Feeling (mostly) Uninspired

Discussion in 'What's left to Talk About?' started by RedLesPaul, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    It's been a LONG time since I've been able to get in the right head space to write original music. For most of my life that's been what playing and singing has been about - original music.

    Many factors have been contributing to it and I've been raging against it and getting frustrated for quite a while now. It definitely played a big part in my leaving Root 150.

    I have actually been playing more guitar lately and I can see some improvement. I haven't sung a note in almost a year (NOT good!!!), and I've barely sat behind a drum kit in at least 2 years (REALLY not good!!!). I MUST do better in those areas.

    OK, so what am I going to do about it then?

    I'm going to try to commit myself into at least learning a new cover song every month. Ideally I'd also like to record it, but that might be a bit too optimistic given my usual schedule (plus the holidays are coming). What do I mean by recording? I mean the whole thing, drums, guitars, bass, vocals, mix it.

    So, wish me luck I'm going to try to get started next week.
     
  2. zisme

    zisme Well-Known Member

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    Good luck!

    The inspiration to write definitely comes in unpredictable spurts for me; often separated by lengthy dry spells.

    ...sounded dirty...

    I'm hopefully just recently starting to come out of the last one, which has lasted most of this year. Currently working on some new stuff with my band that I feel pretty good about

    Hope to see some results of your efforts!

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
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  3. kungphugrip

    kungphugrip Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    good luck,dont let those drumming chops fade.
     
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  4. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    That's a noble ambition you've committed yourself to, one which will help you retain your musical chops if you follow through with it.

    Any artist has to regularly practicing their craft if they want to retain their hard won skills. Learn a song, any song, it doesn't matter. The point is that you're "exercising" your talents and "flexing" your musical muscles. Keeps them from getting soft.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  5. stevebway

    stevebway Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, Good Luck !

    Having grappled with this my whole life I will in as few words as possible lay out my point of view.
    To be inspired is to know inspiration as a topic. Because it is in the realm of feeling, understanding the feeling mechanism and the mechanics in it helps you to become functional and not wait till the epiphany hits which is not often. To be successful, to say nothing of being prolific you need to have some control over this.

    If feelings are behind the creation, then FEELING them is very important. Feelings are in the BODY. The body is a sense organ for emotion and depending how alive or dead the organ is AND the willingness to feel is the extent to which you can use this as data to fire your creativity. Read up on feelings and the body, the feeling states and the "energy" in each one.If you are not a meditator, consider trying some form of it. Quieting the mind gives you a sense of a mind with less in it so when the thoughts start coming you have a stronger awareness that stuff is happening, things are being stirred up AND your process of reflecting on them and acting on them.
    Many people I talk to have no appreciation of the above.They are not at all aware of the world ( and war) inside .They think songs just happen. Maybe they just do but if you want to start some process, don't just wait for the "light" or lightning bolt to hit you. Try meeting it with the awareness, also welcoming it.
    Doing covers and discipline are good and working with process and the vehicle ( you ) will reward you with a vital and interesting new way to approach generating material.
    Don't make it like school where some authority figure ( you , now that you're in charge) pushes you to fulfill some requirement or output level for you. Really get in to this and learn about the inner you where the stuff comes from.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  6. sabasgr68

    sabasgr68 Well-Known Member

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    Randy, rather than "going to try", why not just "going to get started"? Remove that "to try to", it sounds better. Stay positive, man, you´re very talented so don´t let it waste. What´s holding you? Do you want to play/sing for BIG money and fame, or is it more as a personal rewarding hobbie?

    Anyway, good luck and get to it, man.

    Reminds me of myself when not feeling that good (emotionally, or when I knew I was loosing physical conditions for not exercising) and didn´t wanted to exercise, because I knew I would feel better after that. You can´t help but feeling better after doing some exercises. This is to say that sometimes we have those periods when we avoid doing things we know will make us feel better. Maybe because we´re humans after all?

