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Thread: Bursts of "Ok" Playing

  1. #1
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    Bursts of "Ok" Playing

    (frustration thread)

    Do you get rare very good playing days ....

    and frequent bad playing days?

    How do you handle them?

    Playing i mean, both technically and musically. Jeez this thing eats me up from the inside!!

    Its like hey dude you can do "it", here's a taster you have to wait for more!
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  2. #2
    Registered Loser =Bob='s Avatar
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    Jeez, I wish had some of those rare very good playing days...
    =Bob=

  3. #3
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    lol well i meant relatively... still within standard human reach in my case
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  4. #4
    A Train Wreck Ghost's Avatar
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    What's a "very rare good playing day" like?

    My brain-Aaaaahhhhhh!!!! That's how I feel at times.

    Maybe your not having fun and that's why your frustrated. It happens. Or you're demanding too much from yourself right now and it's just not working out like you want it. It's all a part of learning and gaining (more) experience.

    None of us are perfect.
    Last edited by Ghost; 03-30-2005 at 12:27 AM. Reason: wasn't helpful

  5. #5
    Registered User GuitarDreamer20's Avatar
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    It's just variation man. It's the way the world works. I know exactly what you're talking about as I'm sure everyone on this messageboard. You kinda have to have the bad with the good. How would you ever know what "good" days were if you didn't have the "bad" ones? It just happens man. The nice thing is, when these kinda days happen, it usually means that a really good one is right around the corner! So just "keep on keeping on" as Paul Gilbert says in his song!

    Mike

  6. #6
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    You gotta keep everything in perspective. You are always going to be judging yourself by where you want to be, not where you were a few months or years ago. I know personally that one of my bad days would have been a rediculasly good day if it happened a year or two ago. But the better I get the better my good days become and the more I enjoy playing. I remember reading an article from Jim Hall and he was talking about how he often gets frustrated and has to force himself to practice even if nothing is going well...so if it happens to Jim f*ckn Hall...

    Never underestimate the skills you already have.

  7. #7
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    I've experienced this too... I recently started to notice that I had a higher percentage of perceived good days when I kept the duration of my technique blocks to the planned time limit, kept the number of exercises down (rotate them over a few days!) and didn't push the metronome the whole time, just a notch up every now and then. Then most importantly I try to make sure that at least half the time is working on repetoire and improvising. This definitely makes for more good days for me.

    If I'm pushed for time (which is often the case) I might only work on a few exercises just to get some playing done or just some song stuff.

    Overall, I say take 2 minutes to plan the time you have each day and be realistic about how you can use it.. I have a bad habit of spending too long on too many exercises and blowing the time on that - that seems to make for more bad days.

    It would be interesting for me as well to get comment on my thoughts from people who can actually play

  8. #8
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Well, for what it's worth...

    You and Rob have a lot in common in the sense that you are both overly critical of your playing. You both play just fine!


    It's perhaps, this has been said before in a different way I think, what is your definition of OK?

    If it's Satriani level OK, then we're all in trouble. If it's accepting you are an amateur but you are an improving amateur then the OK days you have may well suddenly increase.

    I heard some stuff Rob did over the weekend and it was kick *** and I know he enjoyed it, listening to it I could tell he was in the mood. It's about recalling that mood and playing an emotion when you want to. Focus and get into the mood and then play.

  9. #9
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    Thanks Russ - good points. Enjoying it is the point!

    Having taken up guitar at 32 (36 now) I was never planning on anything other than "amateur amusement". Problem is that it's quite an addictive thing.....

  10. #10
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashc
    Problem is that it's quite an addictive thing.....
    incredibly!!


    as for the "ok" i never meant it to sound like self-indulgence. I always took measures against myself. Even though i use the good examples (satch and all the revered ones over here lol) as a targets and benchmarks.

    Its frustrating that you can't go at the optimal (in relation to yourself not a global measure) performance all the time since that would really tell your improvement.

    Honestly i do have fun but that has a cost too. Sometimes i think if some old indian yogi (which i trust lol) told me if there is one chance of getting out of guitar/music what you want, i wouldn't hesistate to quit and and focus just on music.

    And maybe i should quit looking at what i can/cannot do and just play.

