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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Life gets in the way: Anybody go through this?

Previous 20 Messages  


Feb 9th, 2015 10:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

OP, I hear you. Two things from my own experience:

1. The ability comes back pretty fast if you work at it. Hurts like hell to get the callouses back, and you'll have no stamina at all for a long time, but your technical ability is stored in your brain not in your fingers.

2. My life as a "grownup" is so much better than my life as a young obsessed guitar player there's no comparison. I would rather read a bedtime story to my kid than have all my chops back in an instant.


South Florida

Feb 9th, 2015 10:45 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My life experience.

I started playing guitar when I was maybe 6 years old and really started in earnest when I was 12. I played continuously until I was about 30. Then got married and had kids and career etc. The guitar was in the backroom and maybe occasionally picked up.

At age 40 the divorce heated up to a very hostile point to where the cops gave me 15 minutes to grab whatever I could get into my little Lexus SC400 and leave or things would go badly.

So I looked at my 3000 square foot waterfront home full of high middle class affluence and made my decision. I grabbed a Gibson J45, Yaira Alverez 12 string and a Fender Strat and a case of fine French wine and my favorite pillow and walked out the door with the clothes on my back. I started life anew.

And it was a blessing.

I found out there was a small bar down the street that did an open mic acoustic night every Thursday and I made it the focus of my life to keep me from getting down. Even though I'd been playing for 30 years I decided 'now I'm really going to get good and really practice and take lessons etc..and I'm going to give folks the best I've got."

It saved my life in my opinion.

(This message was last edited by larryguitar19 at 12:51 AM, Feb 10th, 2015)

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Apr 1st, 2015 01:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Been there, done that, wrote a song about it.

I went from garage band to playing bass in a GB band "to pay the bills" (it never did), then when family life took over, I quit and sold off everything except a Gibson J40. At that point, I thought my music "dream" was done.

As we went to church as a family, I started writing songs, playing at church, playing for Sunday School opening, then in a bluegrass gospel duet at nursing homes (took the kids along), then at coffee houses, soloing at weddings, prisons, funerals, leading worship, you name it.
Bought an electric and bass, and started playing in a church band, and writing and doing singer-songwriter type stuff at church.

Bottom line is, when I gave up doing music, it started coming back naturally, and I had more opportunities over the years than if I had pursued it as a "career".

Contributing Member


I like guitars and amps
May 11th, 2015 06:01 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I stopped playing electric around 75, but I always kept an acoustic nearby. While I missed the bands, I didn't miss the drama. Jobs, families, new business and other distractions entered my life all the time, but I always had my 70 Guild D25 to chill with.

I bought an employee's AmDlx Strat and Peavey amp around 95. That led me back into electric. Met some locals and started jamming. Then this place and some other guitar/amp oriented sites got me back on to the music merry go round. Still loving it like it was day one in 1965

Sunday Afternoon

Buffalo, NY

Jousting Windmills with a Fender Guitar
Jun 24th, 2015 01:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Going through my divorce (2011-12) and just plain getting old seemed to zap all my energy for a while. But I started up again recently and like everyone says--it all comes back--even my GAS. Nice to know somethings never change...

Sunday Afternoon

Buffalo, NY

Jousting Windmills with a Fender Guitar
Jun 24th, 2015 02:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

..and should have added I'm glad to be back on the FDP! It also doesn't look like it's changed much--and I mean that in a good way!

Guitar Fool
Contributing Member

Sunshine State

Just a pawn in someone else's game
Jun 24th, 2015 08:43 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

my .02

always leave at least one of your guitars (if you have more than one) out.

pick it up and play it...even if its for a few moments...

your passion will return

super mario
Contributing Member


tone to the bone no other way
Jun 26th, 2015 08:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Great read on everyone's journey. There were years when I had to lay back due to other things taking required precedence, but I never fully stopped. It has been a mix of playing in a pick-up bar band to being a regular in the Sunday worship band rotations. Have always been a smorgasbord player - drums this week, bass next week, guitar the week after - they call me the "universal soldier". Have seen chops come and go (depending on the frequency of what instrument I play) - these days it is a pretty balanced mix of bass-drums-guitar. I keep a bass hand and several of electrics stay out ready to be played. The drums I need to set back up, but space is limited at the moment - soon, though soon. In each, I work through what I know and then try to press to get to a new place. It keeps the music interesting and life fun!

Contributing Member

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Oct 27th, 2015 10:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My first wife passed after a long illness and it was during this time I packed up my gear and had no time to myself for about 10 years. She knew how much I enjoyed it and never suggested I quit but the practicality aspect of it put music on hold.
When the situation was over I was searching for something to keep me functioning beyond Kentucky Bourbon . Music was it. I was horrible. Couldn't play squat and was scared to death in front of people. It gets better fast if you have the personal time to squander away. If not it takes longer but you"ll get there at your own pace. I still don't do much except jam with a few guys a couple times a year but I set up a little studio in the basement and started learning more and more about recording ,midi,sound and gear etc. Gigged with a couple of different local bands for a bit but wasnt satisfied . It does take time but the journey seems to be the thing!

Contributing Member

Washington DC

Nov 11th, 2015 08:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Music is so crucial to my psychic balance that I can't imagine not being involved in it, in some way at least for a short time, every day. I think my spouse realizes that now, and feels some benefit, as well. I hope that helps me avoid musical droughts in the future--and hope the same for everyone here.

Contributing Member

Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Feb 26th, 2016 01:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm kinda in the same boat as the op. Life took over and now they sit way longer than they should. I actually kind of reached a pinnicle of playing and learning in my first few years in Hawaii, but lack of people interested in the same things has kept me at home a lot to the point of, so what?

I haven't been to the guitar store in a year, mostly due to intense rail construction in it's path, and most stuff is now bought on line.

There is a real connection between playing, practicing, and playing with others, remove any part of that triad, and you get rusty and wander around the fretboard like a drunk looking for a parking space.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Life gets in the way: Anybody go through this?

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