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ever feel like just giving it all up?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by popthree, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. swampyankee

    swampyankee Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Feb 5, 2015
    Southeastern MA
    I've "given up" on music twice in my life. The first time i was starting a family and finally decided that I just didn't have the time to devote to a band, and my own music was going nowhere. I sold everything except my acoustic. Shortly after, I "gave it all to God", and thus began a 25 year journey of music, dedicated to worship and ministry, honing my singing skills in a choir, playing for kid's Sunday School, doing singer-songwriter stuff in coffee houses, performing for weddings, funerals, nursing homes and prisons. No opportunity was considered too small. I couldn't imagine an amateur career any better than that.

    After I left the church thing there was a dry spell but I still felt the need to play and entertain, so I joined a 60's Rock n Roll band. My talents are mediocre at best, but it's surprising how much work ethic and commitment make up for it. Even though it's sometimes a love-hate relationship, there's nothing like making music with a purpose, and seeing people respond, even if it's not my own stuff.

    Bottom line is, when it seems pointless, maybe it's time to put your talent to use - even if it's playing someone else's music - just to entertain people and bring them joy. Who knows, you might learn more about what makes a pop song so catchy, and be able to write those elements into your own songs.
    Sounds Good and ukepicker like this.

  2. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    May 9, 2005
    I will just add this......don’t feel bad that no one responds to stuff you post on Twanger Central. For some reason, NO ONE gives a crap about that part of the forum. I’ve put up some stuff there and got hardly any views or comments. I’m part of the problem....I rarely go there either!

  3. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Holic

    Jan 26, 2012
    Troy, MO
    I dinked around with guitar for years before finally joining a band in my 20s, post-college. My first band happened to include a tirelessly self-promoting--and pretty good at it!--frontman and we probably got more gig success than our songwriting and body of work deserved. I put some effort into that body of work but that success was pretty much focused on the singer and his personality. I remember feeling more lucky and glad to be along for the ride than resentful or unhappy that we were being listened to by undiscerning drinkers.

    Eventually we kind of burned out; we weren't cranking out much new material and the stuff we h had was wearing thin and we were getting on each others' nerves. New band time. Then new band time again, a few years later. Then the "got married, had a kid, not much time for music" phase. Which eventually became the "have I lost it? Is it time to hang it up and find something new?" phase.

    In that phase, I impulse-bought a used bass and gradually started learning to play it, not sure at all that I wasn't just kidding myself and delaying the inevitable realization that I had enjoyed a brief fling with rocker fantasy land and now it was time to grow up and move on.

    Then I started getting revved up about playing bass. I play bass now with a guitarist and drummer and we are not great. Haven't gigged yet with those guys yet, and I'm not sure that it would go over well if we did. But it's something to do, and I look forward to our weekly practices because I find that it's still fun to go make a racket and try to come up with songs. Looking back, the times I've had the most fun with music have been the times when a group of musicians gathered together have been coming up with material together. If that process leads to gigs, great, but if it doesn't, it's still fun while it's fresh enough to generate some momentum.

    Another thing I've noticed is that there's a seasonal component to my musical inspiration. In the warm months I have a lot of outside work to do, living in a rural environment. In the winter, the shorter days, colder weather and more inside time after dark...all that seems to go hand-in-hand with more playing time and less end-of-the-day fatigue and distraction. I tend to want to play more then.

    So to sum up this rambling mess, try not to box yourself in to having negative-tinged thoughts about this. Keep a musical instrument around and keep seeking out music you like to listen to. Stay open to inspiration as best you can. If it is over for you, that's okay too, find something else...but maybe it isn't over, and you just need to let it ride for awhile until something inspires you to pick it back up with some renewed enthusiasm again.
    ac15 likes this.

  4. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 20, 2012
    Beirut, Lebanon
    No, never. Don't let such thoughts make their nest in your head. Fight them the §¢¥ off. And buy a new guitar!

  5. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Friend of Leo's

    Feb 12, 2010
    I don't play for other's recognition or approval. It's just the love of the instrument and it's connection to the music styles I love.
    I am not a talented guitarist, much less musician, songwriter or singer. Playing is just a great release and fun. When it stops being fun etc, I will let it go. That said, I am totally over gear. No new guitars, amps, etc. Although I have a bond with each of the instruments I currently have, I am seriously thinking about ditching all but a few.
    One other thing: I am retired. The guitar is a great hobby and making incremental improvement in my playing is challenging. Everyone needs a diversion, pastime and interest.
    Sounds Good likes this.

  6. FerruleCat

    FerruleCat Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    May 2, 2017
    Tulsa, OK
    All of the following are different activities:
    • Playing guitar
    • Playing songs
    • Performing music
    • Writing music
    • Recording music
    • Publishing music
    • Getting praise
    • Getting paid
    I would be pretty cautious about letting discouragement in one or more area/s knock out the others, for fear of losing the angle that does bring satisfaction but is momentarily out of focus.

