Anyone else here stopped gigging?

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MistyMisty Frets: 119
edited September 11 in Guitar
I've been gigging for over 40 years, mostly locally but not always, toured Germany and Austria for over a year some time ago, and had the same band (blues rock trio) now for over 25 years. Recently I suffered a brain tumour which I'm in the process of having treated, and hopefully all will get sorted out in the next few months. 
So, I have stopped gigging amongst other activities. The strange thing is I don't really miss it, and it's good to have the break. Over the years I managed to get together my guitar/amp collection, which I'm more than happy with, and have no desire to change anything. 
But it's frustrating, I play my guitars at home, try to keep my playing ability up together, enjoy that but feel just playing at home is not enough.....or is it?
I don't often publish stuff like this, but I'm genuinely interested to know how others feel, is anyone else here just happy with playing at home, for example?
Thanks for any opinions, advice, etc......

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  • After riding motorbikes on thr road for a few years I started doing track days.  After a couple of years of tracks days road riding just didn't cut it.   Eventually gave up altogether as I couldn't keep up that feeling of track day glory.   I don't miss it at all now.  Time heals all.
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  • In June this year, I realised that I didn't want to play live anymore and I stopped, just like that. It's a bit odd but I think the urge will come back. I just need a rest from it

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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 4718
    tFB Trader
    40 years of gigging for me too! Pressure of work stopped me playing live when I started Oil City Pickups. I've dabbled with it again recently, but it uses up so much time and energy. 
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • sawyersawyer Frets: 440
    Get yaself a 'hobby' band together? That's what me and some pals do once a month at rehershal rooms. Bit of noise,bit of fun couple hours a month. Does ya good:)
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  • Yea. What @sawyer said is good advice. No need to stop playing out altogether, just don’t gig. maybe an original band that you can go out and record together with. 
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  • DominicDominic Frets: 4975
    Sorry to hear of your illness........wish you a speedy recovery.
    I think gigging is great fun but I am no longer doing it.I was never in your league but have done quite a few years on and off on the local pub circuit.Being late 50s I remember the days of my teens when decent bands and even crappy ones would pack out the well known live music pubs of North London and listen in awe to the band complete with sad "air guitarists" doing their thing in front of a little stage or raised platform..........it was loud , unrestrained and we felt like The Rolling Stones .
      I would even see some well known bands giving a new album a trial run in some of the better venues which seem to be the same places that now host re-born 70s rock bands composed of the odd surviving member or the more fringe established acts like Albert Lee etc. Generally the turn-out is very poor given the pedigree of the artist and seems to be 90% composed of people from other bands or members of this type of forum going to appreciate the skill ; not the public at large.
      Today,it's hard to get a decent gig even if you are a very good band - the first suggestion of covers ,a wisp of grey hair or being old enough to hold a driving license automatically excludes you from the "happening"venues where young and original acts jostle to get recognised and often even pay for the privilege of sharing gear with 5 other bands and doing 2 or 3 numbers !
     As for pubs and clubs ; the "Dad Rock " thing is a sad joke and most of the potential audience is too busy making their Horlicks at home ......but even if you ramp it up with a click track ,some  semi rock versions of current or recent hits and some great arrangement it just doesn't have the appeal to the demographic that produces a good revenue for the bar -take .
     Apart from being shoe-horned into a corner with a Bass headstock in your left ear and the drummer having to leave half the kit behind you have to contend with a jobsworth running round with a decibels meter only to be regarded as a background noise nuisance by half the regulars who only want to know if you can play any Ed Sheeran or a grey-ponytailed saddo who wants to hear Smoke on the Water .
     If you are a hardcore and very good blues band then of course there are specialised clubs but they are limited.
     There is a good market for really good 11 piece Function bands playing Ballrooms /marquees with stages for corporate functions, events with sophisticated covers.
    If you are very young and got great original material there is a potential world awaiting.
    If you have heard what I have heard then it's probably time to reconsider........amongst the better quotes ;
    " Do you all have to play because it takes up a lot of room "
    " We prefer a Monday night because it's quiet"
    "oh no, not a weekend .....the punters prefer a Karaoke "
    " Could you just play very quietly in the background ......they want to be able to hear the quiz "
    Of course, it's not all like that but for the 20% of the time you get to play the local Corn Exchange or large Club it certainly makes you wonder although I'm sure after 25 years you have got a regular following.
    Personally I get bored at home but I love getting together with some other decent musicians at a quality Rehearsal venue /studio and playing some standards or good jamming especially if somebody with unusual ability or unusual instrument is involved ........I had massive fun with a tele playing with a good Pedal Steel player doing some country stuff.
     I would take a long afternoon of that kind of thing over a 2nd rate gig any day.
    Why don't you get together with your old bandmates and stretch your wings into some slightly different genre / challenging material or invite some other musicians along and work on playing around them/giving them space by re-arranging or playing thinner inversions/stab chords etc.......it's a skill in it's own right . That to me has become the fun especially when you work on something and it starts to really come together and sound rewarding.A great player could sit down with an accordion player and come up with a great rendition of a popular song after a couple of hours !
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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 16331
    I've always seen gigging as the downside to being in a band. I like rehearsals, recording, jams and open mic nights but I really don't like big audiences. I used to get stage fright to the point where I'd almost feel sick. OK, it would settle down 2 minutes into the gig but I couldn't stand the pre-gig hour or so.
    Much preferred recording.
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  • OssyrocksOssyrocks Frets: 990
    I'm not gigging anymore, but it wasn't really a conscious decision to stop. I had been in bands constantly since 1983 until late 2015 when I had to stop because of a serious back problem. I quit work because I couldn't drive anymore (took a severance deal) and in mid 2016 had major spinal surgery to fix the problem. Recovery has been slow and steady and I'm ok these days, but I can't/won't lift anything heavier than a 5E3 Deluxe. 

