Page 1 of 2
#1
What motivates musicians today? Being recognized as an excellent musician? Being rich and famous? A job at a music company doing whatever? Just beingable to play with some mates? Gigging? Making progress using the tools of the trade (better theory)? What else?

Equally, what demotivates now?

For me, my original motivation was just being able to play guitar, then wanting to play tunes and/or write with others, and gig a lot. Later, getting a record deal (which happened with EMI records eventually ... just for a compilation album ... 75,000 copies sold, I wrote one of the tracks, and I made £15 !. Shrewd eh!).

Then in my thirties, a desire to really try and understand the tools for improvisation and composition, and just the ongoing personal challenge for improvement as a musician. I was actually given a chance for the rich and famous bit, but I turned it down in favour of family. That was a good decision for me. Nowadays, still want to improve, write more etc, but have physical hand problems from injuries ... so I am also motivated by trying to help newbies get to grips with these same tools.

Demotivation ... very little, though getting taken for a ride on the money made for the album was a pain. Even hand and arm injury motivated me to learn more via visualisation, and reinforce my theory, while I couldn't play.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Aug 11, 2016,
#2
For me it's partly because I like playing and making music, partly because it's my profession, and partly because I don't have anything better to do anyway.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#5
jerrykramskoy I wan't to just improve overall. I'd like one day to be able to pass some knowledge to someone else about playing guitar. One day, I also wish to write a decent song, which is liked perhaps even ten people or more!!

I'm demotivated by making very slow progress and the fact that I don't have to do any learning for anyone else but me (no guitar homework or band mates to impress, etc.). Some day I'll get myself a guitar teacher.
#6
Tim_Rock
Thanks Tim ... appreciate the response. Yes, playing alone is a lonely business, and nowhere near as much fun. Really important to learn/play with others (idealy better than yourself). How important would you rank the ability to learn the tools of improvisation (be that scale choice, melodic choice, rhythmic choice)? What would encourage you more to do this? Or discourage you here?
#7
Well, I'm studying music pedagogy at university and I'm going to become a music theory teacher. I just find the courses interesting and I enjoy learning new things about music. And of course teaching music theory is something I like. Seeing the kids learn new things motivates me and some of them are genuinely interested in learning about music so that also motivates me. Some of them couldn't care less about music theory, though, and sometimes that's annoying, but I understand that not everybody will be interested in what I teach. Luckily most of the kids in the classes I have taught have mostly been willing to learn, and when most people in the class are like that, it also kind of motivates the less motivated kids and they don't cause much trouble.

When it comes to playing instruments, I don't practice playing the guitar or bass (or drums or piano) that much. I just play them when I feel like it (sometimes that means every day, sometimes that means taking some days/a week or two off), but I wouldn't call that practicing. Jamming with my friends and writing music is what motivates me to play those instruments, and sometimes I just feel inspired and want to learn something new on them or just play what I hear in my head. Most of what I play on guitar/bass/drums/piano is just "noodling around", and whether or not I'm motivated depends on the day.

My main instrument is trumpet and I practice regularly. What keeps me motivated is the fact that I need to be at a certain level in the end of my studies and right now I'm kind of relearning some of the technique. Whenever I make progress, it feels great, but there are days when I feel down because of my lack of technique that I once had. Some days I have even thought of quitting because of that, and especially in the beginning it was really depressing (losing all the technique that you once had and kind of having to start from the beginning again). Pretty recently I have started finding the high notes again and my sound quality has improved a lot so it's getting better. And I still have two years left in my studies so getting at the required level doesn't feel impossible any more. I'm clearly making progress and that motivates me.
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
#8
Quote by jerrykramskoy
theogonia777

Hi Kristen, Didn't know you were professional musician. What you up to there?


Rules of Working in the Music Industry:

1. Never talk to anyone about who you are working with until the album drops.
2. Never tell anyone that you did the album until it hits platinum or wins a Grammy.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#9
jerrykramskoy
How important would you rank the ability to learn the tools of improvisation (be that scale choice, melodic choice, rhythmic choice)? What would encourage you more to do this? Or discourage you here?


