#1
Hello everyone. I've been doing some thinking lately about why people have different passions and whether it's possible for passion to disappear. Also if it does disappear is it possible for it to come back.

I've been beginning to believe that the reason why we have different passions is because it gives us things that we aren't getting elsewhere.

Aside from that I've also been wondering what motivates you guys that have been doing this for so long to keep on playing?

The reason why I ask this is because somehow it seems like my passion for playing guitar has disappeared while my passion for music still exists. I'm currently in a dilemma as to whether I should continue playing the guitar.

When I first started playing guitar in seventh grade It was in a guitar class ran by my music teacher in 7th grade. The only reason I started playing was because it got me a lot of attention being the best in the class along with attracting a couple of girls. It was the only thing that I was ever really good at which is why I feel like it literally fed me ego and made me feel important. It worked for awhile until I realized that it wasn't the guitar that was my passion but instead the external attention that it brought to me.

Now I am about to enter 11th grade and none of those things really matter to me anymore. What I've been trying to focus on nowadays is just enjoying the process of actually playing the guitar. However whenever I pick it up that joy just isn't the same anymore.

I've taken a break for pretty much the whole summer. I thought that it might help me regain that passion but I tried again today and for some reason I just can't enjoy the process of playing the guitar. It's sad because I don't want to let it go after the thousands of hours of time and the money I've invested in it. However I understand that you can't force yourself to do something that you aren't enjoying or you'll end up depressed.

The strange thing though is that nowadays I can compose music in my imagination and play it on the guitar on my first try. I don't have perfect pitch but my ears are trained and I can visualize what frets are being played as I'm making these ideas up in my head. I just simply don't have the technique to make it sound good.

My passion for music is still there. My passion for watching videos of my favorite guitar is still there. My passion for listening to albums with great guitar work, great instrumentals, great vocals, great synth/sound design, great rappers, great lyrics is still there.

I can listen to music and understand it so clearly such as figuring out the chord progressions, melodies, identifying cadences, counterpoint, mixing techniques, and the instruments.

When I try to play guitar however It doesn't bring me the same satisfaction as listening to a complete piece of music.

What do you guys think I should do? I'm sure a few of you know me from posts over these years. I feel inclined to believe that my career is something musical and I still desire to play like my guitar heroes. I just don't want my life to be a constant fleet for the future. I want to be able to enjoy the journey.

Where does the joy come from for you guys? Where does the passion for playing come from? What is it that excites you guys so much to wake up everyday and continue to play the guitar?
Last edited by dannydawiz at Aug 4, 2013,
#2
Personally, I think we operate on intrinsic (passion) and extrinsic (money, social approval, etc) rewards. If you like something, then you get a dopamine release and you keep repeating it. Some people find rewards (passion) in many things.

I don't think for musicians it is sustainable & healthy if you don't get some intrinsic reward. I look at fine arts professors at college who make $40-50k a yr and I know for a fact, they do it more for the intrinsic rewards, not the extrinsic.
#3
I agree with you one hundred percent on the fact that intrinsic rewards are much more essential than the extrinsic rewards due to the fact that extrinsic rewards are unstable and can be taken away.

I feel however that I'm simply in need of guidance at this point. It's not like I don't want to be able to play guitar like a virtuoso. I still desire to play guitar very well. However I've learned more than anything that guitar is much more about the journey than the destination. Before all I would do is focus on the destination and I ended up depressed when I couldn't get any better.

Now though I want to focus on the journey but I can't find a way to enjoy it which is why I'm here asking you guys about passion.

I appreciate your insight sweetdude.
#4
The idea of giving something to an audience motivates me. My entire playing style is based around the entire of wanting to amaze an audience, so I practice only the most difficult pieces, nothing else interests me. I really enjoy the compliments I get on my playing, so I get better to receive more of them. My orchestral composition I do for myself, or a client when I'm paid for it, I sing for myself, if I want to relax, I don't pick up my trusty guitar, I put on some Les Miserables/Chess/Jekyll and Hyde backing tracks and go through a bit of repertoire. My lecturer once said that variety is the spice of life, and as I had no interest playing a lot of genres on guitar, I picked up more skills on other instruments and in other hobbies to keep myself sane. Basically, don't rely on your guitar, as it will become work, and it will be painful to pick up after a while. Give another instrument a bash, try a sport, something. However, I will say I know how you feel, I like complete pieces of music, every instrument coming together, and playing guitar doesn't match that. You should compose on guitar pro, and then learn what you compose. That way, the whole song will come together and you'll have a reason to play.
#5
Quote by dannydawiz
The strange thing though is that nowadays I can compose music in my imagination and play it on the guitar on my first try. I don't have perfect pitch but my ears are trained and I can visualize what frets are being played as I'm making these ideas up in my head. I just simply don't have the technique to make it sound good.


