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Losing the "fire"

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(@georgejw22)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 40
 

I feel the same sometimes. But I always end up picking it back up sooner or later. It'll pass. You can let the fire dwindle but never let it go out....

All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff. ~ Frank Zappa
I've got blisters on my fingers. ~Ringo Starr
Music is spiritual. The music business is not. ~ Van Morrison


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

A few years ago I went to a NAMM show in Indianapolis. I thought it would be a good time - I brought my son (the drummer then - now also a gigging guitarist, bassist, and keyboard player) and went with some friends (Cher's old drummer, who I've known for years, his wife who owns an early childhood music school, and their son, a guitarist).

For the first two days I found myself getting more and more depressed. Every show we went to had phenomenal musicians. Every booth we stopped by seemed to have somebody playing who was half my age, and twice as good a player as me. Rather than feeling inspired, I felt like a fraud... like I'd been wasting my life playing guitar.

Then we turned a corner and I heard somebody playing bass. Funky, grooving bass. Obviously somebody with great chops. We were approaching from behind the bassist, and I noticed there was a second guy standing right next to him holding onto the peghead of the bass while the guy played. I thought that was strange.

We got closer and I saw why: the bassist was missing an arm.

That hit me like a brick. I said to myself "you have NO excuses!". Went back to the hotel and practiced like mad. And every time I start thinking negative thoughts about my playing since then, I just think about him and pick up a guitar.

His name is Bill Clements. here's a video of him playing.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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

Wow, that's really, really incredible (and inspiring). It just goes to show you how important the mental aspect of playing is: the important thing is whether or not you believe you can or will achieve something.

Steve-0


   
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(@darth-ordinary)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 197
 

Just encountered this thread after being away from the forum for a while. I am at the same point. I just can't be bothered with playing at the minute and I dont know what to do, whether to throw in the towel or what. When I split with my wife and started living alone last year I thought, at least I can find the time to play and improve now. It didnt pan out like that, things to do, work, get to the gym a few times a week. I still have hours of free time when I get in from work but I just dont seem have any enthusiasm. Ive been to jam nights and open mics in the hope that I would be inspired by people like myself but truthfully found them intimidating. The players are all nice and welcoming, dont get me wrong, but they are SO much better than I could ever be. So here I sit, fingertips going soft, fingers getting clumsier by the day. Is it time to give it up? I love guitars, the whole history, aesthetic, musical, love listening but I just dont feel like I can be a player. Maybe I was trying too hard and using my guitars as a crutch, something to try and say I had an identity of my own in an overwhelming and unhappy marriage? I dont know. I dont know where to go from here :? .

Sorry for the rambling post. Maybe I'll just sell up! Heaven knows I could do with some money, sadly my gear isnt worth much! :roll: .

Gordon Smith GS1.5-40 Marshall VS65R


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

I hear ya! Read about Parker's medical operation...then this post...geez, I haven't felt much like playing these past few weeks, either. I'm supposed to get that tiny little ear-bone called a stirrup replaced (stapedotomy). Q: I have 8% hearing in my left ear...and it could come back to over 90%...or ZERO! What would you choose??? I'm pacing floors just like Gomez Addams, wringing my hands and generally dithering on about it. But, still, I can't really enjoy hearing anything, either!

Sheesh! I guess that some people would kick even if they wuz hung with a brand new rope! :shock:

Cat

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


   
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 geoo
(@geoo)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2801
 

I think its probably the most common thread on here "Lost my way" "Not good enough" etc. Thing is that we are all going to feel that for life cause no matter how good you get, you are always going to want to be better. The only way to get better is ...?

Hang in there and roll with the punches.. maybe try something new (different style)

Jim

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


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

I was reading something interesting yesterday that got me thinking:

http://www.guitarprinciples.com/GettingBetter/imp_of_repertoire.php

it's an article by Jamie Andreas, where she talks about how important it is to have a repertoire of songs to play on guitar (songs you can play all the way through, not just bits and pieces here and there), but what really hit me is where she talks about how after learning to play she learned that you need to have big reasons to play: at first, when you just learn, you play because it's new and exciting, but after a while playing just for yourself can be boring, so finding a big reason to play (like playing in front of others) is important.

I think I'm at that point right now, where even though I know there is ALOT of things I could improve I need to start playing for others: whether that means playing in a band or at open mics, or recording music and letting other people listen to it.

