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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Wurlitzer » Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:52 pm

Don Chishiotte wrote:First of all: dont even THINK about anti-depressants.
They are not,and never will be,your solution to your problems.

No matter what people say about it,really,forget aboout anti depressants,I am not going to enlist reasons why,but this will suffice:they will likely harm you,in the meantime your problems are still there. Drugs are always your lie.

They are drugs,even when the doctors say 'no no,you will not become dependant on them'. Leave them alone. They are full of cr...

You want to face your problems and not lies,said by you or others. You want to know yourself.
Only by doing that you will start to get somewhere.

This is an age-old debate with strong positions held by both sides. I respect your point of view, as like me you are obviously talking from considerable experience, but I disagree about the drugs.

I think you have a valid point that if a person JUST relies on drugs, and doesn't do the psychological work necessary to really change their thinking habits, any improvement is likely to be temporary and to fade as soon as the drugs are stopped. It is scandalous, in this respect, that so many GPs will just suggest a course of anti-depressants without even stopping to look at the underlying problems.

However, that's not the only way drugs can be used, and it's not the way they should be used. Any really responsible GP, psychiatrist or psychologist will recommend antidepressants only as ONE PART of a total solution, in combination with whatever form of therapy is appropriate and works for the patient.

In my case, I went on antidepressants about six months after I started psychotherapy, after discussing the pros and cons in detail with my therapist, took them for just over a year, phased them out over about three months, then continued with the therapy. They helped enormously.

What you have to remember is that one of the strongest players in this drama is habit. You can sort things out until you know exactly what you're doing wrong, and exactly what you should be doing right, and then STILL get up each day and do the same things wrong. This can then become self-perpetuating because you end up "beating yourself over the head" about it - you actually feel WORSE because not only do you have the negative patterns, but you're a hopeless and powerless person for not being able to change them.

Habit is incredibly strong, and one of the things antidepressants can to is "suspend" negative habits of thought and behaviour.

Now this is where the combination with therapy comes in. What's crucial is that WHILE the negative habits are suspended, you work your arse off putting positive ones in their place. You need to really know, before taking the tablets, what it is you're trying to achieve, and be damn sure you give it everything you've got, realising and anticipating that it's going to be hard to hang onto once you're off them.

For me, it worked. And just to take the point further - I was on Seroxat, the one that's causing all the uproar in the USA (under some other brand name) with people taking it and apparently going loony and committing mass murder, getting horribly addicted and stuff! That story didn't break until after I'd come off them, of course.

One thing I do find when talking to other victims of depression is that a remarkable number of people take these things and completely ignore the very clear warnings about how they should be taken. In particular, your withdrawal MUST be gradual, and overseen carefully by a health professional. I took a gradually reduced dosed over a matter of months, all the time monitoring things with the help of my therapist, and had no problems.


Just one thing: don't EVER take cannabis while on this stuff. But that's a story for another time . . . :shock:
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby James Perrett » Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:19 pm

If you feel that your depression is more than just a general low mood then I would seriously think about talking to someone. My wife trained as a psychotherapist and still practices part time. I often find it amazing how she will pick up on clues someone gives (not necessarily in a therapy session) and find that something has happened to them in the past or that they are currently in a particular problem situation. Wurlitzer has really said it all as far as I understand it - whether you use drug treatment will totally depend on your situation but it is vital that you talk to someone like a psychotherapist because, untreated, depression can be very damaging.

Cheers.

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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:54 pm

wurlitzer wrote:

What you have to remember is that one of the strongest players in this drama is habit. You can sort things out until you know exactly what you're doing wrong, and exactly what you should be doing right, and then STILL get up each day and do the same things wrong. This can then become self-perpetuating because you end up "beating yourself over the head" about it - you actually feel WORSE because not only do you have the negative patterns, but you're a hopeless and powerless person for not being able to change them.
Habit is incredibly strong, and one of the things antidepressants can to is "suspend" negative habits of thought and behaviour.''




You are talking from considerable experience, too.
The situation that you describe about keeping doing the wrong things notwithstanding the fact that you know what are the right things is very real to me.
I have been accumulating a lot of useful knowledge (to me),but obviously I am not professing I do all the right things at the right time...quite the contrary. I have been beating myself for not applying what I know a lot of times.
I am still caught up in habit.

But I can also say without uncertain terms that I came a long way. I have learned to be brutally honest with myself,and to others,without beating myself while I do this.
Tons more self respect,I have never had any 'till 2 years ago.
Quite a bit more. I understand most of my fears and consequently I tell them to sit down.

