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How Much Time Do You Spend On Music

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I'm guessing there are a fair number of folks like me in this forum - people who work 40 hours a week, but enjoy songwriting and musical activities in their free time. I was just wondering how much time you personally devote to songwriting and general musical activities per week. As for me, I spend probably too much time - averaging about 20 hours a week, which is pretty much all of my free time.

Edited by indieshoegazer
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That's actually a very good question & I imagine you'll get a wide range of answers.

In my case, I'm an amatuer....a hobbiest, but it's also in my nature to get a little carried away with things I love. When I decided to reinvolve myself in musical stuff a few years back, I made myself a promise not to neglect the real-life obligations that come with being an adult......& for the most part, I don't! Like many folks, I've got a job, a home to maintain, finances to be dealt with, family obligations, aged parents, etc. Whatever's left.......that's what I spend on things music related. I phrased it that way because, unfortunately that also has to include, website maint., practice time, changing guitar strings, writing, mixing & editing, online forum participation...pretty much everything musical. Every time I start to get a little frustrated that I'm not able to move some of these things along faster.....I remind myself of that promise & how glad I am just to be doing something. Anyway....that's me.


Absolutely. I think you have a great attitude about it. It's important to live a well rounded life, especially if you have family and financial obligations. I also sort of draw the line at 2-3 hrs a day songwriting/guitar practice (on average).

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I spend at least 1 h + on simply listening to music with heavy thought. I spend probably about 30 minutes a day at least thinking about music... running through melodies in my head, thinking of arrangements and other stuff. And usually at least 1 h playing the piano.

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I suggest that we can all take a lesson from the other creative arts that can be pursued (semi-)professionally: working with it every day is probably more important in the long run than "exactly how much time" you spend. (Even the most enjoyable effort can become an obsession.)

And, I think, you need to know that not all of that time is really going to be "enjoyable." Really, you've created a little "job" for yourself and you have to finish it. (Sometimes I think that the subconscious mind will quickly dump a good idea in your lap as if to say, "There! Now, can we please move on to something different?") Y'know, just to shut you up. :) And then again, sometimes it just won't.

There are days when you are capturing a flow of ideas; days when you are transcribing them from a scribble-pad and a hastily hummed sound file on your iPhone; and there are days when you are developing or arranging something from the recent past. I almost never have a day that involves more than one of these things.

I kinda like what Charles Schulz (Peanuts) once said. Every morning at the same time he shut his office to all distractions and put a pencil and a doodle-pad on his drawing board and that is exactly what he made himself do for an allotted period of time. I get up, start the coffee, feed the cat :whistle: and sit down in front of staff-paper (software, actually...) and I do this every morning that I can. A new version of whatever I am working on is added ... even if it is exactly the same as yesterday's.

No, I do not make my living at this (yet...), but I know that somehow it "unlocks" my thinking, on whatever subject, for the rest of the workday at Reel Job. It's like the every-evening long walk at dusk ... it just makes you feel better. I write computer software for a living. And I know that sometimes my mind is thinking about both things at once. Some days, I swear the source-code is musical.

Edited by MikeRobinson
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  • 3 weeks later...

I probably spend anywhere from 20-80 hours a week on music. Usually no less than 2 or 3 hours per day, though.

Some of that includes active listening. :)

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