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Music made me insane
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#1
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
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Music made me insane

Hello, Very first post here. And I don't really know why I am posting here, other than I enjoy this forum. I am desperate for counsel...

Music has been my life for 25+ years now, and other than work it is the only thing that has ever mattered. The problem is I have always been 100% reclusive and internal about it. I have made countless recordings, years ago on my old Fostex and Tascam, then on my Roland studio, later on computers using Acid, then Garageband and for a while now Logic.
No one has ever heard these.
After a while I get pissed of and destroy them and start again, with new ideas and I go through the cycle again. And, as always, no one hears them.

I've never been in a band, never played with anybody in fact.
Nor have I ever played live.
I have always wanted to do these things of course...just never could.
Why? -- well, that I can answer: Fear.
It's fear, I know that, and I won't sugarcoat it...I am a coward, total chickensh*t.

It's painful, I often feel sick from it. Every year I resolve to get out there somehow, and each year passes...when I was in my 20s it seemed like there was plenty of time left, but that was 20 years ago.

Let me be clear: I am not looking for sympathy or kind words. This is no one's fault but mine. And I am no saint: I tend to feel very jealous towards those who are out there ("why can't that be me?"), I am often very negative (quite certain my playing is crap, even after 25 years of trying; and my compositions are boring amateurish drivel), and I am burdened with a general sense of hopelessness - I feel like am doomed to go...absolutely nowhere.

I have no illusions of fame and fortune. At this point, I'd like to famous at my local coffeeshop.

Well, that's about it. Sorry for the depressing rant.
I guess I didn't really ask for any advice...so:
Has anyone ever witnessed a life-long coward suddenly turn brave? Can it be done?
How does one break through such massive barriers?
It's like I have built an impenetrable fortress, such that no-one could get in, except I neglected to put in a door, so that I could out...
#2
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
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Hi mate I feel for you, it's time to turn your misfortunes around, and I don't think it's ever too late.
There's a big self improvement industry out there and I believe some of it can be beneficial, maybe try to find a local NLP, (Neuro-linguistic programming), and/or Kinesiology therapist, which are basically modern forms of psychology.
That type of stuff has definitively helped me shake off some old negative habits/limiting behaviors.
Best of luck, Cheers, Al.
#3
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
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I don't have a negative self-image, because I don't believe I deserve one.
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#4
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
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sounds to me that your fear of others hearing your music
is the culprit here? If i where you I´d get a got therapist
or some kind of professional to go talk to.
To me you would gain alot by being able to cooperate
with others and letting others hear your work. Why make
music if you cant collaborate and then putting it out there

why are you making music?

what are you afraid off?


just asking! god luck
#5
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
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You can do it! Your the only one in the world that can do what you do.
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#6
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
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Take an acoustic guitar and go to any coffee show with an open mic.
#7
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
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You can turn your life around for shure. You need a big change in your life, thats it.

I had for shure a worse life then yours and got a job abroad for a few years. The timing was perfect. That was in the worst time of my life. Was hired thru internet. I didnt put to mutch thought into it. They wanted me to fix a visa and fly over. I replayed I dont have any money to do any of thoose things. But I was shure it´s just bs anyway. I´ve got visa and airplane tickets sent as mail. I didnt have time to plan my move or anything. I just had to leave my appartment full of furniture and stuff. I later payed people to empty my apartment for me.

Living abroad with people from all over the world started to change me. After two years I had completly changed. You must do something radical to turn it all around.

Not climbing a tower with a sniper rifle though. Take away your worst fears one by one.
Challange your self. Afraid of bugs?
Play with a tarantuula etc. You have a special friend. Start playing your music for him/her, then for other people. If they dont like it. Dont get mad or sad, get better and try to listen to crit. It´s good to give your self crit, but as always it should be constructive crit, dont tell your self you suck. Bashing your self will only make you feel less importent and good. Dont hold your self back. Analyze what can be done to make it all better. If you cant write music, dont write music. One of my best friends cant play anything and never has. He is working in a factory and are happy about that. He has the best taste and sense for good music. I always thought he could be a world class producer. I dont know if he could be a sound engineer, but a great all around producer for shure. There is so many differant jobs within the music industry. For shure you could work with music, but you must find out what you do best, and go for it.

