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Is music a young man's game?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by zontar, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    This is a blog article I found on Guitar Player's website-
    Is music a young man's game?

    I found it interesting.
    It's not where I'm at--but maybe one day.

    Could be fun.

    I do get the part about being content making music.
    I also have never given up playing, although due to life there have been times I have played less than normal.
  2. Yeah, I can relate to this. I had a 15 year lay off. I quit playing music, but music was always a big part of my life. I was in the theater watching this dreadful movie "Leaving Las Vegas" which I didn't like at all. I found myself totally immersed in the sound track, however, & came to the realization that I should really be playing. Have been ever since. The focus is more on the music now & less on me. I believe I'm a better player than I ever was because of that. Should be some percs with getting older.....
  3. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Only if you have an incredibly narrow and shallow view of the music world.
  4. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I didn't play anything from age 30-40 mainly because of work and travel. Now that I've been in the same spot for the past 8 years, I bought some gear about two years ago, formed a band, and started gigging again. I played in bands when I was 23 and now I'm doing it again when I'm 43. It's a bit different. I would say metal, punk, hardcore, heavy rock is a younger man's game. Middle-aged guys can play it, but it's not like seeing a young, hungry band in their 20s kicking a$$ and taking names. We play on bills with bands that are 20 years younger than me and I'm sure some of them look at us like old farts (except our singer, she's 24). When I was 23, 43 was old.

    Blues, jazz, oldies/classic rock covers seem to be where a lot of middle-aged guys fall into. It's safe, it's familiar, and it's relatively easy to get gigs. I'm not ready to go that route yet, but who knows when I'm in my 50s.
  5. Yeah, but metal and heavy rock is SO much fun to play!
  6. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I take it you're referring to the thread & article title.

    Which the article answers in the negative.
  7. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Trying to make it big in the music industry is a young man's game. You can do that when you have no wife or family to leave behind on tours for half the year, when you can live on ramen, and when you're appealing to 13-year-old girls.

    But making music - that's timeless.
  8. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Rock & Pop is.
    That is the time when you have no responsibilities and
    can devote time to it.
  9. Crash 56

    Crash 56 Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Spokane, Wa.
    Im 57, and I had a layoff between the ages of 35 and 50 to raise a family. I played in church to keep my chops, but didn't even think of a band. for the last seven years, Iv'e been playing clubs and different churches, and my musical experience is alot more fulfilling than when I was in my 20's trying to "make it" . Luckily for me, the music I relate to the most is the classic rock-blues-jazz stuff that is what sells in bars and my demographic.Fat city, baby!
  10. Similar story here. I played full time, touring for over 10 years. Then got the day job and the family, and at one point stopped playing for almost 10 years. I was still recording and engineering in my part time, and very occasionally playing. Then I was asked to play for a kids' theatre show. My daughter was in the cast, and it was the very first live band they ever used. I brushed up on my reading chops, and that was it. Now I'm playing again all the time. Can't wait for my day job retirement in a couple of years - I'll have a lot more time to play.

    I'm 58, and I still love playing rock, and jazz, and theatre, and anything else! Don't much care for lifting heavy gear any more though...
  11. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    Music may be a young man's game if:-

    You tour all the time.
    You only play rock.

    Rock may sell tickets to the masses......but it isn't at the top of the food chain musically. Not even close in large part.

    Music is for any age....depending on what you like at a particular age.

    Tastes do change through the years.

    Personally I have no desire these days to play 75% of the stuff people think is good music.

    So in that sense I wouldn't even entertain going on tours or gigs to play any of that stuff.....whereas a much younger man probably would.

    There are lots of older guys that play rock still though...

    Rolling Stones comes to mind plus all the Geriatric revival tours going on.
  12. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    It's all in the mind, you know... :p
  13. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA

    bigbottomend likes this.
  14. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    Being a rock/pop star is.

    I mean sure there are plenty of old rock stars but none became one past 30. Or at least not the majority.

    But music in itself, no.
  15. bswag

    bswag Guest

    Dec 21, 2013
    A "young man's" game? Gee, let's just skip the 89 quintillion women musicians, for starters...

    OK, well obviously the author meant "male rock-star/wannabe-kinda person." Within that narrow demographic, he implies (and I'd agree) that starting on the path to (hoped-for) Rock Star-dom, or, if you prefer, "A Career in Pop/Rock Music, Male" is pretty much restricted to the young'uns.

    Actually, that probably applies to starting a career in any kind of music nowadays, regardless of gender. Just go browse any category/genre at your local Mega Music Mall; even in Classical, there's a heaping helping of Pretty Young Things in the racks. In fact, I'm not sure, based on that admittedly limited evidence, that one could start a career in any kind of music if one is Sub-Glamorous in appearance. Which is a shame. Don't get me wrong, I'm not gonna hate anyone for being beautiful- they better play (or whatever) well, too!- but what about the folks who play great, but happen to look like, well, me? (Or rather, as I used to look!) If a guy looks more like Jackie Gleason than Bruno Mars, is he gonna get a deal, even if he plays like a demon? Is a teenage fiddle phenom gonna get signed if she's bucktoothed and bespectacled? Or, scariest of all to the Marketing Dept., a bit toward the Plus Sizes? Will her musical talent overcome all that? Is the next "Jaco" going unhyped because he's a ringer for a Farley sibling?