    I dabbled again in late 2017 early 2018 with some guys who advertised on Joinmyband, classic rock stuff. There was potential, but they sacked me when I suggested we really ought to rehearse properly and get things right.

    Since then I have had every intention of getting my own band together again. I have a great drummer and bass player at my disposal and have even done a few rehearsals. But I find it hard to keep up the momentum and the thought of shlepping round all the pubs to get gigs and playing to half interested audiences really doesn't appeal anymore.

    I love playing still and can spend hours at home practicing stuff and playing to tracks. I have some really nice guitars and amps which I also love.

    I think jam nights are where I'm headed now. There's a few locally and I can pick one of my guitars and a 5E3 and just turn up and play whenever I feel the urge.

    Weekends (Thursday to Monday) are spent at our caravan by the sea now, walking the coast, reading, listening to music and playing guitar.

    Now, where's mi pipe and slippers?

    Rob.
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 6492
    edited September 11
    I've never started gigging and I doubt I ever will.

    But having read the OP, I hope your medical treatment goes well @Misty. ;In the last few weeks I've heard a lot about people I know, or know of, being taken ill.  We must be reaching that age, unfortunately.
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  • rossirossi Frets: 712
    I stopped gigging in the 60's .After going all folky I stopped most  playing until 2007 apart from a brief bash in the early 80's.I didnt even know what overdrive was .In 2007 I started again ,pulled a Westone Thunder out of a wardrobe ,learned what overdrive was and started some actual practice.Hooked up with some local guys for studio blues jams and recently started pub blues jams .I also try and play jazz/jump blues/anything I can get away with  stuff ,at a local open mike jazz club .great fun and keeps me honest at 74.
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  • You wouldn't know it to look at our gig schedule but, no, I've not stopped gigging.  :)

    You absolutely can't beat playing with other people, for other people.

    It is a shame it's such a grind, as highlighted in many posts above, but the odd belting gig usually makes up for all that.
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  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 5843
    tFB Trader
    Misty said:

    But it's frustrating, I play my guitars at home, try to keep my playing ability up together, enjoy that but feel just playing at home is not enough.....or is it?
    .
    I've not gigged for a while now, for various reasons - But playing at home, on my own and I do question the purpose of it - Not so much that I don't want to play, but finding a directive - My fault I know 

    No use IMO just learning to improvise - No use just trying to learn the All Right Now riff or solo 

    So setting a goal of a direction is required
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  • I can't actually pin point how long it has been since my last proper gig.

    I flirted with covers stuff after years of being in bands writing our own music, and I definitely prefer writing and creating new music then playing it live.

    Since I stopped gigging I've taken up way more guitar/writing rather than just playing bass all the time. 

    Whilst I have been pretty healthy throughout this period of no gigs, it has been my career, moving, and a breakdown of a very long term relationship that has caused the large drought of music in my life.

