I'm retiring from gigging. How did it effect you when you did it?

yammyfan

Senior Member
The decisiveness I felt when making the call this week surprised me, but I have decided to give up gigging after a steady 10 years of it and nearly 30 years since my first show.

The simplest reason I can give for doing so? I'm tired of making everybody else's Saturday night great, at the expense of my own. It's more complicated than that, but that's the Reader's Digest version.

I'm going to miss it like crazy but it is the right thing for me to do. For those who have also given it up, how did you feel at the time and what effect did it have on you?
 
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If you're not into it, no reason to do it!

For me it was more a matter of cutting way back, I find a gig or two a month is actually enough to scratch the itch but still gives me most weekends free, and surprisingly I find a lot of groups willing to entertain that type of schedule.
 
I quit gigging a decade ago. It helps to have other creative projects to fill the gap. Instead I was doing lo-fi home recording up until a few years ago when my musical partner moved out of town. So I spent a few years remixing stuff.

I miss playing, but not gigging - parking, waiting around, drunks, setting up and down. And you can only play covers these days in pop and rock. Nor do I want people to clap and cheer at me. Sure, it beats jeers, beer bottles and chicken wire but these days I'd rather a quiet life.
 
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Enjoy your weekend sir.
I'm like you.....I wanted to enjoy "my kind" of nights....and...I wanted to go to a party..for once.
 
I haven't reached that point yet, but I understand the value of my personal time. So far, it's been a good balance for me with much more time spent at home than on the job. The exception would be touring, where I'm obviously not home for months at a time. Of course the reward there is too good to turn down. :)

When someone says "drumming is my life", I'm glad I'm not in that boat. Drumming is part of my life, and that's how I like it.

Enjoy your time. It's the most important thing.
 
I'm a retired US Army guy. For me, drumming is just a hobby. I love it, but not more than other hobbies. I prefer to gig no more than once per month.

Gigging is still a lot of fun. I like playing to drunks in dive bars. It's fun. On stage, I can do no wrong. Alcohol blurs my mistakes and lack of talent. In their minds, I'm Neil Peart.

That said.... I value my personal time. Whenever a band becomes a "job", it's time to leave.
 
I still fear the day that i don't enjoy gigging. I think b/c it has always sort of been "there" in my life...it is part of how I defined my self.

I also fear the day I don't enjoy teaching anymore, because that is also how I have defined myself

@ yammyfan but I get what you are saying about wanting to be entertained, rather than being the entertainer.

will be interesting to see what you think 6 months out
 
I still fear the day that i don't enjoy gigging. I think b/c it has always sort of been "there" in my life...it is part of how I defined my self.

I also fear the day I don't enjoy teaching anymore, because that is also how I have defined myself

@ yammyfan but I get what you are saying about wanting to be entertained, rather than being the entertainer.

will be interesting to see what you think 6 months out

I predict that @yammyfan will take a break for a year or so and then get the itch. I don't know him, but I've been down the road myself a couple times. One time (over 20 years ago) I actually got fired from a band that gigged almost every Friday and Saturday night. Suddenly, my weekends opened up. I was so happy and forgot about all the things I was missing while being a "rock star." :)

Your comment about how you are "defined" by certain things you do is interesting. I think we're all that way to a certain extent. Your career and your hobbies become a part of you, for better or for worse. What drummer hasn't annoyed others by tapping on a kitchen table at an inappropriate time? :)
 
I'm 36 and in a similar boat. I have a young family, and I simply don't enjoy it like I used to. That said, it's been part of my job for nearly 15 years, and it's all I know. As I've moved more into education, composition, and specialising in a solo instrument, the less I've wanted to lug my gear around and play for other people. I am coming off the back of quite a rough gig last night, though, so my percepction is currently negatively skewed.
 
It's not the same today as it was back in my youth..20 to 30. Playing clubs I felt cool but now I feel derelict. Copy tunes and for what..a hundred bucks?. Load in load out..driving..rehearsing..9to1am to irresponsible adults looking at the monkeys playing music. Half my time on stage I'm thinking I can't wait to get out of here. All that said...my only joy is playing a great sounding kit. For all of my negativity when the drums sound stupid good I'm like...oh ya. Other than that you can shove the gig itself. If the kit sounds bad acoustically I might as well be in jail. OK...im done.
 
It's not the same today as it was back in my youth..20 to 30. Playing clubs I felt cool but now I feel derelict. Copy tunes and for what..a hundred bucks?. Load in load out..driving..rehearsing..9to1am to irresponsible adults looking at the monkeys playing music. Half my time on stage I'm thinking I can't wait to get out of here. All that said...my only joy is playing a great sounding kit. For all of my negativity when the drums sound stupid good I'm like...oh ya. Other than that you can shove the gig itself. If the kit sounds bad acoustically I might as well be in jail. OK...im done.
Unfortunately, this is my experience too. It's a sad state of the industry here in the UK. Again, everybody's experience will vary.
 
When I feel that way, I go buy a snare drum... that makes it all better.
......... and.... I'm kidding!! :LOL:

(weekend warrior perspective)
About 25 years ago we moved halfway across the country for work. I left behind a band that had just broken on to the local club scene and was doing quite well. I didn't touch my drums for about 3 years and looking back, I didn't really miss it as much as I thought. I got into the local music scene and got back into gigging, eventually.

