Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

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Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by tea for two »

Some of us perhaps don't feel fatigue working on our own music.

I sure do.

Sraightforward is to stop making music lol.
Else to take breathers.

One reason I stopped making music nearly a decade was because of fatigue in my music.

These days things that seems to be working for me :

*Working on upto 5 pieces at a time. As soon as I feel fatigue on one piece, I switch to another.
*Different arrangements, structures for different pieces. I try not to have too many similar arrangements, structures. There's some pieces without arrangements structures.
*Different sounds. I try not to use same sound twice.
*Different accompaniment harmonies for every piece. This is important to me.
*Different scales. There's some favourite scales I have, I consciously look to move away from them.
*Different drum grooves from different genres.
*Not overusing a riff. This is hard so I like having variations on a riff.
*Something unexpected, not in every piece just in some pieces.
*Stopping over tinkering.
*When a piece, an album, is completed including mastering that's it I won't listen to it except to check the mastering. I won't beat myself up over it.
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Re: Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by Arpangel »

Fatigue in music making is unavoidable for me, especially if I’m expecting something to sound like an idea I have in my head, and it doesn’t match.
That’s why I like leaving things to chance most of the time, I wait until something comes out of nowhere, that I like, rather than constructing it from scratch, it’s a bit lazy, but it works for me, it’s also a very equipment intensive way of working.
I watched 30th Century Man, about Scott Walker, that made me feel like I was complaining about nothing, and my life, musical or otherwise, was a complete bed of roses.
If Brian Eno had produced one of my records, I can rest safely in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have thrown the master tapes in the Thames, that was a big mistake, I would have just buried them in the garden.
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Re: Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by blinddrew »

I find having a day job pretty effective in stopping me getting any fatigue in creating music! ;)
More seriously, but in the same vein, having other pastimes is key for me.
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Re: Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by RichardT »

Yes, I do too!

I often experience that when I’m finalising a track for mastering. Fixing all the faults is very hard work and not particularly satisfying. There’s no way round this for me - but it’s possible to spread the work out over time.

I also experience fatigue when I’m struggling with a difficult piece, especially if I’m outside my comfort zone and I can’t get it to work, or I can’t come up with some new material that I need to fit with what I already have. The best thing here for me is not to force things. If I come up with new ideas, let them be what they want to be and don’t try to shoehorn them into a place they don’t work.
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Re: Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by Folderol »

For me it's not usually a problem, because I don't compose 'to order' but just when the muse strikes. Other times I'll just doodle around on the keyboard.

The big exception was my latest release, (Tribes) and this was when I did plan out a series of tracks to fit a story. For 7-8 years it was stuck with only three of the six tracks done - even though I was occasionally composing other odd material in the meantime.

I think what cleared to logjam was completion of a heavy-going software project, which, in the first place, gave me more free-wheeling time, and secondly the desire to relax into something quite different. Getting back to Tribes suddenly became enjoyable, while still work - sort of.
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Re: Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by awjoe »

YMMV, but for me, as soon as I start to feel either fatigue or pressure with musical projects, I pick up an instrument and play. That gets me into body and feelings, and then all's good again. If I'm too physically tired to play, then sleep's required.

It's one of the reasons I abandoned 12-tune albums with multiple overdubs - it was becoming not fun. I'm okay with 'not fun' if it's episodic. But if it becomes chronic, it's time to read the signs.
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Re: Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by tea for two »

One other thing I've done is listening to music from various parts of the World. Such a breath of fresh air for me.

Most of my life I've listened to Western music.
Most of music I make is Western.
I've only got 4 pieces that sound Non western.
I've started including samples of World instruments into my music.

::

Arpangel wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:57 am
I watched 30th Century Man, about Scott Walker, that made me feel like I was complaining about nothing, and my life, musical or otherwise, was a complete bed of roses.

Yep. I'd say the same. When I see homeless near where I live, when I see families with toddlers in refugee camps, my life been a comparative bed of roses.