  7. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 27, 2016
    If you don't get any enjoyment out of something, there's no reason to continue doing it. I agree that you should take a break at least if that's the case. Maybe don't sell the farm though.

    But if you are looking for more people to listen to your music and provide feedback, there are lots of online songwriting communities you can join that are totally tailored to that. Posting your music on TDPRI is good, but IMO unless you want specific feedback or want some great recording/mixing/mastering advice from a handful of forum members, people aren't going to listen "just to listen."

    Here are 3 songwriting communities you should check out. In general, I've found that the amount of feedback you receive is proportional to the amount of feedback you give to others. It's kind of like a discussion. (If you're bad at socializing at parties, this can be tough, I'll admit.) - Record an album in February that's 10 songs or 35 minutes long. - Every ten days or so, one or more titles are posted, the competitors write a brand new song written expressly for one of these titles, and the Internet at large is invited to vote for their favorite song for each title. - The goal is simple: pledge to write about one new song every other day for the shortest month of the year. Just because you can! Do what the pros do: show up and start making music.

    Get involved in a community of like-minded musicians who share what they write. If you just write something and throw it out into the void of the internet, nobody is going to find it. It's kind of like social networking; you have to be a part of a discussion for it to work.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    Harry Styron and ndcaster like this.

  8. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    People can stop playing? Who knew?

    To be serious, it's good to have a guitar. Keep one that you can reach for when you're stressed out, or just need to spank the plank (as Billy Gibbons once said). Don't worry about how others respond. I threw a brunch the other day and only three people showed. While a little disappointed, I got to spend quality time with three of my best friends. If that had happened when I was younger I would have been devastated. If you only do something for outside validation you'll never be happy. Does it make you feel good? Does it contribute to your mental health? Is there some joy to be found in doing it? Then keep on keeping on. If not, then go do something else that fills those needs.
    Sounds Good likes this.

  9. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    Sharing personal things like music on Internet forums can be a very insular and selfish experience. People love to post, but rarely like to listen. People crave the feedback and knowing people are paying attention, but again - they often dislike being on the flip side.

    Also, guitar forums have a lot of post and run members that are primarily looking to promote their channels.

    I used to do a great deal of writing (product reviews and industry articles) for a website. I learned quickly that relying on commenters for my gratification was a losing cause. Instead I tried to be happy knowing that somewhere, someone found value in it, even if they didn't tell me.

    How much listening and commenting are you doing, OP? Not an accusation by the way, but it's something to think about. I think these things can be very reciprocal in nature.

    One other thing I'd say is this: get off the internet and go play live, even if it's at an open mic. That connection you're looking for is much easier to make in person.

  10. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

    hey folks, i appreciate the comments. its nice to know that at least some of you guys have similar feelings from time to time. for those who responded with, i play only for me, all i can say is wow that's great if it works for you and you are completely satisfied like that. it's not the deal for me though. not entirely. i realize maybe its a character flaw for me to desire gratification from others, but i admit, that i do desire it.

    i will also add, i did not post this to get people to go out and listen to my material and give me feedback. for those who were spurred to do that, i do thank you for your intended well meaning actions, but this wasn't about that. i'm seriously blue about this aspect of my life and chose to share that here in hopes of hearing from others who have experienced the same type of thing. sometimes it is easier to discuss my junk with people who don't know me at all than it is to share with people with whom i am more intimate. that's probably another screwed up character flaw at play.
    Nickadermis likes this.

  11. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Holic

    Jan 26, 2012
    Troy, MO
    I don't think that's screwed up. Discussing stuff like that with people you're close with can sometimes lead to personal agendas and baggage getting in the way.

    "Stop moping about your music! It's just another excuse not to take the trash out and fix that gutter!" and so on.

    I would also suggest backing away from thinking of this in terms of "character flaws." You are who you are, and apparently you have some musical skills. Having musical skills certainly isn't a character flaw. Just give those skills some time to recharge and refresh. Try not to worry about it. I have gotten pretty spun up about my own lack of inspiration before and it didn't help anything, it just gave me a new tool to bum myself out with. So far, the interest in playing has always come back around eventually. Hang in there and ride it out.
    Sounds Good likes this.

  12. PCollen

    PCollen Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2010
    Man of the World

    I've done it before....twice. But it keeps coming back to me.
    Sounds Good likes this.

  13. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Meister

    Oct 2, 2017
    Luton UK
    I must admit i play for me mainly also like many others on here, and i suppose i try and perfect each song, lick, even note if i can which keeps me at it. But i must admit i do get a bit of a kick if someone says i am not a bad player, or stands outside and listen to me sometimes.