    For example, right now I just work Mon - Fri, spend my time commuting due to my house not being ready yet (basically staying between people's houses) and I have zero time to myself until fri PM, by which time I'm completely drained so I need to rest properly. Sat is spent catching up with family and friends and Sunday would, to be honest, be a good day to be in a band. Except all of my gear is in storage. 

    It'll improve but I cannot wait to get a few guitars and basses out and play VERY loudly.
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  • tabanotabano Frets: 19
    I miss the road big time,
    specially touring abroad although I want to think that it is going to be only temporary..
    I ve been in a quite ”stablished” Rock/metal band that decided (not me though) to take a brake 4 years ago,
    I have put together another project but I don’t get not even a 15th of the gigs we were doing,
    gigging your music is not as easy as it was just a few years ago,
    new bands have a much bigger struggle to fight imho..

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  • Not yet, but I don't think I have too many years left. Back issues and a nerve problem in my shoulder are making it quite difficult, even with the ludicrously lightweight rig I've got now.

    At the rate things are getting worse I'd say I've got 5 years left in me before the downsides outweigh the fun of doing gigs, and being in original bands...well, you get the idea.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 973
    edited September 11
    I hated gigging covers when I was doing the usual pub gig circuit. Depressing venues and punters, feeling like a performing monkey etc. Money wasn’t worth it, I used to dread some gigs when I knew the pub was awful and we’d have no crowd.

    I much preferred originals which I was also dreading but it was fun and over in a flash. I’d do that again.

    I’d be up for trying covers again for weddings etc. At least the money would make it worth it, but I’d see that sort of gig as business rather than pleasure. 

    Tbh I just like playing with others but everyone always wants to turn it into a gigging thing rather than just a bit of fun. Even in my original band I was more about just playing and writing/recording whereas other members seemed to care more about social media presence, image and gigs.
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  • impmannimpmann Frets: 8005
    I haven't officially 'stopped' but I'm not gigging. 

    I quit the last band because I was just too tired to do the gigs - big commute plus young son = perma fucked. 

    I'm now working closer to home and my lad is a bit older/easier, so I was starting to think about it again. However, my wife is ill (cancer) so I'll be looking after her for a little while to come. Once we are on the other side of her treatment, I may consider it but it would need to be fun, rather than serious.

    Couple that to living in the cultural vacuum that is Northants, the chances of finding a fun band that has somewhere to play (that isn't a pub full of pissed up wankers slinging beer about all over your pedal board) is slim... 

    So perhaps I am 'retired'... but not through any real firm choice.
    Never Ever Bloody Anything Ever.

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  • Mark1960Mark1960 Frets: 240
    I packed up gigging for a 15 year period when the kids came along, mainly due to lack of time and money. During my break I kept 1 guitar and an amp, and played very occasionaly (once every 2 - 3 years), and really didn't miss it. I also found that practicing with no end product (a gig) was not for me. I'm now back giging, and practicing 4 - 5 times a week, and loving it, so maybe the break did me good! My advise is never say never, and see what happens...You are a long time dead as they say!
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  • I live in a rural tourist destination part of the country. The live music scene is restricted to human jukebox cover versions bands, tribute acts and wedding function bands.

    There is no proper local outlet for original or improvisational music. 

    For all genres, the appearance money is paltry. I stopped bothering a long time ago. 

    The one aspect that I miss is playing edgy music with skilful musicians. 
    Be seeing you.
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  • I have also stopped gigging recently, a decision all of the members of my band are in agreement with.  We are going to see if we can record some of the half baked song ideas we all have with a sparse "in person" rehearsal schedule.    I've been in and out of the gigging world for 40 years and so far don't miss it.      After a short time in this mode I was convinced to return to teaching guitar at a local music school where I taught for several years  in the past.  I am surprised at how easy it was to jump back in, even though it's only a few days a week it keeps me in the music world without all the gear hauling and band mini-drama.  And I don't miss some of the music we were playing.  It all feels good.  

    Turns out “you’re so beautiful when you’re sleeping” is only considered a compliment if she knows who you are.

    Dulcet Jones Creepy Music Blog    http://dulcetjones.blogspot.com/

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  • When I moved from Derby to Essex we kept the band going but only did a couple more gigs before calling it a day. I went through a phase of being pleasd that I hadn't got to drag myself to rehearsals after work any more, and I definitely didn't miss all the waiting around between load in, soundcheck and gig, or the late nights before work the next morning.