then make that your goal for guitar playing - to be able to make real what you imagine. this means to compose/record and do the whole bedroom musician thing, if you aren't already.

if you don't enjoy the process of learning guitar as much anymore, it's not the end of the world, despite all your nostalgia from what you used to get out of practicing. at least you still like music, so it's not like you're abandoning anything.

i'm kinda going through what you're going through right now too. not interested being a "guitar guy" so much anymore. everything i feel like learning is geared toward improvising and composing better, and the only time i really practice technique is when i'm unable to play something i'm trying to record.

i also have no reason to be a virtuoso at guitar because i don't have much desire to be a live player - if you do though, start playing shows or something. either way, you need to find external motivation, because learning to play guitar just for the sake of playing guitar is an empty hobby in the long run.
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Last edited by vIsIbleNoIsE at Aug 4, 2013,
#6
Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
then make that your goal for guitar playing - to be able to make real what you imagine. this means to compose/record and do the whole bedroom musician thing, if you aren't already.

if you don't enjoy the process of learning guitar as much anymore, it's not the end of the world, despite all your nostalgia from what you used to get out of practicing. at least you still like music, so it's not like you're abandoning anything.

i'm kinda going through what you're going through right now too. not interested being a "guitar guy" so much anymore. everything i feel like learning is geared toward improvising and composing better, and the only time i really practice technique is when i'm unable to play something i'm trying to record.

i also have no reason to be a virtuoso at guitar because i don't have much desire to be a live player - if you do though, start playing shows or something. either way, you need to find external motivation, because learning to play guitar just for the sake of playing guitar is an empty hobby in the long run.


Thank you for that suggestion. Doing that will train not only my composition but my imagination and my technique as well. I believe the same in the sense that learning to do something for the sake of doing something is empty in the long run unless you can find a way to enjoy it. Playing seems empty to me but learning to play whats in my imagination gives me much more of a purpose while playing.

Ill try that out and see how it works. I'm starting to think that the joy from a hobby or anything comes from how you do it rather than the hobby itself.

I'm still interested in hearing more posts from other people if anyone else is out there.
#7
Quote by CelestialGuitar
The idea of giving something to an audience motivates me. My entire playing style is based around the entire of wanting to amaze an audience, so I practice only the most difficult pieces, nothing else interests me. I really enjoy the compliments I get on my playing, so I get better to receive more of them. My orchestral composition I do for myself, or a client when I'm paid for it, I sing for myself, if I want to relax, I don't pick up my trusty guitar, I put on some Les Miserables/Chess/Jekyll and Hyde backing tracks and go through a bit of repertoire. My lecturer once said that variety is the spice of life, and as I had no interest playing a lot of genres on guitar, I picked up more skills on other instruments and in other hobbies to keep myself sane. Basically, don't rely on your guitar, as it will become work, and it will be painful to pick up after a while. Give another instrument a bash, try a sport, something. However, I will say I know how you feel, I like complete pieces of music, every instrument coming together, and playing guitar doesn't match that. You should compose on guitar pro, and then learn what you compose. That way, the whole song will come together and you'll have a reason to play.


It's interesting hearing that the motivation for music or playing guitar is completely different for you in comparison to VisibleNoise.

I suppose that in order to enjoy guitar the most or anything really we should revise our playing time around what excites us the most.

You say that you like the feeling of getting compliments from other people and therefore you play more challenging pieces in order to get more compliments.

My question for you though is that if it weren't for those compliments do you think you would still continue to play?

I'll take your advice and try picking up another instrument.

Piano. Bass, Drums, String instruments, and Saxophone really interest me.
#8
Quote by dannydawiz
I suppose that in order to enjoy guitar the most or anything really we should revise our playing time around what excites us the most.

You say that you like the feeling of getting compliments from other people and therefore you play more challenging pieces in order to get more compliments.

My question for you though is that if it weren't for those compliments do you think you would still continue to play?


