Page 1 of 2
#1
Hello there,

I realise this is somewhat of a *possibly* heavy topic to start with as a first post on the guitar forum =p But I desperatly need help and I'm hoping I can get some good advice here.

I'm 20 years old, have been playing guitar since I've been 15. This past year however, I've never felt the urge to pick up my guitar anymore. I currently have a Charvel model 6, a Gibson Les Paul Lite (which im selling) and a Marshall JCM 800 amp. My gear is completely perfect for me, but...

I feel like I have sort of a writers block. Not so much that I cant write, I just cant satisfy myself with playing anymore. Whenever I play a riff that used to make me go ''**** YEAAA'' (example; Laid to Rest by Lamb of God) I just shrug and put the guitar down. I get 0 satisfaction out of it anymore. Whenever I try to learn a new riff I'm usually either not interested after 2 minutes of playing because its too complicated (Arch Enemy-Blood on my Hands for example) and I have no idea how to practice it, or it's just not fun to play (any Nirvana songs because there way too simple to play, altho they sound good).

I was at the point where I was going to completely drop guitar playing and sell my entire rig, but I don't want to give up on it. The 4 years that I played seriously I put a lot of practice in my techniques, especially lead guitar and shredding. My fingers have gotten pretty damn fast (but I suck with heavy co-ordinated palm muting; I still cant play Paul Gilberts Technical Difficulties after all those years for example).

I really don't want to give up on guitar playing because I USED to have so much fun doing it. My question is, if any of you have experienced it, how to stop this lack of motivation?
#4
Quote by Tzeel
Break?


Yep.

I've read about guys (and gals?) having a slump lately. I feel a little that way. It must be contagious.

Most likely the weather.
#6
Well, as you say when you play riffs you just don't feel it anymore, perhaps you should try playing more complex stuff, not just riffs (I know you don;t just play riffs but you get what I mean0. As you are into metal, maybe try listening to Opeth and some of their songs. They have complicated songs that are technical and different, some of their more folk feeling material may be good.
Also, try playing some different genres. You seem to like heavier music, so try different genres of metal like Progressive etc and try and some different bands, do some research.

If you have the gear you tend to enjoy yourself more, so you could look into buying maybe one more pedal to broaden your horizons.
You say you can't play Paul Gilberts Technical Difficulties, well, practice and practice, that's a very good place to start if you have a block.

The question you have to ask yourself is do you still actually want to play anymore? Or is it just becuase you have all the good gear, that you feel you've got to play?

Hope that helps man.
#7
just get into a different style
like something thats different from what your playing
in your case, try something like acoustic guitar
#8
Well there are a few things you could try:

-get a new teacher, even if it's just for a few lessons this can be very inspiring.

-get a different type of guitar. Maybe after playing a standard electric for so long some variation would be nice. You might want to consider an acoustic, a fretless, a bass or a seven string.

-if you don't want to/can't get a new guitar, why not get something else like a stomp box or a slide. Even the smallest change in gear can be inspiring.

-listen to new artists; venture out of your favourite genres and listen to some other stuff like jazz, blues, classical, etc.

-join a band or regularly jam with others. Performing can be very nice, too.

These are a few things you can try to get the spark back into your playing.
You've read it, you can't un-read it!
Last edited by Bonsaischaap at Oct 25, 2007,
#10
Take a break for as long as you need or want.
METALLICA
MACHINE HEAD

JANUARY 13TH

JOE LOUIS ARENA


Quote by Jehuty
It's not rape if you yell surprise.

Quote by ZanasCross
Girls his dad's age rarely still have nice asses. Gravity attacks.
#11
Find new music to listen to or find a band. The right band will give u the motivation to learn their style or music. Mastodon does some supre-crazy stuff, even tho it mostly seems like major scale riffs. The time switches and rhythm changes are amazingly pulled off well.
A band definately will make u wanna play something, even if its not originales to start with. Itll also help with rhythm and timing. Id love to be in a band. And 20 seems like a great age to start.
#12
Try taking a break from metal and try getting into some Jimi Hendrix or something. Might not help but give it a go.
#14
try a different genre,
play music that suits your mood,
Or, have a week where you don't go anywhere near your guitar.

hopefully you'll be back to normal soon.
#15
well you might want to take a break as Tzeel suggested. Just put down your guitar for a while and don't think of it. I had a similiar experience but with skateboarding instead. I used to have so fun but for a year or so, I lost all those joyful feelings. So I took a break. Then after a while, it was fun again. But I've now found out that I enjoy playing guitar more than to skate.
Or, if you've already had a break, it might be something else that buggers you. Maybe you feel like you're not getting better or maybe you've got too high goals?
#16
Hey Hey. Dude, I went through the same thing. We all do. I play metal and hard rock **** too, but I got tired of guitar and just couldn't find a groove. What I did was started working on my finger-picking and played some blues-jazz stuff. It was definetely a **** ton of fun, and I still play it. So, in the end, my vote is on different style for a while. After a month or two of just blues and stuff, I started feeling the love of metal again, and jumped back. Now whenever I get bored of metal, it is back to blues/jazz again.
Guitar Player Since April 12th, 2005.
Guitar of Choice: Schecter S-1 Elite
Proud of His Two Warnings
#17
I had the same a while back... I learnt to play the blues

Happened again... Started learning flamenco xD

try moving to a different genre of music, it makes guitar playing so much more different
#18
I concur with them all, take a break.


