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Any (former) musicians give up their instrument?

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#1 of 37 OFFLINE   Zane Charron

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Posted August 12 2003 - 03:42 AM

I started playing guitar in '89 when I was 14, but the last few years I just can't get into it anymore. I realize everyone goes through motivational droughts, but I think my drought of 3-4 years is turning into something more akin to lack of interest. Every time I pick up one of my guitars with the intention of getting back into it, I play for about 10 minutes, get bored and put it away.

I never thought that I would be thinking about giving up playing guitar. I've been doing it so long it feels like a part of me, but with so many other hobbies filling up my time, it just doesn't make sense to try and keep at it. And I was/am a pretty good player! The worst part would be telling people that I USED to play guitar...sigh. Posted Image

Anyone else out there have a similar experience they want to share? Was it an OK move? Ever regret it a bit? Ever damn yourself for giving it up?

#2 of 37 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

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Posted August 12 2003 - 04:34 AM

I gave up playing the trumpet right after college because I was just sick of it and I had been playing it for over a decade at that point. I went all the way and sold my beautiful silver plated Bach Stradivarius trumpet for a fraction of it's worth. I was OK with it for a few years but then I got the urge to start playing again and unfortunately I could not get a hold of the girl who bought my trumpet so I ended up buying an extremely cheap Yamaha student model. It was not the same and I have not been able to get into playing trumpet again.
One thing though is I was able to play music by taking up other instruments. This was great because even though I was sick of the trumpet, I was still able to play music which will always be a huge part of who I am.
So, I would recommend taking up a new instrument. Start from scratch and take drum lessons or maybe learn to play the trombone. This may reinvigorate the love of music again. Do things like join the local choir or community orchestra. It may take you quite a while to find the right instrument but it will be worth it. Then one day you may find your guitar in the back of your closet and decide to play a little. You may hate it still or you may find yourself totally jazzed about it again.
Good luck.

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#3 of 37 OFFLINE   Randy Tennison

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Posted August 12 2003 - 07:40 AM

I started out taking piano lessons when I was little. I hated them. Then, I learned guitar, and played in a couple of rock bands, and also played in jazz band in college. I also played drums in the college pep band.

But, mother nature has not been kind. I developed arthritis in my hands to the point that guitar playing and drumming are too painful. I just don't have the grip strength. So, a few years ago, I took the piano back up. You would think that piano would be more difficult, but I love it. I really enjoy playing and teaching myself.

I still yearn to play guitar on occasion, and can still do it for a little while. But man, those jazz bar chords kill.

So, I've given up several instruments, and have taken one back up!
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#4 of 37 OFFLINE   Dan Hine

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Posted August 12 2003 - 08:06 AM

I started off as a music education major...then switched majors and gave up playing all together for 3yrs (during which I had quit school b/c I didn't know what I wanted to do and didn't feel like spending money while trying to find out). Well, I began to miss playing and really enjoyed all the music events that I went to. So I went out to buy a horn...it was fate! I stopped by a local brass shop and they actually had a Getzen bass trombone on consignment for a mere $1100 in immaculate! A new one would cost me about $1900! Anyway, I began taking lessons again and playing with a local trombone choir and low and behold I begin class in pursuit of my Music Ed degree this month!

IMO, if it is/was something you enjoy then don't EVER give it up! Posted Image

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#5 of 37 OFFLINE   Randy_Sh


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Posted August 12 2003 - 08:13 AM

Guess I am kind of in that situation now...

I started playing woodwind instruments in the fourth grade and I am now 28...my main thing has been tenor sax. Have a sweet Selmer Balanced Action horn, 1936 vintage. Played in the college jazz ensemble and a funk band that covered all kind of stuff...even continued to play in a community jazz band and studied privately after I graduated from college...

Unfortunately, I moved from the area about 1-1/2 years ago and I have had trouble getting going again...I haven't hooked up with anyone to study with and hadn't really looked for a group to play in.

Been only taking out the horn about once a month and it's fun, but I realize that I really have lost some chops...

Maybe I will take out the horn tonight...

#6 of 37 OFFLINE   Julian Reville

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Posted August 12 2003 - 09:47 AM

I too quit playing trumpet after college, but I still have my King Silver Flair sitting in a closet. A few years ago I got it out, gave it a good cleaning, and tried to play. Posted Image God, it was embarassing; I knew how, but the lips and fingers wouldn't work. It sounded like horse farts.

I would love to play in a nice Big Band, playing 30s, 40s, and 50s stuff, even if I was 4th chair.

#7 of 37 OFFLINE   Todd H

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Posted August 12 2003 - 10:07 AM

Played bass guitar and sang in a bunch of bands in college. After college, I sold all of my bass equipment. Don't really miss it to be honest, but I do miss the lead vocalist stuff. Something about strutting around on stage acting like a fool to impress rock chicks...Posted Image

#8 of 37 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted August 12 2003 - 11:34 AM

You suffered from LSD, and it is notoriously hard to get over...witness David Lee Roth.

(Lead Singer Disease for those uninitiated) Posted Image

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#9 of 37 OFFLINE   Karl_Luph


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Posted August 12 2003 - 11:49 AM

Julian, start playing that horn again. That big band music will never totally disappear because it equates style and sophistication. As a fellow musician (bass player)who's been around , I've come to the conclusion that it's the best music ever. Like they say, "it don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing."

