Emotionally drained after gigs/sessions.

nolibos

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Doesn't matter whether the gig goes good or bad, afterwards I am emotionally drained. Sometimes (this last time) it takes me up to a month to get interested in studying music again. Because of this, I tend to find the infrequent jazz gigs.
Anyone else have this experience?
 

JonnyFranchi$e

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It takes me half the night to wind down. And we're not even a high-energy band. Groovy funk and pop. But the sustained concentration and the thrill of improvisation together. The GROOVE. The extraordinary pleasure of making good music together.

Because we all have really busy lives, we purposely don't gig more than a couple times a month. I'm glad. More than that would take too much of a toll on me.

So I hear where you're coming from.

Sessions less so. A long day recording or something is tiring, but not the same kind of deep exhaustion afterwards for me.
 

thejohnlec

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After sessions, I have a very difficult time getting the last song we work on out of my head, like for a couple of days. If I need to wind down after a gig, I’ll pick some chill music for the ride home, opposite of what I just played. I played with a big band when I was in college and I would listen to James Taylor on the ride home after shows. It was a lot of fun but a lot of concentration, and JT helped me come down. I don’t have any trouble falling asleep after a gig now :)
 

Neal Pert

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I've found that when that happens one of three things is true: I dislike the music I just played, I dislike or am uncomfortable with the musicians I just played with, or there was something else about the gig-- bad audience, bad pay, bad staff-- that got under my skin. I've stopped playing music I don't like and I've stopped playing with difficult people and things have improved.
 

drummingbulldog

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Depending on your situation, it sounds like burn-out. I have been there. For me, the band I was in really took a toll. Doing session work is a form of recharge for me whereas a gig is much more taxing. Needing a month off seems like maybe you need some time away. Good luck with whatever you decide to do going forward.
 

RIDDIM

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Doesn't matter whether the gig goes good or bad, afterwards I am emotionally drained. Sometimes (this last time) it takes me up to a month to get interested in studying music again. Because of this, I tend to find the infrequent jazz gigs.
Anyone else have this experience?
Not unless I played badly or was part of something aesthetically or otherwise repellent. If the music sounds good I'm usually happy to have been part of it.

I try not to put myself in repellent situations.
 

JonnyFranchi$e

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nolibos - is it burn out? It's an interesting thought.

i feel it, but to me it ain't burn out. Playing with the band is one the funnest things I do in life. And I'm energized right after a gig (which is why it takes a while to come back down). But then, the excitement wears off and all that energy is spent, it's like an emotional letdown. Wait I have to go back to WORK now?

I haven't used drugs in decades, but it's a little like getting high. Getting high makes being not high all the more unsavory, and it's emotionally draining. When i quit, there was a period of sadness and feeling emo-drained as i adjusted to regular life without its edges softened for me. After-gig feels like that.

Is that anything like what you are experiencing, or is it just plain burnout? This is an interesting question.
 

pwc1141

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I am a weekend warrior that gets to play infrequently these days. But I have been doing it long enough to have no nerves at the start of a gig, great exhilaration during the gig then straight to the tear down of gear afterwards with just a smile on my face and a thanks for the band members. I usually have a fair way to drive home and by the time I get there and unload the car, it's all over and I'll await the next gig.
 
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I think a lot of this might come down to one (huge) thing, conviction. It's the next step after confidence, and the last stop before consistency (which is the ultimate attribute for any "professional" no matter what field.) Then (of course) consistency leads to longevity, which is the prime ingredient to any successful career.

Conviction can not be learned from books, teachers, or practice, it has to be earned from real life experience playing music with other people (of all skill levels) AFTER the fundamentals have been built to a certain degree (by learning-studying from books, teachers, mentors, and practice.)

You can't fake it, but you can feel it (in others and in yourself.) It slowly develops and builds within you over time, you can't rush it, and in my opinion it only comes from hours of performing (or doing "it" whatever that "it" might be.) Everyone has dealt with it (or the lack of it) on some level.

If you don't (or can't yet) perform with some amount of conviction, performances can be exhausting and draining. But you HAVE to keep going to gain what I call "The three C's" (confidence, conviction, consistency.)

I know sports and music are very different, but I read this recently, and it says it all to me.

"A very wise veteran once told me, “if a pitcher isn’t 100 percent sure he’s throwing the right pitch, it doesn’t matter if the finger pressure, the arm-slot, the stride-length and follow-through are all perfect. Without that last piece – conviction – that pitch is going to get hit. I promise you.”

You can change all those baseball terms to musical or drumming arms and it means the same thing, without ABSOLUTE conviction, your playing won't be that good (or as good as you want to be.) It might be good enough for the level that you are presently in, but I am talking about holding yourself to, and rising to, the standards of professional level performance skills (confidence, conviction, consistency.) I think this applies to all performers and (most) art forms, I have talked to actors about it as well.

