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#1
... is killing me, in a way that it's getting harder and harder to make choices that shouldn't be hard. I'm on an aerospace engineering master degree, first year. I'm liking it, lots of work, but I have the discipline to keep the thing going pretty well, cool people, etc etc. Now I have this completely different thing I want to achieve: play music for lots of people. It's a dream, just like any other.

I started playing in 1999 when I was 9. Funnily enough, I never worried about my future. When I was 16, those things started to change. I chose engineering because I had my feet on the ground. Problem is there's this voice in the back saying that this is not what I REALLY wanted to do. I'm an ambitious person, I like challenges and playing music is/was one good enough for me.

BUT, the challenge I can't stand is defining my priorities between the engineering guy in me that wants to know how things work and loves airplanes and stuff like that, and the other one that is creative and likes to be listenable. I need to be good to be a great engineering in order to have success. And that takes work and time, 2 things that I can't really accept because I feel I'm leaving the music behind.

I don't know how to face this, but I'd like to hear you. And, for some reason, after writing all this, I feel like I can follow my dream and be good at engineering. But still don't really know how.
#2
you can do both. solidify engineering. Because music takes money and making a living in musi cis next to impossible. But once you have a good stable job, home. make some friends. Make a band, play the weekend bars. who knows whatll happen.
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#3
Do both

Keep at the course, but maybe start a band, or write and record your own songs, put them up on UG or myspace or Purevolume for people to hear.

Doing both is easier than it seems, trust me =]
#5
I faced this issue my self. I am a critical care nurse working towards becoming and Anesthetist. It feels as if you have to decide but here is how I decided. Can I be a nurse and play the guitar, yes... Can I focus on guitar and be a nurse, no...

Also, later in life as you become more financially secure you can scale back to part time work and fulfill your other dreams. Being a working musician you will likely never have that opportunity.

My two cents,
Jordan
#6
Quote by BelowZero
you can do both. solidify engineering. Because music takes money and making a living in musi cis next to impossible. But once you have a good stable job, home. make some friends. Make a band, play the weekend bars. who knows whatll happen.


Very good answer!
I'm in the exact same position as TS but I intend to keep studying engineering and have the music on the side and if I'm good enough I'll get recognized for my music and if I don't, well, then I'll have a satisfying job. But I would never leave the music behind.
#7
If you leave taking guitar seriously too late (like after the age of 25) it will be pointless to do so. The human creative peak is around age 25 so basically by that time you will have already wasted your best years
#8
Nisargadatta one said something along the lines "Do what you believe in, everything else is just a waste of time and energy"

If you feel it in your heart, it's right. Just go with the feeling that's right.
You can only grow from experience

You may tour the world playing amazing music and then a time may come when you feel like you must be an engineer again.

I know for me, that I'm going to tour and record and play music for the entire world and share my love and feelings with everyone that listens to it. For me there's no other way
And we will weave in and out of sanity unnoticed
Swirling in blissfully restless visions of all our bleary progress
Glowing in radiant madness
#9
Quote by 1337void
If you leave taking guitar seriously too late (like after the age of 25) it will be pointless to do so. The human creative peak is around age 25 so basically by that time you will have already wasted your best years

utter f*cking bollocks
Actually called Mark!

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#10
I'm in a similar dilemma between physics and music. The present plan (I'm in my last year of A-levels at the moment) is to do the physics, and slot in music wherever/whenever I can.

*edit*
utter f*cking bollocks
There's scientific evidence that you start losing brain cells at around 25, so most certainly not utter bollocks. TS'll definitely have to put more work in if he leaves it 'til later, but it's by no means impossible to make it in music having done a degree...
Last edited by MopMaster at Feb 8, 2009,
#12
Quote by 1337void
If you leave taking guitar seriously too late (like after the age of 25) it will be pointless to do so. The human creative peak is around age 25 so basically by that time you will have already wasted your best years

hahahaha that's the funniest thing ive read all day
#13
utter f*cking bollocks
There's scientific evidence that you start losing brain cells at around 25, so most certainly not utter bollocks. TS'll definitely have to put more work in if he leaves it 'til later, but it's by no means impossible to make it in music having done a degree...


That might be a controversial point to many besides the fact every band you can thinks of's greatest works were turned out after the age of 25 more like at about 30. The fact is that most great albums are bands third albums which are not normally done before a band averages 25...

