If you’ve landed on this page, then you may be suffering from a bout of musical fatigue. Perhaps you are worried that your songs are no good because you’ve grown tired of hearing them. In this article, I want to discuss why you may feel bored with your music and how to fix that.
- Do Artists Get Tired of Their Own Songs?
- Why Do I Get Bored of a Song?
- Is It Bad If I Get Bored with My Own Music?
- Should I Release a Song If I Don’t Like It or I’m Not Happy With It?
Do Artists Get Tired of Their Own Songs?
Absolutely yes. Listening to anything too many times can cause boredom. That’s just the nature of repetition. It’s okay if you get tired of your own songs, and it does not mean that song is bad.
Boredom is really a neurological response to stimuli. It’s related to dopamine levels in the brain. If you experience something new and interesting, the brain perks up and gives you a little shot of dopamine—a chemical that makes you feel good. But once something because “old” or familiar, the brain stops giving you that little dopamine boost.
One scientific study suggests that feelings of boredom may also trigger a response in the amygdala, which is a part of your brain that controls negative emotions. In essence, too much of a good thing (in this case, your music) can suppress feel-good chemicals and amplify feel-bad brain activity.
Why Do I Get Bored of a Song?
So there are two common reasons why you’re getting bored with your own song:
- You’ve listened to it so many times that it’s not registering a dopamine response from your brain anymore, or
- The composition itself is too familiar-sounding to you, so no dopamine for you
Heard It Too Many Times
Sometimes you just need to stop listening to the offending song for a while so your brain can forget about it. It’s not that the song is bad…you just got too accustomed to hearing it. Leave it alone for a few days or weeks.
When I’m producing a track, I’ll often listen to it hundreds of times between recording, leveling, mixing, and mastering. By the time I review the end result…I’ll easily feel bored or underwhelmed by it just because I’ve heard that stupid riff or vocal hook too many times.
But to anyone else who hasn’t been actively mixing and re-listening to the song, it may be very interesting and refreshing.
The point is, you’re going to be biased against any sound you hear if you have to hear it 100 times before the song is even finished. So don’t discard a song just because you’re bored with it.
Let that finished track sit, unheard, for at least a week and forget about it. Then listen to it again with fresh ears before you make a decision about it.
This Sounds Too Familiar…
If the composition itself sounds too familiar, then you may be overusing musical elements in your music. Perhaps you’ve written too many songs with the same drum pattern or same chords.
In that case, you could re-invigorate that song by just switching out a single musical element. On more than one occasion, I saved a song from oblivion by just tweaking a background instrument or a chord progression; suddenly, it sounded new and novel again.
Tweaks to Make a Song More Interesting
Here are a few small tweaks you can try on a monotonous track:
- Replace the drum pattern with something you haven’t tried before. If you have a pack of pre-made drum loops, then drag and down a few different patterns into your drum synth and A/B test them.
- Use the relative minor/major of your current key. If the song is in a minor key, change around the chords in your progression to make it a major key (and vice versa). If the chords are Am—C—G then try it with C—G—Am instead, or
- Use a chord progression for a mode of your current key. For example: if your song is written in C major, try a chord progression that’s in the mode of F Lydian (this means start on an F chord instead of a C chord)
- Play the chords/riff of your instrumental on a different instrument. Are you using the same synth preset or guitar amp tones for every song? Tweak your tone or ADSR envelopes. Or find a free VST and switch up the type of instrument entirely.
Is It Bad If I Get Bored with My Own Music?
It’s not a bad thing, in and of itself, that you’re getting bored of your own music. If the boredom is caused by too much repetition, then that’s totally understandable. You just need to take a break from that song and let your brain reset.
But boredom does become an issue if you feel uninterested in a song (or it’s backing track) due to the underlying composition. Complacency in your compositions can lead to boring-sounding songs. And, if the music sounds too repetitive or predictable, listeners may end up as bored as you are.
You need to identify the underlying cause for your boredom to cure it. And I recommend that you find a trusted third party to spot check your tunes, somebody close to you who will tell you if the track is boring.
Should I Release a Song If I Don’t Like It or I’m Not Happy With It?
This comes down to personal beliefs. More specifically, it depends on your views of quality vs quantity. Personally, I release songs even if I don’t like them.
But there are two valid sides of that argument.
Reasons Not To Release a Song You Don’t Like
Many artists (and YouTube promoters) will tell you that quality is more important than quantity. They recommend that you only release your best songs. So if you make a song that doesn’t live up to your own standards, then this quality mindset dictates that you don’t publish it. But on the other hand…
Reasons To Release a Disliked Song Anyway
Musical tastes are incredibly subjective. It could be that you find a song boring and predictable, but others will find it fresh and interesting. You have no way of knowing which song that you write will resonate with listeners the most.
I’ve heard dozens of sleeper hits and billboard singles that just sounded bland to me…yet many other people clearly liked the song or it wouldn’t be a hit.
From this perspective, you’re better off releasing all your songs because it’s impossible for you to know which one others may or may not enjoy. It’s also a more utilitarian approach to music: you’ve already made the song. Why let it sit on your computer? Why not throw as many baits into the lake if you’re gonna go fishing?
All artists get bored of their own music. It’s not a reason to discredit your craft. Oftentimes, the boredom is merely caused by excessive repetition. Before you abandon a track forever to obscurity, take a break from that song for a few days and let yourself forget about it. Then come back and listen again with “fresh ears”. Also, find someone else to preview the track and see if the feelings of boredom are mutual. Even if a song sounds boring due to it’s composition, it may only need a subtle tweak in the arrangement to freshen up its sound.
Thanks for reading; I hope you found this helpful. If so, then here are a few more articles that you may enjoy: