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> Woke Up This Morning...........
Phil66
post Oct 30 2017, 09:48 AM
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Woke up in the early hours this morning (2:30) feeling all anxious, loads of things going through my head, the most upsetting for me was, "Why am I bothering to learn guitar? I'll never be any good. I'm just wasting my time, I might as well sell everything".

This went on for a few hours along with many other things. I just feel kinda empty about guitar at the moment.

I'm hoping it's just some kind of funk, it hasn't crept up on me, just suddenly manifested. I was struggling to practise last week but that was more due to time because of a heavy work load.

I guess the fact that it upset me thinking about my guitar playing in that way, means something, I don't know what though.

Anyone else been through this?

Any advice?

Thanks


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Caelumamittendum
post Oct 30 2017, 10:38 AM
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I think I have asked you this before, but have you ever tried writing music of your own? Don't make any excuses with your answer just yet, just a simple yes or no, then I'll continue with my advice smile.gif

EDIT: As a complete song that you can show someone and say: "This is what I did", just to elaborate a bit.

This post has been edited by Caelumamittendum: Oct 30 2017, 10:40 AM


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Phil66
post Oct 30 2017, 10:48 AM
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Thanks Ben,

I have done things in the creativity workshop that I am happy with and have played to people but as for a song, no I haven't. I don't understand song structure enough. I'm just feeling empty about it all today, hopefully it will be very short lived..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJmz25TsUhA


https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=kFE_QBqUn60


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FYORFIBnAA


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiDgj_NrPW8


This post has been edited by Phil66: Oct 31 2017, 09:25 PM


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Caelumamittendum
post Oct 30 2017, 11:01 AM
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I think you DO understand song structure enough, cause there is no such thing as song structure. There's creativity! And the creativity workshop was a great start and you have some good things going there.

What really worked and still works for me is creating my own melodies and more importantly completing a whole song. It's a daunting step, but I really don't think it's a step too big for you, cause there really are no rules as to how a song should be. Make something you're proud of, then show others and get just one compliment and you will likely feel great for a whole day. I usually get 1 or 2 likes on my songs tops, but it makes me unbreakable for some time.

I've heard some of the melodies you've come up with, yeah, sure they're not Steve Vai, but neither are mine! But they're a start!

I actually started writing music when I just knew a few chords, waaaaaaaay back. Was probably something like D major, E minor, A minor, C major and then repeat as much as you like. You could put a melody over this, some drums, a bass line. Nothing fancy, but just complete a whole song. It REALLY gives you a whole new dimension to be able to CREATE.

I'm probably not the best teacher or giver of advice here, but I'm sure Gabriel would love to help with this, if he's in on it, or otherwise I'm sure up for it as well. I KNOW you have the skill for the exact thing I'm thinking of here. We're not talking Vai, Satriani or anything like that, we're talking Phil66 smile.gif


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Kristofer Dahl
post Oct 30 2017, 11:03 AM
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I think it's safe to say it happens to us all - and it does not have to be a bad thing.

Usually when I come out of a 'guitar depression' I have a new perspective and new insights about exactly what I want to be playing/practicing.

Part of the reason we're stressed about these periods is because we believe we will loose the race if we stop practicing for a week. However I think the opposite is true, allow yourself to take a break, do something else, get inspiration - and then come back with new energy. Then you will be competitive (if that word is even applicable to music)

Of course the actual guitar depression might be a sad state of mind - but with the insight that it can take you to a new place - it can be a catalyst to find new inspiration: reach out to an old-time friend, attend a concert, visit a new place, try a new activity, restaurant, etc etc the list goes on. All those things are what inspire us to play music, and they are just as important as practicing.


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Caelumamittendum
post Oct 30 2017, 11:06 AM
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So also, I wanted to add something more to my answer. Few tricks. Melody wise it can be very simple. Doesn't have to be 100 notes, pick 5 you like, come up with a simple melody and it will likely be more catchy than 100 notes thrown together. For now, and then later you can work on more intricate melodies.

Once again I KNOW you have it in you, I've seen the creativity thread and heard the stuff in there. And I just listened again now. For me it's about taking that plunge and not be afraid to fail a few times. I've failed 100s of times!

Also, Kris is also right, maybe a break is needed, but don't neglect my idea wink.gif


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Phil66
post Oct 30 2017, 11:20 AM
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Thanks Ben and Kris,

Maybe it's just a bit of guitar burn out. The ONLY days I don't practise is when it's not possible, holiday, illness or one of life's curve balls. At this very moment in time I don't even feel like picking up a guitar but yesterday I was fine, I was enjoying Kris' livestream, had an enjoyable practise too. This is just out of the blue sad.gif

As for going new places, every weekend we visit new places. Stoneleigh Abbey yesterday where Jane Austen spent time and wrote some of her works. It was a fascinating tour with a guide in costume of the era. He was very dramatic and got us all laughing with the tales. One of the rooms is where Handel composed some of his works and there is a thousand year old oak under which Shakespeare wrote one of his sonnets. It was awesome to think I was standing right on the spot where he did that. We do things like this every weekend.

Thanks for your help Ben and Kris. I'm sure I'll come out of the darkness soon.

This post has been edited by Phil66: Oct 30 2017, 05:21 PM


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Mertay
post Oct 30 2017, 11:34 AM
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Taking the guitar when stressed is ok if you want to but only to play stuff you're comfortable with (solo's, backing tracks you're very familiar with...), to relax and have fun.

The challenge must be fun and meditative not strickt or stressful, so in times like that do something else to clear your head like calling friends or watch a movie...

This post has been edited by Mertay: Oct 30 2017, 11:35 AM


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Phil66
post Oct 30 2017, 12:16 PM
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Thanks Mertay,

Most of the time I enjoy it, sometimes I don't feel like it but it is a habit to practise every day. I also have that fear of regression if I don't practise.

Cheers


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Mertay
post Oct 30 2017, 01:39 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 30 2017, 11:16 AM) *
Thanks Mertay,

Most of the time I enjoy it, sometimes I don't feel like it but it is a habit to practise every day. I also have that fear of regression if I don't practise.

Cheers


A day 2 of being away isn't that bad smile.gif but if you feel bad you could always change strings,use conditiioner and clean the guitar? I usually open music when doing those works.


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bleez
post Oct 30 2017, 06:47 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 30 2017, 09:48 AM) *
Anyone else been through this?

Hell yes.... to all the things you mentioned! I can get really depressed about that sort of thing.
but its okay not to want to pick up the guitar sometimes, try not to be so hard on yourself. A few days of not playing really wont set you back, not in my experience anyways.
when I get like that I tend to do what Mertay mentioned and just play stuff I like or I start dicking around with different profiles and tones. I dont bother about trying to improve anything. sometimes I just change up my practice routine.
so... you're defo not the only one smile.gif personally, I think its normal to find yourself in that headspace sometimes. you'll pass through it, dude. Its just temporary.



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Phil66
post Oct 30 2017, 08:33 PM
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Thanks Mertay and Scott.

It feels weird to have happened so suddenly. I full of "What's the point?" feelings. I'm sure it will pass, I'm sitting here tonight, still about to practise, that's me, kinda got an addictive personality, I practise every night out of habit, most of the time I enjoy it but it's what I do so even if I don't really feel like it I do it. Self destruction mode I guess.

Thanks for all of your advice folks.





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klasaine
post Oct 30 2017, 08:58 PM
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All the time. In fact it goes so far as me constantly being on the edge of "getting found out" so to speak. Lots of artists are this way. You're never good enough in your own eyes and you think that at some point you're gonna be called out as a fraud. Irrational? Of course but that's just the way it is with a lot of musicians.

So on to the practical ...

My personal remedy is to learn something new, preferably out of my bailiwick and away from my comfort zone. Even if I never really get what I'm going for it makes me hear and see some things differently and usually leads me back to liking my guitar again.

*I'm in one of those periods right now.
I hate everything I play, I think I suck and I barely even wanna look at the fucking thing.


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Phil66
post Oct 30 2017, 10:23 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Oct 30 2017, 08:58 PM) *
I hate everything I play, I think I suck and I barely even wanna look at the fucking thing.


Thanks Ken,

That's just how I'm feeling. I still practised tonight though. I'm just amazed this funk came out of the blue. Had a few of life's curve balls recently. I've been at a progress sticking point (same lesson for twelve months but I hate to quit it even though Gab suggested I move on and come back to it later. I can be stubborn). Maybe these are all contributing factors. Maybe I need to make some changes to my approach.

I'll push through it I'm sure.

