Mental barriers to making music

Why am I mentally blocked from sitting down and composing a song and recording it? What is my issue? I used to LOVE it. Now it just feels like work, too much work. Where has my passion for making music gone? I don’t even like listening to music anymore. It all sounds trite,predictable and lifeless to me, even stuff I used to love like Floyd and Sting . 4 minutes and out. Blah,don’t even get me started on the old R&B I used to listen to. It sounds pathetic now. don’t know what to do. I have a beautiful home studio now with all the stuff I ever wanted to make music, but my desire is gone. Every time sit down and attempt to make music the process seems exhausting to me… I ended up quitting. Too hard. Too much focus needed. Is work sapping my creative energy? Is this mid life crisis at 47? Wtf has happened to me

Sounds like you need a new challenge mate…

Google ‘Actualisation’… :wink:

Trash Preferences and reboot . :neutral_face:

Seriously ,

  1. suspend any sense of judgement , evaluation or criticism
  2. go for a walk to take your mind off music ,
    come back , hold an instrument , relax , and just play one note and really listen without any expectation to what you’re actually playing .
    ( Keyword PLAY , ie fun ! )

Music is it’s own reward .

Aloha m,

I hear ya!

In the recent past, everytime I heard a piece of music I would start to ‘see’ it on the page.

I would ‘observe’ rather than enjoy. And like you this also happened even with old stuff.

Sooo here is what I did.

Take a trip to someplace where the people/culture etc is totally different from the way you now live.
Immerse yourself. Stay as long as you can afford. Try and go alone.

Don’t go anyplace dangerous of course but to where a diff language is spoken, diff food, diff pace etc.

Then where you get back home do not try to write about it. Yet!

Let it ‘sink in’. Might take some time but eventually that new energy will work it’s way to the surface.

When it does be prepared. It will most likely come out as a gush!

Good Luck! and I really mean that.

You don’t have to go far.
I spent month with my mother-in-law! (shutter)

Awesome, Curteye.

Because you are typing about it on this forum. That’s why. Stop thinking about how you are mentally blocked from sitting down and composing a song and recording it, and you will be able to sit down and compose a song and record it.


change is as good as a rest ,listen to styles you would never normally listen to .classical, rock a billy ,frank sinatra whatever,i`d avoid country and western it might have the wrong reaction :smiley: . it might spark something off.

Thanks good people.

It may have something to do with PROCESS. I don’t think I have simplified it enough in cubase. Maybe I need to sit down and create some templates that make it SUPER EASY to plug in and start making music.

Let me explain…

So… I have this amazing roland rd700nx keyboard. It is a truly exquisite instrument that inspires me to play daily . As I’m playing I will get an idea for a song. Then I will plug in my macbook (it typically is not plugged in because I am paranoid about burglary , and hide it when not in use) , fire up cubase, start a new project, configure io, etc etc… Then… Then… Ugh… What do I do? Record audio? MIDI? VSTi? Argh. I find myself paralyzed with all the choices. And then, even if I do record audio, the audio is being recorded to an external drive and I fear the external drive failure so I think “gee I should not be recording to an external drive.” Then… Maybe I will add a beat or something . Then… now I’m off track… Overwhelmed…

All I wanted to do was capture a few ideas… Why does it have to be so hard? Takes me 10 minutes to get up and running every time.

Maybe I should create a template. But I wonder should I record my piano parts as audio or midi parts? Granted I am in the sketching stage at this point

I just need a good workflow for capturing ideas quick, then building songs out from those ideas.

So how do YOU work???

Wow, leave everything plugged in and turned on, and set up. My brain is not happy switching gears between the tech me and the music me.

Or just forget about Cubase and get your idea on the cheapest most available device you have, like your phone or anything that can record the sound you make, and work on it later.

Why be paranoid? How about insurance?

Your sig is ironic, btw.


Could there possibly be something else going on in your world unrelated to music which might be causing it?

I agree with Curteye… take a good break, step away from it all physically, mentally and emotionally… maybe go and do something completely different for a little while? I find if i take a break from music for more than 3 or 4 days i REALLY start to miss it.

At 47, this is the 1st time you’ve felt this way?

I’ve taken many breaks over the years…from days, weeks, up to 10 years after ending my performing years.

you probably need to have your gear set up and ready to roll. get yourself a desktop with a couple of 500 gig hard drives. load it with a pci card like an emu-0404 or whatever , have the dongle stuck in the back and leave it there .have your amp and monitors set up and have your keyboard set up and plugged in and ready to go .you only have three things to switch on, amp ,pc and keyboard and you are ready to rock .
i personally could not work with a laptop unless recording a live gig ,too much messing around before the process gets going .
i recently wrote a tune just by singing some melodies down the mic and recorded them to a click track and i built a song around it .it turned out greatl ,i`ll maybe post it on here someday . you maybe need to make your studio more secure, burglar proof or at least as awkward as hell to get into.hope this helps a bit .

You need to live somewhere you won’t feel in constant fear of burglary. That would be enough to dampen anyone’s creativity. :frowning:

I appreciate the feedback here! :mrgreen:

No,this is NOT the first time I have felt this way. I have taken long breaks away before when I lost the drive.
But the drive is actually present this time. I just think I am getting tripped up on logistics now . Too many damn things to turn on and configure when inspiration strikes

Yes I noticed my sig earlier and also thought gee, that’s ironic. Lol

Let me ask you a question, is it ok to plug say my keyboard, monitors, soundcard into a power bar, turn them all on, then use the power bar switch to turn them all on and off in the future ?

I always turn on monitors last.
When shutting down they go off first.

Maybe two strips.

Monitors should always be the last thing powered on, and the first thing powered off. Tho, you can power them on/off simul. with other gear - as long as any gear feeding the monitors does not have some kind of delay in powering on, nor should the monitors have any kind of delay while powering down.


So long as you’re not exceeding its rated performance then yes! … If the power bar cable starts to get even the slightest bit warm then you’re over doing it…
Some good advice there on powering up/down sequence too!

I know how you feel mate, I;m currently having a week of thinking all my music is s…h…i…t and what the hell am I doing thinking I can do music and it is a worry wondering if it will go away!!! :frowning:

keep on keepin on…Kevin

Somehow I don’t think using a power strip to make 3 or 4 pieces of equipment come on at the same time is going to help. There are obviously deeper underlying issues involved here :bulb: A mid life crisis? Maybe, sounds like some kind of crisis. Could be a combination of boredom, depression, stress etc. Possibly you’ve finally reached your goal of having all this great stuff…you’ve made it! Now what? Some think that buying a new version of Cubase will solve it, a new computer…“waiter bring me MORE VSTi’s!!!” … always that next step to chasing the rainbow, like a carrot on the string, it works for horses.

Pink Floyed & Sting? Blah, stick a fork in me, I’m done! Break out Foghat or worse Phil Collins while we’re at it for a proper suicide by hanging. I can barely listen to the same crap I listened to in the 70’s and 80’s, aside from a few gems that I hadn’t heard a million times! It’s like stickin’ it to the same woman for 30 years (or another man if your name is Prince)…ya got ta turn R’ over & start fresh from a new angle man!

Take a little break, and then go N’ get R’ done! :smiley:

Find some local musicians to jam with. Better yet, join (or form) a band. Play live in front of people. Play to drunken hecklers in dive bars. Do the summer festival circuit. Get out there and do it for real, in front of real people, and feel the thrill of connecting with an audience. Then revisit the studio deal.