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OK, so I'm a stereotype: I never stop chattering. Luckily it's in writing on a website so you don't all need to invest in earplugs, hehe :)


Last night I was so happy with myself. I play bass in a pub band, and performed live without messing it up.


Practicing has simply not happened on most days because I can't stay on track long enough to get any productive practice done. I've had to compensate by being very, very quick on the uptake, and learning the lines pretty instantly. Sometimes I've played in this band and been infuriated when I've messed up my part in front of others due to insufficient practice. I love music and have always really wanted to play.


I feel my Ritalin is helping my mental capacity on many levels. Firstly, I took the bass out before the pub gig and got myself prepared a little - a HUGE improvement as normally I wouldn't even think to tune the strings up, and would just turn up at the venue, plug in and brace myself for whatever happened. I felt I did not have the capacity to cope with any more than that - it was the best I could give.


Also I think my capacity to think about where I am in the music, to remember the notes, to even play with more expression, has all been improved.


Does anyone else play an instrument? What have your experiences been like over the years? I'd love to hear from you! Here I am below...xx




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Zoe --

In many ways, music has been my saving grace. My Dad, brother, and sister-in-law were all music teachers. I've been raised around music all my life. Started taking various lessons in early elementary school. Music is in my blood. I'm ADD everywhere else, but with music I'm THERE. It's the only area I don't struggle. Granted, I don't have the discipline to practice enough, but I'm a quick study.

Back in the day, I had my radio on all the time. I could sing all the lyrics of all the songs. I didn't study them, I just absorbed them. I'm a musician now specializing in oldies, so it really came in handy. But at the time, it drove my Mother crazy. ("You had the highest IQ in your grade school graduating class, so why don't your grades reflect that?!!") The radio would be on and I'd be singing, and she's say -- for the thousandth time -- "You know all the words to those songs. Why can't you do that with your homework?" Finally I said, "Well, if they set it to music, maybe I could!" She never brought it up again...

That's brilliant Chris, and you're a musician these days so are using your talents. I'm so happy for you!

Isn't the human brain an intricate and fascinating device?

I have a degree in music but only got by compensating, the quick study thing. For me it's instruments, various ones. I am so lucky to be quick on the uptake.

I've sung in a choir (well about 5 in my lifetime) but in my case the block occurs when it comes to remembering words. When I'm asked to learn words at home from paper or song recordings, it's a mentally laborious task that feels mentally exhausting and doesn't really work, or at least it doesn't come naturally. I forget, and then people think I'm simply too lazy to bother. They see the music degree and don't get it at all. Interestingly, I can remember quotes from English literature very well!

My theory is this: Of the two, I'm more interested in the music than the lyrics - can get absorbed and 'lost' in music more easily due to the nature of my attention deficit, so when it comes to singing words to music I'm too distracted by the music itself to register or recall what the words are.

Intriguing! :)
Hi Zoe!
I'm happy that you have kept on playing and found ways to make it easier for yourself to enjoy your talents!! I used to play the bass myself, but could't bring myself to practice:-D. Keep on the good work. Great pic. hugs, snow
I play several instruments: piano, guitar, recorder, Native American Flute, and Celtic Harp. Only formally studied piano. I'm at my best playing by ear. Been writing songs since I was 12. I love to sing, but remembering the words -even to familiar songs and songs I have written myself, is difficult. Taking medication has helped greatly with recalling & tracking lyrics and synchronizing my rhythm with others when I sing in a group. I definitely get lost in the music and think I probably to to a 'wordless' part of my brain when performing. I first 'write' the music, then add words to the music (I compose on guitar, piano, and harp). Harmonizing to someone else's singing helps keep me on track. If I'd been diagnosed at 20 and started meds at that time ... perhaps I would have stayed in the music field and gone to see that talent scout that wanted me to visit LA...... But such is life.
I play the accoustic guitar and sing, and I love it! Mostly just with friends or camping, but sometimes on a stage....The problem is, I can't ever remember all the chord changes and lyrics, so I have to have my song book always open on a stand, which takes away from the 'performance'.

Zoe, like Diana, I also have my song book when we perform -- my lyric book -- because sometimes my brain just goes blank. We also have SO MANY songs we do, it overwhelms me. I sing and play flute (although not at the same time...). With the flute, no problem. With singing, I need an assist with the words. However, unlike most of you (I'm assuming), I'm older that dirt. Menopause does a real number to the brain... plus I was on a medication that affected memory... plus I have fibromyalgia with it's attendant fibro-fog... all on top of the ADHD/ADD!

A few years ago, to cover the embarrassment of my mental lapses and "senior moments," I started giving a new reason/excuse: "My brain is solar-powered, and when the sun goes down..."

My husband (the REAL musician in the house) said that in his latter days, even Elvis had to resort to looking at words during his concerts. I say that by way of encouragement, sort of, because, well, that's Elvis. Tho' I'm sure his was more age-related. I'm not suggesting Elvis was ADHD.... ~ :-/

:) That's lovely Chris. I must use the "solar-powered brain" line sometime as a quip since I think it's excellent :)

The choir I was in demanded the "professional" measure of no song books. A pain in the arse. Notice I put "professional" very firmly in inverted commas.

Well folks, I've reached the point where, since lyrics and song titles are a bit elusive (see above), my compensation method is established: I have perfect pitch. If the other instruments play only the very first note of the song, I know straight away what it is and how the bass part goes. People can't believe I can do this when I can't remember the name of the song. Hahaha ;)
I can!
What you do is with the right kind of passion in your heart and body; while remembering a name is all mental work, less important, and even devastating for the creative process. To start searching your database for meaningless words, brings you out of the passionate, creative state.
Zoe, it is very easy for me to believe that you can do that. I know what you mean by not remembering the name,lyric,etc... But just start playing the right notes(chords,rythm,whatever). In my case it seams if I try and think what chord or fret and where my fingers are, thats where I can get in trouble. If I just let it come out naturaly(from the heart) then I'm ok. It's hard to explain, but you know what I mean if this is what happenens to you.
I grew up playing three instruments!

And my ADHD boyfriend is a working musician and music teacher!

For me, it's always been a struggle practicing on my own...but I LOVED practicing in groups. So that was helpful for me. It meant I was an enthusiastic participant in group rehearsals. Or sometimes I would find friends to practice with who were working on the same music.

My sweetie has a hard time practicing mostly because his life gets so busy. But he really loves to geek out on music theory...when he's not fighting off the ADHD urge to overcommit and be constantly active. He also has three children (two of whom are learning instruments) and that takes him away from practicing sometimes. Between work, gigs, kids and ADHD though, it is a challenge for him to find time to practice, or for composing (which he also does).

Prolly no surprise that I went from studying music for theater in college, which was more inherently collaborative. I like the stimulation of rehearsing with a group :)
It's therapy for me now. I've played guitar for many years, and took for granted my ability to play by ear and just hit notes without thinking about it. I could sit in with anyone playing rhythm and sound good playing blues, bending strings,etc.. and take lead with no effort. Then a few yrs. ago right side motor skills were affected by a brain disease(in addition to A.D.D., and not important to this blog or ppl here, so I won't go into that)....But I lost some of my ability and thought it was over for me, and stopped playing. But lately, I have decided to try and adjust and am playing pretty good. I have an audience of 1(me lol) but it does help my coordination,self esteem, etc...
Music came really easy to me as well. I played several brass instruments and my teachers always thought I practiced more than I did.

Music saved me in a lot of ways, I'm not a professional musician now or anything....but it was the only thing I succeeded at as a kid. I think it's important to have at least one area of success as a kid.


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