#1
How do I get it back?

I notice with other sports/hobbies I lose motivation when everything becomes mundane and nothing is new.

I have been stuck in the same rut on my guitar for years. I have no motivation to play anymore but I still want to. I know its fun and I want to play music on stage but i dont have any motivation...
#2
Quote by fupashredder

I notice with other sports/hobbies I lose motivation when everything becomes mundane and nothing is new.

your answer is literally right here. Make it less mundane and bring something new into it. Sometimes that means learning a new style of music, sometimes that means just giving it a break altogether.
#3
I went through exactly this, when my singer left my band to join a big name, and then a little later a chance of a recording deal with Island records went south after our demo got rediscovered, but the band was scattered.

I detoured via piano (bad mistake for me), and literally stopped playing for a couple of years. I then got asked by one of my old band members to help out on a recording, and I could barely make music. That's what motivated me. Previously I was an "ok" guitarist, but played purely by ear, with little knowledge. So, I joined a guitar school on an intermediate-advanced course, determined to get my head around music theory, hoping that would open new doors. It absolutely did, and I got to learn from one of the top guitarists in the UK (Shaun Baxter). It took me about 4 lessons to grasp what's going on in theory (intellectually), enough to start hearing some new sounds coming out of my hands ... that was me hooked. I've been learning more ever since (how to apply it in real playing contexts).

If you're not into that, how about getting stuck into mastering rhythm (not as a rhythm guitarist), but from the view point of playing tricks with time (dynamics, syncopation, phrasing, playing ahead/behind the beat ...) This stuff is massivley important, and real fun to get into.

Don't give up ... you may regret it!!

cheers, Jerry
#4
Get a spotify account or some music streaming service and listen to as much as you can. Every genre. Find players you like who you may have never heard before. Thats what helped me.
#5
When I have gotten bored I've done something different. Changed the tuning to something insane, learned to play only with feedback, playing only with a slide, placing my balls in the sound hole and strumming myself to ecstasy etc.
#6
Buying a new toy always helps, a new guitar, amp, a whole pile of instructional books to dig into.

Or change your focus - if you've been learning cover songs, switch to songwriting or something.

Or try a different style. I mostly play blues on electric guitar but when I'm not feeling it I'll do some fingerpicking stuff, or play some heavy rock, or even a bit of jazz.

I've also got a bass which is nice for when I'm not in the mood for guitar. Very different focus and makes for a nice change of pace.
#7
Just think about how much you'll regret it down the line, if you decided to give up on guitar. And eventually things like sports become difficult as time goes on and as you age, whereas guitar will only become easier.
#8
me too, not getting into it lately, or this site

edit, played a few hrs tonight, was fun, comes and goes sometimes

guitar I mean
Last edited by Tempoe at Nov 17, 2014,
#10
Quote by jerrykramskoy
I went through exactly this, when my singer left my band to join a big name, and then a little later a chance of a recording deal with Island records went south after our demo got rediscovered, but the band was scattered.

I detoured via piano (bad mistake for me), and literally stopped playing for a couple of years. I then got asked by one of my old band members to help out on a recording, and I could barely make music. That's what motivated me. Previously I was an "ok" guitarist, but played purely by ear, with little knowledge. So, I joined a guitar school on an intermediate-advanced course, determined to get my head around music theory, hoping that would open new doors. It absolutely did, and I got to learn from one of the top guitarists in the UK (Shaun Baxter). It took me about 4 lessons to grasp what's going on in theory (intellectually), enough to start hearing some new sounds coming out of my hands ... that was me hooked. I've been learning more ever since (how to apply it in real playing contexts).

If you're not into that, how about getting stuck into mastering rhythm (not as a rhythm guitarist), but from the view point of playing tricks with time (dynamics, syncopation, phrasing, playing ahead/behind the beat ...) This stuff is massivley important, and real fun to get into.

Don't give up ... you may regret it!!

cheers, Jerry

are there any specific topics of theory that really started to get you more motivated again?

when i first started learning and implementing theory it was fun and then i just hit a wall and i didnt learn much else that excited me.

I notice that when i try out new gear it motivates me haha
Last edited by fupashredder at Nov 17, 2014,
#12
Quote by fupashredder
are there any specific topics of theory that really started to get you more motivated again?

when i first started learning and implementing theory it was fun and then i just hit a wall and i didnt learn much else that excited me.

