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  1. #1

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    You currently don't need to worry about day to day living costs. But you don't have much $

    You take care of a family member, it isn't anything serious, or time consuming, but you can't work.

    You have nothing holding you back from studying all you want.

    You could teach at your home to maybe 4-5 students a week.

    Maybe learn to record at home and make it available online.

    And for the foreseeable future you wouldn't be able to play any gigs.

    Like some others I find myself having to take care of a parent. For the past 11 years it was first my father, and now my mother. Ironically she turned 85 today on fathers day and she's doing awesome. Last year after not playing much for 10 years, I purchased a new guitar for my 60th birthday. Music is a very important part of my life. Like some others on here it's what keeps me sane. Now that I have the time, I would like to see how good I could become which was what I was doing before everything had to change. I know I "should do it for me" and don't worry about the other stuff. I just feel like the line in that Bruce Cockburn son, "If the tree falls in the forest does anybody hear"?
    I know things will change some day, and 60 is the new 25! So I still have chance at a world tour or maybe Sundays at a dive bar

    So here's my hypothetical 64 thousand dollar question?

    Under these conditions would you still try to become the best musician you can be, even if nobody ever hears you play?
    Or would you just treat it as a hobby, and play, or practice when you felt like it and just feel content.

    This could just be a major case of having too much time to think!
    It's funny because I always said, if I ever had unlimited time to just study and play I would be so happy.

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  3. #2

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    [QUOTE=Strbender;960844
    Under these conditions would you still try to become the best musician you can be, even if nobody ever hears you play?
    Or would you just treat it as a hobby, and play, or practice when you felt like it and just feel content.

    [/QUOTE]

    i don't see these as mutually exclusive..epecially after reading about your present situation..

    be the best musician that you can...flame your love of music and it will rise to it's own level within you..the loves got to be there or the skill is meaningless...i've known tremendous natural artists that got absolutely no joy from creating their art..and therefore the gift was more a curse

    play don't worry


    cheers

  4. #3

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    Hey Bender,
    First, I'm glad your mother is doing so well at 85!!

    Second, you asked: "Under these conditions would you still try to become the best musician you can be, even if nobody ever hears you play?
    Or would you just treat it as a hobby, and play, or practice when you felt like it and just feel content?
    "

    I'd ask you: what's the real difference between these choices?? I'm sure "hobbyists" aren't trying to be "bad," so either way, you're playing to have fun and (hopefully) get better!

    Just go for it!

    Marc

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    i don't see these as mutually exclusive..epecially after reading about your present situation..

    be the best musician that you can...flame your love of music and it will rise to it's own level within you..the loves got to be there or the skill is meaningless...i've known tremendous natural artists that got absolutely no joy from creating their art..and therefore the gift was more a curse

    play don't worry


    cheers

    [we were writing similar ideas at the same time!]

  6. #5

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    I know about being an artist very well. I also create traditional black and white photography in my darkroom, and design/build one of a kind pieces of furniture with hand tools. I haven't received a paycheck from an employer in 35 years. Don't ask me about my retirement account!

    I'll probably chose to not worry about it and just go for it. I was on my way to being a solid player when I had to change directions for my parents. For years I would hear that voice in my head saying, "what if?, what if?" I truly believe there's a reason why after all the years away, and having other creative outlets I was drawn back to music in a way that I'm still trying to figure out. I guess it's time to stop asking why and just do it.

    Thanks

  7. #6

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    Why are you confused about it? Do what you want to do.

  8. #7

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    I still think "hobby" is an incompatible term when we're talking jazz guitar.

    We're not talking fly fishing here--though, I think I want to try fly fishing--it looks relaxing in a connect with nature kinda way.

    We're talking jazz guitar--a pursuit that is truly a life long endeavor.

    Playing keeps me sane as well. Do what drives you and makes you happy. I'm a new father--everyone says--put your hobbies aside-- I say guitar isn't a hobby, it's a lifestyle choice. So I make time for it whenever I can because I love the journey.

    I wish the best for your and your mom!

  9. #8

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    ^ hey brother erez, i know some fly fishermen around here..they take that stuff to a fine art!!!...talk fishing line like we talk flatwounds!!! anything created with passion fire and love is an art...or better yet..treat everything you do as art...with intention and dedication...give it your all

    it'll get you thru lifes hiccups as well!!


    cheers

    ps- congrats daddy-o

  10. #9

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    When most laymen say hobby, they think--oh you do it for fun, that's nice.

    I'd rather say passion.

    Music literally kept me sane through the years. I'd rather not get into the details, but music was my life preserver in a land of turmoil.

    Music has helped me grow into the person I am today.

    I don't want to rehash the "hobby" thread, but for me music is not a hobby--it's like air. If I don't play music, or listen to music, I start to feel loopy and ill.

    If that's the way you feel, than don't feel guilty about wanting to keep playing!
    Last edited by Irez87; 06-16-2019 at 07:56 PM.

  11. #10

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    Some hobbyists are the real-deal guys who make the world go around. Newton was a nobody hiding from the plague in the country when he invented classical physics and calculus. The airplane was invented by two bicycle repairmen with a passion for what they were doing. Relativity was the spare-time creation of an unknown patent clerk who couldn't get a position teaching physics.

    If you love music, and if playing it and creating it can sometimes make you feel higher than any chemical ever could, then you'll keep doing it even if you're the last person on the planet.