I have tried seroxat once ,really almost all drugs once. Did not want them to be in my life,to me whatever they do it's not relevant,but I obviously respect your choice,although I really believe you are allright now more because of your strong will than the drug.

For me it may be a lot slower but I think there is less 'artificiality',so to speak,because, whether drugs or professional help,I dispense with it alltogheter,a bit 'cause I cannot even pay a professional,but above all because,as I see it,I have more than sufficient means and 'knowledge' to make it myself.
I dont know,I have always been on my own,it's probably more second-nature for me..

This thing of not wanting to do what you know you should,at first was uncomfortable,because as you said you beat yourself for that too.
But now I understand it's a totally logical thing,it's part of the process,there is a progression between the two extremes,it's not a single jump,so now I accept it,not with resignation,I accept it for the moment being.

That moment could last several years. Still,there are improvements that I can clearly see I am making. It's a bit as if you have a very capricious and annoying child..it steals some jam from inside the jar,and you keep saying to him 'dont do it'.
The child will do it anyway. And/or have some strange reactions,for example he will not want to talk to you.
Then you subside. You stop telling him the same thing over and over,you just let him.
He will notice. That will be a disruption to him. He will get sick of jam,and just stop it. True,in the meantime 6 months may have passed.

He will probably think 'I dont need all that jam?! bleah...' Afterwards he will not even be interested in it anymore.
I see it as a natural progression. But of course,that works for me,and the task of the individual is exactly that,to try and see for yourself.

In the meantime the books I read help me a lot,not really because I want to be a mumbo-jumbo sort of guy,but because they are such beautiful books written by those guys,they have a place in my heart and I can say that Bruce did more for me that the community mental health group.
But dont get me wrong:it did not work for me only because I made my choice,not because I am disputing whether they are woth pursuing or not...

But going back to our point,yes....HABIT is really the first thing that makes someone's life miserable.
Or,with awareness,it can be one's virtue.
But if we dont change ourselves in some way (while still being ourselves) nothing will. :headbang:
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:32 pm

but to get back to Davros:the psicotherapy guy or lady do not have a clue about how good your music should be.
You yourself say that the tracks dont come togheter (you would be surprised about how many writers experience that,wheter it's you ,me, Mozart or Mc Cartney). And that depresses you. Dont you see that this is one reason of it?

Dont generalize and think that there is something wrong with you,learn to be systematic,break things down and be composed and work toward fixing that problem. Musical memory problem? Only you can know what the real thorn is,and this is what I was talking about,to know yourself. You can do it! Just trust yourself and start getting informations about it,there is tons of stuff out there about it,but only you can spot it and read it.

Books are not there only to pass some time with. I have books written by Shoenberg. I play rock music,with a classical edge. I am not getting ready to write symphonies,I just want to write good music.

I would say that you tackle this problem without overgeneralizing. The secret of personal success,personal power or whatever ,lies in understanding what makes you unhappy and start doing something about it!
Accept where you are. Dont look at what you should be doing ,look at what you do.
How much real skill you have in music? be brutally honest,but DONT beat yourself up.

I dont know what is the music you want to make. If it's for example,very melodic and structured music,there are no shortcuts. You will have to find the sources and dedicate yourself in forging your skill.

Dont rely on the pc,on the eq,on the drum machine,this stuff is great but only secondary to the vision of the musician. They are only little means.
Right,first you have to understand what you want exactly,then you will have to find and trying ways to get where you want to get.

As I see it,learning how to modulate for example,gave me immense joy after I sat down for 3 days several hours a day and after being determined to understand how it works.
I have already felt better,and I still feel better,because I have finally learned something I longed for so damn long.
I knew what was one of the shortcomings in my music,now this is fixed and I am working on other skills.

It's funny to notice in a Mozart biography that he used to sit at the piano in a cold room for ages,while Mendellsohn was getting up at 6 in the morning,study this 'till midday,go for a walk for 20 minutes,going back to his piano and practice some more hours,in the meantime it would be 7 in the evening and he would play some pool 'till 10 and go to sleep etc.
When you read that you will understand that it was very hard even for those guys,but we think all they did was just getting pen and paper and they would write a symphony in 2 minutes.

Certainly,there are people with a lot of talent...but for us ,we simply have to work our ass even more,'cause we do not have such and such amount of talent. But we have some,and we should nurture it.