I went on a school trip thing for a week, got back, picked up the guitar and I was like "Holy **** I have such appreciation!"

And my riffs even got better!


Also, as others have said, try different styles. Maybe it'll make you want to play something new.


Or try and learn some theory...but that's not really "fun".
#19
Hey all,

Thanks for the amazing amount of (very fast) replies =o

I'm looking into some different stuff, but I'm still kind of getting the ''been there done that'' feeling. I really really hate learning theory, it's like reading Japanese to me. I have a bachelor level degree of learning, but I just can't read through theory unless it's put in a step1: step 2: etc. type of writing, and I haven't ever been able to find that <_<.

I think my problem is that I just don't know HOW to practice the things I cant play (for example; triplets with palm mutes and full notes combined as seen in Technical Difficulties).

And about taking a break...>_> I've practically been taking a break for a year and I just really want to pick it up again, or I feel that I won't pick it up anymore.
#20
Quote by JaeSwift
Hey all,

Thanks for the amazing amount of (very fast) replies =o

I'm looking into some different stuff, but I'm still kind of getting the ''been there done that'' feeling. I really really hate learning theory, it's like reading Japanese to me. I have a bachelor level degree of learning, but I just can't read through theory unless it's put in a step1: step 2: etc. type of writing, and I haven't ever been able to find that <_<.

I think my problem is that I just don't know HOW to practice the things I cant play (for example; triplets with palm mutes and full notes combined as seen in Technical Difficulties).

And about taking a break...>_> I've practically been taking a break for a year and I just really want to pick it up again, or I feel that I won't pick it up anymore.



Having a good teacher really helps.

For all my advanced technique stuff I actually went abroad to take lessons from someone called Jimi Savage who lives in Newcastle.

It might seem like a lot of effort for a few lessons, but what I learned from him is much than I would learn from my normal teacher in a year. It helped me with everything from theory to Racer X.
You've read it, you can't un-read it!
#21
^ you went to a different country to get lessons from someone? thats crazy stuff
POST FINDER
#22
Quote by mattreid222
^ you went to a different country to get lessons from someone? thats crazy stuff



If it get's you where you want to be.


Like I said, those lessons were incredibly useful and most of my technique is shaped by what I learned from Jimi.

On top of that I also watched almost every Paul Gilbert tape and vid I could find, which also proved to be very challenging (and still is, by the way).
You've read it, you can't un-read it!
Last edited by Bonsaischaap at Oct 25, 2007,
#23
Anything can trigger inspiration. Listen to classical music if you don't listen to a lot of classical, or jazz, or anything. Watch interviews, and masterclasses, don't limit yourself to guitar. Try having lessons with a teacher, but be careful, a lot of them won't inspire you at all. Try taking a break from guitar if nothing else helps.
#24
Well, I started playing over 30 years ago so I have a bit of perspective on this.
I also stopped playing entirely. Probably about 8 years or so.

Most likely what is happening is your "Honeymoon Phase" with the guitar is over.
It's the phase where you just use whatever haphazard practice methods you use,
take shortcuts, ignore the "boring" stuff ... and you still make ok progress and can
fool yourself into thinking (at least in your own mind) you're pretty good at guitar.

But, at some point that no longer works. What you're probably beginning to realize
is the REAL work it will take to get good at the guitar. It requires completely different
methods than what you've done. It looks boring and you don't really want to do it.

Practice is the great differentiator. You'll have to completely change your mindset
about it, or be content to not get much above your current level. Or quit. Those
are about the only options. I'll bet the VAST majority of people here will be in the
last category: quit. You get older, other priorities come up, REAL practice is dull
and you don't like it much...
#25
everyone else's suggestions have been excellent, but im suprised only one or two people suggested playing in a band. jamming opens up a whole new world to your playing. it not only teaches you dynamics, endurane, and improvisation; but gives a newfound respect and passion for your instrument. i'd suggest finding some friends to jam/write with
Quote by pedaler466
Shreadhead22 had nothing helpful to say to me. He just immediatly started being a prick.

Quote by Yngwi3
Shredhead's advice is the best in the thread.


