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AndyTravis

Been here before...going on a hiatus?

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I’m sure in darker times I did a thread on “jacking it all in” - I was fed up, broke and broken. I had a messy split and was fighting for time with Eldest daughter while pulling all the overtime I could to make ends meet.

Anyhow, 7 years on and I’ve been at this bass stuff for 21 years.

i’ve done Big shows, small shows, open mics, tours, TV, Radio...but the last 18 months have just been a blank...

I’ve got about £8000 worth of gear sat around gathering dust.

I’m so busy, with 4 kids and a very full on full time job, two sides of the family to keep happy and have to factor in sleeping and eating at some point.

Recently tried to start something for enjoyment and it turned into a huge headache - it’s fallen flat on its derrière with no rehearsals or gigs.

I play about 5 minutes a day. Does that really necessitate the best gear money can buy, or could a decent squier manage it for noodling?

I just think I’m done.

The buying and Selling of gear has become a running joke with my mates, it’s ridiculous - I used to be bad when I was actively playing, and now I spend more time doing that than actually playing.

I don’t really want to gig. 

I don’t want to keep on recording noodles nobody wants to hear.

I don’t fancy joining a band, or starting yet another futile project.

When I get home, I want to play games with the kids, sit on my backside and switch off for a bit once they’re in bed.

It’s been a tough year, and I need a holiday. My Jazz Bass would take the six of us to Portugal for a Fortnight, probably.

I’ve lost my passion for making music. 

Bloody sacreligious on a musicians forum. I know.

Anyone else just want to quit? 

Am I going mad?

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I stopped playing for about 4 years. From about 2000-2009 I was in a band and we played a lot. Recorded a lot. Funnily enough I didn’t play bass, I played a whole heap of other instruments in it. 

Eventually I quit it as tbh the leader was a bully and my confidence was shot to pieces. I sold pretty much everything musical I had. 

4 years later and I was frankly miserable. Mrs B said it was because there was no making music in my life. I told her it wasn’t that, but she persisted. So, eventually I bought a bass - the instrument I hadn’t played for probably 15 years or so. 

Sometimes we need a break to see what it actually means to us and how it fits into our lives. That’s natural. For me, the process was cathartic. I still have massive confidence issues - despite many telling me they are unfounded. I played my fretless at rehearsal tonight. It was the first time in front of anyone. I pulled it off - just about - the buzz was incredible, but I know perfectly well that only about 3 years ago I wouldn’t have even entertained having it in the house. 

Do what you think is right for you right now. Life is too short to worry about it. Your kids will grow up - there will be a time when you have more spare time and more spare cash - and opportunities aplenty to play if it’s right for you then. 

Edited by Bridgehouse
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Wouldn't the right band with gigs resolve  some of your concerns. Unless you live in an area like me and the gigging bands are far and few in between.

Blue

Edited by Bluewine

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3 minutes ago, Bluewine said:

Wouldn't the right band with gigs resolve  some of your concerns. Unless you live in an area like me and the gigging bands are far and few in between.

Blue

Honestly blue, it’s like the ‘pilot light’ for making music has just gone out.

My playing hasn’t suffered, when I pick up and play it’s not like I can’t do stuff anymore - it’s all still there. I just don’t miss it when I’m not playing.

The thing is, a lot of my musician mates are off doing it for a living, I stopped living that dream 9 years ago. 

I became that guy who got left behind.

And I don’t miss it, I really don’t.

Every time I’ve thought I do miss it, I start something and then realise I just can’t be bothered.

got a bad case of apathy, and a huge sense of life being about other things - music and playing music got me away from gangs and silliness my old mates were starting to get up to when I was 13/14. But now maybe it’s done it’s job and at 34, I’m safely away from all that nonsense to not need it.

I dare say a number of those lads are wonderfully respectable people now, but I know of at least 2 being dead.

