Can you folks help me with something? It speaks to our reason for being here.

Why do you play music?

-= and =-

Why do you perform?



I asked this question in 2006. Please reply here before looking at the old thread. Thanks.

Original Post

Why do you play music?

-= and =-

Why do you perform?

I play music because it centers me. If stressed or bothered it's almost like a drug that helps me escape or cope. It brings happiness and purpose to my life. Why I perform also involves those reasons but it also allows me to share my talent with the love of my life ( she is the singer in my group and it is a passion we share together) and with all the people that enjoy live music and follow us because of our work. And getting paid for it doesn't hurt either

I'd say for the money.  But that would be a lie.  Let's face it, if I didn't TRULY love what I do, I wouldn't be doing it in the first place.  I've been a mobile DJ since 1984 when I was an overly excited teenager who was amazed by the  appearance of spinning turntables, blinking lights, and cool looking knobs.  As a 50 year old, I approach every gig with the same enthusiasm today that I felt back then.

I think this song from the New Radicals, "You Get What You Give" says it best!

"But when the night is falling
You cannot find the light
You feel your dreams are dying
Hold tight
You've got the music in you
Don't let go
You've got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don't give up
You've got a reason to live
Can't forget
We only get what we give"

Good question, @ST ... because I love to perform and share music ... and for fun ... I'm pretty new to performing in front of people and I'm loving it. I guess I'm preparing to retire after working for nearly 44 years and I plan to have my music keep me busy when I'm done with going to work every day!! It's the most fun you can have!!

Love to play for the challenge of learning new material and improving my skills.  Playing is good mental stimulation which is important esp for those of us 65+. 

Love to perform because I can do it well despite being 65.  Seem to learn something during every performance and reading/engaging the crowd just keeps getting easier.  It's extremely exciting to see 20-40 year olds (as well as baby boomers) respond to a bunch of "old" musicians having a great time performing rock covers.  Nothing like entertaining a packed dance floor to make you feel young, energetic, and relevant. 

Wow interesting question. I fell in love with the guitar and eventually performing with it back in the late 60s. Back then I did the whole garage band thing, then graduated to play solo classical in college. Playing became my part time job while in school. There’s something about the connection between the player and the guitar I found to be somewhat mystical. Perhaps it’s the close intimate, physical connection the guitar provides between the player and the instrument.

Ultimately, I met my wife 36 years ago who was a voice major (who also plays guitar) and we’ve been an acoustic duo ever since. Playing and performing is just in our DNA.  Music defines us as a couple. We now have one of our daughters playing bass with us and she has the same passion for it. My oldest daughter who was a voice major in college continues to sing in shows and choirs if she’s not being challenged by her “three-nager”.

I can’t think of another activity that can touch and move people so deeply. To be able to use our talent to even bringing a little joy to folks is just so incredibly rewarding. 

Performing has an additional benefit in that it gets us out into the world and exposes us to people and places we would never have met or experienced otherwise. We’ve performed at a televised TED Talk, a farm aid like outdoor concert, opened for Kate Campbell and Carrie Newcomer, numerous clubs and restaurants etc. It’s just great fun in that way. 

Music is just a passion I’ve had all my life. I wasn’t able to make a living at it, but kept playing despite my “real” job. Now that I’m retired, I can pursue my passion once again, this time in more earnest. Thankfully, my wife and I are still healthy to continue to play and I hope that goes on for a long time to come.

I love playing the guitar and singing. I play everyday. I learn everyday. Performing is something I decided to try about 3 years ago for the first time at 54. Now there’s no turning back. It’s an addiction. To perform and see some one in the crowd singing along or tapping there foot is fulfilling. To have people approach you after performing at a function and say “you made the party” feels great.

To have people pay me for something I enjoy so much is fantastic. To try and perform better than the previous gig gives me motivation to practice and learn more.

Its very self gratifying and I hope to do it for many years to come.

Hi ST,

interesting questions. Just out of interest, do you need this for some sort of survey?

Now back to your questions.

ST posted:

Can you folks help me with something? It speaks to our reason for being here.

Why do you play music?

I can't answer this question in a couple of sentences so I'll do it this way.

I've been playing guitar since I was about 16 (for 50 years now) and started singing in our church choir at about the age of 11 (when we moved in 1962 we lived right across the road from the village church).

From being very small I was confronted with music through my parents who ran an electrical shop until we moved in 1962. The shop also sold record players and records. Dances at this time was to live bands. My parents danced to Count Basie and other big bands of the time. My mother quite often sang around the house. My father often joined in if some sort of music program was on TV in the evening. I often find myself singing around the house.

Being completely self taught (without books, just by watching other people), I played the guitar a lot right from the beginning on an EKO Ranger 12 string guitar lent to me by a friend. Since then I've never looked back, and always played regularly. At some time or other I bought my own first guitar. 

