Coping With Music Burnout
Five easy steps to reset
By Zoe Cordes Selbin,
3:27PM, Fri. Jul. 20, 2012
Ever felt like you'd go insane if you heard one more note of music? People don’t always acknowledge it, but like every line of work, even music industry professionals get sick of their jobs and thus music too. I’ve written a lot here about how to get music industry jobs. Now it’s time to talk about one of the biggest issues once you’ve got the gig.
Everyone has different solutions to burnout, but I'm expert at getting myself back on track. What to do?
Step 1: Be at peace with your inner turmoil. If at all possible, enjoy a day or two of complete music withdrawal. You can’t avoid elevator jams, but you can make a quiet commute to work.
Step 2: Watch TV. Recently, while bumming out on music, I watched some old episodes of The OC and remembered just how good Death Cab For Cutie is. Many good TV shows have excellent soundtracks and can help you rediscover old favorites. It’s also a way of tricking yourself into listening to music again, plus you might even discover new jams in the process.
Step 3: Try to remember your first concerts, and the first bands you ever loved. When I was 11, my first concert was Yellowcard at the Austin Music Hall. I arrived four hours before doors opened just to secure a place in the front row. I may never have that enthusiasm again, but that doesn’t mean that putting on Yellowcard doesn’t make me feel a little invincible. Listening to old favorites, even if they seem silly now, can you help you recall why you got into this industry in the first place.
Step 4: When was the last time you went to a house show? A small local show? An in-store at Trailer Space? When was the last time you listened to your friends noodle around on guitars? Big shows and festivals take it out of me, but little gigs often have enthusiastic audiences that are ready-made to reinvigorate you.
Step 5: Set boundaries. This is something I still struggle with. There are cool shows every single night in Austin – that’s why I love it. I used to go to shows almost every night, and it made me start doubting the music industry. Now I only go to shows I'm really excited about it, and it only reinforces my passion. It may not be cool to admit, but a good night in with a book is necessary to my mental health.
There are no wrongs and rights here. Everyone copes with music burnout in different ways. I’m always looking for new tips, so feel free to drop me a line with your tactics! You can comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.