Cheers


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 31 2017, 01:36 AM
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As you've seen from the replies this is something that pretty much everyone struggles with at some point smile.gif I certainly had a HUGE dose of it when I was kicked out of my third guitar teachers place and labeled "unteachable", again. I put it down for several years after that and didn't pick it up again until my mid teens. It took me years of working through the "suck". Three years straight of non stop practice just to get to the point where I didn't hate every single thing I played. Wrote my first songs finally and that more than anything else helped a lot. They were not very good, but just having done it felt like a huge victory. I'll share a few with you. They were recorded badly as a bonus (on four track tape) cause I didn't know anything about that either smile.gif But it's all part of the journey. Don't beat yourself up about it. smile.gif I'm singing as well! smile.gif

On The Wings of The Night
https://soundcloud.com/techniqueswithtodd/talisman-on-the-wings-of-the-night

Shattered Dreams
https://soundcloud.com/techniqueswithtodd/talisman-shattered-dreams

The Final Day
https://soundcloud.com/techniqueswithtodd/talisman-the-final-day

QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 30 2017, 05:23 PM) *
Thanks Ken,

That's just how I'm feeling. I still practised tonight though. I'm just amazed this funk came out of the blue. Had a few of life's curve balls recently. I've been at a progress sticking point (same lesson for twelve months but I hate to quit it even though Gab suggested I move on and come back to it later. I can be stubborn). Maybe these are all contributing factors. Maybe I need to make some changes to my approach.

I'll push through it I'm sure.

Cheers


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 31 2017, 02:49 AM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 31 2017, 03:21 AM
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Great topic and answers here. I've shared my thoughts on this at the mentoring program.

I have been working with you for many time, and I know that some personal issues have been affecting you in many aspects. So it's normal that you feel like that with some of the things that you love.

I feel that the answer you your question, based on what I know from you, is simple.

"Why am I bothering to learn guitar? I'll never be any good. I'm just wasting my time, I might as well sell everything".

Aren't you learning guitar because you love guitar and music? Why would you stop doing anything that you love? When learning guitar, playing music, there is no a destination, it's an action, it's a way of expressing, so why would you give it up if it makes you feel good?



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Phil66
post Oct 31 2017, 08:46 AM
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Thanks everyone, I'll go through your songs later on this evening Todd.

I still practised last night, it felt strange as my heart wasn't in it. I think it's just one of those things that is unavoidable sometimes. Things happen in life with close family members, all year something seems to be going wrong. I guess that makes it hard to focus on practise even though you think you're focused, this slows down progress which exacerbates the funk in your head and you start to think "what's the point".

I guess in some people, this can, ultimately lead to a "what's the point in anything" situation, leading to deep depression with the inevitable consequences. Don't get me wrong, I'm not at that place, I'm just trying to rationalise/understand what has happened in my head.

I'll be back. I know deep in my head I want to carry on, I think I am a creative soul but I struggle to develop the skills to release the creativity I always have done. I can't draw freehand, I am hopeless at painting, I guess I could always try pottery wink.gif My skills lie in engineering and making things on machines to very fine tolerances (+/- .003mm, an average human hair is .040mm) but htere's no room for creative expression in that.

Soldier on is what I say, break through the storm, come out the other side stronger.

Here is what I said to Gab in my mentoring thread. I've put this here in case anyone else goes through it. It may help.

"I'm sure it will pass. I might have a few days going wild on the guitar, stupid delays, crazy effects, just going wild, like a guitar party. That might help. Maybe I've been doing what they call in weight training, "over training". This isn't just training too much, but training too hard. You train more than you can recover. As you probably know, training with weights breaks down muscle fibre, then, during the recovery process, more muscle fibre is created so you don't have to struggle with that weight again, which is why you get stronger and have to add more weight.

When you do it more often than you can recover, you actually start shrinking in muscle size. Like pruning a bush every day, it can't grow quickly enough to replace what's been removed. In a human, this makes inroads into your central nervous system and can, in some people, cause a nervous breakdown.

I wonder if I've done a similar thing mentally. Grinding out the same thing night after night, being very strict with myself, so strict that a lot of the time I get so deep into it that I've done 90 minutes playing the same 4 bars of the AP lesson trying to eek out an extra 5 bpm and running out of time to do my "promised" 30 minutes fun improvisation.
"

Thank you everyone.

Phil

This post has been edited by Phil66: Oct 31 2017, 09:13 AM


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MonkeyDAthos
post Nov 1 2017, 06:56 PM
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Man, we must be in tune. laugh.gif

Time for some Zen Story. cool.gif

I've currently in my first year in a Jazz School and we have a combo class, where we play with other people. Thing is my combo class is with people already from 2º-4º year. I am not jazz musician nor do I have a jazz background, I barely consider myself some kind of musician tbh.

We had rehearsal Monday, man... Not only did I feel like a tiny tiny pea in the midst of my classmates, but also felt like my performance was dragging the whole thing down. Even though everyone was kind and nice, I felt like shit that night... couldn't sleep.

