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  #1  
Old 01-27-2021, 05:24 AM
Don W Don W is offline
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Default Motivation

When I was a kid, I would shut myself up in my room and play guitar for hours at a time. I would go to school, come home and pick up my guitar, have dinner and play some more. Since then I have played a little at least every day..I am 68 now. So much of the playing I did over the years was just playing the same stuff over and over with a little learning of new pieces. 10 years ago, I bit the bullit and got a great guitar teacher and learned fingerstyle and learned to read standard notation. I was even able to record a fingerstyle CD. I play some everyday now but wish I could practice like I did when I was a kid. When the virus isolation began last year I thought..."well, this would be a good time to practice all day like I used to". It never happens...I play some each day. Anywhere between 15 minutes - 1 hour. I wish I could dig up some more motivation. I was thinking that it might be time to start "arranging" and working on some original fingerstyle pieces. Anyone have any motivation issues and solutions?
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2021, 05:33 AM
Nymuso Nymuso is offline
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Lots of things you could try, one of which is to start a YouTube channel. Now you’ve got yourself an audience. Playing for an audience is a great motivator.
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:37 AM
Emil Emil is offline
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What i did a few days ago was to create a new playlist on Spotify.
The idea was to only fill it with new artists and artists only playing acoustic and only doing american folk music.
Now this is pretty far from what im usually listening to but that was the whole point since i wanted something that triggered a different approach to playing.

And based on what i found i get new ideas and angles on how im approaching guitar. Suddenly my capos are on, im doing more fingerstyle, using chord progression than before.
Does it sound good?
Hell no.
But it’s fun and maybe this also gives me a new tool when i go back to my regular stuff.
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:42 AM
Slothead56 Slothead56 is offline
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Much the same story when I started playing my freshman year in college. Every waking moment I was playing the $55 Harmony classic (still in the closet) and then the $195 Guild D-35. I had a goal. I was a singer that needed to sing. I got proficient enough that by my sophomore year I was performing covers and original songs on campus. My playing out days pretty much ended the Summer after graduation when “life” took over.

In almost 50 years of playing I never really aspired to be any better than I was back then. Sure, of course I am better, but expectations have been met.

I thought C-19 lockdown would do the same for me...I was going to finally learn to use that looper, I was going to learn to play better acoustic lead (not flatpicking), I was going to write more....and very little has happened.

For the past 8-10 years my sole motivating factor for playing and practicing has been playing out, something I hadn’t done for decades. Since that got taken away (the monthly scheduled gig, open mics, 2 times per month at church) I play very little, really just enough to keep my callouses going.

Maybe I’m just in the Pandemic Funk? I don’t know. I’m a year out from retirement. “Better guitar playing” is not on the list of post-work activities and goals. Learning piano and claw hammer banjo are, but way down from golf, fishing and catching up on reading....
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:19 AM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don W View Post
When I was a kid, I would shut myself up in my room and play guitar for hours at a time. I would go to school, come home and pick up my guitar, have dinner and play some more. Since then I have played a little at least every day..I am 68 now. So much of the playing I did over the years was just playing the same stuff over and over with a little learning of new pieces. 10 years ago, I bit the bullit and got a great guitar teacher and learned fingerstyle and learned to read standard notation. I was even able to record a fingerstyle CD. I play some everyday now but wish I could practice like I did when I was a kid. When the virus isolation began last year I thought..."well, this would be a good time to practice all day like I used to". It never happens...I play some each day. Anywhere between 15 minutes - 1 hour. I wish I could dig up some more motivation. I was thinking that it might be time to start "arranging" and working on some original fingerstyle pieces. Anyone have any motivation issues and solutions?
I know exactly what you mean. All of us suffer from a drop in motivation from time to time.
One good way out is to find a piece you’d really like to learn, maybe one that also challenges you technically, and go about working it and making it sound good. That’s rewarding, and really motivational.
Another way, and I can speak from personal experience, is to reach out to a real pro who can not only teach you a cool tune to play, but confer onto you the kind of knowledge that you can’t get from written music or even “how-to-play” YouTube videos.
It’s never been easier to do that these days with FaceTime and Skype.
Years ago I contacted our very own Howard Emerson, who was able to really teach me a lot just by learning one of his tunes. And that was done via VHS tape exchange. I didn’t even have the luxury of Howard watching what I was doing. But these days he can do that with students.
And who here doesn’t look forward to reading anything that Howard posts, because you know it will include some true nugget of real insight.
You should really consider it. It might just be the kick in the pants you need to really fire your engines and knock it up a notch!
(And he's got a great sense of humor. Always a good thing.)
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:23 AM
El Duque El Duque is offline
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I have the same problem at the moment.

when that changes is when I find / hear something that I have to learn.

kinda wanna learn don't cut it. There has to be a bit of a challenge too...maybe something a little more challenging than the last one.