Best of luck
#8
3rd March 2013
Old 3rd March 2013
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Dabble in something totally different and new, come back to music when it calls you. I had similar feeling and decided to become a licensed locksmith. So now no matter what I'll make great money and be able to buy more gear and make tunes
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3rd March 2013
Old 3rd March 2013
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Great advice and collective knowledge abounds...wonderful responses.

Still...
Quote:
Take an acoustic guitar and go to any coffee show with an open mic.
...Oh, if it were only that easy. I've been trying to work up the courage to just that for 2 decades. I never can, and I see no reason I ever will.

Quote:
Your the only one in the world that can do what you do.
This I wholeheartedly agree with.

Quote:
why are you making music?
I can't help it. It's always been there. Nearly every waking minute, every day, for so many years I hear beats, riffs, basslines, saxes, pianos, mandolins, lyrics, etc in my head. It really is distracting.

Quote:
what are you afraid off?
I've been trying to figure this out for so long. I may never know.
The closest I have to come to answering that: maybe I'm afraid to be wrong.
What I hear internally seems right, but I think "it can't be". And what if I let go, put it out there, and it turns out that indeed, I was wrong? Then I have nothing. How would I trust my instinct again?
Seems crazy, I know...I'd give anything be Tom Waites or Lou Reed or Beck or even that guy in ratty clothes down in the subway tunnel, and throw it all out there....
#10
3rd March 2013
Old 3rd March 2013
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeteranNewbie View Post
I've been trying to figure this out for so long. I may never know.
The closest I have to come to answering that: maybe I'm afraid to be wrong.
What I hear internally seems right, but I think "it can't be". And what if I let go, put it out there, and it turns out that indeed, I was wrong? Then I have nothing. How would I trust my instinct again?
Seems crazy, I know...I'd give anything be Tom Waites or Lou Reed or Beck or even that guy in ratty clothes down in the subway tunnel, and throw it all out there....
I think this is what you need to adress! If you havent figured it out by your self
by now once again I say Go talk to someone proffesional.This will also be scary
initally. But if you take the time and energy needed for some counseling/therapy i think you can come a long way
#11
3rd March 2013
Old 3rd March 2013
  #11
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Ever since I was a teenager I have suffered with anxiety - totally crippling anxiety. Fear of waking up, going to sleep, losing my voice and not being able to sing, fear of performing, fear of not being good enough - you get the picture.

I'm sharing this because I can totally relate. I think what helped me was having had these problems at such a young age, I didn't really understand them and considered my behaviour 'normal'. So I always just forced myself into situations I felt uncomfortable with, and I continue to do so, and it helps.

The worst that can ever happen by putting your music out there is someone won't like it, or you'll give a bad performance. That's it. You won't die, people won't hate you, life will go on. I tell myself that all the time and it helps me.

In 8 years I have gone from being a reclusive bedroom musician to performing in front of thousands of people all over the UK. I've released several albums, become a very social and popular person and musician etc. I run three open mic nights in my city and run regular events, and deal with clients all over the world as a sound engineer.Point is - it IS possible, and it DOES get easier. It's a long road ahead but you can't let that hold you back.

Now I recently have had to start taking medication as things have gotten quite bad again, and in the last two years my anxiety has started making me physically ill also. But you can do it without meds - though if you need that helping hand there are meds and there are lots of therapy options. There is no shame in what you're going through and the first step is getting the help you need. Go talk to your doctor and discuss some options.

Sorry for the long response - I just can really relate and I thought sharing my experiences might help :-)

I wish you all the strength in the world!