I'm coming around to thinking that I like playing, but not necessarily gigging.

The thought of pulling back from gigging has been rattling around in my brain for a while now. Why? Covid kind of made me a homebody! I'd rather be home with the family or going out to a nice dinner or hanging with friends. Getting older has something to do with that change in perspective, too.

Would I miss it? Surely. My band mates are my friends, too. I'm not quite ready to leave gigging yet, but it's getting close.

@yammyfan, best of luck with this new chapter in your drumming life!
 
When I feel that way, I go buy a snare drum... that makes it all better.
......... and.... I'm kidding!! :LOL:

(weekend warrior perspective)
About 25 years ago we moved halfway across the country for work. I left behind a band that had just broken on to the local club scene and was doing quite well. I didn't touch my drums for about 3 years and looking back, I didn't really miss it as much as I thought. I got into the local music scene and got back into gigging, eventually.

I'm coming around to thinking that I like playing, but not necessarily gigging.

The thought of pulling back from gigging has been rattling around in my brain for a while now. Why? Covid kind of made me a homebody! I'd rather be home with the family or going out to a nice dinner or hanging with friends. Getting older has something to do with that change in perspective, too.

Would I miss it? Surely. My band mates are my friends, too. I'm not quite ready to leave gigging yet, but it's getting close.

@yammyfan, best of luck with this new chapter in your drumming life!
Joe..you hit on something..you like playing but not necessarily gigging. Spot on. Do you charge for therapy?😃.
 
Holy smoke guys, and here’s me thinking I want to get back “out there” in a couple of years…I remember the slog back in the day but it was all part of the experience; perhaps my glasses are a little rose tinted from being away for so long? :unsure:
 
I'm in the Opposite Boat. At 72 YO, having resurrected Playing Drums in 2019 after 50 Years (when I was 18). Never Gigged even back then . The Garage band of HS Buddies never made it out of the garage. Now I play for Pleasure / Hobby to My Music at my home. I can hold my own with most of the music (Stones, Petty, Mellencamp, Fleetwood Mac, and a number of others), missing occasional beats. I have begun to "investigate" to play with some other local geriatric Musicians of similar caliber but have not really taken the Deep Dive (I hate that term, but for now it fits), into the venture. It's on my Bucket List, I guess. I better hurry because my Spinal Arthritic conditions are not getting any better with Age! I generally can deal with the stiffness & chronic pains - 3 Advil can help a lot - but it's the effects to the overall Nervous system creating Nerve pains & weakness, leg cramping, and so on. SUX BIG TIME. We can send a Rover Vehicle to Mars , Millions of Miles away from earth, control it from Earth, and yet we Can't Lick Arthritis (and many other treacherous Diseases for that Matter!). I refuse to accept that but alas, I have To.
 
I'm in the Opposite Boat. At 72 YO, having resurrected Playing Drums in 2019 after 50 Years (when I was 18). Never Gigged even back then . The Garage band of HS Buddies never made it out of the garage. Now I play for Pleasure / Hobby to My Music at my home. I can hold my own with most of the music (Stones, Petty, Mellencamp, Fleetwood Mac, and a number of others), missing occasional beats. I have begun to "investigate" to play with some other local geriatric Musicians of similar caliber but have not really taken the Deep Dive (I hate that term, but for now it fits), into the venture. It's on my Bucket List, I guess. I better hurry because my Spinal Arthritic conditions are not getting any better with Age! I generally can deal with the stiffness & chronic pains - 3 Advil can help a lot - but it's the effects to the overall Nervous system creating Nerve pains & weakness, leg cramping, and so on. SUX BIG TIME. We can send a Rover Vehicle to Mars , Millions of Miles away from earth, control it from Earth, and yet we Can't Lick Arthritis (and many other treacherous Diseases for that Matter!). I refuse to accept that but alas, I have To.
Check into the product Relief factor..hurry.
 
First and foremost, thank you for the well wishes, guys.

Some interesting and thought-provoking comments for sure and it has absolutely crossed my mind that I might miss gigging in six months or a year. I'm open to the possibility of returning to it at a reduced rate, especially if other parts of my life are handled.

I think I would feel differently if I was married, or even had a steady girlfriend. I lost a shot with an amazing woman recently who chose a man with a much more fun and attractive lifestyle than my own, and that really stung. It was a wakeup call for sure. I threw myself into gigging as a distraction following my divorce and it worked, but now my life is unbalanced and in need of repair again.

You know what the toughest adjustment has been so far? I like shopping for gear through the lens of selecting it for the purpose of gigging. I have been seriously thinking about picking up a set of Ludwig CMs lately but now it seems kind of pointless if they're never going to leave the house. It occurs to me that I have never bought a piece of gear that wasn't destined for gigging. It makes me sad to think about giving that up.

So, definitely a mixed bag. I'm excited about resurrecting my social life and doing different things but feeling a bit lost at the thought of walking away from something that has been an integral part of my life for ten years.
 
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