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When life just gets in the way.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by podiumboy, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Backstory: I'm 31 years old, and haven't played a gig since Thanksgiving Eve 2009. We were together for 8 years up to that point, since college. But everybody's life was starting to get in the way, availability's never lined up to have rehearsals, do gigs, etc. We're all still great friends and get together when we can, but the band is no longer the focus of our friendships. We recently got together to record some songs one of the guys wrote, and while it was fun, it was over as soon as we left the studio.

    I really miss playing. I miss rehearsing, I miss playing out, I miss setting up for a gig, tearing down after a gig, I miss the comradery. But my career has me so busy right now, and when I come home I now have a wife and 2 very young children to take care of. I love my family, and don't resent them at all. But there seems to be very little time in my life to devote to practicing. I literally couldn't find a few hours once a week to devote to rehearsals, and forget playing in bars all night on weekends. The baby doesn't sleep in just because I didn't get home until 3am.

    Anybody else ever been in this situation? Did you just have to accept that you'd have to hang it up for a few years, and pick it up again when your kids are older? What if my life never does slow down? Am I just making excuses? AH!!! I like my job and love my family, but I really need an outlet or I'll go crazy!
  2. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    Family always comes first. I took 12 years off from gigging after my son was born. I didn't want to miss out on anything. I bought a headphone amp and found time to practice at night when he went to bed or on Saturday and Sunday morning before he woke up. When I turned 41, my son was 13 and I joined a band that did a lot of touring. I still felt guilty about leaving my wife and son at home but I made good money (on average, 4 gigs would pay my mortgage for 2 months). My son is now 24 and I'm 53. I still gig and am glad that I was home for my family when my son was younger.
  3. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    Happens all the time. For me family always takes top billing. I stopped playing bars and played at church for a few years. (still do) I now play with some guys I met doing worship music. We have a blues/classic rock thing that is fun and no stress. I don't regret anything. I also find a low key original band is fun as well. You write your own parts and usually only have 10-20 songs to know. As long as the band is cool with being second fiddle your set. I've found it's always good to play with guys that are or have been recently in the same life place as you. Good luck and don't worry, music will be there when you're ready...
  4. It happens to a lot of people. I didn't play music at all from about 31 - 42 because I decided to focus on my career. There are 168 hours in a week, and there's probably more than 168 hours worth of things you'd like to do, especially if you're married and have kids. You have to prioritize.

    I started playing again at 43, and it's now been five years back into it. Most of the people I play with now did the same thing. In fact, when I went to the Jamey Aebersold jazz camp a couple of years ago, it seemed like everyone there was either under 25, or over 40. On the plus side, us middle-agers can afford nice instruments :)
  5. Lobomov


    Aug 2, 2013
    Oh yeah baby !

    But same here, I turn 41 in a few weeks and I am after a decade of not playing and only eventually only having one guitar around, slowly buying new gear and getting back into it.

    But it's nice to be able to just to pick up a cool tele, pimp it with butique pups and then thrown in a killer mesa to ensure it sounds good, just because you feel like it :D
  6. Thanks for the replies. It's sad, but I don't have the time to devote to starting/joining a new band right now. My old band is pretty much like a divorced couple who still get together for a little bit of fun every now and then; it's a good time, but the reasons it didn't work are still there and always will be there. Just have to find new ways to amuse myself musically.

    Went into Guitar Center the other day while my wife and kids shopped in the mall. I felt really out of place in a music store. I wasn't looking for that next thing that I could add to my rig, or the next piece of PA equipment or whatever our band needed. It felt weird. It was just a bunch of guitars and amps and stuff I wasn't going to buy.
  7. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Once your kids are old enough to pick up instruments, there it is, you have another band!
  8. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    Have you considered playing at a church?
    That's what most of my gigging has been for the last 10 years. It's different, but is enjoyable in it's own right. Doesn't take too much of my time away from the family and the kids get to come and watch. If you aren't religious or aren't interested in playing at church, I'd look for a basement jam band, do open mikes, or even do the band in a box type thing.
    Anything to have a musical outlet.
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
  10. Marginal Tom

    Marginal Tom

    Apr 28, 2010
    O'Fallon, IL
    Were you surprised that having a wife, children and ever-increasing job responsibilities resulted in have little or no time to do some of the things you enjoy?
  11. mcarp555

    mcarp555 Guest

    Jul 14, 2013
    When my daughter was a baby, I was lucky to have fifteen minutes a month to strum an acoustic. When she started school, I was able to break out the bass again, and get a practice amp.