    In the meantime i'm looking for a job lmao!
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  11. #11
    Trouser flapping power
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    THE manic lack to see your outer IDD/ultra I self....or you feel blind or in a RUT..as wee all do now and again....Some folks seem from the outside never to get in one...but once your in one it's a nightmare to get out of it.....Inspiration is the key...if who is inspiering / or what is inspireing you gets runn of the mill then think again.....Some days I feel so much get on and do it energy and if it's not going well it knocks your momentum.....Life is not perfect and it can help to leave what your doing a day or two...or just become a bit squitzophrenich and like more fields of music and you will see yourself from a different perspective......looking back on the other style of music you were originaly following/trying to emulate.....HEAVY STUFF OR WHAT.....Music is life, you must learn to love life.

  12. #12
    Taiwanese shredder btangel's Avatar
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    Yea I definately have good and bad days. IMO the more you play, the more you touch the guitar, the better the "bad" days get. To put it in simpler terms, if you're good enough, even your worst day will sound good. :P

    as you said, just play!!
    Ax: Ibanez JEM7V, '80s Fender Stratocaster
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  13. #13
    My amp goes to 11 Reckless's Avatar
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    A good idea here is to go to your bathroom mirror and tell yourself, out loud, that you're an awesome guitarist and you're playing really well. Sounds a bit on the insane side, but it works. I read about the technique in a piece for school a friend of mine wrote about human confidence. I do it every morning now before I leave my house. Tell myself today's gonna rock, I'm going to be awesome, and it'll be a really good day.

    Eventually, doing this enough will convince you it's true, and you notice gradually less "bad" or "off" days.

    Just my thoughts, anyway.

  14. #14
    Registered User Vertiger's Avatar
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    I've been having bad days for about a week now. The week before I felt like my creativity was low because nothing new was flowing so I learned some songs and solos hoping it would start me back up again. Not much luck. I wrote some Pink Floydy riffs but nothing like what I was hoping. So more solos down the hatch. My best remedy for this is to get away from the instrument for a little while. Usually I practise a minimum of three hours a day and around eight on the weekends if I can find time, so I am constantly coming across blocks and obstacles such as this. Bad days (for me at least) seem to come from being too close to the music or overly critical. When you listen to somebody tear apart a guitar with a catchy or addictive riff (Our guitar hero's and idles of course) it makes me want to pick up the guitar and go balistic-basil-vinagrete and rip off a kickin' solo. The catch is that I almost never can demand that a riff come to me. I can noodle forever and never find it. And after my failed quest it seems that my dreams of being a rock guitar god are so very far away, this in turn makes me be even more critical. The hard part about keeping away from the instrument is actually doing it. I'm a very musical person so it's a struggle to keep my hands away from the frets for awhile. But after wiping the slate clean I always find it easier to compose and everything sounds fresher. Another meathod is to learn a new style of music, for me I've been learning some Skynryd which is a nice change from the Shadows Fall and Pantera. Change influences change so change everything. Change your environment, your equimpent, tuning, themes, anything will work. Try fretting a chord differently or playing a lick with different fingers than you usually use. Diversify and of course be creative because after awhile ideas will be coming so fast you can't record them in time.
    -Mark.

  15. #15
    Registered User satch_master's Avatar
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    I get in ruts all the time, here are a few things you could try :

    Playing guitar in a different room, sometimes i play in my bathroom, sometimes in my garage, sometimes outside. I believe that alot of your creativity and expression is heavily influenced by the environment in which you are surrounded. So experiment with different environenments.

    Learn some songs, preferably something easy just to boost your overall confidence and morale(eg. Nirvana rather than Cacophony).

    Jam with other humans.

    Don't overload or expect too much from yourself. Have a focus a day, like today is legato day, tomorow is finger tapping day. Yeah that sounds humorous lol.

    Don't even pick up your guitar at all. When i am not physically playing guitar i am listening to music, watching music dvds, reading on IBM and various articles.

    I think i get alot of bad days but this is because of playing the same things over and over. You need diversity and change otherwise the brain bores easily over the scale fragments it has memorised millions of times and the stuff you keep regurgitating. Sometimes i like to study guitarists just by watching and listening to them, without touching my axe at all.

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