"Don't quit yer day-job" is advice often heard.  Well I've done it.  Again.

Last time I was 24 and fed up with being an Engineer.  I wanted to move away from my home area and thankfully my wife was up for it.  We moved to Golden, Colorado on our 3rd wedding anniversary.

This time, I'm 41 and the choice and process were tremendously more complicated by all the things that come along with time.  Inertia, kids, obligations, etc.  So it was a very painful and difficult process for the last 5 months.  I've sort of been absent from here during that time.

I was President of a small and very successful company that I started in 2006.  After 8 years of very intense efforts I decided it was time for a change.  The demands of the business had changed and other circumstances meant this was the time to spring off to something else.

This all comes back to CBGs because I went through some of the most troubling times in the last 5 months.  I've faced off extremely difficult challenges including cancer when I was 29 with greater ease.  I'm a stoic and logical person, but I had what were probably genuine anxiety issues and strong psychosomatic responses at certain points recently.  Last week, I had an evening when I couldn't breathe.

I'm not the type to seek medication or self-medicate with alcohol to cope, but I wasn't sure what to do.  And then I decided to pick up my Rustocaster 1931 license plate guitar.  And all was OK.

So yes, I have quit my day-job and yes, music will be part of it.  I'll spend the next year playing more and likely will build a few special instruments for sale.   Here are a couple things I'm working on now.

8-string Octave Mandolin

I'm almost done with this one.  My choice to use my signature twisted head stock is causing me headaches for stringing it up since I think there will be too much side-loading on my zero bone design nut.  I have some ideas for solving this, but it is slowing me down.

Electric Upright Bass

My 9 year-old daughter and I are making a 1/4 size electric upright.  Maple neck and purple heart finger board with 4" radius.  We're calling this one the Dragon Mace since the hand-carved sections remind me of dragon scales.

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Comment by Bad Finger (Eric) on August 26, 2014 at 12:36pm

Thanks Joe.  I'm 26 days in and with all the "work" I've been doing, I can't see how I ever found time to work.

Well, we did take an 11 day road trip ending at the PA CBG Fest where I played a 30 minute set on the inside stage.  My first time ever performing for a sitting audience.  Was rough, but fun.

Comment by Old Joe Caruso on August 26, 2014 at 12:25pm

Eric, I just got to your post. Congrats on making the decision to move on. Many times, it's easier to do nothing and stay put. You had the courage to do something. Enjoy the sabbatical, man. And as a bonus, I'm told music staves off Alzheimer's so we're all gonna benefit from that ;-)

Comment by Bad Finger (Eric) on August 26, 2014 at 7:58am

Comment by Bad Finger (Eric) on August 26, 2014 at 7:53am

Thanks for the comments guys.  There is something that "brings you back to home" when playing a guitar made from nothing.

The mandolin is going back on the bench this week and next for technical refinements.  I really have pushed the limit of my twisted headstock both in angle and number of strings.  I likely can't use my zero bone design on this one.

The upright bass is coming along very nicely.  The fingerboard is rough tapered and almost ready to glue onto the neck.

Comment by turtlehead on August 25, 2014 at 8:10pm

The crossover strings are sweet.  Good luck Eric. Seems like CBGs have a way of putting things in perspective, whether you are down on your luck or just need a break to recharge the batteries for a while. 

Comment by wes carl on August 16, 2014 at 5:42am

you bet its the right thing to do Steve  most people just don't do it

Comment by Slowpaw Steve T on August 16, 2014 at 2:58am

I had to give up my day job this month but not for music - but to look after my mother in her final years, it's pretty tough but in the future I hope I look back and think it was the right thing to do...

Comment by Bad Finger (Eric) on August 7, 2014 at 11:59am

Just did 4 of the 8 strings to try it out, but I think this crossover idea is going to work out just fine even without trees on the high side.

I have to fix a couple scratches I made when filing down the zero bone to get the action I wanted and then fill 4 drill holes I made for string tree attempts done earlier, but it sounds great and the intonation is spot on.

I think I'm going to have to make a new zero bone since I cut the slot too close to the edge on the bass side.  I might have enough room to slide it sideways just enough.

Thanks to Ron for the great idea!

Comment by Bad Finger (Eric) on August 7, 2014 at 9:09am

Thanks Uncle John.  It already feels good to be out of the pressure cooker.  I started working "real" jobs when I was 19 and kept a full time college course load while putting in 45-60 hours a week as a technician in a factory making ceramic catalytic converter substrates.  The intensity just went up from there.  I did a 4 year stretch of flying over 100,000 miles per year.  The last 8 years doing the start-up thing was the most difficult - especially because my wife was putting in the same or more hours right alongside me.

Now the pressure is far reduced and the quality time with the wife and kids is on the upturn.  Next order of business is going out to the shop to work on that mandolin using Oily's ideas for stringing and I have another guitar idea that I hope screams.

Comment by Uncle John on August 7, 2014 at 7:45am

Yup, what Glenn said and to the way you responded.   Best wishes and a prayer, my friend.

I had to quit doing my old job in 2008 for similar reasons.   I'm healthier and happier for doing it.  And not much poorer.   God bless and enjoy the time, family and music.

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