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mickomoo

What's the longest you've gone without doing music?

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I had an amazing year last year, I did new music roughly every two months which I know isn't a big deal, but music isn't my main hobby so for me it was huge. Also for every song I made (both originals and covers), the quality improved exponentially because I learned a lot from song to song. Even between the breaks when I wasn't practicing or actively trying to improve my workflow I found that I was constantly improving.

This year is terrible. I think I've done 4 songs; all covers, most not finished because I don't have the motivation to work on them (I'm not as drawn to the song as I originally thought). In terms of originals, none of the ideas in my head strike me, when I do get ideas that is. I don't really feel anything musically anymore. I have no idea what happened...

I'm wondering if any of you have had slumps like this? How long did they last? Did you push yourself out of them? Did you find you skills diminished greatly when you returned to music?

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I haven't really been making music at all lately. Been writing a couple tracks at work, nothing substantial yet, however. Trying to make music in a dorm room sucks. My last big thing was Guile's Theme for Apex, and that was back in December.

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Until about a month ago, aside from working with Chernabogue on a Kingdom Hearts remix and helping with his tune for Badass Vol.3 (gotta get back to that asap) the last thing I remember doing was the Metroid Prime remix (which is in to-be-posted w00t) with Timaeus around this time last year.

Now, I just finished music for a short film and the director is currently starting work on a film for a film festival next year (so that's a gig I have for next year). I also recently began doing music for a sweet indie game that's finished, but needs music and in a few weeks I'm doin' my first live show in years with a local band playing metal and rock arrangements of video game tunes. Now I'm making more music than I have in years.

I find that having something to put music to inspires me and gets me out of the musical doldrums. Being paid helps too.

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I do a little sound design every day just in case I capture a moment of inspiration or a happy accident occurs and I make a really inspiring sound. Aside from that, I've probably gone about 2 weeks without doing something with sounds or music. I just keep myself busy so that I don't get bored, even if I just make a lame little sound that I throw away in my "Random Experiments" folder. In fact, right now I have *8* WIPs for various things, and I finished one ReMix for Brandon Strader, one cover for mahself, and 3 *very* long-term (2~4 months!) ReMix WIPs for fun in the last 2 months, so I'm feeling pretty happy. :)

Edited by timaeus222

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I think the longest I've ever gone is around a month and a half, Not 100% sure though. Usually after I'm finished with an album I take a small one month break to relax and free up my head so the songs I write for the next one will feel fresh and interesting. It's important to me to not feel bored when making music, because I think if that happens it will show in the composition and the production. It's also important that I don't take breaks that are too long otherwise I'll forget things and I might end up feeling overwhelmed by not having been working.

It's always important to find a nice middle ground for me.

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What I do when I have a slump is I take a cue from one of my favorite film or video game scores and I mock it up. Then I go back and change some things; try a different harmony, add a counterpoint, different rhythm, etc. Great way to get some ideas, get practice, and not feel lazy too. 8-)

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I went for several months without making a single song once. During that time, I seemed to be getting fewer and fewer ideas, and the ideas I did get seemed bland and uninteresting. Even after getting new samples to play with, I still didn't write anything.

Then one day, I listened to part of a movie soundtrack that sounded so badass, I tried to make something like it. After that, I seemed to be getting ideas for new songs again.

I was much better after that slump, but it may have been the new samples I had to play with.

Edited by Slimy

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Months. It's not that I don't have loads of ideas for songs, more like I'm busy and/or lazy. The pendulum always swings back though.

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Between 2 and 5 years. Been getting back into things the last couple of months but things are going really slow (or maybe I'm just taking my time).

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Took a 5+ year pause and only early last year decided to pick things up again. Mostly because the stuff still fascinates me, so I decided a bit of devotion and study would be appropriate. As it still grabs me, I'm still learning a lot and hope to do so for years.

Having said that, it's pretty normal for me to work on a track, let it lie dormant for weeks and then get back at it. That's just life I guess.

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I used to churn out 20 tracks or so a year, until I got hit by depression real good. Used to produce a lot more original stuff too, I've recently made a few requests at least and am currently working on a (frustratingly challenging) track for B.A. 3 :nicework:

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I'm currently at about a week or so of not touching my music PC. Sometimes I get in phases where I try to work through some games in my backlog on top of working several days a week. But I don't usually go more than a few weeks without doing at least something! Gotta get back into the music soon.

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Let's take a look at my discography really quick:

2003 - Operations

2003 - Final Energy

2005 - Everlast

2007 - In The Dark

2008 - Revolution

20?? - Superluminal (in progress since 2009)

Finishing things gets a lot harder when you keep raising the bar for yourself. And I think it's only natural to want to improve continually.

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3-4 months without actively working on my own music, not counting just doodling around on the keyboard or something, or making goofy songs for friends. That time is now and seems to be growing unfortunately.

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In terms of making my own music, anywhere ranging from a few months to a year. I made a goal/New Years resolution to make a certain amount of songs by the end of the year. That's the most consistent I've ever been with my musical journey, considering that I'm still not that great/don't have a lot of confidence in my skills and knowledge.

