By Mitch Rice
Staying inside these days just seems to be the right thing to do. However, it’s not so great for your mental health or productivity.
Of course there are always exceptions as a lot of Canadian musicians are actually doing quite well during the pandemic. There are still lots of musicians that are suffering as well. Including some of the established artists too.
Guess it really depends on the person, but there are definitely reports out there of musicians currently going through severe depression, etc. Mostly due to financial issues and isolation.
Although these are some tough issues to face, here are some tips to help keep your sanity while getting that music going.
Daily Song Challenge
While this might not work for some people (Time constraints and all), it’s a great challenge. Perhaps take a day off or even for part of a day. Then try to bang out a song. It could be a song-in-a-week challenge. Whatever works for you. The idea is to get some consistency going.
Make the song about how you feel right now, etc. So it’s genuine and can come out naturally while even healing you in the process.
Either way, doing a song challenge is just a great way to start making some music and smash your writer’s block.
It doesn’t even need to be good, it just has to be something. If you have musician friends, you can share your projects together and compare what you’ve come up with. Not only will you see what kinds of things you all did (For better or for worse), it’s a good way to get quick inspiration from others.
Which in turn, leads to our next idea:
Collaborate with Friends
This might not be an option for someone who doesn’t have the technology to do so (Zoom, etc). Collaborating with others, even on a throwaway project, is a great way to keep your creative juices flowing.
It will also make you a more versatile artist. As the final product will sound different than anything you’d make by yourself. If you’re collaborating with an acquaintance or someone you’re not on casual terms with, you can kill two birds with one stone. Which is improving your relationship and maybe gaining a closer friend in the process.
If you aren’t aiming to be a pro, just schedule some time to work on a song or just jam online with some friends. Covid-19 has really taken a toll on keeping up with all relationships, let alone friendships.
So by collaborating with your friends, you’re also keeping up your social interactions. While musicians may be known for being a bit reclusive when they get “in the zone,” it’s vital to interact with other musicians. This way you’ll remain social and keep the depression bug at bay.
Learn A New Instrument
A lot of music producers and artists in Canada are already doing this. Remember when you had that 9-5 job?
You would come home from work and then what? Have only a few hours after dinner to work with your DAW and if you’re really lucky (Plus not tired), actually record some music.
Well now you have plenty of time. Use this time to master whatever DAW, instruments of plugins that you wanted to before.
Think of this time as a true blessing and get going. As once you start going to work again, things will most likely be worse than what they were (Due to Covid related restrictions).
Hang In There
So bottom line, although times are different right now, don’t forget there is a vaccine out. Actually there are a few of them. It’s only a matter of time when us Canadian musicians will be back touring, playing at festivals and lighting it up in clubs, etc.
Use this odd yet precious time to hone your craft so when the time arrives, you’ll be a much better musician, and definitely a more resilient human being than ever before.
It may be “tough” out there, but nothing lasts forever..