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Trickshot

I can't do it anymore.

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My story starts here, it's 11:30 a.m. and I'm in my bedroom all alone listening to music I once composed, and I realized that I have lost everything that I once had.

Things don't work like they used to. I can't compose any more. It doesn't flow like it used to. Nothing can make me happy.

Before I go off on a mindless rant that nobody will understand but me, I should explain a few things...

-I'm 17

-I've been composing for about two years.

-Battled with mental illness for about three.

-I haven't taken any medicine in months.

-I want to compose again.

So let's see...

I was committed to a mental hospital a couple years ago for seeing things and hearing things that weren't there. I was never properly diagnosed, and my symptoms constantly change. I'm not having any positive symptoms (delusions, hearing voices, and what not) but I'm in a complete mind tear.

I really got into music about the time I was committed. And when I came out, I was a new person. I was on medication, and I really felt great. But about 6 months after that, I started feeling down because I thought everything I did wasn't me, it was the medication. And that played a big role in my music.

Somehow, I just knew how to compose. I could compose what ever I wanted to, just about. I mainly did mallet ensembles and what not, considering my 'forte' is in percussion. But whatever I composed, I usually liked, and it set me free. It made me so happy.

But it's been awhile since I've been able to do that. I can't compose anymore. My thoughts are so mixed up and just crazy, I can't settle in and compose anything.

I used to do little drumline cadences, I can't even do that anymore. That was always the easiest, and most natural to compose. Mainly because, that's what started my musical interest for the most part. But I grew out of the drums and got into actual music, which made me so happy.

Now, I can't do any of that. Especially music. Everything used to come so natural to me, now I can't trust my instinct. I was basically so intuitive that I never had to logically think about music. Now I feel as if my brain has crossed over to the logic side so much, that I can't compose anything until I have a full understanding of music. (Which will take years, and years.)

I can't do it. I am constantly trying to write something. But I haven't had a satisfactory piece in ages. I get about 4-16 measures into something, and just quit because nothing makes sense, and it sounds so random.

I can't develop ideas anymore.

I don't know what it is, and I don't know if I'm asking for help, or what. I'm just really torn up over it. Seems like I can't do anything without trying to logically overcome it. And the thing is, I don't have enough logic or knowledge to be doing so, so it ends up in a big paradox. One thing cancels out the other until I'm back where I started.

It's hard to explain, and even harder to overcome.

I hear music, and just go crazy. I think of Mozart and how every note seems to fall right into place, and it gives me such a sensation that I know I have to do this. I have to compose.

But I don't know where to start. Should I pick back up where I left off? Should I start from scratch?

It's like everything I try to do is constantly being overcome by another part of me. I try to grasp on to my old ideas and think creatively and intuitively, but it is constantly being overcome by my current mindset.

I have so many ideas in my head, and they can never get down to paper.

I used to just 'write off the paper' meaning I would develop.ideas as they came along, and it was all great, but I can't do that anymore. Everything needs to be structured, and I don't have enough knowledge to get the music I want.

When I start writing something that sounds good, I immediately get excited and start thinking differently. My mindset completely changes. And that's when everything goes to hell.

I need to find a way to compose what I like. Wether it be a simple piano solo, a good drumline book, or a full-fledged concert ensemble, I need to find something to get me on track, and I can't do it.

I'm always thinking in terms of scales, harmony, complexity, simplicity, style, era, rhythm, color, clarity, so on and so on, and not just thinking about music.

I can't do it anymore. I just can't.

I want to start from scratch, but I can't let go of my old ideas.

And the worst part is, I can't grasp ahold of them either.

I'm stuck in the middle, like at some proving grounds that I need to figure out my musical personality, and it's just a nightmare.

I feel like this is the period in my life that will set my up to be a good composer for the rest of my life. I need to figure out what to do now.

And I can't.

I just can't find out who I am.

I don't know how I want you to respond. I'm searching for answers, but maybe not here. I'm just looking for recognition. Just any thoughts you might have. Any...just a response is all I'm looking for.

Thanks.

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It might be more helpful to ask yourself what you can't compose, as opposed to convincing yourself you just can't.

Could you do a progression of four chords, which at least makes sense and are optionally quite interesting? Would you be able to write a two bar melody?

It's possible to over-think composition, and I find that when this happens, reverting to the most rudimentary material can help. The minimalists of 30-40 years ago would agree. :)

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If you can't think of a melody, listen to one of your favourite pieces and nick the melody from that. Then start harmonising it.

PS. How long have you had this problem for?

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My advice - Consider finding yourself a girlfriend if you don't have one...