Steve-0


   
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(@thundersloth)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 30
 

I go through quite a lot of tabs. I print out any song I want to be able to play and I work on it here and there. I have guitar ADD (attention deficit disorder) and I am always switching the tune I'm practicing. I've found that if I go back and try a song I'd put down several months ago, it's amazing how much easier it is to go through and learn it. As far as the inspiration needed to keep wanting to play guitar, I think it's all about mixing it up. Playing guitar should be fun above all, so keep it fresh and rotate your repertoire by adding new licks from different artists and styles.


   
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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

what bothers me about the story is that you approach guitar playing like it's a competition, instead of something to be enjoyed and appreciated. if i were at namm, hearing all those amazing guitar players, i'd hope that instead of getting down on myself, i'd be learning as much as possible to go home and try. i do have a massive competitive streak, but i'd like to think that i use it as a positive attribute, and i'd never get down on myself for not having done something that someone else has done. no one can walk every path.
but every time i've ever seen someone who i enjoy and who impresses, i always try to watch them closely and pick up as much as i can from them. if i don't enjoy it, i won't care enough to do so, but if i like it, then even if they're a mile over my head, i'll still sit there and be appreciative of them.
i like music, and i like discovery. that's what drives me.


   
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(@clideguitar)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 375
 

I'm there too.... the guy I played with has a business now and we haven't played since June. I would always practice (HARD) so we would sound good. I'm working on some stuff but not like I used to....

BJ


   
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(@bluesy)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 28
 

I'm in the same place myself right now. In fact, I don't think I've picked the guitar up in almost a week. :shock: :oops:

I wanted to thank everyone who gave advice here! Even though I didn't ask the question, I've been thinking about this myself lately and the suggestions are very helpful.


   
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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

i have a strained wrist and you have no idea how much it sucks not being able to play for 2 days straight.


   
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(@minotaur)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

I go through quite a lot of tabs. I print out any song I want to be able to play and I work on it here and there. I have guitar ADD (attention deficit disorder) and I am always switching the tune I'm practicing. I've found that if I go back and try a song I'd put down several months ago, it's amazing how much easier it is to go through and learn it. As far as the inspiration needed to keep wanting to play guitar, I think it's all about mixing it up. Playing guitar should be fun above all, so keep it fresh and rotate your repertoire by adding new licks from different artists and styles.

Sounds a lot like me. Over the time I've been learning I put together a songbook of close to 90 tabs and chord sheets that struck my fancy to learn to play. But I recently realized there was a lot of flotsam and jetsom in there because I was like a kid in a candy store. So I weeded out a lot of them. They're in another folder I consider second and third string players (no puns intended :P ).

Right now I have about 20 that I can play completely through fairly well; some very roughly and bumpy; some with parts I have yet to conquer; etc. Some of them I devote more time to than the others, but I still try to give them all some time. My teacher told me that's perfectly normal. You'll be focusing on a few songs, and the more songs you learn, the longer the interval between playing one song and another song.

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


   
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(@gotdablues)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 129
 

what bothers me about the story is that you approach guitar playing like it's a competition, instead of something to be enjoyed and appreciated. if i were at namm, hearing all those amazing guitar players, i'd hope that instead of getting down on myself, i'd be learning as much as possible to go home and try. i do have a massive competitive streak, but i'd like to think that i use it as a positive attribute, and i'd never get down on myself for not having done something that someone else has done. no one can walk every path.
but every time i've ever seen someone who i enjoy and who impresses, i always try to watch them closely and pick up as much as i can from them. if i don't enjoy it, i won't care enough to do so, but if i like it, then even if they're a mile over my head, i'll still sit there and be appreciative of them.
i like music, and i like discovery. that's what drives me.
I'm with you Jason

If a person gets depressed about their playing or losses inspiration for playing, maybe they just forgot what that first piece of music that really made that person want to pick up the guitar, meant to them. I mean, you couldn't play that lick then, maybe you can play it now, but there's something else you ain't quite got yet.

Persistence got you this far, it can certainly take you (and me) plenty further!

Pat


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

absolutely.

when i started playing i really admired people who could just strum chords to songs on the radio and have a sing song in their living room. i REALLY wanted to be able to do that, but goals change as you improve, and because we always have a goal, something we really want to achieve on the guitar, we do forget how far we have come and that some people will look at us and think "cool, i want to be able to do that".

"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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