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What's wrong (with me)? Losing interest?

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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1089
Topic starter  

I have found when you can't get a song down even after much diligent practice, it's best to forget about it and move on to new songs. I think you should always be learning something new and fresh, helps keep the interest up. And I am sure you will have the same experiences as me, at a later time you will go back to the song and be surprised that you can now play it. Sometimes it just takes time to develop the technique you need to play certain songs or passages. Just keep practicing and learning and eventually you will develop the needed technique or knowledge.

Yes, that's exactly what I was wondering and thinking is the route to go. I'm glad to know this. Thanks. :wink:

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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almann1979
(@almann1979)
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Minotour, i havent really replied to many of your posts because i am not experienced enough to give advice, but i do read them and enjoy hearing about your experiences and you strike me as the kind of guy with the attitude of

"if im going to do it then im going to do it well"

As such i am sure you will get over this blip and in another years time you will still be practicing and pushing, only then you will be pushing to reach a much higher level, and so on. in 10 years i am sure you will be a great player, because to succeed at anything requires the determination to get over the lows and i get the feeling you have that determination. But i am sure you already know you have that determination.
The great thing about this site though is it allows us to realise everybody has these moments, - but as somebody who is quite driven, you will know that the greatest satisfaction comes with looking back when you have conquored such moments that many people would have given up at.

i hope you dont think i have spoken out of turn or been presumptious about you here, but i have used your updates on your learning as a source of reference for myself over the last few months - and i hope to keep hearing them.

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


   
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jase36
(@jase36)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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About a year or so ago I went for my first lessons (I'd been playing over just 12 months then) and I said that I was having trouble with my right hand strumming and couldn't make songs sound good. He listened to me and said its not just your right hand, its more your ability to change cleanly. I did about 3 months of speed practice on all my chord changes, even changes I thought I had nailed. It really helped my playing, I improved so much. Athough I'd had the ability to learn chord changes I wasn't able to realise my changes wernt quick enough. It took someone else to look at me and tell me where I was going wrong. I'm still using this method today. Thats not saying this is your problem but it might be worth getting a tutor take a look and see what he thinks.

http://www.youtube.com/user/jase67electric


   
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Rum Runner
(@rum-runner)
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Maybe it's what I'm practicing. I'm working on the same few songs over and over. You'd think I'd be a virtuoso at these few songs, but not so. I can get through them, but I have rough spots and problems with some chord changes that I should have down by now, or so I think.

So I have one question for you, Minotaur. How do you practice these songs where you hare having peculuiar difficulties? Are you playing the whole song or are you zeroing on on just the parts that are giving you difficulty? You should be doing the latter. Practice only the parts, for instance the chord changes, that are giving you problems. Do them over and over, slowly at first if necessary. Then when you feel you have it then try it with the rest of the song. That's really the effective way to learn difficult parts. You may already be doing this, I don't know. But if not, this could help you out of your rut.

It is also possible that you have tackled something too far beyond your current ability, in whic case some of the other posters' suggestions about going onto something else and then picking it up again later might be good.

I know one time myself I decided to try to learn "sultans of Swing", but after many attempst I could only get parts of it. Looking back, I had really bitten off more than I could chew at that time. I went to songs that had less challenging solos with more success.

Regards,

Mike

"Growing Older But Not UP!"


   
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darthnihlus
(@darthnihlus)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 25
 

I think it is normal to lose the initial enthusiasm as the we slug through trying to improve our skills. I found that viewing my favorite performances (not my own!) reignites the passion.

Some of my favorites:
Fretkiller- This guy can either inspire you or make you smash your guitar in frustration. According to his youtube profile he is self taught and considers himself a "proficient" :shock: flatpicker/fingerpicker.
http://www.youtube.com/user/Fretkillr
Heart of Gold -

Other favorites:
The Rain Song (Zeppelin) -

From the Beginning (ELP) -

Behind Blue Eyes (The Who) -

Good luck.


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

Thanks guys... all of you. I've been off slaying other dragons, so I haven't spent much time here to individually reply. But all the responses are pretty much what my gut has told me. A lot of my being burned out is an over-reaction to actually not having had the amount of time to play/practice as I wanted. And not practicing, but trying to "play".
Maybe it's what I'm practicing. I'm working on the same few songs over and over. You'd think I'd be a virtuoso at these few songs, but not so. I can get through them, but I have rough spots and problems with some chord changes that I should have down by now, or so I think.

