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Thread: Musicians with full-time jobs..How do you manage everything?

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    Musicians with full-time jobs..How do you manage everything?

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    I am not sure if this is the right forum to post this in.

    I am an aspiring producer and singer-songwriter. I have been involved in the music scene in various capacities over the years. I have had one consistent problem over the years that is getting in the way of my success: finding the time and energy to practice.

    I have a full-time job 9-5 ish. I love my dayjob, but I often find that I am exhausted at the end of the workday. Add in other life demands and I find it hard to create music regularly. I try to relax after work then work on my music. Then I end up not sleeping until around 1am-2am and being tired during the day.

    Has anyone on this forum overcame this? Do you just accept being exhausted all of the time? I really don't want to quit doing music but I realize that I am not investing enough time in it. I don't know how to manage everything well enough to spend enough time with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazuray View Post
    I am not sure if this is the right forum to post this in.

    I am an aspiring producer and singer-songwriter. I have been involved in the music scene in various capacities over the years. I have had one consistent problem over the years that is getting in the way of my success: finding the time and energy to practice.

    I have a full-time job 9-5 ish. I love my dayjob, but I often find that I am exhausted at the end of the workday. Add in other life demands and I find it hard to create music regularly. I try to relax after work then work on my music. Then I end up not sleeping until around 1am-2am and being tired during the day.

    Has anyone on this forum overcame this? Do you just accept being exhausted all of the time? I really don't want to quit doing music but I realize that I am not investing enough time in it. I don't know how to manage everything well enough to spend enough time with it.
    Hi Lazuray. First job, get a health check. I found out about 6 months ago that I had been anaemic for 4 years! I am now on Iron and Vitamin D tablets and feel a bit more energetic. An otherwise very fit chap in his 50s at one of my workplaces found out he was type ll diabetic! I trust you don't have either of those problems. Had your eyes checked recently? Failing minces bugger your brain.

    "I try to relax after work" Does that include alcohol? I am the last one to preach but the booze is best left to high days and holidays. Nice to sit around with friends with a bottle of Plonk de jour but much better for the old energy levels to go for a good walk.

    In short it is a lifestyle matter, like your money, you have to sort your 'energy' priorities. Of course, age has a bearing, at 71 I often wonder HTF I did even the 20 hrs a week job I had 4 years ago!

    Dave.

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    This might sound funny, but I go to the gym 3 times a week for about 1 hour, nothing big weights, but a fast cardio work out round. If I am tied before I go I am up and about afterwards. I also take vitamin D tablets (high dose), doctor put me on these 10 years ago. I have been living like this since I was 17, I am now 60, I feel if I stop I will just die LOL.

    Now, this is my week, This week which is a reasonably quiet week as I usually have more studio time:

    Monday
    Day job 7am to 3.30pm
    Radio show 6pm to 9pm

    Tuesday
    Day job 7am to 3.30pm
    Gym 4pm to 5pm
    Played a gig 7.30pm to 8.30pm, (hung around tell 10.30pm)

    Wednesday
    Day job 7am to 3.30pm
    Live mixing 6pm to 11pm

    Thursday
    Day job 7am to 3.30pm
    Gym 4pm to 5pm
    Had a night off so went to a gig 7.00pm to 11.00pm

    Friday
    Day job 7am to 3.30pm
    5.30pm to 8pm Play at hotel jam session

    Saturday
    Gym 9.00am to 10.00am
    Watch football (live) 12.00 to 5pm
    Night off on couch with TV

    Sunday
    Recording session 10.00am to 6pm

    Then it all starts again next week

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    Vitamin D with all THAT sun? You should get out more Wiz!

    Heh! But seriously, do not self dose large amounts of Vit D, there are dire warnings on my box of ampoules!

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Vitamin D with all THAT sun? You should get out more Wiz!

    Heh! But seriously, do not self dose large amounts of Vit D, there are dire warnings on my box of ampoules!

    Dave.
    LOL, all my work is inside, I actually avoid the sun as we do here as skin cancer is a huge problem, you can get badly burnt in 20 mins in the summer, the sun is much higher in the sky in OZ than the UK. People don't realise also that sun block also reduces vitamin D intake same as long sleeves and hats.