The guitar was always there for me. Girlfriends came and went. Friends moved away. The only real constant in my life was my guitar. I shared everything with it. Happiness, sadness, anger ... you name it, the guitar knew about it.

When I go on holiday I have to take a guitar with me. I even bought a Taylor GS-Mini to fit on the back seat of my small convertible so that I have a decent guitar on holiday. The guitar, and singing has become so an integral part of my life that I can't imagine not making/playing music. Since going into early retirement at the end of 2012 the guitar has helped to keep me sane, especially during the winter months.

Why do you perform?

This question may be easier to answer.

People have always seemed to enjoy my playing and singing. At the end of the 60's when I started playing guitar, the young people got together at parties or around campfires and made music. I've never stopped. If I'm invited to parties and arrive without a guitar they're usually disappointed, so I nearly always have one with me.

When I've had breaks from performing (sometimes through illness or workload), people have asked me when I'm going to start again, so I must have something to offer.

I also really enjoy playing and hearing myself through a PA. Since I bought my first L1 (a Compact with a T1) it's become easy for me to set up in my living room and play. House Concerts have become really easy and everyone enjoys them.

I perform basically because I love playing and singing, and really enjoy myself when I'm doing so. Playing basically compulsive with me. When I perform, I quite often say that if my audience enjoyed my playing half as much as I did, then we've all had a really good time.

The one thing that still allows me to perform is the ease with which I can transport my L1's. I have an HK Audio Lucas Impact system here which I haven't gigged with for several years now. I keep it just in case, but a 32kg sub is something I don't want to transport any more.

Does that help ST?




As always, you're more than welcome.


Hmmm.  This might take a while so bear with me.

My mom was the organist at a Baptist Church for 25 years and it was just expected that every child in our family participate in the music program so that's where it started, I guess it's her fault.

During my formative years I also sang in every chorus and small ensemble at school which led me to college.  As a freshman in college I wrangled the first chair tenor away from a senior and he wasn't happy about it.  Afterwards we became good friends and he introduced me to singing in a Barbershop Chorus and the rest is history.

While it took me a few years to get through college and make it back to Barbershop singing in 1984 I became a member of the Big Orange Chorus in Jacksonville, FL and we are currently ranked, by competition, 15th in the world.  I am on the music team and also the Bass Section Leader.

I am also the Bass of a Barbershop Quartet named Slice! (We are a slice of the Big Orange, get it?).  We are currently ranked, again by competition, 5th in the State of Florida.

I also sing in a Mixed Barbershop Quartet (mixed gender), a Gospel Quartet and Church Choir.  Somebody asked me why I don't golf, I just don't have the time.

Did I mention this might take a while?

After that context I'll get back to the question at hand.  I do this because I love it.  I love performing and the energy that we trade with the audience which makes the performance better and and awful lot of fun.  I can't think of a thing that is more rewarding, other than my family, especially my grandchildren, than getting a rousing standing ovation after the audience was stunned into silence from performing a touching ballad.

Now, I gotta get back to the singing so I'll sign off for now.

Hi, Tony (Seagullman).

Thank you for asking.

Seagullman posted:

Hi ST,

interesting questions. Just out of interest, do you need this for some sort of survey?

These questions are personal.

To all: Whether you've come here for a quick answer or something more involved, you play music and perform. These are things we all share.  I've asked these questions so we can know each other better.



I'm pretty fortunate (which I guess is really a matter of perspective) that I make my living playing music.  And so, I have asked myself, and others, that very question many times.  For me, it  is because I have no other choice.  Of course, there have been options....I have tried to have a "normal" career-type job (even one where the pay was incredible), but always found it very unfulfilling. I guess I can trace this back to a day when I was 7 years old and accidently heard a Miles Davis record.....and the earth stopped turning.  At that time I did not know what I was hearing...had no idea how those sounds were made, but knew from that moment that was I wanted to do.

Several years ago, when my daughter was in elementary school and the class was discussing what jobs mommy and daddy had, she found herself  a bit confused as to what her dad did for a living.  Everyone else's parent had professional or skilled occupations, but her dad played music. She came home a bit confused and upset.  She asked me why it was I played music for my job.  My reply was that I had never learned not to.

In the early 2000s I had rec'd a grant to teach music at correctional institutions...yes, a very odd gig.  One day there was a lock down which is a very scary situation to be in.  So, I am cloistered away with several other instructors tryiong to lay low, not become targets, cand conceal the fact that we are all scared to death.  I opted to start a discussion of why we do what we do.  In  there room wre writers (incl. a oscar winning screen writer), poets, painters, sculptors....the discussion was certainly illuminating.  The final concensus we reached as to why we do what we do was a single word:



Being fully retired, my partner and I spend well over 200 hours a year, counting driving and set up time, performing in retired living, assisted care and memory care facilities as volunteers.  Although being retired from a profession other than music, I've been involved in music, as a part time endeavor, most of my life.  Now, having been involved in this type of performing for over 20 years now, I never envisioned or considered the huge rewards that we routinely experience during our performances.

