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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformancePerformance(Moderator: WaltTrombone) Post Performance Depression or PPD
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ottisthetrombonist

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« on: Mar 14, 2012, 05:37AM »

Is it just me or am i the only one with PPD or Post Performance Depression?
ok its not really depression, but it feels like it. i just miss the experience So after all my concerts, like carnegie hall for example, i love to play and i get so happy afterwards, mainly from adrenaline. But then like the day after the performance and for the next week, i get depressed cause i miss it. the same thing is happening now, where i am suffering from a PPD cycle of missing playing at St. Michaels Church. I mean like very depressed cause its all over and i miss all the people i got to know.
so am i the only one with PPD and how to i deal with it?
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 14, 2012, 06:16AM »

If it's truly depression, then you should see a medical doctor. If you are just missing the experience, then that's different. The more you play, the more you will start to develop a network of musicians you see regularly. Sometimes you won't run into some of them for awhile, but many become friends (assuming you are nice to everyone and fun to chat/hang with), and before you know it you are playing with a large network of friends all of the time.

Know that early in your career you will not have a lot of gigs, so if you are feeling depressed from a lack of opportunity to perform you should see a doctor to get some help. You need to be able to be happy to play, regardless of whether it's free rehearsals, gigs, practicing, etc. Otherwise, the depression will prevent you from doing what you need to do to grow as a player, network, and get more gigs.

I may sound like a broken record here, but it would be worth it to get evaluated if you are worried that it is truly depression - if it's just coming down off of the adrenaline rush, and the feeling does not interfere with your life, it may not be an issue. However, I'm not a doctor, and I doubt anyone here can truly evaluate if you have a medical condition that needs to be addressed or are just experiencing the normal ups and downs that we all go through.
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Bradley Madsen
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ottisthetrombonist

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« Reply #2 on: Mar 14, 2012, 06:35AM »

nonono its not really depression its more like i feel that now its over, what do i do? a couple of my friends feel the same way, but they were actually on stage.
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 14, 2012, 06:48AM »

Depression is a heavy word to be throwing around. sounds like you feel a bit like  Don't know, not like  :(...

I often experience immediate post-performance-pissed-off. As in, I dissect all the mistakes I made and keep kicking myself for them. I realize this rarely fosters improvement and am getting better at just keeping a log of the mistakes that I'll pull out in the practice room. For example, I blat a  8vb on stage. Rather than working myself into a huff over something that has already come and gone, I try to think of what exercises will make that C speak just the way I want. Basically it all boils back down to fundamentals...

Back to the original post; playing with great musicians and great friends in great venues is always a positive experience. Of course, after such a natural high, going about your normal routine can seem a bit dull. That's never been a problem for me, though. It's just a great time to shed fundamentals and put myself in a position to play even better the next time an opportunity rolls around.  :D Buck up, sport.
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 14, 2012, 06:51AM »

In that case, what do you do?

Work, work, work!

Get to the woodshed - work those skills that you found lacking because of this performance.

You said you made new friends? Call them, try to play small ensemble stuff with them.

You mentioned meeting a pro trombonist you liked. Contact him for lessons.

Reminiscing is nice, but building on it to have more exciting performances is what you need to do if you are serious about playing. Otherwise, you won't see a lot of these kinds of performances - they will be few and far between.
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 14, 2012, 07:19AM »

I often experience immediate post-performance-pissed-off. As in, I dissect all the mistakes I made and keep kicking myself for them. I realize this rarely fosters improvement and am getting better at just keeping a log of the mistakes that I'll pull out in the practice room. For example, I blat a  :bassclef:8vb:space2: on stage. Rather than working myself into a huff over something that has already come and gone, I try to think of what exercises will make that C speak just the way I want. Basically it all boils back down to fundamentals...