I am not trying to put you down you see,only being honest..I have accepted all this already,it's clear to me,and I know that there is certain things I have to do in order to make the music I want to make.
Gotta go now...I did not do my ear training yet :)
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby mickyd » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:00 pm

Been there too many times !
However; listen very carefully - You have to keep your head above water , else you'll drown in a pit of despair.

I've been extremely fortunate enough to meet someone who completely changed my life. I owe her bigstyle - she's been at my side for the past 14 years and is an inspiration.
Thing is my confidence level is now such that I believe I can do anything - and have done many things !!!

Hang in there matey - believe me...something will turn up trumps for you.

Such is the way of the world.

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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Marbury » Sat Feb 19, 2005 1:13 pm

Its cold comfort that I am not alone in this.Thanks for all the encouragement people.

I am currently writing a dance anthem track for a library and have to make the deadline.This is new territory for me so I am struggling with the "big sound" I need.I feel under pressure every minuite of the day to go and make it work but I get afraid that I will fail to get what I want and this puts me off even more.The library thinks the track has huge pottential, which puts me under more pressure not to fail so I get even more wound up.

Has anyone ever sat up one night and started a track they think is excellent and exciting only to get up next morning and its not as good as they thought, or the track has lost its appeal after a few listens? Its hard to nail that "magic" that we are all searching for.Little, subtle things that we can't explain that work.

I often get low when I am going through a dry period and I am listening to a very good track/album.This sometimes makes me feel even more inadequate.

Another big problem for me is distractions.I get so sidetracked with the many many things that go on in life.Because of the clutter we have in our lives, the more time is taken up.Life has speeded up and we have more "things" at our disposal to take up our time.Perhaps I would come up with more ideas if were on a remote Scottish Island with just a guitar and a piano.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Sat Feb 19, 2005 2:14 pm

'we often dont live our dreams for fear of failure. Doubts are our traitors'',or so said some famous writer,I think Shakespeare.
You think too much. Consequently you worry too much. That creates fear. This is what I was talking about,namely,one or 2 recollections of the idea,and then there should be only action.
Just do it. If those people asked you to come up with a track htey have reason.

They would not have asked you if you were crap. You have to learn to believe in yourself,and that will take time. All these fears are self-created. You may not agree with me now,but you will in a near future.

Talking about the other problem,I have it too,it sounds fresh and exciting the first day and less so the next because on the first day you listen to it over and over or you play it over and over and by the next day you are so used to the various sounds that you think it's boring. I would say dont listen to the track over and over.

How many times we have heard of guitarists that 'keep one of the first tracks because there is more feel', many times even if they would have been able to play the solo more precisely if they would have practiced it.

Those are the things in music as in life,that I call 'Ungraspable' and no matter what ,no-one,including myself can report a precise explanation of why these things happen. For this reason (because I have the same problems,and I have heard of a lot of famous musicians admitting the same),I am learning to toss away all intellectualizations when I make music,and I try to get into some sort of intuition-mode...although when I practice or study I reverse back to theory for the purpouse of tecnique improvement etc.

It's very hard for me to talk about such things,as for anybody,but as a sidenote I would suggest you check out David lucas Burge 'relative pitch training'. perfect pitch is not too relevant to me now.
The reason why I go on about ear training is that in Burge's method you learn to listen in a lot of different ways,and I find this a training in perception of all aspects of music really.

Anyway,I am sure I have been bragging for 15 minutes now.
Good luck ;)
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby JSB » Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:46 am

I've had my moments like everyone else too. I got some money together and went travelling around the world for a year and didn't even take a guitar with me. I can't start to describe how I felt when I got back but it was good. What seemed such a big deal before was, in essence, nothing and it's remained that way thankfully. Now to up and fly away might be out of the question for some people but I have learned this much from it:

Unless there is some chemical imbalance going on then you are pretty much responsible for the way you think and feel. Shakespeare said: 'There is nothing good or bad but our thinking makes it so.' Good point. ( He also said: 'Romeo Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo?' when a simple 'get yer bones out here...now!' would have sufficed so what does he know?) But you get the gist.

