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Just like any dating relationship, a musician’s bond with an instrument can feel like a great connection at first, only to lose the spark over time. How can you know if it’s time to hang up those drumsticks or if you need to double down? No matter what your connection with music is, there will be times when all you want to do is play and create music of your own as well as other times when you just can’t muster any effort. When can we make the decision to drop music as a hobby or pursue another instrument? Before you let your musical instrument gather dust in the corner, let’s look at how you got here and think about what we can do to remedy the problem.
Evaluate How You Got Here
The beginning of a new hobby can be challenging, but also really exciting. You bring home a new, shiny instrument and some cool accessories and can’t wait to get cracking. Unfortunately that feeling doesn’t always last. So what can you do when playing your instrument is more of a chore than something you love?
Any time you feel stuck in your life, be it at work, in a friendship, or elsewhere, you should look back on what has transpired in recent weeks or months to see where you fell off track. If you move on to something else without fixing the problem, it’s simply going to follow you. So why are you not excited by your guitar these days? Did you just pick an instrument out of a hat when you were younger? Are you experiencing problems in another area of your life? Some hobbies or passion projects do have an end date, either due to us finding something new or through us achieving our ultimate goal. Is it time for you to move on to something else or are you simply going through a rough patch? Knowing what your problem is will allow you to eventually move on from it.
Mix Things Up
Maybe you still like playing your instrument, but things have gotten stale. It sounds like the first thing you need to do is change up how you are doing things. For starters, you may want to completely flip how you practice. If you’ve been focusing on conquering hard challenges, take time to play music you think is fun. You want to be able to look forward to playing your instrument. For some people the opposite may also be true, because a skilled musician can easily lose interest if there’s not much of a challenge involved.
Another thing you can do to mix things up is meet with other local musicians to jam out or talk about music. A hobby done in isolation can take on new life when you add friends who can support and encourage you. Now is the time for you to explore your talents and see what your instrument can do. Instead of sitting around and lamenting your apathy for music, get out there and see how you can mix things up.
For a music lover, one of the best things you can do is to listen to all kinds of music. If you’re someone who writes his own music, you may hear some inspiration for a future project. Listening to different genres may remind you of what you loved about music in the first place. You never know how a piece of music might speak to you.
Know When to Call It Quits with Your Musical Instrument
If you’ve tried to change how you’re practicing, what you’re playing, and who you’re jamming with, all to no avail, it may be time for you to hang up your musical instrument. No one ever wants to say goodbye to something they once loved, but eventually you need to cut the dead weight. There’s a difference between slugging your way through a rough patch and repeatedly kicking a dead horse. We’re not telling you to quit, but that may just an option for you to entertain. Only you can know when it’s time to move on.
Don’t Shut the Door Too Quickly
The great thing about a hobby is that you can always come back to it. Millions of people enjoy reading for pleasure, but depending on what is happening in their lives, they may not read a book for months or years. Eventually, once enough time has passed, they will probably get back to reading again. That’s why, even if you decide to hang up your instrument for a little while, you should never fully shut the door on that part of your life. One day you may want to pick your music habit back up again. Basically we’re telling you not to burn any bridges just because music isn’t fitting in with your life right now.
Is There Something Else You Love More?
When you fall out of love with your musical instrument, it may mean that it’s time for you to pick up something else. If your parents pushed you (with the best intentions, of course) into taking violin as a child, but you’re not loving it now, this might be the time for you to pick up a brass instrument or an electric guitar. Maybe you’re just feeling claustrophobic about music right now and you want to look into other artistic pursuits. That’s great! There have been many performers over the years who have bounced between music and painting, filmmaking, or a number of other skills. Just because you may not love your musical instrument right now, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost your creative spark.
It can be frustrating to feel like the one thing you used to love doing is no longer a good fit for you. There once was a day when you couldn’t wait to get home to play your favorite musical instrument, but now you can only give a slight shrug when you see it abandoned in the corner of your room. Think about why you may not be loving music right now. Perhaps the answer is simple and a solution is easy to attain, or maybe it’s time to really change things up. Whatever you decide to do, we hope you think long and hard about it so that you consider all of the possibilities.
On thing that might help you out of a funk is to attend one of the many summer music camps that emphasize creativity, discipline, and working with others. At Camp Electric we seek to give students an education in music administered by the Christian artists behind some of today’s biggest hits. Join us for a week full of workshops, classrooms, and special concerts! Find out how you can be our next student by clicking on the link below.