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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Age creeping in....?

Next 20 Messages  


Earn while you learn
Aug 20th, 2019 05:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have been fortunate over the years to have had the playing/gigging opportunities that have come my way.

Nothing has come easy and I have worked for everything that I've done.

At 60 I'm still gigging and trying to improve (musically) a bit but my technique (fingers especially) need to be kept moving...

When I was 35 I could take four or five days off from playing and still play (at a professional level) a gig with little effort.

Nowadays I feel-it if I take some time off...I have to work harder to achieve the same result, thus making a gig "work" rather than fun.

I guess that it's age....

I do remember one of my professors in college (who was playing the Boston Symphony at that time) telling me that he planned to double his practice time when he turns 58...due to the fact that his body will start to break down at that age and he will have to work harder to maintain his technique.

I guess that he was right...at least in the case of a wind player....

I feel that I am a better/smarter musician at 60 as compared to 35 but I have work harder keeping things going.

Fortunately my job situation (recently retired) allows me time to practice regularly.

Anyone else "feeling it"?



Say what one more time!
Aug 20th, 2019 06:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm 60 as well and yes, some things are more difficult. Mine is partially due to arthritis in my hands and some of it is just lack of practice. I've started playing with my oldest Grandson, he is 18, once a week to help. Getting a knee replaced next week and I plan on spending the recovery time working on technique and establishing a better practice routine. Not retired yet, just wish I was.

Still gigging but not too arduous of a schedule. Usually once or twice a month. Some months we have 3 or 4. But I plan on playing and gigging until I die. :-)

(This message was last edited by Gaukdawg at 08:10 AM, Aug 20th, 2019)

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Aug 20th, 2019 07:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm 60 as well and have the opposite problem. If I play too much my hands start to shut down.

Contributing Member


Aug 20th, 2019 09:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yes, but hell NO! (;oD

Moving around large heads and cabs has become pretty tricky these days. I'm using a Marshall rig in this original hard rock band I'm in. 50-lb heads never used to seem that heavy, until now.

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Aug 20th, 2019 09:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’m a bass player, I use the guitar to maintain dexterity and strength, I’ll play the guitar an hour or two a day and maybe 45 min. to an hour on the bass. I’m 66.



Say what one more time!
Aug 20th, 2019 10:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

My gear has changed due to age. My gig equipment is light. I use a Mustang III v2 and my Heritage CM140. It is a thinner version of a Les Paul and only weights 7 lbs. I also have my 2 HB Tele as my backup guitar. Looking at updating the PA system to lighter stuff that has rollers on the back of the subs and mains that are less than 40 lbs. I was using a Parker guitar that is only 5 lbs but I couldn't get used to the thin neck.

Contributing Member

San Francisco, CA

Aug 20th, 2019 10:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

Just wait until you're 73...


Contributing Member

Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Aug 20th, 2019 12:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

The wife's motto is.....play 'till you decay....:>)


What It Was!

Fairly Unbalanced
Aug 22nd, 2019 07:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

63 in October. Hands, head, voice and chops are still good, our Beatle tribute does out of town/road gigs pretty regularly..


Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

Come at me bro.

Aug 22nd, 2019 08:35 PM   Edit   Profile  


I use .11's on my Gibson's, and if I don't practice regularly it's evident that my hands are out of shape.


Colorado, USA

"You play pretty good--for a girl"
Aug 22nd, 2019 08:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've been wondering about that "roadie" for decades. Still don't have one... :-(

I'm looking at 75 in about 7 months. It's for sure that the arthritis in the fingers of my left hand have slowed me down. And I pretty much play with no pick, (right-hand fingers only), except for when I'm doing "Freddie Green" big-band rhythm. I rarely do anything except jazz, bossas, pop-style stuff anymore. But my one great joy is that I've been hired to play with a 21-piece "big-band" jazz orchestra, and it's really forced me to get my sight-reading chops back! Reading chords is a no-brainer for me; I can do that in my sleep. But we have about 4-5 charts where I get to play single-note lines with the horn sections, and that's forcing me to get my reading chops back again for single-note lines. I LOVE it!

I still do my duo-gigs with a really fine lady jazz-singer, and that's fun too, but the big band is sure a great way of keeping my chops up. And about twice a year I get called to play with the "pit" band for a couple of the Community Theater groups in the area for their musicals. We've done "Les Miserables", "Bye Bye Birdie", "Rent", "Legally Blonde", etc. All of which force me to get my reading chops back into shape.

I may be slowing down a bit, but it's just enough work to keep my chops up, and make me feel like I can "still cut it." ;-)

Fortunately, I don't have a need for a bunch of amplification; my Fender Deluxe-112/Plus is more than enough. But I still use my Line-6/Pod-XT for effects and amp modeling, and I carry as many guitars as it takes to cover the material. I usually have the arch-top, a Fender B-Bender Tele (or the Strat, depending on the material), and the Godin Nylon-string electric (as needed). Thank heavens I can still cut it enough to stay busy... ;-)

Contributing Member

If irritation occurs

discontinue use.
Aug 25th, 2019 07:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm 58. I used to use 11s on all my guitars, and I'm trying 10.5s on a few Fender-scale beasts. My fingers just feel stiff most of the time, so I wanted to see if the 10.5s made a difference; the jury's still out on this though.