Nice advice :P

Start simple. Try some pop song chord progressions. Add some notes to the meloday, and you have a piece.

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Nice advice :P

I was serious!!! With girls you go through both a lot of good times and bad times. Experiencing new emotions is a sure way to get your creativity flowing. Even if you don't land a girlfriend go after a girl you like - then even if she rejects you can always write music about your grief/frustration!

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I don't know, you have a point, finrod.

I completely fell apart when my girlfriend and I split up. I wasn't ready for it.

I don't know if I'm ready for another relationship. And I don't want to feel dependent on someone else again, I know how dangerous that can be. But it's what my heart desires, no?

I defiantly like the idea of going back to rudimentary states. I don't know, it just makes me feel kind of secure. Like I can't fall once I'm on the ground kind of thing...but if I reach...I can always fail.

I defiantly speak in metaphors a lot. :D

But really, thinks for the help.

I'm working on a string quartet right now. It's very classical sounding, and I'm liking it, for the most part. I'm really just trying to get through this and accept it as a piece as a whole when it's finished, whether it's good or not. I need to get used to finishing my pieces. I have 100-200 some finished, and over 500 incomplete.

I really feel as if I need to start from scratch and just put all of that behind me, but I kind of get inspiration from those unfinished pieces.

And it gives me a lot to do on the downtime, lol.

But I've been playing with chord progressions, just keeping it simple and basic writing for solo piano.

I'm really starting to fall in love with improvising. Something I never really could do before. I can't play piano well at all, but I can come up with very nice melodies that please me.

I still drum a lot. I'm starting to drop the marching snare, and pick up drumset.

But percussion has never fulfilled that longing, that lust I have for creating music.

I'm looking for some good composition exercises. (ycf maybe..?????) :toothygrin:

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Guest thatguy

you were talking about mozart and how his ideas just fell into place...you seem to be inspired by that. relisten to some of his work, or even venture out into other composers music and try to find that inspiration again. i remember the exact scene and moment when i first heavily indulged myself into music....try and find that moment in your life again. i was first inspired my bach and beethoven and since then have found new inspirations with mussorgsky and others. its like you first discover the color orange...but then you wind up seeing blue all the time. sometimes i just think of 3 notes or so, no melody or anything, and play them in my head like theyre the only 3 notes that exist. from that you would be surprised how creativity takes over, and then how logic organizes your thoughts into coherent sense. ive had many times where i felt brain dead, but i always find a way to rediscover inspiration again. take a walk in the woods or stare at the sky or...sorry im rambling lol. i guess what im trying to say is find the thing that truly wants you to write music until you find your own authentic voice again :)

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I'm looking for some good composition exercises. (ycf maybe..?????) :toothygrin:

Look in the games and challenges section.:thumbsup:

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Wait a minute.... you're 17?

Hell...

My advice to you is to get out of the house, ride a bike, see a concert, and meet a pretty girl(Finrod is not too far off). You're too young to be stressing out about this stuff.

Live a little!

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Wait a minute.... you're 17?

Hell...

My advice to you is to get out of the house, ride a bike, see a concert, and meet a pretty girl(Finrod is not too far off). You're too young to be stressing out about this stuff.

Live a little!

Just one? One pretty girl is never enough. Once you meet one you'll go for more. ;)

Well that's what I did.

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I was serious!!! With girls you go through both a lot of good times and bad times. Experiencing new emotions is a sure way to get your creativity flowing. Even if you don't land a girlfriend go after a girl you like - then even if she rejects you can always write music about your grief/frustration!

Hey! That's me! I do it all the time!!! Well not all the time :w00t: , but it happend to me that I broke up with my girlfriend some months ago; now I cry all day long but I compose a lot as well!!!!!! Actually, I stopped composing when... let me think... ah! yes!! I stopped composing when I met her! :toothygrin: I compose most things for her; I'll put them on a cd and I'll give it to her someday (they are not funeral marches... lol... just some sad romantic songs... :sadtears: )

Let it flow my friend, if you feel pressed to do something you won't do it; it is as if I tell you "now yawn" maybe it's hard to do it if you force it and it won't be as good as a real "yaaaaaaaaaawn", or when someone tells you, "say something funny", you can't, it doesn't work that way!!! There other things that come to my mind which you cannot do on purpose but I won't say them... (I hope all this makes sense to you... hahaha)

Daniel Tkach

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I'm really just trying to get through this and accept it as a piece as a whole when it's finished, whether it's good or not. I need to get used to finishing my pieces. I have 100-200 some finished, and over 500 incomplete.