Sent from my GT-S5570 using Gearslutz App
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#12
3rd March 2013
Old 3rd March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeteranNewbie View Post
Hello, Very first post here. And I don't really know why I am posting here, other than I enjoy this forum. I am desperate for counsel...
[edit: blah blah blah]
I've never been in a band, never played with anybody in fact.
Nor have I ever played live.
I have always wanted to do these things of course...just never could.
Why? -- well, that I can answer: Fear.
WRONG! The answer is that your ego is in the way, and you're making it all about you. Of course you're embarrased about this. You should be! You're not good enough at everything in music to be doing it alone, and you'll probably continue to turn out pointless drivel if you keep at it.

The great thing is that in truth, people care so little about you that they'll forget all your failures if you don't remind them. So go find other people to do something with, and make it about them, and let it go at that.
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#13
3rd March 2013
Old 3rd March 2013
  #13
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Hello Veteran Newbie: We all have problems, just different ones. By the excellent responses so far, we all sympathize with you and understand the situation.
You are not alone, this symptom is common in us artists that have the urge to create.
First impression is that you are (me too!!), a modern version of the great Emily Dickinson.
She did not like to share her stuff, became famous only after her death. We don't want this happening to us, right?
Hey, download a song or two so we all can listen and enjoy them. How many times I bought LPs, just to find ONE good song out of 14. You know what I mean, I bet you have
at least a RIFF that we'll all be happy with.

Look in the mirror and think this: How many people in the world would give up their right arms to be in your position, in your shoes?? Thousands, if not millions.

You just have to realize that, what you have in your hands, is PRICELESS; to use a beat to death but truthful word.
Just do it, and remember we are in your side and wish you success.
#14
3rd March 2013
Old 3rd March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herr Weiss View Post
How many times I bought LPs, just to find ONE good song out of 14. You know what I mean, I bet you have
at least a RIFF that we'll all be happy with.
+1. Look at Women and Children First. 8 complete songs. How many are truly outstanding? The ones that are are classics. Even The Beatles released plenty of filler material.
#15
3rd March 2013
Old 3rd March 2013
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I thought of a few ideas that might help:

1) Go to open mic night and perform some covers so you can get a feel for working an audience. Also this will give you an opportunity to meet musicians that you can jam with- doesn't have to be a serious band commitment, think of it like casual-dating

2) Write a few songs about this topic- maybe do one comedy-style so you can show it to others and be comfortable laughing at it

3) Work on changing your attitude! It's normal to be shy about working with other people, but you're on a whole other level. It's often said we learn the most from working with people whose skills exceed ours. It will only make you better and you've obviously hit a wall working by yourself

4) Stop throwing songs away. Save all the duds- they might contain a killer riff or a bridge you can use in a new song when you have writers' block. Or when a jam mate says "hey let's do a song in ____-style" you might have one that can be used as a starting point.

Good luck!
#16
4th March 2013
Old 4th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
+1. Look at Women and Children First. 8 complete songs. How many are truly outstanding? The ones that are are classics. Even The Beatles released plenty of filler material.
@kafka: Yeah, perfect example, even though 'And The Cradle Will Rock' is worth the price of admission; still sucks!! I personnaly would be ashamed to treat my fans like that. Well, the cover is Great!; kind of make up for the lack of good songs.hahaha
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#17
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
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Again, truly great advice all around. Thanks.
I don't know what will happen...
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#18
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
I don't have a negative self-image, because I don't believe I deserve one.
This is rather brilliant, after reading it over and over.
Odd, that: Obviously, I DO have a negative self-image, because I DO believe I deserve one. And yet, I have done nothing to deserve it. Hmmm...
#19
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
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This moan zone is turning into a confessional.

Are you reclusive in other ways, or just with your music?

If it's in other or all ways, I suppose you should talk to professionals in that area. Not sure anyone here is qualified.
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#20
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray View Post
This moan zone is turning into a confessional.

Are you reclusive in other ways, or just with your music?

If it's in other or all ways, I suppose you should talk to professionals in that area. Not sure anyone here is qualified.
You are right, there are 3 or so threads on the first page.
Quote:
The shrink is in! Hop on the couch and spill the beans.
Taken too literally, perhaps.

But no I'm only artistically reclusive; in all other realms I am rather ordinary.
#21
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeteranNewbie View Post

But no I'm only artistically reclusive; in all other realms I am rather ordinary.
Oh. Well I still can't help you!

