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Feeling really, really sad. (Read 1740 times)

Offline countrymath

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Feeling really, really sad.
« on: September 23, 2011, 02:19:48 AM »
Does anyone here have ever felt sad on a way you try to overcome this sadness but you can't? I'm just like this right now.

It looks like that I haven't improved anything on my piano playing this year. Actually, i'm sure I didn't. All the things I try to do, like learn a new piece, learn improvisation, learn italian (or english), blues...fails miserably. My life has been on a routine since the begining of the year. All my days are being like "2 hours of theory by the morning, 1 hour of blues, 1 hour of accompainment, lunch, 3 hours of classical, 1 hours of improv, coffee break, italian, english, House MD, listen to music, sleep." I have no problem on being on a routine like that. The problem is that i'm not learning anything.

Last year I wanted to start learning keyboard solos. I still cant do it. I wanted to learn classical Improv. Still can't do it. Wanted to compose. Same thing.

I've lost all my desire to study music.

I went to college (music production) on the second semester of last year. That was the most wrong choice I ever made. My class was the first on that course, so it was lacking teachers and equipment. I got a terrible teacher there that was teaching me the wrong way. After 6 months, I quited, and went back to my town. Now, since the beginning of this year, I'm trying to find a job, and I couldn't find one (actually, i got one, but I will only start working on january of the next year).

What I'm trying to say is that I'm desperately trying to get the will to study music that I had one year ago.

Right now I just want to lay on the couch and watch TV, or listen to some stuff.

Well, sorry for coming here and start to whimper like someone was carrying, but I'm kinda getting freak.
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Offline pianowolfi

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #1 on: September 23, 2011, 08:54:43 AM »
I get into this mood when I have set my goals constantly too high for a while and can't live up to them. How about just taking it down a notch or two?

Offline Bob

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #2 on: September 24, 2011, 12:23:16 AM »
It probably doesn't fail.  It probably moves along slower than you thought.

If you keep working on things, you bank up... something.  Once in a while things seem to improve by themselves, but it's the results of all that work over time.

Ditto on what pianowolfi said about goals.  On the plus side, you might have the goals and plan, and that might be useful for two or three times the amount of time you thought it would take.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Online ted

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #3 on: September 24, 2011, 01:24:20 AM »
I suggest something quite different might be happening. It might be because you have mentally assigned pleasure to the end rather than the means and the process. The specious reasoning goes something like this: "I cannot do X, which I shall enjoy, until I have done Y, which I do not enjoy." The issue with this is that it is liable to concatenation: "To do Y, I really should do Z, which I do not much like either." So one ends up with a mental list of false prerequisites which render the whole process a grind.

In any case, serial learning doesn't work for the deeper creative processes and one reason among many is that it involves postponement of pleasure through false prerequisites. I have always found it superior to learn by spatial, rather than serial methods. That is to say, loosely speaking, begin anywhere you enjoy and fill in the gaps - more like a network or graph than a straight line.

Might help in your case, might not, I don't know.

"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline Bob

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #4 on: September 24, 2011, 03:18:45 AM »
I suppose another philosophy is to just go with the flow.  You can't control everything.  Control what you can as best you can and don't worry about the rest.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline jesc

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #5 on: September 24, 2011, 04:46:48 AM »
This is just my opinion and not just for countrymath but to anyone who feels that they're not progressing (especially when studying a specific piece).

There's a limit to what your human body can do and there's a limit to what your "chosen technique" can do. Specific example, very fast run or arpeggios, a quick way to play them fast is to rely on wrist movement (very tempting) but there's also another way, little wrist movement with more emphasis on the fingers. These two approaches have different ceilings.

Point is, if there's little or no progress, do it differently. I practice a lot but found out that if you hit on the right technique you'll notice a big difference immediately (which will give you that emotional boost that you're actually progressing).

 

Offline keyboardclass

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #6 on: September 24, 2011, 05:40:41 AM »
There's not much progress without a good teacher.  You're wandering the jungle with no guide.

