Being a "Hobby Player"

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by Dr Improbable, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Eugene, Oregon
    I have a 212 lab series l5 “for big gigs” that sits in my practice room. The MP 15w gets taken every time. That, a guitar, pedal board, and SPARE guitar (very important) are all I take to gigs. Easily carried a couple blocks, and in one trip.
    To the OP, no reason to stop playing because you’re not playing out. I find I lose direction and motivation without a project to strive towards at least, though. Do you do home recording projects?
     
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  2. mofojar

    mofojar Squier-Meister

    Age:
    36
    272
    May 9, 2019
    Calgary, Alberta
    I haven't done an actual gig with my (old) band since 2010 or so, maybe even 2009.

    That said I did get the opportunity to play the Canadian 150th birthday party in 2017 in my hometown as a member of my Dad's band. That was a lot of fun. They printed our picture in the paper and everything. But I mostly just played some cowboy chords along with his songs. I think I got to do two songs, as I was going for a Canadian theme my two songs were Sundown by Lightfoot and Keep on Rockin' in the Free World by Neil Young.

    That's the last time I've been on stage. But I play to amuse myself daily, for usually 30-60 minutes. And I can't resist an opportunity to bring my acoustic to the campfire. That's an entirely different style of performance.
     
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  3. fadetoz

    fadetoz Squier-holic

    Age:
    47
    Jun 29, 2011
    IA
    When I was in a band I always made sure my rig could be carried in one go. I don't like leaving any gear just sitting there to temp someone.
     
  4. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    @Eddie might still be recruiting for his Twisted Sister tribute band. :)
     
  5. wonkenstein

    wonkenstein Squier-holic

    Feb 3, 2017
    NH
    Doesn't matter if you're strictly a stay at home player or you still get out and just do gigs on the weekends. The main thing is that you're playing and enjoying it. I played for a living up until 1982 - baby number one was on the way and it made more sense to focus on home and family. I knew if I wasn't at home I'd never get to know my kids. If you're a dad, you've got to be there for your family.

    For the next 20 years I didn't play much, just a little acoustic at home. By 2002 my youngest was 18 and on the way to other things so I picked playing back up, playing a little more every day, slowly getting my hands to do what my head thought they should be able to do. That took a while, but the effort was worth it. I got into open mics just to meet other players but it landed me a few gigs.

    From 2003 to the present day I've kept a gig schedule going. The real beauty of playing gigs now is that I don't feel obligated to take every one. Gigs take a back seat to the job, work around the house, working in the yard and instruments on the bench. Playing as a 'hobby' is way better than having to do it for a living. For one thing, you've got more freedom to pursue your musical interests in your own time. When you have to play for a living, well, it's work. At this point in time, for me anyway, it's great to be able to go out and play. I'm grateful that I was able to make a living with the guitar as long as I did. But just being a regular joe in my later years affords me the luxury of really enjoying taking care of my older instruments and playing them. Best hobby ever.
     
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  6. wonkenstein

    wonkenstein Squier-holic

    Feb 3, 2017
    NH
    On the porch in a rocking chair, finger picking an acoustic guitar with a distilled beverage close by that doesn't need to be consumed immediately and the tree frogs are singing.... I have an old house with a porch. I have rocking chairs with no arm rests and more acoustic guitars than I have days in the week. Gotta keep the rotation going or they will all go to sleep on me. I could think of worse things to do after dark. I bought the armless rocking chairs on purpose. Cold, calculating and selfish about my quiet time with the tree frogs is what I am. They all like Mississippi John Hurt, Mance Lipscomb. Doc Watson and Reverend Gary Davis on my porch. The music that was played before they called it blues or ragtime..... I didn't invent this lifestyle but I can tell you why it makes sense. I haven't had cable TV for a few years. I'm not missing anything. It doesn't get much better than this on the porch.
     
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  7. squierplayer

    squierplayer Squier-holic

    Feb 27, 2011
    Wisconsin
    I think the last time I played out was 1991. It was a benefit for a half way house I should have been in. Got married in 92 and quit for the second and last time. I don't remember the last time I touched a guitar to play it. Probably three months or so. I really need to start selling stuff. I'm OK with being finished.
     