That's exactly right. Many people will say to you how important it is to be able to do everything, but, one pursues a career in music to do something they enjoy. What's the difference between playing music you don't like as a job and having a job you don't like? As for your second question, I truly believe that technical ability is something one can hardly argue with, I remember being 13 when Through The Fire and Flames came out on Guitar Hero, and like that, everyone knew them, people who hated rock and metal were enchanted by the ability on display, and I've found that everyone is partial to a display of technique now and then and can respect it regardless of their own music tastes. It's like on those singing shows where someone hits a high note and the crowd go mad, they don't know what's just happened, but they know it must take some talent to do.

Because of this, when I don't get positive comments, I improve more, I'm constantly looking to push the boundaries of guitar playing, and that's why I pick up the guitar. At the end of the day, every musician wants to be skilled at their instrument to some extent, whether they want to be the next Petrucci, or just be able to play along to the songs that made them want to be a guitarist, and everyone wants some kind of recognition. I think it'd break anyone's spirits if people were constantly going 'Meh' at their playing.

I must say, I do disagree with the 'journey not the destination' idea, because I love to hear something, or write something then imagine myself playing it, I think 'Wow, that's going to be so impressive to play!' And because I know I can achieve it, it makes the hours spent with a metronome turn to minutes. But, of course, I had to spend a while discovering that that was who I was as a guitarist, and figuring out how to make it work in my favour, and every guitarist must learn who they are and why they play, so that every moment spent at their instrument is worthwhile to them.
#9
Quote by CelestialGuitar
That's exactly right. Many people will say to you how important it is to be able to do everything, but, one pursues a career in music to do something they enjoy. What's the difference between playing music you don't like as a job and having a job you don't like? As for your second question, I truly believe that technical ability is something one can hardly argue with, I remember being 13 when Through The Fire and Flames came out on Guitar Hero, and like that, everyone knew them, people who hated rock and metal were enchanted by the ability on display, and I've found that everyone is partial to a display of technique now and then and can respect it regardless of their own music tastes. It's like on those singing shows where someone hits a high note and the crowd go mad, they don't know what's just happened, but they know it must take some talent to do.

Because of this, when I don't get positive comments, I improve more, I'm constantly looking to push the boundaries of guitar playing, and that's why I pick up the guitar. At the end of the day, every musician wants to be skilled at their instrument to some extent, whether they want to be the next Petrucci, or just be able to play along to the songs that made them want to be a guitarist, and everyone wants some kind of recognition. I think it'd break anyone's spirits if people were constantly going 'Meh' at their playing.

I must say, I do disagree with the 'journey not the destination' idea, because I love to hear something, or write something then imagine myself playing it, I think 'Wow, that's going to be so impressive to play!' And because I know I can achieve it, it makes the hours spent with a metronome turn to minutes. But, of course, I had to spend a while discovering that that was who I was as a guitarist, and figuring out how to make it work in my favour, and every guitarist must learn who they are and why they play, so that every moment spent at their instrument is worthwhile to them.


I appreciate your response and respect your opinion Celestial.

What I've discovered is that every guitar player is unique as far as what it is that excites them to pick up the instrument. What is important is that we all find what works for us like in the example you showed in the last post talking about your practice with the Metronome.

I am not denying the importance of setting goals for yourself and striving to achieve them. I do however feel that there are many different ways in order to get where it is that we want and the one that will work best is the one that inspires us the most.

Quite an eye opener but thank you for helping me come to that realization.
#10
I don't really enjoy practicing the guitar that much any more. Or maybe it's the lack of motivation to learn new songs (or I would like to learn new songs but no song really motivates me). But I like making music and recording it. I also really like playing in a band.

When you play music, of course it doesn't give you the same feeling as when you listen to it because you only play the guitar part. All the other parts are missing. And that's why I don't enjoy playing alone that much any more. Join a band! There you can play your own songs and make them sound good.

You also said you don't have the technique to make your songs sound good. So maybe start learning some technique. That's where you get your motivation - you have a goal to achieve.

Or then it's because you are lacking the other instruments. Do you have any recording softwares? Add drums and bass. They make your guitar part sound a lot better. Again, join a band and you have the other instruments you need (if you need them).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#11
Well, I'm Jewish mystic; so I basically believe God to be cruel and malicious (har har har) so I mostly play music to diminish my suffering
#12
Like Magara said above, join a band.

