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Going thru a "bummed out" period...

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(@katmetal)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 726
Topic starter  

Don't know what it is exactly, but I just don't feel like playing at all. Got new gear right after Christmas, cool stuff, I am happy with it. But, the motivation factor is at "0". I can't get into it at all.

What's worse, I know that if I take time off & not practice, my skills will suffer, so I am beating myself up over that. (guilt) I so much wanted to make this a productive year...had so much planned...wanted to work on sweep picking, building speed & accuracy & much more.

Feel like I am letting myself down, right out of the gate. Great way to start the new year off, huh...
:(

Any of you having the same issues?


   
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(@graham)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 23
 

I go through this a few times a year.

What I have found though is that the time away tends to de-stress my playing ability, or lack thereof. I always want to be a better player than I am and when I return to playing, which I always do, I find that my fingers have remembered where to go and I end up hitting chords with a better degree of accuracy.

It is muscle memory after all, so take a break every once in a while and don't fret about it. :shock:

Graham

'72 Guild D25
'72 Guild A50 Archtop
'87 Guild GF25
'89 Guild JF30
'96 Guild DV-52
'99 Guild JF30-12


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

I have been playing over 36 years now, and trust me, I know what you are going through. I seriously doubt there is any guitar player ever who hasn't suffered from being burned out or bummed out. I have been through it many times.

Now, I am sure many will come on here and say it's OK to take some time off. But I would say keep right on playing every day. You have to let your mind rule, not your feelings. I mean, I go to work everyday, but I promise you that many days I don't feel like it. In fact, I would rather sit home and play my guitar than go to work almost every day of the week. :D

But I get burned out. Sometimes I get depressed and wonder why after all these years I am not a great player. But I have learned that this is the way guitar is. It plays with your mind, and this never ends. Last week I was really bummed out at my playing. Then, two nights ago I thought I played the best I've ever played. That's the way guitar is.

When I get bummed I practice techniques like scales. I will sit and watch TV and just play scales up and down, different patterrns, stuff like that. I don't worry about it much, I do try to play slow and precisely. This way I am getting practice and improving, even though I don't much care. I mostly get into the program I am watching.

But the guitar blues goes away. In a few days you will be all excited about it again. This is the way it will always be. So keep playing, never stop.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1704
 

I agree with Wes. Although I am currently going through the same kind of problem, I have not played every day. It's been a few months since I've played my guitar. Just the other day, I did pick it up and saw a big difference. It was not pretty. :shock: That said, I would encourage you to stick with it.

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


   
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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

I started playing about 5 years ago, but have probably been playing for 3. Too much time off. Won't do that again. I did quite a few of the multi-month break thing. For different reasons, but I still did it. I spent a little while each time back to it re-learning things and getting the feel back. Add that to the time missed and I've probably lost another 4 months.

Having said that, there are times when I cannot or do not play for a few days or even a week. Always takes me a good hour or two to get back into the swing of things, but the strangest thing happens. I usually can quickly pick something up that's been flubbing me up.

Well, I hope you get over your bummed out period soon. Don't take too long a break. :)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

sounds like a classic plateau. a big one. my condolences.
burned out and bored are about the same thing. finding some thing that excites the senses
and challenges the ennui has gotten me off many many plateaus. attending a performance
of theater or dance has been inspiring. it triggers something that makes you want to play.
then , you know, it is a matter of time when "bam" you find yourself playing like you haven't before.
I had a long hiatus and a string of hand me down acoustics. after 40 plus years I still find challenges
and the coolest excitements of having and being able to play a guitar at my age.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

There are times I don't play so much ... but when I come back ... it's like the first time all over. I get the rush, feel the excitement. I can say this cause I haven't played alot since Christmas and I am really feeling the urge right now! Hang with it, it will come around. Like Wes, I have been doing this for a long time .... 32 years. :shock: Cycle, cycle cycle ..... time to play for TR...... will be for you too.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1224
 

Any of you having the same issues?