Offline oxy60

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #7 on: September 24, 2011, 09:01:12 AM »
This is a classic situation where playing what we want to play may take a whole lot longer than we thought. You really don't know how tough something is until you try it.

Adding a teacher to the mix with their expectations may only make matters worse. In that situation you are pressured to prepare something for the coming lesson, very much like the life of a piano major in university.

Easy does it. Put some of those tough pieces away for a while.
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline keyboardclass

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #8 on: September 24, 2011, 09:31:04 AM »
Notice I said good teacher - not so easy to find.

Offline Derek

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #9 on: September 26, 2011, 02:30:08 PM »
I went through similar episodes. I'd say a little over ten years ago, I expected way too much of myself and considered myself a failure. At the time, I wasn't doing music I was trying to make video games as a hobby. Turns out I simply expected too much of myself: I expected to program the thing, do all the art, write all the music for it in a matter of months.  Now, ten years later, I decided to put a lot less pressure on myself. If it takes an entire evening to make a sprite show up on the screen, so be it. I decided to just enjoy the slow process of seeing a game come to life, gradually. Problem is, I had to adapt to this new way of enjoying my hobby. I also had to adapt to the very likely possibility that I wouldn't impress anyone. Tempting to want to impress people, but over time it becomes less and less appealing...you'll see.

With music, the closest I've come to similar feelings is wondering if I could become some sort of virtuoso some day. The truth is, with a job and a spouse and other hobbies, it is not possible. It is only possible to become virtuosic if you devote your life to it. Since I've realized this, it has given me renewed admiration for people who do devote their lives to it, as I can fully appreciate how much work it takes to play a piece well.  I've been working on the Ocean Etude, slowly, for over a year now but I doubt it is anywhere near what even say an undergraduate piano major could do with many more hours of practice.  But, I'm enjoying myself and that is all that matters (to me).  If your goal is to play for others and make money at music, I can easily imagine this being more stressful. I've seen my sister go through a lot of emotional strife as a professional musician; something I do not have the strength for. If you feel you can withstand it and the rewards are worth the price, I'd say stick with it...otherwise, just do it as a hobby and enjoy yourself; and accept a sub-virtuosic level of musicianship. Nothing wrong with that.

As for improv, somehow I got lucky. With the exception of occasionally irrationally wigging out over whether I should use lots of double notes  (a tough task, with slightly smaller than average hands), I haven't felt like a failure at this, but this is largely due to having been encouraged to create my own sounds rather than trying to make someone else's sounds better than they can. Thus, whether other people like it matters very little to me.

If you're not at a stage of life yet where other people and responsibilities begin to take precedence, you'll probably have a rough time for a bit. But once you get a job and a spouse  (or girlfriend or whatever), things will become more clear as to what you really want out of life and what you're capable of.

Offline keyboardclass

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #10 on: September 26, 2011, 05:18:32 PM »
If it takes an entire evening to make a sprite show up on the screen, so be it.
My brother does that! - though he actually does some at work (claims it's his job).

Offline countrymath

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #11 on: September 26, 2011, 07:54:10 PM »
Thank you all for the words, people. I think i will slow down the things a bit. My main goal is learning composition (for orchestra), blues and classical improv. But I feel guilty not learning other things, like pop ballad, R&B, because I want this to make my living.
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Offline oxy60

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #12 on: September 27, 2011, 10:07:56 AM »
You keep mentioning the blues and studying it hour after hour. The blues I know is an American art form that is created either solo with guitar or amongst a group. Sometimes we make up the lyrics or sing songs we already know. It is the most accessible music known. It is based on a I V IV progression and is generally 8 or 12 bars in length. At a blues jam musicians come from all over and are able to sit in and play right away. Even if it is a song they don't know, they can still play it. The key and the type (slow/fast) are you need to know.

