#1
What the title says. I feel as though my music is boring. When I'm performing it has been said that I come across as apologetic or paranoid. That is true, I feel like the audience are completely uninterested every time, and I feel when I'm playing my songs that they are...tiresome. I have been approached and complimented before, but it feels mostly like a consolation/pity than genuine.

ANYWAY, enough of me whining about my insecurities, I want to know if it is normal for a musician to be bored by their own music or if this just means that my music is bad?
#2
If you're bored by your own stuff, how can you expect others to get excited about it?

You might need to practice stage behavior.

Also, zero in about what makes your music boring? Is it the style? The complexity (or lack of)? or the similarties of songs? Might want to learn something new in terms of scales to give you some ideas.
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#3
Could we hear some of those songs?

If you don't like them, write some new songs. Or make them sound better. Why don't you like them? Do they sound too generic? Do you feel like they are lacking something?
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#4
Haha you're not alone, usually when producing my own stuff I listen to it so much it becomes boring, and since I created it, it loses all surprise to me, so I give demos to people I know and tell them to be brutally honest.

I do find my songs pretty fun to play though, especially the faster ones.

The rule I go for when making riffs or music in general for myself is that it has to transmit some feeling or it's a fail, at the beggining this is very difficult to achieve but the only way to turn that around is to keep writing more songs, and not be afraid to discard bad ideas. Also, every little detail counts when making music; from chord voicings, melodies, drums, bass lines, to the little things like slides and random sounds that add to the song.

But it's not uncommon for musicians to dislike or get bored with their music.
#6
Personally I throw any music out that I'm not enjoying. Everything I've made is something I would and do listen to. That's not to say if you find your music boring, that it isn't good, but if there's no passion, "good" can only really be a surface thing, so I prefer to stick with only performing and recording something that I feel strongly in favor of.
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#7
Being mindful and humble is good, but being apologetic is worse than being crazy boastful. People take the stage and boasting as kind of, well it's more forgivable. Being apologetic really takes the energy out of everyone, for example:

You just totally fucked up the ending of the song live

A) You apologize for messing up the ending, saying it doesn't normally happen, awkward silence
B) You say you fucked the ending, but this next song is gonna make up for it

There's just a way to be on stage that drives energy, even when things go wrong; there's no one way as everyone has their own vibe but just keeping it moving forward and engaging is always the way. Telling people 'to get a fucking pit started' is fail however unless you're a well known band.

//

You say your own music bores you. Why? What about it that causes that? You should try getting over yourself is the main thing. Whether it's expectation or something else, the worst mistake any musician/person makes is trading progress for a false sense of worth. It's much better to step back and just enjoy it for what it is, you sound more like you're weighed down by your own sense of expectation rather than making something because you wanted to.
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#8
Are you referring to music you wrote or cover songs you choose to play?
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#9
This is an interesting topic, as there are a lot of factors as to why you may be displeased with your own material. A few things I've learnt growing as an artist are :
Write music YOU like, even if it's at the cost of accessibility. You'll never be satisfied by comprising.

Take as much time as you need. It took me 3 years to write my first batch of 5 songs, the bridge of 1 song took a whole year. But the result is something I'm proud of.

Unlike you, the audience hasn't heard the song a thousand times, they don't know all the little mistakes, and they haven't gotten fatigued on the song like you might have. Be confident, the audience is hearing your years of work for the first time, they'll enjoy it.
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#10
Quote by Anthony1991
Being mindful and humble is good, but being apologetic is worse than being crazy boastful. People take the stage and boasting as kind of, well it's more forgivable. Being apologetic really takes the energy out of everyone, for example:

You just totally fucked up the ending of the song live

A) You apologize for messing up the ending, saying it doesn't normally happen, awkward silence
B) You say you fucked the ending, but this next song is gonna make up for it

There's just a way to be on stage that drives energy, even when things go wrong; there's no one way as everyone has their own vibe but just keeping it moving forward and engaging is always the way. Telling people 'to get a fucking pit started' is fail however unless you're a well known band.