I’m off to bed, work for a meeting and then a family funeral in the afternoon tomorrow...life affirming stuff 🧐

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7 hours ago, AndyTravis said:

Honestly blue, it’s like the ‘pilot light’ for making music has just gone out.

My playing hasn’t suffered, when I pick up and play it’s not like I can’t do stuff anymore - it’s all still there. I just don’t miss it when I’m not playing.

The thing is, a lot of my musician mates are off doing it for a living, I stopped living that dream 9 years ago. 

I became that guy who got left behind.

And I don’t miss it, I really don’t.

Every time I’ve thought I do miss it, I start something and then realise I just can’t be bothered.

got a bad case of apathy, and a huge sense of life being about other things - music and playing music got me away from gangs and silliness my old mates were starting to get up to when I was 13/14. But now maybe it’s done it’s job and at 34, I’m safely away from all that nonsense to not need it.

I dare say a number of those lads are wonderfully respectable people now, but I know of at least 2 being dead.

I’m off to bed, work for a meeting and then a family funeral in the afternoon tomorrow...life affirming stuff 🧐

Sounds like starting a new journey away from the " band thing" isn't a bad idea.

Plus it's something you can come back to even after a long absence, lots of the older guys here have.

Blue

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Likewise, I've been there, seen it, still got the T shirt that is about 3 sizes too small for my middle aged spread and saggy man breasts. Like you I had completely lost all interest in being in a band or even making any music on my own. In fact it's happened to me twice over the 32 years or so since I first started playing bass. What killed it off for me on both occasions was people; either not pulling their weight and wasting my time as well as that of the others who were trying to make the band work, or other people with their various neuroses; arrogance, back stabbing, ego, drama queenery, etc. There's no cure for being a thingy, as Bron son of Bron says :facepalm:. Anyway, a different set of reasons to you but the same endpoint, so I completely empathise with your current situation and get the fact that you think it's all behind you and is never going to happen again. On both occasions I went through it I did eventually come out on the other side and get back into music, but the second time took about 6 years before I was ready.

My advice, for what it's worth, would be to liquidate some of your unused gear and take the family on that holiday. It sounds as though you need it more. The sight of the unused expensive jazz bass is kicking you while you're down so move it on out of the way, it'll be one less thing weighing on your mind.

But I would suggest that you hang on to enough gear to noodle/jam/gig with so that in future if that pilot light ever reignites, as mine did, you are able to jump back in without necessarily having to buy a load of new, expensive gear (although if you're as bad as the rest of us you will anyway xD

Edited by Osiris
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I’m another one in a similar position. I have had small breaks from playing over the years, but recently I have had a strong desire to pack up and just do some noodling at home.

I have a little boy who I look after a lot as my wife works crazy shifts in the NHS, so evenings are rarely free, plus I have a full time job and house to take care of and dogs to walk....the list goes on. All this has made me realise playing pub gigs to uninterested punters for £60 a night is not worth my time and energy. I also get sick of other people/musicians and their drama so I have gone from 4 working bands to about 1/2 a band who I help out a bit.

It sounds like you have plenty on your plate and nothing is more important than family time and children. If I were you I would keep one good bass and a decent combo or headphone amp and shift the rest and go on a good holiday. Gear means nothing, I have been through silly expensive basses and then sold everything and played in four bands with one Squier 5 string precision which cost me £240, nobody noticed let alone cared.

like others have said, keep a bass around as you may well come back to it in 6 months or even 5 years. My dad went from pro musician back in the 60s/70s to nothing until the mid 90s when I was grown up and he was established in life. He then had a very good working band for over 10 years with his 17 year old son on bass duties 😄.

Change and a break is good for the soul I think, and extra change in your pocket is also nice too.

 

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You should do as you feel.

I do wonder whether the Jazz bass should remain and other gear go. The reason for that is that gear is relatively cheap to replace and a nice Jazz bass will always be worth a good deal. Just a thought. A tad excessive for noodling I accept.

