Skip to content
Notifications
Clear all

Losing the "fire"

30 Posts
21 Users
0 Likes
4,705 Views
(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1162
Topic starter  

Hey everyone, I haven't been posting much lately and I think it has alot to do with the fact that I almost feel like I'm losing that "fire" or inspiration to play guitar. It's not that I don't like playing guitar: I would imagine if I were in a band or knew people I could jam with, I'd be thrilled to do so. It's not that I don't have goals, quite the contrary, I feel like I have TOO much stuff I want to accomplish (improve my technique, ear training, etc.). In a sense I feel like everything I want to practice is either VERY FAR beyond my capabilities technically speaking or FAR too easy (i.e - shredding through a blistering fast solo compared to strumming a few chords slowly). It also seems like when I practice something, I wonder to myself WHY I am practicing something (I'm not in a band, recording music or anything like that).

It's really easy for me to sit back and think of all the things I want to accomplish with guitar, but I find it really hard to pick up that guitar instead of watching tv or playing video games.

I was just wondering if anyone else has gone through this sort of guitar crisis, and what they did to get through it.

Steve-0


   
Quote
(@almann1979)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1281
 

im sure people go through this with any hobby. The motivation will return - youll hear something on the radio, or see something on T.v and think " i want to play that!!".

I did karate for years and years, i loved it, but there were spells i just wasnt interested - i was never going to earn a living from it, and i forgot what the point of doing it was - especially when i had a hard day at work and just wanted to put my feet up - i even decided to give up, or learn other things - but the motivation always returned because at the end of the day - it was something i ENJOYED, and eventually i missed it.

I havent hit saturation point with the guitar yet. There are odd days here and there where i dont practice, but by the next evening im raring to go again. I do fully expect there to be a spell at some point when im not raring to go after a day off - but a short spell away from something isnt necessarily a bad thing.

"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)


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

I go through periods where I play much less than others, but over the course of 30+ years I have just learned to roll with it.

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


   
ReplyQuote
(@scrybe)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2241
 

If you're finding that the stuff you want to practice is either way beyond your technical abilities or way too easy, perhaps you should look for intermediate things you can practice to help you reach your more demanding goals. I want to learn 8-finger tapping for a tune I want to play. I can barely tap (altho I've improved a bit with some practice), so I knew just trying the piece would end in disaster - I'd make lots of mistakes, struggle with it, and get frustrated. So the other day I posted on GN asking people for suggestions of tapping songs or exercise I could work on going from basic to more demanding. I don't really care what these tunes are, provided I'll improve my tapping by working on them. I know it's better to put my 8-finger tapping tune on the shelf for 6 months or a year (or however long), and chip away at more intermediate stuff until I feel competent enough to tackle the tune I want to play.

It may also help if you look critically at your weak points and the stuff you want to learn. What is it that is holding you back? Is the problem physical? Musical? What? If e.g. you have trouble learning songs from records, that's a musical problem. But if e.g. you have weak vibrato or struggle to play jazzy chords, these are likely to be physical problems. Knowing what you want to work and why you're having trouble working successfully is the first step to breaking through those problems. While they're just big unsolvable problems it can be very dispiriting.

On the other hand, I had a whole number of years where I didn't play guitar at all. So if you want to take a week or two off from playing, I can't say it will hurt you.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


   
ReplyQuote
(@hobson)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 794
 

I've definitely let the flame go out more than once. I can attribute it to at least three different reasons. The obvious one is that you've hit a plateau and need some direction to make playing interesting and fun again. Some things that you might try are taking lessons, playing for a church group or community chorus, or finding unpaid gigs at such places as retirement homes. I'm not taking lessons, but I'm doing the other two things. Nothing like needing to be prepared to get you practicing again.

Another thing that can hamper your playing is not having a good time and place to practice. Not enough hours in the day, too much noise, other distractions. You need to have a place to play that is away from everything. I'm lucky enough to have a dedicated music room. Or I should say that when my significant other and I retired and moved a few years ago, it was one of my requirements. At least make sure that the guitar is not in the same room as the TV and the video games. Speaking of being retired, I highly recommend it as a way to find time for music.

Then again, maybe it has very little to do with guitar. The guitar is still there. Apparently, so is your desire to make music. Your motivation is not. So what changed? (Don't answer that unless you feel the need. It's just something to think about.)