Aside all this objective fact i also think your probably one of those people who believe only certain gifted people can play guitar well?
#14
But hey dont tell these guys that they were/are past their creative peaks when they made huge impacts/their signature albums


Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin 4 physical graffiti)
Pink Floyd (Dark side of The moon + The Wall)
Nina Simone
The Pixies
Deep purple
Queen
The Smiths
Radiohead (OK Computer Kid A)
Muse (Absolution, BHAR)
Metallica
Jeff Buckley (Grace, hell jeff wasnt even SIGNED before about 23)
Tim Buckley
Neutral milk Hotel
Prince
David Bowie
Iron Maiden
Sergei Rachmaninov (Preludes suite no23)
Franz Lizst
Last edited by RedFez64 at Feb 8, 2009,
#15
Quote by MopMaster
I'm in a similar dilemma between physics and music. The present plan (I'm in my last year of A-levels at the moment) is to do the physics, and slot in music wherever/whenever I can.

*edit* There's scientific evidence that you start losing brain cells at around 25, so most certainly not utter bollocks. TS'll definitely have to put more work in if he leaves it 'til later, but it's by no means impossible to make it in music having done a degree...


What the hell is "making it in music"? Do you mean selling records and what not?

That's business stuff, and has nothing to do with musical creativity.

You need to have business creativity, and have no problems with picking money over moral.

Say ur favourite Artist is Vai, and both Vai and a band that will most definitely sell 1Million+ records come asking for a record deal, but you can only give 1.

Then you must have the power to say NO to ur favourite artist, and bring in the artist you find ****ty, because it sells more.

That's music business for you.

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#16
Quote by RedFez64
But hey dont tell these guys that they were/are past their creative peaks when they made huge impacts/their signature albums


Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin 4 physical graffiti)
Pink Floyd (Dark side of The moon + The Wall)
Nina Simone
The Pixies
Deep purple
Queen
The Smiths
Radiohead (OK Computer Kid A)
Muse (Absolution, BHAR)
Metallica
Jeff Buckley (Grace, hell jeff wasnt even SIGNED before about 23)
Tim Buckley
Neutral milk Hotel
Prince
David Bowie
Iron Maiden
Sergei Rachmaninov (Preludes suite no23)
Franz Lizst



Checked all of them except the last two classic composers and guess what, they were ALL ages 22-29 when their magnum opuses( which i considered as highest rated albums at RYM which is a rather reliable site in my experience) were released.

There are some exceptions to this rule too though, Steven Wilson was 35 when In Absentia was released, id be interested to hear more of these to encourage older folks
Last edited by 1337void at Feb 8, 2009,
#17
There's scientific evidence that you start losing brain cells at around 25, so most certainly not utter bollocks.


Ugh...no. What a ridiculously simplistic interpretation of the issue.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#18
Quote by Archeo Avis
Ugh...no. What a ridiculously simplistic interpretation of the issue.

Even if we ignore science the overwhelming empiric evidence (as far as popular music composers are concerned) that peoples best work is done around the age range i specified
#19
Quote by 1337void
Even if we ignore science the overwhelming empiric evidence (as far as popular music composers are concerned) that peoples best work is done around the age range i specified


No one is ignoring science, you simply don't understand the issue. How much education do you have in neuroscience?
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#20
Quote by Archeo Avis
No one is ignoring science, you simply don't understand the issue. How much education do you have in neuroscience?

No education
While we cant get a perfect idea of how musical creativity and age are connected without science(hell even with it we are bound to make mistakes due to the primitive level of brain functionality theory mankind possesses), empiric evidence still gives a rough idea of how they are correlated which could be sufficient given the nonscientific nature of the thread.
#21
Quote by 1337void
No education
While we cant get a perfect idea of how musical creativity and age are connected without science(hell even with it we are bound to make mistakes due to the primitive level of brain functionality theory mankind possesses), empiric evidence still gives a rough idea of how they are correlated which could be sufficient given the nonscientific nature of the thread.


No, it isn't sufficient. Empirical evidence suggests no such correlation, nor does experimental evidence. Even if there were a sharp decline in neuronal density beginning at age twenty five, it still wouldn't necessarily correlate with a "loss of creativity". In reality, there is no measurable decline of cognitive ability, creativity, or executive functioning around age 25. All of the above processes are commonly maintained even well into old age.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#22
Quote by 1337void
If you leave taking guitar seriously too late (like after the age of 25) it will be pointless to do so. The human creative peak is around age 25 so basically by that time you will have already wasted your best years


Tell that to Jim Hall...
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#23
Quote by Archeo Avis
No, it isn't sufficient. Empirical evidence suggests no such correlation, nor does experimental evidence. Even if there were a sharp decline in neuronal density beginning at age twenty five, it still wouldn't necessarily correlate with a "loss of creativity". In reality, there is no measurable decline of cognitive ability, creativity, or executive functioning around age 25. All of the above processes are commonly maintained even well into old age.