I was in your situation with the piano and I switched to guitar because I was tired of playing alone for no one but myself. Hardly anyone cares to hear "classical". Playing with others is a good social outlet, its creative and the potential/playing for other people is well worth it.
#13
It's easy to get too caught up in "playing" guitar. If your technical ability is at the point where you can play comfortably in your favorite genres, you're good. If "being good at playing guitar" continues to be your goal, if your goal does not change with your progress, you essentially chase a non-existent end. You're set for nothing but disappointment there.

Your passion hasn't gone. I think it's actually stagnated, without an outlet. Don't even jump to "joining a band" just yet. Instead, just start writing music. Download Tuxguitar (free GuitarPro equivalent, if you don't have GuitarPro), and just start messing around until you hear a sound you like. If you need some help with the songwriting, check out the link in my signature for some Youtube lessons centered around this approach.

Let your passion pour naturally into this new, broad outlet, instead of continuing to attempt to cram it through a path with few rewards left to offer (the endless quest to improve). I'll wager that, once you get the hang of composition, you'll find your passion comes blazing back to life.
Last edited by KevinGoetz at Aug 6, 2013,
#14
^ But playing with others is fun. Why not join a band? I started playing in a band after one year of playing. It doesn't need to be a serious band, it can just be for fun. Play your favorite songs, have some jams, maybe write own songs.

IMO band playing is the best thing you can do with guitar or any other instrument.

TS said he can't make his songs work. That might be because he doesn't have the other instruments playing at the same time. Every song sounds better with a band.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 6, 2013,
#15
Quote by MaggaraMarine
^ But playing with others is fun. Why not join a band? I started playing in a band after one year of playing. It doesn't need to be a serious band, it can just be for fun. Play your favorite songs, have some jams, maybe write own songs.

IMO band playing is the best thing you can do with guitar or any other instrument.

TS said he can't make his songs work. That might be because he doesn't have the other instruments playing at the same time. Every song sounds better with a band.


True. I didn't represent my point very well: I just meant that he shouldn't rely on finding a band. Like, if there are no competent or like-minded musicians anywhere near him, that shouldn't be an impediment to writing music.
#16
Op, have you thought about learning some other instrument? a change is as good as a rest, and since you say your passion for music is still there... you'll come back to the guitar sometime, don't sweat it. Develop in a different direction in the meantime
Learn to make hiphop or techno or something you've no id a how to do.
#17
Just my two copper pieces on the goal setting:

Personally, I strive to be a versatile guitarist. My church has constant random starting blues so I gotta improvise pretty well.My school prefers to teach purely classical music so I have to fit to that. I want to start a band with multiple elements added in but mostly composition and live performance are gonna be key there. And heck, I like impressing people sometimes, time to get technical. It's rare for me to find a place where I can't improve or have some short term goal of some kind. Last time that happened to me was when I hit that plateau of learning songs but no substance...just a little imo
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

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Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#18
Quote by dannydawiz
Where does the joy come from for you guys? Where does the passion for playing come from? What is it that excites you guys so much to wake up everyday and continue to play the guitar?

Being in a band. It's a no brainer. It's what playing an instrument is all about. Or even playing acoustic guitar as a duo with a singer, that's a great thing to do for small gigs or open mics.

Join a band.

Teaching guitar to others also brings joy to me, a great deal in fact.
#19
Quote by mdc
Being in a band. It's a no brainer. It's what playing an instrument is all about. Or even playing acoustic guitar as a duo with a singer, that's a great thing to do for small gigs or open mics.

Join a band.

Teaching guitar to others also brings joy to me, a great deal in fact.

Yeah, playing the guitar or any other instrument is about making music. And playing with other people is the best way to make music. That's where you can use your guitar skills. That's why you practice your instrument - to make music. This doesn't apply to everybody though. Some people just want to learn their favorite riffs and that's it. Or shred at 1000bpm.

But yeah TS, you said that your passion for music is still there. So don't only play the guitar, make music with it.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#20
For me, it's the buzz of playing live, being applauded for a good set, and being called for an encore. Dead set, it's better than any drug I've ever tried.

I've always like music, though. And like the OP I could spend all day just listening to music, or watching demo video's of new gear or concert DVD's and the like. But playing an instrument, it's a bit meh. It's a means to an end, really. Not to say I dislike playing guitar. I do quite enjoy playing a nice meaty riff, or something with a bit of a groove to it.

Perhaps it's the music you're playing, OP? I've recently figured I'm deperately in love with the whole bluesy/stoner rock thing. It's given me a whole new drive. Perhaps you just have to find your niche?