    The dosage I take is recommended by my GP, I get blood tests every 6 months anyway so the D level is being monitored, yes don't take high doses unless recommend by the doc.

    Alan.

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    Practice weekends.

    My new day gig is pretty relaxed, I sit at a desk and talk to customers all day. After work, I have plenty of energy to practice, so I can get in at least 2 hours a day if I need and still have time for the family. But up until recently, my day gig was all travel, I wasn't even home to practice, let alone have energy for it. So I had to practice on weekends. I preferred practicing/recording at night but if I was working on a new song, I would put all day into it.

    If there are other events in your life competing for your time, you have to figure out your priorities. Family first, always. Then music, then anything else.

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    From my point of view it comes down to accepting that life is about choices and trade offs and you have made them. Music was never going to be my full time job so I did other things. I'm fortunate that my work leaves me time to do music as a hobby but that's what it is--as important as it is to me and as much as I love the creative outlet, there are times it has to take a back seat.

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    time and energy....I have different eras in the life that took the time and energy but it was always applied against the music time. weird.

    thats a good way to see it.
    In the beginning its like 100% to it, then it was 70%, then 50%, then 25%, then 0%....then 10%, 25%....now around 30%.
    My sons band is 100% but with the bass player getting a kid and the drummer moving for a job its down to 67%....


    so the band members get 9-5's and thats a easy math formula...24hrs in a day fixed, you work 8, you sleep 9, you have 7hrs approx to make things happen.

    off topic but also in hindsight putting time and energy into other things like work and more money jobs and then bigger houses then a layoff and it sucks....then like my friends who might have saved and invested to a million bucks then lost it all in the great recession...and in hindsight that Stratocaster maintained its value and the time spent recording was a hell of alot more fun and investing in the hobby might have been better than investing in some cubicle job that leaves you bankrupt financially due to mansion....and then you find yourself living in van .....down by the river...
    Last edited by CoolCat; 07-28-2017 at 18:27. Reason: too damn wordy ffs

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    What instrument do you play? I find I can get keyboard stuff done before work if I have an early wakeup day. Electric and bass guitar in the evenings when I find time, acoustic or vocal stuff usually on weekends when she's out of the house for a bit.

    I've never been one to gravitate towards playing any instrument regularly. I play guitar just often enough to retain muscle memory, nothing more. I have too many interests to be accomplished at any one thing. I can muddle through a few takes to get the part I want done, I'm happy. If I needed to make my living by guitar either the day job goes so I can focus on playing more or I find something else to make my living (ie - keep my day job). My plan is to keep my day job, until something better comes along. This plan has been in place for many many years now. lol
    The Boogeymen
    www.the-boogeymen.com

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    You have that right!
    I work 5 days a week and own a home which typically takes up at least one day of my weekend in basic maintenance.
    That leaves one day a week for other stuff.
    As great as I feel after a day of recording songs in my little studio it is a monumental task to get myself out from in front of streaming TV episodes and up the stairs to the spare bedroom/studio on my one day a week of down time.

    One thing I've found that did help is joining some type of song writers group.
    They typically meet one night a month where you get to show off your tunes and get tips and support.
    It's actually pretty great.
    And it gets you juiced about working on stuff for the next meeting.
    While not a particular endorsement try the Nashville Songwriters Assoc.
    It's not just country music.
    They have chapters all over and they have a lot of resources that come as part of your membership.
    The only thing is don't expect way too much from the "song evaluations" where you upload tracks to professional evaluaters.
    They are pretty stuck in their ways. And a lot of people don't really agree with their insights. But I'll grant that it has value.
    But that's just one service and it's still cool to use.
    They do actually pitch songs to producers if you make the grade.
    The best I ever did was making the "One's to watch" list.
    That was pretty cool.
    I've let my membership slide for now. Mostly because they moved the location of meetings.
    It was 10 minutes from my house and now it's a hour drive.
    But if you are lucky enough to have one close by I do recommend it.
    It keeps you enthusiastic without taking up too much time.
    They are doing a big song contest now. Yeah I know. But it is for real and people have gotten deals from it.
    I'm new here so I can't post links but just google "Nashville Songwriters International".
    I've found that having that one night a month where it's scheduled keeps you moving forward.

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