Author: Karsemeyer, John

Reasons To Quit?

Okay, let’s face it, time marches on, and if we are fortunate so do we. The birth years become the early years. The early years become the teen years. The teen years become the young adult years. The young adult years become the adult years, leading to the senior years, and the senior years become the senior-senior years. Just like the categories in an old time fiddle contest, don’t ya know?

So let’s say that you started playing bluegrass music during any of the aforementioned phases of your life, and that you’ve successfully made it from the musical “wood shed” to playing some regulars gigs in various venues along the way. And let’s further say that you have now entered the “Senior Zone” of your life. And then let’s go on to the time when you sit down and reason with yourself and eventually come to the question, “Am I Too Old To Gig?”

Don’t know about you, but having entered that zone myself, I’ve entertained that question intermittently along the way. I’ve struggled with that persistent question for some time now, but recently I discovered that some other people have come up with various compelling reasons that just may be the writing on the wall. The folks at came up with a list of fifty reasons, and so I’m listing seventeen of my favorites from that list (with some alterations included).


1. You need your glasses to see the set list.

2. You feel like going to bed before the gig even starts.

3. The waitress is your daughter.

4. You ask the club owner if you can start at 7pm instead of 9pm.

5. You check the TV schedule before booking the gig.

6. Your gig stool has a back.

7. You need a nap before the gig.

8. During the band’s breaks you go to your car and take a snooze.

9. You use a music stand with a light.

10. You think “homey” means cozy and warm.

11. You’re playing the same venue in a month and you ask the owner if you can leave your guitar and equipment there.

12. Your date couldn’t make it because she had to find a sitter for her grandkids.

13. On all of the out of town gigs you draw straws to see who the driver will be coming home.

14. You forget to take your Flowmax, so all the sets that night are only 15 minutes long.

15. You have to charge extra money if there are any steps to climb.

16. You call out the next song, only to have someone remind you that you played it ten minutes earlier.

17. You don’t recover from a Saturday night gig until the next Wednesday afternoon.

So there you go. If your scored more than ten in the,”Yep, That’s Me!” category, you may want to evaluate your gigging career as it now stands. You don’t have to give up you know, but maybe limiting your gigs to Senior Centers is the answer?

But hold on, wait just a second or two here. Olde Billy Shakespeare wrote, “THE PLAY is the thing.” Translate that to bluegrass music as TO PLAY is the thing; or more specifically, TO GIG is the thing.

So the giant reason to gig, the reason that trumps and cancels out all the reasons not to is BECAUSE YOU CAN. Throw all the reasons you come up with not to gig whenever and wherever into the dumpster, and get on with it. Down the road when you involuntarily can’t gig, for whatever reason, you’ll look back and say to yourself, “I’m glad I did.”
Posted:  7/12/2012

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