Still I would say without the things we see in the world, I don't think I could make some of my music.
Personally it's as if the barbed wires were necessary for some pieces.

::

blinddrew wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:56 am
More seriously, but in the same vein, having other pastimes is key for me.

1000%
It's exploring my interests other than music for a decade that's enabled me to return to making music.

::

RichardT wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:08 am Yes, I do too!

I often experience that when I’m finalising a track for mastering. Fixing all the faults is very hard work and not particularly satisfying. There’s no way round this for me - but it’s possible to spread the work out over time.

This is just a pain in the.... for me too.
It's gotta be done yet I put it off as long as I can lol.

RichardT wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:08 am The best thing here for me is not to force things. If I come up with new ideas, let them be what they want to be and don’t try to shoehorn them into a place they don’t work.


I can say I was guitly of forcing things, getting scores from library to make something fit into something.
Was quite distressing in a way. Once I left this method, the result were better musically as well as for my well being.

::

Folderol wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:05 pm I think what cleared to logjam was completion of a heavy-going software project, which, in the first place, gave me more free-wheeling time, and secondly the desire to relax into something quite different. Getting back to Tribes suddenly became enjoyable, while still work - sort of.

Yep I think this is it. For me music making is something to feel energised to make.
Doing something else that's mind numbing or taxing, then returning to music for relief.

It's probably why I can't make music to order, commission, I'd get fatigued very quickly. I just don't have this makeup.

::

awjoe wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:43 pm

It's one of the reasons I abandoned 12-tune albums with multiple overdubs - it was becoming not fun. I'm okay with 'not fun' if it's episodic. But if it becomes chronic, it's time to read the signs.

Chronic. When it stops being engaging meaningful, we've had it. It took me a while to read the signs. When I did, that was it.
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Re: Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by blinddrew »

Revisiting this and building on your last post, I generally try and make sure each 'collection' of music I release, be it an EP or an album, has a distinct style. And I'll try and do something different with the next one. This forces me to push myself a bit more each time and does help to avoid some of the potential ruts.

[EDIT - the previous comment disappeared! Now it looks like I'm talking to myself.]
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Re: Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by tea for two »

blinddrew wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 1:38 pm Revisiting this and building on your last post, I generally try and make sure each 'collection' of music I release, be it an EP or an album, has a distinct style. And I'll try and do something different with the next one. This forces me to push myself a bit more each time and does help to avoid some of the potential ruts.

[EDIT - the previous comment disappeared! Now it looks like I'm talking to myself.]

Lol i put it back again. Was just editing with replying to comments.

This is something been doing since I returned to making music.
Each album has a theme, with pieces in the album to correspond with the theme. Somehow it's made composition easier.
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Re: Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by Arpangel »

tea for two wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 1:06 pm Still I would say without the things we see in the world, I don't think I could make some of my music.
Personally it's as if the barbed wires were necessary for some pieces.

::

The barbed wire is the reason I make music, the music is there for one purpose, to take my mind off of the world, and what it is capable of.
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Re: Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by blinddrew »

Interesting, you make music to keep the world out, I do so to let it in.
We're a funny old species aren't we? :)
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Re: Ways to stave off Fatigue in our own music

Post by tea for two »

To the list is added

*Not forcing things. Letting an idea arise naturally. Letting an idea be what it is instead of shoe horning it (from Richard T).

*Returning to making music as relief from whatever taxing, excruciating, mind numbing thing we are having to do (from Folderol).

*Taking a breather from a musical project by just picking up an instrument and playing.
Also if the musical project is chronically not fun any longer, then it's time to look elsewhere musically (from AwJoe).

*Selecting a distinct style for an Ep, Album. Making it different from the next Ep, Album.
Then making music to fit this distinct style (from Blinddrew).

*Having other past time interests to explore (from Blinddrew).

*Listening to music from other genres, other parts of the World. Thereafter including aspects of them into the music we are making.

*Making music to give something to someone whomever this maybe including Animals.
Making music some people could relate to, could mean something to some people.
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