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Help, I am stuck with guitar, sucking really bad lately.


Keith SIO

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I think the best suggestions so far are those talking about listening to and/or playing a style you wouldn't usually listen to/play. Along with that, as some have suggested, try learning some licks or as much of a whole solo as possible. Even if you have a hard time getting some licks down by ear, it can open up a lot of possibilities. I've always found that working on someone else's licks eventually leads me to be frustrated, but in a good way. When I get sick of trying to cop somebody else, my own stuff sounds that much better to me and I enjoy working on it again.

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Whenever I'm frusterated and Stuck, I do Several things-

Take a break. Spend the day outside, watch a crazy movie at night. (The Fountain, Blue Velvet, Eraserhead...)

Do the Same the Next day. No guitar playing. But this time watcha fun movie. I suggest Casino Royale or the original Batman from 1989. Goonies is good too.

Exercise. Jog, lift weights, somthing along those lines.

Listen to music that you've never listened to, in your case not instrumental music. SGT. Peppers, the White Album or Magical Mystery Tour are always inspiring. (Check out the swedish band Dungen for some real Psychodelia.)

If you do listen to somthing instrumental, go for somthing way out there. Nels Cline is Key here. The Band the Tornadoes is also good. Get the Joe Meek produced song Telstar. Finally... Throw on some Dick Dale for good measure.


These things always help me when I'm in a rut. When you get back to playing, check out a couple of Books of just pure Chords. I always find somthing interesting and usable in Mel Bays Instant Chord Finder. Very basic, but incredible useful.


And when all else fails, go demo some EHX pedals at GC.

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...DO NOT TAKE A BREAK.

 

What a crock of {censored}. How will you pull yourself out of a slump with guitar-playing, without actually playing? That's just idiotic to even suggest. And besides that, if music is important enough to you, you won't want to take a break.

 

Get some new, out-there music. It doesn't have to be something different that you may not like, just something new.

 

Next, PRACTICE! Don't force creativity. Run through scales, brush up on theory, learn new chords, anything. Just keep practicing. Eventually, the creativity will start flowing again.

 

If you have another instrument you can use, put some time in with it as well. Don't use it to replace the guitar, but add it into your guitar practice.

 

New effect pedals/guitars/gear can help, but it's cheaper and easier to pull yourself out on your own. What you've hit is called a plateau. Everyone hits them now and again, and they're awful. Especially if you're really connected to your music.

 

Give it a few days, listen to new music, practice guitar work, and put some time in with another instrument if possible. You'll be good as new. :wave:

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...DO NOT TAKE A BREAK.


What a crock of {censored}. How will you pull yourself out of a slump with guitar-playing, without actually playing? That's just idiotic to even suggest.

 

 

Relax man, I sometimes find it helps to clear my head to put things down for just a day or two. YMMV. It clears the head, I come back with new perspectives and somewhat refreshed I'm not worried about the same things that were bothering me a few days ago. For me it's like any other mental exercise, sometimes the problems arise from putting too much thought and obsessing over it 24/7. I'll burn myself out, and lose perspective.

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Relax man, I sometimes find it helps to clear my head to put things down for just a day or two. YMMV. It clears the head, I come back with new perspectives and somewhat refreshed I'm not worried about the same things that were bothering me a few days ago. For me it's like any other mental exercise, sometimes the problems arise from putting too much thought and obsessing over it 24/7. I'll burn myself out, and lose perspective.



The same goes if you just practice routine stuff for a couple days, and you don't lose your edge. For me, taking a break would be a devastating thing. Since the day I picked up a guitar for the first time, I have played every single day. There hasn't been a single day since then that I haven't played.

When I've hit plateaus, I found the things in my post above to really do the trick. Taking a break, while it may clear your head, isn't going to do anything for your playing. If, instead of taking a break from playing all together you just take a break from playing your routine stuff and work on exercises to better your playing. Finger exercises, scales, chord work, etc. requires no creativity, but still will do tons for your playing.

