with my four best friends, and by now we have barely one hour of music. Could be due to perfectionism... and even though the songwriting efficiency varies - one time we wrote an absolute hit in two hours, another tune took two months to settle down - I find that despite contributing with grooves, themes, chord progressions, I can't really put my heart and soul in it. The music is great all right, but being in a band is about having a great time, not about honesty and self-expression. Composing with a band means making compromises all the time, and thus it's not you through and through. Chiming in with a reply at the KSS (Ooops, busted!) the most important composing for me is music that is remembered, not necessarily because it's awesome (although I hope it is), but because I'm laying my soul bare.

 

Those of my compositions that I am really proud of have all emerged by themselves at random or through my fingers when sitting at the piano. Speaking of which, not knowing whether you dig piano playing (as opposed to 'keyboard' playing), you might want to consider putting that bunch of money into an upright piano. Obviously I'm not familiar with your housing conditions either my productivity and level of expression has increased dramatically since getting my upright a few months back - even though I have top class grand pianos at my disposal for practice a lot of the time, being able to play a real breathing instrument just when inspiration or that particular mood sets in means the world of difference. The most gratifying purhase ever.

 

After having had a time like that, I appreciate your needing some time off duty. I'm not going to be a judge, but if you'd ever consider going back on market, I suggest you be the grosserer, not the merch. In case you haven't written a couple of tunes by then (which would surprise me :-) ), do the following:

- Settle on some music you think is awesome

- Call a couple of guys you think play well and you know you can rely on

- Play

 

For me, this is why, while bands may come and go, I know that as long as my fingers frequent ivory, I will play with a jazz trio playing my songs my way. Being an extension of the solo playing/composing sensation, I'm not just being honest to myself, but also to those two dudes behind the drums and the bass. Sorry, I'm getting a overly sentimental, I'll cut the crap.

 

 

I deffy catch your drift. Plus I'm relieved that you didn't quit entirely.

When in doubt, superimpose pentatonics.
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There has never been a better time to make music at home in your personal studio. When I was your age, if you were lucky, you had a Tascam 3340 (4 channel) tape deck, a Rhodes and a few synths. Without a record contract, getting your music heard was virtually impossible. Now, with your Kurzweil and a computer based DAW and soft synths you can do complete productions at home. And, for a few bucks, have your music distributed nationally on iTunes using TuneCore. Simply amazing the progress made in those years.

 

On the other hand, playing live has gone the other direction. The pay is less and the jobs are fewer. And with the on-going recession, it has become almost ridiculous. People have way too many entertainment options. Seeing a band doesn't make most people's top ten list any more.

 

Keyboardists don't need other players to make great music. So screw 'em.

 

Busch.

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Quitting bands that aren't happening is fine. But ultimately, you have to take responsibility for you own happiness. In the late 80's I was in a full time band that did a lot of original material, and I put all my blood, sweat & tears in it... for next to no money. A few key people quit the band at the same time and I was devastated & felt very betrayed. So I took some time off playing in a band & started working on being the next Yanni, or David Arkenstone (hey, gimmie a break, it was 1990). While that got me little more than a collection of rejection letters from record labels, it helped me further develop my writing, arranging, recording & production skills. Since I was doing all the music, I was in control of every note, and learned how to step back from the musicians perspective and listen to whether or not specific parts served the song well. Most musicians struggle with that. The point being, it made me a better musician, and helped me in my musical journey, as have all my good, and bad choices. So, take whatever steps you feel moved to take, and figure out who you are as a musician. That will help you say no when you should, and say yes when you stand to benefit.

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Bands can be total pain in the ass. Since you like playing music by yourself, consider doing a solo act. I'm a drummer, and I got tired of the band thing too. Now I am giving my all to the keyboards and developing as a solo act. If my clients have a bigger budget I can add on. I have an organized book of charts for horns and rhythm section and I know plenty of musicians that can show to the gig and sound great. Screw all those endless rehearsals with those flakes. Get your shit together and do it yourself!
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Let me reveal to you your greatest asset right now: You are 22 years old.

 

At that age, you've already accumulated seven years of experience (negative experience counts, by the way) playing with maybe 20 bands. It's not time to give up. It's

time to be thankful that you're still at the beginning of your adult life and can make a very well-thought-out decision on your future. I'm well over twice your age, and I graduated college with an unrelated degree before I played in my first band. By the time I had your years of experience, I was 30 and still hoping I'd latch onto the right band that would deliver me from any need to use my degree in a workplace environment. Long story short, I now play for fun and extra spending money. Here's my advice for you:

 

Get good. If you're good, get great.

 

It's fine to dabble in composition and play in bands for social reasons. But your overriding goal, while you're doing these other things, should be to improve your skills as a

keyboard player. That effort will never be wasted. Even if you become an accountant, you'll be the coolest one in the office. And you'll always be able to make extra money. If you do stick with it professionally, to say it's competitive out there is an understatement.