I notice that when i try out new gear it motivates me haha


I notice when I try out new gear it motivates my wife ... to dissuade me :-)

Theory-wise ... learning intervals, new scales and understanding what could be done with superimposing one sound against another was what started me on a journey to a new level of playing.

Here's what happened.

I turned up at the guitar school for a one-to-one assessment initially, and the instructor played a typical 12-bar blues, except he unreasonably kept throwing a chord that shouldn't be there (to my mind). I could solo over the rest fine (so I thought), but had to resort to staying silent each time this chord came along. I asked him to solo, while I played rhythm. Flash git! All these sounds were coming out over that chord, that then moved naturally into the rest of the 12-bar. I signed up.

But several weeks of the course was not useful as I hoped. Learning scales etc but no real chance to interact with others, and no real "wow" moment.

And then Shaun Baxter turned up to give a lesson on Jazz (he was head of Rock and Jazz guitar there). He asked me to play licks from A minor pentatonic, and A blues. Then my epiphany happened. He changed the chords from the usual A min based backing to others, and all of sudden I'm making these amazing sounding licks that seemed alien to my ears. I was a jazz monster, in a rock sort of way!! Wow. WOW!!

For example he'd play Bb maj7, or Gm7, or Ab alt, or Gb alt, or ... at that point, I realised that I could reuse my limited knowledge in different context. He effectively made me play substitutions, where I was superimposing the sounds from A m pent against the sounds of these other chords. I then was 100% convinced I needed to understand how to do this for myself. So, I signed up with him for private lessons for many years, and we became great friends. I owe a great deal to him.

Case in point ... try playing against a groove that uses Gm7, and G in bass. Solo over it using G m pent licks. Play a lick, and then play same lick, but using A m pent. Mix them up. Or try playing arpeggios from F triad or Fmaj7.

Luckily enough, I managed to avoid the route of being forced to read music fluently at that time .. music score (piano score) was my brick wall when I'd attempted to teach myself theory in the past. Shaun explained the concepts very clearly, and I learned pretty much what I needed to understand in 4 lessons. I couldn't make it work musically immediately, but I got it. It is no harder than trying to do a simple cross word puzzle ... the problem is that the theorists and academia have obfuscated this all in a fog of notation and jargon, nearly all of which can be avoided for contemporary music.

Off my soap box.

As for writing tunes ... this can be made easier also, based on a knowledge of aspects of theory, but also how to structure it.

cheers, Jerry

(p.s I've just motivated myself :-) I haven't played seriously for about a year due to mangling both hands in two separate accidents. That was hard to deal with, as I usually play every day. They still hurt a bit. I'm looking at my Strat now!)
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Nov 17, 2014,
#13
Quote by fupashredder
are there any specific topics of theory that really started to get you more motivated again?

when i first started learning and implementing theory it was fun and then i just hit a wall and i didnt learn much else that excited me.

I notice that when i try out new gear it motivates me haha

The main point is to learn to recognize the theoretical stuff by ear. Listen to your favorite songs and figure out what happens in them by ear. I think that's also the best way of learning about music. It may help you with songwriting.

When I learned to use my ears, all the theory I had learned suddenly started making so much sense. That got me really interested in music theory.

But yeah, figure out what your favorite artists do. And do it by ear. You could also learn some new styles. If playing metal starts to bore you, learn to play jazz or funk or whatever.

BTW, do you play in a band? If not, I would suggest joining a band. Or just jamming with your friends. It doesn't need to be anything serious. But I think playing with somebody is a lot more fun than just playing alone.
#14
Two words... "NEW GEAR"

New pedals, new guitars, new amps, maybe a slide or an ebow. New guitar strap even. New arrangement of pedals in your pedalboard can do it..
#15
Quote by innovine
Two words... "NEW GEAR"

New pedals, new guitars, new amps, maybe a slide or an ebow. New guitar strap even. New arrangement of pedals in your pedalboard can do it..


Yeah, new gear always gets me messing with my guitar and other gear. So, Id recommend trying that.
#16
Quote by jerrykramskoy
I notice when I try out new gear it motivates my wife ... to dissuade me :-)

Theory-wise ... learning intervals, new scales and understanding what could be done with superimposing one sound against another was what started me on a journey to a new level of playing.

Here's what happened.

I turned up at the guitar school for a one-to-one assessment initially, and the instructor played a typical 12-bar blues, except he unreasonably kept throwing a chord that shouldn't be there (to my mind). I could solo over the rest fine (so I thought), but had to resort to staying silent each time this chord came along. I asked him to solo, while I played rhythm. Flash git! All these sounds were coming out over that chord, that then moved naturally into the rest of the 12-bar. I signed up.

