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ekkg
05-11-2006, 03:41 PM
Hi,

I'm a really late bloomer with regards to guitar, I'm 43, two years ago my teenager got the bug and I pulled out my old acoustic for her. Well, she really never took to it like she thought she would, but I started picking it up more and more. It was a real beast, an old 1972 Kasuga acoustic based on the Martin design, very high action, poor kid she never had a chance. Anyway, I have a friend who has been playing since he was 7 and he is 53 now. I started practicing with him and realized that I had so much more discipline now that I was able to really focus on learning to play. I soon realized that I needed a better guitar, so I picked up a Tacoma DM9 and was amazed at how much my playing improved in a short period of time. (Even my daughter has a renewed interest, since this guitar is so much easier to play). Well, me and my friend started practicing on a regular basis and one of his other friends came by one evening, heard what was going on and invited us to start coming by his place to play. He has everything there, PA system, drums, bass, numerous guitars, etc.. So our practices started being at his house on Thursdays, he brought in a bass player and another guitarist. Including the friend I started out with, each one of these guys has 20+ years of experience, they all started out very young. Now the guy that owns of the equipment is talking gigs and the focus of our practices has become gigs. When we first started out, they were very gracious with regards to me, the fact is, on some songs I can get the rhythm on others I just don't, I try, but sometimes I just can't keep up. So we focused on the stuff they knew I could do, well, I know that can be boring sometimes, so when they did stuff I couldn't I just sat back and enjoyed the show. So it's come to a point where 3/4 of what is done at practice I can't keep up with, I have been able to insert myself into some of it, but even when I think I have done well the accolades are between them, high fives and crap like that. Frankly it's gotten to the point where I'm thinking of quitting and it's possible that they all want me too with the exception of my friend who originally got me started. What really bugs the **** out of me is this, when I play I tend to look away, not at anything in particular, sometimes I look at my fretting hand but mostly I just don't want to look at anything that might distract me. Occasionally when I look up I will see one of the guys trying to point me out to someone else, this usually happens when I'm screwing it up. Ok, I know when I'm screwing it up, how about just telling me instead of pointing it out to someone else as to screw with my mind too. What really sucks about the whole thing was that I was having a lot of fun until it got so dam gig serious. What should I do? Quit? Keep going back and just make them deal with my shortcomings if they can't say it too my face? I don't know, I was also just thinking of telling them that I'm not doing any gigs but would still like to practice with them. I would understand if they didn't but I have to get rid of the pressure or it's not fun anymore. If you read the whole thing and replied, thanks.

Strukkanurv
05-11-2006, 05:13 PM
I think you've hit the nail on the head by wanting out if it isn't fun. For me, that is rule number one - it HAS to be fun. These guys seem a little immature to be acting this way & I would have been gone at the first signs.
I suggest seeking out other players to join with - there's plenty out there - who are more accommodating. Preparing for gigs is serious stuff, so I can understand a little from their point of view i.e. 'This guy ain't cutting it & he's holding us back' or whatever, but you must rise above all that & not dwell on the battered ego side of things, just make sure you're comfortable with it.
Hope this helps.

Jacko
05-11-2006, 09:19 PM
Have you tried talking to your friend about any of it, then the both of you explain to the others. If you don't want to gig explain, can't they still have you round for practices, keeping it fun in a warmup with soungs you and them can all play, then you can sit back and enjoy the show? :)

EricV
05-11-2006, 11:33 PM
I think you should either try to talk to them ( if they do have something theyīd like to say, you may make it a bit easier for them that way ), or go by your gut-feel and maybe stay away from it.
The thing is, you donīt wanna associate bad feelings with music and playing it. And if you feel ridiculed, or feel as if those guys are dishonest, or feel as if you canīt keep up and therefore feel... I dunno...ashamed or whatever ( which you shouldnīt, considering that you havenīt been playing that long, and took quite a brave step IMO by trying and playing with others ), then you might eventually end up not enjoying the music anymore, whether itīs those jams / rehearsals or playing altogether.
I donīt know where you live and what the scene is like there, but maybe you can find some others to play with, or something. Or maybe do an occasional jam with the guys ? Or with your friend, like acoustic sessions ?
Just my opinion
Eric