Ideally guitar would be an extension of me and I'd love to express my feelings in real time. I appreciate every tools that can get me closer to that, or motivates and gives direction when I'm stuck when it comes to making progress. I usually get motivated once I see something new that I feel is giving me new chops for improvisation. I'm not very versatile and new ideas are only a good thing.
#10
I like this thread. I have been playing for 40+ years. My original motivation was to be in a band and perform live. At that early point I played a few chords on an old acoustic guitar. I would have become a drummer, a bass player or keyboard player if that is what it took to get in a band. I was also singing with some friends at the time and learning how to do harmony (by ear, we didn't know any theory about harmony). Playing guitar for me didn't start out as a burning passion (it became that), it was the vehicle to accompany the singing and get into a band.

Right from the very earliest days I hustled a lot and bands I was in always got gigs on a regular basis. Eventually I tried a number of years as a full time professional. I toured with a band that had recorded an album for Casablanca Records that was never released (the album was crushed in the 1981 sale of Casablanca to Mercury/Polygram). I worked full time doing any kind playing that paid so I could pay my bills. I learned the realities of playing full time and lost many of my "teen dreams". I have continued playing and recording on my own terms and am OK with the way things turned out. I have played and traveled with some excellent musicians who I learned a great deal from and I have played and traveled with some terrible musicians (who just wasted everyone's time). I learned that no matter how well a person plays, if they are a pain in the ass and have before you do a road trip issues they will show up multiplied by ten when you are on the road with them. No regrets. I got my turn up a bat which is all you can ask for.

I am now in my 60's and still doing gigs pretty much every weekend and still love playing. Guitar is still my main instrument (but I am competent on bass and keyboards). For me it is still very much about performing to an audience and being a part in creating vocal harmonies.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Aug 12, 2016,
#13
MaggaraMarine Thanks MM. No idea you are a trumpet player. What age you teaching to? I am same as you as far as playing when I feel like (which at the moment is a lot, though I can't bring myself back to practising technique for now ... which I need badly to do, due to injuries). Right now, working mainly on melodic improvement, but also up to my ears doing two jobs, one of which is working on music software.
#15
Getting laid obviously, the main motivation for pretty much everything we do
#16
That is probably a part of the initial motivation for me I'm sure. That could be why I was always motivated to get out and play gigs and not just jam with friends or sit in my bedroom practicing. It probably was an important factor.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#17
Quote by jerrykramskoy
MaggaraMarine Thanks MM. No idea you are a trumpet player. What age you teaching to? I am same as you as far as playing when I feel like (which at the moment is a lot, though I can't bring myself back to practising technique for now ... which I need badly to do, due to injuries). Right now, working mainly on melodic improvement, but also up to my ears doing two jobs, one of which is working on music software.

I'm a multi-instrumentalist, but trumpet is my main instrument.

The teaching I have done is part of my studies. Two years ago (when my studies started) I taught music theory classes 1 and 2.1 (the kids were 9-12 years old) and last year I taught classes 3 and 4.2 (12-15 y/o). Those were all basic level theory classes. This year I'm going to teach class 5 that is intermediate level and the kids will be 14+ years old. (The basic level is classes 1-4, both 2 and 4 last two years. The intermediate level is classes 5-7. Oh, and if you start playing an instrument when you are a bit older, let's say 12+ y/o, the basic level theory only lasts two years.) I'm sure it will be a bit different because many kids quit after they have completed the basic level. Those who continue to the intermediate level will be more motivated so they may be easier to teach in that sense. And of course it's also fun to get a bit more in depth with the theoretic stuff. This year they will learn about modes.
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 Aug 12, 2016,
#18
My main instrument is guitar but I also play drums and a bit of piano.