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Hey Andy - life pressures in your 40s (which I'm guessing is where you're at or thereabouts?) is pretty much as bad as it gets IMO. I'm a LOT happier having got through that decade and having a "5" at the start of my age.

Some great advice already above.

7 hours ago, Bridgehouse said:

Do what you think is right for you right now. Life is too short to worry about it. Your kids will grow up - there will be a time when you have more spare time and more spare cash - and opportunities aplenty to play if it’s right for you then. 

^^ This. 100%

I had a break from music for 25 years until I picked up a bass for the first time 5 years back. It's now my passion and I realised the other night that I never feel more alive than when playing with my band mates to an appreciative crowd. But that's me "right now" and I hope it continues for many years. But if it stops being fun and becomes a chore, then I'll re-think how / what I'm doing with my music or do something else entirely.

As it's not your living you don't have to do it and you don't owe it to anyone to continue. 

I'd actually be bolder than Osiris and say sell all your gear, take the cash and spend it on you and your kids. It will take no time at all to get a bass and amp, if you feel like jumping back in; I suspect you know where the FS is and, heck, you'll probably even be able to pick up some of your own ex gear at a knock down price! :) 

Enjoy your break and we'll all look forward to welcoming you back when you're good and ready.

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I think we've all been here at one time or another Andy.  I took a break during the formative years of my family life and when I was jetting all over the world with my job.  Got back into it when time became more available and when I felt more focussed to get back into music.

My old adage has always been 'if it ain't fun and you don't need to do it, then don't do it'.  Nothing wrong with taking a break, do something else, become a man in lycra on a Sunday morning - whatever floats your boat.

Keep some gear back so that you're not starting from scratch because the BC stats show that most come back to it at some point and start (back)up costs outweigh what you'll make on selling.

This place will still be here when you decide to come back, enjoy your break Andy.

 

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17 minutes ago, martthebass said:

start (back)up costs outweigh what you'll make on selling.

You'll need to explain that to me.

Let's compare like with like: if Andy sells his amp for £1,000 today and buys back the same piece of gear a year down the line (which will then be a year older) used for £800, how is he worse off? 

Apart from certain collectors items e.g. Wal basses, most of the gear we have is depreciating in value not appreciating. And then you get the likes of TC slashing prices or Line6 bringing out their Stomp which has 90% of the full-fat Helix's capability  for less than half the price etc. etc. all adding to downward price pressure.

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I am currently on a playing hiatus as 2018 has been a shite one for me too. My Dad passed away earlier in the year, I now have another household to basically look after re my elderly Mum, & more recently my wife has been very ill which will take another 6 months to recover from. I’ve had little inclination to play in a band & frankly have no time at the moment either.

However, I still like owning the kit i’ve got although I have about half the value of your gear. I like the fact that when the opportunity at the right time presents itself, I am kitted up & ready to go. I like being part of the bass community too & reading about all things bass can be welcome distraction at times.

Having £8k of gear sat around doing nothing i’d suggest is perhaps not the ideal thing. I’d say keep the best parts of any backline you have + keep your favourite basses - the ones you get some pleasure from just owning if you see what I mean.

After taking a break & having a breather, you might find that your musical desire returns. 

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I took a break from playing and sold all my gear when my daughters were little and I was working shifts with overtime as often as possible to cover the bills. Some stages in life just aren't conducive to playing music. When the financial and family time pressures eased, I bought a bass and amp without even thinking about the time I'd been away from it - took about a week to get back into it, a little longer for my finger tips to toughen up! 

I think it is a natural stage in most musicians' lives, unless they are full time pros. When you have young children, there is never enough time (or money), so anything that takes either of those away from the family tends to become irrelevant.