So I have one question for you, Minotaur. How do you practice these songs where you hare having peculuiar difficulties? Are you playing the whole song or are you zeroing on on just the parts that are giving you difficulty? You should be doing the latter. Practice only the parts, for instance the chord changes, that are giving you problems. Do them over and over, slowly at first if necessary. Then when you feel you have it then try it with the rest of the song. That's really the effective way to learn difficult parts. You may already be doing this, I don't know. But if not, this could help you out of your rut.

It is also possible that you have tackled something too far beyond your current ability, in whic case some of the other posters' suggestions about going onto something else and then picking it up again later might be good.

I know one time myself I decided to try to learn "sultans of Swing", but after many attempst I could only get parts of it. Looking back, I had really bitten off more than I could chew at that time. I went to songs that had less challenging solos with more success.

I was doing the songs all the way through, mistakes and all, just to be able to say I could get through. And I mean that even if I flubbed a chord change, I just kept the rhythm going and picked it up on the next chord I could do. I know, bad. Lately when I practice, I'm doing just the troublesome parts, and will keep doing that. The one song I have to put aside, since it's a little too complicated for me is My Sweet Lord. There are some really funky chords after the intro and verse Em/A/D/Bm. I can do those but not past. I finally realized that is above my skill level. So I'm putting it aside until much later.

And another really big mistake I made was overwhelming myself with all the songs I've collected and organized into my songbook http://forums.guitarnoise.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=41889 I feel like I've been given the 12 Labors of Hercules. It's a mind game. I should never have made up such a huge collection at this point, of songs I want to learn how to play. It's like "I'll never learn them!"

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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Vic Lewis VL
(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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There's a word bandied about on GN quite a lot - PLATEAU. It's a good word, too - probably describes your learning curve at the moment. You've got a lot of the basics down in a year or thereabouts - that learning curve was pretty steep at first, eh? Then your learning curve tends to flatten out a little - this is about the time that you realise that the more you learn about guitar, the more you've still got to learn....

Think of this plateau as a holding period - work on the skills you've already got for a while, develop them further. Not the easiest thing, I know, when you're feeling a little discouraged - but look at it this way. It's better to stand still for a while and catch your breath than to run headlong into a brick wall or to go backwards - sooner or later you'll either be able to scale that wall or smash it down.

Pick the guitar up and play - even if it's only songs you know forwards, backwards, sideways and inside out. You like the songs - you enjoy playing them - you're improving your muscle memory and technique all the time, even if it seems you're learning nothing new.

Best of luck!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

You've got a lot of the basics down in a year or thereabouts - that learning curve was pretty steep at first, eh? Then your learning curve tends to flatten out a little - this is about the time that you realise that the more you learn about guitar, the more you've still got to learn....

Yep, that's it too. I see that I know a lot more than I did a year ago, and can do a lot more than a year ago. But the more I know, the more I know I don't know! :lol:
Pick the guitar up and play - even if it's only songs you know forwards, backwards, sideways and inside out. You like the songs - you enjoy playing them - you're improving your muscle memory and technique all the time, even if it seems you're learning nothing new.

Best of luck!

:D :D :D

Vic

Thanks Vic. What I'm going to do tonight is just fidoodle around with the guitar, play with some riffs, and play with the chord changes that are bugging me. But I'm not going to take it so seriously I get stressed over it.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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Vic Lewis VL
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But the more I know, the more I know I don't know!

Yep. I've been playing over thirty years now - on and off - and I still feel like a raw prawn if a good guitarist happens to pick up my guitar and play something I'll recognise straight away as being out of my league. These days, I just stick to stuff I know - songs I can almost do in my sleep - if I'm jamming.

I can manage a little lead - I can manage a little slide, in open G or open D - I can even play a little bass. But if some clever-clogs comes up and plays, say, the intro to "School's Out" or "Layla," WITHOUT EVEN A SINGLE GLANCE AT THE FRETBOARD, I still have fantasies about how they'd look with one end of a Tele - the headstock - protruding out of their mouth, whilst the body of the guitar's trailing behind them....

Childish, and immature, I know - but that's what you get for knowing those licks and NOT SHARING THEM!

(Memo to self - practise what you preach, and post another old 60's classic in "Easy Songs".....)

It's late. I'm gone.......

