#1
I've been playing guitar for over five years now and I've been quite serious about it. Sometimes I even feel like I'm a pretty good guitarist and a musician.

Right now I just feel like I can't play at all. it feels like I can't even play simple riffs like back in black, sweet child o' mine and smells like teen spirit properly, everything sounding very unfinished, careless and crude. You know, I play all the notes, but it still sounds wrong: And I am not a beginner , I can play stuff by Guthrie Govan and BTBAM pretty well, except right now everything sounds like crap.

I've been away for a month and today I played guitar properly for the first time since, and usually I feel better after a break. Now I feel like I'm a beginner again, having no control and feel in my playing.

Is this something that has happened to someone else too? I mean, I really struggled with the intro of sweet child o' mine, and I thought that I was good enough to play it three years ago. Is it possible to just have a phase when it feels that you physically can't play guitar as well as you should? I might try to shoot a vid and see what people think of my technique, but I can't do that right now. Maybe I just can't criticize myself properly.
#2
I have "On," days and "Off," days. My off days are when I revert back to the blues. It gets me going. Three chord basic blues. Been playing since 1987.
#3
It happens. I've been playing for 7 years and went felt uninterested for a whole year. My technique sucked when I picked it up again. What really rekindle my love for guitar is R&B music. You just gotta find something new to play. The same things gets boring after a while. And it's nice to mess around with things you barely play because everything seems a whole lot newer.
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#4
Are you sure your'e not in a depression? Could make every thing around you sound. feel, taste, shitty.
#5
This happens to a lot of people.

You probably haven't got worse at guitar or anything, you have probably improved your ears (from learning a musical instrument) to the point that you can hear mistakes in your playing that you couldn't hear a few years ago.

You'll probably also need a couple of days to get back to where you were, especially for picking licks. From what I remember (I could be completely wrong here since I've never learn the song) the lick you are talking about is string skipped and picked; this will be something that will most likely come back after playing regularly again for a week or so.

If I take a break for a while I find that I'm playing "shit" and sound "bad" for a while until I get back into it. That and you could very easily just be having a bad day.

Don't worry though, you'll be playing better than ever before you know it.
#6
Yeah, probably. I just hope that it blows over in less than a year Maybe I'll learn to play some SRV, I listened to a few songs and it's pretty cool. I'll probably still try to record myself and see if I could improve on anything.

One thing that I did think about it that this time of the year in Finland it's getting really cold. Right now, playing on my computer, my fingers are freezing. It might actually be a huge factor.
#8
Sometimes you need to take time out of learning songs and focus on your self and the guitar . I spend many hours learning to play guitar rather than copying a song and My playing has improved greatly, by learning - scales, fast alt picking , Improvising .
#9
We are different every day and this gets reflected in our playing. Two weeks ago I was on fire and solos were monstrous. Last week not so much. Milktoast and uninspired. Stuff happens.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#10
Quote by Cajundaddy
Stuff happens.


This probably sums everything up. I rarely feel this bad about my skill, but well, stuff happens.

And I rarely learn songs as in stare at tabs and mimic it. I mostly learn by ear or jam to a track, and I spend a lot of time in metronome practice and rhythm. Things should be all right on that end.
#11
Been playing 20 years and yes this happens sometimes,Specially after a break.You keep your knowledge but for some reason your fingers won't do what they're told.After a few days to a week of practice you'll be back on form.One thing,Try not to get down about it,Just jump back in and try to feel some excitement that you are back in the saddle and playing again.Think of all the reasons you love playing the guitar.Enthusiasm plays a huge role.
#12
I'm having the same problem. I'm missing notes and my timing and dynamics are off. Everything just sounds "off".

Does anyone else here notice they play better when they're playing with a drummer? Or notice a difference between sitting down and standing up?
#13
I think the "I feel like a noob" thing, is one part being stuck in a rut, and the other part is not being able to play anywhere near the level you wish you could.

Since I'm in my mid 60's, maybe my memory will start to fail a bit. Then possibly I'll forget I"m not a noob, and it won't matter how bad I stink up the place. I'll have nothing to compare today's playing with, and it's often said, "ignorance is bliss!
#14
Quote by guitar/bass95
Yeah, probably. I just hope that it blows over in less than a year Maybe I'll learn to play some SRV, I listened to a few songs and it's pretty cool. I'll probably still try to record myself and see if I could improve on anything.

One thing that I did think about it that this time of the year in Finland it's getting really cold. Right now, playing on my computer, my fingers are freezing. It might actually be a huge factor.


I think dabbling in another genre is an excellent idea. Sometimes this gives you something new to learn and learning breeds a positive attitude. I'm getting a new guitar in a couple weeks for the sole purpose of breaking out of strictly metal playing and focusing on some blues and rock, even jazz at some point. (I'm still keeping my V and 6505 rig though...).

I can relate to your "cold hands" situation though, and that actually might be a factor in your inability to play as you should. I live in the northwestern U.S. and we've already had -20* F temperatures. Just going to and from work, sometimes my hands will get chilled; get home and the house is cold (can't afford to heat it all day when I'm gone) and there's just no point to playing guitar because my hands and fingers can't move properly.
Last edited by KailM at Dec 15, 2014,
#15
Thanks for all the ideas and input guys, I appreciate it. By the way, I am getting an acoustic guitar for a Christmas present, so that will definitely open new grounds for me.

