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At 65 I've started playing again after decades away from it. It's fun and engaging. I suppose that's enough. But I see a lot of posts about practicing hours per day and such. Something I might have done as a music student a very long time ago but seems a little superfluous now. It makes me wonder what the goal in playing is for many of us? Doesn't exactly pay well. Just to opposite. Recognition? Would be nice but that requires an outlet. Few of those especially outside of the largest cities. Self expression in art and science? Maybe though it's challenging to make this something other than a solitary pursuit and art, for some, requires human engagement. Then there is self satisfaction in accomplishment but seems wood working would be easier.

So for me, it's about that odd, unexplainable trigger that playing music seems to set off. Endorphins? Maybe. Even when it is a solitary pursuit. Other times it's social and performing with amateur groups. Hard to find. I've been lucky to find a few but certainly not many. An infrequent opportunity. And you have to play well enough to start with. So what is the motivation for some of the late bloomers here? We talk about how and with what.. not often the why.
 

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I think your second sentence is the answer. It's fun and engaging. That's it. That's all that's required in order for it to be a worthwhile thing to invest time and effort into. If you feel like you need a creative outlet, then you probably do. ;) It doesn't have to lead to anything other than what it is; it's self-rewarding.

After feeling like I wasn't making much progress for quite a while now, I've started to take lessons, and it's been very helpful to have the feedback and a little guidance, which you just can't supply for yourself.
 

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Funny that I’m back in NM tonight as I read this. Where are you?

But more to your query, why ask “Why”?

If you’ve made it to 65, enjoy the ride while it lasts. :bluewink:

I’m close behind you in years, and I play because it fuels my fire.



Tenor - It’s all that matters.

At 65 I've started playing again after decades away from it. It's fun and engaging. I suppose that's enough. But I see a lot of posts about practicing hours per day and such. Something I might have done as a music student a very long time ago but seems a little superfluous now. It makes me wonder what the goal in playing is for many of us? Doesn't exactly pay well. Just to opposite. Recognition? Would be nice but that requires an outlet. Few of those especially outside of the largest cities. Self expression in art and science? Maybe though it's challenging to make this something other than a solitary pursuit and art, for some, requires human engagement. Then there is self satisfaction in accomplishment but seems wood working would be easier.

So for me, it's about that odd, unexplainable trigger that playing music seems to set off. Endorphins? Maybe. Even when it is a solitary pursuit. Other times it's social and performing with amateur groups. Hard to find. I've been lucky to find a few but certainly not many. An infrequent opportunity. And you have to play well enough to start with. So what is the motivation for some of the late bloomers here? We talk about how and with what.. not often the why.
 

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Because making music is one of the things that the living do. The others, not so much.

Joy is fuel.
 

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Every morning you can wake up and tell yourself that you are a sax player and have fun and feel self respect. That puts you in a very exclusive and talented minority, so please please enjoy it while you can!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Funny that I’m back in NM tonight as I read this. Where are you?
.
Should update my profile. I've been in Oregon for a couple of years now. I was in Tijeras for 10 years before that.

As to 'why as why?'.. well.. why not ask why?
 

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Should update my profile. I've been in Oregon for a couple of years now. I was in Tijeras for 10 years before that.

As to 'why as why?'.. well.. why not as why?
Because it is often better to accept what is, and live in the now.
 

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I started playing in the 5th grade. I played my first real gig in 1963. I have gigged ever since even while having a career in engineering, and I don't mean just once in a while. Now at 74, I play with four bands but one is the main one with the most gigs. All are the music of the '50s, '60s and '70s. I feel very fortunate to still be able to play; very fortunate that people want me to play - but most grateful that I still want to play, including everything that goes along with it - the hauling/schlepping, the driving, the crummy food, the late nights, the instrument maintenance, the practicing to maintain that embouchure that's harder every year, keeping the tone, the sound, the style, fighting with reeds. And, I always have been an ear player - I learn the tunes and play them back from memory. Fortunately I still can do that. If that goes, I'm done. But make no mistake, as long as I am wanted on the bandstand and as long as I can hold up the difficult gig I have laid out for myself I will do it. I figure somewhere around ten more years if I'm very lucky.
But that's not really saying 'why' I do this. The reason I've always played is, I could. I had a good sound the first time I played a tenor. I learned all the early rock/blues solos like the records and I still do the same thing. All my life I have been in demand by local/regional groups and that continues. After 'retirement' 13 years ago I had a few short periods of no gigs during which it really hit me how much I need to do this - I got despondent when I thought it was over, and very happy when it turned out that wasn't the case. Now, its like the older I get, the more determined I am to keep improving my game and keep enjoying it. I have done more with my horns, mouthpieces, necks, reeds, everything in the last five years than I ever did before, and it is continuing. Today I received a new alto neck, a new baritone neck (an alternate for a different mouthpiece with a smaller bore size) and I have my MK VI neck in NYC being worked-on. I also am getting several horns overhauled and have had some recent revelations in tenor necks (Series III!).
So, in a nutshell, I do this because I always have - I know no other way. When its over, I will always stop what I'm doing at 9:00 on Saturday night and listen for the click of the sticks...
 