    Still i wish you all the best whatever you decide to do, but is best not to act on impluse i use to alot in my early days and made many mistakes.

  14. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    I put my guitars in the closet and didn't play them for 20 years. About 15 years ago I picked one up one day and have played every day for at least an hour since. The muse comes and goes.

    I did join a songwriting circle a few years ago and can attest to that being as fun as anything I've done in a long time. Meeting other writers sparked the energy. There are also Blues player clubs and country music clubs, EDM clubs. Lots of people forming social groups around music. Those are generally fun if you don't set your expectations too high.

    The songwriting club led to recording guitar tracks for an album, not mine, and that has been really fun.

    Try finding a group you can attach to if you are near a city or just start one yourself and see who shows up. People are the the ultimate adventure.
    SolidSteak likes this.

  15. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Dec 2, 2010
    There is a lot of truth to these comments. It takes energy to be a (good) listener, most of us don't have that in us a lot of the time!

    Hey Mike, I did take the time to listen to 3 of your songs.

    I may be way off base here, but it seems to me (small sample size - 3 songs) that you are watching the world, and commenting through your music on what you observe from your unique perspective.

    The fact that you have a bit of a different perspective from a lot of folks might make some people uncomfortable. That's on them, not you.

    TDPRI is a small universe, I think if you expanded YOUR universe of where you share your music you would find more people that are aligned with how you look at and describe the aspects of life that you sing about.

    Don't EVER give up.
    william tele and brookdalebill like this.

  16. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa of the main attributes of being an artist is dissatisfaction.
    It's what keeps you reaching for more.
    It can wear you down, though.
    I heard a great story on NPR about top athletes, concentrating, iirc, on tennis players.
    They play this crazy psychological game now that hinges on visualization of victory and not even considering failure.
    When they do fail...and they inevitably do...they can just put it behind them and do it again.
    What the researcher found out that he didn't expect, was that a huge part of being a top player is that these people are totally delusional...on a scale far away from us "normal" people.
    They can have everything they believed in come crashing down, then forget it completely and start over again.
    I'm not sure what this means for the rest of us, but there's definitely something to that, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" attitude!
    I think, though, popthree, you may need to figure out just what you're looking for.
    It's not clear to me.
    Success on internet forums?
    Did you want to get famous and didn't?
    Which I don't feel is stupid, BTW.
    There is a whole class of artist that craves a large audience.
    I, for one, would love that.
    I saw a documentary about women who had been successful in Hollywood when they were young and were all bitter about their ability to get parts as mature women.
    It would be easy to say, "If you love to act, ACT! There are plenty of local/regional theaters that would kill to have you on their stage; or aspiring filmmakers who would kill to have you in their small film!" But, to them, there is clearly much more to it. They had the BIG audience, the great seat at the Oscars or Golden Globes...or whatever.
    They are either going to have to find a way to scratch the itch, or stay bitter.
    My first major crisis occurred when I lived near NYC where you can see living legends in any art form any night of the week; and it occurred to me that if a band was playing that was just like mine, I would never go see them.
    I would never be BB...or even close.
    What got me back into it, ironically, was people reminding me how much fun they had coming to see my band.
    The instant little community that arose around gigs.
    I figured, if they liked it so much, I could actually start doing it for THEM, and not just for ME.
    That really turned my whole attitude around.
    But now that is disappearing and....what? I have to go back to doing it for ME?
    It's a sticky one.

  17. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 14, 2013
    hey pops, imo, you need a BAND

    your songs have clear rhythms that are crying out for drums, and your bridge/chorus contrasts make it pretty clear what you're hearing in your head

    do you have people around you can call into the music room and wax some stuff? if not, look into that band-in-the-box thing -- it's a learning curve (I'm still on it), but it's useful as a way of conveying how you're hearing the full piece

    so getting your music into an ensemble setting might be just the thing to perk you back up

    it's hard to grab attention as Nice Guy With Guitar, or Angry Protestor Killing Fascists, unless you have an instantly remarkable voice -- if you don't, people tend to respond more enthusiastically to music with a bigger sound

    charlie chitlin likes this.

  18. Sooper8

    Sooper8 Tele-Holic

    May 24, 2011
    UK- Midlands
    I quit the band I was in on new years eve, because I thought that if I wasn't enjoying it every time we played or rehearsed then it was time to walk.

    Well, I haven't changed my mind, but I am realistic and I do know that we can have slumps or down periods and we can't be 100% committed and loving it every minute

  19. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

    Apr 17, 2008
    Port Moody, BC
    There are a bunch of Mike Kennedys on Reverbnation. Can you give us a link to your stuff?

  20. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting validation and not "playing for yourself", whatever that means. Not a character flaw imo.

    Music and performing are tied together. Part of that is connecting with an audience. I sure as hell wouldn't be gigging to an empty room on a regular basis.

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