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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by the Qintar, Nov 28, 2000.

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  1. the Qintar

    the Qintar

    Jul 24, 2000
    as i was ponderring the other day, i became aware of the affects of aging. anyway, i wanted to ask this to pkr2 (only cause i looked at his profile once and he seemed to be the oldest member), or anyone else who has any helpful opinion.

    how much does your playing change as you get older? besides the obvious progress, does anyones playing get slower or fingers fatigue faster? arthritis would seem like a huge problem for an older player, so for bass, could it ever possibley be too late to start?
  2. With many players playing well into their eighty's I at 64 don't even feel old, my playing is better than ever and I learn new things every day. But I wear earplugs with loud bands, and am carefull not to damage my hands
  3. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    As the saying goes....
    "I'm not getting older...I'm getting better!"...:D
  4. the Qintar

    the Qintar

    Jul 24, 2000
    i heard a saying--- you cant teach an old dog new tricks
  5. the Qintar

    the Qintar

    Jul 24, 2000
    that was sarcastic by the way
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well apparently the body starts deteriorating after the age of 35 according to what I've been told by the sports scientist/physiotherapist at the fitness centre where I work and after 35 you are not repairing damage as fast (at all)unless you do something positive about it.

    The biggest problem statistically and from personal experience - for those from late 30s to early 40 onwards is back-related injuries. Strains, disc wear, ligament damage etc. I know a lot of comtemporaries - bass players and others who have back problems. And bass playing does not help! Lifting heavy objects like amps/cabs and then holding up a heavy bass for hours all takes its toll. This is when you begin the search for lightweight gear at all costs!

    As to the things mentioned, I have found that as I've got older and just past 40, my playing has got much better - my fingers are stronger than when I was 18 and I think much more about technique than I did then. I have never been as good as I am now and I want to keep it that way - that is continually improving and learning things - that's the main reason I took up Jazz - for the continuing challenge.
  7. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Damn, Bassdude, I could hug your neck. I thought I was the oldest bass player in the world till I looked at your profile.:) :)

    Quintar, that is an excellent question. My experience on bass was, for the first appx. 40 years was on upright instead of electric. I just started on B.G. about a year ago so I'm still a novice.

    As you may know, UB is much more physically demanding than BG. I have been blessed with good health (knock wood) and at 63 can and do play mostly 4 to 5 hour bar gigs, dividing playing time between UB and BG. I have found that my "effeciency" for lack of a better word has increased over the years along with my age. I am not as tired after a gig now as I was when I was much younger.

    A rancher once bought a new younger bull because his only other bull had gotten pretty old. The young bull and the old bull were at the top of a hill looking down at the herd of girl cows. The young bull said to the old bull "lets run down this hill and make love to one of those cows". The old bull answered, "no, lets WALK down the hill and make love to ALL of those cows".

    That pretty much sums up getting older and it beats the only other alternative.

    I personally am going to try to get 25 or 30 more years of playin under my belt and then I'll probably retire. Just "prop me up by the jukebox when I die". :)

    On a very serious note, what Bassdude said about the earplugs is some of the best advice that could be given. Even with arthritis you can still usually play to some degree but if ones hearing goes, so does ones career in music.

    Stay healthy and you can play for a long, long time.

  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i've never seen an older player that couldn't cut it as well as he could when he was younger - i've never seen or heard of a player who kept playing and just "lost it" like an athlete would.

    that's not to say that it doesn't happen, i just have never seen it. every older player that i have seen played better as he or she aged.
  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yee-haw, that RULES! :D damn funny!
  10. Ay - whad you say sonny?

    But seriously folks...

    At 41, I find myself playing alot smarter and with more stamina. Probably has a lot to do with not abusing my body, like I did when I was in my teens and early twenties. Plus, I stopped trying to kill brain cells a long time ago.

  11. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I'm 57 and "retired" to hobbiest status now, but when I played in my early fifties in bands in which all the other members had parents younger than I was, I experienced one notable and undeniable difference.

