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Question for fellow late starters


(@phillyblues)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 127
Topic starter  

Was reading another topic on this board about band experiences and got me thinking of a question I've had since I decided to learn how to play.

I'm 40 and picked up a guitar only about 3 months ago. In my short time, I've loved every minute and think it would be really cool to (one day) be able to hook up with some folks with similar experience levels and play some live gigs (nothing serious, mind you, I'm just picturing a bunch of old geezers like myself playing for fun in something other than my basement...lol).

I know there's a lot of late starters out there, so just wondering if folks could share some of their own experiences (good, bad, or indifferent) and suggestions.

Thanks


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 geoo
(@geoo)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2823
 

I am almost as geezerly as you, 38, and started about 3 years ago.

My first "hook up" was a fellow that claimed to have played with some of the best country singers around. He really knew people, or atleast knew people who knew people. We started getting together and it was amazing how out of tune and off the rythmn he was. He began showing up later and later until finally I told him I need to find something more meaningful in my life.

My second hook up was more like what you described. Just a bunch of us that wanted to play now and then. Mostly, it was a very good experience. The downfall was probably in that we didnt remotely share the same interests in music. So, when we were doing original stuff or jamming it was great but when we would try to find covers we all enjoyed then it was tough to really mesh. We played one gig ( which can be view on my myspace if you really want to see it) and had a decent time for a while.

Overall, I have found it difficult to find people. People that have been easy to find were very strange. Normal people have been tough to find and to coordinate schedules. The best of the best I have met in three years I have met on GuitarNoise and even recorded some stuff with. I still look now and then for others to play with here but usually its tough.

Good luck searching. Try craigslist, your local music shops, etc. You'll find some people.

Jim

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


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 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

philly,

I could write a book about this as I started as did many people here even later than you. I've been at it for about 5 years or so, and pretty much OK with playing with other people.

What I found was when I started I had similar goals as you just to be able to play with some friends for fun, but it wasn't all that easy and maybe that's my fault or I picked the wrong people but it's been difficult.

What happens is you get together for the first time with some people because you want to jam, you get there and then every one says, What should we play, so you all start naming the songs you know and find out that none of you know the same songs, problem number 1. If you're all beginners that could be a problem.

So I went through several of those situations. I think if you can find someone, find at least one player that's experienced it will help alot with getting things going. I've jammed with a few people from this forum who were all much more experienced than me and learned alot from each..I have to say I'm sorry to Smokindog, he ahd to put up with my lack of skills when I was down in Charlotte and thankfully he didn't make fun of me.

So back to the jams. Once you find a group and realize that you don't know any of each others songs what next. well you have to sit down and decie what songs you guys want to play and then go find the music etc and send it out to everyone. Hopefully the next time you get together people will have practiced the songs.

I got to this point and as my playing got passable we decided to get a bit more serious and started working on songs and practiced each week. I actually like the structured practice thing, I'm not sure why but I don't mind playing a song over and over again trying to perfect it.

Anyway the only suggestions I can give you is to try and find people to play with as soon as you can, you'll improve much faster, partly because I think you don't want to let anyone done when you go to jam so you tend to take practicing a bit more serious.

I just read geoo's response and I agree as you get older it becomes difficult to find people to play with regularly.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@phillyblues)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 127
Topic starter  

Yeh, I can see how finding people (let alone people you mesh with) could be the most difficult part. The real world (ie. work, family, etc.) doesn't leave much time to get out there and connect with other like minded folks.

I keep hoping that my next door neighbor is secretly starting to learn to play the drums. LOL.


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 lars
(@lars)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1121
 

It's difficult yeah. I've been playing for some 15-20 years. I tried some band settings a few times in my youth, but it never really clicked. I never felt good enough to try to join a "real" band, so I always tried to start something new. But the people I enjoyed spending time with didn't have much clue about music - tried some various settings a few times and gave up more or less. Then I spent 10-15 years strictly on accoustic guitar solo. Then when I turned 30 a few years back - I got an electric guitar and a band - my brother has always had this secret dream of playing bass. We should have started together 15 years ago, but at least we've started now. We've found this other guitar player too. Looking for a drummer.

