Hey guys I used to be far better at guitar than I am now. Last year I peaked in skill of my then 13 years of playing and then got too busy with work and school and stuff to play as much as I liked to. I've gotten better with time management and playing guitar as well as I used to is starting to be more important than it had been previously to me, but a lot of my practical chops have vanished--I can play the same variety of scales in the same speed I used to and I have knowledge of all those scales and how to use them but I can't play as coolly, or fluidly in actual songs and jam sessions like I used to.

Any advice?
I eat bananas vigorously


To the pit because i don't feel like doing real life.
Maybe just keep playing?

If you are just getting back into it maybe you just need a bit more playing time and maybe it'll just come back to you?. Idk, just a suggestion haha.
Just another Sheep in the design of the Almighty Machine.

Gibson 60s Les Paul Tribute (Sunburst)
1999 Ibanez RG470 (TitaniumIce-MIJ)
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Well, I think the issue might be a mental block you've put on yourself. You hear and remember how well you used to play and you're trying to get back to that. When it doesn't happen, you get frustrated with yourself and try to force it, sounding even worse.

My advice would be to let go. Try to see if your shoulders, back, stomach and/or hands are tensing up when you play, or even when you first lay hands on the instrument.

If they are, take your hands off the instrument! Take a deep breath and relax those muscles. When you bring your hands back to the instrument, don't judge the way you're playing. Just let your hands do what they're going to do, and listen. Almost try to imagine that your hands and your brain aren't connected to each other. Imagine they're playing for you. Don't even let musical ideas guide your playing. Just allow your fingers to move where they want freely.

You have the muscle memory, now let your hands do what you trained them to do If you make mistakes, don't get mad. Laugh them off or, if you can, recognize the beauty in them. Don't think of them as wrong notes or mistakes in speed or articulation but rather new notes and new approaches to rhythm. Think of your playing as beautiful even if you know your mother would cringe hearing you play.

When you can play from a relaxed and free state, you can identify what you have a mastery over and more importantly any problems with what you're playing and then begin to focus on exercises to improve or get back some of that dexterity and finesse.

Anyway, try that out, and if it works, I recommend finding a copy of 'Effortless Mastery' by Kenny Werner. It goes a little more in depth with the approach/mindset I just outlined. It worked for me when I was in a very similar rut.
Last edited by mjones1992 at Oct 13, 2014,