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My first "retirement" came when my world of pro bass playing imploded and I realised I had very little to show and no money coming in. On the advice of a friend, I got into the fledgling IT industry and started a shift job, a good move as it turned out. I refocussed my thoughts, sold my amps and cabs but I never considered selling my Precision. I always felt that that bass defined me as a person. It sat in a case for the best part of 10 years, only coming out for infrequent gigs. I was a musician who wasn't currently playing, but would at some time in the future.  And I did.

Sell everything else but don't sell your bass.

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20 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

You'll need to explain that to me.

Let's compare like with like: if Andy sells his amp for £1,000 today and buys back the same piece of gear a year down the line (which will then be a year older) used for £800, how is he worse off? 

Apart from certain collectors items e.g. Wal basses, most of the gear we have is depreciating in value not appreciating. And then you get the likes of TC slashing prices or Line6 bringing out their Stomp which has 90% of the full-fat Helix's capability  for less than half the price etc. etc. all adding to downward price pressure.

Your mileage may vary Al......

What if Andy sells his amp for £1000 today and decides to buy the replacement new amp in one years time for £1200?

If I'd sold a EBMM Ray 3 years ago I would have got about £6-700 to buy a used one now would cost me about £1000, a new one around £2000. 

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4 minutes ago, martthebass said:

Your mileage may vary Al......

What if Andy sells his amp for £1000 today and decides to buy the replacement new amp in one years time for £1200?

If I'd sold a EBMM Ray 3 years ago I would have got about £6-700 to buy a used one now would cost me about £1000, a new one around £2000. 

Yes agreed, that falls into the 'Wal' category.

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15 minutes ago, FinnDave said:

I took a break from playing and sold all my gear when my daughters were little and I was working shifts with overtime as often as possible to cover the bills. Some stages in life just aren't conducive to playing music. When the financial and family time pressures eased, I bought a bass and amp without even thinking about the time I'd been away from it - took about a week to get back into it, a little longer for my finger tips to toughen up! 

I think it is a natural stage in most musicians' lives, unless they are full time pros. When you have young children, there is never enough time (or money), so anything that takes either of those away from the family tends to become irrelevant.

+1 ^^

I think the recommendations are falling into the "clean break" and "keep your bass, but sell the rest".

They do both make good sense.

If money is better spent now on your family go the clean break route. 

Maybe not a great analogy, but for me the "clean break" route will be more like switching your work mobile off when you go on holiday and not constantly checking; you'll find it much more refreshing and I think paradoxically it may result you re-finding your passion sooner; you won't miss something until it's properly gone.

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Now then, after a stiff brew and a wonderful 5 hours sleep...

I still feel the same, I have thought about the jazz mainly - I’d kick myself forever if that went, but it’s not being used at all.

My other two electric basses are worth more to me than they’ll ever be financially as I designed them as prototypes with the manufacturer.

The Guild is beautiful and if probably never find another.

The other gear, Amps etc I just don’t worry about. And all the bits and bobs...

I also saw a video last night which made me think, shift the jazz and guild - invest in a Wal mk1.

but I’d still have an expensive bass sat unused..,

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I don't have any high value gear but I'm getting shot of most of my drums, guitars and bass collection bar one fretted and one fretless bass, one electric guitar, one acoustic , the cajon and one djembe.  I'm in my late 40s, have my partner and  two teenage girls and tbh I rather spend saturday evenings in or out with my mrs than gigging in pubs to barely interested punters. I don't listen to the same amount of music as I used to have already halved my DC collection to 400, nearly all of which is electronica. Still, I like to put in a couple of hours practice and noodling at the weekend to keep my hand in just in case I get any urge to get back out again. So I'd say keep the Jazz and carry on noodling when the urge takes you and mebbe in 10 years tiMe you might get an urge to gig once more.

Edited by Barking Spiders

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If I looked rationally at my bass collection I'd sell the 2MMs and the Rick and pocket say £4K or so.  My gigging needs are serviced by 2 Mustangs with a combined value of say £750 - £1000? 

