Harmony Central Forums
Announcement
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is 29 too old to start from the bottom?

Collapse



X
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is 29 too old to start from the bottom?

    Hello,

    For about 10 years now I've wanted to start a band of my own and I've worked towards it off and on. I've written hundreds of lyrics and taught myself how to play guitar and bass, but I've also struggled with depression, ADHD, and major self esteem issues my whole life, so I never did anything with any of this. I never fit in with the local music scenes here and still don't. All my friends who played music abandoned it years ago, and people think it's silly for a 29 year old to want to start his own band. I don't even know if people now would be interested in the stuff I want to play.

    The thing is, this dream just won't die no matter how much I talk myself out of it. It's been a freakin' decade and I STILL can't let it go. When I was younger, I felt too awkward, or untalented, or dorky to do it, ever since I was about 24 (and developed a very noticable bald spot) I now feel increasingly too old to pull it off, too.

    My lone experiences trying to play music with other people consist of an atrocious audition for a friends' band when they needed a fill in on bass and one terrible jam session I put together with a few friends a couple years' later. I brought over a stack of lyrics and ideas for what to do with them that I'd been working out in my head for years, but everyone just gave me weird looks. The words were nice, they said, but they couldn't feel how they'd go with music. I froze up and forgot how to play anything but a few cowboy chords. It was one of the most awkward and embarrassing experiences of my life. They never would get back together after that.

    But the dream STILL won't die.

    I don't want to be in a cover band. I don't want to play a specific style of music that's popular at the moment. I don't see the stuff I've written appealing to the local bar crowds who just want to hear good party music. And I don't want to embarrass myself by being the weird old guy who acts like he's 15 or that pretentious weirdo who tries way too hard to impress and just winds up alienating everyone.

    I don't plan to make a career of this, but I would like to at least be liked by some people (my wildest dream is to be regarded as one of those semi-obscure geniuses you discover by digging into the music you love). I guess maturity has taught me about the value of persistence and work ethic, but in a world where musicians are expected to represent sort of a youthful ideal and nobody is playing the music I want to play I feel a bit awkward even taking another stab at this. But I just can't let it go, either.

    Guys, I don't know what to do here. Any advice?

  • #2
    write some songs and play them at an open mic, or put together a full set and line up a gig for yourself. do it solo, or put together a band if you want.

    do whatever you want to, and don't worry too much about image. most people aren't trying to be on mtv and most people don't take those people seriously, anyway. if you make good music, people will enjoy it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Age is just a number - and, IMHO, 29 is a fairly small number at that.

      If you were aiming to be the "next big thing" in the pop world then I'd say forget it but outside of that, age is irrelevant. There are people in my local music scene more than twice your age who gig regularly, get airplay and sell CDs. At 29 you may be on the cusp of being an attractive proposition for being signed to a record deal - but these days with the decline of that old model who needs that anyway?
      http://www.surrealisticpenguin.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Age is just a number - and, IMHO, 29 is a fairly small number at that.

        If you were aiming to be the "next big thing" in the pop world then I'd say forget it but outside of that, age is irrelevant. There are people in my local music scene more than twice your age who gig regularly, get airplay and sell CDs. At 29 you may be on the cusp of being an attractive proposition for being signed to a record deal - but these days with the decline of that old model who needs that anyway?


        ^^ what he said.

        And maybe you're better off solo and/or recording. Home studio equipment is pretty cheap these days.

        If you can't sing at all, find someone to do your vocals.

        I kinda fell into a Band situation, but I've got my own stuff on the side that they'd probably be disinterested in, and I wish I had more time to work on them.

        Good luck.
        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.
        Hate is like taking poison, hoping the other guy gets sick.

        How above being tricked are you? Take the test
        ---->
        HERE

        Comment


        • #5
          Shave your head and noone will notice the bald spot . Go for it, foo!
          "It's always the selfish who say that life is way too short."

