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What's your longest hiatus from playing?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Texan, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    My last band broke up about a year ago. Since then I've played with a few others, some as a substitute, some as an audition and I was simply not excited about the music at the end of each session.

    I'm seriously considering putting everything in it's case and taking a nice long break, or possibly selling it all.

    After playing constantly for over 30 years, I hate to say, it's lost it's magic. My past lead player and drummer, the three of us just had that unspoken musical magical chemistry that every player dreams of and looks for and now, I can't find anything with even a percentage of the magic. I've spoke to people about the music that their band plays and while I love the songs, when it's time to go load up and play I just don't want to go. I force myself to go, and while they are all great people and players, it's empty for me.

    So, whats the longest that you have hung things up? Did a musical fasting help you?
  2. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    I took a one-year hiatus. I needed to do some introspection about my musical ambitions, and yes, it helped me a lot.

    I, too, had gotten to the point where I was no longer enthused about what I was doing. A sense of dread pervaded every upcoming rehearsal/gig. Of course, I soldiered on because I honor my commitments once they're made. But there were many, many nights where I just wanted to stay home instead.

    The result was that I transitioned from being a band member to being a hired gun exclusively. The ability to accept/decline gigs on my terms made all the difference in the world. It essentially put me back in charge of my life.

    So, take that long break. If it ends up being permanent, then so be it. But don't "sell it all" until you're confident you won't need/want it again. Good luck.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  3. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    I put up everything for ten years.

    I pursued a regular career, didn’t even think about music. After my divorce I got back into it, but it was a full ten years.
    mattj1stc, hufe, Kenova and 4 others like this.
  4. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    7 years, so I could help the family.
    nixdad likes this.
  5. sold it all right before xMas, bought a u-bass at the beginning of April
    (99 days)
    Mpike, cazclocker, noelpaz and 2 others like this.
  6. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    I've never counted the time but what I can tell you is that after a few months my wife tells I need to go play. You see, our demeanor changes when we're not playing, we become much more irritable and cranky (at least I do).

    This past year and a half has been particularly hard for me as the band I was in for years had been rather sporadic, playing once or twice a year, had officially disbanded. If it we're for my 14 year old nephew whom started learning drums at the tender age of 3 (seriously, he began after watching my band play at my wedding). Since he's Jewish, he was having a Bar Mitzfah and wanted to play. We formed a small band, he sang, played drums and his cousin played guitar. It was fun. In the following year we also played an art gallery as a duo, he plays Ukulele as well. Since then, I've recently got back together with two long-time friends and formed a jazzy blues trio (female singer also plays guitar). It's a very raw and organic combo that's perfectly suited for 'special guests' and playing coffee houses, small parties and events. We're literally just getting the ball rolling. Debut gig at the art gallery and another performance next week! It feels so good to play again, I am fortunate.

    Good luck, I hope you find your magic again, you're gonna need it!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  7. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    15 years for career and kid (and a foray into playing Middle Eastern music on percussion).
    Came back to bass 11 years ago. I'm home.
    mattj1stc and the harp unstrung like this.
  8. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    My brother and I co-led our band for thirty years. He passed away suddenly, and after his funeral (the biggest jam in Toronto history) I put down my bass for almost five years.
    Lucky for me, when I got back to it things fell together really fast, and the gigs started flowing.
  9. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    About 15 or 20 years.
    bassman10096, cazclocker and nixdad like this.
  10. 4 Strings Good

    4 Strings Good

    Mar 6, 2014
    28 years. Had a record release party in July '88 with my band in NYC. Then spent the intervening time moving to LA, getting married, having a career, raising kids, coaching soccer and being a responsible adult. When my son picked up guitar I did as well, and I played haphazardly in pickup jams with friends, but not as a bassist. Ten seconds after my second kid went off to college I found a band on Craigslist. (Decent story about that here: JTFL – LIVING THE DREAM.) That was a couple of years ago. Since then I've played about 70 gigs, toured Texas and England, and recorded an LP. Then I joined a second band. And bought about $10,000 worth of new basses, amps and gear. Because I paid my damn dues!
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    Never completely.. I used to be a gigging bassist only from late the 90's till the mid 00'. Then I got a day job at a studio as an engineer. Now I got a band that nobody but us likes :) I still play with other people occasionally though. Rock.
    the harp unstrung and Artman like this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    Never completely.. I used to be a gigging bassist only from late the 90's till the mid 00'. Then I got a day job at a studio as an engineer. Now I got a band that nobody but us likes :) I still play with other people occasionally though. Rock.
  13. None. Been steady since high school and college days, and I’m 56 now.

    But I have known many players who played in school, quit for decades to have careers and families, then got back into it much later in life, and the one thing they all have in common is that they are horribly behind their counterparts, with little hope of ever fully catching up.

    It’s like most professional endeavors: time spent away from it doesn’t just cause it to stagnate—it causes it to degrade.
    Mili, taught and nixdad like this.
  14. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    4 years and counting. Grew tired of the same old band $!?@. Now I play for myself on my terms.
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member


    good luck with your fast! :thumbsup:

    been at it one way for another since i was 14 years old. it's been a great 3 years! :laugh:
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  16. After starting in my first band at age 11, 20-something years, from age 32 or so to 55 or so. I played piano and a little guitar for our three kids and that was about it. The week our youngest was out of the house I auditioned to get back in a band and got the gig. That was 10 years ago. Now I play all the time again.
    nixdad likes this.
  17. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I haven’t played with a band regularly for about 8 years. I play one or two pick-up gigs a year and that’s it. I still play alone in the basement most days though.
  18. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    After college i moved to California in late ‘86. All i did was work for years. At one point almost sold my bass and amp In 91 i ran into a guitarist and we started to jam. By ‘95 i had auditioned for an international artist and have never looked back. Some years i played 250 days per year!
  19. dennis james

    dennis james

    Jun 30, 2018
    chicago area
    I've taken long periods off from playing bass but have played acoustic guitar all along. Some on this forum may find it a sacrilege but I get much more satisfaction playing guitar by myself than bass by myself. In a band setting I've always been a bassist and I loved it but I don't want to play a bass sitting around a campfire on a weekend trip. If the band thing stops being fun it's time to consider switching instruments. You don't have to quit playing music.
    offhand35 and Artman like this.
  20. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    17 years. Marriage, kids, career. Started my spousal sanctioned mid-life crisis 6 years ago when asked by my old band mates to get together for a jam. Playing with them was all it took to light the fire.

    I hit the woodshed for just over a year before I felt ready enough to join a crappy band to see if I could still hang. Left them to join a better band once I had the confidence to actually gig. Did that for just over 3 years and 100+ gigs before leaving them to join a better band which I’m currently in now.

    I don’t honestly know how I survived without it.
    wmmj and makdub like this.

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