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Thread: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hear

  1. #1
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    Default Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hear

    themselves played back on a recording? Seriously, is this just me being way too extremely hard on myself or is this common? I was enjoying myself more than I ever have in my life heretofore playing and singing lead and harmony. My brain was all lighted up and I'm in the ''zone", or at least filtered through my own skull that's the way it seemed.

    Then a friend asked if she could record me- of course as fate would have it I was trying to sing this song I know I struggle with but I play it well, so I said of course. Next thing I know she plays it back for me to hear and, now I'm asking the question above.

    As one frail, frightened little ego of a human being to another, does this ever happen to you? I am very serious, so please be kind.

    Thanks for reading.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Honestly yourself can be the worst critic! We used to record every show we did then listen to it and woodshed a bit to get better results. I think everyone goes through this in the beginning! With time/experience it all works out eventually so keep on a Truckin!

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  4. #3
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    The microphone doesn't lie; you really do sound like that. And, honestly, even when doing studio recordings, there does come a time when you say, "That'll do," imperfect though it may be.

    Live performance, where you play off the audience's energy, is another thing altogether. Listening to yourself on "tape" is a cold shower of reality. It also can show you where improvement's needed, what you need to work on, what you need to avoid.

    Suicidal? Not quite, but definitely disappointed; I was sure I sounded better than that. Back to work.
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    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    I have extensive recordings of my band over the past 14 years...
    A different experience I have from you is in the era of the recordings, I've always thought we sounded good.
    Yet when I listen to old recordings now, I think we were lacking, or even bad.
    In both eras, fans have complimented us, so I wonder...
    Will I think this weeks recordings are lame in a decade? I hope to continue to progress!
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  8. #5

    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Sometimes it has sounded better than I expected. I have had a couple of great performance where I recorded something and decided to play it on stage because it sounded good then the audience loved it.

    The first couple times I recorded myself it was depressing but I figured out what I needed to focus on. The next time I recorded myself there was improvement and a couple times later it was good. Since I now know I can fix the problems it does not bother me when I hear them. It only bothers me if I have no idea what to do to make it better.

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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    It's not really my playing. I have surprised myself many times with my playing. It is my voice I particularly hate. Do voice lessons work? Has anyone taken voice lessons and gone from hating their own voice to actually accepting it as musical?

  11. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    A band I was in many years ago recorded an LP. That is how many years ago it was—1978. Listening years later it sounds a lot better than I thought it would. So, i would suggest putting all recordings away for a few decades. Then it sounds like a completely other musician.

    We did record it in a small pro studio. I also recorded a few tracks over the years and generally my playing is all right, though not exactly super-good. However, I have been playing fiddle and mandolin for over 40 years and I am a decent player, that much i know. And I don't really care too much anymore about proving anything to anyone. I also know that there are times when I think i sound great and I probably don't sound as good as I think. So it goes. It is way to late to turn back. Oh well.
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  12. #8

    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Why do you play? Perfection is a harsh mistress.

    I agree, recordings are really how you sound. Do you sound sloppy? You can fix that. Get a metronome and slow it down until you can play cleanly, then build to speed. Simplify if you need to. Don't enjoy practicing? I'm sorry, you'll never get better. In that case just enjoy yourself.

    I just started lessons with someone who can teach. Guess what? If I want to go to the next level I need to learn some theory. I just played a scale exercise to a metronome for 45 minutes. The time flew by. I was not being consistent enough with my pick attack. 45 minutes later I was much smoother. At least at 80 bpm. I also need to learn the fingerboard better. It's going to be a forever journey. My goal is to be better every day, and I'm realistic. I find my state of mind far better dwelling on my progress than my competence or lack thereof. Above all, moving forward is bliss. Baby steps.

    And I've never met anyone who likes their voice, but plenty who have learned to use what they have.

    In public, most listeners really don't have a clue. They are mystified how anyone can play or sing anything. So don't beat yourself up over that, and I can quite certainly say no one is going to be as good a Chris Theile, but there is a 12 year old out there woodshedding every waking minute that will blow our minds in a few years.

    Damn, there is nothing more enjoyable than playing music. Enjoy it in whatever capacity you are capable of. Fix what you don't like. You CAN do it.
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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    The recording doesn’t lie. It’s a learning experience to me.
    As for voice lessons....yes, they helped me a lot. Get someone who has done it for a long time, and is willing to give candid feedback.
    Bob

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    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Obviously, you just need to learn to drink more.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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  18. #11

    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Its not just listening to myself it's listening to others. The list is quite long but let's just say it starts with Jethro Burns and ends with some preteen brat kid that shows up somewhere and can play rings around me. I console myself by saying "It's folk music and you don't want it to sound TOO good!"

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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    When I record I sometimes I get it in a few takes, and other times we get into double digits until I give up for the time being.
    On the other hand I have heard play back of recordings of me with a band or solo, both live and in studio where I was sure it was lousy but, actually sounded pretty good.
    My advice, focus on tonality and of course rhythm, less is usually better than more.
    Always take the music and the performance seriously, but don't take yourself to seriously.
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  21. #13

    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Have you listened to your voice much before? There's an odd common phenomenon where our voices as we hear them are much differently acoustically from how they sound as heard from outside our heads. The other aspect of this phenomenon is almost universal dissatisfaction at hearing our voices on recordings due to the incongruity between our concept of our voice to what we're hearing.

