No Desire to Play Any Longer

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bassist59, Aug 15, 2022.

  1. Bassist59


    Oct 4, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I haven’t touched my bass or guitar in about a year. There’s no explanation. I loved playing and even plan on building a bass from a kit but, I just don’t feel like getting the thing out.

    Zero motivation. I bought some bass music books to work on since I’ve always enjoyed doing that but still don’t feel like getting started.

    This is the damndest thing. No, I’m not on any type of medication. Nope, not depressed. I loved playing bass - just can’t do it right now.

    Anybody else afflicted with this type of musical “impotence”????
  2. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I've had a slump like that a few years into playing (also about a year long), and what helped my motivation was joining a band. Maybe that's what you need to kickstart your playing, too -- at least it doesn't sound like you are in a band. A jam would also be adequate to get some playing in.

    I know that this will bring its own sources of frustration, but I don't know what would help you if not going out to actually play music with others.

    If you just can't find it in you, that's okay too. No one's getting hurt over it. It is just a hobby, and if we just don't feel like it, that's perfectly fine.
    btmpancake, Bassist59, Oddly and 18 others like this.
  3. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    I've had that and it lasted for a long time, 5-6 years. I just got a call one day, joined new band and continued like nothing happened.
    Don't worry about it, something will get you started again.
  4. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    IME, you might want to change the title to "No Desire to Play For The Time Being". There are hundreds of tales here of 'hiatus' followed by return with a vengeance. Anything from a few months to several years. In my case about 15 years, from late '90s to around 2014. My advice is roll with it - in all.probability the bug will bite again in due course.
    Bassist59, Marko 1, Kenova and 26 others like this.
  5. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    Been there. Didn't play for about 15 years.
    Still had a bass and amp, picked my bass up one day and realized I missed it.
    Don't worry about it.
  6. theduke1


    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    Sometimes we think we are done with music, but the truth is , music is never done with us!
    I retired from music 3 times and sold everything before I realized what I tired of was the business of music. hang in there it will return
  7. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    If you dont have the spark you can't force it.
    It either returns or it doesn't..fortunately mine did and I came back much stronget.
    I know what caused it and I'm keen not to go there again. That is why I'm very picky about what I do, even more so now.

    It cost me work, and even now so many years later, I've not got it all back.
    Justinian and theduke1 like this.
  8. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Agreed. I've been in the same spot for awhile, and I've been playing for 35 years. There's no reason to keep doing something if it's not bringing you joy, even if you've been doing it most of your life. If it comes back for me, great. If not, that's fine, too.
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Bass is an instrument that for most players, needs to be played with other musicians. Give me a band with a good drummer and I itch to play. Without it, it's hard to get the desire to play regularly for me.
    Bassist59, Marko 1, Chas49 and 19 others like this.
  10. My "slump" lasted for 45 years.
    Well, maybe not so much a slump, as it was, life getting in the way.
    Bassist59, bobba66, Marko 1 and 4 others like this.
  11. WG Plum

    WG Plum

    Apr 9, 2021
    Been there. Didn't really play my bass for four or five years, got into synths during that time, and now I've sold off nearly all of my synth stuff and I'm back to playing bass and enjoying it more than I have for probably ten years or more. I got lucky and found some people with whom I share some leftfield musical tastes and interests.
  12. Topkat13

    Topkat13 Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Sounds like if you at least touch it you’ll be headed in the right direction.
    Bassist59, Dust2Dust and Justinian like this.
  13. Not so much "impotence" as celibacy. It's fine. Do whatever you want. I really enjoy playing bass with others but not alone. During the height of the pandemic I spent more time on other instruments and gave the bass a break. No matter what instrument you play it's all music.
    Bassist59, jdh3000, CallMeAl and 8 others like this.
  14. roller

    roller Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    I've been there as well. I blame my situation on not being stimulated by good music... but there's always good stuff to dive into... gotta hunt for it, be it old or new.

    Just don't sell any hard-to-find basses when you're in a funk! You'll be mad later. :cool:
  15. Been there, done that from late '99 to late '15. Had no desire to play bass whatsoever, didn't own any related equipment at the time either, although I could've afforded it. Toyed with an acoustic once in a blue moon.

    My youngest son started playing and brought me back into the picture sometime in 2015. I'll never be able to thank him enough. Seven years later, I'm happier with my playing - and with the music that I'm working on - than I've ever been in the ~45 years...

    Obviously, YMMV.

    Good luck.
  16. perfektspace6

    perfektspace6 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2006
    Dallas, Texas
    Not exactly but I tend to play on another instrument for a while before moving back to bass. I may not play bass for two months and then play it exclusively for the next 2 months. I have a job. Only so much time.
    Bassist59 and EatS1stBassist like this.
  17. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    I played guitar as a youngster but pretty much put it down when I got married and had a real job, then kids. I'd pull it out a few times a year to play songs for the kids, but that was about it. Twenty five years later, I was coerced into joining a church band and picked up the bass because they needed it and it was something that always interested me. Getting back to playing with others in church led me to other bands and here I am in a regularly gigging cover band and loving it.

    For me, playing with others is key. I get bored quickly practicing with no external motivation and goals.
  18. Stewie

    Stewie Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    I was in a fairly busy band. It was tough getting home at 3:00AM and having my little kids jump on me at 7:00 in the morning, so I gave it up.
    When the kids got bigger, I somehow became a fairly hard core Striped Bass fisherman, often spending a couple of all night on the rocks every weekend.
    After ten or so years, I realized that the fish would be better off if I stayed home so I quit.
    Bingo, 25 years off and time to start another band. It’s s little tougher when we are older. People have more responsibilities and their schedules are busier, but, by golly, it’s good to be back :)
  19. roccobass

    roccobass Still funkin’ in the free world.

    Jun 25, 2014
    I agree with you on perhaps an other instrument. I’ve never not played my instrument for anything longer than may 2 or 3 months. This has happened several times over 40 plus years A couple of times for arm injuries, the others due to life or just give myself a break.

    The “break” part was necessary because I needed to flush out players block as I refer to it. I got stuck in a rut. To the OP, if you don’t play another instrument, just do other hobbies or interests for awhile. Sometimes it’s best to circle back with a fresh outlook.
    Bassist59 and EatS1stBassist like this.
  20. Reg Braithwaite

    Reg Braithwaite

    Oct 21, 2018
    Sixty year-old here who has had a few hiatus' in my life. I agree with what everyone else is saying about framing this as "no desire to play for now."

    I'll add on with a personal observation that may or not click for you: A change is as good as a rest. Consider switching musical genres or switching instruments or both. If bass guitar isn't lighting your fire, try a double bass or Electric Upright Bass. Go all the way and grab a bow. At certain points in my life, reverting back to being a beginner rekindled my enthusiasm.

    Not the helpless feeling of being unable to produce anything more than the squeaks of tortured rodents playing arco, that's was a hard challenge emotionally. But the constant drip-drip-drip of making little discoveries and constant positive reinforcement of making progress.

    Maybe take some singing lessons? Double on a bass woodwind instrument like a bass clarinet or bass flute? Go big instead of going home with a bass brass instrument like bass trombone or tuba?