Individual solos are another matter. Those require work. As far as piano/organ is concerned you just play along based on the chord progression changes and following the second guitar until you get your solo.

I don't know what else there is to study, except to work on your riffs
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline demian77

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #13 on: October 10, 2011, 09:25:07 PM »
Take a break from your routine... stop having expectations about how/what you should be playing... if you don't have a passion for the music you are vested in right now explore other outlets... read some books, get into film, or poetry, explore new music, find some other hobby that inspires you... the main thing is to not box yourself in into what you assume is what you want... if you aren't happy then it is probably not the way to go.

I went through something similar earlier this year. I had been spending 3-4 hours a day practicing for almost an entire year when I was unemployed. I was learning a ton and getting noticeably better by the week, but then when I started work it became impossible to play with the same enthusiasm and attention and sure enough my progress came screeching to a halt. I started to become extremely frustrated, angry and depressed, I felt no joy out of spending time in front of the piano and was too exhausted mentally from work to learn new pieces. I decided to take things down a notch, going as far as to stop playing for a few weeks and just focused on feeling happy, and letting go of all the pressures I had put on myself. Gradually as I started to feel better I gravitated towards the piano and began to play and enjoy it again.

I understand your situation is a bit different but I think the underlying problem is somewhat the same. So I hope you find the advice useful.

Offline countrymath

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #14 on: October 10, 2011, 10:54:24 PM »
thanks for the reply. I will start on a new job on January, so until there I think I will work on some videos that I would like to upload on my youtube channel.

I think that I was so thirsty that I broke the pot. I wanted to learn all styles of music togheter, but I don't have skills for that. I mean, I saw Sion, from Space4keys youtube channel. That guy is amazing. He can play everything, and I felt guilty about not playing everything like him. But I forgot that he has been playing for more then 20 years, and me, less then 3.

I think I will study 3 things only. Composition, classical music and blues. Thats it.

Oh, and languages, of course. I love languages :)
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Offline opium_64

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #15 on: November 14, 2011, 02:38:01 PM »
Does anyone here have ever felt sad on a way you try to overcome this sadness but you can't? I'm just like this right now.

It looks like that I haven't improved anything on my piano playing this year. Actually, i'm sure I didn't. All the things I try to do, like learn a new piece, learn improvisation, learn italian (or english), blues...fails miserably. My life has been on a routine since the begining of the year. All my days are being like "2 hours of theory by the morning, 1 hour of blues, 1 hour of accompainment, lunch, 3 hours of classical, 1 hours of improv, coffee break, italian, english, House MD, listen to music, sleep." I have no problem on being on a routine like that. The problem is that i'm not learning anything.

Last year I wanted to start learning keyboard solos. I still cant do it. I wanted to learn classical Improv. Still can't do it. Wanted to compose. Same thing.

I've lost all my desire to study music.

I went to college (music production) on the second semester of last year. That was the most wrong choice I ever made. My class was the first on that course, so it was lacking teachers and equipment. I got a terrible teacher there that was teaching me the wrong way. After 6 months, I quited, and went back to my town. Now, since the beginning of this year, I'm trying to find a job, and I couldn't find one (actually, i got one, but I will only start working on january of the next year).

What I'm trying to say is that I'm desperately trying to get the will to study music that I had one year ago.

Right now I just want to lay on the couch and watch TV, or listen to some stuff.

Well, sorry for coming here and start to whimper like someone was carrying, but I'm kinda getting freak.
While you typed this rubbish you could have been practicing and getting your desire back.

Offline countrymath

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #16 on: November 15, 2011, 01:47:55 AM »
While you typed this rubbish you could have been practicing and getting your desire back.

Did you read that rubbish?
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Offline bleicher

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #17 on: November 15, 2011, 10:22:11 AM »
Sorry to hear you're feeling down. I hope talking about it with us has helped. It's very common for musicians to put themselves under too much pressure and occasionally get overwhelmed. Look after yourself, remember that relaxing and enjoying yourself is important too, and don't feel guilty if it's not going right at the moment. I hope you feel better soon.

