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I have a couple of passions in life, one of them is music. I love playing drums and really want to play in a band. I've moved to LA about 3 years ago and have been searching for a group to play with since then. I'm constantly making ads and networking and it feels like nothing has come of it. Every week I set goals for myself to try to reach out to more people, practice to get better at my craft, and to continue to pursue a dream. Lately, I find myself feeling defeated and losing motivation. It becomes increasingly frustrating as other musicians flake and I am unable to find dedicated people with the same passion. Sometimes weeks go by and I feel like I am going no where.

I'm sure others have experienced this with their own dream. How do you get past this feeling of being defeated and continue to motivate yourself?


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Did you try starting your own band? It's much easier to find individuals than to get into an already existing group, because they have to be specifically looking for a drummer. Have you tried multiple forms of advertisements? Newspapers, leaving papers behind, internet websites specific to LA and so on... – Tom Wijsman Oct 23 '11 at 1:39
Yes, I have tried starting my own and still am. Usually, people show interest and then flake right before we decide to meet up. I have also tried newspapers, craigslist, and a few other smaller online classified sites all with little success. I'm unsure where else to advertise. Thanks for your suggestions. – wwwuser Oct 23 '11 at 2:04
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Imagine the big dream, but focus on the millions of many steps it takes to get there.

Just focus on tiny steps and their success/failure not the end goal.

For example, how many gig's did you get in a week/month

How many new musicians did you meet?

How many band's have you watched?

How many hours of practice?

The point of any real success, is to break it down into small parts, and then set goals to reach closer towards them each day, each week.

Every Sunday you should be thinking:

  1. What can I do next week to bring me closer to my current monthly goals.

  2. What skills do I need to improve upon?

  3. What kind of people do I need to meet?

  4. What lessons did I learn from the last week.

  5. If I can do 1 thing more this week, than what I did last week what would that be.

Then use that list to plan each day of the coming week, so that each day, you are taking many tiny steps that lead to your success.

Do not lose faith if your not getting the big goal right away, takes time, persistence and patience.

Do not give up!

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I do set weekly goals, but I'll be adding in these questions each week as well. This would help anyone looking to hit a big dream. This really helps! Thanks! – wwwuser Oct 24 '11 at 19:09
My pleasure. Good luck! – crosenblum Oct 25 '11 at 15:29

It is great that you have goals and have structured your dream for yourself. Being aware of the next steps is definitely where to start. You are right that it can be very discouraging when you have a solid plan but don't seem to be making any progress.

It is important to remember that there are parts of the dream that are in your control and there are parts that aren't. In every industry there is a flakiness factor, and creative people are definitely not an exception. Part of this is that creative people often need to be creative in the life management in order to stay afloat. They may not be able to devote as much effort and attention as you do.

Taking time to acknowledge the progress you have made in the goals you can control will help to fight off discouragement. You are taking the time to practice your craft and that's great. Do you feel any sense of accomplishment from aspects of your practice? It is a small thing but it can help to keep your spirits up a bit.

The main problem you are facing seems to be not under your control at least on the surface. The biggest problem is that you aren't getting the bandmates you need to move forward. Everything you are doing is good and you should keep it up. Additionally it may be wise to get involved in your local music scene. Find local groups playing at small venues. The sort of places where the musicians stick around and chill with other bands. Becoming part of a social group of musicians who are currently performing will help you get noticed if they ever decide to start side projects or have friends who want to get started. It can also allow you to "jam" with them which builds your reputation as a drummer and gives you practice working with others even if you don't perform with them.

So to sum up:

  1. Keep up your personal practice goals and try to see the progress you are making in your practice as meaningful.

  2. Keep up your communications outreach seeking bandmates

  3. Work on getting into the music scene, not exclusively for getting bandmates, but rather for getting a friendly community of local serious musicians. See if you can arrange to jam with them.

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