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Should I sell everything and throw in the towel?!?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Shinster, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. Shinster


    Feb 23, 2002
    SF Bay area CA
    Seriously thinking of selling all of my equipment (throwing in the towel) giving up my bass playing after all these years!!!

    My short story: I've been playing bass since I was 17... I am now 44. I was always poor to the point that I could never afford great equipment but always managed to have equipment to play in bands and have fun.
    I always dreamed one day I would (when I could afford to) buy the best equipment and bass money could buy. Well, I have reached "said status" and have, after a couple of years, acquired decent equipment (maybe not the best) however, "the spark is gone"!!! I have 10K-20K worth of equipment/basses and I never play anymore.
    I am wondering if it's that I am finally feeling my age and that I am too old to be investing my time and energy in trying to get back into a band?
    Is anyone else out there in this same situation?
    It is really strange to be thinking of giving up what was such a big part of my life.
    well, thanks for listening!
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Give it a rest for a while, but don't sell it. Even if it's just to pass it on your kids (if you have or pan to have some).

    It will come back eventually, so you'll regret selling your stuff.
  3. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    it happens...:bawl: if you don't want to play, you have no moral obligation to continue doing so. it sounds like you have put your time in, you don't owe the instrument anything. when it's not fun anymore, it's probably time to stop. :(

    should you sell everything? that's up to you. it will be nice to get some serious income coming in but you might want to keep certain more sentimental items: you may never be done playing and may likely miss certain "trophies of your bass-playing past... and don't worry, you will always BE a bassist...after this amount of time it should be in your blood! hope all works out for you. maybe this is the only cure for G.A.S.? :confused:

  4. awww man thats sad. too bad the spark is gone.

    i'll go with what JMX said, give it a rest, maybe one day you get up and feel like playing your bass again. it would be sad if you had selled your gear by than. if not, your kids will love it.
    trust me, kids love bass guitar.
    if not, selling your gear is an option if you want to start a new hobby or (idono) buy a new car or something.
  5. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    JMX hit it on the head. I would wait it out for quite some time before selling all my gear.
  6. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I'd wait for a while. Put in the garage or attic or closet, and let it sit there for a few months, heck, a few years if needs be, and just put it out of sight and out of mind. If you don't jones to pick it up, pass it on to the kids, or something, but I wouldn't sell anything. Well, anything important. And given your gear, that's most of it!

    You said you always wanted higher end gear, and then got it, promptly losing the spark? Maybe you need lesser gear to keep the GAS alive and flowing (this is only about a quarter serious :D)

    Ultimately, it's up to you. I know i've wanted to throw in the towel more than once. Although, eventually, I wanted to get the towel back. Good thing I'm a hoopy frood who knows where his towel is!
  7. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I want to give you a professional opinion, but first, I need more details like how much will you be charging for your stuff? :D

    Don't quit, just take a break for a while, or even try playing a totally different genre. It might relight the spark.
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Take it from a 59 year old, even if you DO sell your equipemnt, even if you don't play for five or ten years...you can always buy new equipment later. Maybe one day the old spark will come back. Maybe one day you'll join an open mic session and really have fun. Maybe one day you'll meet up with some musicians who just want to jam on weekends, and after awhile that leads to a gig.

    My point is...it is never too late to come back to playing bass. Never, ever. SO take a break now and just wait for the spirit to move you sometime again.
  9. This sounds like a goals issue to me. Was your motivation to get the gear or to play bass?

    Same thing happened to me with electric guitar. I am the same age as you, started playing electric when I was 14 in the 70s and could never afford good gear. Well, I went back to electric guitar when I could afford it and went through a number of great guitars (Les Paul standard, American Standard Strat etc.) before realising that it was the guitar I wanted. I didn't actually want to play it.

    As far as bass is concerned, I have been through a fair nmber of good basses, all of which I sold, other than the one I made myself. I realised that the bass I needed depended on the music I payed. when I was playing in a bluesy rock and rolly three piece I had a P bass. when I left the band after three years I sold it with no regrets. It was the bass for that band.

    I play more acoustic than bass right now as I am not gigging or jamming...I have too much work. But if I joined another band, I would get the bass the music required.

    It's nothing to do with age. It's to do with goals. Buying gear simply because it's the best gear rather than because it meets a musical need you have identified is real dead sea fruit stuff - once you have it, it turns to ashes in your mouth.
  10. Shinster


    Feb 23, 2002
    SF Bay area CA
    Thanks gang for all the replies!!!
    It is not simply I wanted the best gear and now that I have it I'm not interested or that the thrill of the chase is gone!
    I was in between bands and have been for almost 5 years, and in this time frame my financial status changed and I was able to start buying the dream rig I've always wanted--- but in this same time frame I started realizing that I was more "burnt out" than I realized. I don't have the patience I had or the flexibility I had to go through the nonsense that it takes to form a band or keep a band happening.
    I just can't justify letting thousands of dollars of equipment sit in my living room with NO motivation to play or worse, resort to being a closet musician!
    anyway, thanks for the ear -this is a great group of friends and I've enjoyed reading all your experiences and input... Bass is a great instrument and has given me many thousands of hours of pleasure, but I think I am at the crossroads and deciding which way to turn is a toughy <--- or --->
  11. Excuse me! Some of us prefer to be called reclusive bass hobbyists, thank you very much!

  12. pmkelly

    pmkelly Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I checked out his profile... he has some stuff worth going after! :D

    The general consensus seems the best in my opinion... set it down for a while, do something else, play something else (or not) for a while. Maybe try some sort of music that you never played before? Maybe a challenge is what'll bring a spark for you... hard to say, but I hope this is only a short time before you love playing again!