Exactly. laugh confidently and say well that's the beauty of live music - sometimes you gotta try stuff and it doesn't quite come off. But that's what makes it exciting. Then give a passionate wooohooo and launch into something very energetic. But if you butcher every song then maybe you shouldn't be on stage.

As an artist you are often your own worst critic. You know and see all the flaws in your work. The trick of the successful artist is NOT pointing them out and when someone else does you play it off as intentional and part of what makes it interesting.

I remember doing some design work for a class once with a guest lecturer and I had spent a lot of time on the work. It was an original idea with a different take on the brief and I agonized over details trying to get it perfect. There were a few things on the page that weren't quite right. The guest lecturer picked it up and admired it. I was embarrassed of the praise saying it wasn't very good and proceeded to point out all the flaws. They put it down and said, if you want to make it in this world you need to be your own publicist. You need to get excited about what you were trying to achieve and talk about all the good things you've done. Don't point out all the flaws, no one knows they're mistakes till you say they are. After that they always will be.

They were right.

However, we are a fellow artists that will help if we can. Do you have any examples and we could give you an honest answer and maybe even provide some suggestions.

I can tell you when I go to see live music I want to see a performance of live music. Not just someone playing live music. I want to see passion, intensity, joy, sorrow, heartache, exuberance...etc.

Don't be playing live with the wrong attitude it will sap the life from even a great song.
Si
#11
Quote by Serotonite
What the title says. I feel as though my music is boring. When I'm performing it has been said that I come across as apologetic or paranoid. That is true, I feel like the audience are completely uninterested every time, and I feel when I'm playing my songs that they are...tiresome. I have been approached and complimented before, but it feels mostly like a consolation/pity than genuine.

ANYWAY, enough of me whining about my insecurities, I want to know if it is normal for a musician to be bored by their own music or if this just means that my music is bad?



Yes, I have a few songs that are considered "Hits" by others, and I've just fallen out of love with them personally, because I've done them so many times. I actually love my music, but I think I just played certain songs to death, and they sort of lost their personal appeal and sparkle for me.

Best,

Sean
#12
I love 20Tigers post. Well thought out.

If you are bored with the songs you are playing, your audience will feel it instinctively. Imagine how it feels to be a band or artist on tour doing the same one hour set 3-5 times a week for months on end playing songs that you recorded 30 years ago and have played 1000 times? A career in music is not for everyone. I have a friend who was the lead singer in a "One Hit Wonder" band that had one Top 10 hit in the early 70's followed by an album that didn't sell. By the mid 80's they were back in clubs playing to 100 people a night. They had to play their "hit" almost every set just to keep people happy. One night he just walked out of the club in the middle of a set and has never sung that song again. It does happen.
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#13
As a music player, I strongly suggest for you to find what is comfortable for you enough. If you are wanting full independence musically, stray yourself from entertaining and only make music that means something to you. Making your own songs does not necessarily mean everyone is going to want to be your friend or be entertained. So, know you will only attract a certain amount of people. Never let someone's disappointment in your projects make you become too much of a softie that you will give up if you are truly wanting this type of life. But, it is YOUR life and I am not in control of it. So, good luck in your decisions and life's journey.
#15
PS. I strongly appreciate all the responses, this forum has been a hugely valuable resource for me as a musician. Thanks for commenting, I will try to respond individually to certain questions if I get round to it.
#16
I can't really say why you feel the way you do (because whether you feel your songs are good or bad is your own opinion), but I think the track you posted was a bit tiresome. It had the same riff repeating over and over again and the chorus didn't really stand out in any way. You couldn't really tell which part was meant to be the "catchy part". Also, there were no dynamics. It felt like very little was happening in the song. Sometimes that can be a good thing if that's what you are after - sometimes you want a "minimalist" vibe - but if all of your songs are like that, I understand why it may feel a bit tiresome.

But as I said earlier, you need to listen to your songs and figure out what makes you think they are boring. They are your songs and only you can answer that question. If you don't believe in your own songs, why would you even want to play them in front of other people?

