Is 30 Too Late To Start a Band?

Reaching the milestone of turning 30 years old is a big mental wake-up call for many individuals who still want to achieve specific goals in their lives. But is being 30 years old not too old to play music and search for the rock and roll lifestyle?

There’s no age too old to start a band. If you set your dreams, and priorities and focus on areas like networking, skill development and band management you can achieve success within a few short years.

By connecting like-minded people with a passion for music, your band will have a smooth and goal-orientated start.

Check out The MEGA Starting a Band Checklist to start your journey the right way!

What Are The Stumbling Stones For Starting A Band At 30

Most of the challenges that 30-year-olds are mainly dealing with are mental walls we build ourselves.

Hesitation and Self-Doubt

The greatest stumbling stone for over 30 starting a band is the fact that we constantly doubt whether we’ll be good enough. So we rather stand back and dream for years without taking the risk and jumping in by testing the water and trying out by starting a band.

If you can get over the self-doubt and realise that you’re not getting any younger, then call that one musician buddy, and make an appointment to start practicing together.

Bravery and courage are all you need to go into this new hobby head first.

As a young musician, I always respected gentlemen older than me stepping on the stage and exposing themselves musically even though we are all still learning and growing.

I dare you. Get out of the dreamer phase and become the person that you are dreaming to become.

Life is too short to always wonder “What If?”

De Wet Kruger

Available Time

As an adult with a career and full-time employment, you are dealing with different challenges than your 20-year-olds still having loads of time to practice and play around.

Time is worth gold and we need to manage the time we have available with a careful overview.

Invest time in what you feel will enrich you are a human being.

The feeling of standing on the stage and having an audience singing your music back at you is invaluable and, in fact, extremely humbling. You only then realise that you invested all your time to enrich and colour the lives of others.

It all starts with one or two practices per week and one performance as a long-term goal.

Go for it! 🙂

This article was written and published by De Wet from on 10.10.2023. The content was stolen from me if this blog post is seen anywhere other than on my website.

A musician struggling with doubt (Photo credit: Canva)

Goals and Direction

“I am learning an instrument, but I have no real goal in mind with it” is the first step of missing the plot. You will, 100% guaranteed, get bored and the instrument with gather dust.

Set your personal goals in order. Short-term and long-term. Give direction and an action plan to your dream.

Practice hard to start playing with a friend. Then add a 3rd band member and set a date for a short 3-5 song gig. It can all happen in the course of 3-5 months! Imagine being on stage in 100 days already. It’s totally possible, but only by doing and not by dreaming.

A helpful article to scan through would be Goal Setting for Bands and Artists to continue thinking big.

Lack of Social Support

As a 30-year-old, I don’t have the same friendship circle size of 10 years ago. It’s like you lose more friends than you actually make.

When you have a big social circle, it’s much easier to fill venues with friends and family, but as you get older, they have other things to attend to. You basically run out of people to spend regular time with.

It’s often the 20-year-olds that follow their favourite bands and artists whereas the 30’s are rather chilling at home, listening to the music over YouTube or streaming it.

My solution is to perform with buddy bands and don’t arrange all your performances alone. Network with plenty of other musicians so that you can also build your fan base with theirs.

I wrote a helpful post about How to Build a Following and Finally Fill Your Venues that contains the exact solutions for you!

Balancing Band With Family Time

Except for the fact that being in a band is very time-consuming, it’s also the special family moments you’ll often need to sacrifice or be home on time again to spend time with the family.

I have respect for the comrades that are currently managing this balance. Respect!!

I’ve heard from many of you following the How to Balance Your Band Commitments With Your Personal Life article I wrote! Well done 🙂

Feeling That It’s a Teenage Hobby

I have a friend performing for a living, telling me every time I see him that he still does have an adult job.

Now I understand what he means, but he performs in front of huge audiences at least twice per week. He has reached the highest level of musicianship there is.

On another story, when I made a joke to my girlfriend the other day that becoming a DJ must be so exciting, she looked at me as if I was occupying myself with hobbies that’s rather relevant to teenagers than to 30-year-old males.

The opinion of other people is generally that if you have not reached the maximum level of musicianship at the age of 30, you should rather spend your time with something you are already good at.

