Reading My Way Around the World

Friday 9 February 2018

Keeping Interested

This is how motivated I've been feeling lately!!

As with most jobs, being a musician has lots of bits that are boring, repetitive and hard to stay focussed on ... I'm thinking mainly of PRACTICE!!   That dreaded word.   It takes a lot of discipline to keep doing your daily work, or in my case it's more like sporadic or at best weekly work a lot of the time, especially just after coming home from a tour or after finishing a project.   Problem is, when I don't do the work, come the start of the next tour or project, it's like starting from scratch again.   It doesn't help the mood, or the confidence,  one tiny bit.  

This quote has been attributed to many people of all musical disciplines.... Yikes.

So to stay interested I play games with myself.   And the internet is a great tool.   I find new singing exercise videos, or new guitar videos, or I'll try out songs from a singer that I haven't gone back to for a while.   And after teaching classes I'll occasionally take half an hour to sing songs out of one particular book and sing at the top of my voice (usually when Tom's out of the house!) while battering the hell out of the piano in the process.  And of course Singmarra keeps me focussed on a weekly basis where I have to do my warm ups or else my voice will collapse.

Recently I came across this great warm up voice video.  Perhaps you'd like to try it.  If you're at all interested in improving your voice or in just keeping it functioning well - I particularly think of teachers in this respect - then warming up is crucial and this one from Mark Baxter is a really excellent and simple one.  Be warned, Mark doesn't speak throughout it, so don't do what I did and close your eyes - you'll want to follow the instructions on the screen for the first run through anyway.

Now to find someone or something to trick me into spending more time doing publicity or social media or tour booking .... humph.  I think I'll go and play with paint for half an hour first ... or maybe the ironing would be fun lol

How do you get yourself through the boring bits of your work?   Any and all tips most gratefully received.


  1. What an interesting vocal exercise Fil. I was fascinated enough to do the entire thing, which I find a bit remarkable since I not only never sing, but I've never knowingly done any kind of vocal exercise. But since I actually found it rather fun, I'll definitely return to it.

    I'm afraid I don't have any great tips about getting through the boring parts of work - I confess you might catch me suddenly inspired to iron rather than tackle some things. :-) And a bit of chocolate always makes bookkeeping a bit easier.

  2. Hi Fil - I didn't expect to find this ... that looks a great way to exercise the head and face mostly ... I'll be back to look at properly - I'm way behind with things - life gets in the way out here ... but we each need to find our way of doing things ... I'm still doing that out here - cheers Hilary

  3. Interesting Fil & although I can't sing for the life of me, just trying to stay focused at the moment is tough going & I don't even work. I'll have a look at the video later, when I'm more relaxed. Take care & huggles from down under.

  4. It's amazing! Everything you talked about, dear Fil! Motivation - I have to go on practicing piano, but with tons of things to do, I am not doing that - and I do feel when I go back to it, that I should have kept motivated :( I grant that after 1 hour I start recovering from the lack of playing, but it could be better in 1 min, if I practiced everyday. I loved the quote and loved the exercises - I joined him while he explained :) And it does make a difference after that! Hope you have a very beautiful week! Hugs!


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