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markdavid

Help to motivate to play when depressed

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Hi All

First off apologies if this is in the wrong section, if so then I am sure the moderators will move as applicable , 2nd I am not looking for any medical advice with this topic, I am medicated so that is taken care of 

Have suffered depression for a while , Recently started to feel depressed again and it has crept up on me , as is sometimes the case I don't feel particularly sad I just don't feel much of anything.

Unfortunately this has extended to my bass playing and I cant motivate myself to practice, I just don't feel the enjoyment at the moment and part of me wants to sell all my equipment and just be done with it.

I am not enjoying listening to music all that much either.

I have just in the past couple days got over the flu so I think that has probably had a profound effect on my state of mind.

I am after some pointers to motivate myself back into music , hell it was hard enough to motivate myself to make this post, hoping someone has a good suggestion , thanks

 

 

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First off sorry to hear this, as someone who has suffered from depression in the past I`d suggest talking about it with your GP. What suits one may not suit the other and they would have a better insight to which would be better for you. You may end up resenting your bass playing as a result of a forced schedule. That said flip to the coin, if you have a schedule once you start you may immerse yourself into it and it could ease your state of mind.  

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Hi - there's a big thread about this in Off Topic with lots of advice and support.

I often feel the same regards chucking all my music kit in the tip - it can be hard but persevere - even if it's just some mindless noodling to occupy your brain for half an hour.

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Well hopefully sending the post is the first step?  Talking about it here or elsewhere is important. Although reading some of the threads on here may not always improve your mental health. 😀 

playing wise take it hour by hour. Maybe revisit some of the music that sparked your interest. It may trigger something positive. Aside from that. Be good to yourself. 

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Firstly you don't have to play , if you feel no motivation maybe you might find another activity that you love more . Selling up might not be a bad move , I didn't play for 7 years but in 2009 got back into it brought some new gear and have loved it ever since , but at the time the break to enjoy other things was right for me 

All I'm saying is give it a go but there's no right or wrong , you got any other interests ?

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Purely in terms of playing, setting a goal can help. Learning new songs for an audition / jam night / open mic / gig etc.

Gives you something to aim towards.

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Don't force it...

I think many of us go through phases of fluctuating interest in playing but I wouldn't sell my gear just because I'm going through a sheetty stage. As lojo says, find something else to motivate yourself and come back to music when your desire returns.

 

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

Don't force it...

I think many of us go through phases of fluctuating interest in playing but I wouldn't sell my gear just because I'm going through a sheetty stage. As lojo says, find something else to motivate yourself and come back to music when your desire returns.

 

+1

I'm just starting to emerge from the pit myself and music has played a big part in my recovery - but not until I was ready for it. I picked up my bass in an idle moment last year having had no interest in it for ages and decided it might be interesting to learn a difficult bassline. The key thing here was however I set no goals, no daily targets. I said to myself it doesn't matter if I'm still learning this in six months time, progress not perfection is the only criteria.

I played just a little some days and a bit more on others gradually working my way into a complex and satisfying bassline. When an opportunity arose to play a dep gig at the end of the year that small bit of daily bass work had hardened my finger tips, blown away a few cobwebs, got the hands moving and I was in a better place to learn a proper set.

What works for me may of course not work for you, but putting ourselves under pressure when depressed is, in my very humble opinion, never a good thing. Good luck and feel free to pm if you'd like a chat any time.

Edited by stewblack
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Don’t feel that you have to play, that only puts more unnecessary pressure on yourself. Playing bass is like falling off a log; you’ll be surprised how easy it is even if you’ve not done it for a while, your mental health has to take priority here, don’t beat yourself up for not playing. Take a walk outside or get a bit of exercise (I know this is difficult to do too, so these are just suggestions), anything really, just don’t pressure yourself into playing, it’ll still be there when things pick up.

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I'm blessed, I've dealt with depression and for me it was all work related. When I left the traditional workforce and retired instantaneously my depression was gone and out of my life.

Motivation, you mentioned no motivation to practice. My question is what are you practicing for? That's usually at the core of motivation. Gigs motivate me to practice or even wanting to impress a bass teacher with a great lesson might be a source of motivation.

Depression is awful, I hope it leaves the OPs life soon.