Years ago in grad school, I was about to sell my only guitar until a wise person talked me out of it. I reasoned that I hadn't been playing at all and I could have used the money. What was really going on with me was that I had committed myself to a career that was a bad fit. I was studying very hard and working as a teaching assistant. Meanwhile, a family member was going through a serious illness hundreds of miles away and I felt like I could do nothing to help. I dropped out of school, which turned out to be the right decision for me in many ways. I returned to my family, found a job that didn't require too much of my time or brain, and did what I could until my relative passed away a year later. During that year, I got back into playing. There have been other slumps since then, but I'm still playing over 30 years later.

Renee


   
ReplyQuote
(@elecktrablue)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4338
 

I would suggest that you get on one of the musician's classified sites and find someone to play with. It's amazing how much more enjoyable and how much you quickly learn when you play with someone else. Just google "musicians classified" and there's a whole bunch of them. Maybe that would help to reignite your fire!

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
ReplyQuote
(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1305
 

Find a local jam session, or open mike and woodshed to participate in those. They'll also likely lead to finding a group of people to play with on a regular basis.

OR

Join or start a band. It's not that hard to do, and lots of fun with the right people.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


   
ReplyQuote
(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

There have been a couple of threads dealing with this very subject, at least one of them from yours truly...

http://forums.guitarnoise.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=43005

And others...

http://forums.guitarnoise.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=42972

http://forums.guitarnoise.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=42868

I say this and post these to offer some solace and cammeraderie in the bummed out and losing the spark department. I hope some of the answers and posts help.

Synopsis and summary: "We've all been there", and I for one still go through it periodically.

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


   
ReplyQuote
(@joehempel)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2415
 

Yeah, Im kind of in the same funk, problem is...Saturday...first gig. We've gotten together to practice once, will do it again tomorrow and one more time during the week.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
ReplyQuote
 Ande
(@ande)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 652
 

Gotta say, I love the way everybody on this forum steps up, offers support, cameraderie, and good, responsible advice.

I wanna offer some irresponsible advice, though. Go to your local guitar shop- pick up a new friend. At least, nothing motivates me to practice like having a new toy to play with. Am I the only one?

Best,
Ande

PS- I'm in a similar position, made worse by work travel that means I usually CAN'T practice, as I frequently don't have anything to play. My new travel guitar toy is arriving Wednesday!!


   
ReplyQuote
(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1162
Topic starter  

Gotta say, I love the way everybody on this forum steps up, offers support, cameraderie, and good, responsible advice.

Definitely, Thanks for the advice, everyone!

After a little bit of thought, I've realised that part of my current problem is that I think I'm worrying too much. While I do have time where I think I suck (and I've been playing for almost 10 years now), I honestly think I'm pretty competent on guitar. Although there are alot of things I'd like to accomplish (improve my ear, improve my improvisation, improve my knowledge of the fretboard), i think my main goal would be to play music that I haven't yet mastered, which is mainly a technical thing, but I also want to apply this ability to my improvisations and songwriting, so I can play faster licks/solos.

So I think the most important thing for myself right now is to relax and just work on improving the music i can't yet play. At the same time, I should also give myself time to just enjoy playing, not just practicing.

Steve-0


   
ReplyQuote
(@scrybe)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2241
 

Gotta say, I love the way everybody on this forum steps up, offers support, cameraderie, and good, responsible advice.

I wanna offer some irresponsible advice, though. Go to your local guitar shop- pick up a new friend. At least, nothing motivates me to practice like having a new toy to play with. Am I the only one?

Best,
Ande

PS- I'm in a similar position, made worse by work travel that means I usually CAN'T practice, as I frequently don't have anything to play. My new travel guitar toy is arriving Wednesday!!

+1 on the irresponsible advice. +infinity (if I'm allowed to, heh heh) on the sentence preceding it.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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

Get your astrological chart done...no kiddin'. Something in your life is giving out bad juju. :shock:

Cat

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


   
ReplyQuote
(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1162
Topic starter  

Get your astrological chart done...no kiddin'. Something in your life is giving out bad juju. :shock:

Cat

Um, You totally lost me.

Steve-0


   
ReplyQuote
 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

He means that there is an outside force that is causing you to lose the "fire" and he suggested looking at your astrologocal charts to see what might be the cause.

Stuff happens, don't worry about it otherwise like anything else it's just a vicious circle and you'll keep beating yourself up over it.

Take some time off do something totally different for awhile and come back when you are ready.

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


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2