    When we had what I considered to be grueling out of town gigs, it took me up to three days to recover and get back to "normal", but the youngsters could bounce back in hours.
    Also, we usually played after ten PM. I was already really tired out by then after all the travel and setting up and schlepping equipment, etc. On the other hand, the youngsters were just getting revved up. Also the heat, smoke and bad food really bothered me much more than it impacted my bandmates. They were so much more resilient than I was. I fought it as hard as I could. I tried not to show how tired I felt, but the fact is...a fifty year old is NOT an eighteen year old, no matter how much one would desire to be.

    There are definite advanatages to being over fifty, but tireless energy isn't one of them. Well, I'll speak for myself. Maybe others my age do have boundless energy. Man, I envy them!

    Jason Oldsted


  12. Well i'm 17 and feel like i'm going on 70! what with all the aches and pains. May i borrow a walking frame? *clack clack* :D

    Seriously tho, Jason Oldsted, stated that us 18 yr olds get revved up etc. True, although i tire out too by about midnight, and thats after having a sleep before going out. It probably has something to do with glandular fever but sshhh! I'm making an arguement! ;)

    So Jason, you played with 18 yr olds? Did that feel weird? I know we turned down a 28 yr old drummer because of the age difference and the fact we didn't have much experience and didn't want someone saying "well 5 yrs back, i did this...." Did u ever have music taste clashes? Arguements on set lists? etc

  13. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Merlin, thanks for asking about the "clash of generations." Actually, I was as ardent about our music style as anyone in the band. In fact, I was the one who introduced them to Korn, Deftones, Machine Head, and Fear Factory. I was also the one who actually read Guitar World, etc. and told them about downtuning below flat tuning and other ways to achieve the killer tone we were seeking.

    I was the cheerleader, always trying to encourage them to work harder, rehearse more often, really nail our music and make an impact. Our music was all original, so we didn't argue over set lists, but if there was an argument, it was over what song to open a set and which song to close our set.

    I also kept abreast of new developments in equipment and technology. Sometimes I bored them and galled them with my unrelenting drive to make us try harder to get more gigs, get more radio exposure, get a CD out, record demos, print T-shirts, get press releases. Maybe a big difference between the generations was my constant sense of "time is wasting; time is flying" and their sense that there is no hurry, no urgency; let time take its time." Oh, another thing. They had college classes and high school classes, plus they had to obey their parents' wishes about family obligations and some parents' concerns about their paying too much attention to the band and not enough to studies and training for a "serious" career.

    Also they had girlfriends and I was comfortable in a marriage that already had well over twenty years. Plus, I served as kind of a "dear Abby" to at least one of the band members through his love life tragedies and triumphs.

    Maybe one of the biggest differences was that dating thing, that permeated their lives and showed me what a huge portion of energy is dedicated to that in young folks. I had forgotten all that, after many years of marriage and not actively trying to attract members of the opposite sex. Also, I suspect at least a couple of the band members were in it for the girls (God, I almost quoted Limp Bizkit). I was in it because I loved that music and loved to play it.

    Lastly, in respect to your question. Did I use to say, "When I was your age, I...." No, I didn't, because nothing about my own misspent youth was relevant. I was very professional and focused on our music. In fact, I suspect that was one of the things that ultimately led to my own dismise in the band. I was all business and maybe more of a manager. They were more in it for recreation and a sideline. It may not have been so much a clash of ages, as a clash of objectives. Also, as I aged and had some serious health issues arise, my image began to clash also. Try to imagine Korn or Deftones or Rage Against the Machine if their bass player were a 53 year old woman (and I don't look like Cher.)

    Jason Oldsted
  14. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Talking of age differences, our lead guitarist is 29, which I thought was old! We don't really have any differences that are directly because of the age gap, although his tastes are slightly different to ours - he prefers a lot more eighties stuff. I enjoy reminding him that he'll turn 30 before I'm 20 though.

    Anyway, I have a lot of respect for pkr2, jason olsted, bassdude, and anyone else who's been playing for that long - I'd love to have that experience (not to mention free bus pass, eye tests, and oap concessions :))
  15. backtoschool


    Oct 24, 2000
    I know alot of elders think it's pretty cool when us youngsters look back an learn and listen to older music (although I truly believe music is timeless).