By empirical i meant the list of artists presented by RedFez64 and nearly every other band ive listened to, which have their best stuff from when the songwriter(s) were ages 22-29. So how does it not suggest a correlation
#24
Quote by 1337void
By empirical i meant the list of artists presented by RedFez64 and nearly every other band ive listened to, which have their best stuff from when the songwriter(s) were ages 22-29. So how does it not suggest a correlation



But what is "best stuff".


Ur nor referring to most popular stuff, but by all means Creativity is not necessarily popularity.

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#25
Quote by 1337void
By empirical i meant the list of artists presented by RedFez64 and nearly every other band ive listened to, which have their best stuff from when the songwriter(s) were ages 22-29. So how does it not suggest a correlation


Because it's a small, handpicked, non-random, non-representative sample. Besides, you're not asserting a correlation, you're asserting causation.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#26
The 25 thing is BS.

Back to the main question raised by the TS. This is a very good question. What you are talking about is balance in life. Basically, it is a fact of life that at any point in time, there's a very good chance that there will be two or more things in your life which are important and demand/deserve your time.

I'm 38 yrs old. I only mention that because things tend to get a bit more complicated once you're a little ways further into adulthood. Here are the main things I balance my time between.
- I have a great wife who is also my best friend.
- I have two great kids, who are 1 and 5.
- I have a good job, that I enjoy, and is needed to pay the bills.
- I'm at the very beginning of a business venture investing in rental real estate, and I'm doing a lot of research learning about the business as we save up for our first purchase.
- I love playing the guitar.
- I have to sleep.

Right. You see the dilemna. If I spend so much time on any of those to the exclusion of the others, I'm not doing myself or the people around me justice.

The trick is to try to find the sweet spot where each thing gets enough time. I struggle with that a lot. When I get into something, I'll get totally into it to the point where I don't think about anything else. I'm constantly fighting that, and trying to balance things out, but it's not easy given there are only 24 hrs in a day.

It's good that you are thinking about this now, because the more practice you get at it, the better. It's a difficult problem that's not going to go away any time soon.
#27
Quote by Archeo Avis
Because it's a small, handpicked, non-random, non-representative sample. Besides, you're not asserting a correlation, you're asserting causation.

What common cause could the two symptoms(bands releasing best work & being age 22-29) have? Ive been wondering over this quite a bit and i cant seem to come to any other conclusion that the brain by some mechanism loses that creative vibe after that age. Could there be societal or other cause would be interesting to know.

Anyway, that correlation alone in my opinion is sufficient evidence for teenagers to acknowledge the need to take guitar seriously RIGHT NOW if they want it to be their life achievement.

Quote by se012101
The 25 thing is BS.

At least some amount of reasoning is necessary too dude, otherwise the statement adds nothing to a discussion.
#28
What common cause could the two symptoms(bands releasing best work & being age 22-29) have? Ive been wondering over this quite a bit and i cant seem to come to any other conclusion that the brain by some mechanism loses that creative vibe after that age. Could there be societal or other cause would be interesting to know.


An infinite number. The fact that you're looking at a hand picked, extremely non-representative sample doesn't help. Every argument you've made in this thread is hilariously flawed, and your statements about human neurobiology are just flat out wrong. You have demonstrated nothing.

Anyway, that correlation alone in my opinion is sufficient evidence for teenagers to acknowledge the need to take guitar seriously RIGHT NOW if they want it to be their life achievement.


No, it isn't. You haven't even demonstrated a correlation. Even if you did, it is evidence of nothing without causation.

You don't know what you're talking about, and you need to shut up.

At least some amount of reasoning is necessary too dude, otherwise the statement adds nothing to a discussion.


The burden of proof is on you, not him. You have provided nothing to substantiate your claims, and he is right to dismiss them.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Last edited by Archeo Avis at Feb 8, 2009,
#29
Quote by Archeo Avis
An infinite number. The fact that you're looking at a hand picked, extremely non-representative sample doesn't help. Every argument you've made in this thread is hilariously flawed, and your statements about human neurobiology are just flat out wrong. You have demonstrated nothing.


