Pentax End of an Era

biglouis

Veteran
Aug 4, 2013
103
I am currently wrestling with the same decision, so your story and pictures really struck home (I was going to say 'a chord').

I started playing guitar when I was 11 years old and I was still seriously playing about five or so years ago (I'm currently 58). I thought I'd still be playing when I was in my dotage but in the last few years I have completely lost interest. I think I may have picked up my guitar once in the last year and the callouses I was always so proud of have now disappeared and it is actually painful to play.

It is very hard to let go of something which has been a significant part of your life. However, reading your story it is somewhat comforting to know that others have made the same decision.

Thanks for sharing

LouisB
 

S Noel

All-Pro
Oct 5, 2010
124
Casey County, KY (Liberty)
Stephen Noel
Several years ago I got hold of a really nice Martin replica, that had a really sweat sound. Only problem was, that I couldn't learn to play guitar. Our family, was doing a lot of van travel across the country, and I became concerned that we would damage it. So, one day, I gave it to a very musical family, that played in the schools of Eastern Kentucky. 30 years later, I still miss it. It's probably worn out by now, and to good use. After all, it's all just "stuff-n-things". Not the essence of life, however pleasant the things may be. :)
 
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
I havent really missed the guitar that much, to be honest. It had sat for so long not doing much, I think I had become used to not having it as a daily part of my life. It wasnt a loss of interest, really, there were two things... arthritis, and lung disease that prevents me from singing much anymore. I can barely get a few notes out before I run out of air. (This is also why I have long periods of not shooting, either... just can't manage.)

Lesson: If you smoke, stop now.
 

biglouis

Veteran
Aug 4, 2013
103
I havent really missed the guitar that much, to be honest. It had sat for so long not doing much, I think I had become used to not having it as a daily part of my life. It wasnt a loss of interest, really, there were two things... arthritis, and lung disease that prevents me from singing much anymore. I can barely get a few notes out before I run out of air. (This is also why I have long periods of not shooting, either... just can't manage.)

Lesson: If you smoke, stop now.
Sorry to hear about your illnesses and very wise advice. Although I have lost interest in playing the guitar it has gone hand in hand with a growth in interest in photography. The irony is that for years I wanted to be recognised for my musical creativity which never happened yet in a few short years I have been able to get further with photography than I ever did with music. I hope you get the same level of enjoyment out of your photography.

LouisB
 
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Thanks, Louis. I loved playing and singing, didn't get "recognition" as such but I had a small and loyal following here in Newcastle back in the day. The photography has always been with me (long before I ever got into music) and always will be. At least I don't have to give that up... even if, in the end, all I can manage is a small P&S. It doesn't matter, its the seeing and the shooting that does :)
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Interesting phenomenon about giving things up you once loved as you age. I think it's most true for activities that require a lot of doing to get and stay good at it. I first encountered this in my early 30's with basketball, which was a HUGE passion in my youth. I got to the point with a family and career that I couldn't work it into my schedule more than once or twice a week. And its one of those things I had to either do a LOT (to both stay in shape for it and maintain my skills) and just once or twice a week wasn't enough. I started sucking and getting hurt and didn't see a way out without putting more time into it than I could still afford to do. So I stopped. Similar but less intense transitions away from football, tennis, and skiing over the years as well...

Guitar came a bit later - once I lost my callouses I knew from experience how much I'd have to play to get 'em back. And I didn't have the time or the enthusiasm to get 'em back. These days I have the time, but music plays an infinitesimal role in my life these days, compared to the constant presence it was through my mid-40's. I still have an acoustic and an electric, but at this point they're basically wall hangings I enjoy seeing, like a nice photograph or painting. They're tools that almost never get picked up and just remind my how far I've slipped when I do pick one up.

And my baby - cycling. I rode about 5000 miles or more per year from my mid-30s until the last few years (I'm 54 now, so about 20 years worth of obsession). And even as recently as last year I still thought nothing of going out and riding 30-40 miles - kid stuff compared to what I used to do regularly, but still a pretty good rider. But between my asthma changing it's status from part-time to full-time (in direct contrast to employment!) and my periodic bad back being unable to handle riding just a LITTLE bit, I'm reduced to riding my town bike a few miles here and a few more there, mostly doing errands. A chiropractor told me years ago regarding cycling, "don't do it, but if you're gonna do it, do it a LOT". And he was right - when you're in shape to do it really well you don't really put much strain on your back at all. But when you're NOT in shape to do it well, your form and position on the bicycle falls apart pretty quickly and that pulls your lower back muscles in to the process in a way that just isn't good at all. I absolutely killed my back trying to get back into it (at a reduced level due to asthma) a couple of months ago, and it's still bugging me. So I'm afraid cycling is very close to dead to me now too - a very sad realization. I could get it back but I'd have to get back to doing it more than I'm willing to anymore - that level of enthusiasm just isn't there.

So I'm down to walking as much as I can (which works very well with photography!) and working with weights to keep myself from going totally to seed. If I ever get to the point where I don't have the mobility or eyesight to do photography (which hopefully won't happen - both of my folks were pretty independent and mobile up until shortly before they died), I'll really be screwed. But I've left a lot of things I've loved behind in a heap. Cycling, guitar and basketball are the easiest and biggest examples, but not the only ones. I guess its just part of life and the key seems to be having something else on deck to take up your interest. So far, so good, but there is a bit of mourning involved for lost loves...

-Ray
 

jloden

All-Pro
Jun 30, 2012
88
Jay
Definitely must be a bittersweet feeling letting that go with the memories and what it represents, even if you don't actively miss playing guitar these days.

Sometimes I have to laugh at the parallels so many of us share on the forums too.