          Jan. 2010 Drum Playalong: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/....php?t=2522185

          Groove Percussion 5 piece.
          Tama Metalworks 13x4" Snare
          Sabian B8 20" Ride
          Sabian B8 13" Hi Hats
          Sabian AAX 16" Studio Crash (Thanks still_life127 )
          Sabian Paragon 10" Splash

          Comment


          • #6
            Hello,

            For about 10 years now I've wanted to start a band of my own and I've worked towards it off and on. I've written hundreds of lyrics and taught myself how to play guitar and bass, but I've also struggled with depression, ADHD, and major self esteem issues my whole life, so I never did anything with any of this. I never fit in with the local music scenes here and still don't. All my friends who played music abandoned it years ago, and people think it's silly for a 29 year old to want to start his own band. I don't even know if people now would be interested in the stuff I want to play.

            The thing is, this dream just won't die no matter how much I talk myself out of it. It's been a freakin' decade and I STILL can't let it go. When I was younger, I felt too awkward, or untalented, or dorky to do it, ever since I was about 24 (and developed a very noticable bald spot) I now feel increasingly too old to pull it off, too.

            My lone experiences trying to play music with other people consist of an atrocious audition for a friends' band when they needed a fill in on bass and one terrible jam session I put together with a few friends a couple years' later. I brought over a stack of lyrics and ideas for what to do with them that I'd been working out in my head for years, but everyone just gave me weird looks. The words were nice, they said, but they couldn't feel how they'd go with music. I froze up and forgot how to play anything but a few cowboy chords. It was one of the most awkward and embarrassing experiences of my life. They never would get back together after that.

            But the dream STILL won't die.

            I don't want to be in a cover band. I don't want to play a specific style of music that's popular at the moment. I don't see the stuff I've written appealing to the local bar crowds who just want to hear good party music. And I don't want to embarrass myself by being the weird old guy who acts like he's 15 or that pretentious weirdo who tries way too hard to impress and just winds up alienating everyone.

            I don't plan to make a career of this, but I would like to at least be liked by some people (my wildest dream is to be regarded as one of those semi-obscure geniuses you discover by digging into the music you love). I guess maturity has taught me about the value of persistence and work ethic, but in a world where musicians are expected to represent sort of a youthful ideal and nobody is playing the music I want to play I feel a bit awkward even taking another stab at this. But I just can't let it go, either.

            Guys, I don't know what to do here. Any advice?




            The simple answer is to......Go for it

            Comment


            • #7
              ^^What Failed drummer said about shaving your head.

              It's not so much about your age as it is about your image and how you project yourself. Look up vids on youtube of the bands that would fit closest to the genre of music you're wanting to play, and notice what they wear, how they act on stage, how they interact with the crowd, etc. I'm not saying to copy them, per se, but a change of style could be a good thing.

              But what you're saying about starting a band from scratch...I'm in the same situation myself, with different circumstances. I'll give you the condensed version of my situation, and maybe that will make you feel a little better about yours...

              I'm 27 years old, married, and we just had twin girls in February. I was in a band when they were born, but the band broke up due to unrelated slackerness. I'm trying to put a new band together, but it's very, very slow going...over 2 months, we still don't have a full time drummer, no songs, and have only gotten together twice. I find myself hitting a real depression...I've been down before, but never like this. I have noone to talk to that will actually listen, understand, and/or care, and neither does my wife...outside of eachother, that is. We are flat broke, with barely enough money to buy diapers for a week. I sit at home, alone with my infant twin girls, on the weekends while my wife is at work, and then I work all during the week, getting little, if any, sleep.

              So, sob story aside, I know where you are coming from. Trying to get a band started is not an easy thing, either with people you already know or with brand new people. I've tried quite a few times, and really don't have much more than experience and chops to show for it.

              I think you soud like a down-to-Earth kind of guy. You seem to know your limitations, you're humble, but you know what you want to play. Do you have any idea how hard that is to find in a musician around here?

              To answer your original question, no, 29 is not too old to start fresh. IMO, it's actually the best time. You should be mature enough to start something and remain serious about your efforts while knowing when to not be overly serious, but you're not past your prime. Everyone's prime comes at different times, and it sounds like you're coming up on yours now.

              The best piece of advice that I can give you is advice that was given to me on this forum: plug away at it, write as much material as possible, and put in some serious woodshed time. Make yourself more marketable to other musicians. Learn to compromise if you do find the right group of people...don't insist on playing your songs the exact way you wrote them, because you may find that with other's input, the song can transform into something far better than you imagined.