I keep my eyes / ears open and eventually something comes along that I'm smitten with. That said, when you get distracted by other stuff - it ain't gonna happen.

then its a couple hours a day until I get it.

keeping up on the stuff I already learned is the hardest part.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:53 AM
Andyrondack Andyrondack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don W View Post
When I was a kid, I would shut myself up in my room and play guitar for hours at a time. I would go to school, come home and pick up my guitar, have dinner and play some more. Since then I have played a little at least every day..I am 68 now. So much of the playing I did over the years was just playing the same stuff over and over with a little learning of new pieces. 10 years ago, I bit the bullit and got a great guitar teacher and learned fingerstyle and learned to read standard notation. I was even able to record a fingerstyle CD. I play some everyday now but wish I could practice like I did when I was a kid. When the virus isolation began last year I thought..."well, this would be a good time to practice all day like I used to". It never happens...I play some each day. Anywhere between 15 minutes - 1 hour. I wish I could dig up some more motivation. I was thinking that it might be time to start "arranging" and working on some original fingerstyle pieces. Anyone have any motivation issues and solutions?
Set yourself a goal , something that with commitment and application you think is realistically achievable and don't eat till you've got there.
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2021, 12:33 PM
Don W Don W is offline
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Thanks to all for for input...I'm certainly not alone it seems. I have just now contacted my guitar mentor and have scheduled a skype lesson in February to work on arranging with the goal of an original piece. He already gave me homework after hearing from me. He wants me to start "noodling" in DADGAD. So...this is motivating me to have something to show him at my lesson.
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2021, 01:29 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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I find that I get a lot of inspiration from listening to music, ideally live but these days on YouTube and satellite radio.

Just last night I heard a tune I had never played, hadn't even thought about it in years. I was inspired start in on it when I got home, and in under an hour I could tell that it was starting to come together. Great fun!
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Old 01-27-2021, 01:39 PM
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Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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It sounds to me you want to be motivated to play the same thing over and over like when you were young. That dog won't hunt at 68. I'm about your age and I play about like you do give or take. I had a couple of styles of music and guitar playing that I wanted to do a deep dive into. That lasted several years but now it's over. Along this journey I have also focused on finding the songs and music that I like to do. When I say what I like to do I mean stuff that I find myself wanting to get going and do it. Then work at doing it well, as in learning how to do it in the most sophisticated way you can. Make the music that you enjoy doing. The trick is to get rid of the other stuff that waists your time and effort.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2021, 01:56 PM
H165 H165 is offline
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It might depend on what your end goal is.

I had to look at it a little sideways. I decided I was going to record 12 songs (the length of a typical "album" when I was a kid) the best I could, put it on media, and give it to my friends. Hidden on the path to that goal were all kinds of motivations.

Good playing, good song selection, good arranging, good recording, good mixing, good mastering, and good transfer to media.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2021, 02:19 PM
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rllink rllink is offline
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This isn't something anyone can conjure up for motivation, but for me playing is very much a stress relief. It is my therapy. That, and a rum and Coke. Most days I wind down and relax with my drink and my guitar. I mean, it is a habit. The one thing I feel I'm in control of. I'm going to find time in the afternoon to play my guitar and no one can stop me. It is my time. If I miss it puts me in a bad mood.
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Old 01-27-2021, 03:13 PM
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I suffer from multi-passion syndrome - having many things I like to do and hobbies I spend time with. Guitar playing has always been one of those, but never to the exclusion of everything else. For those whose passion is being a professional musician, I imagine the multiple hours per day spent pursuing that dream made the practice not seem so much like practice, but a means to an end where the journey was more exciting and fun than a drudge.

So, I play when I want to and don't play when I don't want to. My time with the guitar ebbs and flows, sometimes involving time each day for months as I get excited about learning a new tune or writing a new song, and sometimes the guitar just sitting there next to me in its stand wondering what it has done to get relegated to second class citizenship. I think you have to decide what is important to you with regard to your music playing, and once firmly established and 'accepted', I believe your motivation will will find its place naturally.
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