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  • if you could start over, what would you do different?

    I started studying the guitar at 16, and looking back now at 55 years old, I wonder if going in a different direction would have resulted in a dramatic difference. I know that really learning to sing would have made a tremendous difference, and my decision to pretty much abandon electric guitar playing at about 35 took me in a completely different direction. I walked away from an established place in my scene and entered a completely different one, which led to gigs and experiences I never would have had at the expense of other gigs I would have surely landed.  I'm really not sure if it was the right move, but it's the one I made.

    I know no one can really know what would have happened, but I'm wondering if you all have similar questions about the direction you took in your musical pursuits. I remember reading an interview with EVH, and he said if he did a solo album it would sound exactly like a Van Halen album because the group was doing exactly what he wanted to do. While I'm sure his success helped solidify his feelings, I envied his focus because I've never really had that kind of 100% certainty of what to do musically.


  • #2

    Yeah, I'd have learned to front a band/play solo off the bat.  I could cobble together a couple hours of material if I had to play on my own right now, but I could have written my ticket a lot more readily a lot earlier (and have a lot more in the back catolog now) if I had focused more on that.

    Jukejoint Handmedowns (my band)

    Find our album on iTunes!

    A Month of Songs (Songwriting blog)







    Originally Posted by gennation


    Neither of us is gay or anything, it just happened.

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    • #3
      ^this^, plus I would have started at an earier age like 11 or 12 instead of 20.

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      • TIMKEYS
        TIMKEYS commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't think I would have done anything different. I was playing in a top local band when I was in high school, and I pulled the plug to go to college. When I decided to get back into playing I payed the dues and am back in a good band with great musicans. I feel blessed that I pulled off getting back into the band deal.

      • mstreck
        mstreck commented
        Editing a comment

        sweatpat wrote:
        ^this^, plus I would have started at an earier age like 11 or 12 instead of 20.

        I would have started at 8 or 9 instead of 33.


      • dboomer
        dboomer commented
        Editing a comment

        sweatpat wrote:
        ^this^, plus I would have started at an earier age like 11 or 12 instead of 20.

          I DID start at age 11 and was washed up by age 20


    • #4

      I wouldn't have wasted my late 20's through my 30's galavanting around searching..For what I still don't know!...I would have moved here, started gigging, going on the road, building an audience.

       


      I've decided to edit this and just state: EVERYTHING.

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      • TIMKEYS
        TIMKEYS commented
        Editing a comment

        sventvkg wrote:

        I wouldn't have wasted my late 20's through my 30's galavanting around searching..For what I still don't know!...I would have moved here, started gigging, going on the road, building an audience.

         


        I've decided to edit this and just state: EVERYTHING.


        I would think its all that galavanting that you did allowed you to move to Nville and feel confident in yourself. 


    • #5

      I would have worked harder on singing at a younger age.

      I would have learned how to play guitar and bass guitar at the age of 11 or 12 in addition to learning piano. I did take piano lessons at 13, but learning all three instruments a couple of years earlier would have helped.

      I took clarinet lessons as an 11 year old and it was discouraging. The teacher offered either violin or clarinet. I chose poorly. I'm sure I would have been much better at the violin, as I later discovered that I have an affinity for stringed instruments.

      I started writing lyrics and riffs in my teenage years and wrote my first song a few weeks shy of my 18th birthday. I wish I would have taken it more seriously and actually applied myself to writing more and performing those songs with bands, back when I was young and sexy lol (as in, when I was thin and more attractive to a broader audience). I might have gone somewhere with it.

      I wish I had believed enough in myself to take a chance on going to a music mecca at the right time (L.A., NYC, Austin, Seattle, Minneapolis/St. Paul, etc.). I'll never know if I might have gone somewhere because I didn't bother to join the game.

      Although all of my band experiences have helped shape me to where I am today, I do believe I would have made more progress if I had stuck to being the singer/rhythm guitarist/keyboardist that I visualized myself as being back in my teens, instead of playing different instruments and roles in different bands. I'm making up for lost time now by sticking to that role over the past 4.5 years.

      Finally, I would have learned better practice habits, which I could then pass on to my guitar students.

      (This is my Non-Signature.)

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      • guido61
        guido61 commented
        Editing a comment
        I can relate to a lot of what Vort said. I grew up in a very small town. Like 500 person farm town. Amazingly, five of us put together a band in high school, but I was always the best musician around my age in town. As a result, there was nobody to push me or inspire me to get better. By the time I got out amongst other, better musicians, a lot of bad habits and such were already ingrained. I always wished I had grown up in a larger city with a better music program in the school, better players to learn from, etc.