With music we get far too attached to the outcome. Very few people (if any!) can totally, accurately produce what they 'hear' in their heads and this causes all sorts of stress. Imagine expecting a baby to come out exactly the way you'd imagine it! Frankly you would be more surprised if it actually did but with music we seem intent on getting that 'perfect' take to the point of excluding anything else that might come out instead. We should learn to accept it and use it and move on. Using the kiddy analogy again, it's always nice when something surprises you and turns out different but still basically good. ( Although I think my mum might disagree)

The other thing is this: Who cares? Who gives a s**t? The world has waited 25 years for your music...another few months won't hurt. No one is going to bang on your door and point a gun at your head. Imagine your plight as a Newspaper headline: ' Man screws up Guitar Part...Again!' Hardly going to move the earth is it. I think Jordan's tits might get more (naturally!) column inches.

Life is short. Take it seriously and you suffer. It's over one day. You can polish your car as often as you like but if you knew someone was going to drop in the crusher at the end of it's use you would treat that car in a totally different way. Music should be liberating. It should be a release from all the usual stuff. It should purge the soul. Listen to Bach and see what an effect it can have. It should set you free.

Whatever..... DON'T make it a ball and chain! 8-)

PS Thanks for leaving this thread here, Martin. Obviously a musician in charge of things here.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Guest » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:53 am

Hi
I think you are dependent on getting it right.
Only way I got over it is was not to take it seriously.
If it comes it comes,if not to hell with it.
This showed me my love for music because I keep coming back for more.
Success isn't dependent on your talent these days.Market has been cornered and is waiting to turn.
good luck and let us hear your stuff.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Axe L » Sun Feb 20, 2005 12:51 pm

Excellent post/question, Ian, and excellent contributions (and decision by M.W. to leave herein).


1. I agree about the statements re: the anti-D drugs above.

I was briefly on anti-depressants myself (4 weeks, over 10 years ago), enough to gauge how dependant on them I was, and could become. I weened myself off, from four pills a day week 1, to three pills a day week 2, two pills a day week 3, and once a day week four. I'm never taking those again (though sometimes I feel like giving in, as I must say, they did equalize my emotional spectrum quite nicely).

Bottom line: they are to be used as a life saving, not life coping, device. Had Jaco been on anti-D's, he'd still be alive today.

2. Sunshine and exercise yes; by all means (hard to do in the winter though).

Not to sound pompous, but don't forget the benefit of exercising scales, arpeggios, etc. Once I got in a practice routine (neatly laid out on paper), I would shake in withdrawal if I missed a day. It became as vital to me as transcendental meditation, and in the process, it makes you a better, more confident musician.


3. Meditate; as regularly as you can.

Yoggis recommend meditating the first 10mn you are awake (minimum). I've never been able to do it (I hit the snooze and roll back to sleep). Instead, 6-7pm (or anytime before dinner) seems to do it for me. Sorry about the cliche but here goes anyway: "Just do it!"


4. Change that which is most toxic in your life; plan for and accept the cost (of such change), be it loss, pain, time and/or money.

I forever thought it was unsurmountable, until I willed myself to give up on everything but my "dream" and let go of material possessions, toxic relationships and friendships and past "accomplishments". Remember the musical adage: "Que va piano, va sano." (He who goes softly/slowly/carefully, goes safely/sanely).

Note 1: I've no children of my own so I realize it's easy for me to say. Still, I have children around me, and I know they would rather you be happy, than miserable. There must be a happy medium between their needs, and your aspirations.

Note 2: Re-assess your relationships and friendships. Expurge all toxicity there. Aim to surround thyself with positive energy only.


5. Organize, and discipline thyself: pick a time and duration to be depressed, engage, disengage and move on to enjoy the rest of the day.

During bouts of depression, I realize nothing significant changes say, between 8am and 8pm - so I allow myself to engage in depression at 8am and 8pm daily... for a couple of weeks, after which I realize nothing's changed between Monday and Friday, so I pick those days and 8pm to engage in depression, and take my mind off the depressing topics the rest of the week.

Also, if I felt great on a certain day, I ask myself what (if anything) has drastically changed between "that" great day and "this" depressing day. If nothing's changed, I say to myself "it's just a matter of perspective" and "it's just hormonal, everything's the same."

Note I don't say "everything's fine" yet, but I am working on that ;)

Peace.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:40 pm

quote

''Bottom line: they are to be used as a life saving, not life coping, device. Had Jaco been on anti-D's, he'd still be alive today.''


:headbang: :headbang: :headbang:
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:42 pm

;)
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:57 pm

quote:
''1. I agree about the statements re: the anti-D drugs above.

I was briefly on anti-depressants myself (4 weeks, over 10 years ago), enough to gauge how dependant on them I was, and could become. I weened myself off, from four pills a day week 1, to three pills a day week 2, two pills a day week 3, and once a day week four. I'm never taking those again (though sometimes I feel like giving in, as I must say, they did equalize my emotional spectrum quite nicely).

