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Mr. Torture

Continue, or call it a day?

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This is my question I ask myself everyday. I'm not a professional song writer, I don't have a full band, I'm 52 years old. There is no outlet to showcase my music and nobody cares about it anyways. I get the occasional like from a buddy, but I feel my era is long gone.

I cannot compete with bands signed to labels like Frontiers and that's the level of quality I expect from myself. I end up with hard drives full of mediocre material. 

It's a lot of work writing, performing, mixing music. So much that it takes the joy out of it. Years ago I could spend every waking moment working on songs, mixing etc. Now I have to force myself to work on it. Anyone else feel this way? Maybe it's just me and I need to give it up. How do you keep going? Where do you showcase your music? Do you get results your completely happy with? Do people actually like your stuff?

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You'll never write a great song if you're afraid to write a bad one.

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Well, ignoring your forum name for the moment... 🤣

My opinion is that making music should only be for YOU unless it's your J.O.B. (which could stand for Just Over Broke).

I feel that, if you're enjoying the creative process, then it shouldn't matter if anyone else cares!

That said, we all change.  I moved to the Pacific Northwest with the full intent of creating a "real" music studio along with about $134k worth of gear.  Then I had everything basically taken away in 2009 and now only pick up a guitar once in a while.  I still love music, but the thrill of making anything to be shared is gone.

Maybe you just need to take a break until your feelings truly settle?

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9 minutes ago, craigb said:

Well, ignoring your forum name for the moment... 🤣

My opinion is that making music should only be for YOU unless it's your J.O.B. (which could stand for Just Over Broke).

I feel that, if you're enjoying the creative process, then it shouldn't matter if anyone else cares!

That said, we all change.  I moved to the Pacific Northwest with the full intent of creating a "real" music studio along with about $134k worth of gear.  Then I had everything basically taken away in 2009 and now only pick up a guitar once in a while.  I still love music, but the thrill of making anything to be shared is gone.

Maybe you just need to take a break until your feelings truly settle?

This.

It has never been easier to share music, but the only one that matters is the creator.  

Seasons of life change, if you don't enjoy it right now you can always take a break and the passion may return one day.  

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19 minutes ago, bdickens said:

You'll never write a great song if you're afraid to write a bad one.

Ha, I have enough bad songs for every member on this forum!

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19 minutes ago, craigb said:

Well, ignoring your forum name for the moment... 🤣

My opinion is that making music should only be for YOU unless it's your J.O.B. (which could stand for Just Over Broke).

I feel that, if you're enjoying the creative process, then it shouldn't matter if anyone else cares!

That said, we all change.  I moved to the Pacific Northwest with the full intent of creating a "real" music studio along with about $134k worth of gear.  Then I had everything basically taken away in 2009 and now only pick up a guitar once in a while.  I still love music, but the thrill of making anything to be shared is gone.

Maybe you just need to take a break until your feelings truly settle?

Every break I take just puts more distance between me and music.

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14 minutes ago, Mr. Torture said:

Every break I take just puts more distance between me and music.

Then perhaps it is time to move on to other things in life.  If you don't enjoy creating it then find something else.  

I used to carry a guitar around with me everywhere now I rarely have time to touch them as work and other hobbies took over.  

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25 minutes ago, craigb said:

I still love music, but the thrill of making anything to be shared is gone.

That's exactly how I feel lately too. I do find myself re-visiting old recordings and I enjoy using Ozone to help me remix and remaster them to sound as good as they can, but I'm pretty much done with recording. I don't even use my monitors anymore I just use headphones. Maybe it will change. I hope it does because it was such a huge part of my life. I'm not exactly sure why I'm going through this phase. It's the first time ever.

I don't have much advice for the OP other than what's been said. I personally find music to be an addiction. If I'm in that zone I want to do it more and more and get obsessed. If I get busy and drawn away doing something else I find it getting harder to get back in to it as I get older.

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32 minutes ago, Shane_B. said:

That's exactly how I feel lately too. I do find myself re-visiting old recordings and I enjoy using Ozone to help me remix and remaster them to sound as good as they can, but I'm pretty much done with recording. I don't even use my monitors anymore I just use headphones. Maybe it will change. I hope it does because it was such a huge part of my life. I'm not exactly sure why I'm going through this phase. It's the first time ever.

I don't have much advice for the OP other than what's been said. I personally find music to be an addiction. If I'm in that zone I want to do it more and more and get obsessed. If I get busy and drawn away doing something else I find it getting harder to get back in to it as I get older.

Good post, exactly how I have felt the past year or so. You are not alone.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Torture said:

I cannot compete with bands signed to labels like Frontiers and that's the level of quality I expect from myself. I end up with hard drives full of mediocre material.

It's the curse of high expectations. I can sympathize. It helps to keep reminding myself it's OK if my music doesn't sound as good as the music of professional musicians who are professionally recorded and produced. I can still enjoy doing it, just like I used to enjoy playing football or basketball even though lots of people were better than I was.

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Mr. T, I am of the same generation as you (I'm 53), and have had moments like this. Fortunately, they were transitory.