    • #6

      Going back I probably wouldn't have stopped playing for several years (1991-2003) and would have branched out more and tryed to play with more, better people. I feel like I was just so short-sighted when I was younger. I was surrounded by people that were pretty much retarded musically and in their musical tastes, and I wasted too much time playing with people like that. I grew up in a rural area not naturally surrounded by good/great musicians, and I didn't really seek them out. That's one thing I feel like I have now with my current band. We're just a wedding band, but I think we're a really good one. I guess I'm saying that I would have been more demanding of myself and others and would have pushed higher standards. 

      Also, I wouldn't have married my first wife. . . and I would have banged her. . . and her. . . and definitely her. . . and her, even though she was a co-worker. . . and her. . . 

      Check my band: SoulPlay - > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TH9-e4FmaE
      Key Rig: Alesis Fusion 8HD; Roland A-800 Pro; Toshiba i7 laptop running Cantabile VST host with IK Multimedia Total Workstation Bundle, NI Vintage Organs, Tyrell N6, Sylenth1, Imperfect Samples Walnut Concert Grand, NI FM8; Tascam US-1641 USB MIDI/Audio Interface; 2 x RCF Art 310-A MK III series monitors.

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      • #7

        Like others, I wish I would have started singing sooner.  I have only really started just now. 

        Sometimes I think I should have done the original thing "sooner", but looking back when I was young all the original bands I would try to hook up with at the time were very influenced by bands like Creed, Nickleback, Limp Biscuit, Korn, etc and that's just not my bag.  Playing in cover bands allowed me to play with musicians much better than myself and learn a lot of things from them not only musically, but personally... i.e. playing in bars 4-5 nights a week for a living was not my cup of tea.   Plus, I get to play some cool stuff with the original band I'm playing with now and even 2-3 years ago I would have never thought I'd be doing something like that. 


        I drank way too much early on. 

        Also, I probably wish I would have "lightened up" sooner.  Awhile ago I realized even if feel like I played like a complete hack that I'm going to keep playing just because it is something I enjoy so much and I couldn't imagine not playing.  It's only going to get better from here.

        http://www.reverbnation.com/thedubiouscapture

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        • #8
          Confidence ain't taking care of my bills these days!!

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          • #9
            Sventvkg, I want to respond to your thoughtful post over at Craig's when time permits. I feel you
            __________
            Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
            Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
            Jesus

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            • sventvkg
              sventvkg commented
              Editing a comment

              Thanks Lee, I feel ya as well brother!


          • #10

            In addition to having similar regrets to many listed here, I add that there is one band I wish that I had not left.  It was full time, established, and gaining momentum.  I quit because my parents wanted to see me put another year of college in on their dime.  No idea what I wanted to do there.  <facepalm>

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            • Opus Antics
              Opus Antics commented
              Editing a comment

              Tim, did that band go anywhere significant or otherwise open doors for any of the members?  Cause if not, you maybe made the better long term choice in terms of potential earning power.  Maybe?


          • #11

            Of all the money I've spent on gear over the years, rather than going through dozens of guitars and basses, I would have invested sooner in getting a really top notch PA.

            My band: www.dec8de.com

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            • #12

              TOO EASY.

              Learn to sight read like a mutha;
              Learn piano;
              Write more of my own stuff;
              Take voice lessons.

              and maybe move to New Orleans 30 years ago.

              Did I say that out loud ?!?

              Comment


              • tacdryver
                tacdryver commented
                Editing a comment

                Music or life?

                Musically, I would have gassed my parents in their sleep in 1975, hopped a train to LA, taken lessons from Randy Rhodes and George Lynch....hopped on the 80s metal train 5 years later.

                About the only thing that crosses my mind is a certain girl, far far away. Had I gone that option, a completely different life, completely different.....had I taken that path, much of who I am today, wouldn't have happened, maybe ignorance being bliss, but I doubt I would have picked up the guitar, nor a few other things...hard to imagine my life, not knowing this stuff, these skill sets...

                 


            • #13

              If I knew then what I know now I would have done the following things.

              1.  I would have studied jazz theory and started reading out of the Real Book earlier.

              2.  I would have spent more time learning the popular and standard tunes of the time in addition to the other music I was into back then.  Though I did learn most of the standard tunes just from being a working musician.  I just think I would have probably gotten even better gigs back then if I had known more standards and popular tunes then.

              3.  I would have paid more attention to R&B, funk, and jazz.  And I would have paid more attention to hip hop in the 1980s and 1990s.

              4.  The "girlfriends" I had in my twenties would have been much more casual.  The time spent with them could have been put to much better use playing music all day every day.

               

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              • #14
                Music:

                Coulda shoulda went to Vancouver to give it a shot.

                Life:
                Should have become a tradesman right out of highschool, instead of getting a 3 year music diploma don't use. Should have skipped my first marriage.

                Then again, I do sound, using basic skills I did learn in school so maybe it wasn't a total wash.
                PA Unity15's over LS800p's. YX15's, YX12's IPR power, RM32AI

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                • #15
                  It doesn't sound like it was a total wash, Scott.
                  __________
                  Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                  Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                  Jesus

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