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Need to overcome a drop in enthusiasm

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jimscafe
(@jimscafe)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

Like many before me, there seems to be a time when enthusiasm for playing gets low, and I've reached that. Any help on getting back to really enjoying playing would be appreciated. Been a while since I posted on this forum.

With all the advice given I finally got a teacher, and after hearing me play a little he said we should learn scales. We spent some months doing that (quite boring) and I was improvising to different music styles (rock, blues etc.) I could do some ok and others not so good. There is no doubt my finger skills improved, but I felt I wasn't making any foot tapping music, and lessons and practice became a chore rather than something I really enjoyed.

And I feel it takes so long for me to learn a piece. The teacher showed me how to play the notes for 'Every Breath You Take' and for three weeks I have been practicing, but still I make mistakes and some notes sound bad. I sometimes feel embarassed by how long it takes me to learn something.

I guess all this contributes to the low enthusiasm bit.

I do know I have come along greatly since I started about 3 years ago, playing most chords is easy (even F) and my feel for the strumming hand is much improved.

Any suggestions?


   
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Denny
(@denny)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 452
 

For me, if my heart's not in it, a song will just clunk around because I'm not enjoying it. Maybe you could suggest a song that you like to your teacher. Another way to have fun playing is to find some other people to jam with. The learning from other players is much more fun than having to do your "homework" from the teacher. Who knows, by expanding your playing you might find new a interest in the lessons. Good luck.

Denny


   
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globetro
(@globetro)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 75
 

I definitely know how you feel about the no-progress thing, although from what I've read, it sounds like all guitarists go through these phases every now and then. I've been frustrated lately too with not being able to learn pieces fast enough. I've been working on a few different songs for the last few months, and I still haven't gotten any of them polished to the point where it sounds perfect (it's like they say, the last 10% takes up 90% of the time). But I take heart in knowing that overall, I have improved over the last few months.

I think playing with others definitely helps, too. I play with some friends every week or two... we have a list of songs that we're learning, so it gives you specific goals and things to work towards.

For me, another thing that gets me discouraged is if I overwhelm myself with too much stuff. Once I get too spread out, I start dreading practice because I feel like there's too much stuff to do.


   
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RunsWithScissors
(@runswithscissors)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 22
 

I've been through the same thing. A couple of things helped.
1. Finding someone else to play with. Nothing serious, but a regular "fun" jam of sorts. A side benefit is that I've learned several new licks and tricks that have expanded my ability. As you can tell by this forum, there are a bunch of players looking to get together for fun.
2. I'll put down the guitar for a month and serriously explore listening to some new music. This has been great for me as I take bits and pieces of the new music (old jazz melodys, 50's r&b, bluegrass...) and incorperate them into my playing style.
I also take this time to detail my guitars, have them set up and maybe explore my local music shop to test out effects and different amp guitar combos.

Sometimes taking a break is exactly what I need.

Good luck!

How can you tell the stage is level?

The drummer drools from both sides of his mouth!


   
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Gerry
(@gerry)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 441
 

Perhaps also just step out of the routine or discipline. Playing guitar has to be fun and not just slog and hard work. Sure they go together but when the fun goes very often everything else goes with it.

Leave it for a while and when you do pick it up again try and have some fun by playing what you feel like and don't worry about mistakes.

One of my favorite fun things is just to pick up the guitar and play anything with no fixed ideas and just go where it takes me. If its nowhere fine but very often something good comes out of it. Just learn to not be too hard on yourself.

Gerry

Those who can't dance always blame the band.

http://www.gerrycooper.com/


   
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Oenyaw
(@oenyaw)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 395
 

yeah, take a break. It won't kill ya.

Brain-cleansing music for brain-numbing times in a brain dead world
http://www.oenyaw.com


   
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ShadowRaptor
(@shadowraptor)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 62
 

I do the same thing Gerry. I read somewhere that the last thing you should do in a practice should be something you know well. It gives you encouragement to try the harder stuff again later.

Rob

Have a safe and pleasant day.

Rob
Canada

Yamaha FG-730S
Crafter GAE45/N
Beaver Creek BCR8501
Yamaha CG-? (91)
Yamaha CG-171SF
Framus Texan 5/296 12-String
Takamini EG-345C 12-String
Indiana IN-BM5 Mandolin
M-Audio Oxygen 49 Keyboard


   
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Embrace_the_Darkness
(@embrace_the_darkness)
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One of my favorite fun things is just to pick up the guitar and play anything with no fixed ideas and just go where it takes me. If its nowhere fine but very often something good comes out of it. Just learn to not be too hard on yourself.

