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Hangin it up

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Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 381
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-Konichiwa !! :D

well i'm doin something i never thought i would do, i'm hangin up my guitar - for awhile how long i don't know. it strange i can't go without playing. though when i do i only mess around and don't do anything constructive and i feel like i'm forcing the issue.

When i started it was because (like most people) you find something that moves you and you want to get a little more inside it. Now i find myself constantly looking over that which gave me great pleasure. I can't listen to a CD anymore without wanting to play along with it. it's like a reaction but at the same time it so clutered i don't hear or feel the song anymore it's just a mess, am i making sense ?

it's almost like the pleasure has gone away because of doin something over and over.

Added to that is that at some point i would like to join a band but i don't have space for that in my life right now, so i guess i'm thinking "why continue youre not gonna take it anywhere"

Just to confuse the issue even more i have a strange feeling of betrayel, it's my friend aswell as silly as it sounds but it's gotten me through a alot of @#$%.

I know i'm rambling but i thought if there's one place i could ramble like an idiot this would be the palce to do it.

Minus Human

And all the things you said to me
I need your arms to welcome me
But a cold stone's all I see

Let my heart go

Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 381
Topic starter  

BTW is there anybody here with good experience managing Active Directory ? None of the IT forums i tried could help.

Minus Human

And all the things you said to me
I need your arms to welcome me
But a cold stone's all I see

Let my heart go

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582

Minus Human

I dunno. I am basically a pretty happy person with few regrets in life. But almost all of the few regrets I have involve quitting. It is a bad thing.

Here is an old geezer story.

When I was a kid, I played lots of organized baseball. I used to pitch. And not to pat myself on the back, but I was really good at it. I threw 4 or 5 no-hitters and even more 1 or 2 hit games. Nobody could hit me. 8)

One year I was on a team that was not so good. We had a 12-12 record in a 25 game schedule (of those 12 wins I pitched 11 of those games). We weren't in contention at all, but our last game was against a rival that had the same exact 12-12 record. So, this last game determined who would place 3rd and 4th place in our league.

The game starts. I am pitching. Man, I did not have it at all. I felt normal, but something was big time wrong. These guys were smacking me all over the place. I couldn't get a pitch by them. One hitter after another came up and smacked the ball. They got 5 runs off me in the first inning. You have to understand. I was such a good pitcher, nobody ever got 5 runs off me in a whole game. They were extremely lucky if they got 1 or 2. Really.

But they were killing me. We were down 5 runs and still a couple guys on base. I called my Coach over. I told him I wanted out of the game. I was discouraged and disgusted. He didn't want to take me out, but I insisted. I think he was a little angry at me. So he put me on the bench. I never sat the bench.

Anyway, we lost the game. I think the final score was something like 15-5.
So we placed 4th that year. No big deal, that was ages ago. Probably nobody even remembers.

But I remember. I quit. I gave up. Man, I wish I could go back in time. I really hate what I did. I am not usually a person who ever gives up, no matter what. But I can't take that back. Quitting just sucks. It is a bad thing to do.

OK, enough of that. You can always go back to guitar. And many people do. You know why? Because it starts to eat at you. It will really bug you.
There will be a time when you wish you did not hang it up. I bet there are dozens of people who did quit on this site that came back.

You cannot expect guitar to always be fun. Two nights ago I was practicing and I was totally discouraged. I sucked plain and simple. And it really got to me. I've been playing a long time. I should be great by now.
But I stank the other night.

But last night I was pretty hot. And that is how guitar goes. You have good days and bad days. It is a commitment. You just have to stay through the good and bad.

Maybe you should try some other styles of music. Study Jazz. Believe me, that will bring the interest back.

Go get in a band. Go down to an open mic. Start recording.

But don't quit.

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

Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342

If you're going to hang it up for a while, put it somewhere you're still going to see it a lot.

One day it will talk to you.


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:

Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2167

What you're saying makes a lot of sense, Minus. I think I have at least a small idea of where you're coming from.

If the question were put to me, I'd give an answer that probably wouldn't be considered very helpful. The other posts above are really very helpful and thoughtful, coming from guys who have a lot of experience in both music and life in general. For my part...well, I'll just have to say it, won't I, even though it goes against the other posts.

I would suggest that you clean all your gear and pack everything away where you cannot see it or even touch it. If you have a secure storage room, put your guitars and everything in there, lock it, turn your back, and let it all go.

Let it go for a month, a whole 30 days or so. Don't touch any instrument, and if you can, don't even listen to any music. As much as you can, forget completely about music and about playing it, about playing the guitar or learning or practicing - totally. Alienate yourself totally from it for a month.

That's what I suggest for you, for right now.

Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 879


This is a fascinating thread. First off, things must be pretty bad if you are thinking of hanging it up. Your post reads like someone that's really in a mess with all things guitar related.

Then I read Wes' post - and it all makes a lot of sense to me, totally.

And the other post, about polishing your gear and putting it away and forcing yourself to ignore it. That makes sense to, but in a different way.

The most interesting thing to me, was your bit about how the guitar was your freind and had got you through a lot of &&&&. This to me is the key. I doubt if a freind that good would cause you this much stress. So sit down, write down what's eating you. Deal with it in your own way.

But i would bet, its not the guitar, its something else entirely.

Remind yourself that it has been a great freind. With great freinds, it doesn't matter if you don't see them for a while, they are still great freinds, yeah? So put it away, but not forever, give it time to call to you, then treat it like a long lost buddy.

Sorry for rambling, but your thread touched me in a strage sort of way!!!

All the best


Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 192

Hi There.

Just wanted to let you know that I can relate exactly to what you're saying. On Dec 23rd of last year my motivation to continue with the guitar left me. So I decided to hang it up for a month. I did and I'm glad I did.

Now I find myself working back into it (and building callouses again) and I realize that I never really lost the passion for it, I just needed some time away to get it into perspective as just being a part of my life, and really a small part at that. What I also came to realize was that my need for time away was only partly related to the guitar, but was also a reaction to another very stressful situation in my workplace that was beyond my control. The bottom line was that I didn't have the mental resources to devote my energy to the guitar and to insane work demands as well. Both were suffering as a result. Rather than burn our with the guitar I stepped back to recoupe my energies and refocus.

My work is still insane (c'est la vie), but I think I now have the energy to go back to my insturment without attaching to it the baggage I did before I took a break. In the end if you feel you need to do that as well then do it. I'm not a great beleiver in "toughing it out" too often one can turn one's stomach with something they used to love. It's a shame to do that with music, or any pursuit you used to love.

So I guess my 0.02 is:

- If you need break, take it.
- As someone else said keep your insturment in sight.
- Recoupe, re-connect, re-evaluate.
- Remember the only person you have to live with forever is yourself so be true to that person.
- Ask yourself, "When was the last time I took a day to do EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED?". Take that day. Hell, take a whole bunch if you want.

Take Care.

"You want WHAT on the *&%#ing ceiling?" - Michelangelo, 1566

Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459


In some ways I can definitely relate to what you are saying, but in a way I think I tend to encourage you to keep at it in some fashion like Wes mentioned. Maybe try another style, maybe even another instrument.

I know I sometimes feel like the fun has gone out of it but for me I usually feel that way after I go out an see a band and get a little depressed that I'm not up there doing that. Unfortunately it takes time to develop skills and to be honest I guess I'm not as structured as I should be.

I know in the past when I felt his way I would start practicing just technical stuff and not even worrying about learning songs or anything. After a week of this I'd be dying to jump back to playing songs.

But I understand what you mean about being in a band. As much as I enjoy playing to me the whole point is to play for people and I'm not doing it myself and it takes some of the fun out of it.

I think everyone is different so it's really going to be up to you how you deal with it but just take it one day at a time and I'm sure you'll figure out what to do.

Good luck,


"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 53

Just don't sell all your gear! I know a guy whose band broke up, and he got frustrated and sold his Les Paul and all his gear.

Now he's in another band, playing on a borrowed MIM Tele. He has some regrets...

Third Take a blog about home recording

Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 61

My 2 cents - I think when we set goals in life, whatever they may be, we go throught spells where we don't feel like we're progressing as we should. This mindset can lead to frustration and as you've stated, thoughts of quitting.

What I do to get through it is to simply remind myself of something I couldn't do or didn't know a few months ago. Whether it be a new chord, a new scale, a new song, or a another piece of music theory. I always remind myself, "hey, I couldn't do xyz six months ago, but now I can." Doing that reminds me that it would be a waste to have amassed what I have, just to let it go and loose it all.

Just as in anything else, we have good days and bad days.


When you've done all you can to practice...practice some more.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349

Now I may not be much of a thinking-type person, but seems simple to me: You don't feel like playing guitar? Don't play guitar. Hang it on the wall, and I'm sure you'll be back in a few days, or weeks. And if you really don't like it anymore, then fine as well. Guitar is a thing you do to enjoy yourself, and if you don't like it you should quit.

Not that anyone should listen to me, but just pausing for a while won't be the end of the world. Go play sports, learn to paint, start an other instrument. Then one day you'll hear something that makes you run back to your guitar.

Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 314

Kind of reminds me of that Brian Adams song "Run to You." Where in the lyrics he alludes to sneaking off to have an illicit affair with another woman, but it was really his guitar. Give it a break for awhile, I'm sure the passion will come back and you will "run to her" again.

Ambition is the path to success...persistence is the vehicle you arrive in!!!

Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381

Ah yes, if only we had the search function back I could impart the amazing words of wisdom I had before. Unfortunately we don't so.....

Don't play. If it isn't in you it isn't. Forcing it isn't a good idea.

That said, take a look at what you are doing. When you have a nebulous lack of focus, it's really hard to feel good about what you are doing.

I used to learn pieces of songs, now I force myself to learn them all the way through. Yes it takes a bit of discipline, but at the end you have achieved something. You can add a song into your songbook. You can play for family and friends.

Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 95

Minus, I've taken a few sabbatical in 30 years. To me it is no big traumatic thing. If I don't feel like playing - I don't. It was never a conscious decision, it just so happened that I didn't play for a while.

But, I never considered the possibility that it was the end either. Never crossed my mind. Although it is not good to be frustrated, there is nothing like playing, to me. There is no single thing I have ever done in life that is as rewarding. I can't remember anything else that has given me the utter joy of the feeling of just playing. I play to get that feeling again, more or less. A natural high of the first order. In fact, I can't imagine never having that feeling again. If I were to tell you that my own playing has moved me to tears at time, you'd probably think I'm an arrogant jerk. But it doesn't move me because I think I'm so great as a player. It's more like how listening to a song can move you, but this time, I'm part of it. It's me. I'm one with the universe.

Or some such crap. :)

I predict you will miss exactly that. Eventually. Don't sweat it.

Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 653

When I first started I had this immense guilt about even having my guitar. That I had spent all this money and that I sucked so, so bad. I was frustrated and discouraged, and it really took me a week and a half to warm up to it. I almost quit right then.

But I didn't touch it for a few days, it just sat in it's case. And the more I started to tinker with it the more I liked it. Not horribly similar to your dilema, but I think I was feeling similar things.

Sounds like you need some time off.


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