I do this same thing, and it's getting to be very problematic. I have trouble accepting a well-meaning complement these days, because behind every "Wow, the trombone section sounded great tonight", I'm thinking to myself "Well, except for that high A that I played out of tune and the crappy articulation at the start of that other piece, and the sloppiness of that triplet run" and find it difficult to just smile and say "Thank you" without a disclaimer "That's on the other guys, I certainly could have played better" or similar.
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 14, 2012, 07:38AM »

I do this same thing, and it's getting to be very problematic. I have trouble accepting a well-meaning complement these days, because behind every "Wow, the trombone section sounded great tonight", I'm thinking to myself "Well, except for that high A that I played out of tune and the crappy articulation at the start of that other piece, and the sloppiness of that triplet run" and find it difficult to just smile and say "Thank you" without a disclaimer "That's on the other guys, I certainly could have played better" or similar.
yupyupyup. I used to always shake my head or say something like "thanks for trying to make me feel better". Totally unhealthy. I am still guilty of it sometimes, but I'm making a conscious effort to keep my criticisms rational, internal, and directed towards the woodshed.
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« Reply #7 on: Mar 14, 2012, 08:25AM »

Use the time between the gigs wisely to improve your playing and hopefully you will find that the gigs become more frequent and of a better quality and you will wish there was more time to spend on improving your playing. Good!

One day you may be in a position to chose which gigs you take and which you reject :)

Cheers

Stewbones
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 14, 2012, 10:33AM »

nonono its not really depression its more like i feel that now its over, what do i do? a couple of my friends feel the same way, but they were actually on stage.

Start practicing again. Work on some of the areas that the music for the concert didn't address. If it was high, practice low; If whole notes, practice eights.
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« Reply #9 on: Mar 14, 2012, 01:27PM »

nonono its not really depression its more like i feel that now its over, what do i do? a couple of my friends feel the same way, but they were actually on stage.

Sounds to me like you're a very goal-motivated individual. IOW, you need a recital, performance, audition to keep you focused on the task. I suffer with clinical depression...runs in the family. But if I don't have a goal set forth, the sights kinda slip below the bullseye!

Get your buds and read, read, read any duets, trios etc., you can get your hands on for sight-reading and practice. You'll improve your playing for that! Also, relax and recover from all that hard practice! We all need a Sabbath from the routine/concerts.
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« Reply #10 on: Mar 14, 2012, 02:53PM »

Otis-
It happens to me too. I've had to say goodbye to several honor groups, four drum corps families, etc.
It never gets easier for me.
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ottisthetrombonist

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« Reply #11 on: Mar 14, 2012, 03:03PM »

Otis-
It happens to me too. I've had to say goodbye to several honor groups, four drum corps families, etc.
It never gets easier for me.
I spell it with two Ts! When i was little, thats how i thought it was spelled.
and ottis rhymes with trombonist even though its not my name...
yeah its hard but ugh life goes on
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« Reply #12 on: Mar 14, 2012, 03:19PM »

I spell it with two Ts! When i was little, thats how i thought it was spelled.
and ottis rhymes with trombonist even though its not my name...
yeah its hard but ugh life goes on

Are you suffering burnout?
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« Reply #13 on: Mar 14, 2012, 05:24PM »

I get that too. Then I remember that there is always work to be done on the horn. Even if you aren't able to host a recital, you can always work on a solo, read through some etudes, or hit the classic excerpts/ charts.

Get yourself a new solo/etude book. The reason for this is that it is something new and something to look forward to.
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« Reply #14 on: Mar 14, 2012, 05:58PM »

For me, there's a bittersweet side to attending concerts as well. I see, say, Mahler 2, and I'm borne away by the passion, the precision, the joy, the complexity of the performance.

And then, I realize, that I'll never be a part of something like that, partly by my own choice (or at least, I'll never know whether I had a chance to "make it"), and I don't regret my decision, nor do I regret seeing the performance, indeed I almost always inspired by it, but there is just that small element of bitter amongst the sweetness of the experience.
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« Reply #15 on: Mar 14, 2012, 06:37PM »

For me, there's a bittersweet side to attending concerts as well. I see, say, Mahler 2, and I'm borne away by the passion, the precision, the joy, the complexity of the performance.

And then, I realize, that I'll never be a part of something like that, partly by my own choice (or at least, I'll never know whether I had a chance to "make it"), and I don't regret my decision, nor do I regret seeing the performance, indeed I almost always inspired by it, but there is just that small element of bitter amongst the sweetness of the experience.
You know what's funny? I have the opposite. Well, I don't know if it's the exact opposite as I don't know what you chose to pursue rather than a career playing the trombone.

