I am starting to find it hard to stay interested while practicing/playing guitar. I really have no idea why.

I remember back in 2009 I was so excited about the guitar, and ended up posting my first video of my playing on YouTube, I think by the time I decided to take down the video(around 2011), I had close to 1k views on it. Then I uploaded again last year, getting close to 100 views in a day. That inspired me so much, to know that close to 1k people wanted to listen to me play guitar, so I ended up writing my own music for the first time.

Then this year I decided to play for my family for the first time. My dad told me I should start talking to my cousin about doing session work for his studio, because I guess my dad thinks I am good. But I think my older brother, and another cousin told me that the songs sucked because one was the same 3-4 chords repeating, and the other was based off of the pentatonic scale. Since then I haven't been able to write another song without getting annoyed and giving up.

But yeah, back to the loss of inspiration. I was fine with playing guitar last week when I rediscovered my love for pop music, and one of my favorite bands.

Now I can barely play the guitar for more than 10min without getting bored/annoyed. I guess my main issue is that I feel like I can't be a guitarist without writing my own music, but whenever I try to write my own music my mind goes blank on ideas.

Any tips for writing my own music? I really like to play and listen to more melodic stuff, so I have just been basing everything off of the pentatonic scale mostly. Dislike using chords now since I literally only played chords for about a year.
You can't let people put your playing Down like your brother and cousin.
If you are geting bored take a break like a week or 2,
All musicians go through periods of self-doubt, lack of inspiration and just plain getting tired of a specific thing, but what matters is how you overcome it.

I've found that the only way for me is to play for myself. To play and listen to songs by my favourite bands, and just improvise whatever I can think of. Play first, then structure the ideas into songs.
If you are stuck for inspiration, maybe try alternate tunings. That really gets my creativity up and I'm less focused on the technical/analytical side of the music.

Meh I went on holiday once for about 10 days without playing guitar, came back and just wasn't motivated. So I mucked around on piano, got back into the swing of things. So if you find yourself doing the same things over and over perhaps try playing or learning a bit of bass or piano or just something different.

Don't worry, lots of musicians go through this and don't let anyone criticise your writing like that, it's not constructive.

Sometimes just let the inspiration come to you and don't force it if it won't come. At times I feel my writing is stale but then something will happen or I'll hear about something, I try to imagine what the event or feeling would 'sound' like (eg: your family criticising you!! Use that to your advantage ). Mucking around on electric guitar (or even acoustic w/ a pickup) through different effects can also stimulate creativity.

I don't know how advanced you are but try learning more obscure chords. A couple of my favs at the moment are X05558 and X5455X (can't be bothered to name them atm). I find myself drawn to suspended 2s and 4s as well as maj7s. So I explore them a bit when I practice.

Hope that you get out of the rut and get back on track.
Agree with the alternate tunings. Definitely changed the way I viewed playing the guitar and opens up whole different styles and techniques.

The other thing I like to do is just learn something from a random genre which sounds cool which I wouldn't typically listen to or play. Again, opens up your playing to new ideas. If you combine this with the alternate tunings it's basically like starting guitar again but with an already decent knowledge of technique etc, it's pretty inspiring.

Don't get yourself stuck in a rut by limiting what you play, branch out and experience as much as you can and the inspiration will come naturally.
Anything the guys above said.

I'd also suggest you practice a different picking technique.
Before, I was just you regular flat picking teenager. I then moved to hybrid picking and would have never suspected it would have given me such possibilities and playing nuances.

When all you do on the guitar is strumming chords and playing the pentatonic, you always end up feeling "Well, I started this instrument hoping to become something big and bold, and instead I turned into a generic and uninspired player". Right-hand techniques can be an alternative to that - so do the approaches of the other guys.
Last edited by Silverpack at Nov 22, 2014,
i find it inspiring when people ask me 'when am i going to hear you play again?'
I have the same problem. I love playing but I don't play in a band just for myself at home. I don't like playing around other people too. When I first started playing I always listened to music and picked out riffs from that. I also like jamming to jam tracks but I still get stuck on how to start something and continue. Then jumping around styles too. I feel I am good enough to do that well but I get bored real quick most of the time. With working and stuff I don't think I practice enough. I came to conclusion that there are two types of guitar players those who play songs whether they are their own or covers and those who are riff oriented. I feel more riff oriented. I took lessons a lot early on and that helped me a lot and I did learn complete songs but because I never continued playing them I just forget how to play them. I do have a recording setup and I dabble with that but that is another issue of being a perfectionist about it . I keeping plugging away hoping everything will click someday!
Try listening to some new music, or even just really sitting down and learning a song, like note-for-note and try to emulate the way it sounds the best you can. It may also be beneficial to learn to sing and play some songs you like, if you haven't already.

