You never know where and when an opportunity will come, but it’s good to be as ready as possible before the opportunity arrives. I’ve been practicing and playing every day, working to get stronger, getting my skills back slowly but surely. I’ve been putting out feelers with people I know and those I have met through friends, just to get some different kinds of playing time in. I’ve been lucky in having some people give me a chance without even having heard me, and it makes me feel better to be able to meet if not exceed whatever their expectations were.
I’m willing to make some sacrifices. It takes a commitment to use up whole evenings every week to go and play, not only from me, but from my family as well. It’s far less effort to sit in our family room watching a movie with my kids, but this gets me out there, meeting new musicians that might provide other playing prospects and reminding me of the fun and enjoyment that is the result of the somewhat tedious personal practice sessions I’ve been having. I also have to be willing to drive a ways for these chances, and to put myself in a position to be rejected if I’m not good enough.
As far as being able, I’m finding that there is a “riding a bike”-like element to this. Perhaps it takes a moment to find my balance again on a particular genre, but I haven’t totally forgotten how to do it. Yes, there are many things that I need to practice to make my response and reading better in all kinds of music, but there is not just an on/off switch. It’s a gradual reawakening, a memory unfolding, an “I remember this” moment that occurs and then blends into my overall experience.
It makes me wonder why I waited so long, and how far I can take it.