The Three C's
Confidence, Conviction, Consistency,

Have fun,
MSG
 
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Rock Salad

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I get worn out when we play with other groups on the bill. I just am so happy to hear them rock and to hang out with other musicians. I do feel kinda drained today, what a rush last night. In a good way that is
 

wflkurt

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Of course some gigs will be betters than others. I mean the quality of the gig and the people you play with. I definitely feel better doing a gig with good musicians that I like and know will do a good job. having a good mix is always helpful so that I don't have to struggle to hear certain things. Having a good crowd that enjoys things is always a win but for the most part, I feel blessed to be able to play at all. as I get older and more aches and pains creep up, I am happy that none of that seems to bother me at all when I play. I love drums, drumming and have so much respect for it that just seeing my drum set under lights makes me feel good.

When I started playing drums at 12 years old, I was struggling to find something I could have that was mine. I wasn't great with sports and had an awful time competing with ball hogs and bigger kids. The moment I discovered drums all that changed and it has given me a real purpose in my life. I'm not sure others feel that strongly about it but drums and music has kept me happy almost all of my life.

I have been fortunate to do some decent sized gigs and sure its a bummer when I have to go back to my day job. I still look forward to any gig though and I absolutely love the recording studio. I could spend hours doing that stuff and never get tired of it.
 

CC Cirillo

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It has been rare that I have found myself emotionally drained after a gig or session. The few times it has happened, it’s tied into something occurring in my life outside of music. For example, in the last four years I’ve had some bad news come my way and it seems to have typically dropped via an emergency phone call on my travel to the gig. Sometimes the ghosts of these painful events emerge when I least expect them to—often on the way to another event, so I have to fight that inner battle all over again. Usually, the music wins, and I’m pulled back into a joyful and spiritually vibrant place. I am somewhat healed.
There have been a few other times when the band tension or performance—and here I’ll focus on my performance—created a subpar endeavor, and that will affect me emotionally, but I’d place that more in the frustration column.
I have, though, often come from a gig physically drained, but in the best of possible ways. I’m drained from trying my very best, giving it my all, physically and emotionally. I’m covered in that wonderful sweat from combined physical exertion mixed with creativity. I figure this is what I’m supposed to do. I’m the engine.

Pre-pandemic, often I’d have a gig on a Friday night. I will have gotten up at 5:30 a.m., worked a full day ending at 5:30 pm and then head to the show at 6:00 pm to set up and soundcheck. If it’s a bar gig we’d start soon thereafter; if it was a show at a bigger venue it was with my originals band and probably had one or more bands opening, so I might be going on at 11:00 pm. By the time I’m packed up and home it would be at least 3:00 a.m. So that’s looking at a 22-hour day with the last few hours having some vigorous drumming. I don’t think my story in this last paragraph is particularly anything unique, and many of you have similar schedules, and many that are more arduous. It’s why drummers are the Hoss of the band.
 

jb111

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For me, it's like anything else I'm into. The more I do it, the more I want to do it (surfing, music, etc.). Yeah, a bad gig will get me down for a day or two, but a good gig has me buzzing for days. Pre-Covid, during the busiest times, I was playing a lot. Even with all the driving, loading, unloading, setting up, playing, breaking down... a momentum kicks in and I feel energized by it. Of course, these are with two or three different playing situations, so that helps. Two of the gigs are completely unrehearsed with song lists that will morph and evolve in a way that keeps it interesting. No set lists, call them as we go. The other band is totally rehearsed, set list, suit and tie. Totally different. For me, the variation definitely helps keep me engaged and enthused.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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I performed at two outdoor concerts this past weekend for a 2-day biker rally. I provided the full PA and lighting rig for each day which had to be set-up then torn down after each show and loaded-out, including my drumset, making it two full setups and two full breakdowns and loadouts. I did most of the heavy lifting and setup/teardown by myself while my bandmates rolled up a few cables ..... and then bounced as usual after getting paid.

Sunday I really felt the exhaustion of it all - much more than I ever have before.
 

TheBeachBoy

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Depending on how the gig goes and if it's an energetic crowd I'll be both tired and amped up simultaneously. It takes me a good two or three hours to come down from the gig high, which means going to bed at 3 or 4 am some nights. Fortunately my wife knows this and lets me sleep in on weekends. We don't really have any late night weekday gigs. Those are done no later than 10 usually, so I'm in bed by 1.
 

Squirrel Man

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I'm also in the camp that I am the opposite.

Stupid busy at work, working both weekend days also and like today I'll get home feeling like a zombie. Tired, achy, no energy, just could take a nap but I know 10 minutes after jumping on the kit I'm banging on the bongos like a chimpanzee. Hour or two later I get tired from playing but I feel reinvigorated.

While I haven't played on stage in years when I was I wasn't the type to get tense and pressured although I understand how some people can get like that. I never was like that, never felt that pressure but I guess that adds to the after-show crash maybe for some.
 


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