Obviously, performing the music that they want to hear is a huge part of it, but, they also recognize and are so thankful that we're doing it as volunteers.  The word volunteer may be overstated here as their comments and tears of joy are more payment than I've ever received as an entertainer.

The reason I'm on this forum is due to the purchase of an L-1 Compact and T-1, that became necessary for this 75 year old, in reducing the effort to transport and set up a PA system for our performances.  Admittedly, the learning curve for the T-1 has been a bit of a challenge to this retired electronic engineer, but this forum has helped greatly to overcome some of the challenges.  And I thank you for that.



Oh, let's see. I've always loved music, and sang in the chorus and played in school orchestras in my younger years. Then, in Junior High I heard an AC/DC song and fell in love with the guitar. After my parents found me playing along with songs from the radio on a kid's guitar that wasn't even tuned right, they said to each other, "We better get this kid some lessons!". So they got me a Yamaha nylon string and did just that. Then I started a rock band with a few friends with a borrowed electric/amp and my parents finally had a sure-fire target for birthday and Christmas presents for the next 5 years

I've always loved making the song sound just like the radio and was as much concerned with the sound production as my own playing (harmonizing, types of vocal/guitar effects, etc). Dad ended up sending me to Berklee's Summer Music Camp one summer and I later went there for Music Production and Engineering + Guitar (Major/Minor). I ended up dropping out, but my love for both remained. Up until lately I've done more sound production work than guitar but I've always had my guitars and played often at home, vacations and even on Navy Submarines (I was a Navy Reactor Operator).

These days I'm finally back into actually performing after my wife, daughter and I started an Acoustic Classic Rock trio ( Other than the occasional church duet, this is the first time my wife and I have played together outside home since our high school 80's rock band days (how I got her to finally date me <g>. The acoustic trio's great as it also gets our daughter out of the house with us, who has Cystic Fibrosis and doesn't get out much so it's a great family time.

We all love the Bose L1 Family as they're a breeze for our short-stuff family to set up and, being behind us, it satisfies my sound tech brain in letting me hear exactly what the audience is hearing, which is important since I have 3 vocals, guitar, percussion and occasional looper to balance from the stage.



Why I Play

My career was in advertising and marketing, and I loved the work dearly. But I seldom got to exercise creativity that was 100 percent mine. Music provides an unbridled path to sole ownership of the creative output. I get lost in playing, where nothing but the music matters. For me, that remains true when I’m alone or playing with others. 

Why I Perform

People who seek out live performances are typically passionate about music, and having the ability to stoke that passion is a very satisfying, motivation thing. “Playing out” and being appreciated by the audience keeps the juices flowing, energizing me to continuously learn and grow as a player/performer. 

Great question. Made me think about this. 

ST posted:

Can you folks help me with something? It speaks to our reason for being here.

Why do you play music?

-= and =-

Why do you perform?



I asked this question in 2006. Please reply here before looking at the old thread. Thanks.

Hi ST,


im a recent member, I guess I play music as my Dad and Brother played its in the blood, I love every aspect of practice, gigging and the set up of equipment.

i perform because I love music and you meet like minded people and other artists who help with motivation, inspiration and enjoyment of being open minded to all kinds of genres.



Grew up loving music.  I use my left brain a lot during the day at my job as a small business owner.  I love to escape to the right side and play.   I love to learn and I never pick up my bass without trying something new.   We are each on our own journey.  Doesn't matter who is faster, more proficient, etc.  We support each other at all levels of talent.  I love that about the music community.  Cheers!


I started with piano at 5, shifted to guitar and vocals at 12. My first band was when I was 13 and our first recording was when I was 16. We toured and played clubs through high school and college. In 68, we all got drafted and went our separate ways. I bounced from band to band but have been a solo acoustic act for years, playing a lot in the Maritimes. Our old band just got back together and are having fun working on projects. We do a lot of demos for songwriters trying to sell their music as we have our own studios. I play in church and do a lot of charity gigs and nursing homes. I really enjoy that. I raised a family with music, but at 72, the money isn’t a big deal anymore. Music has been very good to me. I bought my old 57 Les Paul for 35 bucks off a band mate when I was 13. That guitar made my living and I sold it for $7000 to a collector. One **** of a good investment. Now I play a Gibson lg2 with a S1Pro/T4S system using an Ear Trumpet mic. A lot lighter than the systems we used to haul around. For big festivals, I set it to where it sounds good and line it out. I tell the sound man to flat line the EQ, that way I control my sound.

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