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Paul Bush

Motivation slump

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Paul, I also have dozens of tunes, some 30 years old, in various stages of DAWifcation. Usually about ten "active" during a year, and I begin 7 or 8 new ones each year. It's mental.

 

Need inspiration to get working?  Listen closely. Do you hear that grinding metallic sound? The grim reaper sharpens his scythe. All for you.

Or its a grim guy using Reaper as his main DAW.

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On 1/26/2020 at 4:09 AM, Christian Jones said:

Get stoned then come back to it. 

And the next morning realise you spent five hours listening to the same two bar drum loop over and over.

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7 hours ago, emeraldsoul said:

21. Epstein didn't kill himself

I got this from a local motivational person who holds get away groups (for a fee) to sit around and talk about all of this stuff. She isn't a musician type, but is a creative type. Once designed costumes for theatrical work...this might be coming from a decidedly female approach if there is such a thing on this subject. I attended one of her groups and I was the only man there. Felt really out of place. She sends out these group emails....mail chimp or similar. That's where I got that list from. 

Motivation and creativity are two different things. I have motive to create but have been in a slump lately. A lot of that is simply lack of time. I'm making music all the time, just haven't been "creating" music. It's difficult to tell someone to "get better" when they're sick or to "get motivated" when they just aren't feeling it or to "get creative".  

One thing this person said that made a little sense was not to hold such a high standard to your creativity. It's the  process that is fulfilling even if not much seems to be coming from it....so I sat down last evening and started something. Had no idea where it was going. Still don't. It sounds like something that could be something and that made me feel good. My standards are such that I'm not happy with the end result of 3/4 of what I've done. I like the process and then work to an end result. Don't look at me for an example here. I just do what I do. 

If you don't start you will never start :)  If you don't begin you will never finish. If you begin don't forget where you were. Take notes if you have to. I am not a  notes taker. For me, If I can't come back to it at least two or three times a week to work on it, then the project eventually ends up in the pile forgotten. I simply hate projects that drag out over months and really can't endure that. I'll just go to another idea rather than torture myself over something that isn't happening.  It's in continuing the process that I think keeps me going. One mediocre idea might have taught you something you can use for a better idea later.

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7 hours ago, Wibbles said:

And the next morning realise you spent five hours listening to the same two bar drum loop over and over.

You almost make this sound like a bad thing! 😆

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On 1/26/2020 at 1:19 PM, Jesse Screed said:

Paul, I hope you find the key.

According to Faith Hill:

The secret of life is a good cup of coffee
The secret of life is keep your eye on the ball
The secret of life is a beautiful woman
...
the secret of life is in Sam's martinis
The secret of life is in Marilyn's eyes
The secret of life is in Monday Night Football
Rolling Stones records and Mom's apple pie
...
The secret of life is there ain't no secret
And you don't get your money back

The secret of life is gettin' up early
The secret of life is stayin' up late
The secret of life is try not to hurry
But don't waitDon't wait
...
The secret of life is nothin' at all

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I experience this kind of slump on a regular basis. The one habit I developed that has helped somewhat -- I try and work really fast when creating the initial sketch or draft for one of my orchestral pieces. I try to unhook my self-critical faculties as much as I can, start with a simple idea, and just get to the end without second guessing or redoing anything, leaving all sorts of mistakes and crappy bits in my wake. But at least I get something tangible and finished. I find just getting something down and basically complete is often the biggest hurdle, even if it's mainly just a big mess. 

There are often enough good ideas that it can be salvaged, or at least some of its nice bits can be used to create other projects.  

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My mindset when making a song usually goes:

Have what seems like a great idea in my head; record a single line melody so that I commit the idea; play it back, think it sounds rubbish, and then get demotivated; slug away at fleshing out the sections; play it back and think 'hey, this actually sounds ok'; continue until I've finished/given up.

Don't give up; something good will come of it, even if it isn't immediately apparent

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Paul, don't let it bother you. It doesn't mean you can't. It comes and goes and I don't know anyone that can say I'm going to write a great song and does it.  Sometimes it comes all at once pretty fast. Sometimes in small segments that you piece together that makes musical sense. It's an ongoing thing IMO and changes quite frequently. My advise is when you get an inspirational moment stop when ever you're doing and capture that inspiration before before it dissipates . Music is fun. If you can't write something play something if you don't play listen to something if music doesn't fit the mood or situation go fishing a date eat Becan 

Stick any two of your ideas back to back and try to connect them

Change them to resemble each other 

do whatever comes to mind and record it for future reference. It will come to you.  

.

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21 hours ago, Christian Jones said:

Cool thing about it is the song is already written and you just have to do your own take on it, and not verbatim either.. it's a cover, so just take the general gist of the song so people know it's that song and then make it your own. Doing this keeps you productive and working even when temporarily burnt out from your original stuff, and it's fun and cool and you get to keep honing your songwriting skills.. it just happens to be on a cover.

