Regaining Your Musical Passion

date: 03/04/2011 category: features
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You're at a loss to explain what happened. Not long ago, playing guitar was a joy, something you could do for hours while ignoring the unimportant things in life like homework. But now playing guitar seems more like a chore. Every time you pick it up the world seems to lose its colour and gloss, and a few minutes of half hearted playing let you know that playing guitar just isn't the same anymore. How did this happen and how can we bring back the dazzling colour we used to enjoy when playing guitar? The causes of losing our interest can be wide ranging, but the most interesting thing about losing your passion for guitar is how hard it is to let go. In everyday life, if we become bored with a hobby, we simply walk away and find something else. Think of how many video games you go through. You get good at it, beat it, and are onto the next one. But with guitar, you've invested years of practice, countless hours and possibly quite a bit of money too. You feel it's a part of who you are, something that really makes you stand out from the crowd. You could walk away from the situation, but you just... can't. So the process begins of picking up the guitar, getting quickly bored and putting it down again. So you can't let it go but it's not fun anymore. The only logical option left is to rediscover your passion. Sounds easy right?! At this point you may expect me to tell you something new agey and deep, but no, instead I shall bore you with the story of how I lost my passion and offer some solutions that will help you get it back. I had moved across the country from my friends and family to study at an esteemed' music college. Unfortunately, I found the course material uninteresting and the instructors uninspiring. That was the beginning of the end for my 8 year love of guitar. Looking back, I can see now that I moved away from my friends who shared the same musical interests as I did, so I was hit doubly hard as the new material I was learning was uninspiring, and the old material I had enjoyed so much wasn't as fun without my friends. So how can we bring back the fun? There are different solutions for different people. But if you've read this far, you've probably been struggling with your guitar playing for a while and desperately want a solution. The best solution would be to find a guitar teacher near you who understands what you're going through and can offer solutions. Explain the situation, tell him or her what's been going on and that you need help (and you DO need help, because guitar is awesome and you don't like it anymore). A good teacher will work with you and give you the advice and support you've needed. I cannot stress enough that a teacher that genuinely cares about your progress and ability is the best solution to getting through the tough times ahead. But, if you're stubborn (like me), and want to do the next best thing (like I did), start going to open mics or go see bands in your local area. 99% of the reason we all started playing guitar was because we saw someone playing and thought "That will get me chicks!". Or got inspired. Whatever. The point is, it happened once and can happen again. Take a night off from sighing heavily and moping around your apartment while you think of the days when you had fun playing guitar. It's great to be in the audience and enjoy the show, seeing someone on stage looking nervous as hell and having fun playing their favourite songs. If you're looking for something you can do immediately and are open to trying something different, here is an exercise you can do right now. *CAUTION* New Agey Part Of The Article First, pick up your guitar and hold in your preferred playing position. Really give it your attention. Notice the contours and colours, the different nicks and scratches on it. Look at it like the first day you got it and remember how excited you were. Now think of your favourite riff or solo. Star playing it, but really give it all your attention. Notice how the strings tense and vibrate, how they feel under your fingers. Open your ears to all the different tones and octaves that come out. Give your guitar your full, complete attention and you might just start having fun playing it again.
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