#1
I recently got bored by playing guitar ( yeah I know how ridiculous it sounds ). I simply have no ideas what to play, when playing with a backing track I either have no idea how to start a phrase at all or I just keep playing the same ideas over and over. I can never find a good genre for me, backing tracks are always either too heavy or too ballady. I prefer ballad-like hard rock stuff, some harder blues and stuff like early van halen. Is there a thing I could do to get ideas and to make me not wanna sell my guitar, and to have fun from playing again?
#2
Youtube has about any backing track you can imagine. Find one you like and jam out, or learn a new song that you like. Buying new gear always makes me play way more too haha
#3
You could get a program like Audacity or something (it's free) and record your own guitar backing to play over. For me that's really fun.

You could try some new tunings to mess around with...probably a pretty temporary solution but they can be fun.

My other ideas might not be as fun but you could condider:

You could try out something brand new to you...like google Best Jazz, Best Fingerstyle...something that you wouldn't normally listen to and spend some time with some new types of sounds and then try to lean some of that if anything grabs you that you wouldn't have expected. Also along with that could be to look at what different instruments play and try recreating them on guitar.

You say that you always play the same stuff over and over so you could consciously try to do things different. If you always start off in the same place mix it up. If you usually do solos high up the neck try to play some leads on the first few frets. The same patterns are still there but it feels different and sometimes that enough to give you different ideas.

If you usually use the same scale shapes all the time, try to not use them at all...like instead of playing over E based around the 12th fret play over E at the 6th fret (or 3rd fret, easier) Then your fingers won't fit into the patterns the same ways you are used to.

Give yourself limitations so stop you from doing what you normally do. Tell yourself, no bends and only do slides or only give yourself 2 strings to work with. Only use 2 or three notes and try to make it interesting by using phrasing.

If you don't often skip strings try to incorporate that, it makes things a lot different.

Listen to chords for a while and try to come up with a melody out loud or in your head and then play it on the guitar.

Plus if you're burned out on it, you could always take a break for a bit (days or weeks) and come back to it refreshed.
#4
I will spend some time listening to POP and I will sure get more ideas hahahah. Seriosuly, gonna try that! Well yeah, I sometimes hear a cool thing in radio and then when I try repeating it on guitar it just makes me wanna play more of it. And yeah, whenever i buy something new I spend like 5 hours straight just playing :P
#5
Everyone here has quite a few different ideas that are great.

Try working on recording your own backing tracks, learn songs that you like (and practice to the song or a Guitar Pro tab version of it), take phrase ideas from your favorite songs or songs from different genres, push yourself to your limits and past them.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#6
Here's an idea.Go old school and ditch the backing tracks for a while.That's what i've done now.Using your foot and your brain and in built timing.Think of grooves.Play chords and single note stuff.It will get you out of your rut and you won't have to rely on backing track whenever you pick up the guitar.Looper pedals are also cool.Atleast you're putting your own chords and grooves down.

Also.Start looking at each chord almost as a brand new key.Figure out different options for each chord and play the changes.Cool melodic stuff can come out of playing that way.Don't just blast over the root key all the way through.
Last edited by EyeballPaul at Mar 18, 2016,
#7
You're in a rut. We've all been there.

Besides the above-mentioned suggestions, there are other things you can do. Try playing things you're familiar with in unfamiliar ways. Here are a few to try:

1) If you read sheet music or tab, find a song you know and literally learn it backwards. If you read sheet, turn the page upside down, and learn it THAT way. In either case, the familiar becomes VERY unfamiliar.

2) Try playing stuff with different time signatures. I was discussing the jazz standard, "Take Five", (which is written in 5/4) with a jazz pianist I know named Jim while he was sitting at my Mom's baby grand. He started playing the song as we talked. I mentioned that I had heard a light jazz performance of it in 4/4, and that it just lost some of its character. Jim started playing it in 4/4...and was visibly not pleased. I then said that if that guy had REALLY wanted to do something different, he should have played it in a more interesting time signature, "like 3/4"

...so Jim played it in 3/4...

"...or 6/4"

...so Jim played it in 6/4...

"...or 7/4."

...so- after a slight pause- Jim played it in 7/4.

In each case, even in the watered down and uninteresting 4/4 version, "Take Five" sounded and felt different from its original form.

3) Try playing stuff you know in different genres, or songs from other genres into your favored styles. Reimagine Van Halen's "Dirty Movies" with a salsa beat. Or Jay Z's "99 Problems" as a ZZ Top tune. It worked for Aerosmith covering Run DMC, and history has repeated itself often. Rodrigo y Gabriella often do Latin versions of metal songs, and Alex Skolnick covers some metal- including his own songs from Testament- with his jazz trio. Very recently, DJ DMD's "25 Lighters"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfcNMQpXhMc&sns=em

Became ZZ Top's "I Gotsta Get Paid"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaIZWjItReI&sns=em

4) Try learning your faves in different tunings, the more different, the better. A few years ago, I took a stab at learning The Scorpions' "Rock You Like A Hurricane" in New Standard Tuning, which is CGDAEG. I didn't get the whole song down, but I really enjoyed the process.

5) Try creating some mash-ups. I'm currently trying to combine Yngwie Malmsteen's "I am a Viking" with Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries", with gear and settings dialed in for surf guitar.