But sometimes even a good song can feel tiresome. Sometimes you just can't get into the "groove" of the song and it doesn't feel good to play it. But if this is what happens all the time with most songs, you really need to figure out why that happens. Is it about the arrangement of the song? Is the song structured badly? Do you even like the melody/lyrics? Is it just lack of practice?
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at May 10, 2016,
#17
I guess the best advice I could give is to "write what you want to hear". I checked out your soundcloud link, and within the first 2 seconds my first thought was that it was boring. I'm not trying to say your music sucks, but that was honestly my first thought.
#18
Quote by Serotonite
Okay, I haven't had a chance to look at this thread in a while, but a couple people asked for an example of some songs. I will record more when I can, but here's one I have recorded in a studio that I play a lot at open mics:

https://soundcloud.com/serotonin-17/charcoal-statues
FWIW, I think the song starts promisingly. The mood of the verse is obviously "down", but it hangs together OK. The playing is fine, the recording quality is good, and your voice is not that bad (not great, but not terrible either).

But then it all falls apart. After the first verse, we're all ready for a chorus...and it doesn't come, just another (now increasingly dull-sounding) verse
Worse, when the chorus does come, it just doesn't hang together. Just about everything is wrong with it. Your voice falters; the lyrics don't scan; the phrasing is awkward, clumsy; there's no real melody. A chorus should be stronger than the verse - and this one is a whole lot weaker than the verse (which is not exactly strong to begin with).

If I was listening to this song at an open mic, I'd be paying attention during the first verse. It's an interesting sound, an intriguing mood, unusual lyrics. (I hear a lot worse at the open mics I go to....) But then on the second verse, I'd be getting impatient, tolerance starting to wear thin - man we need a great chorus soon... But then when that chorus arrives, I'd be wincing and turning away, leaving the room, going to get a drink, whatever. Fail.

I'm not sure what the idea behind the song is - there do seem to be some interesting (unusual) lyrics. But you have no melodic idea. The most important thing in a song is the melody, and the most important part of the melody is the chorus. Lyrics can be dull and cliched, if the chorus is great. You might be a poet - but this song gives no sign that you are a songwriter.

Still, that fact that you are yourself bored with your music (if this song is either typical or one of your best) is a GOOD sign. The answer is to really work on your melodic techniques and inspirations. Find songs by other people that you really like, and really enjoy singing. Think about what makes them good to sing, feel good to wrap your voice around. It's probably not the lyrics; it's the shape of the tunes - their melodic and rhythmic phrasing. A song that YOU want to sing is likely to be one that other people want to sing. Your songs have to have that quality - especially the choruses ("chorus" means "voices together" - the bit we should all want to join in with).

It might be good to put your own songs in reserve for a while, while you get better at singing covers, strengthening your voice (finding its natural range), and absorbing more inspirations. When you sing other people's songs, don't try and copy the way they did it; find a way that feels comfortable for you, that makes you feel you own that song, that you're fully in control of it. That will both make it more entertaining for listeners (than a weak copy), and more beneficial to your own growth as a songwriter/musician.
Last edited by jongtr at May 10, 2016,
#19
Sometimes you have to dig deep to get at the sounds that you can get excited for. It's easy to make boring music. Happens all the time. Making exciting music takes effort and practice.

If you write something and decide it's boring.. write something else! I don't do a lot of recording, but when I do it's not unusual to decide that a take is just not interesting. Sometimes I do take after take after take just working up something that's compelling.

This whole process is just how you find your own voice in music.

And the audience will respond to your attitude far more than your music. If you're up on stage acting apologetic or afraid to play your own music... why are you up there?
Last edited by cdgraves at May 10, 2016,
#20
If I make a song I like and then people that get to hear the song react to it like I offered them a cup of tap water, I start to think less of my creation. I've done the song for me, but if there's no one that likes it even a little bit, it kind of looses it's value for me. Sad reality (...for me atleast). Of course I also get tired of hearing the same song again and again. It does not matter, whether it is my or someone else's song. Perhaps I tend to be a bit too critical towards my songs, once they get old.

If you are in front of an audience and you feel people are bored, you wont have any fun, since you feed of the energy of listeners. You wont enjoy your playing and you want to donate your money to the loved ones of those who had to go thru hearing your songs.