Blue

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8 hours ago, markdavid said:

Hi All

First off apologies if this is in the wrong section, if so then I am sure the moderators will move as applicable , 2nd I am not looking for any medical advice with this topic, I am medicated so that is taken care of 

Have suffered depression for a while , Recently started to feel depressed again and it has crept up on me , as is sometimes the case I don't feel particularly sad I just don't feel much of anything.

Unfortunately this has extended to my bass playing and I cant motivate myself to practice, I just don't feel the enjoyment at the moment and part of me wants to sell all my equipment and just be done with it.

I am not enjoying listening to music all that much either.

I have just in the past couple days got over the flu so I think that has probably had a profound effect on my state of mind.

I am after some pointers to motivate myself back into music , hell it was hard enough to motivate myself to make this post, hoping someone has a good suggestion , thanks

 

 

Sorry to hear this, I too have been there and it isn't a lot of fun. Good advice above. 

It's an individual thing but what works for me if I'm ever feeling depressed is to maybe look at something connected with music, that isn't necessarily relevant to your playing. For example, you could watch a music documentary. There are several good ones on netflix, but I can particularly recommend 'Hired Gun', which is a thing all about session musicians. I always feel like picking a bass up after watching something like that. 

 Though not a long term solution, a bit of retail therapy can also help if done sensibly. Think about something small that you want that is bass related, research it online and order it. Maybe a new strap or something. It'll get the mind busy, and hopefully start enthusing you, even if subconsciously. 

Also try and make sure you're keeping active and doing a bit of walking if possible. It's amazing how many times I've been in an endless funk, really quite bad, and something like a walk/bike ride/swim gets the bad stuff out and something I'm keen on to just pop into my mind out of nowhere. Off the point slightly, but for me personally, camping, or just walking in woods is the best therapy I can think of.  

Hope you can find something that helps, but don't worry. You will feel like playing naturally when the time is right anyway. As you will know from past experience, it DOES pass even if it might seem like it won't at the time. 

Best of luck, keep us posted. 

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Do something completely different for a bit.  Deliberately ignore your instrument and try to engage in something that is of interest at the moment for you.

You will miss the bass after a while.
If you don't, cosmically speaking, it is of no consequence and you will have given it a go but maybe it's not for you after all.

I think you are going to miss it sooner than you think.

Edited by SpondonBassed

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Thanks for the replies, some really good suggestions here, as suggested I think I am going to take a short break from playing and hopefully that will bring back the desire to play again, fingers crossed

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Depression  seems to suck the joy out of life.  I'm so sorry you're in this place.  Try to find something that brings back the joy.  Try walking in beautiful places and be truly thankful that you're alive to observe the day.. Find someone who cares that you can talk to/ unburden your heart.  Do something nice for someone today.

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Whenever I've not had access to my equipment I've felt a greater longing to play. Remember being in a Hotel room while on holiday during a  hot afternoon with "itchy fingers"?. Maybe just the thought of not being able to play can stimulate those feelings - "you only want what you can't have" mentality.

Maybe you should think about taking your basses to a relative's for a few weeks to see if this works...

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Guest oZZma

I am there too, more or less....

I'm depressed for personal reasons but I'm also depressed because I see this duo I'm in isn't progressing as it should

My drummer doesn't care as much as I do, we reharse too little, and I feel descouraged because I am the only one who is actively committed to the music we make

And even if we will finish some songs to make a demo or an EP, no one will even care to listen, because I have no friends or acquaintances who could be interested in our music

I feel like all my efforts are pointless and I should just quit. 

But if I quit, I have nothing left in my life to cling to. I only have the band.

 

 

Edited by oZZma

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On 14/03/2018 at 13:50, markdavid said:

I am after some pointers to motivate myself back into music , hell it was hard enough to motivate myself to make this post, hoping someone has a good suggestion , thanks

I'm fortunate to not have suffered depression but I can't motivate myself for toffee.  So I'm looking for some advice on this myself.  Is there a way you can think of to make it fun to practice?  Like playing along with some songs you enjoy or whatever it was that got you into playing in the first place?  If you're just doing scales or something dry like that it can be a chore rather than a pleasure.  Don't make it a stress, just mess around and see where it takes you.  Maybe check out some YouTube videos like Scott's Bass Lessons or something to get you into the frame of mind for playing?

