#1
What are some ways to keep yourself inspired while playing guitar?

Recently I've been finding myself uninspired to play guitar because of my inability to play the music that I want to play. Most of the artists that make the music that I want to play such as Steve Vai, Galneryus, Avenged Sevenfold, Eric Johnson and Animals As Leaders all require a tremendous amount of technique. For 7 months it seems that no matter how much I practice my alternate picking, angling my pick, synchronizing my fingers, articulating the notes, and practicing at slow speeds to a metronome, I just can't get any faster.

Ive been stuck at 120bpm in 16th notes for that long and It's uninspiring to be practicing a technique for that long without seeing any results. I understand that building speed takes years of practice but at a rate of +0bpm per half a year? Spending about 1 hour on technique every single day? That can't be reasonable.

What would you guys do in this situation in order to keep yourself inspired and why is it that I am unable to progress my technique any further than 120bpm?

I understand that these types of roadblocks happen to guitar players all the time and Im curious on how you guys are able to get past them?
#4
get a bigger musical vocabulary. no great musician has ever become great by playing only one genre.
#5
When i get to caught up with trying to play something especially if its too early to my techniques i just take sometime off and have a jam session or rest to realize you don't suck as bad as you think you do. Those guitarist took many many years before they could play half of any of there music they play now. The saying 10years or 10000 hrs to be a master is no joke so dont get to discouraged it might just take another year or two to get it. As for your speed that is strange what warmups and technique training do you use?
#7
What would you guys do in this situation in order to keep yourself inspired and why is it that I am unable to progress my technique any further than 120bpm?

I understand that these types of roadblocks happen to guitar players all the time and Im curious on how you guys are able to get past them?


Honestly, stop focusing on speed. Also, you're vastly underestimating how much work it takes to get better - an hour a day for 6 months isn't very much practice.

I would suggest you play some music that is a little easier for starters, a lot of the rhythm parts for those bands and the simpler melody parts are quite doable. Aside from that, why not try writing some stuff, or transcribing it?

There's huge areas of musicianship that are great fun and don't require a huge amount of practice - trying to get to the same kind of level as Vai or Tosin before learning anything for fun is a mug's game. Nearly nobody puts in enough work to reach that kind of level - that's why it's exceptional.
#8
Quote by funky_monk94
get a bigger musical vocabulary. no great musician has ever become great by playing only one genre.


Although my main genres consists of Metal and Instrumental Rock. I really enjoy listening to music that incorporates Jazz phrasing along with Rock phrasing such as Guthrie Govan. I've also listened to pure jazz players like Django and Wes Montgomery and I really like when they incorporate chromatic phrases into there playing. My favorite blues players are Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Gary Moore. When it comes to Instrumental Rock I go people like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani.

Could you suggest any other great guitar players that you think are worth listening to?
#9
Quote by MusicsMyHero

Could you suggest any other great guitar players that you think are worth listening to?


I would suggest Alex Skolnick, Rocky George, Andy Timmons, Steve Lukather, perhaps even Robert Cray

The way I look at it, if you have a specific sound or band you're going for, listen to the music that inspired them.
#10
Quote by MusicsMyHero
Could you suggest any other great guitar players that you think are worth listening to?


Paul Gilbert, Shawn Lane, Brett Garsed, Eric Johnson, Brian Carroll, Tommy Emmanuel, Allan holdsworth, al di meola, BB King, jeff beck... i could go on.
#11
Quote by mykahl88
When i get to caught up with trying to play something especially if its too early to my techniques i just take sometime off and have a jam session or rest to realize you don't suck as bad as you think you do. Those guitarist took many many years before they could play half of any of there music they play now. The saying 10years or 10000 hrs to be a master is no joke so dont get to discouraged it might just take another year or two to get it. As for your speed that is strange what warmups and technique training do you use?


Thanks for the advice Mykah. I sometimes forget that the greatest guitar players in the world created there music when they were already at the 10000 hour point in there playing. It's just hard for me to fathom the idea that im a decent guitar player when I am constantly finding my skills insufficient in many areas of playing the guitar. I practice everyday but I just can't enjoy myself because my musical skills are never enough to satisfy my needs, and other peoples needs. The techniques and warmups that I've been focusing on mostly this past half a year include Alternate Picking and Sweep Picking. For alternate picking I often take pieces of Paul Gilbert songs such as technical difficulties and scarified and turn those motions into an excercise. My main prpoblem is being able to cross between different strings while picking. On one string without tensing up the farthest I can get is 155bpm but 120bpm is the highest I can go cross betweem different strings.


Quote by Freepower
Honestly, stop focusing on speed. Also, you're vastly underestimating how much work it takes to get better - an hour a day for 6 months isn't very much practice.

I would suggest you play some music that is a little easier for starters, a lot of the rhythm parts for those bands and the simpler melody parts are quite doable. Aside from that, why not try writing some stuff, or transcribing it?

There's huge areas of musicianship that are great fun and don't require a huge amount of practice - trying to get to the same kind of level as Vai or Tosin before learning anything for fun is a mug's game. Nearly nobody puts in enough work to reach that kind of level - that's why it's exceptional.


Thankyou Freepower for your words of advice. I have digested alot of useful information from your videos on youtube that have helped improve my playing at one point or another. I usually spend a minimum of 6 hours a day practicing but I only spend an hour on technique because I know that any longer than that and I will begin to tire out.

Transcribing and composing both have there places in my practice session but no matter how much I transcribe or write I just can't enjoy myself.. I get discouraged when composing because my technique isn't sufficient enough to keep up with the compositions I hear in my head... I can transcribe simple things but sometimes the music that I want to transcribe is just to complex for me to understand and write down on paper...

Im in need of music that isn't to complex but isn't simple either. Do you have any suggestions on artists that fit this description? I'm often caught in a depression of my own playing because my skills in many areas of musicianship are almost never enough to satisfy my own needs, or the people around me..
Last edited by MusicsMyHero at Feb 12, 2012,
#12
Quote by beau05
I would suggest Alex Skolnick, Rocky George, Andy Timmons, Steve Lukather, perhaps even Robert Cray

The way I look at it, if you have a specific sound or band you're going for, listen to the music that inspired them.


Quote by Marshmellow
Paul Gilbert, Shawn Lane, Brett Garsed, Eric Johnson, Brian Carroll, Tommy Emmanuel, Allan holdsworth, al di meola, BB King, jeff beck... i could go on.



Thank you guys for the suggestions of artists I'll give them a listen right now.
#13
Quote by MusicsMyHero
Transcribing and composing both have there places in my practice session but no matter how much I transcribe or write I just can't enjoy myself.. I get discouraged when composing because my technique isn't sufficient enough to keep up with the compositions I hear in my head... I can transcribe simple things but sometimes the music that I want to transcribe is just to complex for me to understand and write down on paper..


thats exactly how i feel, and im sure how everyone who reached this point feels. honestly for the past year its felt like ive hit a wall in my technical progression. i think in the past few months ive realised that its not wall, rather that my progress is so slow im barely improving.

and ive been fighting myself over things i can't do. neglecting practice, neglecting my learning in general for the simple fact that i can't do the things i want. over the past few months, few weeks in particular (i stopped playing due to injury), ive realised this shit spiral of unrealistic expectations is the exact thing thats hindering my progression.
#14
I forgot who, but someone has a sig that says, speed is a product of not giving a **** about speed.
"A guitar is your personality expressed through six strings"

"I'm cuddly bitch, deal with it"