    I must say that I think it is even cooler when an older person (physically and by societies definition) is interested enough to learn and listen to the new stuff. I can't put into words how cool I think that is ( :) Jason Oldsted :) )
  16. What's up with the elders?
  17. [​IMG]
  18. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Hmm, what's different as I got older?

    A. I don't care whether the gear I'm using is hip or not, I know what I like and that's that.
    B. I play more for the SONG (NOT THE RECORD, the SONG!) than I did when I was young. That is, the bass part doesn't have to be awesome if the SONG requires something simple. Learned that from playing stuff like "Good Hearted Woman", "My Girl", etc.
    C. The only specs that matter for an amp/cabinet are weight, dimensions, and price. Everything else is meaningless and tells you nothing about the sound.
    D. I play for free, but I get paid to rehearse, schlep gear, do sound checks, and be away from home.
    E. A great personality means a lot more to the success of a band than a great player.
    F. Great singers are truly rare, so cherish them when you find one.
    G. Life is too short to waste any of it on cheap beer or bad drummers.
    H. Playing out is a business. Keep the love of music in it, but treat the business side of the music biz as a serious business. It's way more fun than being half-a.....
    I. Just because my favorite player did or uses it, doesn't mean it's going to work for me.
    J. Just because I like it, doesn't mean it's right for anyone else.
    K. Listen more and talk less.
    L. Trust the sound guy. He doesn't tell me how to play bass, so I ain't gonna tell him how to run sound. I found a lot more sound guys were level-headed and cooperative once I learned this lesson.
    M. Life is too short to waste any of it on cheap beer or bad drummers. This one's too important to only mention once.
    N. Music is a reflection of life, it ain't my life. The music only means something when it has the context of life.
    O. Find the fun in it. If it's work and drudgery, go sling burgers.
    P. That (see "O", above) doesn't mean that you don't have to work at it. And it also doesn't mean that you have to be the sensitive artist who disdains entertaining people.
    Q. "Genre" or "style" are pretty meaningless. Like Duke Ellington said- "There are only two kinds of music. Music that sounds good, and whatever you want to call that other stuff." Get your head out of your precious posterior and listen to everything with an open mind.
    R. I still don't like Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, et. al. Nor do I like REO, Styx, etc.
    S. Music didn't die in 1975. I discovered The Police, REM, The Clash, D'Angelo, Jack Johnson, etc. well after I turned 40.
    T. I still hate bands that sound "just like the record" if they're doing blues, jazz, basic rock, etc. What's the point of live musicians mimicing a particular performance that happened to be recorded and broadcast? Even Steely Dan doesn't try to regurgitate the record.
    U. Learning to play "just like the record" is a very useful learning tool.
    V. Most original songs are anything but original, especially in "Blooze" bands. Every turd that comes out of the songwriter ain't gold.
    W. I don't change strings nearly as often as I used to.
    X. New gear won't make me a better player; More Mel Bay, less E-Bay.
    Y. Life is too short to waste any of it on cheap beer or bad drummers. This is REAL important!
    Z. Playing music with people who have a great feel and compatible sensibility to the music is the biggest kick in the world. Cherish those moments, and that's WHY I still play.

  19. well, i'm 57 - (not as old as some but middle age non the less) I've been playing since 1973. it takes me a lot less time to get my tone to my liking. I'm more relaxed when I play and that helps with my confidence to take chances. However, i have found myself in a comfort zone, so i don't listen to as much new music as I used to and that has to affect how i play - i seem to be more dedicated to improving the "tones" i've already established and pushing myself to play notes in different ways - but nothing that would be considered new sounds as in jazz or rap/hip hop..
  20. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I agree with almost all of the posts above.

    As far as the physical part goes, I do find myself preferring the happy hour gigs rather than the ones that start at 10:00.

    Ears are just like any other body part, if you use them they will develop. I've even known guys who quit playing for years and when they started back they were more advanced players. (After they got the physical part back from practice). They just understood a bit more about music than before. This also happened to me - I quit for 10 years and now that I'm back playing, my perspective is completely different. I'm seeing things I didn't notice before.

    To be fair, the younger guys are starting at a much higher level than we did though. So it will be interesting to see where they wind up once they have 30 years under their belts. I'll be it will be impressive.

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