              Don't give up, either. Don't try to deny your dream..I know how it is when the dream won't die. I've been trying to put a band together since I was 16...and my dream hasn't died, or, for that matter, changed. Your dreams are what keeps you going. Just learn to roll with the punches that you can get in life, and learn to adjust yourself and your situation to fit your needs.

              You can do it, as corny as that sounds. Just keep the faith.

              Comment


              • #8
                [I brought over a stack of lyrics and ideas for what to do with them that I'd been working out in my head for years, but everyone just gave me weird looks. The words were nice, they said, but they couldn't feel how they'd go with music. I froze up and forgot how to play anything but a few cowboy chords. It was one of the most awkward and embarrassing experiences of my life. They never would get back together after that]

                Getting together with guys off the cuff is always a little weird. It always goes... you know this one? You don't. How about this one? Don't know that one either. Its best if you decide stuff before hand with the peps your going to jam with. Even if you want to do original material, it doesn't mean you can't jam on some stupid cover song, just to see if everyone can click together. When you do original stuff they may not be able to step inside your head to hear what your hearing, untill they get to know you better. Put yourself in their spot, and think... what do I need to do, to make it easy to jam with me? I guarantee there's other guys out there weirder than you. I've played with them. The other thing is, the stuff you write can take a left turn once you have been playing with others. They may be able to inject things you never thought of. Its one of the cool thing about playing with others.

                As far as age... I'm in my late 50's and I'm still out there doing it. Granted I usually hear, "you don't look your age", but they don't mean 29, they mean 40 something. The bald spot? I've had one since my 20's. I keep my hair cut short, and wear some kind of hat. Chicks still think I'm sexy, even without the hat. Age isn't as important as being able to sell yourself, and then your music. Also, if you come across as confidant, it will reflect in the people around you. Now go do it!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm 26 and I've been playing music since I was young. Just last week I finally got the balls to go up and do an open mic playing some cover songs.

                  Was it good? No. Could it have been worse? Sure. But the point is I DID it. I screwed up more times than I can count and my voice by the second song was off key and dry because I was nervous. BUT it was a valuable learning experience playing in front of people even if it was only 20 people in a coffee shop. I got valuable feedback from people there about what I played that sounded good and what didn't.

                  If you want to pursue your dream you better do it NOW. 29 isn't old, but why wait when the itch won't go away? Find an open mic, and learn some cover songs. I know you say you don't want to play in a cover band, but you gotta pay your dues and start out playing things people know. Sure its great to play all originals but no one in the audience knows your songs. You get there attention by playing covers of popular songs, then here and there say "this one is mine" and the chances are greater you still have their ear because you just played a song they know.

                  The gist is you gotta slowly wean people into your music. Many great bands and solo giggers got their start playing nothing but covers.

                  So which do you want to win? Life is fears vs. dreams. Which one will win? Dreams are like butterflies. If you loosen your grip on them, they will fly away.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hello,

                    For about 10 years now I've wanted to start a band of my own and I've worked towards it off and on. I've written hundreds of lyrics and taught myself how to play guitar and bass, but I've also struggled with depression, ADHD, and major self esteem issues my whole life, so I never did anything with any of this. I never fit in with the local music scenes here and still don't. All my friends who played music abandoned it years ago, and people think it's silly for a 29 year old to want to start his own band. I don't even know if people now would be interested in the stuff I want to play.

                    The thing is, this dream just won't die no matter how much I talk myself out of it. It's been a freakin' decade and I STILL can't let it go. When I was younger, I felt too awkward, or untalented, or dorky to do it, ever since I was about 24 (and developed a very noticable bald spot) I now feel increasingly too old to pull it off, too.

                    My lone experiences trying to play music with other people consist of an atrocious audition for a friends' band when they needed a fill in on bass and one terrible jam session I put together with a few friends a couple years' later. I brought over a stack of lyrics and ideas for what to do with them that I'd been working out in my head for years, but everyone just gave me weird looks. The words were nice, they said, but they couldn't feel how they'd go with music. I froze up and forgot how to play anything but a few cowboy chords. It was one of the most awkward and embarrassing experiences of my life. They never would get back together after that.

                    But the dream STILL won't die.