Bottom line: they are to be used as a life saving, not life coping, device. Had Jaco been on anti-D's, he'd still be alive today.''


if you have been 4 weeks on anti depressants and you claim they have sorted your problems,then you were not depressed.
I am not talking about a 4 weeks panacea,I am talking about a complete or partial self-rieducation.
That takes probably a lifetime,with far more rewards than feeling better after suffering because your girlfriend left you.
And as what you say about jaco,it's utter crap. I must say you are not even nearer to know what heavy depression is.
So dont try decide what could have 'saved' jaco.
No-one sorts out your problems,and even less,4 stupid pills.
My interfering ends here however...now it's up to Davros and to whoever else
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:57 pm

quote:
''1. I agree about the statements re: the anti-D drugs above.

I was briefly on anti-depressants myself (4 weeks, over 10 years ago), enough to gauge how dependant on them I was, and could become. I weened myself off, from four pills a day week 1, to three pills a day week 2, two pills a day week 3, and once a day week four. I'm never taking those again (though sometimes I feel like giving in, as I must say, they did equalize my emotional spectrum quite nicely).

Bottom line: they are to be used as a life saving, not life coping, device. Had Jaco been on anti-D's, he'd still be alive today.''


if you have been 4 weeks on anti depressants and you claim they have sorted your problems,then you were not depressed.
I am not talking about a 4 weeks panacea,I am talking about a complete or partial self-rieducation.
That takes probably a lifetime,with far more rewards than feeling better after suffering because your girlfriend left you.
And as what you say about jaco,it's utter crap. I must say you are not even nearer to know what heavy depression is.
So dont try decide what could have 'saved' jaco,your 'bottom line' it's as true as a cow that flies.
No-one sorts out your problems,and even less,4 stupid pills.
My interfering ends here however...now it's up to Davros and to whoever else
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:32 pm

I apologize about some of the contents in the reply above....I realize that we are all entitled to our opinions and that it's not for me to decide about other's choices,points of view or whatever...

If you believe that jaco would have been 'saved' by anti-depressants,as if you know a person you have never met from inside out and know every thought,including all the aspects of that person's self ,the aspects a person shows and also the ones the same person keeps concealed from everybody else,then believe it.

I only apologize for my attacking you before,nothing else.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Marbury » Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:09 am

I am sorry, I didn't realise I put this post on the PC section.

As for drugs, it is now proven that St John's Wort is as good an anti-depressant as the main drugs.Also, Omega 3 fish oils are excellent.I am a firm beliver in natural cures rather than drugs.I belive its helping me through the dark winter months.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Sound Restoration Guy » Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:41 am

Davros wrote:
Has anyone ever sat up one night and started a track they think is excellent and exciting only to get up next morning and its not as good as they thought, or the track has lost its appeal after a few listens? Its hard to nail that "magic" that we are all searching for.Little, subtle things that we can't explain that work.

Yes, I have, many times...until I learned (through painfull experience) how to deal with it.

1. Think at night but work during the day (I'm an insomniac btw).
2. Don't dispair if you (will) forget the little detail (magic). But do memorize the concept and the "magic" will come back in another form later.

As for the depression...for creative people, this condition was always considered to be part of (their) life - a privilage :headbang:.
So don't worry, we've been there, done that and will get there again!
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby R. Spisketts » Mon Feb 21, 2005 2:13 pm

Sound Restoration Guy wrote:
Davros wrote:
Has anyone ever sat up one night and started a track they think is excellent and exciting only to get up next morning and its not as good as they thought, or the track has lost its appeal after a few listens? Its hard to nail that "magic" that we are all searching for.Little, subtle things that we can't explain that work.


Yes, I have, many times...until I learned (through painfull experience) how to deal with it.

1. Think at night but work during the day (I'm an insomniac btw).
2. Don't dispair if you (will) forget the little detail (magic). But do memorize the concept and the "magic" will come back in another form later.


And extending this slightly... who has listened to a track and thought "my god, this is useless", stopped work on it, only to listen to it weeks/months later and think, "hey! this is great! why did I stop work on this!?!". If its your particular curse to be plagued with self doubt, you just need to learn to trust your instincts. Easy to say, I know, I know, and don't think for a minute that I'm passing on some sagelike piece of wisdom having mastered it.. its an ongoing process...