If you can be bothered, sometimes it helps me to get motivated if I spend a week really focusing on something I want to improve in my technique.

Please don't feel that you have to write your own music to be a guitarist. Plenty of hugely popular acts have covered other people's tunes. If writing your own music is fun, have at it, but don't feel like you can't consider yourself a musician if you don't write your own tunes.

And please don't take your brother and cousin's criticism seriously (beyond a motivation to expand your knowledge of music). There's absolutely nothing wrong with pentatonics or 3-4 chord progressions. If you want to see what pentatonics can do, go listen to Hendrix or old 1950s-1960s RnB & Soul music (I recommend any one of the Stax-Volt singles). Most of that stuff is based off of pentatonic phrases.

Insisting that something isn't good because it's not complicated enough is a little pretentious (and mostly comes from musicians or producers who are overly proud of their own musical knowledge. Listeners don't care how complicated it is).

Anyway, that's my $0.02. Good luck!
Last edited by mjones1992 at Nov 20, 2014,
I used to have an online project with a friend from Sweden and we exchanged riffs and drum tracks to later compile them into songs, and I am also in a starting band. But things are kind of stagnating these days. My friend is a father now and my band is having problems keeping pace. It's all pretty demotivating!

What I did recently though, is messing around with drum tracks on my own. It's a hell of a job but feels satisfying when it works out! When I am inspirationless I just make interpretations/covers of existing songs. I stick to the concept, but try to be innovative with the instruments and parts. Recently I did a really low and dragging doom kind of version of The Cure's Cold. Since I am on a huge industrial binge I will mess around with that genre some time soon!
you seem to play alone. you need to play with a band, or at least with other people. thats it. that will renew the whole thing.
Hmm, well, guess I will work on using alternate tunings more, especially since I recently used half step down and loved it(also the only alternate tuning I know how to use).

Probably will start learning more classical music, since I have always loved classical music.

Would love to one day play with other musicians, but in the past it hasn't really worked out for me. I did almost get into a band in my area when they asked me to join early last year, but at the time I was busy with school and youth group. Then the youth group tried to form a band, with me as the lead guitarist, but it didn't work out because the band couldn't just decide on a name and get that they didn't need a drummer to be a good band.. especially since it was just a worship band.

If I still have a lack of inspiration I will most likely take a break from guitar and try other instruments, would love to learn the cajon drum or at least the basics of the cello(think my violin teacher said she teaches the basics of cello, if not my mom knows someone who knows a professional cellist).
Maybe you have the wrong guitar or other gear.

The sound was cool or the effect or the guitar but now something is wrong. It could be any tiny detail that just makes the desire to pick it up go away.

I have just had the 18th birth day of my favorite guitar and the love is still there since the very first day we meet. We left that music store together.

Quote by matthewzguitarz
Hmm, well, guess I will work on using alternate tunings more, especially since I recently used half step down and loved it(also the only alternate tuning I know how to use).

Probably will start learning more classical music, since I have always loved classical music...

Some of my fav alt tunings are half step down (makes it so much looser & easier to play, and sounds richer), open C maj (CGCGCe), and a couple of D tunings (DADGAd and DADEAd). There are plenty more on the net.

I learnt classical initially, it gave me the basis to branch out into a wide range of styles, it gave me a good overall understanding of music as well.

You don't have to be in a proper band per se, but every now and then hand out with other musos and have a jam. I have a few people I jam with, I guess we are a 'band' in one sense but it's nothing official, and it's irregular. So don't be too focused on the whole 'we need an awesome name before we can be good and we need Eddie van Halen in the band so we sound good so we don't have to bother learning our instruments/the songs'.

Don't worry this lack of inspiration will pass
Last edited by mind_meld at Nov 22, 2014,
I've lost motivation a couple of times, I guess everyone goes though that. The most important thing is not to stress it. I've spent as much as 1 year off then I came back really motivated and in a small amount of time got better than I was before.

Maybe you're going though something in your life that is hard to deal with. Frustration from something else can easily block your mind.

For me creativity is a sensible thing, if something in my life is wrong, it's the first thing to disappear. Try looking at the bigger picture and don't stress the fact that your mind goes blank... It will eventually come back.

Most importantly, try setting small goals. Little by little you can accomplish something huge. Breaking progression in smaller chunks and rewarding yourself as you go helps a lot. Keep on putting the effort man, we're all here for you. A small break isn't giving up, sometimes we just need time to get back on our feet.
Last edited by cerealk at Nov 23, 2014,
Less is more. It's such a hard thing to grasp. The struggle is real. The best players make the "simple" stuff seem godly. Most people don't spend enough time on the basics and think they're much more polished than what they truly are... Very much myself included.