No, it isn't. You haven't even demonstrated a correlation. Even if you did, it is evidence of nothing without causation.

You don't know what you're talking about, and you need to shut up.

Remember it was not me who picked the sample, it was the guy trying to prove me wrong
Anyway, the reason why such a list is hand picked or bound to be hand picked, is that its damn near impossible to get an objective overview(which means it has had a lot of reviewers) of what is the best album by the average joe-schmoe artist who hasnt had much publicity.

And if you want a bigger list, then (if you trust my word) the vast majority of artists ive heard(a few hundred) have had their best rated albums when the writers were at that age. Id bet the same case applies with the stuff youve heard, but its up to you to determine that, and if it turns out not to be the case, please let us know, im quite interested on the subject.

To clarify, i havent made any statements concerning neurology.

Anyway, most of all, i would be interested to know you show how age and creativity are not correlated in a similar fashion. Maybe i am short sighted to draw such a fast conclusion, but hey, even Einstein supported(well he said if someone hadnt contributed something big in a science or art field by age 30, then he probably never would) it
#30
Remember it was not me who picked the sample, it was the guy trying to prove me wrong


In which case you've provided even less than a poor argument. You've provided no argument.

Anyway, the reason why such a list is hand picked or bound to be hand picked, is that its damn near impossible to get an objective overview(which means it has had a lot of reviewers) of what is the best album by the average joe-schmoe artist who hasnt had much publicity.


That changes nothing. Your sample is still non-random and non-representative.

And if you want a bigger list, then (if you trust my word) the vast majority of artists ive heard(a few hundred) have had their best rated albums when the writers were at that age. Id bet the same case applies with the stuff youve heard, but its up to you to determine that, and if it turns out not to be the case, please let us know, im quite interested on the subject.


Your operational definition of "creativity" is bull****. If you actually tried to present such a definition in a research paper, you would be laughed out of every academic journal you applied to. Even if we grant you the existence of a correlation (which you haven't established), you still have to demonstrate that the decline in creativity (defined by you as the creation of critically well received albums) is do to neurological decline at age 25, and not due to one of a million other confounding variables like, I don't know, the fact that popular music industry is far friendlier to young artists than old ones.

To clarify, i havent made any statements concerning neurology.


You're asserting a causal relationship between an age of >25 years and creativity (defined by you as the creation of critically well received albums). Since you made this statement in the defense of a person who did explicitly assert that neurological decline was involved, and because creativity, like all thought and consciousness, is an emergent property of brain activity, you have to be arguing that neural processes are somehow involved.

Anyway, most of all, i would be interested to know you show how age and creativity are not correlated in a similar fashion. Maybe i am short sighted to draw such a fast conclusion, but hey, even Einstein supported(well he said if someone hadnt contributed something big in a science or art field by age 30, then he probably never would) it


Logical fallacy: Shifting the Burden of Proof
Logical fallacy: Appeal to Authority
Logical fallacy: Argument from Ignorance

What Einstein believed is irrelevant.
You're asserting not only a correlation, but a causal relationship between age and creativity. The burden of proof is on you to support your claim. If you can provide no supporting evidence (you haven't), then the proper response is to reject your claim.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#31
i had an easy choice... stick with a degree in communications that i couldn't give less of a **** about, or pursue the musical career that i obviously had a knack for...

AND...

that 25 thing is utter crap. there is absolutely no empirical evidence that people become less creative after any given age, and too many great musicians have done their best work in their late 20's and early 30's to led any further credo to that theory.

younger people who feel emotionally connected to their own age group would naturally look at music by older people as less relevant, but not everyone is 17, and nobody is 17 forever.
#32
Yes I wont bother finding proof on an academically acceptable level, ill give you that
But, when I look at pretty damn every band's album page at http://rateyourmusic.com , what i see is that the ratings top when the artists are age 22-29, and as time goes on, the ratings of the artists albums start dropping, not to an abysmal level but still, to what is poorer than their best stuff.

To me, that is enough proof that leaving composing to ages past that, is a pretty bad idea. For those more academically inclined, like Archeo Avis, Ill let them think what they want
#33
A more reasonable argument is that people don't invest much time/energy in music after they are 25, because of a wife/kids, which take up not only time to creatively experiment, but I think they don't feel the need to invest all their energy in their own ambitions, but rather spend their creativity in doing stuff with their kids.

I don't know if this is true, I don't have a wife or kids, but it seems quite reasonable, no?