In terms of other music stuff, I would anywhere ranging from a few weeks to a month. I like to play other people's arrangements to get better at the instruments I play as well as to have fun. I'm a music minor at my college and I'm the director for both the gospel and a capella sides of the singing club there (which involves arranging all the songs for the year), so I'm constantly doing music related stuff year-round.

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2011-2014. well i played keyboard and such, and learned to improvise better.

i got bored with sequencing and smoked a lot of weed. makes sequencing very hard, but the jamming was fun.

getting back into it wasn't easy, but it ended up being very good for me.

currently in sort of a slump again but i try to take it easy. i think what i'm trying to do is sort of relearn the whole process...i liked the stuff i made 4 years ago, but i didn't like how my growing expectations kept bogging me down.

i really just wanna learn to do stuff again, whatever comes out, and have fun with that.

i've started to question the holy grail of 'improvement' when it results in less fun, and less output in the end. i've been doing something wrong.

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Finishing things gets a lot harder when you keep raising the bar for yourself. And I think it's only natural to want to improve continually.

Man, that's a great way of putting it. Describes my music making to a T. I make about 1 song a year now, down from probably 5-6 at my peak, but I've always tried to make each song better than the last and that takes more and more time. Well, that and music became less of a priority. To answer the thread, I've never flat-out stopped since I picked up Cakewalk back in '98, but sometimes I'll go a couple months without touching music.

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Man, that's a great way of putting it. Describes my music making to a T. I make about 1 song a year now, down from probably 5-6 at my peak, but I've always tried to make each song better than the last and that takes more and more time.

well, everyone at his prefered pace. myself, i grow very bored with tunes when working on them for, say, more than 2 weeks.

my main issue is with the 'better than the last one'. i know this makes sense to some degree, but it's never an absolute measure.

my 'better than the last one' from 5 years ago is a completely different thing than the BTTLO i might strive for today. it's not simply a 2D curve of getting better with every song. it's a 3D journey in spaceeee!

the craftsmanship aspect, in my experience, tends to take care of itself as long as your expression is flowing.

i'm not sayin that everyone should write a tune a day or anything at all. it's just...healthy to not measure your improvement/experience growth song by song.

truth be told, it's actually best to not measure it at all and just keep goin. you'll amass XP, and you'll get better in that sense. it can hardly be avoided.

that is, unless you keep repeating yourself over and over. i sort of felt like that before i took my long break. in that sense, i can relate to wanting to take your time very much.

Edited by Nase

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I generally work on something every few days or so. I'll open up FL Studio and work on a remix that I previous started, or mess around with random ideas. If I join a competition or get some inspiration, they'll be stretches when I'm working on a song everyday. They'll be days, or weeks, when I'm not in the mood or too busy for music, but I'm usually doing something. Even if it's just playing around.

Edited by Cash

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well, everyone at his prefered pace. myself, i grow very bored with tunes when working on them for, say, more than 2 weeks.

my main issue is with the 'better than the last one'. i know this makes sense to some degree, but it's never an absolute measure.

my 'better than the last one' from 5 years ago is a completely different thing than the BTTLO i might strive for today. it's not simply a 2D curve of getting better with every song. it's a 3D journey in spaceeee!

the craftsmanship aspect, in my experience, tends to take care of itself as long as your expression is flowing.

i'm not sayin that everyone should write a tune a day or anything at all. it's just...healthy to not measure your improvement/experience growth song by song.

truth be told, it's actually best to not measure it at all and just keep goin. you'll amass XP, and you'll get better in that sense. it can hardly be avoided.

that is, unless you keep repeating yourself over and over. i sort of felt like that before i took my long break. in that sense, i can relate to wanting to take your time very much.

Yeah, I get you when you say you don't want to constantly measure your own growth, but here's how I feel about it:

While I don't actually say, "Okay, let's see if I can write something that improves in this area of my writing music, in this piece! Legs go!!", there are probably more than a few times that I just attempt something I've never done before, and it turns out to be something I'm quite happy with. As a result of that, I get better at something I've never tried before, and thus, I improve. Then, I look back and see what it is in particular that I actually improved on. For example, I used to be pretty meh at orchestral, but I recently got about 1.5 minutes' worth into an Assassin's Creed ReMix that is in a film-score, orchestral style, and it's just getting so fun to do it, knowing it's a substantial improvement since my first attempt at orchestral music. I was basically putting all the tips I read all over OCR, directed at *other* people, into practice.

So for me, I don't really directly think about getting better; it just happens sometimes. I don't beat myself up over it---I treat improvement as a "whoo!" moment. :)

-------

Sometimes an original song of mine can take years to finish if I just write something that's hard to write connecting ideas for (pausing at a bad spot), and sometimes I just want to do something I can't do yet (EX: use a sound effect I haven't synthesized yet but was going to *eventually* because it's not available online). Sometimes it takes 4-8 hours, if it's short (~1 minute sound demos). I've taken breaks longer than a few weeks before, but so far I've been able to come back to a ReMix after many weeks and still write more for it. In the past 3 months, I've finished three of those kinds of WIPs. ;)

Edited by timaeus222

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