I've been wresting with motivation all my life and I big problems getting started on things.   It's too easy to just watch nonsense on the telly or whatever.  I've been trying to do some recording but as soon as I fire the computer up I always get stuck wasting my life playing games like an idiot.  Last night I managed to steel myself to get over the attack of the "can't be bothereds" and once I'd got going I didn't want to stop.  Although tonight it's just as likely I'll fall asleep on the couch while the wife watches Poirot or some rubbish and end up feeling bad about it!

16 minutes ago, oZZma said:

My drummer doesn't care as much as I do, we reharse too little, and I feel descouraged because I am the only one who is actively committed to the music we make

And even if we will finish some songs to make a demo or an EP, no one will even care to listen, because I have no friends or acquaintances who could be interested in our music

Is there a music scene where you live?  Could you get out and meet other musicians?  Maybe get another player in the band with a different instrument to bring some fresh ideas into it?  Can you go out to jam nights, or to watch other bands play? 

Dealing with other musicians can be a real pain, but when it works it's great!

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Guest oZZma
10 minutes ago, Unknown_User said:

 

Is there a music scene where you live?  Could you get out and meet other musicians?  Maybe get another player in the band with a different instrument to bring some fresh ideas into it?  Can you go out to jam nights, or to watch other bands play? 

Dealing with other musicians can be a real pain, but when it works it's great!

There is. But I haven't had a good experience with it. 

People who could remotely be interested in the kind of music I want to play (noise/math rock) are either PROs already engaged in touring successful bands, or feel anyways too entitled to play with a 41 years old beginner, and everyone feel too cool to even greet back when I met someone I already had known

Honestly, the scene here makes me sick

My chances are very thin, I'm stuck with the only decent (as for musical taste) drummer I could find who wants to play with me (as a hobby when he has nothing better to do)

 

 

Edited by oZZma

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Guest oZZma
18 minutes ago, Unknown_User said:

Maybe get another player in the band with a different instrument to bring some fresh ideas into it?

I've been looking for a guitar player for two years without any success.

I'm more and more convinced that if you are not friend's friend with the èlite of the wonderful scene here you don't even exists

(yes, I've reached the HATE EVERYONE phase)

Edited by oZZma

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48 minutes ago, oZZma said:

I am there too, more or less....

I'm depressed for personal reasons but I'm also depressed because I see this duo I'm in isn't progressing as it should

My drummer doesn't care as much as I do, we reharse too little, and I feel descouraged because I am the only one who is actively committed to the music we make

And even if we will finish some songs to make a demo or an EP, no one will even care to listen, because I have no friends or acquaintances who could be interested in our music

I feel like all my efforts are pointless and I should just quit. 

But if I quit, I have nothing left in my life to cling to. I only have the band.

 

 

You have friends here Ozzma. If you can record your music I'm sure there will be people here interested in what you do and keen to discuss it with you.

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This may be helpful - it has been for me. Never invest all of yourself into one thing - playing music, job, even family. If you do, it becomes your sole reason for living and if anything to do with it goes amiss, the effect on you is profound. 

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1 hour ago, oZZma said:

There is. But I haven't had a good experience with it. 

People who could remotely be interested in the kind of music I want to play (noise/math rock) are either PROs already engaged in touring successful bands, or feel anyways too entitled to play with a 41 years old beginner, and everyone feel too cool to even greet back when I met someone I already had known

Honestly, the scene here makes me sick

My chances are very thin, I'm stuck with the only decent (as for musical taste) drummer I could find who wants to play with me (as a hobby when he has nothing better to do)

 

 

If you are a "beginner", I'm afraid you have to learn your craft, serve your apprenticeship if you will, before you can expect to play with "PROs". They are not being "entitled", they simply want to work/play with others who are at their level. It simply isn't reasonable for you to expect or demand that you can jump straight from nothing to playing at a high level. Could you go to your local hospital, tell them you are a "beginner" and expect to be made a member of their surgery team? Would the doctors (who have worked and studied for many years to gain their skills and knowledge) be behaving in an "entitled" way if they refused to work with you? I'm sorry to be blunt, but that's the way it is.

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Guest oZZma
9 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

This may be helpful - it has been for me. Never invest all of yourself into one thing - playing music, job, even family. If you do, it becomes your sole reason for living and if anything to do with it goes amiss, the effect on you is profound. 

I'm very well aware of that. But I have nothing else

I'm alone, far away from my family, in an unwelcoming town surrounded by unwelcoming people. My "life" ended 4 years ago.

Only the band is keeping me away from suicidal tendencies, no joking.

Edited by oZZma

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