Are there young musicians where you live?

DrumDoug

Senior Member
As we come out of lockdowns, I’m seeing more and more posts by bands and venues promoting gigs. The thing that stands out to me, and has for several years now, is how old all the bands are. I’m almost 50 so this includes me. It just seems that all the live music is the same baby boomers who have been playing for decades. Every once in a while I’ll see a band member who is in their 30s, but that’s rare. I’ve even tried searching out younger bands. I check out venue listings and look up the bands, but no younger musicians. It doesn’t seem like young people in general care about live music. I can be playing in an empty bar, while across the street, young people are lined up trying to get into a club with a DJ. Maybe it’s just the area where I live, but I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are 10 million people within a 50 mile drive. I work at a high school. I’ve tried asking the students about music, but other than a couple that play guitar, no one is in a band or even knows someone who is. Is there not a younger music scene? Are they all hiding from the old folks? Do I live in a weird music bubble? I see people post that live music is alive and well. Not around here. And I’m talking pre-COVID. I planned on playing music until I was old. The thing is, I’ve always played with older musicians, now I don’t think there will be anyone to play with by the time I reach retirement age.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'll be fifty soon as well, and the older I get, the more I seek out musicians in my own age group or beyond. I'll do studio work with anyone, regardless of age, but it's hard to envision myself in a full-time band with twenty-somethings at this stage. Youth functions at a different speed, and our priorities are rarely compatible. I'm speaking in generalizations, of course, but they apply more often than not.
 
I would hope that there is a younger scene ( and you may be too old for it ...lol) .
Without the next up and coming generation- there is no hope for music
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Word on the advanced age of a lot of bands Dougman.

I know my almost 16 YO stepson buys beats and melodies online and writes his own lyrics and kind of assembles music without playing the instruments. Then he sells the music plus his merch. (his logo on cups, T shirts and the like) People buy it!

Does that count?

He can/does play the drums though surprise surprise. An acoustic and an electric guitar that he got for himself he never touches. He's sat in with bands and played "Billie Jean"

Playing instruments seems like it's getting less popular, but it will never die....I hope.

Why work hard when they don't have to is the attitude I'm getting. Time marches on.
 
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SharkSandwich

Junior Member
I'm in the Sacramento area and there's a vibrant music scene that seems to
fall into the following categories:

• Independent original bands and venues seem to attract the younger demographic (20s-40s).

• DJ dance clubs that also cater the the same younger demo.

• Cover bands which play different venues than the original bands and they attract a older demographic. (40s-60s)

I'm being very general here but that's the way the live music scene basically breaks down.

Some venues, in a desire to cater to a broader group of people, are starting to offer cover bands from 6-9 PM and then
DJs and dancing 10-1AM. We've played some of these clubs during the earlier slot.

Personally, I was playing in original bands from my 20s to late 40s. As I got older, the idea of playing covers
and making some money got more appealing.


I think the basic premise of your original post is very true. There are a lot less young garage bands nowadays then there were in previous generations.
 
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DrumDoug

Senior Member
I'm in the Sacramento area and there's a vibrant music scene that seems to
fall into the following categories:

• Independent original bands and venues seem to attract the younger demographic (20s-40s).

• DJ dance clubs that also cater the the same younger demo.

• Cover bands which play different venues than the original bands and they attract a older demographic. (40s-60s)

I'm being very general here that that's the way the live music scene basically breaks down.

Some venues, in a desire to cater to a broader group of people, are starting to offer cover bands from 6-9 PM and then
DJs and dancing 10-1AM. We've played some of these clubs during the earlier slot.

Personally, I was playing in original bands from my 20s to late 40s. As I got older, the idea of playing covers
and making some money got more appealing.


I think the basic premise of your original post is very true. There are a lot less young garage bands nowadays then there were in previous generations.
Hey. I live in Vacaville. I play more around Sac than SF. Where are the young bands playing in Sac? There was the Boardwalk is Orangevale, but they closed down. I haven’t been to Harlow’s in a while. I’m not sure of the demographic there.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
The young bands around here tend to play either jazz or original ‘alternative’ music, or electronic dance music incorporating sequencers or looping pedals plus live percussion, keyboards, sax, etc.
There’s also dozens of Ed Sheeran style acoustic solos/duos, and dozens of DJ’s who add samples and effects to their tracks.