6) Try learning song parts for the vocals or keyboards instead of or in addition to the guitar parts.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 18, 2016,
#8
Hello, I'm a new member here, nice to make your acquaintance. It might sound like a cheeky comment but I guarantee you that I'm fully committed to the thing I'm about to say lol.
Find a guitar instructor who has done session works. I was in a similar situation as you a number of years back both musically and emotionally for a good 2 years before I started taking lesson from a few professionals. Among other things, they helped opening up the world of guitar playing for me like I've never known before.

One example, before taking lessons with them, I was a arrogant brat who thought he could shred over any backing tracks. Boy was I wrong. My instructors showed me that over any given chord, there are multiple scales you can use that would invoke different musical colors. Then they show me how to utilize these scales in a musical ways and responsive to my emotions. It's literally like going from watching things in black and white to painting in colors. That's just one of the many things that I learned. I wish now that I have taken lessons sooner and not wasted those precious years but the past is the past.
#9
Good point. An instructor or even an unpaid but skilled & dedicated mentor can help you simply by presenting challenges.

Steve Vai has often talked about how Joe Satriani- his teacher (despite being only 4 years older)- stopped him cold during a lesson for being unprepared. Sent him home. Vai cites this as one of the most important moments in his career.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
Get Rocksmith! Sure it'll cost you 60$ and it takes a while to get used to, but it really is a great way to stay motivated. You can jam, learn songs, play arcade games or do lessons, and if you get unmotivated to actually play, dick around in the tone designer and create a great tone that gets you motivated again.
The game also gives you challenges, like learn this song to 90% or get to the next skill level in this arcade game and stuff like that. And it automatically increases difficulty as you play better so the songs get increasingly harder, until you're playing excactly like the original. I've spent 85 hours in the game and it's still fun as ever.
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#11
Quote by dannyalcatraz
*Great information*


Funny that you mention Take Five. My teacher and I are going over that, and over the next couple weeks since he'll be away, he wants me to begin soloing over it.

You know what always amazed me? Rearranging songs into different time signatures (like playing Take Five in 4/4 instead of 5/4). How would you even begin to do something like that?
Skip the username, call me Billy
#12
I try a lot of backing tracks every day and even if I like one, I simply can`t squeeze anything out of my fingers. Always sounds like pointless noodling. I wrote a very cool metal riff which I really like but I can`t even start a solo for it....
#13
If you want to be a pro. You need to bit the bullet and keep on going.
If you don't, take a break. Stop thinking about guitar, do other things.
After a while, believe me, you'll want to play again.
Oh, don't sell your guitar yet.
#14
I'll tell you one thing which you should try that I don't think others have mentioned.
Is to start playing and jamming with other people! Maybe a drummer, a bassist or another guitarist.

I'll guarantee you'll learn so much from playing with other musicians. They will push you to be a better guitarist whilst having fun.
#15
Quote by ArturPr
I try a lot of backing tracks every day and even if I like one, I simply can`t squeeze anything out of my fingers. Always sounds like pointless noodling. I wrote a very cool metal riff which I really like but I can`t even start a solo for it....

There are 2 things I can think of for why you having problem soloing over your own riffs.

1) You might be trying to play pentatonic (consciously or unconsciously) over a riff in phrygian dominant or vice versa. These are 2 distinct sounds in metal and thus your solo might seem "out of place" from the backing riff if you are not well acquainted with the difference between 2 sounds.

2) You might have done alot learning scales and licks, but you haven't done enough transcription, which is studying an entire solo by a artist you like. Licks and scales are great in enriching your vocabulary but they don't help you with phrasing, which is essential in crafting a solo. It's like learning a language. Learning words is essential but not enough. You have to learn how to put them together to communicate ideas and emotions.
#16
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Steve Vai has often talked about how Joe Satriani- his teacher (despite being only 4 years older)- stopped him cold during a lesson for being unprepared. Sent him home. Vai cites this as one of the most important moments in his career.

Wow didn't know that. Saw Vai and his son at NAMM not too long ago. Really down to earth. Thanks for sharing. Interestingly, Joe talked about his own instructor who helped guiding him in a masterclass video. Here's the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXk4gxcjVr8
Last edited by donfully at Mar 20, 2016,
#17
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#18
Quote by aerosmithfan95
Funny that you mention Take Five. My teacher and I are going over that, and over the next couple weeks since he'll be away, he wants me to begin soloing over it.


It's a great tune. Timeless.

You know what always amazed me? Rearranging songs into different time signatures (like playing Take Five in 4/4 instead of 5/4). How would you even begin to do something like that?

You REALLY have to know your stuff. Not only will you be moving notes & rests around to fit on the page, when you play the reworked version, you'll be fighting the original's rhythm in your head. Lose focus, and the next thing you know is you're playing the original version again. Disaster if you're performing live as part of a combo.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#19
I can wait to get to the point were I'm good enough to be bored, then instead of copy and pasting I'll make my own.
Flying in a blue dream
#20
Quote by SanDune65
I can wait to get to the point were I'm good enough to be bored, then instead of copy and pasting I'll make my own.


My rule is: you can`t be good enough. You can always be better. I really recommend learning theory so you can easily write your own riffs and know how to solo over them.

I got out of that rut. I experimented with various new things and my guitar teacher suggested some sorta classic rock dorian riff, with complicated rhythm. I loved it! It`s great when you play something that YOU made, and that sounds cool. When this happens, I feel warm, my fingers get loose, and my blood vessels get really huge . Then I can play fast, slow, string skipping, but no sweeps ( I hate sweeps ). I wish I could always be in that state, that`s when all of my cool ideas are born.