Another approach that sometimes works is... don't get depressed... GET ANGRY! Thrash that guitar, come up with a vile sounding synth, whatever... you won't necessarily use it (especially if you're doing a soothing ambient piece...) but channelling the energy might be a release, or you might have a chuckle at your death metal solo over your soft acoustic backing, whatever...

On a lighter note, who's done this one: its late at night, you've enjoyed a "relaxing smoke", you're doodling away, when suddenly you're ears are awakened by the beauty of a little phrase or riff that you're playing... the beauty of its simplicity, the endless melodic and harmonic possibilites. Struggling with the recording controls for what seems like an eternity (but in reality is about 15 seconds) you capture this godlike idea.

...

...time passes...

...

Listening back in the morning, you can't help but wonder why you recorded yourself earnestly strumming Em over and over...

More seriously - if you're low/depressed - steer clear of the booze/psychoactives! Unless wallowing in abject misery and paranoia is your cup of tea... (unfortunately, I learned this one the hard way... :tongue:)
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Feb 21, 2005 4:59 pm

Wurlitzer wrote:
Martin Walker wrote:if like many musicians you have limited time to make music, when you finally do sit in the studio you can pressure yourself to produce something good rather than wasting your time 'messing about'. Unfortunately, unless you're feeling inspired this can result in frustration and then depression if things don't initially go well - the classic Catch 22 situation.

Far better to go in with the intention of enjoying yourself, when you'll find you have a better chance of coming up with something good because you're not trying so hard to succeed.

It's funny you should say that Martin, as I read the original comment precisely the opposite way, and it rang true for me (not saying that I'm right and you're wrong, just that it's an interesting difference of interpretation).

For me, one of the healing aspects of rearranging my musical perspective and priorities, lay in developing the ability to look at it as more of a "job". I'd previously been a fiercely dedicated composer, but mainly in classical music where there is virtually no money. I did have other skills though, having played in bands and done jazz, blues, soul etc since I was a kid.

Part of my new approach involved facing up to the necessities of accepting that I'm interacting with other people, who have their own needs and things that they need to get from my music...
I wouldn't say I've turned into a complete musical whore, but let's just say I wear my knickers a few inches lower :)

Perhaps I did misinterpret the initial comments Wurlitzer (and with hindsight I suspect I see why), but I totally agree with your rather different approach as well !

I've been there too (I wrote computer game soundtracks for some seven years, when deadlines and customer expectations dictated that I must continue creating music however inspired or uninspired I felt each day, and I had to set a target of so much music written per day). If you have such commercial pressures then there are various techniques you can use to ensure you generate some output 'no matter what'.

I also know what you mean about being a musical 'whore', but in my experience sometimes the work that you personally consider the best you've written isn't necessarily viewed in the same light by a paying customer, who may well suggest significant alterations or even occasionally a complete rewrite, especially if he/she hasn't explained their original requirements very clearly (it's notoriously difficult for non-musicians to talk in musical genres and moods). In this case there's no point agonising over your creative output - you have to knuckle under, make the changes, and press on. After all, in this situation the customer nearly always has to be right.

My original suggestions were made towards those who want to create original music for their own pleasure (and possibly eventual renumeration if they release it commercially). Of course you can use the same techniques, but if you don't have to produce a certain amount of finished music at every session, considering it a 'job' may well result in something being finished, but perhaps in not as inspired a way as it might have been without that self-imposed pressure.

Whether that matters or not is another matter - I know I'm talking ideals rather than workloads, but I think both approaches are valid, depending on your goal.


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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Platypus9 » Wed Feb 23, 2005 7:07 am

I've been there at various points myself. I'm a musician/technician with a psychology degree, so here's my brief 2 cents.

1) don't be afraid to ask for help. If you can afford a therapist, go for it, and don't let pride get in the way. Obviously you posted here, so that's a good start. Psychologists are better than psychiatrists with rare exceptions.

2) you can't treat depression only in regards to music, it's always a holistic life issue (as has already been said)

3) if you take medications (only advisable when combined with therapy), do your own research into side-effects and effectiveness. (St. John's Wart and Mellatonin are much safer than most drugs, and clinical studies show comparable effectiveness)

4) you do NOT have to be depressed to write great emotional music. This is a destructive myth.

Book Recommendation: Kenny Werner's "Effortless Mastery" is really great for its discussion of musician's attitudes and belief systems as relating to performance and creativity. It helped my break out of some childish attitudes in life and music.
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