#10 of 37 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted August 12 2003 - 11:55 AM

I stink at instruments, I try often

I've found my strengths lie in singing and directing others and bringing them together.

#11 of 37 OFFLINE   Matthew_Millheiser


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Posted August 12 2003 - 12:08 PM

I started playing piano at 5, with classical training from 8 to 13, and gave it up completely to play guitar in metal bands (this was the 80s, mind you). In retrospect, I wish I would have stayed with the piano; my fretwork never even closely compared with how I used to tinkle the ivories. Posted Image

I also played clarinet in the school band for about five years, but I haven't picked up the instrument since 1984 (yikes!). Still remember all the fingerings, though, but if I even attempted to blow into a reed the resulting screech would piss off animals worldwide.

Nowadays it's just acoustic guitar playing, with an eye on folk, progressive, and bluegrass, and then maybe 20 minutes a day. Alas. I miss the coffeehouse days of yore. Posted Image

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#12 of 37 OFFLINE   Greg Rowe

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Posted August 13 2003 - 04:11 AM

I am in almost the same position. I bought my first guitar when I was 14 or 15. Once I went to college, the amount of time I spent playing rapidly declined. WHen I graduated it continued to decline. I have played for about 1 hour in the last year Posted Image

Right now I am looking to sell my big bulky sound system and get something smaller. (QSC USA 850 AMP, audiosource eq, and a large pair of speakers).


#13 of 37 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted August 13 2003 - 04:51 AM

It sounded like horse farts.

Posted Image

I used to play the piano and the clarinet, but never stuck with it. The family piano just ended up collecting dust so my mother eventually sold it (we never really missed it). I sold my clarinet (also collecting dust) to a pawn shop a few years ago for some spare cash. I thought about buying it back but never got around to it.

In the end, I never really learned how to play either instrument reasonably well. I was simply not into it. I'll probably try my hand at playing the electric guitar, but this time I'm buying a used one. If I get bored of it, I can always resell it with very little money lost in the end.

There seems to be a general misconception that it's a sad thing when someone stops playing a musical instrument. But in reality, if you've become bored of it, why should you hold on to something that doesn't interest you anymore? Sell it to someone who might get more use out of it! It's like that Ikea commercial. "If you feel sad about that little guitar, it's because you're crazy! A guitar doesn't have any feelings! And the new one is much better!"

#14 of 37 OFFLINE   DaveGTP



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Posted August 13 2003 - 01:47 PM

I played Trombone from 5th grade to graudation of HS. College and work made me kind of lose it after that. Mine is still around in the basement. The fiancee pulled out her Clarinet a while ago and we played for a while, pulling out the old music.
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#15 of 37 OFFLINE   Eric_L



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Posted August 13 2003 - 02:49 PM

I still enjoy playing my keyboard (and yes, I too was in a hair band) I also fake it fairly well on guitar and drums.

Since I became a father I find the time for these things has dwindled. Especially MIDI composing. I miss it, but have other things to keep me busy.

Someday I suspect I'll get back with it. I'm trying to decide if I should scrap my stuff now and buy new then, or just hang on to it.

#16 of 37 OFFLINE   Tim Hoover

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Posted August 13 2003 - 05:58 PM

I took a year off from music entirely to decide my future. After that year was up, I decided that playing an instrument was something I couldn't live without, even if I never actually did anything. I record songs and keep them in a shoebox. It's my own private pleasure, just for myself so I don't go crazy...
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#17 of 37 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted August 14 2003 - 02:12 AM

I played keyboards in a band from 1988 to 1994 and then gave it up almost completely. My boards just sat around collecting dust for YEARS until about 2 years ago when a friend (who was also in the same situation) decided to get together for "fun". That "fun" has now been going on for 2 years years and we have a huge following.

I was SO glad I kept my old stuff. You just never know when you're going to want to play again, and it's kinda like riding a bike, everything came back to me fairly quickly and I now find that I am even better than before.

#18 of 37 OFFLINE   Rain



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Posted August 14 2003 - 07:17 AM

To all of you who have given up your instruments: Damn, I hate you. Posted Image

I'm kidding of course. Posted Image

But speaking as one who is struggling to get a few guitar basics down, an experience which is at the same time exhilirating and frustrating, I just can't imagine giving it up after all that effort... Posted Image

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#19 of 37 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted August 14 2003 - 07:56 AM

I took piano lessons for about 5-6 years when I was growing up. Then I took a lengthy hiatus (about 16 years) and have just now started re-learning to play the piano.

In retrospect, I lost interest and gave up because I had hit a plateau and didn't have a clue how to take things to the next level. In particular, I never developed a good understanding of musical expression (as opposed to just raw technique). At the same time, other hobbies were competing for my time and attention and won out for a while.

Now I'm getting back into it again. It's more fun this time around because now that I'm older (32 instead of 14) and heard a lot more music I have more of a concept of how emotions are conveyed through music. Also, I'm getting to pick more of the music I play, so I'm spending my practice time working on pieces I like...
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#20 of 37 OFFLINE   Eric_L



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Posted August 14 2003 - 10:48 AM

Rain, though you may feel awkward, the best thing you could do is find other musicians to play with. It does not matter if they are more advanced than you, they may even pull you up to their level.

You try just one jam session with a friendly group and you will be HOOKED FOR LIFE!

All you need is three chords and you got a start...

Good luck.