My goal is to join a band, I was in a band but the singer quit and was lazy. Its hard to find hard working musicians that are my age. All of them just want to show off and get girls from it. Also they have no idea how to create songs. I will create a good melody but they don't know how to bulild upon it and improve it.
I don't want do be a shredder guitarist that shows off and wants all the attention. Even though I enjoy playing that i know lots of non musicians don't and I don't like listening to it for 2 hours straight. Instead I want to help support the song and make it sound better, even if that means I don't play anything.
Lots of young and old musicians can't understand this, I didn't for a long time.

I guess this all personal preference but this is how I feel.

I'm not doing this to get famous if I did it would be great but am just doing it to create some professional sounding songs with other musicians and make an album.
🍗🎹🎶🎼🎧🎤🎮👾🎸🎨🎷⚽️🎱🏁🎺🎻🍮🍰🍪📱👻🐔🐣🐥🐤🐽🐷💀👽💩💸🚽👻
Last edited by Guitar137335 at Aug 12, 2016,
#19
The main motivator for me is the "high" I get from practicing, jamming and performing. I find the best way to stay motivated is to play alot- because the more you play, the better you get and the more fun you have.

Once you reach a certain point it's so addictive.

When I was in high school many people played and there was a lot of social reinforcement surrounding music. What I've noticed is that over time music plays less and less of a roll in most people's lives and a lot of people give it up and cease exploring new music ( this starts when you friends hit their late 20's). The key to staying motivated is surrounding yourself with musicians socially- play in a band, be a part of your local scene, hit the forums, record, learn etc. Stay connected and keep playing!
#20
Good question.

At first it was just peer pressure, my mate did it, so I did. Then it was chick magnet at uni, after that it was nearly all about personal challenges. I have gigged, but I have never had any strong interest in performance, entertaining others or even jamming. A lot of the challenge is about technicalities - for example, I don't particularly want to play "Blackwaterside", but I would dearly love to have Bert Jansch's playing skills as displayed in that piece.

Over the past 20 years or so I've also become interested in guitar electronics, and general repair and maintenance of both acoustics and electrics.

I'm not as strongly motivated now that I am retired as I was a few years ago, but I still enjoy wasting a lot of time on these fora. A lot of talk and very little action these days.
#21
My motivation in the beginning was a combination of self-expression, and joining my schoolfriends in their band (whih I did a few months after starting learning). I.e., a mix of personal and social reasons. Not so much purely musical ones: I loved certain kinds of pop and rock music, but didn't really understand it.
The next motivation was to play in public. (I remember one of our band actually left before our first gig because he didn't want to play in public, he just wanted it as a private jamming thing - I found that really hard to understand. Oddly, he's the only one of us who went on to a successful professional career. I suspect with hindsight we just embarrassed him at that time...)
I spent the next few years honing my skills, still doing small gigs in folk clubs etc. Too arrogant to take lessons - how could anyone else teach me how I wanted to play?
Then the real big thing came in my first rock'n'roll band, where I saw people dancing to us. That was a powerful hit. I felt that was really what the whole thing was all about: not chin-stroking appreciation of one's technical skills, but giving everyone a party. It felt primal and important, like a connection with the age-old purpose of music. People clapping my ragtime guitar playing was all very well (ego-stroking), but this was something bigger and deeper - not about "me", but about "us" (which includes "them").

Live performance is still what it's all about for me. I'm now "professional", in that I make a living (of sorts) from teaching music (very little from gigging). But it still feels like the money at the end of a gig is almost a surprise, a nice extra. A "good gig" is not one that pays well - nor even one where the band play well - it's one that the audience enjoys. Because if they don't there's no point.
#22
Quote by Tony Done
A lot of the challenge is about technicalities - for example, I don't particularly want to play "Blackwaterside", but I would dearly love to have Bert Jansch's playing skills as displayed in that piece.
Speaking as someone who can play Blackwaterside, the way to get the skills required is - er - to learn to play it (or things like it). When I began playing (1965-66), Bert Jansch was my main hero. I borrowed a 2-speed tape deck and transcribed most of his debut album. Note by note, bar by bar, I learned Angie (not too hard) and all the rest. It took me a while to get to Blackwaterside (I didn't like it first time I heard it), but the same principle applies: a 1,000 mile journey begins with a single step. You just need the patience, and to be able to enjoy the journey.
(In the last few years, I've got back into Jansch more extensively, transcribing more tunes, and have the same experience: what seems impossible at first listen - is that really only one guitar?? - becomes accessible the closer you look, the slower you take it: building up from the basics.)

