By Chris Glyde
This article is for musicians with eight-to-ten years of playing under their belt who feel like they’ve lost their love for music, for those who feel like they’ve sold out by changing and developing their style, and for those who don’t believe their style should change at all.
Most musicians go through an ever-changing relationship with music. If this happens to you, just remember that it’s expected, common, and completely acceptable. That being said, some peoples’ interest in and relationship with music never changes, and that’s okay as well. This article isn’t very relevant for the latter group, however.
Let me take some time here to share my own journey with music. When I first started playing guitar, I just wanted to be a neoclassical shredder. I just liked to shred, and all I wanted to do was play metal. But then there came a time when I hit a really big milestone in my playing, and I was finally able to play 1000 bpm. However, let me just preface this last statement by saying that I couldn’t play 1000 bpm for every single technique, just simple scale sequences, but this was still a huge milestone for me. This was the first time I’d ever hit a goal that I set for myself in my entire life, so needless to say, it was an extremely powerful feeling! However, I noticed something very odd when this happened. My practicing level dropped dramatically. The main drive for me to practice every day was that specific goal, so when I didn’t have that goal any longer, I had no drive remaining at all.
When I started playing the guitar, I was completely obsessed with it. And I assumed that my obsession was a love for music. It turns out, though, that it was more of a desire to achieve and accomplish great feats. So, in reality I didn’t even have a relationship with music at this point, just a love of achievement.
When I reached my initial goal, I no longer had any aim or focus, and this caused me to go through quite a crisis. I started to question my desire to play the guitar, because my passion and fire wasn’t the same as it had been before. I began to wander, unsure of what I really wanted. But what I didn’t realize was that my tastes were simply changing, and my mind was just looking for a new goal to attach itself too. I was just in a transitional phase.
After that phase, I found my taste in music changing drastically all the time. I ended up starting to enjoy acoustic guitar more, and my tastes drifted toward softer, ballad-like music. I drifted far away from the aggressive metal sound that my teenage self had enjoyed. I took on singing as well, because I wanted to accompany myself on the guitar (or so I thought). After years of studying voice, I became a front man of a band, and I loved feeding off of the energy of a crowd at a show.
Finally, I found myself steering my love of music away from simple goals/dreams and achievement, but towards an actual love for the instrument/ learning and continuing to grow.
I also found myself quickly growing annoyed with the kind of winy ballad music that seemed to be dominating the airwaves, and I found myself with a mighty strong desire to play and write something opposite of that style. I found myself moving away from being either a guitar player, a singer, or a singer/songwriter, and just foster a love of music and exploring how every element could be used to affect one’s emotional state.
I have questioned my commitment to music many times. I felt as if I was betraying who I was. I felt like I no longer wanted to play music at all. But now I’ve just realized that it ebbs and flows, just like all things. Evolution is a great thing! Embrace the new things you find yourself loving, and you’ll create a sound that’s really unique and personal.
As an additional bonus, remember that this type of evolution can become a great source of confidence. It has personally allowed me to enjoy music so much more than before.
About the author:
Chris Glyde is an ever-changing musician who constantly strives to find new ways to enjoy music. He teaches guitar lessons and voice lessons in Rochester, New York. If you’re looking to also develop yourself or have a guide, look him up in Rochester!