However, sitting in front of a TV instead of playing won't do a thing for you. :rolleyes:

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Like others have said, take a small break to clear your mind (from playing AND listening to music)- things will seem a lot fresher to you the next time you pick it up and you'll feel reenergized. Plateaus are part of getting better- they're big at first, but get smaller the longer you play/ better you get. I'm still hitting them after 26 years of playing. A week or so break certainly won't hinder your chops...

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Like others have said, take a small break to clear your mind (from playing AND listening to music)- things will seem a lot fresher to you the next time you pick it up and you'll feel reenergized. Plateaus are part of getting better- they're big at first, but get smaller the longer you play/ better you get. I'm still hitting them after 26 years of playing. A week or so break certainly won't hinder your chops...



Take a break from playing AND listening?

You're nuts. :freak:

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Then how can you know that taking time off won't help? It really does for some people, I know because it can for me.

 

 

Because common sense says that if you practice something you get better at it. If you don't practice, you begin to lose your ability. Sure, it's only a few days. But, a couple days spent doing nothing but scales, finger exercises, and learning new chords will seriously impact your ability for the better.

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The same goes if you just practice routine stuff for a couple days, and you don't lose your edge. For me, taking a break would be a devastating thing. Since the day I picked up a guitar for the first time, I have played every single day. There hasn't been a single day since then that I haven't played.


When I've hit plateaus, I found the things in my post above to really do the trick. Taking a break, while it may clear your head, isn't going to do anything for your playing. If, instead of taking a break from playing all together you just take a break from playing your routine stuff and work on exercises to better your playing. Finger exercises, scales, chord work, etc. requires no creativity, but still will do tons for your playing.


However, sitting in front of a TV instead of playing won't do a thing for you.
:rolleyes:



Like I said, it's the mental part that gets me down more then the technical aspect. Just too much clutter sometimes makes it too impossible to listen to myself play. But that's just me. What works for me might not work for you, or might not work for Keith, and so on. It's all good, I was just suggesting something that I find helps. Different strokes.

Oh and Keith one more thing, sometimes I find it helps to pinpoint what exactly it is that is bothering me about my playing and then I make specific measurable goals based on that to help progress.

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Because common sense says that if you practice something you get better at it. If you don't practice, you begin to lose your ability. Sure, it's only a few days. But, a couple days spent doing nothing but scales, finger exercises, and learning new chords will seriously impact your ability for the better.

 

 

Common sense told mankind that the world was flat, but until mankind actually attempted traveling around it and studying movement in the night sky, mankind didn't know.

 

And a couple days doesn't kill your technical ability to play enough to even notice, really. It isn't about getting technically better though, it's about taking a break from music and coming back when you don't have a bunch of things (musical or not) clouding your brain.

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Common sense told mankind that the world was flat, but until mankind actually attempted traveling around it and studying movement in the night sky, mankind didn't know.


And a couple days doesn't kill your technical ability to play enough to even notice, really. It isn't about getting technically better though, it's about taking a break from music and coming back when you don't have a bunch of things (musical or not) clouding your brain.



:rolleyes:

I'm guessing that I just view music as more important than others. And, that being the case, I doubt I'd get through to any of you arguing that a couple days of {censored}ing off is better than a couple days to better your playing. :rolleyes:

I'm done with this thread. Keith SIO, good luck pulling out of the plateau!

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Take a break from playing AND listening?


You're nuts.
:freak:

No, I'm not nuts and have in fact taught guitar in the past :) When your life revolves around music/playing, ruts are inevitable and the best thing you can do is recharge by taking a break from the whole thing. But you can do as you like- I'm just stating what works for me as well as other musicians I have known, no need to get yer panties in a bunch ;)

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:rolleyes:



:rolleyes: to your :rolleyes:


Because really, you're talking down an idea you've never tried, saying it doesn't work. Don't call it bull{censored}, it obviously helps others, and it's not bull{censored}. Saying something like "I couldn't see talking time off guitar beneficial for myself, and wouldn't reccomend it" would have made alot more sense.

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