    IMO, if music helps keep you sane, all the better. If it fails, just keep doing it anyway, as long as it brings you pleasure, or peace, or cash, or anything good.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by strumcat View Post

    IMO, if music helps keep you sane, all the better. If it fails, just keep doing it anyway, as long as it brings you pleasure, or peace, or cash, or anything good.
    and it always does!!!


    love it

    cheers

  13. #12

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    Music is an awesome journey to be on, anywhere along the path. I highly encourage finding other musicians, even just one other person to get together and make music with. This is such a magical experience that can be done at any skill level. When you enter into the musical realm together with another musician and collaborate on something, you usually experience something much richer than you can experience by playing alone.

    For me, playing music with others is more important than playing in front of others.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    For me, playing music with others is more important than playing in front of others.
    Amen, brother. Music has always been what I wanted to do with people, not for people. But I swear life in Southern California (and I asume most US cities) seem DESIGNED for isolation. Finding people to play with has become harder and harder.

    Thank goodness for this forum. At least I have people to talk music too. It’s not much, but it’s something.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    Amen, brother. Music has always been what I wanted to do with people, not for people. But I swear life in Southern California (and I asume most US cities) seem DESIGNED for isolation. Finding people to play with has become harder and harder.
    Yep. I've been thinking about just renting a rehearsal studio for a couple of hours a month and seeing who wants to show up and split the cost. AMP is walking distance from me in North Hollywood, and their small rooms are about $18-20/hr. Drums and amps are already there, you just plug in and go. I can't play worth a damn any more but what the heck, it's just for fun.

  16. #15

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    I turn 60 this year, next month in fact. I sold a few instruments recently and bought an instrument I wanted to play for at least twenty years: a bass viola da gamba - a cross between a cello and a guitar. I tried a bad one about two years ago for a couple of weeks, so bought a half-decent one two weeks ago. I'm new to bow playing, and make the most awful sounds, but I absolutely love being a student. There is nothing better! Spending free time exploring something new is a wonderful thing for the brain. Obviously I have less than zero expectation of ever doing this in front of people, even less for a living, but in itself it gives me great joy. If you can find that joy in anything, it is worth persuing. Keep exploring!

  17. #16

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    I think it’s terribly foolish to study and practice an instrument for anyone but oneself.
    Ignorance is agony.



  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strbender View Post

    Under these conditions would you still try to become the best musician you can be, even if nobody ever hears you play?
    Or would you just treat it as a hobby, and play, or practice when you felt like it and just feel content.
    Yes.
    My situation has been a lot like this. I spent ten years taking care of my mom. She just recently entered an assisted living facility and it is a major adjustment to be NOT living like that anymore. (Mom hasn't adjusted---she wants me to move into the assisted living facility and continue to take care of her. After all, I'm her son!)

    So I've spent a lot of time trying to get better, and having a good amount of time to practice too. I didn't play out, I didn't have other musicians over, either. So be it. If I knew 10 years ago that I would be doing this for 10 years, I might have approached it differently. But I didn't and there's no going back. That's okay.

    I will say that the past couple years have been the worst, as mom's dementia got worse and the situation became much more stressful. (It didn't help that my siblings saw mom's care as "my thing" and not something they were part of because, you know, they had lives.... I still haven't made peace with that, as you can tell by my tone here!)

    Time is precious. Improving on guitar is worth the time it takes. Be glad you've got the time. See how far you can get.

    My two cents worth.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  19. #18
    Studies show that actively learning a language/music can help prevent cognitive decline in older adults. The process is more important than the goal. So study hard. Stay sharp. Your mom will still need you when turns 103.
    I spent many hours playing chord melody for my own mom when she was dying. Due to a stroke, she couldn't really express emotion but she never kicked me out of the room (unlike my solo gig at Club Grunge).

  20. #19

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    I just want to say Thanks to everyone for your replies. After having some time to reflect on my post, I realize that I was burnt out from everything going on at home and I was needing some support which I found here. MarkRhodes can relate. I wouldn't change a thing, but sometimes it just gets me down when I don't have the freedom that I had before. I'm only 61 and sometimes I forget what my future could still become.

    So Thanks and I say, lets put this post to rest!

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by strumcat View Post
    Some hobbyists are the real-deal guys who make the world go around. Newton was a nobody hiding from the plague in the country when he invented classical physics and calculus. The airplane was invented by two bicycle repairmen with a passion for what they were doing. Relativity was the spare-time creation of an unknown patent clerk who couldn't get a position teaching physics.
    And Faulkner was an introverted postal clerk who got in trouble for stealing residents' magazines and reading them, even as he started writing novels.

    Quote Originally Posted by TommyBrooklyn View Post
    Studies show that actively learning a language/music can help prevent cognitive decline in older adults. The process is more important than the goal. So study hard. Stay sharp.
    I firmly agree with this. Creative hobbies keep the Alzheimer's away. My fiancee's sister suffered a stroke a few years ago about age 70, and her recovery was aided immensely by the fact that she was an artist and was constantly struggling to get back to making art. Look at Pat Martino and Jimmy Bruno as well. I have little doubt they'd be at the level they are now if not for music.

    So play by yourself and if possible play with other people. Be the best player you can be. It's only gonna do you good.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strbender View Post
    >>SNIP<<

    So here's my hypothetical 64 thousand dollar question?

    Under these conditions would you still try to become the best musician you can be, even if nobody ever hears you play?
    Or would you just treat it as a hobby, and play, or practice when you felt like it and just feel content.
    Yes to both. I don't think they're mutually exclusive.

    I don't think that x hours of play/practice daily will make you the best you can be without loving the time you play even if it means not playing every day.

    In my case, even being retired some days my arthritic hands won't allow much play, on other days chores and "things" take control of my day... life happens.
    Regards,

    Gary