    Now she's eight, and I just finished recording a new original, and posting it on YouTube. Who plays it almost every day? She does.

    It's easy to look at whatever your life is like 'right now' and assume that that's how it will be. But this too shall pass. Two, three, five years from now you might find the situation allows more time to play. Meanwhile, don't worry about having 'a band'. Play for your own enjoyment whenever you can. Even if that means sitting on the bed by yourself, unplugged.
  12. eyvindwa

    eyvindwa Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    Getting time to practice with a baby that doesn't sleep at night can be VERY hard. The first year or so is stressful. However, after that, things should start to settle down into some kind of routine, and that is key. I have two kids (3 and 6 years old), a full-time job, and I'm working on a degree on the side, but I make a point of having rehearsals and gigs scheduled well in advance. That way, both my wife and I can plan for that, and make the necessary arrangements. Likewise, she has her stuff planned in advance as well, and usually it works out well. Having a shared calendar online really helps too.

    Good luck!
  13. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Family comes first, job second, band third. You're at that age when you and the guys you play with are getting more responsibility at work and starting to settle down and have kids. It's pretty common for music to go on the backburner for a while.

    Still, if you're OK at managing your time, and keep your priorities straight, you shouldn't have to give up playing altogether. I think it's healthy in a marriage for the partners to have an outside outlet. It helps recharge the batteries. For some guys it's bowling night, or going fishing, or whatever. Music might be yours, just to get out for one night a week. Just make sure that you're not being the guy who works late one night, and is off to band practice another, and off to bowling club the next, etc. etc and ends up neglecting your family. Nobody ever went to their grave saying they regretted all that time they spent with their kids.
  14. jazzbill


    Jun 4, 2010
    Richardson, TX
    I was in your situation once. I quit playing for five years. When my kids got older I started back up with a once a week rehearsal or gig. Now that my kids are grown and gone, I'm playing two or three times a week.
  15. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    I made the conscious decision years ago to never have children, and as a result I'm in 3 working bands and have a crazy 8 - 5 job. Sometimes I'm envious of you folks with a family and kids, as it sounds fulfilling and satisfying in it's own way. Just not for me.
  16. lweastdad


    Feb 5, 2011
    We all have been there podiumboy. For me it was from ages 25 to about 56. Then our old band and other friends got together to have some fun and it turned into a regular thing again.

    Just keep your relationships up, keep playing and keep your chops up and when life slows down, get back into it (although the older you get the less you like the schlepping of the equipment...)
  17. It'll get easier as the kids get older. There's lots of us weekend warriors with kids out there.
  18. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    I took 2 years off after my twins were born. Picked up a casual originals band with the goal of getting a gig/quarter, maybe do some basement demo recording. 2 years in, we just finished our EP in a "real" studio, and are booked at least once a month through December :)
  19. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    IMO if you have a family and you care about them is will never be easy. It is doable but there are sacrafices you will need to make and be flexable to do it.

    My originals band made it 4 strong years until family and life grounded us to a halt. The band I'm in now is starting down this path so I'm leaving in the spring.

    If you can work it out and be a weekend warrior fine. I always felt the people who do music on the side not full time do it for fun and cause they love it and are forced to be that way.

    The rest out there are serious musicians who are reaching for the star, music is their only way of income...make it or not...nothing gets in their way.

    For me family is first over anything. I'm a weekend warrior a while longer then I'm leaving music ..goin fishin.
  20. ~ different strokes for different folks and so on and so forth . . . . . . ~

    There can be many crossroads in life and not everyone chooses the same paths - we just need to learn to be happy with our decisions or make new ones - like MAKING TIME!!!. ;)

    EDIT: Maybe use the downtime to do some serious wood shedding. Anyway, good luck and best wishes.

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