So basically, in hindsight, what I should have done different - I should have swallowed my pride, abandonded my fear and put down an effort to hook up with a band at an early stage. I guess I would have learned a lot from playing with someone better than myself. so if you manage - don't wait until you feel good enough. I still don't feel good enough for anything - and I am by far the most experienced of the three of us - but we do have a lot of fun.

lars

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

I started at 45. I just play by myself for my own amusement. Don't have the time or energy to get out and hook up with others.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

I guess I do not remember what my social intentions were, if any, when I started. I did have one good friend who decided to re-start when I started, but he's been going through hell and back letly, so we've now played once in over a year's time. I'm with Ricochet about going out and looking, but if someone appeared out of th thin blue sky, I'd take the opportunity for sure. It's a lot of fun.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

philyblues...take heart. there are a lot of us geezers out there rockin. I am closer to retirement than I am to puberty now. a friend and I are toying with the idea of starting a band. of course we would play the things we know and grew up with. classical rock and classic garage rock. down and dirty. there are many doing the same thing.

I fill in for another friends band when their bass player is down. one of the best gigs was standing on a flat bed on Main street in a small country side town celebrating June Dairy Days. little kids where dancing in the street. I think they were into being in the street more than they were into the music. the parents did like us. they could stand outside the bar with beer cups and smokes. we got them to dance. I made ten dollars. one of my funnest gigs.
the next day we opened for the main act. we stood in the towns park gazebo. brat smoke was everywhere.

these kinds of venues are very forgiving. it is all about fun and entertainment.
we play well but we're no rock gods. we get asked back all the time.

so you can do this.
organize. make a set list. learn the songs backwards and frontwards. then put yourself out there.
just put yourself out there.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@phillyblues)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 127
Topic starter  

Thanks all, great experiences.

Kind of wierd, when I started playing, never even thought of playing with others but oddly enough since I've been on this forum I've come to realize how many others out there are like me and started later in life and so I've come to realize its not so far fetched. If it happens, great, if not...that's cool too since playing in it of itself is such a fantastic thing.


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

I only started playing seriously about 4 years or so ago - decided to see if I could find on-line guitar lessons and found Guitarnoise. As I started to improve as a guitarist, so my confidence grew; I took a guitar on holiday to Spain, couldn't bear the thought of not playing for 10 days. First night there, there was no-one in the bar, so I brought the guitar down and played a few tunes. As people wandered in, they'd come over and ask if I knew such a song, so I'd have a go it: one of the best nights I've ever had. The following night, the Mrs fell off a bar stool and fractured her femur!

A week later, after visiting her in hospital, I decided to call in for a pint on the way home. Called in a pub, no more than five minutes walk from my house, but which I very rarely visited - there was a bunch of older guys, all with acoustic guitars, sat round playing a bunch of old songs. I vaguely knew one of them; we got talking, and when he found out I played, he lent me a guitar for a couple of songs. The week after, I took my own guitar in, and I've been going there on-and-off ever since.

I got friendly with one of the guys there who has similar musical taste to me - we jam regularly, at least once a week, more if we can make it. We play more classic rock - Hey Joe, All Right Now, Stay With Me, Light My Fire etc - than acoustic, we've taken electrics to the pub a few times but it doesn't go down that well with some of the older guys.

All this came about because I went in a different pub.....you never know when you'll have a lucky break! (Oops, no pun intended there....) I found that playing with a bunch of other people REALLY tightened up my playing, especially the timing; found I was watching other people's hands for chord changes, then anticipating the changes.

So my advice would be, definitely find some other people to play with, even if it's just a pub/campfire/basement jam - it'll improve your playing tremendously. I was 47 when I called in the pub that night, and I was one of the youngest people there - so it can happen at any age!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@musenfreund)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5134
 

I started about 7 years ago at the age of 45. I never ever thought I'd get to join a band. But I've got a friend who's a talented musician and he decided to get some of us together and mold us into a band to play around campus. We've been at it for around five years now, I guess -- and we're not bad. The others are far more experienced than I am but I manage to make a contribution. We get several gigs a year playing around town for charitable events and playing for homecoming events etc. The students invite us every year to play a slot in their outdoor music festival in the spring. And we even got to play an alumni event at the Cleveland House of Blues recently. You just never know where this road will take you if you focus on having fun. I still think the best part is our Sunday band practices sometimes. But it's fun to know that you'll get to get up on stage and play the stuff you're working on.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


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(@mahal)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 108
 

I was born again, that experience lead me to a place where I thought about playing guitar. And once I started playing church gave me a musical goal. What I needed to be able to do to praise Him. And since we are not a big church which hires in musicians it is sort of like Robert Randolph's story, the brothers taught me.


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

That's great, Mahal!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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