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Do You Ever Feel Like Quitting?

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I gave up music for the entire year when my first son was born.  I was playing drums in a jazz quartet, and it got to feel like clocking in each Saturday, same venue, same songs, same people, same pay.  


When I took a paternity leave, I realized I didn't miss gigging, so I quit the band and stopped playing all of my other instruments and only wrote one song that year. My self-identity had been so tied up in being a musician that I needed to know if I could handle life as non-musician.


I have to say, it was a great year; I learned to cook, went on a 30 day juice fast, became a yellow belt in Kali/Escrima in under 6 months, and I took up archery lessons.


by the time my son turned one, I got the itch to pick up my bass again and decided to take my playing to a new level and I immediately started looking for work that would stretch my comfort level a bit. 


My first audition was terrible.  I was nervous, the band was lifeless and distant as the moon and, although they said I made the cut to the second round of auditions, I never got a call back.


Right away that nagging voice in the back of my head started screaming, "give up, you're not good enough, you're parents were right, you should have gotten a job with your sister at her office, you're not in your twenties, you'll never make it as a musician."  


Even though I wanted to quit, I decided to reply to one more ad for a trio looking for a bassist.


 A week later I got a call, and unlike the previous band leader, our personalities clicked.   Luckily, the band played some of the songs I had already learned for my previous audition so I felt confident.  We got together and "jammed" (which is really just an audition but psychologically it takes the pressure off) and I got hired in two of the band leaders bands out of the one jam/audition.  


The catch was, I had to learn roughly 80 songs in a month (which I did with a similar systematic approach that got me to become a yellow belt in such a short period of time).  


This isn't the first time in my life where I had to keep going even though I wanted to quit?  Does anybody else struggle with that?  Do you ever tell yourself things like, " I have been playing for years, but I still can't do (skill/technique/song)?

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I constantly bounce between musical confidence and insecurity.


For me it was the breakup of my marriage that made me re-evaluate myself in all respects. I too, took up a martial art. I did Shotokan Karate for 15 years.


I am having a similar re-evaluation right now due to another life changing event. Oddly enough I am not turning to music, or not yet anyway.


80 songs in a month. That's a tall order. Our bassist had to learn our set list in a day. Obviously it he just had to busk most of it.


If those 80 songs were jazz ballads I would be scared I think. Fortunately soul, rock or country are a lot simpler. Its the arrangements that will cause the headaches probably. Who starts? Where are the stops? Are there key changes? etc.


Good luck with those songs.

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All the time. Sometimes I can listen to my songs and they sound great, other days I listen to them and they don't. Even if I post a song and it gets great reviews, I still question if it's good or not. 


Having to learn 80 songs in that amount of time would surely send me in and out of confidence.


Stick with it though, a lot of what you said seems like it's just life. I think in every profession, especially "art" related professions, people feel that way. Whether they like to admit it or not.

Edited by Just1L
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I constantly bounce between musical confidence and insecurity.

I've come to the conclusion we all do. We creative ones I mean. It's just very comforting, as you get older, you realize you're not the only one who feels that way. It's a constant roller coaster ride that's for sure. I bounce between being Gods musical gift to mankind to checking ebay and see how much I can get for all my stuff since I most clearly lack any kind of musical talent. At least, over the years, I've learned to laugh at it. Not exactly when it happens, but after. =)

On topic: No. ;-)


Edited by The S
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Thanks Bill,

I did end up memorizing the 80 songs in time, but after 3 months of gigs I got dropped when the former bassist decided to come back to both bands (he left for a higher profile/paying band).  I guess that's what got me thinking about all of this.


After my last show with one of the bands, another musician come up to me and complimented me on my bass solo and some of my bass lines.  When the band leader called and told me (lied) that he was shutting both bands down because he wasn't feeling it, I immediately felt my insecurities and doubts creep in.


 I had no warning, the band was getting tighter, the only feedback I had received from the band leader was to move around more on stage, so I started really using the stage and getting into it.  We got along very well, and the other band members had complimented my playing on a few occasions.  It came as a shock until a few days after the call I saw on FB that the bands were gigging with the original bassist.


The original bassist was also a lead singer (I just sang harmonies) and had established a lot of the connections and booked many of the gigs.  Despite knowing this, my mind tends to want to dwell on rejection.  

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  • 10 months later...

I was playing drums in a jazz quartet, and it got to feel like clocking in each Saturday, same venue, same songs, same people, same pay.  


Playing the same songs at the same venue every week could be what made you want to quit.  I would never want to put myself through that lol.  You are going to have times when you feel like quitting when trying to learn anything that takes years to master.  It is the people who persevere through the negative thoughts that end up becoming professionals.  

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