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Old 09-09-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
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Giving Up

I'm pretty sure I'd like to give up music production. I've been at this for more than two years now and everything I make still sounds like a pile of shit. Everyone said just to practise and you'll get better over time. Well, guess what? I'm not improving. And everyone tells me that I'm a piece-of-shit amateur for using FL anyway, so why even bother trying? Also, for some backstory, I've been suffering from a major depressive episode for the better part of 3 years now (the entire time I've been producing). I basically lost all my friends and now I'm just pissed off and irritable all the time for no particular reason. The last time I went out to do something was over a year and a half ago. I feel like it might be due to my depression; I simply don't have the motivation to put in the time to make a half-decent track. I rarely bother to EQ things and I generally only take about a minute or two to do my gain staging and mixing. Part of it is the fact that I also abhore making music on computers. It seems ridiculously unintuitive to me. Like trying to write and essay with a straw and some juice. But at the same time, I just can't learn an instrument. I simply don't have the motivation to practise. I've owned a nice piano keyboard for a couple years now because I took a piano class a couple years back and I wanted to have it to practise, which I did at first, and my piano teacher even commented that I was an extremely fast learner. I just can't do it, though. I can't learn anything. I don't have the self-esteem or the confidence to believe that I could ever really do something good. I've also owned a guitar for nearly 6 years and can't play a single song on it. I can't even swap chords fast enough to play a progression. One of my ex-friends, I actually got into producing, and even though I had almost a year's on him, his stuff started sounding better than mine after like a couple months. The reason is he really dedicated himself to studying and getting better. He took the time and really practised his production skills. Which is something that's simply not an option for me. I really love the music I make but it all sounds like shit. Every time I listen to other music, I just feel so fucking worthless because even the simplest pop song has more to it than the crap I can shit out. It got to the point where I actually stopped listening to music other than what I produced myself for about half a year a while back. It didn't seem to help. If anything, it just made me more irritable in general because I love listening to music more than anything. Like really, music is my passion in life and it pains me more than anything to think that I'll probably die having never been able to make beautiful music. It wasn't always this bad, either. My depression has worsened steadily over time as I've been totally socially isolated for the duration. It's like I lost my passion for music and for life in general tbh. I used to have a few different hobbies and dedicated a lot of time and work into being involved with their communities but after the things that have happened, I can't even bring myself to look at things that remind me of stuff I used to love. It's like I've lost who I am. I wake up every day and think to myself, "what difference would it make if I died today?" On an average day, I do absolutely nothing but scroll up and down facebook and become angry at anything that rubs me the wrong way, then I go to sleep, wake up the next day, and repeat. It's a miserable existence. Anyway, back to music, does anybody have any advice that might help me overcome my inability to do anything?

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Old 09-09-2013, 05:50 PM   #2
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Re: Giving Up

I'll clarify anything anyone wants me to after a couple people comment. I'm admittedly very bad at organizing my thoughts in a meaningful way so my OP might be a bit of a jumble.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:03 PM   #3
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Re: Giving Up

Your problem isn't the music production, but rather the depression. Once you get a hold of that, all other things will come into line and have meaning again. It's hard to be motivated about anything when you are fucked up on depression and the irritability ruins your enjoyment of the good things.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:11 PM   #4
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Re: Giving Up

Your depression aside, you say "I just can't be bothered..." and "I'm not motivated" a lot in this wall of text.

Those are your problems. And practice will make you better...but two years of "I can't be bothered..." and "I'm not motivated..." aren't going to get you very far.

Also, the fact that you are shutting yourself off completely from life experience can't be helping. If all you do is stay home by yourself all the time, what emotional experience can you draw on (good or bad) to write a decent song? I write almost exclusively instrumental music and all my songs are still about something.

Honestly, two years is not that long. I've been doing this for about 7 years and DJ'd for a few years before I started trying to make my own music. I'm getting better, but no where near where I'd like to be in a lot of regards.

Making electronic is more involved in a lot of ways than dedicating yourself to a single instrument (not knocking musicians who do this). You have to be all the members of the band plus the mix engineer! There is a lot to know.

If making music on a computer doesn't feel intuitive maybe sell your guitar and give a mid level hardware synth and drum machine a try. Or MIDI controllers are an option as well.

I'm not a licensed medical professional, but it would seem to me that your depression is getting in the way of your music and your life. It seems perhaps addressing that may be a step in the right direction.

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Old 09-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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Re: Giving Up

I bet the music you do isn't as bad as you think,it may be part of your self-image and self worth that is slowing you down.

We can spend a long time looking for meaning in life, i once heard a saying that depression is dwelling, becoming stuck and unable to move forward, at times I have felt like that.Our emotions give power to things that have happened to us and blow them up to massive proportions, the loneliness of modern life, nearly always wired into technology separated from people doesn't always help.

When i have felt bad before i used to go for long walks in natural surroundings, woods or even in the park or something, things improve if you can allow them to, if you think about it, nothing can ever stay the same,we are always changing from one state to another,no-one can stay happy all the time or sad, if things have fucked up, they can get better again,as ive become a little older i have noticed only one constant thing, over time everything changes, i think we give the meaning to life.

music is a healer, use it to help you.

try this guy Mark Ivar Myhre he has some good ideas,
cant post the link dont think i have enough posts,
but type this into google.
Emotional Healing - Alternatives To Antidepressants

lol im not trying to spam, hope things get better soon brother!.