                    I don't want to be in a cover band. I don't want to play a specific style of music that's popular at the moment. I don't see the stuff I've written appealing to the local bar crowds who just want to hear good party music. And I don't want to embarrass myself by being the weird old guy who acts like he's 15 or that pretentious weirdo who tries way too hard to impress and just winds up alienating everyone.

                    I don't plan to make a career of this, but I would like to at least be liked by some people (my wildest dream is to be regarded as one of those semi-obscure geniuses you discover by digging into the music you love). I guess maturity has taught me about the value of persistence and work ethic, but in a world where musicians are expected to represent sort of a youthful ideal and nobody is playing the music I want to play I feel a bit awkward even taking another stab at this. But I just can't let it go, either.

                    Guys, I don't know what to do here. Any advice?


                    I agree that you should go for it, and I agree that getting your songs down in the simplest forms that you can play by yourself would be a good start.
                    But you did say some thins that are 'red flag' issues, to me anyway, in wanting to play with other people. Perhaps you could clarify.

                    "I never fit in with the local music scenes here and still don't. "

                    What do you mean by this? Personality issues, or no one plays what you like? In any case, you aren't likely to get very far until you can fit in at some level.

                    "My lone experiences trying to play music with other people consist of an atrocious audition for a friends' band when they needed a fill in on bass and one terrible jam session I put together with a few friends a couple years' later."

                    This is going to put you at a disadvantage, especially in light of this:

                    "I don't want to be in a cover band. I don't want to play a specific style of music that's popular at the moment. I don't see the stuff I've written appealing to the local bar crowds who just want to hear good party music."

                    No offense meant, but someone in your position, with no experience, no connections, and no track record of having had any success doing your own material with any band, much less your own, is going to have a hard time setting the terms with other players.

                    "I don't plan to make a career of this, but I would like to at least be liked by some people "

                    Maybe I'm reading this wrong, so take it with a grain of salt, but this sounds a little bit desperate. Everyone wants to be liked, but if you're relying on music to make people like you, it probably won't happen. Especially if you're philosophically opposed to giving people what they want to hear, know what I mean? In a perfect world, it's be wonderful if people just loved our original stuff from the get go, but it just doesn't happen that way, at least extremely rarely. You have picked a field where people instantly judge you as to whether you are any good or not, as to whether they lke you or not, and whether they will accept you or reject you. It is not for the faint hearted or easily crushed spirit, which judging by your post, you seem to have. Audiences can sense desperation, and if you come off as "please, please like me!", it'll feel like they're coming at you like a pack of wild dogs at some point. For people with poor self esteem, even a mild comment from a heckler can ruin your whole week. You have to have a thick skin and a belief in yourself to survive the music biz. And other musicians can certainly sense emotional neediness, and quite frankly, a lot of people are turned off by it.

                    Maybe you should consider first doing a solo, getting your songs on a disc, then joining another band and getting comfortable playing with other people first, learn how to work a crowd, learn how to run a band, and so on. Introduce your songs to them after you've been doing theirs for awhile. I'm not saying you should give up on the dream just yet, but the way you want to go about it (from what you've described) seems like a recipe for failure, which won't help your self esteem issues any.

                    Maybe I'm wrong in my interpretation about what you're saying here. If so, disregard everything I've said.
                    http://www.patcoast.com"The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio."-Christhee68" the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep."- FitchFY

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree that you should go for it, and I agree that getting your songs down in the simplest forms that you can play by yourself would be a good start.
                      But you did say some thins that are 'red flag' issues, to me anyway, in wanting to play with other people. Perhaps you could clarify.

                      "I never fit in with the local music scenes here and still don't. "

                      What do you mean by this? Personality issues, or no one plays what you like? In any case, you aren't likely to get very far until you can fit in at some level.

                      "My lone experiences trying to play music with other people consist of an atrocious audition for a friends' band when they needed a fill in on bass and one terrible jam session I put together with a few friends a couple years' later."

                      This is going to put you at a disadvantage, especially in light of this:

                      "I don't want to be in a cover band. I don't want to play a specific style of music that's popular at the moment. I don't see the stuff I've written appealing to the local bar crowds who just want to hear good party music."

