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Hello from Londoner with a mid-life crisis

Howard Long

Member
Messages
51
Location
London
Greetings!

Let me introduce myself. Despite being brung up [sic] in Leicestershire, then eight years in Manchester, I've been darn Sarf for the past 18 years or so.

I went through the process of being forcibly sat in front of a piano when I was seven years old or so, and despite making it to the heady heights of Grade 1, it wasn't quite what I had in mind at that age for fun. After all, instead of 30 minutes every day on the piano stool, I could be watching Captain Scarlet or Hawaii 5-0 on the telly.

To add to my angst, after passing Grade 1 piano, I was asked if I'd like to play another instrument. I was desperate to play the trumpet. So you can imagine my disappointment when I was handed a violin. Then one day, to show my disdain, I failed to hold in my disillusion any longer, and I wet myself in front of my poor teacher.

Well that was it, the end of what might have been an illustrious music career. Fast forward to thirty five years later, and, sax in hand, I am now forging through my male menopause with gusto and vibe, and despite advancing years, thus far I have managed to stay dry in the trouser department while playing.

Here's a question for you all: although I know it won't be me, are there any folks who have managed to embark on a successful career in instrument playing despite only having started late in life?

Cheers, Howard
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
12,583
Location
Lundy Island
There is a relatively famous classical flautist wh started very late in life, can't remember his name at the moment.

Although people tend to think of great players as starting very young, it's not always the case. While it's probably true the young brain is quicker at learning, I'm sure with enough dedication an older person can still become extremely proficient, but will have to be prepared to put in the hours.

It may also be worth doing some general "brain training" to help sharpen up concentration - that's my biggest problem as I get older.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Howard,
Thanks for providing the complete answer to, "Go on, it's your solo." pressure, although at my age, it will probably happen anyway. :shocked:

Of course you can succeed if you start late, I was 68 and three years later, still useless. :)

Go ahead, does it really matter if you make Bird sound crap, just enjoy yourself.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
Hi Howard, welcome to the Caff. Your not alone, Old Git often wets himself, although I believe he's become very convincing at blaming other younger members of the "Caslm!"
I started late like yourself and although I've got a long way to go and I'm not exactly earning much from it, I do enjoy some income from playing the sax. No I don't read music and I'm not a great sax player either! Bravado and Bulls^*t go along way ;}
 

Richard Perks

Member
Messages
165
Location
Nanaimo BC Canada
Another welcome to you Howard, though I can't answer your question, I think anything that uses our brain is great as we get older! I read "Old Git" dissertations and I see even he uses his brain........... so keep playing and enjoy.
Richard:mrcool
 

ukwoody

Member
Messages
81
Location
Milford Haven, Pembrokshire, Wales
Hi Howard, I went from Doooown Soufff, to Boyo West Wales!.

I don't know how old you are but I'm 46 and just started playing. I had my mid life crisis when I got divorced, bought a sax then didn't play it for 5 years. I sincerely hope we're not too old - and I dont think we are. Go for it fella and lets keep each other encouraged!

Woody
 
OP
Howard Long

Howard Long

Member
Messages
51
Location
London
Well thank you all for the very warm welcome. Despite being 44, I have not made it to the altar yet, although I've had two close shaves, the most recent one leading to my mid-life crisis. Some blokes buy a motorbike, I bought a sax. Or three. I have a TJ Tenor (plus an EWI-USB and WX5/VL70m combo if they count). The TJ Tenor and the WX5 receive by far the most attention.

Cheers, Howard
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Essex
Well thank you all for the very warm welcome. Despite being 44, I have not made it to the altar yet, although I've had two close shaves, the most recent one leading to my mid-life crisis. Some blokes buy a motorbike, I bought a sax. Or three. I have a TJ Tenor (plus an EWI-USB and WX5/VL70m combo if they count). The TJ Tenor and the WX5 receive by far the most attention.

Cheers, Howard
Hi Howard, welcome! - call that a mid-life crisis? this is a mid-llife crisis ;} - I passed my motorcycle test aged 43, took up flute and piano again after a 30 year break age 44, bought an Alto sax aged 48, and a Tenor Sax several months ago aged 50 :welldone:D

PS I'm still riding the bike! :welldone
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,428
Location
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
Hi Howard and welcome. I'm not sure if I missed a mid-life crisis or whether my whole life has been in crisis so I didn't notice another.

Whatever, after learning several instruments when much younger, I decided to learn sax seriously two years ago at 58, when I started having enough time. I love kevgermany's tag line that we are limited by our fears not our imagination. So even though I doubt I'll make a successful career from it now, my determination is to take it as far as I can get. There's nothing to lose.

BTW, as a mere youth member of the Croydon & Sarf Lunnun Massive, my friend Mr Git will know that any rumours of his incontinence being attributed (passed off?!) onto me will result in me partially cutting through the legs of his Zimmer under the guise of routine maintenance.:shocked:

Colin
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,606
Location
Out in the Countryside of Nelson NZ
Hello, welcome Howard, from New Zealand and a warm welcome to mid life crisis, you are in good company here. this is where the real rubber meets the road in Saxophone playing, yarning and general hanging out.

A mid life crisis is much better than being dead!

So join in the fun and enjoy the ride.

Cheers & Ciao

Jimu:mrcool
 

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
862
Location
Wokingham, Berks, UK
hi Howard,

I started 2 years ago aged 50, and although I don't have a successful career with the sax, I can play a tune and have reached the dizzy heights of grade 2 currently working towards grade 3!!
 
Messages
59
hello there, well I'm not quite having a mid life crisis (nearly 40 though!) i can totally relate to your question. I'm not talented enough (mentally disciplined) to do what you're saying but I do have the urge - to be honest, its about time with me mainly (and cash, If i had loads of both I would practice for 4 or 5 hours daily for sure, but I do have to work and look after my kids so not possible. Its all about HWPT (hardwork, patience and TIME) - Thats what Pat Crumly told me (had a few lessons from him - he turned pro when he was about 35 so relatively late)
If you've got the desire, time and discipline maybe you could do it. I know I'd love to..
Have you seen Shawshank redemption? You know the film about the innocent guy who digs his way out of prison with a spoon. Well I'm not sure if its based on a true story but it doesnt matter really cos its all about Human beings overcoming obstacles (praise the lord!, blah blah) I'm getting all emotional now, ha ha!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Welcome Howard!

So why not the Trumpet? - lighter, cheaper, less buttons, cooler, no reeds/straps/ligatures.............:shocked:

I wish you well in your sax based pursuits, and hope that you have a lovely time at CafeSaxophone. Perfectly possible to make good progress learning an instrument in the middle years (and above) - but always a challenge to make money out of doing so. At least focus on an area that you are interested in, and do it to death!

Kind regards
Boney TM;}
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Hi Howard
You're never too old as they say. I first took up the sax when I was 63, and now, three years later still going strong. Don't expect to ever be famous, not good enough for a start, but having a lot of fun in a swing band, and we do the occasional unpaid gig. Did think of trying the busking lark, might make a few bob then! You'll be a legend in your own lunchbreak:welldone:thankyou:
 
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