But several weeks of the course was not useful as I hoped. Learning scales etc but no real chance to interact with others, and no real "wow" moment.

And then Shaun Baxter turned up to give a lesson on Jazz (he was head of Rock and Jazz guitar there). He asked me to play licks from A minor pentatonic, and A blues. Then my epiphany happened. He changed the chords from the usual A min based backing to others, and all of sudden I'm making these amazing sounding licks that seemed alien to my ears. I was a jazz monster, in a rock sort of way!! Wow. WOW!!

For example he'd play Bb maj7, or Gm7, or Ab alt, or Gb alt, or ... at that point, I realised that I could reuse my limited knowledge in different context. He effectively made me play substitutions, where I was superimposing the sounds from A m pent against the sounds of these other chords. I then was 100% convinced I needed to understand how to do this for myself. So, I signed up with him for private lessons for many years, and we became great friends. I owe a great deal to him.

Case in point ... try playing against a groove that uses Gm7, and G in bass. Solo over it using G m pent licks. Play a lick, and then play same lick, but using A m pent. Mix them up. Or try playing arpeggios from F triad or Fmaj7.


Luckily enough, I managed to avoid the route of being forced to read music fluently at that time .. music score (piano score) was my brick wall when I'd attempted to teach myself theory in the past. Shaun explained the concepts very clearly, and I learned pretty much what I needed to understand in 4 lessons. I couldn't make it work musically immediately, but I got it. It is no harder than trying to do a simple cross word puzzle ... the problem is that the theorists and academia have obfuscated this all in a fog of notation and jargon, nearly all of which can be avoided for contemporary music.

Off my soap box.

As for writing tunes ... this can be made easier also, based on a knowledge of aspects of theory, but also how to structure it.

cheers, Jerry

(p.s I've just motivated myself :-) I haven't played seriously for about a year due to mangling both hands in two separate accidents. That was hard to deal with, as I usually play every day. They still hurt a bit. I'm looking at my Strat now!)

the part I bolded has a name to it in theory doesnt it? I forgot, its been a while since i studied music theory.

cant you use the circle of fifths to do exactly what your talking about and whichever scales are closer together on the circle of fifths diagram sound like they fit better. or each gives a unique sound?....

i dunn, i need the name of that concept though so i can search it up and learn more about it.

it seems kind of the same theoretically as modes.
Last edited by fupashredder at Nov 19, 2014,
#17
Quote by fupashredder
the part I bolded has a name to it in theory doesnt it? I forgot, its been a while since i studied music theory.

cant you use the circle of fifths to do exactly what your talking about and whichever scales are closer together on the circle of fifths diagram sound like they fit better. or each gives a unique sound?....

i dunn, i need the name of that concept though so i can search it up and learn more about it.

it seems kind of the same theoretically as modes.


The circle of fifths idea is something different. There, you can move (further) away from the "correct" key, to produce more and more dissonant ideas. still related (more and more distantly) to the original key.

But what I was pointing out comes from understanding which chord types can be found "natively" in various keys (here, I mean key to both imply a starting note (tonal centre), and a scale type (major, phrygian, whatever). In the case of Am pentatonic against Gm7, here I' treating G as the I chord of G Dorian. Therefore the ii chord is Am(7). And all the pitches of Am pentatonic can be found in G Dorian. Hence, I can play Gm pent and Am pent ideas all over Gm(7).

Feel free if you need further clarification!

cheers, Jerry
#18
Quote by jerrykramskoy
The circle of fifths idea is something different. There, you can move (further) away from the "correct" key, to produce more and more dissonant ideas. still related (more and more distantly) to the original key.

But what I was pointing out comes from understanding which chord types can be found "natively" in various keys (here, I mean key to both imply a starting note (tonal centre), and a scale type (major, phrygian, whatever). In the case of Am pentatonic against Gm7, here I' treating G as the I chord of G Dorian. Therefore the ii chord is Am(7). And all the pitches of Am pentatonic can be found in G Dorian. Hence, I can play Gm pent and Am pent ideas all over Gm(7).

Feel free if you need further clarification!

cheers, Jerry

okay i think this makes sense. it seems to be similar to usage of modes. do you know anywhere online i can learn this specific topic? or any examples of this?
#19
As I just wrote in another post here it could be the love of your tools that has gone since you are still having feelings for playing guitar somewhere in mind.

If the sound is not cool would you turn the amp on at all? Or use the effect? Would you care to even pick up the guitar or find other things to do?

