Getting The Excitement Back For Playing Music

© 2019 Vinny Ribas

Losing your passion for your music. It often happens to the most dedicated artists and songwriters, and it can be devastating when it hits. It can come from frustration at things not moving as quickly as you want or need them to. It can come from meeting someone who you feel dwarfs you in talent. Or it just seem to come out of nowhere. It can show up in the form of dread for lugging your gear to a gig, in procrastinating booking gigs or in writer’s block. It can cause you to lose confidence in yourself. It can last for a day, a week, a month or even years. You still love music with all your heart and soul. You just bring yourself to engage in making it any more.

So what do you do when you’re feeling your passion slipping away? Here are some ideas for overcoming music burnout:

  1. It’s important to give yourself permission to fluctuate in your passion. It’s natural. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t feel like you’re a failure because you’re floundering a bit. Recognize that you have other needs, wants and desires in your life, and sometimes one or more of them must take precedence. It doesn’t mean you have to give up what you love(d). It doesn’t mean that you love it less. It just means that something has changed and you need to re-adjust your thinking or approach.
  2. Go back to your earliest sources of musical inspiration. Listen to all time favorite artists. Remember what it was that you love(d) about them. Re-live the excitement of learning their music for the first time. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of why we do what we do.
  3. Create a new challenge for yourself. That might come in the form of booking much bigger gigs, co-writing with more inspiring songwriters, writing in or learning a musical style that is new to you etc. Jam with players who challenge you to get better. Sometimes the lack of excitement comes from not having something to work towards, or from a lack of steady new accomplishments.
  4. Seek out new sources of inspiration. That might come from falling in love with other forms of art (painting, writing etc.) or other forms of creativity. You might find it in listening to new kinds of music or reading poetry.
  5. Find new outlets for your passion. You may find it by teaching others what you know. You might marry your music with film or TV, or finally get serious about developing the TV or film idea you’ve had for years.
  6. Take a break. Burnout is natural, especially when you’ve poured everything you have into something for an extended period of time. It’s common to become emotionally drained. Don’t fight it. Every battery needs to be recharged at some point. Use the time to set new goals and challenges for yourself. Then set a fate for your ‘comeback’. It will give you something new to work towards.

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.