So what's the problem? You already have over 100 finished pieces? Most people don't get there for a while (mozart only wrote about 600 pieces, although some of them were very major)

Post some of your finished works here, and see if you can get some good editing ideas. Often when I have a roadblock in composition I go back to something I know and criticize it (what's good, what's bad, etc...) That way you may get some new ideas :)

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I'm glad all of you treat mental illness and sadness so lightly.

I would suggest counseling and to acquire the belief that counseling will work.

We are dealing with what we are supposed to know about, composing music. He said that he was taking medication and all that, but he also said he needed help with his composing skills, and that's where we are trying to help. I think no one here ever tried to help him with what he didn't ask for, did we?

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Actually, I'd like to offer help on that front. I've had pretty bad writer's block, and I know a bunch of ways to get out of it, and I'm pretty good with helping people in general, as well...

so I'd be more than happy to personally talk with you, Trickshot, over AIM or MSN or whatever, because I think that direct interaction would help you more than posting on forums and reading what people think. Let me know if you can do anything like that.

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I'm glad all of you treat mental illness and sadness so lightly.

I would suggest counseling and to acquire the belief that counseling will work.

Ok then I am changing my advice... stay away from girls!!!

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As I'm also 17, I can offer some advice. Every composer goes through ups and downs with composing. I'll have times when I want to write something, but just can't, and then I'll have times where everything is going for me(unfortunately, those times aren't very common). If you really want to write something, but can't think of anything, look in the Musical Challenges and Games section, or look in the Competitions section. These will probably help fuel you up. Most of the pieces I have that I consider complete were actually written for a competition.

And about the girlfriend thing: A girlfriend would more than likely help, but the worst thing you can do is start to stress out more than you need to about girls, because that can make you even more depressed.

Don't worry. You'll be fine. Don't forget that it won't hurt to take a little time off of composing and do something else. There's no doubt that you'll be composing again soon. Good luck.

(and don't worry, I have a much higher ratio of incomplete to complete pieces)

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Thanks again, for all of the comments. I find them very helpful.

And I have a problem with counseling and medication. Specifically medication, which I plan to never go on again.

But for the both of them, I feel as if I'm being defeated or using a 'crutch' when I do so, and I want to cope own my own, I don't want to destroy my creative self, because when I'm happy and stable, I'm consistent, but when I'm natural, I may not be consistent, but that's the only chance for true beauty to emerge.

I want to deal with the ups and downs of composing just like every other composer does, while dealing with the severity of my moods. I think it's a great, but dangerously stubborn way to look at it, but that's the only way I can ever find a true smidgen of happiness in the course of my lifetime.

I like what everyone is telling me, and I'm taking it to heart. And as for the girlfriend thing, I'm not going to rush out and get one, if I get a girl-friend, I'm going to have long term compatibility in mind as well as pure desire and I don't want to be stressing over a nuisance.

But I find all of this very interesting, just how pure confidence can raise me and lower me in my abilities, and how so many psychological factors can play a part in my music. I just hope that one day it can show through my music, because it's impossible to reach with words.

I feel so indifferent at times, and so very similar in the same breath. I only hope that my own depression never defeats me. I hope that I can learn to cope with my two conflicting sides and just do what I love.

I just think a lot of this information, perspectives, and opinions are helping me, at least with the composing, and I greatly appreciate it.

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Eat something healthy and especially something that builds brain cells, like fish or nuts. That's one of the things John Williams told me to do when I was going through a similar problem. Now look at me. I'm a real movie composer! (not that its a great title, but I have a well paying career)

Things don't have to take longer than you want them to. There is always an easy way out if you can first train your brain to think logically. This especially applies to music. Sometimes you will unfortunately dig yourself into a hole, and because you see things at a different angle it doesn't mean your music has gotten worse.

It's all fortunately a big circle, and you have your ups and downs. But everything goes around and around. The more you learn to steer yourself, the faster round you can go. And eventually you can be everywhere at once! Eventually you can apply the ups and the downs together to create what is widely known as harmony. It's not difficult to find your way to genius.

I am willing to listen to your music if I can find a link. Definitely stick to your own music and don't try to get rid of your old ideas. If you are infact a virtuoso of music, then your original work would be your own masterpieces much later on.

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On 11/19/2007 at 10:50 PM, finrod said:

My advice - Consider finding yourself a girlfriend if you don't have one...

 

True, there are so many way you can do so. Online is the fastest to be honest, But pls, don't use tinder or badoo - they are trash! Also, these tips for bbws if you're interested in. 

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Dude, this thread is from 2007!

This guy is almost 30 now!

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