Back around 1995 I got a home build stratocaster in a trade for a Gibson Explorer where my interest had gone as far as it could.

But getting used to playing it took years even a decade or 2. I even went through some upgrades to make it more right as time went by. For some reason or another that guitar stayed while others got sold.

As I put Fender '69 pickups in it and Hendrix was the main inspiration to get it I put a trio together to jam and play that music. To make it sound in the same kind of vibe I found the '69 pickups to do the trick quite well and to this date they have in since 1998 or so.

During the life of the trio I got used to playing that Stratocaster and single coils too.

Then I started to take practise a little more serious and used my strat a lot while the ex done with a metronome paid of greatly.

Besides the effects of that I finally did 3rd upgrade and changed the look to gold hardware and some of the electronics which were not right and added some to try out like treble bleed and delta tone earlier this year.

I found the love but it took as I said years for that guitar.
#20
Quote by fupashredder
okay i think this makes sense. it seems to be similar to usage of modes. do you know anywhere online i can learn this specific topic? or any examples of this?


I AM talking about using the modes, by treating a chord as coming from a given mode (like G Dorian above), and hence using related material (like A m pentatonic as well as G m pentatonic).

Here's an example. Around 1min 40sec, Scott Henderson plays a C# min pentatonic again B m7 groove. (I gave Am pent against G m7 as a possibility). The point is, you reuse what you know in different contexts to produce new and great sounds ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm_VSjadCiU

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Nov 22, 2014,
#21
What Jerry is saying is that every key has three possible minor or major pentatonic scales that work over them. If you play in A minor, you could use Am, Dm and Em pentatonic scales. That's because all of those scales only have notes that fit the key signature of A minor (Am pent = A C D E G, Dm pent = D F G A C, Em pent = E G A B D - as you can see, all of these notes are part of the A natural minor scale = A B C D E F G). If you are playing in a minor key, you can play the minor pentatonic scales starting with the 1st, 4th and 5th scale degrees. Same with the major scale - you can play three major pentatonic scales built on 1st, 4th and 5th scale degrees and all of the notes will fit the key scale. (So if we are in C major, you can play C major, F major and G major pentatonic.)

Of course by playing these three pentatonic scales you are just playing the key scale but just thinking a bit differently. I don't really "subscribe" to this kind of thinking. To me it feels a bit limiting when you need to think of three separate patterns that actually form one scale. And also that can make you forget about the functions the notes get. I find it easier to think in Am when I play in Am. Because A is the tonic. When you think in different pentatonic scales, you kind of change your thinking to Dm or Em, even though the key doesn't really change. But yeah, it may help some people. So figure out what works better for you - playing 3 different pentatonic scales or just one major/minor scale.
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 Nov 22, 2014,
#22
Quote by jerrykramskoy
I AM talking about using the modes, by treating a chord as coming from a given mode (like G Dorian above), and hence using related material (like A m pentatonic as well as G m pentatonic).

Here's an example. Around 1min 40sec, Scott Henderson plays a C# min pentatonic again B m7 groove. (I gave Am pent against G m7 as a possibility). The point is, you reuse what you know in different contexts to produce new and great sounds ...


He makes it pretty clear that the C# minor pentatonic shape works because the notes are diatonic to the key, he's just playing the B minor scale.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#23
Quote by MaggaraMarine
What Jerry is saying is that every key has three possible minor or major pentatonic scales that work over them. If you play in A minor, you could use Am, Dm and Em pentatonic scales.

...

Of course by playing these three pentatonic scales you are just playing the key scale but just thinking a bit differently. I don't really "subscribe" to this kind of thinking. To me it feels a bit limiting when you need to think of three separate patterns that actually form one scale. And also that can make you forget about the functions the notes get. I find it easier to think in Am when I play in Am. Because A is the tonic. When you think in different pentatonic scales, you kind of change your thinking to Dm or Em, even though the key doesn't really change. But yeah, it may help some people. So figure out what works better for you - playing 3 different pentatonic scales or just one major/minor scale.


Hi MM. I disagree with the above statement that I've highlighted. Just because they share common notes doesn't mean they're treated the same, nor sound the same, depending what's emphasised.

Begs the question "what does it mean to play the key scale", and again this comes down to context. If we have a melody based on a key, then playing from that scale would emphasise the scale's tonic chord. I'm in 100% agreement with you then.