As long as I get some pleasure from playing the mid-range stuff at home/Jams then I'll keep them and somewhere down the line, when I hang up my wigs and stage gear, sell them and use the cash for something in my dotage.  At the minute Ricks and MMs are probably doing better than my crappy ISA!  

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1 hour ago, AndyTravis said:

Now then, after a stiff brew and a wonderful 5 hours sleep...

I still feel the same, I have thought about the jazz mainly - I’d kick myself forever if that went, but it’s not being used at all.

My other two electric basses are worth more to me than they’ll ever be financially as I designed them as prototypes with the manufacturer.

The Guild is beautiful and if probably never find another.

The other gear, Amps etc I just don’t worry about. And all the bits and bobs...

I also saw a video last night which made me think, shift the jazz and guild - invest in a Wal mk1.

but I’d still have an expensive bass sat unused..,

The first thing I did when I thought about packing up was add up all my gear to see if I could afford a Fender CS Pino signature 😂. Daft really but I do know deep down I would never want to be without a bass even if I did just play at home in my office.

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1 hour ago, AndyTravis said:

Now then, after a stiff brew and a wonderful 5 hours sleep...

I still feel the same, I have thought about the jazz mainly - I’d kick myself forever if that went, but it’s not being used at all.

My other two electric basses are worth more to me than they’ll ever be financially as I designed them as prototypes with the manufacturer.

The Guild is beautiful and if probably never find another.

The other gear, Amps etc I just don’t worry about. And all the bits and bobs...

I also saw a video last night which made me think, shift the jazz and guild - invest in a Wal mk1.

but I’d still have an expensive bass sat unused..,

Personally, I'd sell the majority of your gear. It has some sentimental value but, at the end of the day, it's just stuff. The happy times they will buy with your kids will be worth more than money.

Keep one bass, flog the amps and other gubbins and buy a wee practice amp off here. That way you can have a little noodle around if the mood takes you.

One thing I'll say above all else - please don't stop posting here just because you're not as musically active as you were. You're a valued poster and I'm sure many of us would miss you. We've lost too many good guys recently - don't be a stranger!

Edited by Fozza
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I found having an amp around the house was a bit depressing - it takes up a lot of room and is completely a reminder of the gigs you used to play and often they can lose money much faster than an instrument can. I also don't like playing amps at home; they shake items in the room and everyone can hear you (probably even next door) so I cannot concentrate!

So my advice is sell the amp, invest some time in deciding which bass to keep or have a bit of a cleanse and buy one great bass, then spend some of the money you've made on a really good home headphone based setup (my advice would be something like a Helix and a bassboard) - that way you can still play at home yourself in total bliss, along with music or whatever. It's a bit of an escape. 

And try not to over-analyse it; sometimes I don't play bass for weeks, but I still have a certain satisfaction that I love my gear and enjoy reading about gear etc online. Often the groove takes me when I least expect it, normally when I should be hoovering or something, and when you don't feel like you're forcing it, it's a great feeling.

If you still miss being in a band, why not try some of the online collaboration sites where you can download tracks that need bass and send them back? Personally I get my kicks from playing along with music that I stumble across and spend hours jamming to them. 

When it comes to seeing things, it's far too easy to attach sentimentality to stuff which really are just objects. I recently sold a few watches that were totally blown away by a random punt on eBay for a watch about a tenth of the price of my most expensive. For a while I couldn't sell them because I thought 'but I wore that here' or 'I bought this then' but why should that not just be a nice memory? Who will benefit from me keeping it and telling them about it later? Nobody. 

I am very much a 'one item' person; rather than having a collection of watches or basses I tend to prefer to have one, which is 'me'. Obviously when it comes to bases that can mean one four, one five, one fretless, one half scale, one white, one black, one with single coils, one with humbuckers... ;)

Also echo Fozza's comment above - there's nothing wrong with tasing and chatting about basses even if you haven't played in a while. So stick around :)

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