 

I started late in live performance and have done it without a sabbatical ever since, but I was not nearly as dedicated to learning and practicing as I should have been. When I see your situation, I think, "Geez, if had practiced just a half hour a day since I was 22, I could have been a freakin' monster by now." Woulda, coulda, shoulda. I hate to sound like the old, drunk uncle telling you how you should stay away from alcohol (I actually had one of those!), but it's true. Sign up with a great teacher, practice with a passion, gig with good players you can learn from, and -- what the hell -- stay away from alcohol! (In excess, anyway.)

 

Good luck

 

 

 

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At 22, you should be just starting to enjoy it. I started in bands at age 15 as well. From 18-22, I mostly just jammed with people. Starting at 22, I started playing full-time (as well as going to college). At around 32, I quit playing in bands, but I always kept playing keyboards. I was lucky enough to have had a a career in another part of the music biz, so music has always been with me. I'm in my 50's now, and just joined a band again. The only difference now is that I refuse to lug my Hammond C3 around. I'm going entirely virtual.
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At 22 you're *supposed* to try a lot of different things, to take on lots of new experiences. Just look at this as a new one. As so many other guys have said, get into your own composition. Find your voice. Find new influences. Enjoy making music, don't be frustrated trying to find others to help make it for you. Eventually, you'll find people you like to work with who are serious. Believe me, I didn't get to that little bar in Maastricht by enjoying most of the gigs I do, or by worrying about playing in a 'band'....
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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you are 22 and you have your whole life ahead of you. Don't give up on the band scene, just take your experiences and use them to help you critique and audition people. When someone calls you to be in a band, that doesn't always mean that you are the person who is auditioning. You need to evaluate those who are asking you to play as well. As many bands as you've been in, in such a short time, you might want to think about why you are playing with these projects that do not meet your goals. If you have certain aspirations, then make your projects meet those aspirations. I've been playing since I was 7 yrs old, been playing professionally since I was 19, I'm 47 now, and I'd never take a second of it back. Surround yourself with players who have similar aspirations as yourself, and enjoy it!

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

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Sorry to hear you are feeling frustrated right now, Tom. You got a lot of good advice/perspectives here, and I will just add a few thoughts:

 

I concur with many here that your greatest asset is that you are still young. You do have time to figure out your priorities and you have some experience under your belt, which is great. I would suggest, try not to look at changing course now as "failure." Part of deciding what's right for you is also knowing what you DON'T want to do. That is where your earned experience comes in, whether you choose to play in a group setting again or not. If you do choose a band situation again (either as stakeholder or sideman), you have a better grasp of personalities and situations that will work for you because of your experience.

 

Also, pay attention to your definition of "success" and be willing to revise it ... what I wanted to do in my 20s is not something I would touch with a 10-foot pole now. I look back and while some things didn't go the way I wanted them to at the time, I realize all the things I would have missed out on that I am grateful for now, if things took a different trajectory. You only come to see those pieces fall into place with perspective (read: age). For the time being, find the musical situation that brings you most joy, whether it be playing at home for your own enjoyment, or playing solo, writing and pitching songs, leading a band, being a side guy in lots of bands, etc. Once you take responsibility for your own happiness you will find priorities aligning to what makes you most happy.

 

Also, I don't know how applicable this is to you, but I know it had considerable (mostly) negative influence on me in my 20s, so I'll say this: try to discern what is YOUR internal definition/sense of success and separate that from external ones ("I have to sign to a label by the time I'm 30", or "I have to move to LA to make it" or whatever). The reality is, there could be cognitive dissonance between what you really want and what you THINK you SHOULD want in order to be successful.

 

Just some more grist for the mill ...

 

 

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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I have enjoyed reading this thread as I reflect upon a couple of things myself. I'm 40 years old and 2010 has been a very unkind year for me on numerous fronts, one of which revolves around my band scenario. I've been playing with a fairly lucrative general business band (weddings, corporate parties, festivals) for just over 10 years and while I prefer original rock star music, this has been a very good gig.

 

We had noticed in the past 1-2 years that business slowed down based on the economy and so our gigs have been lighter in general. Then, our amazing lead singer Monica died in April of this year, completely unexpected and extremely devastating to us. We have yet to find a full time replacement, but we have an OK substitute rotation. Today, I found out that our guitar player (also the bandleader), Jeff, is going to leave the band.

 

I am not surprised as Jeff is a very close friend of mine and we've discussed the demise of our band and how to rejuvenate it. We have not been very successful with these attempts and the band has been sliding backwards into an abyss following Monica's death. Most of our time over the past 6 months has been a death march of auditioning singers (several dozen at last count) and then a bunch of rehearsals with subs to ensure that we can simply play our repetoire with subs. Not very rewarding.

 

Jeff's departure might be the final nail in the coffin for my band. I am currently evaluating what to do, whether to step up and lead the band through this uncertain period or step down and let the band gracefully go away. We have 5 gig commitments spanning into mid-2011 that could probably be handled even if the band dies. But it is quite sad and distracting. I'm still dealing with the options and trying to decide the best way to play this.

