You are here

Hi, need help with anxiety...

Arrangement, instrumentation, lyric writing, music theory, inspiration… it’s all here.

Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby MusicInMyMind13 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:21 pm

Hello everyone,
For quite some time I had been writing songs but when the first ones were typically full of "fill", not "feel". guess you got the point :lol: But since a year ago I only write when I'm inspired. Now I have this state of mind more often, and I love it, but I'm kind of obsessive-compulsive with them. For example, I used to record with a sequencer, but it was a struggle because I got too anxious for example recording a 4-bar part with the piano, I could last an hour with the same Little part because in my opinion "The sound of the keys is too loud here" or "I didn't play to the exact beat" or "I quantized too much" etc full of excuses that didn't let me advance. So I decided not to record that way and simply grab my phone and sing and play at the same time preferably live. But just as I know I've pressed the record button if I was singing well I get so nervous and start to sing bad, or cough so much etc, or even imagining "ok I'll record next" I get things worse... What can I do? I don't know how to aproach it and I don't have almost anyone's perspective to help out, I'm solo and I really want to start posting audios to my social media and I can't because of this reason. Can anyone help out? Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
MusicInMyMind13
New here
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:47 am

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:51 pm

Tonight's task is to record a song. You have two hours to complete the task. It won't be perfect. Doesn't matter, you're going to throw it away! (But you MUST finish the job.)

Tomorrow's task is the same.

By the end of the week you'll realise what you're doing isn't ALL that bad.

Carry on...
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5711
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:00 am
Location: London UK
You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby CS70 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:26 pm

There's more than a way to go at this, and you need a bit of all.

Telling yourself to relax or "it's gonna be fine" for a minute or so before starting to record will prime your brain in the right direction. It's a well known and measurable effect. Don't just think it - say it loud possibly in front of a mirror. Your brain literally needs to hear it.

Learn the physical symptoms of anxiety - and counter them intentionally: bad or stiff posture, rigidity in the shoulders etc. It's not possible to play effectively technical guitar passages with stiff shoulders, for example.But the trick is that it works both ways: anxiety introduce stiffness in your muscles, but when you relax your muscles intentionally, it removes anxiety as well.

Then, the hardest bit. The ages-old way to get thru a performance even when (a bit) anxious is to be a master of your instrument. Practice, practice, practice - you should be able to play your parts without consciously thinking about it (unless you want to). Think of you using your mouth to talk, or walking - you don't focus on every muscle, you're not even aware of their position unless you stop thinking about it.. you just talk, or walk. That level of proficiency comes from an incredibly high amount of practice, which you have undergone for hours every day since you were about one year. So for keys, guitars etc - when you think a musical line, your fingers should simply play it - as much as you move your mouth to utter words, without thinking on how you place lips and tongue. Obviously that level of proficiency is very high and very few can reach it (simply because of the time it takes), but the nearer you are, the easier it'll be.
Proper practice is an entire chapter altogether, but you get the point. Learn how to practice if you don't know it already - and then do it.

Also: you should always play at say 80-90% of your maximum capabilities. Your music will always be in that ballpark - it will become more complex as you increase your capabilities (thru practice) but will/should always stay that far from your max. You need to be *confortable* with your music, like with your favorite sofa spot. :)

Finally, all this said: anxiety is a bad beast, and can temporarily overcome even the most practiced master and the most self-confident and primed brain. When Paco De Lucia came to the US first, he met Al Di Meola and they tried to put down some music. Paco simply couldn't play - he didn't speak or understood much English, was tired from the travel and simply irked and anxious. So you could do like he and Al did to relax (and make, if I recall well, their version of "Rio Ancho"): have a joint. :lol:
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4278
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby MusicInMyMind13 » Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:58 am

Wow, thank you so so so so much, this was very helpful and it made me so so happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) The technique of the first user (sorry I don't know your names... :3 ) Was very creative and Smart, and since I'm gonna have a break and more spare time, I could definitly try it out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) The minni guide of the second user was really comprehensive and detailed, offering me steps and Little tips and tricks to get this done, tank you so so much to you both, gotta start applying your stuff son!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
MusicInMyMind13
New here
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:47 am

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:50 am

Since "A Substance" has been mentioned already I thought it in order to let the elephant out of the closet and mention alcohol.

Yes, it needs considerable discipline to use effectively and a strict watch kept to stop consumption creeping up but there is an old saying (Scottish?) that "some people are born two whiskeys short". So, do all the other techniques but if they don't work try a glass of something and have a sip from time to time. Stay well within the "units" limits and have alcohol free days. You can still practice on those days but without the performing pressure.

Tell a friend/relative what you are doing so that they can keep an eye on the situation.

Naturally driving is an issue which must be accounted for.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10645
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk
#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby shufflebeat » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:12 pm

All good advice.

This:
Also: you should always play at say 80-90% of your maximum capabilities.

I would underline. As you gain control and develop the appropriate mindset your 80% will become pretty good. Have an idea of what you're going to do before you do it.

This may or may not be appropriate for you. As you record, keep a note pad and pen handy and keep a record of any editing you might do, tracks to keep/comp/discard. Just note it doen, don't do it yet, save the editing for later.

By the way, there seems to be something wrong with your ! button.
shufflebeat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4024
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:00 am
Location: Manchester, UK
Apple Watch - the slowest of all the nature programmes.