I spent a year at University of Maryland, College Park, studying physics. Despite the reasons I chose to attend--reasonably affordable, great resources for research and great professors involved with modern innovative technologies---> hopefully leading a (monetarily) successful career in the sciences, I wondered if I'd ever truly be happy with myself if I did not pursue my true passion.

Ok so that all has sounded extremely corny but I stand by it. My point is that, when I read about a new development in a periodical or when my girlfriend tells me about the stuff her lab at Boston Children's is working on; I get those pangs. Those damn "what if i...", "maybe I should've...", "am I a complete idiot" pangs...

Though not nearly as strong as my "am I a complete idiot for not pursuing the one thing that I truly love?" thoughts.
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ottisthetrombonist

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« Reply #16 on: Mar 14, 2012, 07:24PM »

Are you suffering burnout?
excuse me?
no its a long story... you see my name is elizabeth
but when i was er....7? I made a club penguin account and i asked my sister for a name. she suggested ottis and i thought it was spelled with two t's. so the first day of band, I was asked if i wanted to be called elizabeth, lizzy, liz, bob, whatever and my friend suggested ottis cause of club penguin, so the name stuck,
im really unpopular at school but when i step in the band room and i no longer elizabeth but ottis my man (one teacher calls me) or ottisthetrombonist. its when i am "cool". I am only called elizabeth when i get in trouble in band...which is a lot
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« Reply #17 on: Mar 14, 2012, 10:20PM »

I got a little 'sad' after I finished my tour in Europe, playing over there just seemed like the audience LOVED YOU. There was never an empty seat at our performances, the crowds were awesome, everything was fantastic.
When I got back to the states, I found it hard to play in my school band because, well, they weren't that good (or at least as good as the group I went with). After a bit of thinking, I wasn't really 'sad' that I wasn't there anymore, I was just nostalgic. That's really all it is, nostalgia.
Now, get back to practicing!  Evil :D
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« Reply #18 on: Mar 15, 2012, 07:12AM »

This is going to get a little esoteric, so bear with me.

It sounds a like a more basic reorientation should occur.  you were looking forward to those performances and working toward them and then they happened and, poof! The feeling's gone. 

I would suggest making working on the trombone and music the primary, everyday goal.  The thing you look forward to.  That way, the horn is always there waiting for you, the music remains to made, and you get to do it every day.  Concerts and such are perhaps mile markers along the way, but they aren't the primary goal. 

There are, and always will be, things to look forward to and enjoy and even miss a little bit when it's done. But when it becomes about you and the music, that "PPD" will lessen, if not disappear, and you'll still have things to look forward to doing on the horn for yourself. 

It'll probably come with age and few more miles/concerts under you belt.  But it's not such a bad thing to start thinking about now.

-Ben
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« Reply #19 on: Mar 15, 2012, 08:44AM »

This is going to get a little esoteric, so bear with me.

It sounds a like a more basic reorientation should occur.  you were looking forward to those performances and working toward them and then they happened and, poof! The feeling's gone. 

I would suggest making working on the trombone and music the primary, everyday goal.  The thing you look forward to.  That way, the horn is always there waiting for you, the music remains to made, and you get to do it every day.  Concerts and such are perhaps mile markers along the way, but they aren't the primary goal. 

There are, and always will be, things to look forward to and enjoy and even miss a little bit when it's done. But when it becomes about you and the music, that "PPD" will lessen, if not disappear, and you'll still have things to look forward to doing on the horn for yourself. 

It'll probably come with age and few more miles/concerts under you belt.  But it's not such a bad thing to start thinking about now.

-Ben

That is true in my case. For me, my weekly lesson is a performance of sorts. I focus on preparing my material and making it as musical as possible. The ensemble performances I do, while very important, seem to be, for me, extracurricular concerts that happen in addition to my weekly lesson performance.
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Pro level? Pro level!  You make it pro, you make it good You make it loved and play nice Then its a pro level horn
Leif

I can justify my position with a trombone in my hands and that's good enough for me
Beware wise men bearing equations  C. Stearn
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