Not motivated to practice.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by invader3k, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. I'm sure others have gone through stuff like this.

    I had been playing with a cover group (see the thread "Lead singer rehearsal issues (long)"). Anyway, we had shows booked, and we were supposed to have gigs spread throughout the summer. The guitarist suffered a tragic death in his immediate family at the end of May. So obviously, a lot of stuff got cancelled. He is the de facto band leader, and is in the process of getting his life back on track and of course dealing with the emotional stress he's gone through. Completely understandable.

    Supposedly we're going to be getting back together in August to start practicing again. Not really a long way off...but it feels like forever. Anyway, I had all the songs down in our set list before this happened. Ever since that weekend, though, I really haven't felt motivated to pick up my bass and play. I guess without any rehearsals on the immediate horizon, I just don't feel motivated, and don't see the point. I guess I am one of those people who feels like they have to be working towards something to pick up their instrument and play.

    Is something wrong with me? Thoughts, advice?
  2. peterbright


    Jan 23, 2007
    On The Bayou
    Put on your creative hat & write some music. Learn more songs. Practice your chops. Etc.
  3. Nothing wrong there, just a phase. Sometimes I can't put my bass down and other times I can, on that note when you pick it back up after having some down time you feel inspired and creative. Going over the same material can become mundane sometimes, When I get that way I play something else and try new things and listen to other styles and players always motivates me.
  4. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Since this band isn't going to keep you busy, you might either look for an additional project to join or else start one yourself. (You could stand to meet some more singers, no?)
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    One thing you can do is to make a list of things that you want to do and work on your list. Once you write it down, it puts it on you to finish the list and keep adding new things to the list.

    For example:

    1. Learn 1 new song per week (put a deadline on it) (lyrics, melody, chords changes, bass line) and document each song.

    2. Go out and listen to 1 new band each week.

    3. Get a side project going. Set a rehearsal date.

    4. Write a tune for the side project. Set a deadline.

    4. Take up another instrument (piano?) and learn some music theory.

    I'm sure there's many other ideas TB'rs can come up with.

    Or maybe you just need a break from playing. Take a couple of weeks off. Don't worry about not playing. Go do some fun stuff and see how it goes in a few weeks.
  6. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    You know since I started playing in a band my theory has really suffered. Maybe you should practice that for a little while.
  7. Thanks guys. I have basically just taken a break from playing for a little bit. I think I may start trying to learn new songs, when I feel up to it, in addition to brushing up on the current set list. Our "band" doesn't plan on practicing again 'til early August, so I am not exactly feeling rushed right now.

    I admit I am partly bummed a bit too, because a couple guys who ditched my old band, I see are now looking for a sound guy. Their current band is playing all over the place, and seem to be pretty successful. Meanwhile, over a year and a half since they ditched us, I've played a total of three gigs, and nothing seems to have really gone right or been really fulfilling for me musically since that time. I am not trying to be jealous or seem whiny...I don't harbor any personal ill will against them (though I obviously am not going to go out of my way to go to their gigs or anything). It's just been really frustrating, since before they bailed on my old band, I was really happy with where things were at. Now it just seems like I've been spinning my wheels, first with my old band, now with this project. It doesn't help that I live in a relatively small area, and there just aren't that many options available.

    So real solution to these issues, but I felt the need to vent a bit.
  8. Just to give a little update..I did practice for about 45 minutes last night, and felt good. I had to laugh at myself, as I had to re-learn a couple basic riffs. Basically just played through our first hour set list. For the first time playing in over a month, I felt good, though.

    I think one thing I need to do is just ignore the local music boards for a while. I'll drive myself nuts looking at other band's upcoming shows and looking for "bassist wanted" ads if I don't. Seems like everyone else is playing out all over the place (duh, it's summer)!
  9. happens often to me , every few weeks, but here its more so because of the gear i have. it like to play through the bridge pickup soloed but its so noisey that way in my room :( however at the jam pad it is not so the problem is with my house's electricity anyway
    but whatever i have played a lot of better basses you know they just feel a lot more solid
  10. Thunderthumbs73

    Thunderthumbs73 Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Nothing wrong with you. The fix:

    a.) Join another band. It's not a crime to play in two at the same time.
    b.) Jam with other folks for the fun of it.
    c.) Check out some new artists on youtube/iTunes/etc...
    d.) You must have a band you really like. Start a tribute band to do those songs.
    e.) If you had an original idea to two, buy yourself a recorder and try to make some songs out of them.
    f.) Don't think of practice as "practice" think of it as playing, or "at least I'm doing music right now than laundry, soul-sucking job, etc, etc, etc..."

    Don't let someone else or another situation hold such sway over your music that without them you are nothing or inconsequential.

    Best to you.
  11. Thunderthumbs73

    Thunderthumbs73 Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    I mean this in the most positive of ways: if you can find a multi-track recorder and have access to the internet, you could potentially be inspired in the most remote, back-woods locations in Montana as you could in the smack-dab middle of Manhattan. Perhaps moreso.

    Don't rely on other people to determine for YOU whether YOU are a musician or not, and the quality of musician that you are or can be!!!

    Best to you.
  12. Good point. Thank you.
  13. I think you may already know this, but if I understand your post, you may be getting extra noise from your instrument's pickup due to other electrical interference in your room or house. It's common if the home is older or has bad wiring. Of course, your instrument could have bad shielding, too.
  14. I checked up on that thread now and then while you were going through all that and judging from all the 'drama' involved there, it sounds like you expended a lot of energy.

    You deserve a break. :bassist:
    Decompress for a bit. At the very least just pick up your bass every day for 15min even if it's just noodling.

    I don't have a gig right now. I'm a single parent and barely have time to eat, let alone practice. I don't have ANYTHING musically oriented to practice for or look forward to even if I did have the time, but I try to play little every day just to keep myself moving forward even if it's in small steps. I actually feel like I'm getting behind if I don't at least do something on my bass for a little bit everyday (scales, noodling, play along, learn a song, tweak, etc).
  15. right! i know its more to do with my home wiring-earthing, although i would really want to shield my bass better but the shielding mega thread doesnt explain some things and i am a little scared of taking off all the wiring and soldering it back again you know
  16. Krispy


    May 21, 2007
    NJ USA
    Have you considered scoping out a few open-mic venues? I play in a group that works 2-3 times a month and that's what they're comfortable with. I choose to play more than that, but can't really split my schedule with another full project.

    Rehearsing alone gets old fast, so I get out and sit in when I can. I've made some great contacts, found a couple of buddies I played with a decade ago and generally just enjoy going out and playing with zero pressure. It's good for the soul, keeps the chops up and really works the improv muscles!!
  17. Thanks. That's kind of how I feel. I'm not eager to do the whole "post on craigslist/message boards searching for a new band" thing right now. Basically I figure I'm going to wait to see if this project I had been playing with starts moving forward again, or try to wait to be asked into something. I'm not interested in dealing with the same kind of band drama garbage, only to have things get totally derailed once again. It sucks that I haven't played any gigs in almost a whole year, but that's life. Could be worse.

    Like someone else said, I may try to scope out some open mic/jam night type things, when I feel up to it. In the meantime, I'll probably just try to practice a little bit each day or so, just to keep my chops up, but without any pressure on myself.
  18. Great advice, i was going to suggest something to the OP but i ended up finding some advice for me too...

    TB is the best musician forum around (heck! even gui****s and drummers think so).