They’re not into their grandparents’ music, which leaves a space in the marketplace for people my age to perform to other people my age.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I haven't been out much since COVID, but what I have seen here in the inland northwest is the growth of the singer-songwriter scene. There are tons of quiet gigs for one person and a guitar, and there are quite a few young people doing that circuit.

Not so much for larger/louder bands of any sort. The few clubs that have live cover music for dancing do tend to have older musicians in the bands. I haven't seen any youngsters doing that for a while now.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I live in Raleigh, NC. We have a good amount of local bands comprised of people in their 20s and 30s of all styles. Honestly not a bad scene to be a part of, but it can be super insular and I honestly can't figure out why.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I live near the UofA, like 15 minutes away. Hardly any live music anymore. Not sure if it's because the town shrinks when the students leave or what, but the drinking establishments in the area are mostly DJs.
 

Suburbankidz

Well-known member
Near us, there seems to be a lot of younger "get back to the land" type organic farming folks and also a singer-songwriter kind of scene. Also a jazz scene. So maybe we're heading into a kind of 1959-1960 on the cusp of some more originality kind of vibe. And yes, there are the gaming, techno-materialistic consumerism driven kids too. (I studied history...so the vibe feels like 1959 which was a very creative year...maybe I can get a dissertation topic out of all this...) And there are a lot of 40 and 50 somethings that got back to playing music during covid lockdown and they're very enthusiastic---at least the ones that indicate they might be continuing on with it. We'll see what happens or if "people actually playing instruments" starts to fade out again
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
The only young people playing music around here are heavily folk and bluegrass influenced because that's just about all the music teachers around here teach. There are a few players, but we are all getting older.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
The lockdown sent everyone inside to be isolated. I have a wife and a nice place to chill, so it was not an issue for me. But for my spawn in their 20s, it scared them! They were in fear for their lives and it was sad. They literally thought the human race was about to be wiped out. Two of them are in Chicago and the level of fear and confusion in the city literally cleared the roads for months. No amount of discourse with facts was going to change their outlook. They developed a COVID mentality that is unlike mine or Wifey’s.

Now, take this idea of a 20-something being scared for his/her life and wanting to make music while living in an apartment. All they need is a computer loaded with Ableton Live, a microphone, headphones and MIDI keyboard and time (which everyone had plenty of in 2020). Then add to this mentality the fact that Old Town Road by Lil Nas X was a hit with instruments made in the box (i.e., computer) and it’s easy to understand why this method of music production has become popular.

My oldest, who will be 30 this year, jumped into the electronic music production fray with these two pieces of gear (over $2200, so he’s committed):

E19CB375-55F2-45F0-9BB7-5B2BD1BA3694.pngEF77BFE4-FA1C-4268-B0A3-BE0FAF2E5BC4.jpeg

No computer needed! Just headphones and time.

Then, down here in the Boonies, we have Friday Night Live, a really great weekly event that just rebooted from COVID. It looks like this:

5BB7AE15-541A-4EBD-B8E3-29631BF255FF.jpeg23D75D98-9B2A-4354-A3F8-C6561505959A.jpegFE174308-B01C-4F2B-85B9-2F7E35595AC0.jpeg

I do think many younger adults and college students are still afraid, but there are still many who enjoy being part of a band.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Great topic of discussion.
Even pre-pandemic I noticed how quiet my neighborhood is (sans lawn mowers) when compared to the neighborhood I grew up in decades ago.

Now that I've ben practicing at home I think I'm the only person around here making an audible sound of a musical instrument nature.
Growing up years ago it was different, there were people practicing and garage bands in the past and it seemed more than one good drummer in that town.

Maybe it was the Ringo effect? The heavy influence of FM radio, concerts of touring bands, school dances. And school band programs to help teach instrumental music.

No real cable TV & NO internet back then, the majority of the entertainment world was outside our homes so the band scene flourished.
 