    It's been a few years now, and I've done a couple of jam nights and lots of playing at home. I'm getting the itch again now, and I'm hoping that later this year or early next year we'll be doing a few gigs... not as many as we used to though!
    Too much gain... is just about enough \m/

    I'm probably only member of this forum mentioned by name in Whiskey in the Jar

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  • MistyMisty Frets: 119
    Thanks so much for all these interesting and constructive replies.....got more time to read them all properly later, but in the meantime keep them coming if you can, I'm genuinely grateful!

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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 184
    I haven't gigged regularly in 20 years. I spent most of my teens and early to mid 20s in bands, playing guitar and tenor sax. But then I largely stopped playing, apart from a bit of classical, for some years.

    I have done _some_ gigs. I was in the pit band for a theatre production (10 or so performances), and have done the odd jam, and similar things. But largely, these days, I just play at home.

    I would like to get back into playing in public regularly but I'd need to find a band or a thing that was able to fit with childcare, and job (both of which are very demanding on my time), and which played the kind of music I like. I have zero interest in playing in a cover band, or playing blues. So, it's tricky.
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  • I've been gigging as a hobby since 1986, pub rock, country (and western), 80's pop and more recently 50's & 60's Rock & Roll classics mate, not arf.  Probably averaging 2/3 gigs a month, all covers, all been fun. 

    Never even thought about trying to make it big because there are many who are way better and prettier than me out there struggling to pay the rent.

    Recently ended a 6 month enforced drought (drummer needed heart surgery after having a heart attack mid gig, hoping to get back to that band soon) by depping with an old mate who I was in a band with 25 years ago.

    He's still schlepping some of the same old rock covers he was back then, but I hadn't played most of the set before and the 6 or 7 I had were with him all that time ago.  I got a call at 6.30pm and by 9 I had youtubed the main bits and was setting up 45 miles away.

    Had a great gig, realized I missed it more than I thought.  Got offered the gig permanently, said yes and now we are 5 gigs in.

    I figure the band is effectively a very expensive juke box that doesn't have all the songs you want, but keep the majority of the set to songs people are likely to know and enjoy and you are half way there.

    The other thing that keeps me sane is the I figure the money we get paid is for all the crap like practicing, loading in and out and getting home at 1.30am only to have to start unloading all your gear.  The gig itself, I'd do for fun.  I just enjoy making a noise with a bunch of mates.

    Plus (disregarding the gear) it's generally cheaper than golf.

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  • i love gigging, dont intend to stop anytime soon. If i didnt gig, or at least go to jam nights i think i would lose the incentive to practise
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  • LewyLewy Frets: 995
    edited September 11
    Since I started spawning kids around 5 years ago I took the decision that to go and do a gig it would have to be a) enjoyable and b) paying decent money to be worth missing out on time with the kids and abandoning my wife to deal with the fray on her own.

    So yeah, not gigging much these days as those two criteria seem to be mutually exclusive for the most part (with the exception of some blues festivals I play every year).

    Ironically, my chops have never been better, I guess because I satisfy myself musically with learning and practice more than I used to.
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  • GrahamGGrahamG Frets: 57
    Give up gigging ? :s ,i did my 1st gig in 59',i'm now 74,i've never stopped gigging,except when i damaged my thumb in ski-ing accident & had to stop for about a year,I still gig as often as possible maybe 3 to 4 times a month,i can't imagine stopping gigging,except for extreme illness or death..

    More importantly to Misty,i wish you a full & speedy recovery,our bass players battling through prostate cancer,but luckily(for him)he's well enough to continue with our gigs & after recent tests I may be joining him,but we have to try & keep on the alternative is unthinkable. =)
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  • Health forced me out 4/5 years back and its been a case of diminishing returns ever since. The passion is still there but not the need. I'm still hoping to resolve my health issues (narcolepsy and lung function issues) and perhaps I'll feel different if I get them under control but I'm rather enjoying gardening, walking the dogs and generally being round the house more so even if I do play out again it'll have to fight for space in my life. 
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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 16331
    Another thing I didn't like about gigging was having to deal with people's egos and twatishness. I often found those hard to separate from their musical abilities.
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 2271
    Never enjoyed gigging, would happily never do one again but I do because the other band members like it.

    I think it might be difference if we were actually a well known band and people specifically wanted to see us and knew our songs etc.
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