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Thread: A few words advice...

  1. #1
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    A few words advice...

    I've only just recently restarted some serious guitar playing again now, after having a sort of, "guitar break" for a while. I'm by no means a 'practice master" however I'd just like to raise a few points so people don't fall into the trap I did, that make me stop playing a little while:

    Motivation: You hear a lot about these high-caliber musicians that can practice their technique for hours on end. If you are one of those people that can do that, congratulations. If you more like me, where you find it hard to concentrate after about an hour's practice, then don't force yourself to play. Playing the guitar is an art, a hobby, a passion, not a chore. Play for as long as you can before you begin to get a little bored or before you begin to lose concentration, and stop. Take a break for the day, or call it a day. Because you are only playing for as long as you enjoy playing for, you will enjoy playing the guitar each time you play it. For me personally, I found that over time, this approach has allowed me to play longer because I began to enjoy the time I spent playing, and thus, wanted to play more.

    Everyone takes a motivational dip now and again. Don't let it get you down. Take the time to enjoy your favourate musicians, perhaps listen to a style of music you've never really listened to before. Expand your aural horizons and you might just feel inspired to play something new.

    Don't be afraid to take a break. Though it is true that a regular practice regimen is one of the most effective methods of improving your technique, everyone needs a time-out now and again. Really been practicing that scale, that solo hard, but not quite got it to speed and it's causing frustration, and demotivating you? Take a break for a few days. Read a book, watch a film, hang with friends. You'll return with a fresh, rested, positive attitude towards what you want to accomplish and go a good deal further towards doing it.

    Keep an open mind: Progress can take a lot of time when it comes to guitar technique, but it can be helped by keeping an open mind towards what and how you practice. Practicing that tricky two-string speed lick and you're having problems with muting string noise? STOP! Don't continue playing it as you are! Slow things riiight down. Experiment with methods of muting haven't tried before. This method can be applied to almost anything when it comes to learning something new. When you hit a rut, think of other ways to approach your problem rather than working on solely solving it via the method you currently use. It will help you keep out of ruts, and you don't want to be in a rut. Because what do ruts lead to? Demotivation.

    Generate interest: They say variety is the spice of life, and that is a saying that I subscribe to. I even change which end of the bed I sleep at every so often because I hate routine...

    What does this have to do with practicing? Well, by keeping things varied it's going to be a lot harder to lose interest, and harder to ultimately enter the demotivation stage. Now you could keep things varied by changing what you practice every couple of days. AP for a couple of days, sweeping/EP for a couple of days, back to AP. Thats pretty basic variety though. This next bit may sound a bit extreme/weird but remember, the person who typed this (me) is someone who moves his pillows around each side of the bed every few nights, and who is constantly re-arranging furniture so as to avoid boredom with the current room layout..

    Try coming up with a series of different practice schedules and put them all into a hat. Draw one out at random and do it. You could even come up with a core practice schedule (Warm up, a few AP excercises, always finishes with a jam of what has been learnt) but then the main chunk of it is left to Lady Luck and her magic hat. You could say the ultimate non-routine practice schedule is not knowing what you're going to be doing that day. Add some 'different' types of exercises in there. Perhaps playing with the light off in utter darkness and working with your ear. Things like this have helped me work out of the demotivation stage.

    As a final word, make sure you apply whatever you're learning, into a musical context. Try to have a little jam at the end.

    I've tried to leave some words of advice (or paragraphs ) that talk more about keeping yourself motivated as opposed to what to practice and for how long. This post will probably make me sound like some sort of freak, when in reality I just get bored extremely easy. And if someone who gets bored easily can work on ways to practice, I'm sure anyone else in a similar situation and some dedication can do the same.

    Good luck with your practicing, and sorry for rambling on for a while. And remember: Demotivation is bad!

    Nick
    I'll disagree with you for the sake of being contraversial.

  2. #2
    Conrad the Caterpillar IronShadows28's Avatar
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    Oi thanks Nick! Great advice. Ive been going through quite a bit of demotivation.

  3. #3
    Registered User Crucifix's Avatar
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    Interesting read.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronShadows28
    Oi thanks Nick! Great advice. Ive been going through quite a bit of demotivation.
    I suppose an alternate method would be to tell your friends you can play like Yngwie, and that you'll play a couple of songs for them in a couple of weeks. You've got to live up to that reputation now or else look a little foolish - I hear fear of embarassment is a great motivator.

    On a serious note, I hope you find your feet again soon. It's not good when you reach the point where you just don't want to pick your guitar up. Just to add to my points, there's nothing as rewarding as playing an absolute perfect gig (in my opinion), or someone you're teaching grasping a concept/technique and beginning to get better. Just something to think about...

    I recommend a read of the insights/practicing articles here, they're much more well-written than this and have helped me a lot too.

    Good luck,
    Nick
    I'll disagree with you for the sake of being contraversial.

  5. #5
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    Hey L
    Great post,I agree entirely ,I'm tryin at the moment to build my Bass playin up to a 1/16 note funk feel and it's dammed hard work,both physically and mentally but I'm well motivated. I spent a whole day on it until 5 in the morning but took regular breaks when I start gettin pissed-off with it, or my fingers get tired and start to get a mind of their own and play somethin else,then I stop immediately and give it a rest,sometimes an hour or two, then back to the grind and I'm gettin there fast because I'm staying positive, making sure I have a good, relaxed,technically correct left hand attitude,which staves off injuries and my hand strength is increasing dramatically, jumping hurdles. Next day I did nothin, left it alone to internalize, played guitar, until it begins to nag at me and I pick it up again and think that today is goin to be the day.Today I'm goin crack it.It's a nice feeling when it "happens".And I'm havin big fun!.Saw Victor Bailey on TV yesterday playin with Joe Zawinul ,now that is a Bass player !

  6. #6
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    Hi,

    great advice in this thread,

    for some more motivation check out this inspirational quotes thread
    http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/...ead.php?t=9652
    "Success is arriving at a Personal Satisfaction within yourself"

    Dedicated To Guitar!!!

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