                      No offense meant, but someone in your position, with no experience, no connections, and no track record of having had any success doing your own material with any band, much less your own, is going to have a hard time setting the terms with other players.

                      "I don't plan to make a career of this, but I would like to at least be liked by some people "

                      Maybe I'm reading this wrong, so take it with a grain of salt, but this sounds a little bit desperate. Everyone wants to be liked, but if you're relying on music to make people like you, it probably won't happen. Especially if you're philosophically opposed to giving people what they want to hear, know what I mean? In a perfect world, it's be wonderful if people just loved our original stuff from the get go, but it just doesn't happen that way, at least extremely rarely. You have picked a field where people instantly judge you as to whether you are any good or not, as to whether they lke you or not, and whether they will accept you or reject you. It is not for the faint hearted or easily crushed spirit, which judging by your post, you seem to have. Audiences can sense desperation, and if you come off as "please, please like me!", it'll feel like they're coming at you like a pack of wild dogs at some point. For people with poor self esteem, even a mild comment from a heckler can ruin your whole week. You have to have a thick skin and a belief in yourself to survive the music biz. And other musicians can certainly sense emotional neediness, and quite frankly, a lot of people are turned off by it.

                      Maybe you should consider first doing a solo, getting your songs on a disc, then joining another band and getting comfortable playing with other people first, learn how to work a crowd, learn how to run a band, and so on. Introduce your songs to them after you've been doing theirs for awhile. I'm not saying you should give up on the dream just yet, but the way you want to go about it (from what you've described) seems like a recipe for failure, which won't help your self esteem issues any.

                      Maybe I'm wrong in my interpretation about what you're saying here. If so, disregard everything I've said.


                      I agree with this...

                      I think it's going to take some experience to learn how to get things going the right way, and how to deal with criticisms. Joining a band that already has some material is a great way to start out, and inject your own songs in when you can.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Lots of good advice here.

                        I see a problem when a 29 years old guy thinks he's old. WTF is up with people!? Guys used to think they were at their prime at 40. Now we are washep up at 29? Please stop with that MTV bull****************. Grow some balls already. I'm 31 (going on 32) and never been better at making music. I'm so much better than I was 10 years ago. I listen to the stuff I was making then and it makes my head hurt.

                        Don't play music to be loved, just like bluestrat said, because the harsh reality is going to hurt you like a train. Play music because you love it, for you first. Then if you are up to the challenge share it with others but don't expect too much.

                        I think you should learn some covers and start jammin them with other musicians. You can insert a creation or 2 between them. Start from there. Don'T expect things to go fast. Those things take time. You said you have friends with whom you played music. Play with them again, but COVERS. Start with COVERS. Just to get the things going!
                        If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.
                        -- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'd also like to add since I can't edit my posts for some reason:

                          You know what it was like starting to play an instrument right? You were terrible at first but you kept going and now you feel you are pretty good right?

                          Well, now to pursue the dream you have to take this skill and attitude towards performance. Performance is the next step, and any place you can learn how to perform when you are starting out is immensely valuable. The goal should be to be able to perform in front of an audience the way you perform alone or only with the band. At first you will suck most likely having no experience in front of a crowd, but with practice, just like an instrument, you will learn to perform and be comfortable and confident doing it. It is always the first time that is the most difficult.

                          If you want to jam with a band, you have to compromise and try your best to fit in. Learn the parts they want you to learn. Again you gotta pay your dues.

                          Through this you also learn how to handle criticism and separate the destructive criticism from the constructive. Listen to constructive criticism. Disregard destructive criticism aka hecklers. Hecklers and people who try and put you down are those who gave up on their dreams and are bitter, they shouldn't be given any attention.

                          If you wish to even think about people parting with their money to watch you perform, you HAVE to give them what they want. It isn't about being liked, its simply about giving the audience what they want to hear and see.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hecklers and people who try and put you down are those who gave up on their dreams and are bitter, they shouldn't be given any attention.


                            That's true most of the time
                            If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.
                            -- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hecklers and people who try and put you down are those who gave up on their dreams and are bitter, they shouldn't be given any attention.
                              Unless, of course, they paid good money to see you and you really do suck!



                              http://www.patcoast.com"The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio."-Christhee68" the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep."- FitchFY

                              Comment













                              Working...
                              X