Being a musician, by and large, is a
rewarding thing. We get to indulge in our music,
spend time with other artistic types, and hear a lot
of great sounds. When it comes to jobs, being a
musician is great work if you can get it.
Unfortunately, it's not all roses. The tremendous
amount of competition makes it likely that we will
sometimes lose a gig, get fired from a band, or be
turned down for a songwriting award. And most of us
handle the rejections pretty well most of the time.
However, problems can start to occur if you have a
run of too many rejections in too short a time.
Musicians may begin to doubt their talent,
commitment, and even sanity when repeatedly slapped
in your music and yourself. People tell you this all
the time, and you need to take it seriously. Many
mega-hit songs were repeatedly rejected before
someone decided to release them to become No1 hits.
Believe that your talent is unique, and continue to
pursue your own musical path. If you hear the same
type of rejection often, ("You need to pick up
your choruses" or "Work on your
pitch"), you may want to look into the
criticism. Having an open mind may help you improve
your craft. If you get down on music, take some time
out. Go to the beach, the mountains, or your
backyard, and do something enjoyable that has nothing
to do with music.
yourself the freedom to quit. This may sound
contradictory, but giving yourself a mental
"out" can help diffuse the pressure when
nothing is going right. Chances are you won't quit,
but you'll know you COULD. Go and jam with some
musician friends who do it just for fun, and forget
the business. People who strictly do music as a hobby
sometimes have a positive energy that will help your
jaded, negative energy slip away, and bring you back
to the joy of playing music. If you are in a
situation where you can't find a band to jam with,
and have excess creative energy, consider another
type of art or craft. Doing something creative, even
though it's not music, will keep your creative juices
flowing. Painting, carving, candle making -
activities like these may also open your creative
flow and inspire you musically.
problem is due to a conflict in your band, talk it
out honestly with the people involved instead of
keeping it to yourself and becoming cynical.
Conflicts are common in bands (and every other kind
of group), and surviving them means the difference
between success and failure, since most bands will
break up if the unresolved conflicts are not
addressed. It will NOT be a pleasant experience.
Write a song about it. Who knows, it might be a
masterpiece. Think back on all your successes and
good times in music, and focus on that energy. Try to
balance the current bad times by realizing it's all
part of the flow.
can't kick the down feelings in a few weeks, don't
hesitate to talk to your doctor. Artists are known to
have high rates of depression and stress-related
illnesses, and today there are many new treatments.
Make sure you follow a healthy diet and get some
exercise. Getting through those periods when
"music sucks" is an experience all
musicians have been through at one time or another.
Those that master the down times go on to have
productive musical careers. Those that get bogged
down in the problems and become bitter are doomed to
less happy - and maybe less musical - futures.