There are far harder guitar pieces out there than Blackwaterside, believe me... (and I don't mean more Bert Jansch tunes, although many of his are harder). The technical challenges presented by Jansch's work is a mountain to climb, for sure, but it's only a fairly medium-sized mountain in a whole snow-capped range... As long as you enjoy mountaineering, it's not what I'd call difficult. Just time-consuming...

Of course, we differ, in that technical challenge is not the point for me. Entertaining an audience is the main thing for me. I often find myself performing music I wouldn't choose to listen to myself - and enjoying it. I don't find anything wrong with "crowd-pleasers", even the worst old cliches. For me, there's no such thing as "bad music" - only music that is badly played (badly enough for everyone to notice).
Privately, yes, I confront technical challenges, but only as a means to an end. I want to be able to play a specific tune - and the technical challenges required are simply an irritating hurdle to get over, obstacles in the way of the goal. Once the techniques have been mastered, once you can play the piece flawlessly - that's when you start actually making music. That's the beginning of the best part of the journey for me, not the end. (And I still recognise that it's not worth a whole lot if the audience don't get it. Still worth something, not wasted time, but relatively trivial.)
Last edited by jongtr at Aug 14, 2016,
#23
My motivation for playing isn't really something I've given too much thought. Though it isn't for any one particular reason.

I don't know. May as well ask me why anybody in life enjoys anything. I could just say that I want to be a better musician, but that merely begs the question for why I want to be a better musician. It's just what I do. It's because being a guitarist was the medium I chose for expressing who I am.

I've never felt the need to question my motivations because at no point did I ever doubt how much I wanted to be a guitar player. I knew pretty much the second I picked one up and I can look to the prospect of being a guitar player for the rest of my life now and consider that a great achievement.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Aug 14, 2016,
#24
I just love music, composing and playing and it's probably what I'm best at, so I will continue to do it.

What discourages me is lack of progress, although recently I've learned that with enough repetition I can tackle even some harder tunes. The bad thing is that I'm quite lazy person.
Aside from that - my shitty, shitty guitars, I hate them, I want to smash them into pieces, burn them and take piss on their ashes. I cant afford something better right now. At least I have decent electric piano.
#25
jongtr I too think that music is for the listeners as much as the players.

toodeepblue That's as good an answer as any. But are you motivated to keep learning new music (be that tunes or concepts), to broaden your musical scope, or stay with what you have and are enjoying currently?

Gameskate I've had my fair share of planks until I could afford better, with actions that limbo dancers would use to warm up on.

Thank you all for taking the time to put your thoughts down.

The one clear thing in common is a genuine love of music and the guitar, and even this very small sample of thoughts shows how diverse we all are with our reasons. It also seems to be pretty common that we want to improve, stretch ourselves, keep learning.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Aug 14, 2016,
#26
For me it's just a personal love of timbre, and I guess habit. I don't like attention and I don't really care about the money. I'm not making much money or expecting to make much from music in the future, but I'm happy if my music is able to affect anyone who might listen. It can be either positive or negative.
Last edited by GoldenGuitar at Aug 14, 2016,
#27
GoldenGuitarThanks GG ... I made enough to buy a boat ... it sank in the bath the other day. Heyho. But I reckon there are lots of folk that just love playing, don't care about becoming pro-guitarists, and are happy gradually improving as new tunes inspire them.
#28
It has changed a lot during the years.
In the beginning, being recognized as a good guitarist was most important thing. Didn't really matter what people thought of the music, just as long as I got positive feedback on my technique and playing.
Then, after a while I started to write my own music and I really enjoyed the feeling I got when someone said they liked my songs.
After a while I wasnt that motivated for writing anymore, so getting out and play in front of people was my main priority, and I have been gigging quite a bit with different cover bands during the last five years.
Now my priority are more back to making my own music again. Theres just something really special about doing your own thing and hopefully I will get out and play it in front of people. Even though the money is way better in a cover band.
Last edited by mrmo at Aug 14, 2016,
#29
Right now, it's to be the best player I can be. When I first joined this band I was probably the least capable guitarist in retrospect, but a year later and I'm now the only one who consistently doesn't make mistakes. The others just practiced to the point of being generally 'good' with a few tricks here and there, but I started pushing myself at the start of this year and I've really seen some results because of it.