From one Cat to another...yes, indeed! I've been putting off some med proceedures for long enough but it's time I get to it.

Five years ago I had microsurgery to rid both big thumb joints of burrs in the sockets...which turned out as good as baby-new. Now it's my left pointer big knuckle. Too many chords, I guess!

My left ear's been getting dimmer and dimmer. Now I've learned that instead of needing a grommet in my left ear...I need the stirup replaced...by something called a Stapedectomy. Evidently my sis, mom, uncle and grandpa's all had the problem but only my sister had it done...with great success.

Not to be outdone, there's something called tori in my lower jaw that needs to be hacked out.

Well, at least I've got medical insurance up the yin yang...

So, okay...you want "bummed out"??? Wanna trade????????????????? :cry:

Count yer blessings!

Cat

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


   
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(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Happens to us all. I have an orchestra rehearsal this coming Sunday and it's been as much as I can do to even tune up for the past couple of days.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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(@katmetal)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 726
Topic starter  

Thanks to all for the great replies. I appreciate it. I have been a musician for over 30 years, although not always active. I got a "bad start" early on by being in bad situations, so I was soured from the beginning. It has always been a love/hate relationship. It is so hard to let go of the past. But, I'm working on it.

Wes, I understand what you are saying, & it is true. The best way to approach this is probably a "balls to the wall" approach & just try to bust thru the boredom/pain/etc. I do sit & practice mindlessly while watching tv as well. :mrgreen:

A big problem for me, I guess, is that I don't have anyone to jam with on a regular basis, to keep me motivated. Youtube clips only fill the gap so much. I had a friend that was a fantastic guitar player that I used to jam with years ago; sadly, he lost the battle with cancer about 4 yrs. ago, that was tough.

I never really told him how I really felt about his playing, but I guess deep down he did know. It would have been nice to tell him anyway. That's not really while I am not playing now, I am pretty much past that point, but as I mentioned initially, I just go thru these board periods, plateaus, etc.

It does help to talk it out, that's for sure.

Thanks guys,
katz :)


   
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(@rpinferi)
New Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2
 

I hear you brother - have recently been going through the same thing. However, last weekend I went to a fantastic folk music festival. Saw lots of great musicians (not just guitar players - fiddle players, accordian players, percussionists, singers, etc), went to a few workshops and master classes and talked to lots and lots of other people who are passionate about music. Came back feeling totally inspired, and I can't put my guitar down at the moment!

So, if you can, go out and see some live music being played by musicians you admire. They don't necessarily have to be guitarists - just as long as they play well and they play the kind of music that moves you. Better still, try to find a festival where you can be in the presence of other musicians and music lovers and immerse yourself for several days...

Remember why we all do this - at the heart of it all, it's our love of music. Re-acquaint yourself with the music that you really love and the passion will surely come back!


   
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(@sin-city-sid)
Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 735
 

Kat man(do :lol: ), as everyone else has posted, we all go through it. I completely feel your pain on playing partners. I have the same issue. Any chance you live near Vegas?

I just went through exactly what you went through. New cool toys and zero ambition. My latest cure?!?! I started to listen to the oldest blues players and disect their work. I figured if I was feeling down I would listen to the blues. It worked.


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

If you do not have another musician to jam with, I would invest in some recording equipment. Today's recorders have everything you need to make professional recordings. Drum machine, bass and even keyboard/synth simulation, everything. Lay down a progression to a drum track, go back and lay a bass line down. Layer as much as you like, add lead guitar and vocals. It is terrific practice to make recordings because you must play the whole song without mistakes. You will improve as a player.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 830
 

I'm going through the same chit myself.......

hopefully I'll find a spark sometime soon.....


   
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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

stretch out your hand, take it slow, get to know your guitar. don't dive in expecting fantastic results with something new. find out what it gives you.


   
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