I do this as well, just let your mind wander and your fingers do the same...

Taking a break is a good idea, when you come back to playing (whether its 2 days or 2 weeks) you will feel a new desire for it.

Also, stop learing new things and just spend some time playing what you can already play. I garuntee, after a week of playing the same songs over and over, you'll be dying to learn new things again! :lol:

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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Maliciant
(@maliciant)
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Go and see someone else play, that always inspires me to practice, it also tends to inspire me to buy better gear... one of these days I need to go see Victor Wooten play, so he can inspire me to buy a new bass and maybe bass amp... I'd say you should mention to your teacher you are finding what you are learning to be a chore and tedious, see if he/she has some ideas to change it up a bit, after all if you quit playing guitar your teacher is going to have to find another student. Sometimes the answer is unforuntately to just persevere. There have only been a few songs I have been able to learn quickly, almost every other song has been something of a struggle. Urban Struggle by The Vandals (I had that one down in like 5 minutes... WOO HOO), Creep by Radio Head, this one took longer but I can play it many different ways as well as sing along while playing (I wouldn't call my singing good, nor bad... just ugly). There are countless songs I wanted to learn but to this day, they remain difficult, and many songs I can play, but I can only play with the music in front of me (things like dueling banjo's, I've been able to play this for a long time... yet I still can't remember half the licks in the song as simple as they are... I suspect if I was to convert it from tab to notes I'd have only half as much to remember).

I think in time you will begin to get better at memorizing songs... especially as you start to learn the patterns, but for now I'm in pretty much the same boat as you, every song is a struggle, and some days the motivation just isn't there regardless of wanting to work on it. I've got a couple of songs mostly figured out, one is just music, the words could be almost anything, and the other has lyrics... somehow these haven't managed to be recorded which is a shame because both are good in their own right.


   
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Oenyaw
(@oenyaw)
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Go and see someone else play, that always inspires me to practice

That's good! I like that, and I do the same.

Brain-cleansing music for brain-numbing times in a brain dead world
http://www.oenyaw.com


   
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ShadowRaptor
(@shadowraptor)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 62
 

One thing I have noticed when 'singing' is that the lyrics to a lot of songs that I never really listened to before are bizarre. For example, I am learning how to play 'Tiny Dancer' and the words don't make any sense at all! I prefer my own words that I used to sing when I heard the song on the radio.

Rob

Have a safe and pleasant day.

Rob
Canada

Yamaha FG-730S
Crafter GAE45/N
Beaver Creek BCR8501
Yamaha CG-? (91)
Yamaha CG-171SF
Framus Texan 5/296 12-String
Takamini EG-345C 12-String
Indiana IN-BM5 Mandolin
M-Audio Oxygen 49 Keyboard


   
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timba33
(@timba33)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 24
 

Hi,

I just went through a 2-3 week period like that. Bored with what I was practicing, frustrated that I couldn't do basic things or chord changes smoothly, etc. It seemed like I was going backwards, stuff I could do, I was having trouble with. I also get embarassed that I sound bad playing, so I get self concious and try to play so no one can hear me in the house. I didn't play much for 3 weeks. I've gone through a bunch of these periods over the past 9 months of my playing. A few days ago, I started again, and things seem to come easier.

I also hadn't seen my guitar teacher in 3 weeks, just got back from a lesson today, and I'm inspired again.

Listen to some music, watch a DVD of your favorite bands/ artists. My teacher gave me the Crossroads DVD's to watch to get me re-motivated.

Just relax, it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby, not a job. It will get better !!!!

-Tim


   
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ballybiker
(@ballybiker)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 493
 

you got your answers here...take a break..bet you'll be itching to play after 2 days.......

have FUN.........I've said this before on here but i'll say it again

TO A CHILD 'PLAY' MEANS FUN.......it should mean the same to you too

enjoy your break 8)

what did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?....

Drool

http://www.myspace.com/ballybiker


   
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DemoEtc
(@demoetc)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2167
 

Sometimes when I get feeling that way, I'll play the bass for a couple of weeks. Sometimes I'll just try an open tuning on the guitar. Sometimes if say I've been going at it on the electric with standard tuning and a flatpick for awhile, I'll go the 'opposite' way and bust out the classical guitar and play with just fingerstyle.

Little things like that.


   
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quarterfront
(@quarterfront)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 225
 

My favorite Jimi Hendrix quote:

"Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded.

That's all I got. Works for me, though, so - hope it helps....


   
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