Sunday, January 10, 2016

The (hi-)story of DrScythe – Part V: Decisions and Motivation

This last part of the (hi-)story series is about two things (as you might have guessed by now). First I’ll describe my way of getting to the point of trying it as a solo-artist and then I’ll give you some hints of how I stay motivated.

So let’s just begin with the decision. After music won the battle against photography and I recorded the first test song I still had to make a choice whether I wanted to record some demos and then try to form a band based on that or if I’d try something else. While battling the university’s administration in 2014 I continuously practiced mixing by experimenting with riffs and ideas as I mentioned last time. While doing so I became more and more confident that I could do it all alone. And with the second complete song I gave myself no excuse left for not doing it alone.

I didn’t make a written list of pros and cons of a full band vs. just me but the key differences were limitations. Limiting myself to my own instrumental capabilities or limiting myself to the time and motivation others can/want/will spare. As you already know what I ended up doing I will just lay out the reasons why I went for the solo-thing.

1. Freedom. No one to ask, no one to wait for, no excuses. All options, full responsibility. Whenever I want, however, whatever. The price is discipline. As long as I got a few followers no one really cares about a week delay – or at least I can answer questions immediately. But maybe the day will come when a bunch of people ask ‘where’s the new song dude?’

2. Self-fulfillment. This is part of Nr. 1 but from a different angle. I don’t have to ask for other people’s opinion on songs or styles. This too asks for some discipline. Not choosing the simpler version of a track although the better sounding one is more complex and/or difficult. Keeping the distance to criticize your own work. There’s a difference between just doing what you want and knowing what you want (to say) and doing it.

3. No excuses. This was actually a reason. Part of motivating yourself is having no excuses. Or at least easily to differentiate from real reasons like graduating type of excuses.

4. Getting sh*t done. I managed to record several songs and even released two of them. That’s one more than all the bands before were able to achieve. So I was pretty confident that I can really finish something this time. And so I did…

I knowingly headed into the risk of repeating myself or missing out really talented musicians who could lift the songs to next level (if there is any; as rating music is 100% taste…). But I wanted to get something done this time and this was the better way. More on that topic on a future post about the future of DrScythe.

As I already stated there is also this huge aspect of motivation. Although this post will be a little blown up I think my motivation is easier to understand if you can see the connections to the reasons for beginning as solo artist. But let’s begin at the core. Your core. Our core. We’re all lazy. Not always, not in every way. Nonetheless it’s just a fact that we all tend to do the easiest thing. Which often enough is nothing at all. So getting yourself to actually begin with something is definitely the hardest point. And the more excuses you can find the smaller the chance you get to the point of overcoming the laziness. I am not talking about doing something the easiest way possible but the very decision to do something at all.

But how to defeat that voice in your head? How to resist temptation? Self-discipline. Some got it as a kind of default setting others have to fight hard to use theirs. For years I wanted to do some sort of sport again to lose weight and regain physical fitness. I tried several things until I bought a book in 2013. This is not an ad and I am in no way connected to the author it’s just part of the story. This book was ‘You Are Your Own Gym’ by Mark Lauren. It was exactly the thing I needed back then. No excuses left. Just stand up and train. No machines, no memberships, nowhere to go - nothing needed. Except you and your body. And by forcing myself through the first weeks of muscle soreness and beating up this voice in my head again and again I not only regained my former self-discipline I strengthened it a lot. So that I was able to graduate and to go through the recording, mixing and mastering of a song without excusing myself.

Not matter how pumped I am when I just wrote a new song or got a great addition to an existing one – it always comes down to work finishing it. So it’s always this kind of self-discipline that needs to kick in. I cannot tell you how to train yours. In the end you need to find the weakness of your personal laziness yourself. This weakness is where your determination is louder than the tempting voice. Where you can easily identify excuses and get rid of them. And after you learned how to win against the ‘devil on your shoulder’ it’s easier to beat him everywhere else. It’s not like the struggle ends. After more than two years I am still tempted to say ‘no training today’ especially when new or very hard exercises are involved. But I know the rules of the fight now.

In the next post I’ll give you an overview of what to expect in the future by DrScythe.

So long,


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