-Mesa Roadster
-Mesa 4x12
-'93 Gibby LP studio
-535q
-CE5/DD-220
-TS9dx
-EB volume
-Shure Wireless
#26
Using a new chord progression always gets the juices flowing for me.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#27
What works for me is going and seeing a concert of your favourite band. Watching someone rocking and just living the guitar lifestly to the fullest is the best way to re-inspire yourself.

I always come out of a concert thinking "Man that was AWESOME, I gotta go play me some guitar!"

Trust me.
\,,/_[><]_\,,/
#28
You just to push yourself - read the article on how to avoid musical burn out, and pick the guitar up, mess around, and jam it up. Even set up some jams with peeps near you. See if your still interested. The longer you just let the problem sit there, the longer its going to annoy you; Just go ahead and do it ASAP.
#29
Learn a new style.
Sounds like you're a metalhead, interested in playing metal.
Learn something totally different, like Delta blues, or funk.

Get some new gear, slides, capos, that sort of thing.

Try out some new tunings (unless you're wary of constantly tuning and retuning the same guitar) or new effects.

You might even want to try learning a new instrument, like bass guitar, or something completely different, like drums or the saxophone.
GHOST BLOWJOB!
WHOOO! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!
#31
New gear always seems to motivate. New sounds inspire. Get an Engl E530 preamp and a TC Electronic G•Major effects processor, and I guarantee, you won't be able to STOP playing your guitar. But take a break if you need to. Time and perspective always gives you a new take on things. Also, banging a new hot chick always seems to help.
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
#32
edg is extremely right. I had the same experience. When I began playing the guitar, I spent much time on learning some tricky technique and songs which I could show off to my friends. Then several years later, I was playing the same thing. I just didn't take time to learn new things. Every time when I picked up the guitar and learnt to play a new song, I just learnt the riffs, played it for sevral times and told myself that I could play it. But I didn't finish any songs for years. Then I realized that it really took real efforts to practice. Now, I break songs into parts and practice one of them at a time and it works. I know I am getting better, at least I play some new stuff everyday. Though I am quite busy and only have like half an hour to practice, I can complete a song in several days. In addition, never skip those songs you think really easy. Play the whole song, that's much better than playing just some riffs
Quote by edg
Well, I started playing over 30 years ago so I have a bit of perspective on this.
I also stopped playing entirely. Probably about 8 years or so.

Most likely what is happening is your "Honeymoon Phase" with the guitar is over.
It's the phase where you just use whatever haphazard practice methods you use,
take shortcuts, ignore the "boring" stuff ... and you still make ok progress and can
fool yourself into thinking (at least in your own mind) you're pretty good at guitar.

But, at some point that no longer works. What you're probably beginning to realize
is the REAL work it will take to get good at the guitar. It requires completely different
methods than what you've done. It looks boring and you don't really want to do it.

Practice is the great differentiator. You'll have to completely change your mindset
about it, or be content to not get much above your current level. Or quit. Those
are about the only options. I'll bet the VAST majority of people here will be in the
last category: quit. You get older, other priorities come up, REAL practice is dull
and you don't like it much...
#33
Quote by edg
Well, I started playing over 30 years ago so I have a bit of perspective on this. I also stopped playing entirely. Probably about 8 years or so . . . What you're probably beginning to realize is the REAL work it will take to get good at the guitar. It requires completely different methods than what you've done. It looks boring and you don't really want to do it.
Well, I share something in common with edg . . . I've been "playing" since high school, which was a long-ass time ago (don't ask). But my ability had never increased, so I rarely played my Strat for more than a few minutes at a time, over the past years (decades, actually).

Like, edg, it had been almost exactly 8 years, since I had tried playing in any meaningful way. But, for some reason, I recently did buy some new gear (an awesome preamp and and an effects processor), and I have to be honest, new gear DOES help. New sounds—new ideas. New motivation. I started playing again. I mean, REALLY playing.

The new gear really inspired me. The sound was so exciting, that I wanted to get better. So, for the last two weeks, I've been practicing my ass off. A few days ago, I finally pulled out an old scales and modes book that I've probably had for more than 10 years, but never looked at . . . because it was "boring." But, I was sick of playing the same f*cking major scale over and over. So, last night, I finally whipped out the scale book, and learned the "blues scale." It was so inspiring (to finally hear "new" notes), that I was able to compose, and play a new solo that sounds better than anything I've ever been able to play [it's online now, Track 19: "Pain," in my profile]. Now, I can't wait to get home everyday to learn more from my "boring" scales and modes book. It's like I've discovered a secret treasure—a book with all the "answers."
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 26, 2007,
#34
Take up a new style... Seems like you're very much into the death metal scene (if theres a song thats hard try and learn it... come on arch enemy isn't too difficult if you really try for a few weeks). I'd recommend prog metal and jazz/blues. or classical. Try out bands like Atheist, Cynic, Pestilence, etc. for prog death metal & jazz metal. For jazz or blues... you'll have to search up some stuff on your own.