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  8. Smith357

    Smith357 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    58
    224
    Apr 30, 2017
    ohio
    I too used to play out many many moons ago, and like you life happened. I found there are things much more important things in this world than me playing a guitar. In my old age I get by just fine with a 5 watt amp and a
    Squier guitar, no longer do I yearn for the Marshall stack and a custom shop Fender.
     
  9. mofojar

    mofojar Squier-Meister

    Age:
    36
    272
    May 9, 2019
    Calgary, Alberta
    I wanted to highlight this and speak to it a bit myself.

    Before recorded music every little town and place had their local musicians and they were probably the only entertainment around. Even in the early 1900's before radio went big, many houses had pianos or guitars and it would be common for the people in the household to write and play songs in their living rooms at night. Simply for the joy of playing or to amuse themselves and their neighbors.

    It's hard for someone born almost 100 years later to imagine that compared to how music is created and distributed in the present day, but those musicians of yore were amateurs in the pure definition. They played the dances, weddings and other functions out of a love for music and also had day jobs and families and contributed to their communities.

    At least from a common folk perspective. This doesn't really cover the large ensembles that played Opera or Classical style music, or the composers who wrote for them.
     
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  10. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Squier-Nut

    I played out all during the 60's and well into the 70's. Once the kids came around I stayed home more but never stopped learning new things. I developed a system that lets me do everything through a headset. Kids can sleep, wife could do her thing and I could play all night long.. That continues to this day.
    In "retirement" I have joined a gospell group and enjoyed the challenges that comes with learning a whole new genre of music. It's not your grandma's gospell any more. We get rocking pretty good, and I feel that I'm playing better than ever.
    But I'm still young (73) so who knows what's next.
     
  11. wonkenstein

    wonkenstein Squier-holic

    Feb 3, 2017
    NH
    @mofojar yes indeed and this is how popular music remained popular before recorded music became the monster recording industry of today. In the truest sense you are correct when you mention music was just played by folks - town events, weddings, church outings or just for amusement and entertainment at home. All of it was 'folk music' just passed around. In addition to many people having stringed instruments and pianos in their homes we had a strong 'juke joint' counterculture in this country, too, right into the 30s - the migrant musicians traveled town to town to play these road houses but the local musicians played them as well. It was the songster tradition and many of the country blues players came up this way . They all played the pop music of their time.

    As far as the orchestras and ensembles of that time I don't know if the 'trained' musicians in this country were actually getting paid yet, I'm sure some were. Classical music had been an established part of life in Europe but America was still a new country..... but I do know that elements of classical music had filtered into America by the early 1900s just because of the way some of our early blues players used turn arounds and modulations in their songs. This was about the time when they started 'raggin' the blues. You can hear it in Jellyroll Morton's playing and it is very prominent in Blind Lemon Jefferson's playing. Some of the guitar players in those days were monsters when it came to playing those piano tunes!
     
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  12. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    RIGHT! And as I had mentioned, my individual stuff away from the band is very different. More instro/surf/astro/jazz/stoner/ambient. And while my wife loves her hair metal and hard rock (as do I), while sitting around the house and i'm playing and writing stuff, she enjoys it as well. Sometimes the kids do too!
     
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  13. squierplayer

    squierplayer Squier-holic

    Feb 27, 2011
    Wisconsin
    So, I'm sitting here thinking. (yep it hurts). I need to play some. But I still need to sell some stuff. I'm going back to the 70s and 80s. in my head. Legends playing in a bar. I'm talking Muddy,Buddy, Otis, The Stones.(Yep) and many more.I'm not trying to compare myself to anyone. But who the hell do I think I am? God gave me this gift and I think I need to pass it on. Or am I just an a hole with a big head ?Sweet home Chicago. Family farm Spooner Wisconsin!
     
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  14. Conghaille

    Conghaille Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 12, 2016
    Chicago
    I think of performing music more traditionally. Before radio, if you wanted to hear a song, you had to sing and play it. Even modest homes had some kind of instrument and most people sang.

    I think life would be a lot nicer if after dinner the family settled down and one or two people played some songs for their benefit and for the family or community.

    Were these people—our ancestors—hobby players if almost no musicians were payed to play? They made music that brought joy and expressed emotion.

    I think we can choose how we think about these things beyond simple labels.
     