    Maybe it's some latent envy trip, but sometimes I think that most bands composed of Guys My Age (more or less) really oughta GO AWAY. I mean, having the Stones, et al, still touring today (till recent sad events- my sincere condolences, Mick) is like, I dunno, if back when the Beatles first hit in the US, there were teen clubs bursting with Glenn Miller leftovers and Vegas crooners (in a non-ironic way, yet), and the rock revival of the 60's had to fight its way through the previous 40-50 years of accumulated Popular Music... I'm ranting and slobbering a bit, yes, but you get the drift? And yeah, I know plenty of Old Farts who play out, whether regularly or sometimes, and I'm not really knocking it; I was wondering how I'd feel, if I was a kid with some actual talent, trying to get started with my guys, and seeing all these Dad Bands getting gigs? Would I care?

    But seriously, I pondered the blog's question in my mid-thirties, as a recent divorcee; fixed up the old Jaguar and Champ, tried my hand at writing some songs, &c. Facing up to my general half-a$$titude, as well as spending many hours in clubs and seeing/hearing what bands had to do just to get a toe-hold- well, I realized I didn't have most of the requisite credentials to pursue it. Trust me, world, you didn't miss anything!

    I still play music, of course; without, I think, any delusions. I'd rather have a long talk with my bass than turn on a TV. Helps keep me sane, at least. And no-one had to pay a cover charge...
  16. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I'd say it depends on your genre, your definition of "success", and your image.

    For the cats that want to play younger genres of metal...you could be a masked band (cheesy as it sounds) and you could play younger gigs as long as your music falls in with the genres you are booked with. Honestly I see a lot of long-haired, bearded, and heavyset guys in rather successful metal/hard rock bands and it doesn't seem out of place. I think when you start DRESSING like a dad and start to look like the audience member's parents, that's when you start losing cred.

    As superficial as it sounds, if I saw some guys coming up in Izod polos tucked into khaki shorts, salt n pepper hair parted off to the side/combovers, and absolutely NOTHING else besides Fender gear...my first thought would be "Oh great! How long before they play Smoke on the Water and Freebird? :eyeroll:". I've auditioned too many older guys that really talked up how "together" they had it with the style of bands we listed, and it was very depressing to watch them try. Pentatonic bluesy rock improv they had, but it seemed like anything past 1978 just wasn't going to happen for them. It really boils down more to image and style than your actual looks if you pick your genre right and play good music.

    I honestly don't care what other people do unless I HAVE to sit through it at a venue or restaurant...or when they are auditioning for my band. The last time we got an "I can hang with any youngsters" guy in our rehearsal space, it was really really pitiful. The guy spent half the time flipping his drumsticks around INSTEAD of playing a solid, on-time beat. At 50 years old and dressing like my dad, it was waaay too out-there for me or the rest of the band to stomach. I was the youngest at 26, the others were 30 and 33. We tried to work around it with a few others, but it's just a different wavelength. No way this applies to all elder musicians, but I have to admit that's typically the thought that pops into my head first.
  17. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Thanks for commenting.

    I do wonder if some of you actually read the article (I'm sure some did) It is a short one.

    In any case, I've always had fun playing guitar & bass and jamming, etc.

    Otherwise I would have stopped playing.

    But I find it way more fun now that it's just for fun.
    I'm not auditioning to join someone else's band or auditioning people to join mine.
    I'm just playing when I feel like it, and playing what I like.

    I'm also learning stuff as I recently got a fretless bass and have also been gradually going through a Bob Brozman book on slide guitar, and have been checking out some new licks as well in another book.

    I'm enjoying.

    But for me what made me realize this, and accept I wasn't going to be a professional musician was helping a pastor (& a friend) get some kids ready to play music for an Easter service.
    It was a blast and working with the kids was cool to see their enthusiasm and talent.
  18. Most people's view of music is, and they may be your target audience. Maybe...

    If you're looking for a career in rock, pop or as an original artist, it's certainly easier in many ways as a young man. It's easier for jazz or other genres that aren't quite as agist and rely more on talent then PR or image. If you want to get into being a pro on things like cruise ships or other other commercial, but less flashy avenues, then it probably is an advantage to have some years behind you.

    Personally, I wouldn't do it. I'm old enough to want to sleep in a real bed and be asleep most nights by 11:00 or so.

    Also, we're still in the Wild, Wild, West since the Internet came into prominence. Record companies are essentially dead, so the manners in which they drove the industry towards younger audiences is dead, too.

    So, is music a young man's game? Probably, but the game has changed and no one knows how to play it right now.
  19. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Kind of like Rollerball?
    Nashrakh likes this.
  20. all I can say is, I'm 21 in college and can't find a drummer for my band. one drummer excuse to not join out band is because he rather focus on getting a degree. it's not like we are trying to make money, play for fun and some live shows. work, school, stop playing instruments, etc. i feel at times that I should stop. I just I'm trying to stay young, everyone else has gotten old.