I have a collection of guitars and music gear I don't play right now, but like Ray I know the moment I start clearing house that I'll rekindle my interest in music and 1) regret selling them and 2) end up buying *more* expensive music gear I don't need.

For a while, I was taking weekly lessons and playing every day, and music (and luthiery, for that matter) was my over-arching interest. Then I discovered other hobbies that took precedence. Around that time, my best buddy and sort of partner in the music hobby also moved to Australia, which put a sizable dent in how much time I spent talking/reading/breathing/sleeping guitars and music, due to the time difference. I let music fall to the sideline for a while, and then photography came along... and any of you that know me from here or Amin's other forums can guess what happened after that :p

That being said, I definitely plan to one way or another make my way back around to the guitar. I've been giving serious thought to taking lessons again, just with less frequency and finding a way to keep myself playing. I miss it!
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
That being said, I definitely plan to one way or another make my way back around to the guitar. I've been giving serious thought to taking lessons again, just with less frequency and finding a way to keep myself playing. I miss it!
I don't see that happening with me, but one of the happier stories I neglected to mention that's probably applicable is photography itself. I was hard-core into B&W photography in my high school, college, and young adult years. It got less intense after college because I didn't have access to a darkroom anymore, but I still did a lot of slide photography. But then once we had kids, I didn't have the time to really pursue it and I got rid of my SLR gear once I realized I wasn't willing to carry around SLR gear AND children - and there was NO doubt that the kids were gonna win that battle of priorities. I got away from it and was basically a family snap-shooter with whatever P&S we had around at the time for about 25 years. I had a decent eye so my family snapshots were a little better than average, but photography wasn't something I put any time or energy or thought into. Until 2010 when the kids were gone and my wife and I were taking a really nice 25th anniversary trip to the Mediterranean and I figured I should have a decent camera for THAT. I got an Olympus m43 body and a couple of lenses, quickly discovered the wonders of digital processing, and within a month or two I was totally hooked and immersed in it again. And it hasn't let up since. So that's the one example (so far) of something I once loved and was completely and totally into that came back around and bit me again later in life...

Next I'll be on the basketball team and garage band in the old folks home! :biggrin: Hey, there could be worse things!

-Ray
 

jloden

All-Pro
Jun 30, 2012
88
Jay
[...]

So that's the one example (so far) of something I once loved and was completely and totally into that came back around and bit me again later in life...

Next I'll be on the basketball team and garage band in the old folks home! :biggrin: Hey, there could be worse things!
Hahaha. I often envision similar things happening to me as I get older. I've had a number of intensive hobbies already in my life... and there's still several largely untapped interests I've always wanted to pursue. I imagine most of them will come back around at some point or another. The best part about photography for me is that it fits into everything else; even if I quit photography as a hobby in its own right, I'll always be able to take better photos of my trips, experiences, and hobbies :thumbup:
 

EasyEd

Regular
Dec 22, 2010
43
Hey All,

Isn't it amazing how old age and wisdom resemble just being too tired?

For me I was a golf addict and good at the game and now it is casual - hard to stand over a shot and know what you ustacould but cant now. How do you get the thrill back?

Guitar - I have a Martin and a Gretsch electric - I love them both but it is hard to find the time any more. I'm a beginner - I'm thinking do the lessons - force myself - I do love music and spend enough time on U tube watching others to prove it.

Why is it that for many getting old comes with a simple desire to just sit back - been there done that - and even if you haven't you know the enthusiasm and tailing off - so you tell yourself why repeat it with something new?

Yet there are those old people who still have the enthusiasm and the drive - what is their secret?

-Ed-
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
That particular ghoul - the cold creep of time spent not playing your guitars in public - has been haunting me as well lately, but no more.

Every new year's, the wife and I manage to sit down with a cocktail napkin and a pen and lay out what we want to accomplish the next year. 2 years ago, it was "I want to brew beer again" for me, among others, and I managed to start back up and am happily churning out all-grain beer and even cider by the 5-gallon-bucket-load. Last year, it was "I want to play live music again." I started when I was 13, and guitar came fairly easy for some reason. It never felt like "work," I was just able to hear things and figure them out, or to be able to imitate the way others played. High school, college, and even that tricky period after college, I managed to play either monthly or (for 2 and a half years) every single week. Over the course of that time it went from 2 or 3 guitars to 13, and a bass, and a pedal steel. 2 of the electrics I even built. Even though it sounds like a lot, I still want more to this day.

But then in 2007 I moved to Boston for a job, and knew no gigging musicians. I've never started my own thing, I'm always the #2 guy. So I didn't start anything, and one year became, two, which then turned into 6. I traveled to some weddings and played them, or did shows in other states with former band mates once in awhile. And got sadder and sadder, thinking that maybe "this was it." The long, slow, cold death of a beloved hobby. But this still didn't feel like ahobby to me - it felt like something I don't feel whole without.

Finally I met a friend at work, and he writes songs. Some of them don't suck. He plays them out. He has a practice space. I took the plunge, almost a year ago. We went in circles, never playing out but enjoying the practices. Even those slowed down - several month gaps became common. Then he found a good bassist and a talented but green drummer, and everything just .. clicked. We played our first gig this past Thursday.



And with that one short set, the monster was beaten back. He's not dead -- he never dies. But he's been shamed into submission, banished to his cave, sprayed with a water bottle like a cat begging for food at 4am. Begone. It's not time yet.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Then he found a good bassist and a talented but green drummer, and everything just .. clicked. We played our first gig this past Thursday.
Nothing like having an actual rhythm section to make it all seem so much easier! Guitarists, even semi-good ones, are about a dime a dozen - drummers and bass players are few and far between. Good on ya for finding them! Enjoy!

-Ray
 

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