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Got my tone, got some chops, now what??

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  • Got my tone, got some chops, now what??

    I've finished the rebuild of my old custom Strat - had SD rewind my old Quarter Pound neck pup, got an EMG SA for the bridge position, and set up a wicked series parallel switching setup and the sound is Primo!

    I'd laid off music for a long time - I was last onstage in 1985!! Did the family thing (three kids) got the 9-5 happening to feed the gang, and picked up the guitars awhile back, and found most of my old chops were still there! Better yet, my ear has improved with age and I can pick up tunes faster than I ever could before. It seems like age has brought more refined musical awareness than I had in my hormone-driven rock and roll days.

    But, now what? I spent a ton of my late teens and early twenties playing in clubs, touring, even a short stint as a studio hired gun. I can't exactly go on a 9 month tour these days, what with the family and the job thing. I can't get into the 8-hour a day practice routine I used to do (I'm lucky if I can squeeze 8 hours a week these days...). So what does a 42 yr old guy like me do to find an outlet for playing? How do I find a band that plays enough to be good but so much that it interfers with my numerous responsibilities? It feels pretty pointless cranking away in the livingroom eevery evening. I really miss playing with other people. I'm just plain befuddled...

    Any suggestions? Thoughts? Insults? Love to hear from you other aging players! How do you work in playing with all the other middle-age guy stuff we're stuck with? Thanks!!

  • #2
    Re: Got my tone, got some chops, now what??

    Hehe well I do the backing track playing thing these not have the time for bands and all that, perhaps with my old buddies who knows each other pretty well.
    I keep my self sharp doing those tracks.....but I miss a real drummer sometimes,
    well it is better than no band sitting in that studio and play along with a track.
    So I like those tracks with real people playing the best.


    • #3
      Re: Got my tone, got some chops, now what??

      if i was you i'd look for a casual band to play the local club in friday/saturday nights, just for fun


      • #4
        Re: Got my tone, got some chops, now what??

        yea, or try to find a regular jam that happens maybe 1 or 2 times a month and go to those, your bound to meet some ppl there, maybe form a casual band, or maybe just play with some other ppl

        there gotta be ppl in a similar situation
        Godin SDXT - 59-ClassicStack-JB
        Martin D-15 - Fishman Neo-D
        Boss BD-2 - MXR dynacomp - Dunlop Crybaby GCB-95 - Morley A/B/Y
        Crate VC-3112
        Brownsville NY J-Bass Copy
        Fender Bassman 60


        • #5
          Re: Got my tone, got some chops, now what??

          Like Rid said, The backing track thing is great to keep your chops up.
          I got Cakewalk for guitar. That's been keeping me busy. The stuff you
          can do with your computer is amazing. I'm kinda of a tube amp snob,But
          I'm thinking about geting a line 6 guitar port and doing some amp molding.


          • #6
            Re: Got my tone, got some chops, now what??

            I was in the exact same situation two years ago (with the exception I didn't have alot of prior band experience....most my time was spent at home playing the guitar). When I started getting back into playing guitar after a four year break, I discovered the chops came back fast, my ear was even better and I had a better understanding of theory.

            So I had the same question as you..what to do? My solution was to put a band together from the ground up. I had a bunch of original songs written that I wanted to record so I'd have something tangible to show for my years of practice. I advertised on various websites for local music as well as music stores. I was careful to mention I was looking for people in the same predicament as I (i.e. are you older, love to jam, but aren't looking to rule the world or travel in a van?).

            It took me close to four or five months to find the singer, drummer and bass player in that order. came together nicely, and we're still together a year and a half later (and have seven of my original songs recorded). We went almost a month without practice due to job demands on all of us. But since we all have those same demands, noone gets pissed off when this situation arises.

            One thing worth noting. I ended up playing music that a decade ago I would've sneered at. My singer is a woman, and my drummer is a woman. But it's a nice mix of styles. Occasionally my metal roots gets to come out, and I've really grown to enjoy a strong female voice out front with the drummer's harmonies. Overall it's made a better songwriter as I've learned to put the ego in the back seat and play what's best for the song.
            PRS McCarty Korina loaded w/Godwoods
            PRS Custom 22 loaded w/Dragon IIs
            GJ2 Shredder loaded w/Habaneros
            Rivera Knucklehead 55 Reverb/Blackstar HT-1/VHT Special Ultra 6
            Avatar 2X12 loaded with V30 & G12H30
            various pedals


            • #7
              Re: Got my tone, got some chops, now what??

              Yeah sometimes those gigs are quite nice and rewarding.
              But man some of the things I have played....
              I am not religious or anything, but I had some stints with two gospelchoirs and one pop-christian band as stand in for their regular guy who was in the army for 18 months....uh that was strange at best.
              But it worked out ok, eventhough the music was not me by a far cry
              And all the tunes I had to learn
              Good for me that I like funky stuff as well, that is probally why my buddy got me the jobs


              • #8
                Re: Got my tone, got some chops, now what??

                this is waht i did a few years back when i found myself where you are now:

                - i would casually mention to folks i know and see if that generated any hits ("oh yeah? my brother in law plays bass and is looking too" ... " oh yeah? my neighbor plays drums ... ")

                - i put up a personal ad stating exactly what i was looking for and what i was NOT looking for ... alternately, answer a few ads that sound appealing .. you'll have to kiss alot of frogs before you find a handful of princes, but it'll be worth it .. has 'em sorted by area code for the whole USA and canada ... i used .. i bet most areas have something like this ... google knows

                - put up a little flyer in music stores describing what you are looking for .. make it so it has 'tear offs' saying guitarist available and your phone number

                good luck
                gear list in profile

                "no seymour - no tone ... know seymour - know tone!"

                Is it not the glory of the people of America that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience?" - James Madison - Federalist #14