Offline alessandro

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #18 on: November 15, 2011, 12:38:19 PM »
Did you read that rubbish?

Yes I did.   
...
I had from the start a bad feeling reading his posts.  The capital letters, the underlying machism, I'm feeling arrogance and I don't like that...   

"Il faut de tout pour faire un monde".

Right Countrymath.   Though I'm much of an extreme moodswinger myself, it is not a good thing to "compare" sadness.  You have on a first sight a lot of goals, maybe too much.   Lot of your sadness is linked to something in particular, if not life (which can be worse than music), to music itself.   And therefor, a feeling of stagnation can be "normal".  If you want to improve, particularly in things where there is a great deal of "spirit" involved ("chess" is another example), you can face levels of stagnation, even regression.   The biggest deal of any improvement is the most noticeable in the beginning of the process.   Afterwards, everything becomes slower, and more difficult, like a "plateau" in the curb of progression and as I said, sometimes even dips.   But it is not impossible to overcome that.   Better avoid to put all of your bets on a same horse (like music).   Relax, man.  "Lying in the couch and watch television" as you say, well, that is enjoyable too, no ?, nothing to feel guilty about.   Also a total other 'hobby' or activity, can be fine; (drawing, cooking ?) and...  what helps me a lot, is a very long walk.   Even if it is sometimes difficult to get out of that couch, frankly, put on your boots and have a long, vigourous stroll in nature.


Kind greetings.

Offline opium_64

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #19 on: November 16, 2011, 06:58:26 AM »
Does anyone here have ever felt sad on a way you try to overcome this sadness but you can't? I'm just like this right now.

It looks like that I haven't improved anything on my piano playing this year. Actually, i'm sure I didn't. All the things I try to do, like learn a new piece, learn improvisation, learn italian (or english), blues...fails miserably. My life has been on a routine since the begining of the year. All my days are being like "2 hours of theory by the morning, 1 hour of blues, 1 hour of accompainment, lunch, 3 hours of classical, 1 hours of improv, coffee break, italian, english, House MD, listen to music, sleep." I have no problem on being on a routine like that. The problem is that i'm not learning anything.

Last year I wanted to start learning keyboard solos. I still cant do it. I wanted to learn classical Improv. Still can't do it. Wanted to compose. Same thing.

I've lost all my desire to study music.

I went to college (music production) on the second semester of last year. That was the most wrong choice I ever made. My class was the first on that course, so it was lacking teachers and equipment. I got a terrible teacher there that was teaching me the wrong way. After 6 months, I quited, and went back to my town. Now, since the beginning of this year, I'm trying to find a job, and I couldn't find one (actually, i got one, but I will only start working on january of the next year).

What I'm trying to say is that I'm desperately trying to get the will to study music that I had one year ago.

Right now I just want to lay on the couch and watch TV, or listen to some stuff.

Well, sorry for coming here and start to whimper like someone was carrying, but I'm kinda getting freak.
*** off with your fake shite. This is a piano website. Not an agony aunt.

Offline mcrosbie

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #20 on: November 16, 2011, 07:12:30 AM »
*** off with your fake shite. This is a piano website. Not an agony aunt.

This forum is not for piano - it clearly says it is about anything BUT piano. 

Offline opium_64

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #21 on: November 16, 2011, 03:05:50 PM »
This forum is not for piano - it clearly says it is about anything BUT piano. 
Yes yes yes YES I have realized that now thanks for pointing that out to me my friend

Offline pianobilliam

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Re: Feeling really, really sad.
«Reply #22 on: December 21, 2011, 01:31:31 AM »
When I am sad, I usually play piano to the tunes I feel. I will play a sad sonata if I am sad, which soon leads to happiness, which makes me play happy music. This may not work for everyone, but in my 14 years of life, piano has helped me through thick and thin. :) I am sure it does for you too!