1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Too old...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Steve S, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    I've been playing in bands off and on since 1966...played in clubs, gymnasiums, weddings, anywhere that would hire live musicians. I have a wife and two kids....22 and 18 and have worked at my job for the past 20 years.

    At this stage of my life, I am just happy to have the opportunity to play with people who have similar interests. I jam with three different groups of musicians....all of them are the same age....and we play classical rock and other songs that all of us know. Two of the groups get together once a month while the other one, every other month. It's a lot of fun and I don't miss performing in gigs anymore.

    A guitar player who I met four years ago has gotten together with a very hot drummer and has asked me to play some bass on his original songs. The songs sound like the stuff that Kurt Cobain and Nervana used to play. These guys are very intense in what they are doing...staying up late recording, getting together almost daily, etc. I've always told them that I can't get together as much as they but probably can help with the recordings. The guitar player is in his late 20's and the drummer is 24......when not playing music, their topics of discussion sound like the stuff that my kids talk about. I've tried to tell them that they should look for a bass player more their age but they keep telling me that they like my playing. I can't imagine when I was their age, playing with people my age. My wife tells me that I should be honored that musicians that young would want to play with me.....but it still feels strange to me.

    I love playing music but also enjoy quiet mornings with a cup of coffee, watching the news and discussing things with my wife. The young musicians are always checking out other bands, things that I used to do 30 years ago. They always invite me but I politely decline....the only reason that I would go into a club now is to gig and I've told myself that my last club gig was last June.

    What are other people's thoughts about this?
  2. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I'd say listen to your wife - wives always seem to be right. :meh: I think that music should be age-less and it's good to hear that these "young musicians" aren't hung up on age.
  3. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    What more is there to say?
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    we could scold him for second guessing her?

  5. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    take a pat on the back when you got one coming.
  6. Josh Ryan

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

    Mar 24, 2001
    Try it, if you don't like it, stop. Good luck!
  7. Sounds like the only person who thinks you're too old is you. Now, if you really believe that, it's your life and your prerogative. But if you think you'll enjoy playing with these guys, don't let the age difference stop you. Hell, this is the opposite of the usual story, where the young idiots refuse to work with an older guy just because he's older. :rolleyes: Best of luck!

    BTW, my band's lead guitarist is the singer/rhythm guitarist's dad; the rest of us are in our early-mid-20s. He started out as a temporary replacement, but shortly became a permanent member. He's a smoking player, and there's no way a guy our age could match his experience in the industry!
  8. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I'm 29. I have a good friend who's 49 and another that's almost 40. I seem to have a lot more in common with older dudes than I do with dudes my own age, so I can understand their side of things. I say, relax a bit and have some fun with these guys.
  9. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Geezers unite!

    I plan to play until I can't pick the dang thing up anymore. This was further cemented into my head when I saw a bluegrass festival a couple of months ago. In this group called the WBT Briarhoppers, the base player was 20 years older than the next oldest member of the band. He was 94! :eek: He played that old vintage Gibson like melting butter too. Smooth was an understatement.

    I say go for it. If you feel uneasy about it, be upfront with the guys. Tell them how you feel, that you love to play, but that you can't be running around night after night to clubs. Chances are they will understand and tell you they are cool with it and still want you to play with them. Sooner or later they will have need of a full time bassist that can be attached at the hip to them. Then it will be time for you to move on. In one of the bands I play with, our ages range from a guitarist who is 50, me at 46, the keyboard player at 28 and a drummer of 19. Yeah we have different interests for sure. The drummer tries to get me to listen to Blink 182, I tell him about the good old days of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. He's X-Box, I'm still Pac-Man. On stage though we are a team and we play like it. It is totally a blast and the young'ns understand that me and the guitarist need our "beauty sleep". We play an entire range of music so everyone is equally happy and out of their element at different times. As the worn out cliche goes....You're only as old as you feel. Playing is definitely keeping me feeling younger than I am. Good luck!
  10. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I'm kind of in the same boat being the oldest in a band where the youngest is 24 and I will be 39 in 9 days. The younger guys are always trying to get me to go out to bars to check out bands. I get up for work at 3am so I just tell them to go have fun with out me. I don't drink so I have no reason to be in a bar other than to gig.

    You could just tell the other guys that you can only give so much to the project and that they shouldn't expect 100%. They seem pretty level headed and should understand. Play as much or as little as you like, if it gets to be a chore then you should cut back to where it's fun again.

    Oh, and listen to your wife.;)
  11. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Tell them your limits, what you are willing to do. Just imagine if your drummer or guitarist was your age when you were doing this 30 years ago. Don't you wish you had a mentor like that?
  12. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    If she is like my wife, we won't have to. ;)

  13. In my group I'm the oldest at 56, the youngest member is 27, The 32 yr old drummer's children call me Grampa. We play contemporary country and classic rock, from Gearge Straight to No Doubt. My wife of 26 yrs is still my favorite "groupie".
    Don't sweat it, age is just a number.

  14. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    I really appreciate the comments from people on this web...you've all been very helpful and made me look at my situation in a different light.
  15. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    RicPlaya....I sure do.
  16. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    The drummer in my band is 40, though he doesn't look it (music keeps you young, I guess). I'm 26. Don't let age be a factor; just play.

    Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers are proof positive that playing with younger players work.
  17. Hey, Im an 18 year old bassist. Most young players I know of love playing with more experienced musicians; why turn down a chance to work with anyone who might know more than you?

    Don't think about your age, think about how much fun and how exciting it is to be on stage.
  18. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Oh man, I'd love to be in a band with someone with that kind of experience! One of the teachers at my school is one hell of a smokin' blues guitarist and if I had the chance to work with him, I'd jump on it as fast as I could.
  19. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Maybe you can give a little guidance to the younger guys, if it suites you. But I think with your knowledge you would really have an impact on these guys.... in a very positive way!
  20. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    I guess Papa John Creach should have never played
    with those young whipper-snapper 'Hot Tuna' guys.

    Maybe age is attitude.
    Maybe you are too old.