So, this is what I call my mid-life-crisis that happens every few years related to playing guitar. When I was young, many of my friends were musicians. We all had dreams of “making it” in the biz. That group was eventually refined further by people that eventually ended up in bands which is a way of taking things a bit more serious. But “life” usually starts creeping in. Musicians started to get married. Some had kids. Some focused on school and career. Mortgage payments, diapers and daily commutes started to interfere with the dreams of being a *pro* musician.
Pretty soon, you blink and you’re in your 40s/50s/60s and finding peers that still play, becomes much harder. Out of your friends, you’ve realized many of the friends stopped playing years ago.
For me, personally, I’m lucky because I still have a good grip of friends that still play in bands. I really think it’s because of the community and scene that is here that encourages that. I’ve gone in big phases of being extremely active and playing in multiple bands, to points of being holed up in the basement and playing scales because I had nothing else going on.
There are times – and this is where I’m going to go into my mid-life-crisis – where you start to take things for granted. As a musician and a band member, there are those nights where you work so hard to prep for a performance. Many hours of rehearsal. Travel time. Taking time off from work and family. Hauling gear there and back, etc. You step on that stage to play the set, and hardly anyone is there. In your head, you convince yourself, it’s not about the crowd size. You’re there to rock for 1 person or a full crowd. But then that little voice starts creeping into your brain. Why are you doing this? Is this really worth all the BS? It starts to wear you down – and you hope for that great show to turn your attitude around.
For me, when I was in the basement just mashing out scales – I would think I would do anything to be in a band again. I would say to myself, I wish I could just play with others. Hell, I would be stoked to just practice once-a-month and NEVER even play out.
When I start to feel whiny about why I play, I have to think about those days. Remind myself, that I do like to play. That it is worth it. Why do I keep playing guitar? Because it’s who I am, not what I do.
Do you guys know what I’m talking about? Let me know how you overcome these feelings. I think many of us go through this. Let’s have a therapy session…. in the comments!