Other than just force yourself to do it.

Do you post your music on the internet? That's an easy way to get out there without having to actually get out there.
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#22
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray View Post
Oh. Well I still can't help you!

Other than just force yourself to do it.

Do you post your music on the internet? That's an easy way to get out there without having to actually get out there.
That is at this point my goal. I must do this. Somehow.
#23
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
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Find a local friend to perform music with for moral support maybe at your local GS
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeteranNewbie View Post
That is at this point my goal. I must do this. Somehow.
#24
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeteranNewbie View Post
Hello, Very first post here. And I don't really know why I am posting here, other than I enjoy this forum. I am desperate for counsel...
@VeteranNewbie: Back with more advise.

You made the first step which was in my opinion the hardest and at the same
time the greatest; to join Gearslutz.com!!! The second step, whatever that is, I'm sure it will be much easier.

For many years I used to play piano alone in my room. God forbid if someone
would walk in; instant Freeze mode not Dorian mode. I was very conscious of my weak points.
Do you know how I overcame this debilitating disability??

After visiting a church and hearing pianists of all levels playing in front of the congregation, I decided there and then to join the worship team.
Took the hymnal home, practiced (hymns are basically in 4 voices, not hard at all) and confronted my fears head-on. Even now, if I hit a wrong note or two, NO BIG DEAL!!

Why I didn't mention this before? I did not remember I ever had a problem; it was all but forgotten. Never looked back.

I'm no Nathaniel Hawthorne, but that does not stop me from posting; bad grammar and all.

Your Fear is Nothing but a Paper Tiger!!!





Please, learn from my experience.
H.W.
#25
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
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Umm.... Have you ever posted on soundcloud? its free and fun.... Better your best stuff is heard by someone rather than noone...

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#26
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
  #26
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Hey dude. Please don't take this the wrong way, but it seems that you are dealing with some SERIOUS issues that go really deep, and that what's going on with you and music is just a manifestation of it. I'm no mental health expert but I would seriously suggest seeing a psychiatrist, hopefully they can get you some meds that will help...

I was in a similiar situation, though without the negative image, and I played in tons of bands and stuff...until my early 20's, then I just got so sick of every muso I ever met with the exception of ONE being the most flakey and delusional people I'd ever met, not to mention all the BS that came along with gigging and being in a band and the whole "msuic biz" in general, so I just started playing and writing and recording at home for my own enjoyment and have been doing so for almost 10 years now (I'm 31). Good luck man.
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Ahhh...John Cage. The ultimate troll.
Using and abusing Reason 4.0 (with tons of ReFills) and Logic 9 (with tons of soft synths, VSTi's and plug-ins)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anderton View Post
Just remember...machines don't kill music, people do.
#27
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
  #27
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You don't need to be Dylan or Waits, just be yourself with all the good and bad sides of your personality. You also don't need to be perfect, nobody is.
There are careers in music business that doesen't require playing live, like making production (royalty-free) music. Maybe you should think of trying yourself within that business, if you achieve some sucess it will build your confidence with playing live, too (if you care that much).
Just remember: ruminating about your fears is the most non-productive thing you can do. I've been there and I still am to an extent, being diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and OCD. But, I've managed to become a pro and I make a decent life for my family and me.
One more thing, stop thinking in terms of black and white, because most things are in nuances of gray
Sorry if this post sounds patronising or confusing and sorry for my bad English, I just tried to share some ideas that helped me. Cheers,
Ivan.

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#28
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeteranNewbie View Post
because I DO believe I deserve one.
See, you believe in yourself more than you think...
#29
10th March 2013
Old 10th March 2013
  #29
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"WRONG! The answer is that..."

And don't listen too much to people that in fact do only care a little about you.
Turn from negative to positive.

Helped me after 10 years of not being able to walk, and 14 years of several
hardcore drug addictions.

All the best, man!
And by the way, someone said it's almost never too late.
#30
12th March 2013
Old 12th March 2013
  #30
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do a kurt Cobain, see you later or rather not
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