Last edited by esa666; 09-09-2013 at 06:46 PM..
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:34 PM   #6
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Re: Giving Up

Been doing this for roughly seven years also. Two years in, my shit was garbage too. Like Stich said your problem is the depression which brings a lack of motivation. You have to sit there, read things, try things, scrap things, study & learn things for a long period of time, before you break through that what the fuck am I doing wall. If you're not motivated to a level where that process, and the small victories along the way, bring a boost, you're doomed.

So yeah, first thing you should do is seek some professional medical help because, based upon your post you have things going on (like not wanting to live anymore) that supersede not being able to make music on a computer.

Any drug or alcohol abuse going on here?

Just a question.

Last edited by RFJ; 09-09-2013 at 06:56 PM..

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Old 09-09-2013, 06:36 PM   #7
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Re: Giving Up

I agree, it's not your motivation...but rather the blocks you put up inside that make things hard for you to process.

It may be depression or maybe a vicious cycle that involves "perfectionism- procrastination- paralysis."


I find that I internally struggle from this on a day to day basis. In every area, not just music. I have felt a lot of the feelings and emotions that you have felt. Extreme frustration and wonder if life is worth it.

The thing that has helped me the most is to tell myself. Just start and do an absolutely crappy job. I know that sounds funny...but in many ways it helps to remove some of the blocks.

From the article...

Become aware of the perfectionistic audience voices in your head (no, you're not crazy.) You can't learn to ignore them if you don't know that they're talking to you.

Learn how to answer them back (don't do it out loud or people will think you're crazy.) An example would be, "OK it's not my best work but at least I'm finishing it."

Look for role models who are satisfied with "good enough." Note how they get things done and are not looked down on by others.

Set up realistic goals. One way to tell if a goal is realistic is if you can actually do it. For example, "Read two articles and write for 15 minutes before 5:00 tonight" is a realistic goal. "Read two articles and write for 6 hours and write 10 pages before 5:00 tonight" is not a realistic goal.

If you have reached the third "P," drastic steps are needed. Talk to a trusted friend, find a "project buddy," or seek coaching. Do Not Give Up - it is very possible to get yourself out of the paralyzed state and back to productivity with just a little help.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/107714
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:37 PM   #8
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Re: Giving Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by esa666 View Post
We can spend a long time, looking for meaning in life, i once heard a saying that depression, is dwelling, becoming stuck and unable to move forward, at times I have felt like that.Our emotions give power to things that have happened to us,and blow them up to massive proportions, the loneliness, of modern life, nearly always wired into technology separated from people doesn't always help.

When i have felt bad before, i used to go for long walks, in natural surroundings, woods , or even in the park or something, things improve if you can allow them to, if you think about it, nothing can ever stay the same,we are always changing from one state to another,no-one can stay happy all the time, or sad, if things have fucked up, they can get better again,as ive become a little older i have noticed only one constant thing, over time everything changes, i think we give the meaning to life.

music is a healer, use it to help you.

try this guy Mark Ivar Myhre he has some good ideas,
cant post the link dont think i have enough posts,
but type this into google.
Emotional Healing - Alternatives To Antidepressants

lol im not trying to spam, hope things get better brother!.
This is all well and good assuming brain chemistry is in order.

Again based on the OP, seek professional advice before taking a long walk.

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Old 09-09-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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Re: Giving Up

Hey man. I know exactly what you're going through. And you're not the only one. A lot of artists have at one point or another, went through this if they suffer from depression or other mental illnesses.

I have been diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder, Depression and PTSD. I sometimes go through weeks without opening my DAW. But i end up going back to it just because i miss producing. At this point in my life(i'm 31), I've accepted the fact that i'm not going to be a big star producer like how i envisioned myself about 10 years ago. when i got into music production. Motivation is a bitch. But if you're taking the right anti-depressants, they help very much. hopelessness is something i struggle with on a daily basis. and to top it off, i also have a substance abuse problem. So one would think all the odds are against me.

But i've always loved music. If i would've practiced producing as much as i go on facebook, watch netflix or get high, i'd be an incredible producer by now. but I go through stuff sometimes, and i just don't feel motivated enough to even open up my DAW. If it's something you love, just remember that it's a hobby. Don't go into it with great expectations because that's pressure you don't really need. don't push yourself either. If you feel it, go on the computer and just mess around with stuff. That's where i'm at today. I've been on cubase now for like 5 hrs. I don't have anything finished or even close to finished. But i'm enjoying just seeing what's the coolest techno or tech-house loop that i can make. If something really strikes my mind & heart. I'll try to extend it and turn it into a song. if not, hey! whatever. rome wasn't built in a day. lol

Also, if you're experiencing depression to the point where you can't do the things you used to love, maybe it's time you went to a psychiatrist for some medication. I know a lot of people don't like to take medications, But depression is due to your brain not having/making enough serotonin. A chemical that's vital for your moods. If you don't take anything, you'll eventually start hating everything in life. and you'll just want to stay home because you're so hopeless. It's not worth it man, Just go talk to someone. When you're on the right meds, you'll be surprised how long you stay on the computer just messing with music. If it is something you truly love.