    If that's the case with you, you may want to listen to your voice more to become accustomed to it. It will also give you more feedback on how to develop it.

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    Registered User David Rambo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    I think that we are our own worst critics. We have an idea about how we want things to sound, and when it's not there or different, we get down on ourselves. As time passes we are able to be more objective, and realize that it was pretty good stuff that we laid down. We're still better off than Bobby Hackett. In his solo on In the Mood, he played a "wrong" note. After people heard the recording, he had to play that wrong note every dance, concert, and practice. The audiences wouldn't let him change it.
    It always seems better when there's a crowd to play for. (And they don't know if we missed a note if we don't show it in our faces!)
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Quote Originally Posted by RustyMadd View Post
    ... does this ever happen to you?
    Yes.

    And we are not alone; many, many people cannot stand to hear their own voice in a recording. For one thing, it never sounds as you think it does, because in the moment as you speak or sing you are hearing resonances from within your body (skull, throat, chest) that no one else will ever hear and a recording cannot capture.

    Overall, my experience with this has been more similar to Jim Garber's (post #7) than MontanaMatt's (post #4). Invariably, my voice sounds like crap. But after some time, on a re-listen, some of those recordings actually sound okay, and some are just crap.

    Yes, the recording doesn't lie (for the most part), but don't beat yourself up too badly. Babe Ruth didn't hit a home run every at bat.
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  27. #16

    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    It's like facing your fears, instead of fondling spiders or snakes, it's listening to yourself. :-)

    If I focus really hard, I can lay down an acceptable backing track in a looper pedal, but it's hard enough I still use BiB or internet for most tracks.

    Getting better as a player helps a lot, takes time and patience, be patient with yourself, a cheer-leader and not a critic helps a lot.

    Still, I went years before I would let anyone hear me play on mandolin, it was so bad to my ears.

    Voice is even worse, you'll throw yourself off a bridge for sure.

    And yes, voice lessons are fantastic, and necessary because voice is special, there are so many ways to sing wrong, few get it right without lessons, and singing wrong can hurt your voice.

    I started life as a (half-decent) classical trumpet player. I knew how to breath, how to phrase a melody line, nice vibrato, I could control the tone I wanted, it was sweet.

    But I couldn't get any of that to work with voice, so given voice was just another wind instrument, with six months of voice lessons I was able to get to where I could sing well, with a controlled vibrato, the tone I wanted, and all of the trumpet-learned musicianship transferred over to voice nicely.

    For someone who doesn't already know breath control, melodic line phrasing, and vibrato, I think it would take longer.

    Voice is also one of those infinitely flexible instruments, very few can sing in all styles well. I have a niece who comes pretty close. She has an amazing voice, range and power like nobody's business, and huge talent. I have heard opera, modern pop (various flavors), jazz, and country come out of her style-perfect. She should be graduating from college with a voice performance degree soon.
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  29. #17

    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Quote Originally Posted by RustyMadd View Post
    Do voice lessons work? Has anyone taken voice lessons and gone from hating their own voice to actually accepting it as musical?
    Yes, voice lessons work.

    Yes, I have gone from hating my voice to accepting that I sound good enough for the type of music I choose to play.

    My voice teacher also plays piano in the trio in which I am the singer. She says that my voice works for the types of songs that I have chosen for the trio to play (swing, Gypsy jazz, ragtime). She has a great voice for different styles and doesn't want to sing the songs that I have chosen. Think about people like Bob Dylan and some others. Dylan's voice works for the songs that he has written, in fact, when some singers cover his songs they imitate his nasally style.

    Voice lessons taught me to relax my jaw and put my tongue behind my teeth. That's what I remember to focus upon. Ragtime is a good style for those of us who weren't blessed with naturally nice voices.

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  31. #18
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    Obviously, you just need to learn to drink more.
    Found that out when I stopped drinking. Reality sets in.
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    The whole premise of this topic title made me think of this video. Don't worry, it doesn't document the suicide of the performer, but it is a bit of a train wreck at any rate. This may be the only video I've ever referenced here without actually embedding the video. And apologies in advance to anyone who actually watches it.

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  34. #20

    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Never ever thought the headline about music I've played but I've been annoyed with myself. Live recordings are awkward even into one microphone for a friend especially if you're not confident on the vocal so why do it? Do it on your computer. Record the backing, repeat as necessary. Do the vocal, repeat as necessary. Send to friend.
    Walking off the stage to the sound of your own footsteps? That's the one to put you in therapy. Happened to me once at a school gig. Never forgotten it!

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  36. #21

    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    I quit taking my music that seriously a long time ago. That's made it more fun. A lot more fun.

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  38. #22

    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    . . . in the moment as you speak or sing you are hearing resonances from within your body (skull, throat, chest . . . .
    . . . and imagination.

  39. #23

    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    . . . It's going to be a forever journey. . . .
    Yup! That's what I love about it!

  40. #24
    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Being honest with yourself is the first step to improvement.

    Regarding your thread subject, are you ok or were you exaggerating?

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  42. #25

    Default Re: Does anyone get depressed or even semi-suicidal when they hea

    Just keep it fun. Not everybody has the goal of being a professional musician, and that is OK. Just like a lot of people exercise, but not everybody can run a marathon or be an Olympic athlete.

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