My mind was full of thoughts like.
"I suck.""I am not cut to this", "I will never make it". "Is it even worth investing all this money, might as well quit, burn my guitar and go back to some brain dead job"
Depressing vibes really hit me hard that night.

Alas a new day rose and all I wanted was for it do end.
Time for combo class. I was really tensed up and frustrated. Time for me to improvise, my legs where shacking intensely and I forgot how to guitar, how to breathe (thing I do when i am tensed).
First few notes were garbage. Then the professor grabbed my legs and something trigger in my mind. My whole body relaxed, I was aware of the air entering and leaving my lungs.
The notes flowed more naturally. The solo was garbage but hey! I enjoyed myself.

And I ended the classes that day with a really happy mood.

I know this a bit of a cliche saying but, The road is frustrating, I can't count the amount this I felt like quitting. But we have to center ourselves and take a deep breath and keep struggling.
If this were easy we all would be top dogs.

This post has been edited by MonkeyDAthos: Nov 1 2017, 06:58 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 1 2017, 08:20 PM
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I think you may be over doing your practice sessions. Guitar should be FUN. If it's never any fun, then you probably won't stay in it. Who could stand something that never has any fun in it? Sure, there are times when you have to buckle up and practice on something that isn't fun, but it should NOT be that way most of the time. An extra 5BPM is just killing yourself for no good reason IMHO. Forget the 5bpm. Speed happens over time. Give it time to happen. Some players never end up playing fast but can still play quite well. I'd say make your practice sessions more about enjoying the instrument than anything else. If its something you look forward to, then it's something you'll keep doing. If you make it a "chore" then almost force yourself out at some point. Make sense?

I understand that folks want to get as good as possible as quick as possible. Learning to let that go is one of the first and most important and most difficult things that students who keep playing, have to learn. You'll get better at your own rate, whatever that is. Learning to be patient with yourself on guitar transfers to other areas of your life as well. It's just about learning to be patient really. Then applying it to yourself, guitar, life, etc. Also, learning to have fun. Not everyone does it by instinct. Some folks have to find a way to make it fun for themselves. That part is also CRITICAL. You gotta make it fun or it's not worth doing. Nobody is paying you to learn guitar, it's not a career thing more than likely, it's supposed to be a fun thing. I'd say find a way to make it fun for you. Whatever that means to you, whatever it requires. If it means you let go of that 5bpm, then that's fine too. What difference does 5bpm make? Very little to be honest. I'd say focus on you. What do you wanna play? What would you be playing if you had the choice? Guess what ? You do have the choice smile.gif Play whatever you want. Just make sure you WANT to be doing it, otherwise, you are likely to put it down and not pick it back up. There will be plenty of time for "knuckling down" and "earning it" with a metronome. Skip all that for a bit and just try to enjoy playing smile.gif

Todd



QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 31 2017, 03:46 AM) *
Thanks everyone, I'll go through your songs later on this evening Todd.
..
Thank you everyone.

Phil



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Phil66
post Nov 1 2017, 09:37 PM
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Thanks Monkey for your consideration in my problem.

Thanks Todd, when I said about the extra 5bpm, I'm trying to improve my alternate picking with THIS lesson because there is an alternate picked ascending run in THIS lesson that I just can't crack. So we, (Gab and I) decided to take a break from the Jack White lesson and try to improve my alternate picking.

I'm supposed to do other stuff including some improvisation over backing or my Trio+ at the end but I end up getting so fixated on the alternate picking lesson I do it for an hour and a half, sometimes two hours solid because I now can't break through the 70% speed of the lesson. I was really enjoying that lesson, it's not musical but I do like a challenge, I tend to get a bit obsessive with things. I always have that "arcade fever" of, "just one more go and I'll stop" but I can't stop, that "one more go" ends up being 50 more goes until I am really out of time and feel bad for leaving my wife downstairs on her own, even though she never moans.

Maybe it's overkill, at the moment I'm still practising but it's like the addict that doesn't want to shoot up any more but has to, to stay "normal", that's how my practise feels, I'm currently doing it to stop regressing, like the addict carries on to stay normal, not even get a high any more, I am practising to keep what level I have, and nothing more, just waiting for this to pass.

I apologise for using a drug analogy but I can't think of another parallel where people do what they don't want to do.

What's weird, I still love music, my guitars, my gear. I still keep thinking of ideas for my playing, man I'm even thinking of creating something about this, called "Into The Darkness". It just the process of learning that is the issue causing this funk, I think. I almost approach my guitar with the same feeling of going to a funeral, that tight stomach but as I said, I do it anyway.

Sorry to waffle on.

Thanks

Phil


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