Don't ever think that maybe you don't love it, cause if you did, you'd have the motivation to finish a track. lack of serotonin will make ANYONE hate what they once loved. Don't beat yourself up. Talk to a mental health professional and explain everything you've been feeling lately. I hope you feel better man, you can PM me if you'd like more information or just someone to talk to.

-Moe

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Old 09-09-2013, 08:12 PM   #10
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Re: Giving Up

Not kidding, I made a thread like this here once. I found that the reasons for making music were disappointing me because it wasn't 'going anywhere'. After I quit giving a shit, I made the kind of music I needed to make (kind of for therapy) and my favorite labels welcomed me with open arms. Not that that did anything for me personally though, but it made me realize that even if nobody dug what I was doing, no music is bad music.

Sorry for the introspective post, I'm an introspective / sensitive guy which hurts to admit sometimes. Just take some time to treasure your own art. People who need to make art find the means to do so, so in the end nothing can ever be wasted or stupid.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:17 PM   #11
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Re: Giving Up

I can't do this I can't do that.

FUCK THAT. Yes, you can, you're just taking the lazyist's way out and putting it into your head that you can't. No one ever got bad ass at something just by looking at it or talking about it, they fucking DID it. Sorry igotta go all R Lee Ermey on you but all this can't talk is ridiculous. Wake up, do some aerobics, go outside and try to find something good to focus on. I just went for a walk around downtown Austin the other day randomly, walked into a few places out of the blue, and ended up seeing some awesome shows with no prior knowledge of them taking place. Made my week. Now if you're dealing with some social anxiety that'sa a different story that probably needs some professional help...but otherwise, just go out and experience shit. You aren't going to be very excited about jamming out by just sitting in your cumputer chair all fuckin day every day, of course!!

Now cracky, go look up lazyist.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:23 PM   #12
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Re: Giving Up

Only real reason to quit would be if you don't enjoy it at all. All the other stuff just aren't good reasons.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:18 PM   #13
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Re: Giving Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stich View Post
Your problem isn't the music production, but rather the depression.
I respectfully disagree. Lots of depressed artists have made fantastic stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oatbag View Post
Only real reason to quit would be if you don't enjoy it at all. All the other stuff just aren't good reasons.
True dat. If making music doesn't make your life better, then you may as well quit.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:54 PM   #14
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Re: Giving Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackastro View Post
True dat. If making music doesn't make your life better, then you may as well quit.
This is so true. I've had many depressive episodes so bad that i got all suicidal and ended up in psych wards. When i got home, music was the only thing that made me feel ok again. Music and family. Don't beat yourself up if you can't play an instrument. I can't either. That doesn't stop me from doing VERY basic basslines or leads. Get a midi keyboard and just hit keys till u find 3 or 4 notes that make a cool melody. That's how some of the most beautiful music of the 20th century was started. a few notes being played over and over. The Beatles could barely play their guitars when they were writing their first songs together.

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Old 09-09-2013, 10:16 PM   #15
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Re: Giving Up

Get real, See a therapist, get your head and thoughts in order. Then make music. and use that time you were feeling down as a way to express yourself though your music. Who knows what it might sound like, might be all the inspiration you need to make "good tracks" Stop being so hard on yourself and your music and unrealistically comparing it to others. Take a leaf from my book and read the quote in my signature.

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Old 09-09-2013, 10:32 PM   #16
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Re: Giving Up

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Originally Posted by Numerical View Post
cumputer chair

Not sure if this was intentional, but I lol'd.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:42 PM   #17
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Re: Giving Up

tl;dr

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Old 09-09-2013, 10:56 PM   #18
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Re: Giving Up

Good. We dont need people like you producing music. Bye

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Old 09-09-2013, 10:58 PM   #19
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Re: Giving Up

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Good. We dont need people like you producing music. Bye
Ironic.

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Old 09-09-2013, 11:07 PM   #20
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Re: Giving Up

Hey, thanks everyone who shared their experiences and offered suggestions. I really appreciate it, and also how nice everyone is being. It really helps to get other people's input. I have to do lot of thinking.

Also, it's probably relevant to mention that I do suffer from full-blown social phobia along with generalized anxiety, mild agoraphobia, and though I've never been diagnosed as such, I show a lot of characteristics of someone who's Borderline. And I have sought professional help actively for a long time. I've been seeing a therapist since I was 4 and been on and off different meds over the years, though nothing has been particularly effective. I'm not on anything currently, though I self-medicate with marijuana daily. (I did this before I was depressed so I'm pretty sure it's not the issue and it irks me when people only focus on that as though if I stopped, the hand of God would come down from Heaven and lift me out of my sorrow and show me the way)

I guess what I wonder is, would it be better for me to stop making music for the time being until I work other things out? I don't want to develop bad production habits because I'm too unmotivated while I'm practising to bother doing it right. I'm sorry if my posts bother anyone also.

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