But I'm not talking about that ... I'm talking about how to bring out other sounds (to let someone hear some new stuff they probably wouldn't come across from thinking in terms of the key scale ... to maybe inspire new ideas and avenues to explore).

Admittedly, these situations don't really crop up in standard major/minor type tunes (or more to the point, wouldn't complement (or rather, denies) what's going on in the tune).

But in (modal) grooves, the opportunities definitely do arise, where there's less onus on having to focus all the time on the tonality.

Different strokes for different folks.

cheers, Jerry
#24
You don't need to emphasize certain notes to be playing the key scale (considering that you are playing over some chords). By playing pentatonic scales that are part of the key scale, you are still playing the notes of the key scale. The notes still get the same functions. I mean, even if you are thinking in Em pentatonic and the song is in A minor, your tonic is still A. And E still sounds like the fifth. It's just another way of thinking and emphasizing certain notes works over certain chords better.

If the notes you are playing are diatonic to the key, then you are playing the notes in the key scale.

For example you can't really play the A minor scale in a C major song. Because it won't sound like the A minor scale. It will sound like you are playing in C major because the song is in C major.
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
#25
Quote by MaggaraMarine
You don't need to emphasize certain notes to be playing the key scale (considering that you are playing over some chords). By playing pentatonic scales that are part of the key scale, you are still playing the notes of the key scale. The notes still get the same functions. I mean, even if you are thinking in Em pentatonic and the song is in A minor, your tonic is still A. And E still sounds like the fifth. It's just another way of thinking and emphasizing certain notes works over certain chords better.

If the notes you are playing are diatonic to the key, then you are playing the notes in the key scale.

For example you can't really play the A minor scale in a C major song. Because it won't sound like the A minor scale. It will sound like you are playing in C major because the song is in C major.


MM ...I agree with this when there is a functional chord progression underneath. But, if played wrong with no backing, then it won't necessarily sound like the melody is in that key (imagine randomising the order/duration of the pitches).

I also agree that the individual pitch has a relationship with the backing, but there are many devices for bringing out particular sound flavours that are made much easier to create when knowledge/ear abilities are still developing, by using subsets of the scale pitches (like triads (e.g. G against Am7) or sevenths (e.g, Cmaj7 against Am7) or pentatonics (e.g. Bm pent against A m7).

I think it is more helpful to those that are learning new stuff to be given more guidance on how to create sounds successfully, by devices as above, that they probably already know and use, that are known to have this effect, than to just say "Play the X scale".

I'm 100% certain that if I said to such a learner "play the A minor scale, but make sure to bring out the 9, 11 and 13th as you do this", they will have a much harder time than me saying "play your usual minor pentatonic licks 2 frets higher than A, and listen. This will bring out the sounds of the 9, 11 and 13th from the A minor scale, something you may not have thought about emphasising before".

The words may still not make much sense, but they can then hear this easily in action, and hopefully like the sounds, get inspired, and start pondering on landing notes using these, and gradually start realising the sound created by each of these landing notes is the 9, the 11 or the 13th.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Nov 24, 2014,
#26
Magarra check your PMs. I am trying to contact you.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#27
Quote by jerrykramskoy
MM ...I agree with this when there is a functional chord progression underneath. But, if played wrong with no backing, then it won't necessarily sound like the melody is in that key (imagine randomising the order/duration of the pitches).

I also agree that the individual pitch has a relationship with the backing, but there are many devices for bringing out particular sound flavours that are made much easier to create when knowledge/ear abilities are still developing, by using subsets of the scale pitches (like triads (e.g. G against Am7) or sevenths (e.g, Cmaj7 against Am7) or pentatonics (e.g. Bm pent against A m7).

I think it is more helpful to those that are learning new stuff to be given more guidance on how to create sounds successfully, by devices as above, that they probably already know and use, that are known to have this effect, than to just say "Play the X scale".

I'm 100% certain that if I said to such a learner "play the A minor scale, but make sure to bring out the 9, 11 and 13th as you do this", they will have a much harder time than me saying "play your usual minor pentatonic licks 2 frets higher than A, and listen. This will bring out the sounds of the 9, 11 and 13th from the A minor scale, something you may not have thought about emphasising before".

The words may still not make much sense, but they can then hear this easily in action, and hopefully like the sounds, get inspired, and start pondering on landing notes using these, and gradually start realising the sound created by each of these landing notes is the 9, the 11 or the 13th.

cheers, Jerry

Yeah, I understand. And this kind of approach may work perfectly for somebody, especially someone who isn't that familiar with other scales than the pentatonic scale.
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