I mean I can imagine ur satisfied with ur life, while when ur young ur ambitious; you want to be the best guitarplayer/songwriter which increase ur potentia to really work hard for that best song to write and to make something better then the rest.

It's is fact that competition increases output.

What I'm trying to say is, you don't need to "proof" anyone anything when ur older, so you play w/e you want to play without having the objective thinking of; this riff is cliche, or this solo is outdated etc.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Feb 8, 2009,
#34
Quote by 1337void
Even if we ignore science the overwhelming empiric evidence (as far as popular music composers are concerned) that peoples best work is done around the age range i specified


It's proven that everyone who is born will die... does this make suicide the most logical path, considering that you're already heading downhill anyway?
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


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#35
If you have no knowledge of mathematical statistics, make an account on the UG with the username 1337void.

Oh, how convenient-we already have that.

I dare you to research synaptic pruning of the adolescent brain; we're losing neurons from age 12, kid.

Anyway, I play guitar...a lot. I'm also a pre-med mathematics major who plans to earn an MD and a PhD in applied mathematics and go into medical oncology and research at a major academic institution out West, somewhere like UCSF. I never plan to stop playing the guitar. Likewise, several members of my family are physicians and musicians, as are many of their colleagues and friends from med school; some of them are great. You can be a great engineer and still play music; you'd be surprised by how many people in technical fields play music.

Edit: This is of little relevance, but a lot of people in technical fields are also athletes.

Quote by Rebelw/outaCord
It's proven that everyone who is born will die... does this make suicide the most logical path, considering that you're already heading downhill anyway?
Nice.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Feb 8, 2009,
#36
Quote by xxdarrenxx
A more reasonable argument is that people don't invest much time/energy in music after they are 25, because of a wife/kids, which take up not only time to creatively experiment, but I think they don't feel the need to invest all their energy in their own ambitions, but rather spend their creativity in doing stuff with their kids.

I don't know if this is true, I don't have a wife or kids, but it seems quite reasonable, no?

I mean I can imagine ur satisfied with ur life, while when ur young ur ambitious; you want to be the best guitarplayer/songwriter which increase ur potentia to really work hard for that best song to write and to make something better then the rest.

It's is fact that competition increases output.

What I'm trying to say is, you don't need to "proof" anyone anything when ur older, so you play w/e you want to play without having the objective thinking of; this riff is cliche, or this solo is outdated etc.

Yes, thats one reason. Another is that the generally younger bands sell better, because of all the teenage appeal they get.. which is responsible for a huge percentage of album sells
#37
I dare you to research synaptic pruning of the adolescent brain; we're losing neurons from age 12, kid.


Oh, it's way cooler than that. Human development results in a huge neuronal surplus that is then "whittled down" based on successful and active synaptic connections. A fetus in the third trimester has far more synaptic connections than an adult.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#38
Quote by 1337void


At least some amount of reasoning is necessary too dude, otherwise the statement adds nothing to a discussion.


I thought the discussion was (supposed) to be about the TS's question about balancing the demands of his life...

Anyway, I kind of thought it was obvious, so no reasoning was necessary. But, anyways...under 25 or so, you have more time to devote to music, and your path in life has not yet been established, so the option is more there. If a person has a good career, spouse and kids to support, house payment, car payment, kid's college tuition on the horizon, it's a lot more difficult to suddenly quit the job and concentrate on a career in music. If you are young, unattached, and don't require much money to live, then it's a lot more of a possibility.

That's basically it in a nut shell. Nothing to do with losing brain cells, or anything scientific. It's just time, money, and options in life.


Quote by 1337void

the need to take guitar seriously RIGHT NOW if they want it to be their life achievement.


I do agree with that statement strongly. If you are passionate about wanting something in life, do something about it right away.
#39
Quote by 1337void
If you leave taking guitar seriously too late (like after the age of 25) it will be pointless to do so. The human creative peak is around age 25 so basically by that time you will have already wasted your best years

Theres a way to mesure creativity?
please explain?
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#40
As far as the "getting old and too busy with wife & kids" argument goes, it doesnt explain why the older artists that do record albums dont make as well rated albums (and the age at which the person recorded his music doesnt matter to the reviewer if it already happened decades ago so it shouldnt bias the general reviews of an older release in such fashion) as they did in their younger age, even though they definately spend time on it (hey it doesnt take tons of dedication and time to write a good song anyway, James wrote Fade to Black in one evening)
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