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Anyone else in a rut?
Just recently I found myself getting frustrated with my playing. After focussing on speed and technique for almost a month solid, I find myself not playing guitar at all for days at a time. When I do eventually pick it up I quickly get bored.... Has this happened to anyone else?
I went from learning Dream Theater runs with a metronome to playing Jose Gonzalez type happy-go-lucky acoustic stuff.
I'm a bit confused as I'm not half as driven as I once was...
Im very rarely satisfied with playing, but i dont get put off because im always learning something. Perhaps mix up your practise schedule a bit.
Those metronome runs are fantastic for your technique, but are quite sterile for creativity, imo. You are trying to develop accuracy with them, and then speed, so unless you put it in context it will be sterile. Absolutely make them part of your routine, but mix them up with something opposite like chord voicings or jose gonzales acoustic stuff. There is nout wrong with diversity.
I think every player experiences this once in a while, keep at it, and as long as you enjoy yourself it will be worthwhile.
Did I say that out loud ?
When I am in a rut, practicing new material sometimes breaks the cycle. I go through ruts all the time, I even took up left handed guitar for a while to break the cycle.
Originally Posted by dickSpring
Another great thing to do for getting out of a rut is to just put all the drill practice on hold and get together with some friends and just jam. I learn more from a 2 hour jam than I do practicing alone because when I jam I am trying to improvize and it forces me to try something different.
Happens to everybody honestly.
And sometimes you even stumble from one rut into the other.
But maybe not call it a rut - call it "my soul calls for something different".
See, practicing runs and technique stuff is not even a third what music is about.
Your musical alter ego was yawning after a while whenever you picked up the guitar and switched on the metronome.
So, think of satisfying that part in you that isn't after a challenge when hearing the word music all the time.
Leave the metronome, leave that challenge for a while.
Follow the needs of the artist inside of you.
Go for subtle things.
Hear the beauty that can be in a Bob Dylan chord change, or whatever other stuff you are into.
See guitar not only as a thing you have to master - think of it as a extension of your sould, and if your soul is soothing after only ||: amin | emin :||, then go and satisfy that need.
Guess how much fun it will be if you have been able to deeply listen to you changing those two chords, and suddenly you hear the differences in picking dynamics, or how you are able to change chords without any gaps etc.. you get the point.
Let the music flow, don't only shovel it in, let it out at times, and you will see, if you learn to really listen to your needs, and if you learn to respect them and you are able to acctually gain use of all situations even when you where just playing for fun, THEN you will gain a whole lot more than just chops!
You'll be able to transport your music better.
You even will be able to listen inside of yourself and find out "what the hell do i really want to play at this exact moment".
Your ear will be able to catch all the fine nuances if you leave the space to concentrate on everything that happens.
And as a matter of fact, you will be able to develop your own style since you learned to listen inside to what is inside of your soul.
Sorry for that little rant.
Last edited by phantom; 09-25-2006 at 08:36 PM.
Did I say that out loud ?
Steve Morse is a phenominal player, I have seen him live with the Dixie Dregs several times in the early 80's. Totally amazing guitarist, however...
I don't mean to critisize, but He really does not impress me with his improvized solos. He can play more notes and complex picking patterns than most people but his solos sound like finger exercises.
It is a fine line...Same with classically trained pianists. They lack feeling sometimes, but jazz pianists that improvize sound awsome, full of feeling. On another note, if someone is great at improvizing, it is hard to tell if they made it up on the spot, or if they memorized it...
I always get caught up in technical stuff just like anyone else, but unscheduled jam sessions actually give me new ideas to practice.
Wise wise words. I cant sum it up much better than that.
Originally Posted by phantom
Yeah.. i had a Yoda moment.
And if that wouldn't be enough, here is more phantom thinkabouts that could fit the topic:
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