Do Musicians Lead a Lonely Lifestyle?

Yes and No

Why the Yes…

Because we are creative people. We spend hours upon hours honing our skills and craft. This means many of us stayed home on Friday night and played our guitar for hours instead of going out with friends. We spend countless hours learning necessities like recording, microphones, video production, web development and a bunch of other things many of us can’t afford to pay someone else to do. I can’t speak for all musicians but for me, in order to pursue all of these things, I needed to distance myself from people, sometimes for days in a row. You may see somebody for a short visit during your day for a meal or something, but that’s about it.

With all that being said, it may take a specific type of person to understand and be supportive of you. It’s hard to have a relationship with someone who wants traditional stability. You’re up all night writing a song or creating a video while they are sleeping. Then they get up to go to work and you are just going to bed. That can be challenging. But the question of loneliness does not just apply to intimate relationships, but that’s a part of it worth mentioning.

Another reason for me personally, I am introverted. Not all musicians are, but I would bet that a majority are. When I am around people for many hours eventually I need to get away and recharge. Sometimes going to a big party or get together will really drain me and I need almost a day or two with minimal contact to recharge. As an introvert you need to be careful and maintain a balance of social and personal time so that you don’t shift too far from one side to the other. If you don’t get enough time around friends and family you will feel lonely. Too much and you will get annoyed and overwhelmed.

These are only a couple of the reasons, but as you can see it may serve to create a lonely lifestyle at times with a feeling of very little reward, other than accomplishing personal or business goals.

Why the No…

Being a musician is a great way to meet people. Some of the coolest people I know I have met through music. The best relationships I’ve been in were somehow supported by or sparked by my musical prowess. I don’t say that to brag, it’s just a natural reality of being a musician. If you are getting good work and you are sharpening your talents, you are going to meet people. It’s just a fact. This still does not guarantee that you will not go through lonely phases in life, but who doesn’t go through that?

You will get approached by people you don’t know, and they will be very interested in chatting with you. It’s only natural to be intrigued by someone who is on a stage. I always have at least a few conversations with total strangers after a show. The bigger the show, the more conversations. I usually go home feeling socially charged and confident at the end of the night.

In Conclusion

As you can see, it goes both ways. It’s about finding balance. Strong friendships are always the best ones. People that will be there for you through the ups and downs are your true friends. Some people only want to be with you for the status. I had a girlfriend who was with me only while I was employed as a music director. As soon as I decided I did not want to subject myself to that job and atmosphere any more, I quit, and so did she. It all comes down to your definition of lonely. Some people thrive in a busy social lifestyle and they feel horribly alone when they don’t have anyone around. Some people enjoy solitude and self reflection and don’t feel any loneliness in that sort of a lifestyle. So are we musicians a lonely bunch? Yes and no.