I have respect for people’s opinions. It does not mean that I need to agree with it.

Dream hard and work hard to reach those dreams. It’s your life and you are the one to make things happen.

A recording musician (Photo credit: Canva)

Over 30 Audiences

Let’s be honest. The over-30 audiences are lazy and would rather enjoy their time at home or with their loved ones. So putting a band together and getting all your mates out to follow you week in and week out is highly unlikely to happen, except if they are all still single and very energetic.

I’ve found that the acoustic, seated gigs work well for over-30’s, especially if you only perform once every month at the most.

Don’t expect a following of fans, but rather try to build audiences with the locals.

My suggestion is to perform once per week in different towns in your surroundings where audiences have the option to stand and sit down, and also to eat from a menu before or during the performance.

This gives you the chance to have regular, passionate fans in 4 towns in your area which is already a fan base of at least 100-200 people. That already makes you a golden booking for a local festival, because you’ll bring at least 100 people in.

If you are serious about performing and getting paid for your efforts, check out my Steps to Reach your First Paid Gig – From Zero to Hero to see how you can make this happen within a year!

What Are The Advantages of Starting A Band for Over 30’s

There’s good news! Starting a band over 30 also holds many advantages that the 20s don’t have.

Having Enough Cash

You certainly won’t have the same financial stumbling stones as people in their 20s who just try to keep their heads above water.

Generally, people in their 30s have a stable income with perhaps something saved away already. This will give you a head start and accelerate your start in the industry.

A Stable Career

You are probably well-settled and established in your career which creates stability and routine in your life. That’s exactly what an uncertain band life needs.

You will have the time and freedom to try out and experiment with genres and different band roles before you decide on what you’ll stick with.

If you are still learning your instrument, I recommend that you find a band now already so that you can grow with them while you practice the repertoire.

If you are wondering when would be the right time to join a band, check out these helpful articles I published:

Friends At The Right Places

Inside the first few years of working actively in your career, you certainly have the chance to build connections and get to know people with high positions or in areas that could suit your band well.

For instance:

  • Venue managers
  • Graphic designers
  • Sound engineers
  • Studio producers
  • Podcast hosts
  • Journalists
  • Other musicians and people with manager characteristics.

Having a few of these jokers in your pocket already places you in a good position in comparison to younger people with less life experience.

A Mature Perspective

As a 30+ year old, you understand people better and can make rational decisions around your band:

  • You’re more experienced in dealing with business.
  • Your social competencies are developed.
  • You offer the industry a stable approach.

Songs Written To a Wide Market

In general, the market for 30+ year-olds is broader than for the younger generation. The music is applicable to a wider range of the target market and audiences enjoy the longevity of mature music for extended periods of time.

Musician duo practising together (Photo credit: Canva)

Your Audience Has Money

If your market also falls under the over-30 region, you can be guaranteed that they will also have money to support your music.

Whether it be streaming your music, buying concert tickets, buying merchandise or contributing in other ways, the 30+ market will surely have some cash in their pockets, especially the single successful individuals.

Young Enough To Learn And Grow

Yes, 30 years old is still young enough to be able to learn new skills to apply in your life in general. I still apply these skills every day in my life which you can read all about here.

What Other Opportunities Are There for Over 30’s in the Music Industry?

Even if you don’t feel up to performing music live and being out for late nights on a regular basis, there are also other opportunities for you in the music industry.

Some of these are:

  • Songwriting
  • Sound engineering
  • Artist management
  • Session recording

Here are some related articles that will guide you to getting a foot in the door:

If you have any experiences or thoughts about your stumbling stones, goals or alternative ideas, please add them in the comment box below.

Until Next time, Rock ‘n Roll!

De Wet

The dream started during a school tour at the age of 15 years old. One that might take a long time to reach. De Wet was 16 years old when he got his first bass guitar as a gift from his dad. The guitar was found, hidden under boxes. As if it was waiting for its owner to come by and pick him up. He practiced every day to improve and to teach his fingers to dance to the music. After finishing high school, he played in various bands where he collected valuable experience, before being signed by a record label as an upcoming band. He reached success at age 22 when he released two albums with his band, which also included televised music videos for publicity. By age 24, he co-started management, artist promotion, and booking agency for successful and upcoming musical acts.

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