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  15. Tconroy

    Tconroy Squier-Nut

    Age:
    60
    741
    Sep 11, 2015
    kansas city mo
    My bucket list involves playing on stage in front of people just 1 time. My wife says Im good enough but I dont think so. I fight stage fright and lack of confidence, plus being judged but I am dealing with it lately a lot better. I dont drink, smoke, or anything else so my time is spent at home jamming to backing tracks almost every other night. I do play for my family once and a while. I am perfectly happy just doing that. Havent been inside a bar in since 1985 and dont care to do so but it seem like that the places you wil have to be in order to play outside the house.
     
  16. Best1989

    Best1989 Squier-Meister

    368
    Apr 25, 2019
    Arequipa
    Maybe you can start by recording a video of you playing some stuff and sharing with us! You will get some feedback and maybe gain a bit of confidence to confront those stage fears.

    I started playing electric at the age of 15, and the only time I recall playing at a stage was at the age of 16 for a high school presentation. The sound guy messed up with my channel and it didn't sound that stellar, but I had some good fun lol After some hiatus with the guitar, I have been practicing and improving again, and I would love to have the opportunity to have some minor gigs in the future just for the fun of it. I'll always enjoy playing in the bedroom and being laid back about it, though.
     
  17. wonkenstein

    wonkenstein Squier-holic

    Feb 3, 2017
    NH
    Yes, this is exactly the way music was in America before radio happened - our 'native' popular music styles (folk, bluegrass, ragtime, blues, jazz) all come from this. But then, much like for many of us today, music wasn't just a hobby, it was more of an avocation. They were serious about having good live music.

    When you say, "They made music that brought joy and expressed emotion", that's the main reason for us to keep playing.

    Playing/recording at home, weekend gigs or even playing for a living has no bearing on how serious you are about playing. If you're buying instruments, amps, effects, parts and getting into your own set ups and modifications that's way beyond hobby level. Even if you never leave the house, you're serious about playing.

    Some of the best players I've ever made music with are strictly "porch" or "kitchen" pickers. ;-)
     
  18. Tconroy

    Tconroy Squier-Nut

    Age:
    60
    741
    Sep 11, 2015
    kansas city mo
    I have 12 songs recorded but no video. I have let a lot of people listen to it and they think its excellent. So yeah maybe I will put one up on hear if I can figure out how to get a 4 minute song up
     
    Best1989 likes this.
  19. mofojar

    mofojar Squier-Meister

    Age:
    36
    272
    May 9, 2019
    Calgary, Alberta
    Yeah I haven't really looked into how orchestras worked prior to 1900. I would assume that the average player in the orchestras of the 1700's and 1800's wasn't much different than now, they probably got a bit of money for doing those large productions but it wasn't near enough to make a living from and was mostly a labor of love.

    I agree that simple labels do not really suffice and wish that I could have met some of my ancestors who played. Both sides of my family have long musical traditions going back through the homesteading days in Canada and the USA and back further into Norway and other places in Northern Europe. My great-grandfather was born in Iowa from Norwegian immigrants and played the fiddle with his three brothers who all moved to Canada in the 20's to take advantage of the free land in the north. My father always has said that seeing those men play was a real treat. All of them played multiple instruments and after listening to recordings from that period, my dad is convinced that his Uncle Emmett was one of the best four string banjo players of his day.

    My Dad's generation was a little different as he was able to make a bit of cash from playing these community events. That said, where I grew up the memories of the traditional way were still strong. Every weekend my Dad's band was playing dances, weddings, rodeos, fairs, funerals, parties and other events. Nobody wanted a DJ at their wedding in those days and there were several really good bands in my small northern town that were required for all of these things.

    Myself, I never was able to make any money at music. There were never good paying gigs for original heavy metal in the 2000's in my city, so we played a lot of bars for a cut of the door. Maybe if we were lucky we could leave with $100 or $200 bucks for the five of us. A few out-of-town gigs were a little more lucrative, but playing in town was always more for the love of playing and less about striking it rich with our talents. I'm pretty sure that almost all money that band made went back into the band fund for studio time, printing shirts, and gas for the van.
     
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  20. Best1989

    Best1989 Squier-Meister

    368
    Apr 25, 2019
    Arequipa
    Nice! Seems like you are on route for that presentation then. Hopefully you will have the chance to do so one of these days.

    I'll check your video if you ever put one up. I always like to see and hear some Fender and Squiers lol
     
    wonkenstein likes this.
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