  13. Ah! Now THAT I understand...

    Now I agree with everyone else. Put the gear away, and if you still don't want it a year hence, sell it.
  14. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    A few things I do when I get the playing blahs.

    One- I go to a concert. I get inspired when I see a good bass player playing live. It really kicks me in the pants and inspires me.

    Two- I record some stuff. I have a hard disk recorder and I use put a drum loop down and record. This can be fun or frustrating. Both feelings can inspire me.

    Three- I try a different instrument for awhile. I have a drum set and guitar that I will dink around on for fun.

    Another suggestion is that for me I like to play with other people. Riffs they play on guitar or the beat on a drum, more a jam played on keys will inspire all kinds of stuff.
    Maybe dont look for a band, but a regular musician type like yourself. Could be a vocalist, or guitar player or whatever. Heck hook up with JAZZBO. he's had the blahs lately to. I would give anything to play with another bassist. I knew one in high school and that is it. it would be awesome to have a peer. Well atleast more than the internet ones. :) ;)

    I suggest you try one or all of these things that people have suggseted before hanging it up. You have alot invested and Im sure you just jam like a crazy mofo.

    If all else fails. I'll be driving over to SF to hold on to your equipment for you :);)
  15. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Get an Ebow...I just got one, and its soooo much fun, not that the excitement and joy I get from playing wavered at all, but in getting the Ebow its giving me a lot more cool things to do that are really satisfiying. :D

    I can't give much advice because I'm a youngin that can never get enough bass, but I can say that bass is the greatest thing ever, and I think that you'll get it back in your system one day.

    Oh! definatly tryanother instrument, I know that whenever I pick up a Guitar or congas or piano my back hurts hahahah...seriously folks I'm here all week....no, really I love playing piano, its fun to try out new things, flutes are cool.
  16. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    if you're in a band right now and the hassle of that is causing you to question whether you want to do it anymore, i would quit the band and keep the gear. take a break for a few months, don't think about it for a while. give the negative stuff a chance to get out of your system, and then see what's going on.

    music related, so i'll move this discussion on over to miscellaneous.
  17. Shinster, I've been in a similiar boat than you and since we're the same age perhaps I've got something I can offer.

    I lost all motivation and desire over 20 years ago. Not the usual plateau frustration but a deep down depressing realization that this was NOT going to be my vocation, no matter how much I wanted it to be. I did as you are thinking and sold all of my equipment and quit cold turkey. That moment was very liberating and I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. I should have realized though that my investment in time to get to where I stood was going to remain - I couldn't sell it or escape it. For the next 20 years I didn't listen to music (critically), go to hear bands, etc. But eventually, I began to yearn for something creative and realized that I missed whatever it was that was good about my music in the early years. I think, maybe, your recent experiences have crowded out what you liked most about playing and maybe a break is due. Focusing on other (sometimes more important) things is a great way to get the emotional fatique to fade away. Perhaps remembering that your music is personal to you, even a part of your spirituality, and that other musicians aren't the key to your own happiness is a better way to look at it. I bet that, eventually, you'll find yourself picking up your favorite mistress instrument because you can't help yourself. That's when it gets to be fun again and you won't have the baggage that this biz can lay on us.

    Here's hoping for short but much needed hiatus. Keep a kettle on the stove because when your fire returns, it's likely to burn hotter than ever.
  18. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Not meaning to hijack the thread, but I feel this is relevant. It's also a great chance to vent!

    Shinster, I feel your pain, my friend. I'm 41 and have been playing bass since I was 12. All I ever wanted to be was a professional bassist (I did do that for a while much later on. That's another show).

    Here's my connundrum. Ive spent all these years practicing, learning new techniques, playing dives all over the place, prostituting myself musically, writing material and generally being creative with my instrument. I even learned to sing OK. I've spent a significant portion of my life locked up in the practice room with my bass. And I've done all this because I expect a lot from myself. Now, here I am, with this skill and experience and what can I do with it? Did I do all that just so I can play "Hard To Handle" one more time? Is this why I sit and practice?

    Believe me, I have thought about throwing in the towel many times lately. Think what you will of me by my saying this, but at this point I refuse to be in any more southern rock/outlaw country/cheese '80's/bullsh1t half-ass bands with guys who can't play their way out of a wet paper bag. Guys who don't have the fire down inside, dig? And audiences who think being in a band is just part of a fun little game that's not really serious. Sure, its an easy way to make $$ but its also like taking the fast train to musical hell.

    So why don't I just quit? I don't know. See, no matter how far down in the dumps I get, something keeps me holding on. But that "something" has been waning lately. Down inside though I keep hanging on to the hope that I can make something musically positive happen.

    The only thing that's keeping me sane right now is the all original chick rock band I'm in. Its a creative environment for me. But, I could play the music with one hand behind my back. I don't need all that experience and skill, so why bother practicing? Thus I don't. I don't get worked up about my bass anymore. The youthful idealism is gone. I only hope that I can find something to relight the fire. Until then, that something will keep me hanging on and won't let me completely give up.

    Does that sound familiar Shinster? :(
  19. Shinster


    Feb 23, 2002
    SF Bay area CA
    Thanks again guys for your honesty, sincerity and most of all, your perspective! I feel like I'm sitting on a stool at the end of the bar with some friends listening to me whine like a baby into my brewski :p :rolleyes: much appreciate your responses, you have given me a lot to think about...
  20. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Keep re-reading Odie's post. He's apparently way smarter than his avatar looks ;) (j/k-O)



    ps - This doesn't inspire you to play?
    -----> :bassist:

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