No arthritis detected by my docs (mojo to all that suffer from it), but I figure it's just years of abuse finally coming back to haunt me.

The other age-related thing is loss of mental capacity. I don't worry about it and I don't think I suffer from it yet (denial--probably), but most experts agree the onset of senility, etc., is mitigated by keeping the brain active and *challenged* by new things, as well as maintaining a poppin' social life. And playing music with others precisely meets both criteria.

[ahem] as long as the folks I play with don't want to play tunes like The Weight and Can't You See and Margaritaville *every time* we get together. Walk those tracks, and the light at the end of the tunnel is Alzheimer's waiting with open arms :o)

"C'mon, bring it in... Um, what's your name again?"

I work hard to learn new and modern stuff, including songs by bands whose music I really don't like. This pays off even if I never play the tune with others, because there's always a new melody tidbit or harmony or chord change I can steal and toss into my bag of rusty/dusty music tools.



Say what one more time!
Aug 25th, 2019 09:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

Just played a show last night, Saturday outdoor, center of an outdoor style mall. I can usually take a heavy dose of naproxen to handle the aches and pains. Well on Tuesday I'm getting my left knee replaced and I can only take Tylenol. It doesn't work as good so I'm suffering a little more than usual on Sunday morning. I'd still do the gig even without any pain relievers. It hurts being 60.

Contributing Member

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Aug 28th, 2019 05:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

At 63 I’m ok handwise etc. unless I’m coming off a long dry spell playing out. I’m not as quick as I used to be string wise. But I’ve started to embrace lighter strings and not be as aggressive as years ago.
Hauling gear isn’t like it used to be. I’ve learned that huge heavyweight gear isn’t everything. Twin reverbs have given way to solid state gear that weighs a third as much and is close enough to deal with sound wise and easier on the back and hands.
Still need an Aleve occasionally the next day.
A lot easier packing less and lighter gear and still getting it done.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Aug 28th, 2019 08:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

Holy crap, you guys are falling apart!
But then, so am I.

Some time ago, I ended up with some sort of closed infection in my right index finger which had to be sliced open to drain. It left me with some scar tissue right where I grip my pick, which makes it a bit harder to feel and control my picking. Another casualty of this house restoration project.

During a hiatus from the band to finish the restoration work on our house, I would neglect my playing for a week or two at a time. After a particularly intensive wood-butcher project, I picked up the guitar and found that I was pretty rusty. After playing a bit I realized, even if I never play in the band again, if I plan to continue playing guitar at all, I really need to practice just for the excersize or I'm going to lose the ability altogether.

Contributing Member

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Sep 16th, 2019 01:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

70 last month. My hands and legs just don't work like they used to. Equipment seems heavier. We don't play that often one gig I will be on and the next I struggle.
It's just age and arthritis.


Robbinsville, NJ

what do you mean the bass is too loud?
Sep 17th, 2019 07:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

whoever said
"you don't stop playing music because you're old,
you get old if you stop playing music"

never factored in arthritis, back spasms and knee blowouts.

but I do agree that playing music however you can keeps your brain challenged. ("where did I leave my capo...")


Robbinsville, NJ

what do you mean the bass is too loud?
Sep 17th, 2019 07:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

that being said, I'm still able to do decent (not spectacular) acoustic guitar work on my Sunday mass trio, and home visitations.

Playing bass for two praise bands fortunately is still keeping my groove sharp.

I'm just going to start making some noise about someone else setting up the mixer and powered speaker...

Contributing Member

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Sep 19th, 2019 05:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm almost 71. I'm playing more than ever before in my life and I'm starting to get good! Arthritis in my right hand was bothering me until I rediscovered my liking for THC. Now it hardly bothers me at all! Not a recommendation, just saying what my experience was.

And, after many years of being a poor singer, I've discovered my voice and have been complimented on my singing! Shocking!

As for memory, I'm as forgetful as I ever was - but not much more.

Contributing Member

San Francisco, CA

Oct 6th, 2019 07:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

For those, like BbendFender above, who find things heavier to carry these days, be SURE to try out a ZT Lunchbox amp.

At under 10lbs (you read that right) it has all the power and tone you need for just about any gig. Well built too.

My beloved '72 SFDR rarely goes out any more (too heavy... LOL!), but my ZT Lunchbox gets the call to play a LOT. It's impossible to believe how good these little amps sound and how much power they pack. You have to play one to believe it. And now the latest model has Reverb installed as well!

Do yourself a favor and try a ZT. No more torn rotator cuffs and slipped disc's from lugging that Twin Reverb around. You can thank me later!


(This message was last edited by 6L6 at 09:57 AM, Oct 6th, 2019)

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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Age creeping in....?

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