Also, try getting together with other people who play instruments and try and make music with them. Even if its stuff you probably don't want to work with give em a try. A really good violinist could add a lot of flavor to a death metal song, etc. Also it helps you if you meet with them often because you want to play and create stuff with them and because of that you want to practice.

Try taking more lessons (preferably in a new area or field you're interested in)... the commitment of a instructor and their point of view on the music might be just what you need. Also, try getting involved in competitions or something similar, that way you have a new reason to practice and come up with material.

if nothing else works... get high or drunk and play with friends who can also play. it usually helps you relax a lot and you have a good time. You also realize what points you need to improve in your playing and (if the friends generally play styles that aren't the exact same as you play) helps to broaden your perspective.

MOST IMPORTANTLY find stuff that you'll have fun doing... if none of these works you've been trying to hard to find fun so it won't come. if anything stop playing guitar, when you get interested in it again pick it up.

Quote by The Virtuoso
Yes, you sir win the internet!


Quote by saphrax
To put it crudely, every hole is a goal.


#35
I get this alot of the time but i do force myself to play and practice daily to simply keep my chops up but there are times when i just simply cant be bothered to play and i think its just something we all go through and it happens to everything in our lives but just go with it - the fact you want to keep on playing is a sign you deep down want to carry on but you just need to stick with it.
You could always try learning a type of music you aint ever tried before or even learn a new instrument because thats what i did and when i feel lost on one instrument i can just play another.
#36
Quote by JoeyDengler
You could always try learning a type of music you aint ever tried before or even learn a new instrument because thats what i did and when i feel lost on one instrument i can just play another.
That's a darn good couple of ideas. I'm actually gonna try that out. I'm going to try do one hip-hop song, one country song, and buy a cello. I am dead serious.
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
#37
Most of this is temporary bandaids. Especially "new gear". It may inspire you
for a couple of days, but then you're right back (minus the money).

About the only real solution is constant improvement in skill. You get bored playing
the same stuff at the same level. Like a shark, you always have to keep moving
or you suffocate and die.

As I said, practice skill is the great differentiator. At some point, you have to start
practicing right to get better. Actually, when you know how to practice you learn to
enjoy it. How do you think guys like Vai practice 10 hrs a day? You think they
endure it? No, they enjoy. Its because they know how to do it.

Here's a test you can do (I haven't, but I think I know the results). Do a search on
"Dream Theater". Find all the people who: say they can play those songs, say
they're not that hard to learn, recommend them to learn, etc... Now, see what
percent of those people have thier playing in profile or elsewhere you can hear.
If you're not at 0%, you're likely close to it. Those people probably can't play
Happy Birthday in time to a metronome correctly, yet they're all proud of their
8 finger tapping, and swept arpeggios.... Practicing right is about getting Happy
Birthday in time, before doing other stuff. They're really aren't any "beginner" skills.
It's all just stuff you have to know to get better. That's all there is.
#38
I like to watch live DVDs or TV shows, it always inspires me to play.
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#39
I feel like this every once in a while at guitar/drums. What I usually do is go to a concert, I was on the urge of quitting and I went to G3, ive been motivated off of that since then. Teachers also help too, your always constantly learning and you get satisfaction off of this learning. Another thing is jam with people! I jam atleast 2-3 times a week with a friend because its FUN. Finally, this is pretty lame, but it works...Go to guitarcenter and show off the noobs playing guitar there. It makes you realize how much better you are and how you shouldn't give up.

I quit piano a while ago and do I regret it. Im never quitting another instrument because im sure I will regret again. DONT QUIT!!
#40
I had the same problem about a year and a half ago. I had not been playing for as long as you have (only a year and a half) but that spark that made me want to play the guitar was gone. At that point, i was listening to music that was way beyond my capability and I was not learning any songs as they were way too hard. Then I got into going to a local jam night. I came home that night and became an immediately lover of the blues. I dug out the blues albums that we had hanging around, listened to them non-stop and just exposed myself to as much blues as possible. I found that I could actually play the blues. I am in no way suggesting that the blues is easy or for people with low capabilities. There are some things that I can not play even now. However, the basics of the blues, the I, IV, V progression i found nice and easy to play and i found i was able to play along with a fair few tracks. I then discovered Nirvana and how easy that was to play and progressed from there.

Basically, what I am trying to say, is go to as much live music as possible, preferably in an intimate setting, like a pub or smal club, as I believe that because you are so much closer to the people playing, its more exhilarating, you know what I mean? If you go to a show at a stadium, theres thousands of people and you generally see a band playing their own songs. Jam nights are obviously just jam sesions, so you can get a wider variety of music that you can get into.

Keep on rocking, don't give up!!

db
Page 1 of 2