 

TomKeen, I think you have a rich opportunity ahead of you and there is nothing wrong with taking a little break. Just don't kill it altogether!

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One good thing about quitting playing in other's projects - is that you can focus on your own project. Find your musical voice. Write a bunch of material. Then when you feel like playing it out, find players to make your own project fly!

 

I started playing professionally at 14, and did it continously until was 42. I've been mostly out of it for 15 years, but am starting to plan for my push back into music when I retire.

 

I am doing those same things - practicing, building instruments, writing and recording, and thinking about the band I am going to start when ready.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Hey duderino, +1000 to what they said.

Take some time out and eventually build a new group of your own. It might be more work, but at least for me it's often more rewarding than just being a sideman.

When we saw kanker in Maastricht I didn't realize you're my age! You seemed more mature than 22 (hee hee) so I guess you yourself know best what to do. But are you sure you wanna sell your beautiful Nords? Personally, I don't play my Electro much at home, but every month or so, there's that moment where I just *have* to have it under my fingers and I'm glad it's around.

Let's keep in touch, man!

It's not a clone, it's a Suzuki.
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Thanks again (and again) for the great advice. About the selling of my gear: I have most of the sounds I need in my Kurzweil, can use VB3 for hammond stuff and have some other softsynths that I can use for more synth-type sounds. I think having multiple boards distracts me somewhat from focussing on the music. I'm always like, oooh, let's try this lead on my blofeld, and I start playing lead lines for 20 minutes without anything else happening. I really think this is a good way to start over. Start writing my own material, maybe one day find a band to play that stuff with.

 

Also Mo, me mature? I guess the meeting was to short to see that I'm not mature at all, lol! (most of the time at least, haha).

 

Kevin: I understand what you mean. But since I have a fulltime job, which can be stressfull enough, I don't want to play professionally and just want to have fun playing. When the fun isn't there anymore, it's time for a change.

 

Geekgurl: I don't play music for the money or fame side of things, but like I said before, just for the fun. I just want to play without feeling frustrated and unhappy.

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I really can't add much more to what the others have said; only relate a similar experience.

 

After gigging regularly into the late 80s when I was in my very early 30s, I had a similar situation where it was difficult to keep the band going that I'd been with for a decade. Everyone had gotten married and had new obligations. It was frustrating and the duo I was also in wasn't as rewarding. So I got into my GlassTraks sequencing software for my trusty Commodore 64 and began composing out the wazoo. I'd always composed music since I was 9 years old but now with the technology at the time it was flowing out.

 

Did this and got into doing soundtrack music for films, videos and computer games. THAT became my focus throughout my 30s and playing live was a distant concern. It was very rewarding and challenging. But it led me back to wanting to perform with a band again.

 

By my 40s I was more interested in gigging the original music I'd written with my bandmates and it's been building ever since. I still compose soundtrack music professionally but my PASSION is to perform live more and I'm working on that despite some family tragedies recently. And I've been able to work around my bandmates' schedules so that I can perform with them more often.

 

So maybe it's just a phase for you as it was for me. Take a break from "bands" and reassess your musical life. As others pointed out, you're only 22 and have your whole life in front of you. Perhaps write, record and practice your keyboard technique and find your own voice and then find others who will support that voice.

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk

 

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Aethellis

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I remember at age 14 being totally frustrated with my guitar playing -- it was going nowhere, I felt like crap whenever I played. Then my sis got a new boyfriend, a musician, who heard me playing and she passed on his compliments. He ended up being my mentor for the next 2 years and breathed new life into my playing.

 

That's just an example, but I bet most of us know the frustration (regardless of the source) that makes us feel like we're ready to toss it.

 

I also bet a number of us actually have tried to toss it. But I don't think you choose it: it chooses you. You have no choice, you're destined to be a musician of some kind or another. Not playing would sap more of your energy than playing would take, and give nothing back!

 

Feel to take a break from bands. Try your hand at recording (you can probably do it at zero cost; ask if you wanna know more). Or songwriting. Or visit your local jams and meet a few guys.

 

Be careful about what you sell. Keep the stuff you absolutely know you'll want when you start gigging again. :D

 

 

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I also bet a number of us actually have tried to toss it. But I don't think you choose it: it chooses you. You have no choice, you're destined to be a musician of some kind or another. Not playing would sap more of your energy than playing would take, and give nothing back!

 

 

Eric here: That's been my experience - I just love playing, especially with good musicians and for good audiences! So I'm looking for another situation.

It's harder for me now though - I don't have as much patience playing with beginners (unless they actually want to LEARN something) or with people who absolutely and totally don't understand (or care to understand) what I am trying to do!

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That's just an example, but I bet most of us know the frustration that makes us feel like we're ready to toss it.
I've been away from my wife for a week.

 

I also bet a number of us actually have tried to toss it.
I usually succeed.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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