It still motivates today, I know that I'm the better player in the band, but I can be better. What really motivates is seeing other guitarists and bands at gigs. That said, I get in a mood if the band isn't very good or the guitar player is sloppy I like to be challenged, so when we are sharing a stage with another band I want there to be that friendly competition, that can really transform a gig for me.

It relates back to when we first did a gig with another band and they went on first. Their guitarist really shook me up. He was better than me, not by leagues or anything, but he was just better. And I remember that it made me really nervous, it pushed me into making lots of mistakes. Half way through the gig I was getting really frustrated with myself. Eventually a song came up where I didn't have to play for a while and I just stood back in the shadows and had a go at myself - 'you shouldn't be making these mistakes, you shouldn't be intimidated by other guitarists'. But then I started to think that it's okay to make mistakes, it's okay to not be as good as him - so long as you go home and practice until you're better.

That really transformed the night for me, I came back and did the best I could after that. And it still motivates me today, that need to not just be good, but to be great. I'm not chasing after Petrucci or anything like that because I don't think that's the way to approach it. I want to be someone who is recognized as a strong player, and I feel I'm getting there.

I used to think I mastered guitar, it was only seeing other players and knowing I could do better that really opened my eyes to how much I had left to learn. I'd like to think I have now mastered the guitar from a technical playing perspective, but even now I'm hesitant to give myself the title of master I haven't met another guitarist that I felt has been better than me for most of the year now, I've felt like equals to those that I recognized as good players.

I also push for that one take wonder in the studio, that also seriously motivates me everyday. To get that title, to be recognized as the one that can do that. I've only managed it once so far.

I also count how many mistakes I make per gig, and how many flawless gigs I've had. One number dwarfs the other But I am known as the one who makes the least amount of mistakes, so I'm getting there.
You Dont Know Me

I have 10 Anarchy Points - I also have 8 Mythology points!

Peavey Generation EXP Custom White
Yamaha 120S Black
Korg AX5G
Digitech Whammy
Zvex Fuzz Factory
Boss OS2

Quote by mrfinkle213
This man has brains.

Quote by CoreysMonster
Banned for indirect reference.
#30
Quote by jongtr
Then the real big thing came in my first rock'n'roll band, where I saw people dancing to us. That was a powerful hit. I felt that was really what the whole thing was all about: not chin-stroking appreciation of one's technical skills, but giving everyone a party. It felt primal and important, like a connection with the age-old purpose of music. People clapping my ragtime guitar playing was all very well (ego-stroking), but this was something bigger and deeper - not about "me", but about "us" (which includes "them").

Live performance is still what it's all about for me. I'm now "professional", in that I make a living (of sorts) from teaching music (very little from gigging). But it still feels like the money at the end of a gig is almost a surprise, a nice extra. A "good gig" is not one that pays well - nor even one where the band play well - it's one that the audience enjoys. Because if they don't there's no point.


Perfect. Live performance is what it is all about for me. Jongtr expressed it so well.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Aug 14, 2016,
#31
the sheer escapism and quiet rebellion of doing something so seemingly useless

it puts everything else into perspective for me, for better or for worse
Quote by archerygenious
Jesus Christ since when is the Pit a ****ing courtroom...