Yes, my jazz vocal idol Vince Jones does this with old jazz standards, he also changes the words a little but keeps and enhances the authenticity of the era, he has a quartet of brilliant musicians with him. Frank Sinatra did the same thing. Michael Buble also does it. Some of the paid midi files I have bought of old jazz songs are programmed really well, just need a bit of editing here and there or add drop midi tracks as desired.

I just realized that this thread is about motivation slump but I am too motivated to help there at the moment. At the end of the day, if it's that bad, through some sheets on the keyboards and guitars, walk out of the studio, close the door and put a date on the door 2 weeks away, don't go back in until then. Now what are you going to do?

Edited by Tezza

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2 hours ago, Tezza said:

[throw] some sheets on the keyboards and guitars, walk out of the studio, close the door and put a date on the door 2 weeks away, don't go back in until then. Now what are you going to do?

Depending on who you are - your predilections and predispositions - an artist's inability or deprivation to channel their creativity in a healthy and productive manner would lead to either a boring @ss mundane pos existence or the Third Reich. 

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Have a two, four or eight bar idea?

Take that idea.

Loop it so that it lasts eight or ten minutes.

Run it through stuff like Adaptiverb, Backmask, Dumpster Fire etc.

Add at least two different reverbs.

Throw in some automation for the sends.

You now have a nice chilled out ambient piece.

 

Don't feel embarrassed about that... I personally find it quite liberating despite the end result being some boring @ss mundane pos :D

 

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6 hours ago, Christian Jones said:

Depending on who you are - your predilections and predispositions - an artist's inability or deprivation to channel their creativity in a healthy and productive manner would lead to either a boring @ss mundane pos existence or the Third Reich. 

... or veganism.

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1 hour ago, synkrotron said:

Have a two, four or eight bar idea?

Take that idea.

Loop it so that it lasts eight or ten minutes.

Run it through stuff like Adaptiverb, Backmask, Dumpster Fire etc.

Add at least two different reverbs.

Throw in some automation for the sends.

You now have a nice chilled out ambient piece.

 

Don't feel embarrassed about that... I personally find it quite liberating despite the end result being some boring @ss mundane pos :D

 

Don't forget the video.....

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, paulo said:

Don't forget the video...

Thanks for the link @paulo :D

I contacted the bloke who did that video to ask if he wanted to use any of my music for any of his future paint drying videos and he said it was too boring.

Oh well, at least I tried.

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18 hours ago, Amicus717 said:

I experience this kind of slump on a regular basis. The one habit I developed that has helped somewhat -- I try and work really fast when creating the initial sketch or draft for one of my orchestral pieces. I try to unhook my self-critical faculties as much as I can, start with a simple idea, and just get to the end without second guessing or redoing anything, leaving all sorts of mistakes and crappy bits in my wake. But at least I get something tangible and finished. I find just getting something down and basically complete is often the biggest hurdle, even if it's mainly just a big mess. 

There are often enough good ideas that it can be salvaged, or at least some of its nice bits can be used to create other projects.  

I do the same thing...try to flesh out an idea in one evening or maybe two at most. I should have something to work with by then. The idea at the time isn't to "go fast" just to get the ideas down even if things are a little shaky in the mix. I was up till midnight last night..don't laugh, I'm up at 5am.....I layed down maybe 10 tracks. I find a tempo and throw a drum midi in that has a groove I like for my idea chained to BFD3. The drums suck as a fit but they will get me there in keeping things together and having a decent vibe to it. Enough to move ahead. I figure I can go back and edit the drum midi when the idea(s) are down.

I usually play in both an audio and a matching midi track for the beginning idea. To get ideas flowing I might copy that midi to another track and  pick another complimentary instrument or arpeggio. For lower parts thin the midi data down or use the midi filters in Cakewalk to make space for the different parts using the same midi...you won't ever be out of time that way. If the midi is a simple melody, you can usually play a complimentary part to it. 

In the past I ran into trouble in trying to make things so complex, big mixes, everything begins to step on everything else. I still like complex, but most music begins with basic ingredients. You don't need to write the entire thing out. Everything doesn't need to be a solo. People don't buy recordings because they are complex.

If I'm only recording audio, I'll have a melody in my mind or maybe even just an underpinning to something else. IOW something to play over...that often works well too. The funny thing is I might only take a few evenings to get the ideas down but the mix can take a Loooooong time to complete before I'm even almost content with it. I listen back to a lot of crap I made, but it was all a learning experience and fun.

Edited by Starise
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12 hours ago, Christian Jones said:

Depending on who you are - your predilections and predispositions - an artist's inability or deprivation to channel their creativity in a healthy and productive manner would lead to either a boring @ss mundane pos existence or the Third Reich. 

 

5 hours ago, Wibbles said:

... or veganism.

LOL-muttley.gif

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