Starting a band at 35

This summer I finally got the impulse to get over my doubts and fears and start a band. I am 35 and it feels like it's high time if I'm ever going to, and I knew I would regret if I never performed on stage. I had been playing a bit of guitar for a couple of years, but nowhere enough to get in shape to perform. And I knew the guitar was just a stepping stone for me; it was always about the fantasy of screaming into a mic in front of an audience. One afternoon it just struck me: it was right now or never, so before I could stop myself I outlined my plan on Facebook. There were enough volunteers for two bands in a couple of hours.

We're now practicing every other week in a rent-by-the-hour rehearsal space that comes with amps and drums. I am a beginning rhythm guitarist and vocalist, the bassist picked up the instrument for the first time in our first rehearsal, and the drummer knows what he's doing (he has played on stage multiple times). We have a lead guitarist, too, but he's been more on and off so far.

We don't really have a musical direction yet, aside from a vague "contemporary American pop punk" description, let alone a name. My main inspiration is Vagiant/Tijuana Sweetheart of Harmonix/Rock Band fame.

There are three own songs and I'm just figuring out the lyrics to one of them, the others are just frameworks. Today we settled on two cover songs to bring into the rotation, Green Day's Peacemaker and Queens Of The Stone Age's Go With The Flow.

It feels pretty amazing when it works, like "I can't believe I'm part of that sound", and having the band practice looming gives me the motivation I need to keep practicing.

Anybody else who's picked up an instrument and started a band at a far too old age? I'm the senior in the group, but the others are only a couple of years younger than I am. It feels like it certainly takes a lot more repetition and dedication to learn anything that complex at this age than what it used to.

That's awesome, man, good for you.

It feels pretty amazing when it works, like "I can't believe I'm part of that sound"

That's the whole reason to do it. Most of my fondest memories of playing in bands are wrapped around that feeling.

Good on you! This is great. My playing is completely lapsed, I even loaned my guitar to my sister across the country, but I did play with a few friends at a folk club a couple of times when I was 19 or so. It was great fun.

sh*t, I want my guitar back now.

At this stage I can't understand why anyone would ever stop playing:

Starting the band was worth it just for the sensation of needing earplugs to play - before this, I only played with a small home amp at very low volumes or with headphones. The way I see my guitar changed completely once I was plugged into dangerous amplification and felt as much as heard the sound. In some way I only got it for the first time at that point.

Clearly you need to add Iron Maiden to the playlist. I'd say at least The Trooper. Work from there.

But seriously, have fun. I've re-discovered my own guitar recently. Now every night I play along with most of 10 or 15 songs and have fun. Was briefly in a band 20 years ago and would likely have a blast now... but not yet ;).

Awesome! Better late than never, for sure for sure.

You will become addicted to playing on stage. I miss it every day... Keep thinking I'll jump back in but thinking about it just never seems to make it happen.

Good luck and HAVE FUN!!!

I know some guys here locally (Pegasi 51) that for what ever reason never did make it. I thought for sure they would. They have a space-rock sound going and catchy lyrics that became the rage about 5 years ago. After a few EPs and albums they called it quits for awhile. Well they started doing local gigs again about a year or two ago and they're all in their mid 30s now. They sound great even better in some regards. So dont let the age thing bug ya.

No, I'm perfectly fine with it - I know that since I only got started now with music in general, I'm never going to be super good. But that doesn't bother me at all, anymore. I'm not even interested in making an album, all I want is an audience and a stage somewhere. We actually tentatively have a gig already scoped out for next spring, if we only progress fast enough.

I know a jazz dude who's like 65 and he's still starting bands and playing every week. You won't regret it if you do it out of love : )

I played bass and guitar and did lead vocals in a cover band for about seven years starting skill wise right where you are at. Had many adventures, met my wife, and have photos and video to show my daughters what a wild man their dad was in his 20s. I miss playing shows all the time, but I get to entertain my two little ones now with my antics. Enjoy every second and realize now that the bug has bitten, you will never be the same again. I know that once my girls get older I will be back on a stage at some point. It is just too much fun not to. Also, you are never too old to start. In fact, coming in with a bit more maturity will most likely help you out

Arise thread!

I'm 44 and (kind of) starting a band. It started a couple of years ago with a friend. He plays rhythm guitar and sings. I play drums. We recruited a bass player. We lost our lead guitar player over the summer but added a new lead guitar player recently. We play 90's rock for the most part (think STP, Matchbox 20, Tonic). Outside of a party, we've been a basement cover band all this time but we are aiming at playing live in the coming year. Maybe we'll do a couple of parties. Maybe we'll take a gig at a local festival or bar.

The funny thing is that every member in the band is a seasoned player. They've played bars for years. I'm the newbie here, well, mostly.

The time I've spent playing with friends has opened up all sorts of opportunities, opportunities that I wouldn't have had the confidence to take on without it. I played drums for the high school musical (my son had a part in it) last Spring. I now play regularly at my church, including this very Sunday.

jlaakso, I hope you are still playing! Anyone else out there playing in band at any age? We need a good thread to talk about these things!

I am hoping to break my very long music drought myself. Years of guitar back in mybteens and twenties until I got mairred and decided I didn't have time. Now I want to start up again and maybe find band or get a solo gig who knows. Mostly I miss the creative outlet.

How's it been Fuzzyslug?

Hobear wrote:

I am hoping to break my very long music drought myself. Years of guitar back in mybteens and twenties until I got mairred and decided I didn't have time. Now I want to start up again and maybe find band or get a solo gig who knows. Mostly I miss the creative outlet.

How's it been Fuzzyslug?

Sorry for the delayed response. That what I get when I don't reply right away.

It's been heating up. Next month we are throwing a party at a local VFW to give the band an opportunity to record some video and take some pictures. The aim is to populate a website/Facebook page enough to schedule an actual gig. Set lists are forming and we've been practicing regularly. I'm excited to play out a bit this year.

I've also playing twice a week at church, which is great practice and great outlet to play live music on a schedule.

Hobear, any progress since January? How are you looking for band members?

I hung my guitars up on the wall! Lol no progress made unfortunately. Work has been killing my life the last three months.

Good to hear the progress. Being on a schedule will always help with ability. Good luck and send over any links if you have music up somewhere. I'm always down to listen to something.

Is it all original or mix of covers?

Hobear wrote:

Is it all original or mix of covers?

It's all covers, at least for the foreseeable future. I suspect we'll work on some original stuff at some point, but it'll be a while.

Yeah creating stuff was my favorite part. That was fun. No one cared about listening to it which always seemed to defeat the point but at least My buddy is our life time fan lol.