    Again, get to it, Randy. Connect with yourself ASAP.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  7. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    You're too kind.

    I use the word "try" knowing that I'm stretching myself pretty thin and I HATE not delivering. So due to work commitments and home commitments I can only commit to trying to follow through on this endeavor.
     
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  8. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    You can't avoid what comes naturally to you. You'll get back in a groove once you spend a little time there.

    I got to go see my dad play piano last weekend. He played Bohemian Rhapsody among many other favorites, so I got to sing impromptu and some girls in the crowd sang back up!
     
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  9. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm hoping that I get into a bit of a rhythm without stressing about trying to write. Just the activity of learning a song, playing all the parts, singing it will make me feel like I'm doing something musical.

    This past Saturday I did record our lead player in Root 150 doing "Blackbird" on a nylon classical guitar and I'm going to do the vocal on that one of these days and mix it.
     
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  10. big daddy

    big daddy Well-Known Member

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    I feel your pain. This summer, I did ZERO recording. Yes, I was having a nice time tooling around the White Mountains on my motorcycle, but there was definitely something missing in my life and it was music.

    Best of luck man - I'm behind you 110%!
     
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  11. tonebender

    tonebender Well-Known Member

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    What helps me now is a nice long session listening to songs by the artists that inspire me. I mentioned them in the "influence" thread that popped up today or yesterday. A few Steve Earle CD's and I get in the right mood.

    Also I think it would help me if I had a songwriting partner. I have co-wrote a couple and when you can bounce ideas back and forth it helps.

    I have no recording skills or equipment. I wish I did.

    Good luck and let us hear what you come up with.
     
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  12. stevebway

    stevebway Well-Known Member

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    I'm not big on the words and the concepts around try either. I respect the struggle. People think because songs are fun, the writing is too and it's usually quite the opposite unless you connect with the Muse which is ecstatic and very unusual.
    "Try" to avoid using the term if you can which is an exercise in intention itself. Do, or not do or realize the struggle, the inner turmoil.It's fascinating but it still sucks. Writing is not good because you sit there pulling shit out of nothing or just sit there.
    " How do you feel as you're sitting there ? " Feel IN to your body, see how you're breathing. Does it BOTHER you that you're (seemingly ) no longer writing anymore but simply wasting time "feeling" ?

    Try at least to stop trying and focus on doing or not doing.
     
  13. needhelp

    needhelp Well-Known Member

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    I typed and typed but decided to delete the novel and just wish you the best with your journey. I and my trusty Trio learn a song a week. I garner a great deal of satisfaction in recording a semblance of a song and really enjoy the focus it takes to get there.
     
  14. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    Having said all of that I actually do have at least 3 old original songs to record from the back catalog that were played live but never recorded. @PsychoCid may have a particular interest in them given the time frame and genre.
     
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  15. manco53

    manco53 Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear you're still on the path after the dissolution of your most recent project. I think I was on a little AGF hiatus when it went down so I missed all the details. However, I can imagine it was not an easy decision to part ways.

    I started "trying" to sing in a band back in the spring. It has definitely helped work out that muscle and the guys are all pretty respectful in terms of letting things progress and not trying to rush. Singing and playing is something I've always wanted to do. Never really had the courage before. It's good to practice though. I'm not sure if I will keep pursuing this band or put my other band on hold, but I think another 6 months of doing both is about all I've got. Time will tell, I reserve the right to change my mind :grimacing:

    Keep at it. The time I spend creating music and playing with my band mates is precious. At this point in my life, I couldn't see not being involved in anything musical. Good luck and hope to hear some groovy tunes!
     
