1) Find your real problem:It's common for musical burnout to stem from other distractions in your life. You might feel like you no longer desire to play music, but usually that's not the case. In most cases, musical burnout is caused by other problems or parts of your life besides music, that you've ignored. So what have you ignored?
Another possibility, if you're suffering from musical burnout, is that you may have just reached one of your musical goals.
If that goal was your main focus for many years, reaching it will feel great, but when you do, it's no longer a priority. You will start to think about other things you need to fix or improve upon. If you have a major hole in your life, that's going to become much more of a priority for you then music. Again, what have you ignored or need to work on?
So you need to first realize, that your lowering amount of desire isn't caused by a lack of interest. It is caused by a combination of problems. It stems from a lack of musical goals (which we will discus in the next section of this article) and other non music related problems that need to be fix. This other life problem or desire could be anything; it really depends on the individual.
It's in the best interest of your music career not to ignore this other problem. Fix this problem or insecurity and get it off your mind. You will be surprised how fast your desire for music will return.
Bottom line: If there is something distracting you or keeping you from focusing, find out what it is and work towards fixing it.
2) Find new musical goals:As we discussed briefly in the last section, If you're suffering from musical burnout, chances are you reached one of your musical goal. If this is the case, you need to take time to really analyze your playing and find the weaknesses in your playing. Music is a life journey and it takes a long time to master what you want to master. Let a lone music in its entirety. I would argue that there is just so much music out there, the chances of you mastering all of it in one life time is slim.
I can guarantee you there is some weakness in your playing. Find it and you will have a reason to practice again. If you can't find a problem, find a teacher who can help you discover the flaws in your playing.
Another possible avenue is to explore new genres of music and try to learn something new. If you play pop and have mastered the basic pentatonic scales, diatonic scales, all the basic chords, sus's and sevenths, maybe it's time to dig into some more exotic sounds and scales.
Looking for new goals is a great way to build your desire back into your practicing, but it is only one tactic in the strategy of recovering from musical burnout. You really need to find out what's the biggest priority in your life at the moment. New goals and areas of growth will not fix this problem. That's why, I'm going to tell you to cut your practice schedule down.
Do you love music? Then don't keep letting it hurt you. We are working on geometric growth in your LIFE, Not just music.
3) Reduce your practice schedule:This is true for any type of burnout. If you've got the final symptoms of musical burnout (your desire completely disappeared), don't make the mistake of forcing yourself to maintain 6 to 8 hours a day.
Step back and relax.
You've been working hard. Now you need to take yourself off the gas pedal and coast a bit. If you don't, you're going to crash and it's going to destroy the road to a music career.
If you've hit rock bottom already, you need to stop practicing and stop playing for at least a week. Two weeks would be better. After those two weeks, knock your practice down to two hours a day. Pick one day a week, where you will not practice.
Reducing your practice schedule is going to be very therapeutic for you. It will allow you to fix the other issues or problems on your mind. You need to allow yourself time to fix these other problems if you want to build that desire for music back up.
As far as time length is concerned. You should not be asking when you can increase your practice schedule again. It's going to depend on your specific case of musical burnout.
It could take a couple years, five years, maybe even a decade to recover from your burnout. If you want to get back to music faster, then you need to fix the other issues in your life and work hard at that. There's no quick fix or magic serum. You burnt yourself out.
Realize and acknowledge that you want to play music and remain persistent. In time, your fire will come back, but not if you rush it and ignore what your mind is telling you.
4) Work on your mindset:I can't even begin to describe how important this is. Musical burnout is musical defeat. Just like anyone who has suffered from a major defeat, this is going to throw your entire mindset down the trash. If you were positive, brave and optimistic, you will become super bitter, angry and pessimistic.
Get some self-help books, read them, take them seriously and apply everything in those books. If not, your not only giving up on music, but your chances of being happy and successful are going to be a lot lower. If the books your using aren't helping, find new ones.
You need to develop a positive mindset again at all costs. You need to develop strong faith, not in religion, but in your own ability to achieve what you desire. You need persistence, you need plans and you need help.
A lot of people look at self-help books with shame. They think they're such a screw up for needing them. You aren't a screw up for reading these types of books. There's nothing wrong with you. There are things that can be improved on.
Nobody is perfect and you don't need to be perfect. You do need to wake up with the desire to better yourself as person everyday. These days will stack up and you will eventually be exactly what you want to be.
Many successful people have used self-help books to improve their mindsets. It works wonders, just do it.
Apply everything in this article and you will recover from your musical burnout. What you need to do now is read, apply, learn and grow. This will be a process, but recovering from musical burnout will make you stronger as a person and musician. Everyone struggles, but it's how we as humans deal with this struggle that will determine our ability to succeed in life.
By Chris Glyde