Like melodic, black, death, symphonic, and/or avant-garde metal? Want to collaborate? Message me!
Last edited by vIsIbleNoIsE at Aug 14, 2016,
#32
What motivates me as a musician? The desire to continually become a more proficient guitar player, I love playing guitar, composing songs, expressing myself through music, educating myself about music...technique and gear, the enjoyment of collecting gear and the satisfaction of creating songs that people like. Music is therapy.
What demotivates. me? boredom, lack of a challenge, frustration and getting stuck in a rut.
Epiphone | Fender | Schecter | Squier | Marshall | Crate | Boss | Yamaha

◆ Solid State and Digital by choice ◆

I think I'm on the wrong planet.

"There are no haunted houses or cursed places, just haunted minds filled with dark spaces."
#33
What motivates me as a musician is this idea/goal:

One day in the future, there will be some guys jamming with their instruments. One of them is gonna bring up some of the stuff me and my band will have released, and just let it sound. They will have their mouths wide open as they start thinking about what they are hearing. They will look for our story, and they will be inspired to follow their dreams. That's what motivates me, the idea of having other guys inspired by our music. That day, I can peacefully die.

On the other hand, what demotivates is just the frustration I get whenever I get stuck on a riff or ideas for new songs won't come to my mind.
#34
Drugs... definitely drugs.
1984 Yamaha SG1000X
2006 Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty 3
2011 Fender Mustang IV
2011 Gretsch G5120 Electromatic
2014 Fender Mustang I (V.2)
2016 Gibson Custom Shop Standard Historic 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Reissue VOS
#36
Quote by jerrykramskoy

toodeepblue That's as good an answer as any. But are you motivated to keep learning new music (be that tunes or concepts), to broaden your musical scope, or stay with what you have and are enjoying currently?

I look to broadening my scope when I have the energy, yeah. The sorts of things I learn require skills which take a long time to develop, so I know I need to be patient and committed. But when I feel tired but I want to play something, I mostly play what I already know.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Aug 15, 2016,
#37
T00DEEPBLUEI know that one ... and looking back, I wonder how the hell I managed to a full-day's work, + 1 hr drive each way, + practice/gig/write/teach + go training at gym + entertain family. Much has gone by the wayside! But, stick at it, toodeepblue ... it's wonderful as the improvements come, or a new concept is understood.
#38
judas same for me.

mrmo I've been round this loop a few times too. For me, trying to get accuracy back (injuries to hand), but more, figuring out how to explain music concepts to newbies in a simple manner.

anthony1991 Perfection is so hard to achieve, but a great goal to have for oneself. Good luck.

visibleNoise Seemingly useless?? Music is massively useful to the human race! But I get your drift.

BorisNieves Here's to that becoming reality. Belief is a good start to any such journey.

Thanks to you all for sharing your thoughts.
#39
Motivation? Chicks!
Seriously when I was 12, I heard 2112 and that was it. I wanted to be Geddy. So I took 4 or 5 lessons on an acoustic and hated it. Didn't play again until late in high school, when I got a bass from a friend and for a few years played on and off. Bought a LP as well to mess around with. Well they both sat in a closet for 15 years while I was married and doing the family thing. Finally, at 42 I started playing again and got very lucky to move next door to a hell of a player. We've been jamming now for 8 years, have a drummer and a sax and am I am hoping to play my first gig ever some time in the next few months. I'm no virtuoso, but I can tell that I'm getting better all the time, and that is what it's about for me.
#40
Bass Builder That's cool to hear. Best wishes for the first gig!!
My only formal teacher when I was a kid (10 or so) was an epileptic, and had a fit on my 3rd lesson. I was out of there!! But prior to that fit,I was bored stupid with what he was teaching ... "every good boy deserved fun" ... so, so useless as a way of spurring on curiosity, or creating any motivation.
My next formal tuition I was in my early 30s ... and lucky enough to hook up with probably the best guitarist in the UK at that time, who was working at the Guitar Institute in Acton (London, UK). Now that was WAY more productive, interesting, ... (guy called Shaun Baxter)
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Aug 16, 2016,
Page 1 of 2