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My girlfriend is 65. Sweet young thang. Wears me out, I'm totally punching above my weight class! If I couldn't play, I'd be like every other fool in the world. So, Eat, Sleep, Tenorcat...

Plus, I take a sadistic pleasure in smoking guitar whackers who think they can shred. haha
 

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So what is the motivation for some of the late bloomers here? We talk about how and with what.. not often the why.
At the other end of the spectrum from the more experienced people posting, here's my reply from about 2.5 years ago...

Interesting discussion.
In a weird way, I'm getting a huge amount out of learning the sax - largely, for me, because I'm a musical idiot. I took up the sax a year and a half or so ago, in part, to learn how to listen to jazz better. Opening that book not only required following lessons and doing etudes etc., but learning some proper music theory, some history, indeed, as noted in another thread, some piano... I explore, here, YouTube, books and web for ideas on technique or style or whatever to feed into practice every day.

Knowing so little means that every single day I've learned something new or better, or slip back before moving forward; and have piles still to do.
I'm not fussed how good I am compared to anyone or anything. It's me learning stuff - no one can do that for me.
not much has changed since I posted that, apart from having acquired a shabby tenor, an old clarinet and upgraded the piano.
 

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So you think woodworking would be easier, ive done music and woodwork most of my life and satisfaction can be found in both and as with all activities realistic expectations of the end result does help .
 

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I just like playing musical instruments. Guitar, banjo, piano, flute, didgeridoo, whatever.
Decided to get another sax at the age of 60+ because I already knew how to play one from 8 years of school bands.
Just a bit less frustrating than taking up another instrument I have never played.
It all came back pretty quick. Like riding a bicycle.
 

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I restarted playing in my late 50s after an almost 40 year layoff. Now playing in a three jazz bands, a jam band, was playing in an R&B band, and sitting in with a couple of cover bands when down on the island. Gigging 2 to 3 times per month. I practice at least an hour every day, and rehearse with the bands 2-3 nights per week. Why do I play and practice?

Getting better at it gives me a purpose in retirement.

Practicing and playing keeps my mind a bit sharper (I hope)

I really enjoy hanging out with my musician friends (some of whom I have known for over 50 years) at practice or gigs - just getting out of the house a couple of nights each week, having a beer or two and playing music with friends.

And this:

View attachment 233416
 

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Why? So many reasons. But here’s how it started.

When in the 4th grade (in 1966), I wanted to learn sax, but my parents said no, it would ruin my teeth (??!!)
(They later denied this, but they were sax blockers).

When my two kids each wanted to play sax, I said yes and they each ended up with a YAS-23.

Jump to 2014 and the altos are still around. Now it was MY time, my turn. Time to learn to read music beyond what I learned in elementary school, and actually play an instrument (beyond the hack guitar playing and pentatonic ****ing I have done for years). So I called up my kids’ teacher and started taking lessons.

Aside from all the fun I get from playing, and the benefits of a musical education in and of itself, I also have wanted to prove to myself that I am really not the rhythmically-challenged tone deaf tin ear stage-frightened fool that I have always appeared to be . . . .

Also, now that I am retired, it’s great to have a fun activity to focus on. I joined a band and have met lots of new, great folks. Keeps one active and involved, which matters more as one ages.

On at least one level, the question of “why” learn an instrument at this age is almost absurd. The simple answer is “music.” If you have to ask “why music?” then the proper response is “because we are human.” Might as well as “why breathe?”
 

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Interesting question. I guess my response would be - how do you not? I'm recently retired and also live in Oregon. I've been keeping my flute chops up over the years but have been brushing off the sax this last couple of years - can't imagine not playing. Beyond the joy of making music there is the personal satisfaction of little improvements in all the various aspects of trying to become proficient on your chosen instrument. Certainly keeps the brain active.
 

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My why is because I totally enjoy the instrument learning process.

'I'm not new to studying an instrument (began 43 years ago) but am new to sax and (sort of) woodwinds. I am fortunate to live in a town with two amazing music schools (one is world renowned) who happen to have amazing teachers.

Began studying clarinet almost 4 years ago and within the last 18 months, sax. Completely hooked.

To sum up my "why". I love the learning process.
 

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I feel better when I play.
Exactly this.

I stopped playing sax completely for several years when I was married with young kids. It negatively effected my mental state. Felt much better once I started playing again, even occasionally. I played guitar through the dry spell, but it wasn't the same. Not precisely sure why, but it has something to do with what playing sax does for me personally. It's cathartic in an essential way; where other kinds of artistic expression aren't for me so much, and has something to do with how the horn and I are connected.
 
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