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:46 pm

Hi Michelle, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

Wow, what excellent advice!

If you've got more time then I'd also add that only playing when you feel inspired is a good way forward, since then you'll only associate playing with good feelings.

However, if you need to force something (and in my case I can remember having to meet strict deadlines when I wrote music for computer games many years ago), one good idea is to write a pastiche of someone else's song. You don't have to follow it slavishly, and if you're anything like me, the end result will be quite different.

However, this approach can be such a useful springboard when your mind is blank and your fingers stubborn ;)

Another useful technique when your mind is blank is to revisit an old song in multi-track format, mute some of the tracks and try playing something new over the top. Once again, the chances are that you'll eventually be able to mute all of the original tracks and build up the fresh ideas into something more complete.


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14347
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby MusicInMyMind13 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:24 am

Thank you so much yall, wow that technique for blank minds is awesome, should try it sometime soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) And wow reforcing the advice of the 80 or 90% of capacity was cool, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Aaahhhh and by the way I'm 15, and I'm kinda weird, so I just love to write many exclamation marks, nothing wrong with the button!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) I also love smilies as you've already realized :) :) :) I just love that I started with a confused emoji of those you choose at the beginning, and these last 2 have been smiles, thanks to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)
MusicInMyMind13
New here
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:47 am

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby alexis » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:24 am

What helps me is to try to recreate the situations where I enjoy music. I realized my heart was beating with tune every morning, but when I got home at the end of the day, all my music battery had been drained by the struggles of the day ... I was emotionally exhausted, and my voice sounded drained and tired.

So ... As hard as it is, I get up early every day, warm up my voice at low volume in the shower, and go downstairs to sing. The night before I set up the computer and mic and interface so pretty much all I have to do in the morning is power on and hit record. I always feel like I Sing best in the shower, and in front of a mic I tend to force the volume, so going straight from one to the other really helps me with breath control in front of the mic.

Sounds like you quantize, what you could do is set up your click track the night before too.

AND don't worry about mistakes or editing at those times ... That uses a different part of the brain, and can always be done later.

By the way, do you find headphones get in the way of feeling musical and singing your best? If so there is a recent SOS article about how to sing without headphones, if you want to find it but can't, post back.

Finally finding a friend or three to play music with ... Is one of the most fun things anyone can do!
User avatar
alexis
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3688
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 1:00 am
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
Cubase 9.0.1; i5-4570 3.2GHz,16GB RAM;W10 64bit on Samsung SSD840 Pro256GB;Seagte 1TB SATA600 Audio;UR28M;Motif8;UAD2Solo;Jamstix 3.3;BCF2K;TC Helicon VoiceOne;RevoicePro3.2

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby Rich Hanson » Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:22 pm

All good advice. Also noting that as you're only 15 that means you have plenty of time to develop, both as a performer and as a writer. Don't rush things, there's always time to learn and improve. Don't try to exceed your abilities when you are recording, the 80% advice is pretty good. Develop your technique away from recording.

In my experience the anxiety never goes away. Staying within your limits doesn't mean you can't still strive to improve, but overstretching yourself when recording does tend to lead to disappointment. Been there, bought the t-shirt!
Rich Hanson
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1330
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:00 am
Location: UK

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby alexis » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:25 am

Hairy Ears wrote:All good advice. Also noting that as you're only 15 that means you have plenty of time to develop, both as a performer and as a writer. Don't rush things, there's always time to learn and improve. Don't try to exceed your abilities when you are recording, the 80% advice is pretty good. Develop your technique away from recording.

In my experience the anxiety never goes away. Staying within your limits doesn't mean you can't still strive to improve, but overstretching yourself when recording does tend to lead to disappointment. Been there, bought the t-shirt!

I learned that lesson so hard that mine isn't a T-shirt, it is a full chest tattoo ...

What do you mean that putting a mic in front of me doesn't change my voice from Tom Waits on a bad day to Paul McCartney, c. 1968 or whoever that guy in Squeeze is who sang "Is That Love?" ... and that buying some recording equipment doesn't make my tracks sound like Nigel Godrich sprinkled fairy dust on it????

Hard lesson, scars still healing ...
User avatar
alexis
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3688
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 1:00 am
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
Cubase 9.0.1; i5-4570 3.2GHz,16GB RAM;W10 64bit on Samsung SSD840 Pro256GB;Seagte 1TB SATA600 Audio;UR28M;Motif8;UAD2Solo;Jamstix 3.3;BCF2K;TC Helicon VoiceOne;RevoicePro3.2

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:47 pm

Can you come round and clean my house? ☺

More seriously (unfortunately) - I guess you're still in school. An environment where extra support and special consideration is forthcoming whenever things get hard.
Here's an alternative approach to your problem.
Life isn't like that. You'll get the job because you can DO the job, without fussing. Get over yourself. Deliver that song, if you're going to. Or don't. The world doesn't care if you write songs or not. Probably it would rather you didn't.
Now prove me wrong! May we hear yesterday's song?
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5711
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:00 am
Location: London UK
You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.

Re: Hi, need help with anxiety...

Postby shufflebeat » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:43 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:The world doesn't care if you write songs or not. Probably it would rather you didn't.

Harsh as this may seem to some, for most folks I have discussed this subject with that little nugget takes all the pressure off.
shufflebeat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4024
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:00 am
Location: Manchester, UK
Apple Watch - the slowest of all the nature programmes.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users