Sunday, January 3, 2016

The (hi-)story of DrScythe – Part IV: The Struggle

This entry is about my inner struggle with making music. In May 2012 I bought a DSLR and immediately began taking photos every single day. It became part of my every day routine to sneak around in the garden of my in-laws with the macro lens on. The results are on 500px:

During this period I rarely played guitar or bass. Sometimes I wouldn’t grab an instrument for more than 10 days. After a trip to the USA and a reportage about the Orient-Express I considered selling all my guitars except for the acoustic one and just give up. Photography was way more productive. I saw the results instantly and I got tons of feedback. Even better: mostly very positive feedback. That was something new for me when doing something that I enjoyed myself. Of course I also got feedback by my fiancée and my band mates while making music but on 500px (and somewhere else too) it was just a lot more. And when one of my photos got tweeted by one of the official 500px accounts I was really full of joy.

It somewhat felt like all my efforts learning to play guitar and bass, to sing and even some basics of piano, recording and mixing were for nothing as the bands always dissolved before something productive like gigs or recordings happened. It was really weird to feel like this as I had the urge to make music since the beginning. It became something necessary like eating, drinking or breathing. Not on a daily basis but at least twice a week or so. And suddenly it wasn’t important anymore. I still liked the act of playing an instrument but there wasn’t this satisfaction doing it.

So I came really close to putting my musical career out of its misery. Just play some songs at home once in a while and enjoy trapping light on an SD card. I cannot quite remember what made me go through all my song ideas back then but somehow I suddenly felt that some of the songs deserved to be ‘real’ instead of just MIDI. I even created some sort of running order for an album. I grabbed my copy of ‘Mischen wie die Profis’ and read it once more. In combination with doing bodyweight exercises for a few weeks and so having learned the first lessons in how to fight my inner laziness the fire was sparked again. At first I just produced this joke song for a contest but I definitely wanted to build experience and then move on to record the ‘real’ songs.

Although I technically would’ve been able to immediately begin recording the real songs after that I decided to practice mixing first with random riffs a little longer. I did that for almost a year while trying to graduate from university. This took longer than I anticipated due to various problems within the administration of the very young university. So I did another weird Christmas song.

As this song was written, recorded and published within just three weeks I noticed that I again had found an excuse not to do what I wanted to. Even things like ‘just one more practice riff’ can be something that holds you back. I admit that I prioritized the university after this revelation as it was something definitely necessary. And after it took me another 8 months to graduate I finally felt free to record the real songs. Which I did as you might know if you read this.

I still don’t know if there is any measurable success ahead. But I already learned a lot about myself on this way. How to win against my laziness. What my creative priorities are. How to finish something. Just like this post. More on motivation will follow in a non-history post. So long,


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