I also found out that learning something way too complex (=animals as leaders) kind of makes you concentrate really hard and keeps your mind occupied. Even though I play it really slow, it's challenging enough to keep me really interested.
#16
It's a natural part of progress and something you should welcome.

What happens is not usually that you get worse at playing something you could play well before, but your perception kind of 'zooms in' so you'll be able to pick out things you couldn't before. Just like you are no longer as easily impressed by other players as you were when you started out, it takes more to impress yourself with your own playing. When you know something well you'll be able to sort out details you couldn't see before. It's true for everything.

Experienced musicians put a lot less weight on someones idea of 'being able to play x', as they know it means so different things to different people. You've probably had people tell you they can play something, and when you hear them play you think it sounds awful and nothing like the original - the point here is that they actually can't hear the difference. And if they can't do that, they can't get better.

To reach the next level in your playing and understanding of music, you have to practice until you think your playing sounds good again.
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#17
Quote by HomerSGR
It's a natural part of progress and something you should welcome.

What happens is not usually that you get worse at playing something you could play well before, but your perception kind of 'zooms in' so you'll be able to pick out things you couldn't before. Just like you are no longer as easily impressed by other players as you were when you started out, it takes more to impress yourself with your own playing. When you know something well you'll be able to sort out details you couldn't see before. It's true for everything.

Experienced musicians put a lot less weight on someones idea of 'being able to play x', as they know it means so different things to different people. You've probably had people tell you they can play something, and when you hear them play you think it sounds awful and nothing like the original - the point here is that they actually can't hear the difference. And if they can't do that, they can't get better.

To reach the next level in your playing and understanding of music, you have to practice until you think your playing sounds good again.



There's a lot of wisdom in this post. 1+
#18
Quote by HomerSGR
It's a natural part of progress and something you should welcome.

What happens is not usually that you get worse at playing something you could play well before, but your perception kind of 'zooms in' so you'll be able to pick out things you couldn't before. Just like you are no longer as easily impressed by other players as you were when you started out, it takes more to impress yourself with your own playing. When you know something well you'll be able to sort out details you couldn't see before. It's true for everything.

Experienced musicians put a lot less weight on someones idea of 'being able to play x', as they know it means so different things to different people. You've probably had people tell you they can play something, and when you hear them play you think it sounds awful and nothing like the original - the point here is that they actually can't hear the difference. And if they can't do that, they can't get better.

To reach the next level in your playing and understanding of music, you have to practice until you think your playing sounds good again.
Very true.Good post here.
#19
Quote by guitar/bass95
I also found out that learning something way too complex (=animals as leaders) kind of makes you concentrate really hard and keeps your mind occupied. Even though I play it really slow, it's challenging enough to keep me really interested.


That's good, just make sure you don't get discouraged when you spend ages learning AAL and are still not up to speed. As long as you are actively improving your technique you will get faster at seemingly random times when your brain has put together everything you've been practicing.

When you do get AAL to speed though, it'll be so satisfying especially if it's taken you months or even years to get there.
#20
I've been in such a rut/down on guitar for so long now i'm about 2 seconds from making a Scott Stapp video and start talking about being "under some sorta vicious attack."

Glad i could help...
Last edited by drop1337 at Dec 23, 2014,
#21
When I get discouraged I just listen to more music lol. Find certain songs or solos that really inspire me and put things in a different light.
#22
I do from time to time. I really struggle learning songs with fast pedal tone riffs like Bark at the moon and my confidence drops. But I get it back up by playing other styles and songs and I realise that I just have to keep trying to play and learn songs with those pedal tones to get more comfortable.
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#23
Most of my off days coincide with tense days and a
feeling of not being able to relax when playing that's
when its starts sounding crappy . Also the more I play now
the more aware I become of my shortcomings listening to myself
and a lot more critical of my playing , my amp set up and the whole
feeling of how its sounding when once upon a time I was just happy
to make a loud noise vaguely sounding like the number I was trying to sound like
its down to practice ,more practice and focusing on where Im going and honestly
evaluating my playing oh yeah and enjoying it through thick and thin

Happy Christmas everyone and a happy new year don't forget to BOOGIE !!!!
#24
Probably better ears. I started at age 6 and I'm 16 now. I hear a lot of people playing guitar in school and everyone complements them on how good it sounds, but to me it sounds like crap. Your standards are now higher than they were before. As a beginner anything that's even slightly in tune makes you feel like a guitar god lol

2 years ago I took up fingerstyle, a few months later I purchased a Martin DX1. Little did I know I am much more suited to fingerstyle than a pick, and if you look at a lot of good musicians they are the same way. It allows you to "feel" the music a bit more imo.

I felt the same way that I couldn't get anything to sound good, and once you really get fingerstyle down it gives you much more control, being there is no object in between you and the strings. I do a lot of the percussive stuff that musicians like Sungha Jung does and it sounds really cool.

TLDR: I think you need to switch it up. Try fingerstyle, blues, etc. Just switch it up a bit.