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  16. jimytheassassin

    jimytheassassin Well-Known Member

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    Good Luck finding your Mojo! It sounds like you've got plenty of drive left, but just need to make the pathways to creativity more accessible than ever. I have found as I've grown older, and had a family, that the ways I engage with my creative self have had to change a lot. I've had to learn how to redefine the size of my goals into smaller subdivisions, in order to take advantage of smaller amounts of "free time". That might not be your challenge, but I hear you when you say, you've had enough and you're going to make a change. As an artist, I remember this quote from a friend. We make art when the pain of not doing so is too great.
     
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  17. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, exactly. I have small pockets of time for it and want to make the most of it. I really can't function with zero music in my life. I mean I do, but I'm not right at all when I do.
     
  18. LongBlackTie

    LongBlackTie Well-Known Member

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    I totally feel you. I started back at graduate school last year while working and had a kid this summer (that makes 5), lost my music room during the house rearrangement, and pick up a guitar maybe once a month. It's hard to find time and inspiration.

    But it's just a phase. Good luck in your endeavors!!
     
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  19. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everything @stevebway said, and I'm glad he brought up meditation. I meditate daily. Actually, I try (there's that word again) to meditate twice a day, but sometimes life gets in the way of that.

    After reading Steve's post, I started thinking about direct corollaries between meditation and songwriting, or even guitar playing. Obviously there are numerous benefits to musical progression that are subtle to ineffable, and far too difficult to describe efficiently in this textual format... but the biggest thing that hit me was; meditation and songwriting are... pretty much the same thing.

    It's first best to shitcan the idea of 'try', but also... get rid of 'do' while you're at it too. I don't know if you meditate, or know anything about it, but there is no objective in meditation. You're not trying to 'accomplish' anything. The ideal result of meditation is to reach a state that is referred to in my practice as 'Samadhi'. The foundational level of consciousness.. The 'ground floor' so to speak. There is no thought, there is no mantra, there is no you... there is only being.

    It doesn't always happen, but when it does, it's pure bliss... it's euphoric... In fact, it's the euphoria that kicks you right out of that state! So the trick is to experience the bliss, be the bliss, without being conscious of yourself.

    Sounds pretty easy, doesn't it? :ROFLMAO:

    The thing is; you can't try to hit Samadhi... You can't get "good enough" at meditating to make it happen at will.. You can't even go into it with that objective in mind, or hope that it happens, because that kind of internal chatter will prevent anything from happening. You just have to get out of your own way, and disregard your own thoughts. Eventually, after you've ignored yourself for a sufficient amount of time, your brain will get tired and stop talking... And then you're on your way.

    It's the same way with songwriting, or any creative endeavor, really. All the best songs I've written (meaning the songs that I enjoyed the most, not the most popular) were the ones that I 'wrote' when I wasn't even trying to write a song.

    You have to get out of your own way.

    The purest music is written when there is no conscious involvement at all. There is no guitar, there is no player, there is only the music... You're barely even aware of the strings, or your amp, or the space around you... Just the the tones... the vibrations....

    You're not thinking "Should I throw a minor third in here?". It just happens... And it surprises and delights you!

    You're not writing the song at this point, you're drawing it out of the ether. Like the sculpture inside the block of marble, it was already there.

    I don't know if this going to be a blow to your ego, or not, but the universe already contains everything (including the music). That's pretty much what 'Universe' means. But don't feel too bad about yourself, because you and the Universe are the same fucking thing! :)

    Removing yourself, your ego, all judgement and identity from the equation allows the creative flow to issue forth. It's not 'channeling', it's part of what you are.

    One of my favorite lines, that I often use in reference to my experiences building guitars is: "In craft, you reach a point where doing and being become the same thing". And for me, that especially applies to songwriting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  20. stevebway

    stevebway Well-Known Member

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    I think people resist the idea of the MIND writing and not THEM. I have for the longest time framed my involvement with music in mental and emotional terms. Meditation gives you the experience of the mind working.It also tunes you into the inner turmoil in the body itself. The thoughts and sensations are what gets you to write, keeps you writing or prevents you from doing it ( practicing too).
     
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