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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Blueline
(@blueline)
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Minotaur, one of the best ways I have found to get out of a slump like that is to jam with someone. You'd be surprised how quickly you get back into the swing of things after a good jam.

1- You learn new stuff. It helps you to expand your horizons a bit.
2- You get to hear your playing accompanied by another guitar. It puts a different perspective on things. Whether you are better or worse than the other person or people, there's just something about the joining together of the guitars that reignites that spark.
3- You tend to stretch your boundaries. This very similar to #1 but different in the fact that making familiar chord changes quicker might just be the kick that you need to get you out of a slump. Kind of like showing yourself that you CAN do it!

The simplest advice I could give would be to learn something new. Something within your reach.

Good luck my friend. We've all been there.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


   
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Rum Runner
(@rum-runner)
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Posts: 424
 

I was doing the songs all the way through, mistakes and all, just to be able to say I could get through. And I mean that even if I flubbed a chord change, I just kept the rhythm going and picked it up on the next chord I could do. I know, bad. Lately when I practice, I'm doing just the troublesome parts, and will keep doing that. The one song I have to put aside, since it's a little too complicated for me is My Sweet Lord. There are some really funky chords after the intro and verse Em/A/D/Bm. I can do those but not past. I finally realized that is above my skill level. So I'm putting it aside until much later.

And another really big mistake I made was overwhelming myself with all the songs I've collected and organized into my songbook http://forums.guitarnoise.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=41889 I feel like I've been given the 12 Labors of Hercules. It's a mind game. I should never have made up such a huge collection at this point, of songs I want to learn how to play. It's like "I'll never learn them!"

Yes, it's important when you are performing for people to play through your mistakes like you have been doing, so that in itself is a worthwhile skill. But when you are trying to learn a piece, it is a different story.

Also, some of my musician friends whom I consider as mentors have told me that it is better to know a few songs really well than to know a whole lot of songs not very well. This is an easy trap to fall into, believe me! I mean, there are just so many songs out there that we would all love to be able to play!

So it seems like you are getting these concepts, and only a year into it that's good!

Regards,

Mike

"Growing Older But Not UP!"


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1089
Topic starter  

Minotaur, one of the best ways I have found to get out of a slump like that is to jam with someone. You'd be surprised how quickly you get back into the swing of things after a good jam.

1- You learn new stuff. It helps you to expand your horizons a bit.
2- You get to hear your playing accompanied by another guitar. It puts a different perspective on things. Whether you are better or worse than the other person or people, there's just something about the joining together of the guitars that reignites that spark.
3- You tend to stretch your boundaries. This very similar to #1 but different in the fact that making familiar chord changes quicker might just be the kick that you need to get you out of a slump. Kind of like showing yourself that you CAN do it!

The simplest advice I could give would be to learn something new. Something within your reach.

Good luck my friend. We've all been there.

Oh, you don't know how badly I want to find someone to jam with. The only other guy I know was a friend at work, who was laid off just last week. We live about 30 miles from each other. I've felt all along that the person I want as a teacher, should I take lessons again, is someone who will teach, coach, and jam.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

Yes, it's important when you are performing for people to play through your mistakes like you have been doing, so that in itself is a worthwhile skill. But when you are trying to learn a piece, it is a different story.

Also, some of my musician friends whom I consider as mentors have told me that it is better to know a few songs really well than to know a whole lot of songs not very well. This is an easy trap to fall into, believe me! I mean, there are just so many songs out there that we would all love to be able to play!

So it seems like you are getting these concepts, and only a year into it that's good!

OK great, Mike. Thanks. :D I guess I just need a little encouragement to know that I'm actually on the right track. When you are learning by yourself it's hard to gauge your own progress and be subjective. Sometimes we're too hard on ourselves.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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Rum Runner
(@rum-runner)
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OK great, Mike. Thanks. :D I guess I just need a little encouragement to know that I'm actually on the right track. When you are learning by yourself it's hard to gauge your own progress and be subjective. Sometimes we're too hard on ourselves.

Don't mention it! I know in my case I kave been known to be overly self-critical.

Regards,

Mike

"Growing Older But Not UP!"


   
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Cat
 Cat
(@cat)
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Posts: 1224
 

Practise has always been tough for me: boring! But it's necessary, nevertheless. I remember reading that John and Yoko were bored enough to turn sheet music around on the piano with a light behind it. "Moonlight Sonata" became "She's So Heavy". I guess being innovative will make things interesting???

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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