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I have lots of thoughts and opinions on this but don’t know if any of them are absolute or factual. There are many factors involved.

But I do know this . I grew up in the same Long Island NY neighborhood that I currently live in . I’ve lived here all my life . While growing up as a teen and into my 20’s and early 30’s I was in bands or jamming with people in my free time and on weekends. You couldn’t walk more than a few blocks without hearing a guitarist or drummer or full garage band practicing of jamming, either in the house or outside.

These days I hear none of that except myself , two other drummer friends who live around the corner. A young neighbor girl on piano and a guitarist. No garage bands
( use to be plentiful) , no live music at backyard parties or block parties.

What I do hear and see is the sounds of call of duty and stupid high pitched giggling from living rooms and basement windows on a constant basis , and kids 15-20’s hanging out in groups all staring at their phones and not even talking . I’m not saying they gotta play instruments or play in bands but damn …….
DO SOMETHING!!!
It’s sad to me , but maybe at almost 55 I’m out of touch 🤷🏻‍♂️, but I don’t think so . Young people and kids who have no interest in anything but playing video games and staring at mobile devices seem to be the unhappy ones in their late 20’s and beyond. This problem has been brewing longer than any current state of affairs in the world today and for the past decade or longer and it’s a pretty sad situation. This use to be the exception and not the rule . It’s turning the other way . My kids aren’t perfect and spend their fair share of time on their phone but all played musical instruments . They’ve since stopped ( play occasionally) but have many outside interests and are all working ( ages 17-25). They themselves notice the problem and the lack of young live musicians . My oldest lives in the city and goes to Central Park to see a few live artists but it’s nothing like it use to be . Truly saddens me the state of the music scene and things in general with younger people . Not all but many .

I think I’m sorta ranting here after hearing my neighbors 25 year old non working son playing video games at 8am while I was taking the dog out . Hey , I guess it’s good that at least he was awake 🤷🏻‍♂️. I mean he should be well rested …. He does NOTHING !!!!!
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I can say that looking at the bulletin boards in music stores certainly supports the OP's theory. There are almost no "wanted" listings/ads. "I have an iMac and a Korg, I don't need anything else"
 

pocket player

Junior Member
As we come out of lockdowns, I’m seeing more and more posts by bands and venues promoting gigs. The thing that stands out to me, and has for several years now, is how old all the bands are. I’m almost 50 so this includes me. It just seems that all the live music is the same baby boomers who have been playing for decades. Every once in a while I’ll see a band member who is in their 30s, but that’s rare. I’ve even tried searching out younger bands. I check out venue listings and look up the bands, but no younger musicians. It doesn’t seem like young people in general care about live music. I can be playing in an empty bar, while across the street, young people are lined up trying to get into a club with a DJ. Maybe it’s just the area where I live, but I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are 10 million people within a 50 mile drive. I work at a high school. I’ve tried asking the students about music, but other than a couple that play guitar, no one is in a band or even knows someone who is. Is there not a younger music scene? Are they all hiding from the old folks? Do I live in a weird music bubble? I see people post that live music is alive and well. Not around here. And I’m talking pre-COVID. I planned on playing music until I was old. The thing is, I’ve always played with older musicians, now I don’t think there will be anyone to play with by the time I reach retirement age.
Good post, i think it all boils down to most of the new generation not wanting to put in the time ,work ,and and comitment to learn an instrument. they have grown up in a instant graddification society . Also we old school musicians value the beauty of musically communicating with one another in a live situation. seems the young are loosing that.
 

pocket player

Junior Member
Well Said Over 50 guy, sadly what you said is exactly whats happening. the young are loosing their connection to the real world ,and real peaple interaction with other humans face to face. why should the young learn to play drums ,when they can create it on their cell phones . our sparks were lit by seeing and hearing real people playing real instruments ,and wanting that feeling of musical interaction for ourselves .

Good Post, Go Long Island ,NY !! And a big thanks to John,Paul,George, & Ringo !
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
There is a 13 year old girl in my neighborhood that plays drums and wants to take music class in school.
 
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