For me, the most energizing way to get back into it was this: I had other folks come to me for music/recording stuff, and being creative on behalf of others was incredibly helpful. This was not for money or profit, just as a friendly service to people I knew.

One example: my girlfriend does voice acting with an online troupe (they do satirical old-school style radio plays), and I started helping her record and edit her voice-work. Nothing complex about it -- I break out my AT4040, she reads her lines, and then we select the better takes, edit the results down, I do a bit of dynamics and EQ processing, and send the audio file to the director. Simple stuff, but I really enjoy it. Using my expensive gear to actually create something that other folks will listen to is great. We don't make a cent from it, of course, but that hardly matters. It's nice to be productive, even if it is simple work that doesn't bring a paycheck.

Another example: I know quite a few folks who do historical reenactment, and during the pandemic lock-down when those groups were unable to get together, they started making videos for YouTube. These were mainly short documentaries or profiles of various members and the historical stuff they were working on (making garb or armor, practicing medieval crafting, etc); or performance videos featuring the bardic arts (ancient songs, monologues or old stories) -- basically the kind of stuff they did in person when the world was normal. A few of those folks were aware that I did soundtrack music as a hobby, and asked me to create little bits of intro music and themes for these videos, and I must have done about 20 or 30 of them over an 18 month span. Again, not for money or fame or anything, except some heartfelt thanks and maybe 200 views on YouTube.

But it was incredibly energizing. Most of these were maybe 15 or 20 second bits of simple scoring -- really basic stuff, maybe four or five instruments and a single musical motif -- and didn't take much time at all. But working on a "commission" for someone else that requires you to match a specific theme and fit to a certain video timeline, etc, was a lot of fun, and the creative energy it unleashed carried over to my own work in a big way.

One of the themes I did was actually over a minute long and quite complex, and turned out so well it ended up as one of my showcase pieces on SoundCloud. Doing that one had some significant side-benefits above and beyond being creative: a) in the course of making it, I delved deeper into a few libraries that I hadn't really used properly since I got them, and that proved very beneficial, and b) it was a really tricky mix, with tons of stuff going on, and getting it right took a lot of trial and error, all of which was a great learning experience.

So the best advice I can offer is: see if anyone you know needs a bit of help with something musical, or something that requires recording. Even a 20 second triviality can be enough to get the the fire lit again. We make music for ourselves, ultimately, but I am firm believer that making stuff for other folks rebounds back and makes us better at what we do.

Rob

 

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Those who are successful fail more times than most people even try.

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Posted (edited)

Mr. T,

I just turned 69 in Feb of 2022 and I still make music with the virtual band Citizen Regen.  I strive to get the best mixes/masters I can but I'm 100% sure they are not professional level and may never be.

I personally don't do social media but our singer Ken posts our songs on FB. When a song is done I have three music related friends I give the Soundcloud link to. We also post here in the Songs Forum (as Citizen Regen). We get a few positive comments and occasional suggestions/thoughts about the songs. And after a few weeks those songs pass into oblivion. 

We posted our first batch of songs as an album to Spotify/iTunes/Apple Music just because we could not because we expected to become aged rock stars. 

So, I'll continue to do what I do as long as my bandmates will have me.

As for you, whose to say if you should continue or call it day.

 

Edited by Bapu
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I am in the same boat, but it's a familiar vessel and it will eventually land at an inspiring beach.

I have hardly touched my DAW or any instrument for months. It happens to me every few years and passes in its own time. Particularly galling is the fact that I have 2 or 3 projects almost finished, including 1 with the legendary Mooch4056 playing sax. 

Maybe next week.

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1 hour ago, 57Gregy said:

Mooch4056

Wow! There's a name I haven't heard mentioned or seen in years. Or is he here under a different name? He was a pretty unique individual and very friendly and outgoing. I think I'd recognize him if he were here.

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1 hour ago, Shane_B. said:

Wow! There's a name I haven't heard mentioned or seen in years. Or is he here under a different name? He was a pretty unique individual and very friendly and outgoing. I think I'd recognize him if he were here.

I visited him once (when he was single) and I was in his wedding party when he got married.

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I just texted Mooch. Let's see if he answers me.

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Hi. I turned 50 last year, and Am the singer in Bapu's Citizen Regen. That has been one of the things that have kept me going, is working with friends/others. 

I have had a writers block for my own music for over 3 years, but started my 1st new song a month ago. 

Before that, when it came to my own projects, I opened a project, played with some plugins, and closed it again.

I have done a couple of covers lately, just to work on something a bit different than my music. (A new one is almost finished.) That has also helped with my creativity.

Try to find a different angle to doing music, like doing a cover, just to do it.

All the best,

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6 hours ago, Mr. Torture said:

Ha, I have enough bad songs for every member on this forum!

Awesome! That's great to hear.! You have a good head start on most people.

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13 minutes ago, bdickens said:

Awesome! That's great to hear.! You have a good head start on most people.

Hey! I resemble that remark I'll have you know ;)

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